My Hormone Horror Show started early on...
In my teens and 20s I had irregular periods that would be on time for months in a row and then disappear for months on end, only to return monthly for no apparent reason! I saw medical doctors, had blood tests and ultrasounds –nothing was found and I was told, “everything looked normal”.
Naturally, when I started naturopathic medical school, female hormones and menstrual cycles were of personal interest. I created a regimen for myself using herbs and nutrition to support my hormones but it wasn’t until I fully embraced a 100% plant based diet that healed my gut, got serious about stress management and made sleep a priority in my life that I was able to have regular, monthly periods in my 30s and 40s.
On the eve of my 40th birthday, I was driving home from my office late at night. I was excited because my boyfriend, Joe, was taking me on a surprise trip for my birthday but I was also so exhausted and emotionally drained that I could barely keep my eyes open - all I could think was, “when we get back from this trip I am going to plan a sabbatical, I need a break”.
Alas, this thought was too late!
My trip was followed by months of reoccurring infections, hair loss, insomnia and eventually my regular monthly cycles, that I had worked so hard for, started to get wonky. This experience of “burn out” was a wake up call for me that forced me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and work-life balance as well as my nutrition and supplement regimen. Knowing the close relationships between stress, insomnia and my hormones, I dove deeper into the causes of my stress and how to manage my triggers daily.