Hormone imbalance can be a real bugger and I’ve been dealing with it for a long time. This post is about my current situation, feelings, issues and what I’ve done to manage thus far. The next post will be about what I am doing after receiving test results. This is my encouragement to you to keep fighting, keep seeking and to never give up on your health. It’s worth every minute, penny and doctor visit. If you want a bit more detail behind my health journey, here is the post I did a while back. While you’re here, grab this free guide!
Behind the Hormone Imbalance
Since I was 3, I’ve been a busy body. I’m a competitive dancer and have been since I was 3, as well as a competitive softball player. Training upwards of 30 hours per week when I got older put my body through major stress. I never balanced stress with restorative yoga, stretching, walking or just straight chillin’. Hormone imbalance can build up for years, taking on symptoms of other things.
I had no idea – as a child – that drinking about a gallon of milk every 2-3 days meant I was drinking hormones and antibiotics. There wasn’t even a glimmer of concern in my mind about eating an entire Totino’s pizza with strawberry milk and Doritos. When I ate a big bowl (or 4) of Lucky Charms in the morning, I didn’t know it was putting my body through stress.
A divorce in my family, constant fighting between my parents, stress of sports, being an A+ student and whacky friendships contributed to more… STRESS. After 15+ moves, I landed back in Alaska and enrolled in school there. That was where I first noticed the first ever pimple and began my period.
From that point on, the acne got worse and my period got worse each month. I would have to skip school due to pain and bleeding. If this isn’t screaming hormone imbalance, what is? My acne was a HUGE discomfort for me. I wore makeup and did anything I could with chemicals to get rid of it.. guess what, nothing helped. I remember the doctor saying, “Here’s this X medication, don’t use anything but a while pillow case cause it will bleach it.” I nodded and said… “ok…” with some question in my tone. I did it though.
The Cycle That Had to End
Then, in the 9th grade, I was done. I wanted the acne gone and a normal period so, the doctors put me on birth control. They flippin’ put a 14 -year old girl on birth control for something totally irrelevant to conception. Boy did my face clear up but the second I missed a pill, I broke out and my period got worse. I had blood clots, extreme bleeding and mood swings (bless anyone who dealt with me in high school). Seriously, I would get so mad at myself for the mood swings but I couldn’t control them. At the drop of a pin, it was over and you better not be in my path.
I hated it.
I had a depressed thought (which had never happened); that’s when I got off that crap. I don’t know what clicked because I had never read a thing about the effects of birth control but I quit immediately.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the weight gain. When I started birth control, I gained 30 pounds in less than 4 months. At this point, I had to quit dance because of RA (yes, rheumatoid arthritis), bone spurs, bursitis and Osgoodschlatter’s Disease. At any given time, I was between a 7-10 level pain. OUCH. Let’s jump forward to my Senior year, 3 years later. I quit the birth control and started to educate myself. I began to study nutrition, health, wellness and stress. This all stemmed from my AP Enviro. teacher, Mrs. Dallman. She was so passionate about the earth and she imprinted on my heart.
I had no idea what I was starting
My whole perspective of life changed. I hopped on a place to Kauai and was unknowingly changing the rest of my life. I went off gluten, dairy, corn, soy, refined sugar, refined oil, beef anything process or packaged and was basically eating raw vegan. In one month, I lost 28 pounds of water weight. I was so puffy and inflamed from my lifestyle and the birth control.
Finally, I could walk, swim and even jog with no pain. I went in the sauna each night, had green smoothies and spent time with my Jesus. Who knew 1 month could change your life?
Looking at me now. You’d think “she’s healthy”. While I am pretty dang healthy and still avoid all the foods I mentioned above, I have underlying stuff going on that I’ve only been managing up to this point. I have hormone imbalance, gut issues and stressed myself out so bad last year I developed an allergy to egg and have no libido. Kids my age are supposed to have sex all the time but nope, not this girl.
Finally, after 2 years, I decided to order a hormone test. I knew I needed to awhile ago but for some reason I didn’t. By some reason, I mean it costed a lot of money. Me of all people can’t use that as an excuse though because my health is worth any money in the world. The coolest thing happened, I had the Women’s Health Test in my cart and was going to buy in the morning. I had saved enough for the past few months to get it.
God is always coming through
Little did I know, Tommy had been praying that I would win a hormone test. The next day I went on Instagram and was tagged in something. I looked and had won a woman’s hormone test.. out of thousands and thousands of people who entered, I won. Dang, I’m giving this glory to God. It meant the world to us as we hit the mission field and are in major saving mode. I got the test, pricked my finger, spit in the tube and sent it in.
The next 5 days felt like forever but I was patient. When I read “Your results are in your online dashboard.” we were on the road. I logged on quick and was A S T O N I S H E D. Of 15 biomarkers, 10 were out of range. Can you say major hormone imbalance?! I had progesterone of 4…. my estrogen was crazy high and my testosterone is the highest it should be for a woman my age. I had antibodies to my thyroid and high DHEA. I had two options in that moment:
1) freak the frick out
2) calm down & plan
I chose the second and started researching natural doctors and women’s health experts. I have to get his hormone imbalance under control. You might ask why I wouldn’t create my own protocol. I want to have an outside look. Hormones are something you don’t play with, ever. So, take your health seriously. Order a test and don’t overlook the “normals” like hot flashes, heavy periods, missed periods, hair falling out, cramping, fatigue, etc. My next post will be after I fix myself. Remember, sign up for my email list here so you don’t miss out on the follow up!
What you can do now
- Test yourself at home (code SIMPLHOLISTIC)
- Grab a copy of my Wild Women’s Hormones Ebook
- Start eating a balanced diet
- cooked greens, roasted vegetables, seed cycling, plenty of filtered water, bitter herbs
- Educate yourself
- Dr. Jolene Brighten is a women’s health expert
- Comment below & let me know your journey
Holy cow, can you relate? Pin it for later.