It’s not your fault, it’s your hormones!
So many women these days are feeling totally frazzled, overwhelmed, exhausted and like the life and joy has been drained out of them.
The stress of life, money worries, marital strain, work pressures, parenting, and all that is required of us in a day can take a toll.
Adrenal Fatigue and burnout is the new epidemic.
If you’re feeling sick, stuck, depressed, anxious and like you have nothing left to give anymore, know that you are not broken. You are probably just burned out. And, you are not alone.
Perhaps you’ve been to your doctor and they can’t tell what is wrong. They hand you a slip for a prescription to suppress your symptoms. Yet, the root cause is being left to grow underneath.
Your general doctor can’t diagnose adrenal fatigue, and blood tests are not the best way to test for hormone imbalance. So, this is why your doctor can’t help you with these issues.
The reasons why we burn out are many, but what is at the root of all of the reasons is, in large part, out of control stress.
Stress comes in many forms, which I cover in this blog.
A Nervous System on Overdrive – a Crash Course
As women, we need to have our cortisol in a healthy range, and in balance with our sex hormones (progesterone, and estrogen), otherwise the health implications can become really severe, and life altering.
While I’m not a doctor, and don’t specialize in the medical speak of what each hormone does, and why we need them in balance, I want to outline the most vital areas I believe we need to be aware of in addressing burnout and hormone imbalance.
Around the age of 35 – 40, our progesterone levels naturally begin to decline. If we are stressed out, and living a life out of balance, eating crap food, too much sugar, not moving enough, not able to deal with our emotions in a healthy way, eventually our cortisol becomes depleted after a long spell of being elevated for too long.
This is what happened to me only a few years ago, when testing with my naturopath showed bottomed out cortisol levels, and extremely low progesterone. I was barely able to function at this level, let alone show up as my best self with my 3 kids.
While I am still tweaking some issues, I am far from where I once was.
The “cortisol steal” Phase
Once this begins to happen, the body attempts to make more cortisol (which we need to survive) by converting our progesterone into cortisol. This is termed as the “cortisol steal” and is where women’s health can begin to decline at a rapid rate. If progesterone is already on the low side, and the body is trying to convert what we do have into cortisol, this further complicates the problem.
Getting a good quality sleep begins to become an issue, mood is all over the place, overwhelm, stress, hypervigilance, anxiety, exhaustion, inconsistent energy, and feeling on edge becomes the norm.
Work, life, relationships, marriage, parenting and health begins to suffer. Big time.
When we are operating at these levels, our adrenals (the glands that produce our cortisol) become exhausted, and can’t keep up.
Stress is the Root Cause – But What is Stressing You Out?
Stress has a major impact on our health mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. If left unchecked, and the signs left ignored, the affects can be devastating.
High cortisol is linked to certain cancers, accelerates aging of the skin and body, increases inflammation.
Addressing the root cause is essential.
Sleeping pills, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, synthetic hormones, and other pharmaceuticals are merely a band-aid, and won’t address the underlying reasons for why you are burned out. In fact, these medications often create more problems than they solve. Get a good functional medicine practitioner, or Naturopath on your health care team as you move froward.
Hormone health, and stress management are created by what we eat, the supplements we take, how we sleep, think, move, feel and relate.
It’s not something that can be addressed with a one dimensional focus. We have to look at all areas of our lives, what’s really going on the at the root of it.
What is stressing you out? What is draining you?
I help women to find more inner balance, calm, juiciness, and joy in their lives through my 1:1 deep work, and have witnessed the light come back on within the most tired, and exhausted women. The ones who truly believed something was wrong with them, began to truly embrace themselves as they made changes to improve their lives and health.
Empowerment is a healing life force. Illness lives in the areas we feel powerless.
In my work, I address the deeper stuff that’s going on behind the scenes. The stuff that my clients feel too ashamed or guilty to talk about, and keep it locked inside themselves.
The worries and fears that keep them awake at night.
The marital issues that they feel powerless to change.
This is the deep work that must happen for true improvement and healing to occur.
While you are working with a functional medicine practitioner, be sure to get support and guidance from someone that can help you maintain your mental, emotional, spiritual and relationship health. Someone that can help you address your inner mean girl, design a personalized lifestyle protocol based on your current needs, move through stuck emotions, and help you heal on a deeper soul – emotional level.
You need the tools and practices that help you to deal with your stress and emotions in a way that doesn’t keep your stress response (fight-or-flight) stuck in overdrive.
You must also know your triggers, and why certain things upset you.
Addressing deep fears and anxiety is also critical.
When I was at my sickest point, this is where I now see I was missing the mark, and why I wasn’t healing despite my best efforts to eat right and take handfuls of supplements.
I was 100% focused only on my diet, supplements, and not on all of the aspects listed above.
What I needed was someone to powerfully and lovingly hold my hand and lead me step by step back to myself. Someone who had been through what I was going through. Someone to lead me by their example.
So, while you are taking care of the body aspect, please don’t ignore the rest of who you are.
If I have learned anything about the burnout hell I have been through, it is this:
Illness is an invitation to come back to ourselves.
An invitation to look deeper at what we have been ignoring, tolerating, worrying about. How we have been making ourselves ‘not enough’ and pushing ourselves to finally feel like we are enough. How we have allowed others needs to come before our own. How we have been allowing things in our lives that we really aren’t OK with.
Empowerment is Healing.
Here’s the thing ladies, while we do need support, and should never feel like we have to do this alone, it’s all on you to make these changes.
Not your doctor, not even a therapist or a naturopath. All of these avenues are part of the path, but the direction you travel is up to you. What you choose to do about it, is all on you.
You can make excuses that it’s not the right time, you don’t have the money, things are too busy, and so on, but I am here to tell you that in order to create real change, it requires taking massive action.
What will be your wake up call to take action to really look at your life?
Will you wait until you are bed ridden, or in the hospital to take action?
When you can barley muster the energy to make healthy food for yourself?
When you’ve gained 50 pounds (or more)?
When you can barely take care of your children?
When you lose your cool with your kids and feel like you’re failing as a Mom?
When your marriage is crumbling and divorce is eminent?
Here’s my hard learned lesson. Get help early. Don’t wait until it’s so bad, that turning it around becomes a full-time job.
Get a functional medicine doctor, or Naturopath on board that you trust. And next, hire a mentor that can really help you lighten up from within, to help you gain clarity and focus that you need to put your energy toward the most essential aspects, to give you the tools to calm your inner chaos, and help you to come back into your wholeness and empowerment.
To help you address your inner self talk, anxiety, over packed schedule, marital conflict, and everything in between that you can’t see yourself.
If you are ready to take your health, life, and hormone health back, I invite you to apply for a complimentary breakthrough session with me. Let’s get you on the right path.