In January this year I told my husband I just didn’t feel right. It was about 11:00 pm and I couldn’t sleep. For some weird reason I was craving that Top Ramen soup i used to eat when I was little and it made my blood pressure go up because of all that salt. I went to the doctor, for the first time in years since I never get sick and found that I was on the border of needing high blood pressure medication. I was overweight and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to get rid of those pounds.
Long story short, I agreed to go on blood pressure medication short term until I lost a little weight. Ten days after starting it I ended up in the ER from a bad reaction to it. I was having anxiety attacks, in panic most of the time and unable to eat much. I was exhausted. After the ER visit, I was put on a different high blood pressure medication that had a diuretic in it. I still was having anxiety. Then they took the diuretic out and I was feeling a little better, but after a week or so I would start to have anxiety again. Lastly, they wanted to put me on antidepressants! I was like, NO.
For the last two years we have made very purposeful choices in taking care of ourselves. We eat organic, non GMO, locally grown food as much as possible. We don’t drink soda anymore. We don’t eat any fast food. We take the natural route as our first choice whenever we can, so going on anti depressants was not an option for me. What I didn’t know is that it’s very common for women who are entering perimenopause to be prescribed those to help balance us out. I am totally at that age, but didn’t want to take that route. I remembered my friend, Megan, had a naturopath she liked and asked her about it.
According to AANP,
Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
My first appointment was a breath of fresh air. All my health issues seemed to be related to my hormones. She felt that I went through post partum depression after my last miscarriage two years ago, had adrenal fatigue, and the beginning stages of perimenopause. It turns out when you have adrenal fatigue, that the symptoms of perimenopause are more severe. She recommended Dr. James Wilson’s book, “Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome.” It was like a diary of my life!
Put simply, our adrenal glands secrete stress hormones, like cortisol, as well as our sex hormones. When we are under big stresses, our adrenals produce too much cortisol and eventually become fatigued. Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Tired even though you slept a lot?
- Depending on coffee or colas to keep you going?
- Feeling run down and stressed?
- Struggling to keep up with life’s daily demands?
- Weight gain, especially in the belly?
- Not having fun anymore?
- Experiencing decreased sex drive?
I was super jumpy and anxious. I was having memory problems. I couldn’t focus. And I drank a lot of coffee, just to make it through the day. My ND adjusted my diet a little bit, added some supplements and asked me to give up coffee. WHAT? That was, by far, the hardest adjustment.
Almost 4 months later, I have lost 28 pounds! I feel better than I have in years! I’m alert. I remember things. I’m not biting my family’s head off anymore because I have too much stress. I practice yoga. I enjoy life. It’s a journey. It took me years to get to this place, so it will take time to get back, but I’m making great progress and I’m so thankful I didn’t take those antidepressants!
The first pic was taken in January, 2015. The second pic was taken in May, 2015. I am so thankful to have found a better way that works for me and my lifestyle!