I am a female who is almost 38 years old with 3 children ranging from 2 to 17. I am mentally exhausted all the time which also drains me physically. I know with a 2year old I should be tired but I had my tubes tied when I had him and then a year or so later I had an ablation to help with painful periods. I am snappy and very short with my fuse I think I have more trouble staying focused and remembering things. The dr. says I am depressed I don't want to take anti depressants I want a more natural approach but doctors now days don't think along those lines.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Tina
The situation you are describing is something that I hear
numerous times in my practice everyday.
Many women are in a situation where they are put under very high demands
with the responsibilities of raising the family. Overtime, between the stress and work of
childbearing coupled with raising children, tending to the household and
changing hormone levels it is very common for women to complain of symptoms
like low energy, poor focus, irritability, anxiety and depression.
The good news is that many of these stories have a happy
ending. By offering the body the correct
support you can regain much of the health and vitality you experienced years
There are a few key concepts and systems to look at in this situation. The adrenals, the thyroid and the sex
hormones (ovaries) are the primary players here. Together they make a triad that ultimately controls
much of how we feel in regards to energy, vitality and overall health.
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the
kidneys. Their primary role is to help
our bodies to resist stress and supply us with energy. When we are put under prolonged stress or
high amounts of stress in a short period of time often the adrenals become fatigued. I have found this to be one of the main causative
factors associated with the symptoms you are experiencing. A saliva test is the best way to evaluate how
your adrenals are doing because it is the most sensitive way to monitor changes
in cortisol levels for a situation like this.
If adrenal gland function is disrupted then thyroid function
is often disrupted due to the effect cortisol has on thyroid hormone. As we know, low thyroid function will result
in low metabolism, low energy, low body temperature and possibly
Lastly, the excessively painful menses you were experiencing
several years ago when you had your ablation procedure was an early warning
sign that your adrenal system was getting weak and that your hormonal system
was starting to become imbalanced. As
the adrenals start to become weakened due to prolonged stress the body will rely
on sex hormones, particularly progesterone to support the stress response in
light of falling cortisol levels. The
body will convert progesterone into cortisol to support survival which ultimately
causes diminished blood levels of progesterone.
Low progesterone levels can cause excessive bleeding, excessive
moodiness and PMS, breast tenderness, bloating and painful menses.
In order to fully regain your health and vitality you are
most likely going to have to work one on one with someone because balancing
these systems can be tricky and requires the guidance of practitioner skilled
in working with natural medicines.
However here are some general guidelines that might be helpful for you.
The first thing you must do is balance your blood
sugar. Each meal, including breakfast
must contain high quality protein from real food like eggs, fish, turkey,
chicken or dairy products. Eating good
quality proteins and fats at each meal will stabilize your blood sugar and
remove a huge amount of stress from your body.
Rising and falling blood sugar levels that result from eating refined
carbohydrates like cereal, breads, pastas, baked good and potatoes cause a
great deal of stress on your body.
Eliminating these fluctuations can greatly support your body’s attempts
to regain health. You can follow diets
like The Zone Diet or The South Beach Diet. Both are very good at eating to stabilize
Next, we can look at nutrients. B-vitamins, particularly B5 and B6 are very
good at supporting the adrenals and energy production in general. What I usually suggest is to take a good B-50
Complex and then take an additional 250mg-400mg of B5, an extra 25mg of B6 and
an additional 1-5mg of a sublingual methyl B12.
This is a great way to start to stabilize mood and support energy
production. These B vitamins are all
water soluble making them very safe and are one of the most powerful tools for
rebuilding strength and stamina.
Certain herbal preparations can also be very helpful at
restoring energy levels. A particular
class of herbs called Adaptogens, are best known for their ability to help the
body recover from and resist stress. Ginseng
is one of the best known herbs from this family. I recommend the American Ginseng variety to
start because it has less potential to be over stimulating to sensitive
individuals. It is important to take it
in the morning and afternoon because these are times when adrenal function is
most active. If it capsules, I usually recommend
300-400mg in the morning and an additional 200mg around noontime. If it is a liquid, I will often recommend 120
drops in the morning and an additional 60 drops around noontime. Other great herbs to consider for energy and
stamina are Rhodiola and ashwagandha.
In order to iron out thyroid function you must first get the
adrenals supported and you must also get the appropriate type of thyroid
evaluation. Please read the article at
the following link for an in depth review of what tests you need to understand
thyroid function http://www.vitabase.com/blog/energy/sub-clinical-hypothyroidism.aspx
To balance your hormones there are several options available. Topical progesterone cream might be something
to consider because it will directly increase blood levels of
progesterone. This should help to reduce
any symptoms associated with moodiness and irritability that are hormonally
related. I do not usually suggest the
long term use of progesterone cream unless you are supervised by a doctor,
however a three month course may do wonders to get your hormones back on
track. In addition, because the adrenals
can use progesterone to support the stress response it serves as a round about
way of supporting this system as well.
Another very good adjunctive way to support progesterone
levels in the body is with Evening Primrose Oil. This wonderful oil helps the body to naturally
increase progesterone production.
3000mg-5000mg per day is the recommended dose.
Taking 2 tablespoons of fresh ground flax seed is another
way to support optimal hormone balanced.
The best strategy is to buy organic flax seeds and grind the 2
tablespoons fresh each day in an electric coffee grinder. You can then mix it with a smoothie, yogurt
or sprinkle on your food. The lignans in
flax seed help to balance hormone levels in men and women.
Guiding yourself through a health situation like this can be
very difficult. It is very important
that you begin to feel better for the sake of yourself and your family. Not feeling like yourself can affect all the
people around you as I am sure you have experienced. The recommendations above are a general
guideline and can be a start, but I strongly encourage you to find a qualified
doctor who specializes in using natural medicine to help you complete your
journey towards feeling better. I have
seen so many similar cases in my practice respond so well to natural medicine
that I am certain you do not need to give up hope.
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