A few days ago, Angela shared the story how she recovered from adrenal fatigue, naturally.
It's an incredible story, and if you haven't read it yet, check it out here.
Today, I wanted to share a similar, but different story with you, because as we all know, adrenal fatigue (AF) hits us all in different ways.
Restlessness, anxiety, extreme food sensitivities, chronic indigestion an absent period and horrible skin issues lie at the beginning of my struggle with hormonal issues and adrenal fatigue.
Overtime, my restlessness and my inability to sit still, shifted into something quite the opposite- a hard crash. Suddenly, it felt like the only thing I could do, was sit still and on top of that, the other issues I had been experiencing were continuing to get worse and worse. (This was me going from the early stages of AF to the more advanced stages)
For a gal in her mid-twenties in the midst of moving to a new city, kick starting my career, dating and having fun with my friends- this was devastating. Especially since I had always been super social, active and exceptionally productive (AKA addicted to being productive, AKA a root level issue of what got me to this state in the first place.. but that's a story for another day).
THE ADRENALS CONNECTION TO SEX HORMONES
Because of this, my body had been compensating by doing whatever it could do to make more.. one of these things being using precursor hormones to important sex hormones (like progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, and the estrogens) to make more cortisol, instead of making these important sex hormones in the correct amounts.
When you're in a state of chronic "fight or flight," staying alive is more important than staying fertile... so stress hormones take precedence over sex hormones.
My progesterone and DHEA levels were low, while my testosterone and estrogen were high. The symptoms caused by this imbalance were brutal, and they changed and worsened as the health of my adrenals worsened.
This was all exacerbated by the fact that I had been on the birth control pill for years, a pill that synthetically was keeping my estrogen levels high, while my stressful lifestyle pushed hormones like progesterone and DHEA down. This threw off the delicate balance between these hormones even more.
So now along with feeling totally exhausted, I was experiencing embarrassing hormonal acne, painful PMS symptoms (when my period returned) Fibrocystic Breast Syndrome, and though I didn't know it exactly at the time, I now realize I was also dealing with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
These issues were ROOT level adrenal issues that were being made worse by the birth control pill.
(I now wonder how many other young students and adults are on the same path to hormonal destruction as I was... it's a scary thought).
attention fellas, this Effects you too!
Testosterone can easily be converted into stress hormones like cortisol if the body needs it.
Some symptoms of low testosterone include things like:
- reduced muscle mass
- increased body fat
- low libido + sexual issues
- hair loss
On top of all of this, I felt like I couldn't eat anything. If I didn't cook healthy meals for myself at home, I'd be floored with digestive cramping and discomfort.
I longed for the energy and digestive fire to allow me to stay out late with my friends like a regular 20-year-old, but most of all, I longed to feel (and look) healthy again.
I worked with my Naturopathic Doctor and started making changes to my lifestyle and diet in a holistic way.
I started to notice enormous differences right away-- mostly on the digestive front, which was huge for me.
I had always been a bit of a foodie, but after experiencing how major of a role food played in my recovery, I was inspired, and HUNGRY to learn more.
So as my journey towards better health continued, I made some major lifestyle adjustments... one of the biggest at the time was leaving my job and going back to school for nutrition.
My health was on the mend while in school, but I still had my struggles. It was during this time I became obsessed with the endocrine system and how our hormones dictated so much in regards to our vitality, and how we feel physically and mentally, day to day.
I learned so much! I was lucky, after school I got to put what I had learned into practice, working one on one with others with hormonal imbalance and helping them recover from adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance via food and total body nutrition.
Nearly 10 years later, several tough lessons, a 100% recovery and hundreds of clients later, I'm STILL obsessed with hormones.. and this obsession has led me here, to working with Angela and the totally kick-ass HYAF team.
Like Angela, my journey towards healing was far from easy.
It was LONG, it was expensive, and it was filled with so much experimentation and guess work with supplementation and diet.. did I mention it was long??.. Ya, like essentially, my whole 20's long. :(
My recovery was a hot mess to say the least, but in the end, I figured it out and I finally got there.
Nearly a decade later, I was relieved, proud and excited to finally be able to say I had fully recovered, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I was carrying some regret.
I regretted the time wasted, the deprivation diets, the stuff I missed out on because I was spending all my money on supplements, and the money... oh lordiee the money.
In hindsight, I know I made mistakes. I know I wasted time.
You know the quote, "I'm grateful for my struggle, because without it I never would of discovered my strength"?
Well, it resonates with me a lot. This is because through reflection, I realize my struggle has shed light on the exact tools and steps required, to help make this process WAY EASIER for others.
I learned how to cut through the bullshit noise in the market so moving forward, it wouldn't have to be this hard for anybody else.
A fire exploded in my heart, a burning desire to get this word out to others struggling with adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance.
I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops!
And so I started shouting.
Then one day while I was shouting, I met someone else doing the same thing on a different mountain...
We realized we could yell louder and reach more people, if we yelled together.
Together we shared our stories, reflections, collaboration (and hugs too) and Heal Your Adrenal Fatigue.com was born.
It took years of hard personal experience, research and collaboration, but as a team, we've finally created one hell of an incredible 7 Step Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Program called Fatigued 2 Fabulous. In truth, this program is part of our soul. It was born out of our own struggles and personal challenges with adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance.
When we were diagnosed, we didn't know where to start. It was overwhelming and we didn't know what to do.
if you've been struggling, we want you to know that there is hope AND THAT YOU CAN TURN THINGS AROUND.
That push you need to finally start seeing real results might be closer (and Easier) than you ever thought..
Are you HERE with us?
The truth is that hormonal imbalances like the ones I was experiencing can increase more then just the amount of hair you have growing on your chin.. our risk of cancer increases.. as do the chances of fertility issues and so much more!
We can't let common conditions like these remain hidden under blankets of complexity and confusion anymore.
Enough of this whole suffering alone thing, let's at least move through this together. If you can relate to this struggle in any shape or form, I'd love to connect with you.
Comment below and let me and all the others know you're here, that we're not alone and that you're here with us.
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Can't wait to talk to you more there.