Hormone education and resources…
I’m curious…what do you remember about your middle or high school health class?
I vaguely remember learning the basics about nutrition (aka. the misleading food guide pyramid known as the plate now), anatomy and sex.
Isn’t it funny that our health is something we have to take care of and manage our whole lives yet most of us only had one measly semester long class to prepare us for this?
I want to change this, for all the women (and even men) who have gone before us and for the ones who come after us.
I certainly didn’t learn what I really needed to know in order to manage my health let alone my hormones or my menstrual cycle. And as a result of being ill-informed, I quickly found myself taking birth control to regulate painful and irregular periods which turned into a 17 year marathon of wrecking the delicate balance of my body.
A recent survey of 2,000 women (age 30 to 60) found that nearly half of them have experienced one or more symptoms of hormone imbalances, and 72% only later understood the causes of their hormone issues.
Some of the most common symptoms they experienced included:
- Low energy
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Urinary incontinence
- Memory loss and brain fog
- Anxiety, depression and lost of interest in daily activities
I can only imagine how much money, time and angst those 72% spent trying to find a fix for their health issues, not even realizing it was all related to their hormones because they don’t fully understand how their body works.
How many of those symptoms can you relate to?
In my functional health coaching practice, I’ve worked with too many young women struggling with the same issues I had; some fearful or frustrated about not being able to get pregnant. Then there are the numerous pre- and post-menopausal women I’ve worked with who are trying to untangle their hormone issues so they can gracefully get through menopause or restore the life they had once before their hormones got out of whack.
All with one thing usually in common… a prescription for birth control or hormone replacement therapy without a conversation about the side-effects, potential risk factors or lifestyle changes they could make to build health and balance their hormones.
Did your doctor ever tell you that taking birth control could increase your risk for an autoimmune condition, let alone a slew of other hormonal, liver and health issues? Mine sure didn’t; not the one who prescribed it to me or the various primary care doctors I saw for annual physicals over the next 17 years.
As Dr. Jolene Brighten shares in her book Beyond the Pill, “there is a 300 percent increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease if you take the pill” but not many people are talking about the health issues related to hormone treatments, or how to balance your hormones naturally.
My friend and functional medicine-minded OBGYN Shawn Tassone put the overuse of birth control into such clear perspective once by saying, “birth control is prescribed to females for things such as acne which can often be fixed by changing their diet. Would you prescribe birth control to a teenage boy with acne? No, then why is it being prescribed for females so frequently when there are other options.”
Hormones control many major bodily functions; emotions, cancer risk and even memory loss.
Imagine what your life, and our world would be like if we all received more education about health and hormones at a younger age, or had access to better resources throughout our lifespan.
In this week’s video and blog, I share more about my mission to provide adequate hormone education and resources for women regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status; allowing women to embrace their bodies, hormones and be in control of their health to live their fullest life.
We all deserve easier access to hormone education and resources so you can live your fullest life, and so you can give the generations to come a better quality of life too.
I didn’t really start to understand how my body worked as a woman until my 30’s.
Reaching rock bottom with my long-time hormone-imbalance battle led me down the road to a higher health education. Had I known as a teenager what I know now, I could have prevented the 17+ years of irregular periods, chronic fatigue, weight gain woes, allergies, brain fog, waves of depression and anxiety, Hashimotos, disrupting the precious balance of my body with birth control and so much more.
I’ll never forget what my client Dee said about receiving her DUTCH hormone test results and data-guided recommendations for diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplements…
“It was like Christmas. I was so excited to hear the results because we tested for things no one else was interested in…how amazing would it be to give this gift to every woman.”
She had been on a diet her whole life trying to lose weight with limited success; trying everything from Beach Body to Weight Watchers and Keto. She even explored Cross Fit for a while.
As she entered her 40’s, she gave up on weight loss as her focus shifted to how she felt with menopause kicking into gear – which led her to uninsured hormone replacement therapy, expensive acupuncture treatments and various other hormone therapies. None of which fully resolved her health issues and got her back to feeling like herself again. She felt helpless when it came to her hormone health.
For the longest time, it felt as though I didn’t have control over my hormones either; dating all the way back to my adolescence as my body shifted and my hormones seemed to rip through me emotionally and physically. A feeling both Dee and I shared, as I’m sure most women do.
A false feeling conjured up by a lack of understanding around our hormones.
I’m happy to report that after working together and getting access to the right lab tests and resources to better understand her body and hormones, Dee has lost weight, her hormones are balanced and she feels great!
Dee’s story is just one of the many I see. In fact, two of my newest clients have a very similar story; one has been on birth control for over 40 years and prescribed multiple medications to control side effects likely linked to hormone imbalances and who has been struggling with weight gain and fatigue for years.
Dee’s comment sparked an idea that could change the course for women’s hormone education forever.
What if every woman regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status could have access to the right lab tests, resources and education to:
- Gracefully get through menopause or any stage of hormone change
- Advocate for themselves and collaborate with their health professionals
- Formulate a lifestyle and health plan that worked for their unique body
Women all over would stop suffering, and start living fuller lives. They would be better daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, moms, partners, leaders and teachers – and the men in their lives would greatly benefit from this too.
And so H.E.R For Women was born! – Hormone Education and Resources for Women for Life.
Last week, my dream of starting a non-profit organization that would provide hormone education and resources, such as the DUTCH test, to women regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status while allowing women to embrace their bodies, hormones and be in control of their health to live their fullest life became official!!!
This project is in the beginning stages but it holds incredible power.
I personally wish I would have known my body better earlier in life to avoid some of the health challenges I have faced, but my journey and the journey I have helped other women through has inspired this project so that the future of women’s health will be better.
Thank you to all my sisters, and even brothers, out there who have inspired and supported this mission.
Stay tuned for more information as this project develops and how you can take advantage of it or contribute to it.
In the meantime, if you want to get the gift of the right lab tests and resources to live your fullest life like Dee did, click here to schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session.