As a functional nutritionist, I help women to identify and address the root causes of their hormone and digestive symptoms. Say goodbye to fad diets, my mission is to empower you in your health and create change that sustains.
Foundations are absolutely essential to establish hormone balance. Women’s health foundations are diet and lifestyle pre-requisites for optimal hormone function, digestion, immune function and more. Without established foundations, the body experiences physical stress. When the body is on a blood sugar roller coaster or does not have enough nutrients and sleep, stress hormones can become chronically elevated leading to other imbalances. Developing healthy habits and a routine to keep foundations set is the absolute first step to resolving symptoms. Once the body has what it needs, it can rebalance. When my clients are in a stuck space, we always take time to re-evaluate the foundations and see where there is room there first to provide support.
Conventional healthcare practitioners provide only basic, limited lab tests, especially when dealing with hormone symptoms. For example, they will evaluate only TSH as a thyroid marker compared to a full thyroid panel. These basic labs can leave missing pieces to your health picture.
Running comprehensive labs including a stool test, DUTCH hormone panel, and hair tissue mineral analysis can provide insight into potential root causes. Some common issues I see include gut infections/bacterial overgrowth, a stressed liver, low hormones, imbalanced hormones, estrogen dominance, mineral imbalances, and exposures to environmental toxins. These issues are often stealthy and difficult to catch without using holistic screenings.
Many people jump into their health journey with an “all or nothing approach.” They think perfection is the key to healing and want to see rapid results. This mindset causes us to spiral every time we make a mistake or falter, preventing us from making real progress. I find that small incremental changes and intention are the ultimate path to success. Healing means giving ourselves grace, taking control of what we can, surrendering to what we can not, and each day slowly striving to show up for ourselves imperfectly.
I also commonly see women who are burned out whether it be in work, relationships, etc., believe they must work hard and put in large amounts of effort to achieve health. This more ‘masculine’ mindset can hold us back, especially because the healing process involves allowing your body to restore itself, lots of rest, and letting go of areas in life and stories that may no longer be serving you. In part, our health is a manifestation of our own thoughts. The external reflects the internal, so we have to believe that we are worthy and capable of healing and be kind to our body in order to so.
The conventional healthcare system sees a set of symptoms, makes a diagnosis, and prescribes a pill or drug as treatment. This, again, does not address the root cause of what is going on in the body and can lead you to become stuck on a hamster wheel. Many drugs have side effects which in turn require another medication to relieve the side effect. For example, women often address hormonal issues with birth control and then are prescribed anti-anxiety, anti-depressants shortly after. Imbalances in the body are not the result of one chemical, hormone, nutrient, etc. There is usually not one magic drug that can totally restore complete balance – we must evaluate everything that is impacting the body and create and comprehensive, realistic, and nourishing plan to bring it back into balance.
It is extremely common to want to look for ‘magic bullets’ – the one supplement, diet, or practice that will heal all of your symptoms. When we don’t see results it can be extremely disheartening. Lasting changes usually happen slowly, especially if the body has been stuck in a state of high stress, depleted, and imbalanced for years.
Time is a *magic ingredient* that in our amazon prime society often gets trumped for trendy, “promised fast” result strategies. My clients who slow down and are open to peel back layers are the ones who make the most progress. We have to give ourselves patience and grace on our healing journeys and surrender to the drive for immediate results.
Obsessing about diet and small details, trying to be perfect, and working yourself into the ground trying to heal usually backfires. I see this in women who think the key to weight loss is intense exercise and restricting calories. While well intentioned, the stress of not getting enough nutrients and exercise can actually increase cortisol (stress hormone) levels and lead to other imbalances. The stress of worrying about toxins is another one that I commonly see. For example, stressing about whether everything you eat is organic or if you accidentally something considered ‘inflammatory.’ These fears can hold us back from healing by increasing physiological stress.
Unrelated to health, I see many women in stressful jobs, relationships, with unaddressed emotional traumas, and painful histories that impact their physical health. Usually healing requires a complete overhaul of our entire belief systems and forces us to address what we’ve repressed. It is difficult work, but worth it.
Stress is the usually the number one cause of all health issues; we must be diligent about relieving all forms of stress: physical, emotional, and mental as a part of the healing picture.
Yes I said it, sometimes the most important changes with diet & lifestyle take the most time and your medical practitioner may not have the space to coach you through that. Sugar coating and gas lighting are big in the medical space. Working with a practitioner who is going not only tell you where you need this support, but also coach you through how to align these changes in your life, is not always the quick choice, but it will be the most productive way to gain results while also adopting a deeper understanding of how to partner with your female body moving forward.