Sterling just turned 17-months old, and I am currently working part-time on this company. I spent his first 5 months of life exclusively with him. In the spring, I went back to my internship and my final semester of Graduate School at UT-Austin, and graduated in December. The effort to complete my master’s degree, resume CrossFit training, and balance the baby and family duties was quite taxing to say the least. This is an excerpt from my journal shortly after graduating.
Finally finished grad school. I feel like my adrenals have been on over-drive pumping my veins with adrenaline to keep up with everything. I want to collapse and do NOTHING for at least 3 days…. I am taking a [CrossFit] break to give my [parasympathetic nervous system] a chance to recharge my body. I finally crossed the finish line and need to collapse and shudder all the excess away. .. Thanksgiving took a lot out of me. … I want to : yoga, meditate, get a massage, watch a movie, sleep uninterrupted, dance, laugh, take a hike, sit, NOTHING.”
After a month of family time, I started LCR Wellness. I thought my short “break” was enough to recharge my body, and I was ready to press on. (Come on, moms. We all know that taking time off to be with the baby is hardly a break.) By March, I was exhausted. None of my old nutrition or supplement tricks worked. My energy and motivation had dwindled to a slowing trickle. All I wanted to do was sleep. My outlook on most things became quite negative, and I started experiencing intrusive thoughts. I was well beyond the time frame for post-partum depression, though I presented with similar symptoms. After all I have been though in two combat deployments and my time in the Army, I felt ashamed. Here I was, an emerging Wellness Coach, yet I felt that I my own health needed help. This was not something I could suck up and endure.
One evening, we ended up in the ER as my hands started to tingle and go numb. The ER doctor recommended I go on anti-depressants based on my symptoms. It saddens me to think of how many women have been in a similar circumstance and decided to take the advice of doctors such as this. How unfortunate that our societal norm is for professionals with over a decade of medical training to hand out pharmaceuticals without hesitation. Seriously, this needs to stop. Instead of popping a pill, I knew my body chemistry was out of balance. As I shared in earlier posts, I sought out help through an N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor) and my L.Ac. (Acupuncturist) Careful analysis of an extensive blood panel revealed some valuable information.
1. My endocrine system was shot. The pituitary gland is known as the master gland of the endocrine system. It signals the rest of the system to function. Mine was kaput. My adrenals had been on chronic overload, snagging necessary hormone building blocks originally meant for progesterone and instead using them for cortisol production. My progesterone and free testosterone were very low. Without these necessary hormones, my body was unable to keep up with the daily grind.
Solution: My L.Ac. has me on a solid protocol and supplement plan to help my endocrine system get back on track naturally. I try to keep stress to a minimum and my CrossFit training has been reduced. I was fortunate to train as the team alternate for Regionals. I got to train with the team, but didn’t have the excitement of the competition put additional strain on my body. Additionally, I practice various stress-reducing techniques: regular sleep, yoga, meditation, coloring mandalas, mindfulness, and setting and maintaining boundaries. I work on this daily.
2. I have the MTHFR gene mutation. The MTHFR gene’s main function is to process B-vitamins to useable folate. There are two common mutations (C677T and A1298C). I am heterozygous for both. This means that my body’s ability to complete this process is functioning at 50%. Conditions related to the MTHFR mutations can be found here and here. For me, the most noticeable issue was brain fog, sad thoughts, and insomnia, more common with the A1298C mutation.
Solution: Due to this mutation, I am taking a manufactured form of folate (MTHF). Additionally, eating habits and lifestyle choices also make a big impact on those of us with the gene mutation. It is recommended to get regular exercise, avoid gluten, cow dairy, and processed foods; eat plenty of organic produce, grass-fed meat and whole foods. Other recommendations can be found here.
3. My Vitamin D was low. Solution: That’s pretty simple fix. My N.D. upped my Vitamin D intake and added Vitamin K to help my body process it all.
I am currently feeling much better and my mojo is back. I have energy for the day, and am excited to put in the time and effort to make this company grow. My optimism has returned. I am taking one-on-one clients, though most of my focus goes towards my online presence and group seminars. I do my best to take a little time for a momma break each day. As this process continues, I will share my journey in hopes that it can help at least one. Know that you are not alone. There is an answer.
The importance of my message is this: listen to you body. If you are feeling as though your body is in distress, seek out help. Prescription drugs may be suitable in certain situations, but please look deep. Find someone who can help your body regain its proper functioning. Instead of masking the symptoms with caffeine, pharmaceuticals, or other substances, look for the root cause. There are health practitioners who will help you get a full blood panel, urinalysis, saliva, and even stool samples and will then conduct a thorough, holistic interpretation. Test for food sensitivity or intolerance. Our bodies are resilient if given the opportunity to heal. Contact me if you would like more information or recommendations for practitioners in the area.
Best in Health,