Sometimes we get to a point where we are so frustrated with how we are feeling that we don’t know what to do.
Is it hormones?
Is your body broken?
Are you just “going crazy”?
These postpartum depletion symptoms that you are feeling - the overwhelm, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, mood swings, period problems - these are signs offered to you from your body.
It’s like a “check engine” light on your car’s dashboard. It’s an alert or warning sign that your body doesn’t have what it needs to function properly.
How do hormones play into these symptoms?
Hormones are complex but here’s the scoop.
Hormones exist as the background music behind the scenes in our body. When they are functioning properly, we don’t notice them.
When the music is in sync and in tune, the notes work together to make harmony and beautiful music. They set the tone for how your body feels on a day to day level, your energy levels, motivation, mood, emotional and physical vibe.
Hormones work through a constant relationship with each other in complicated pathways between your brain, ovaries, uterus, gut, thyroid, adrenal glands and other parts of your body.
These hormones are SENSITIVE. They are in constant flux based on the environment, both internal and external, of our body.
Internal factors are things like sleep, nutrient levels, absorbed toxins, ability to remove toxins and waste from the body, gut microbiome and even how we think!
External factors are things like environmental toxin exposure, life stressors, relationships, blue light exposure and sunlight.
So when your hormones are out of balance you need two things:
1. Provide your body with what it needs for healthy hormone production and balance.
2. Remove any obstacles that interfere with hormone balance.
Let’s talk about hormone testing for a minute.
Sometimes when we think our hormones are out of balance, we want to jump right into getting lab work done.
First of all - disclaimer. I am not a medical provider and this is not medical advice.
I do think though, that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to hormone testing. But I always encourage clients to THINK first before agreeing to any medical test, procedure or medication/supplementation.
Think about what the results would do for you. Will it change your treatment protocol? Is it worth the cost (if you’re paying out of pocket)?
Here are some reasons to consider hormone testing:
If you are trying to figure out root cause of a significant symptom
For example - if your periods have stopped and your health provider is wondering if it’s due to primary ovarian insufficiency, low progesterone or a slow thyroid.
If you want a diagnosis a specific health condition that would influence your course of treatment
For example PCOS
Here are some reasons to consider skipping hormone testing:
You feel “hormonal”, moody, irritable
These are signals from your body that something is off, but hormone testing doesn’t really change the treatment protocol.
You have mood swings associated with your period (PMS)
Studies show that PMS isn’t actually associated with hormone imbalance, often hormones are normal in people suffering with PMS.
Your symptoms are pretty clear you have a hormone imbalance issue.
You don’t need expensive bloodwork to confirm what you already know. The treatment method will remain the same.
Let me illustrate how I work.
Clients come to me with symptoms of postpartum depletion, looking for support with understanding how to feel better.
Usually they are overwhelmed and undernourished.
I start everyone off with working on the most important factors for establishing hormone balance:
Deeply nourishing their body
Calming their nervous system
Getting adequate sleep
Reducing environmental toxin exposure
Optimizing their body’s detoxification pathways
And often what I find is that by working to provide the basic needs of our bodies and remove some obstacles, that symptoms start to resolve and mothers start to feel more calm, energetic and balanced.
If symptoms continue to persist despite all of these interventions, then moving forward with specific lab work may be the next step. But I don’t usually recommend starting there.
To your hormonal health and happiness!
Your dietitian doula
P.S. - Are you feeling overwhelmed and undernourished? Want to learn more?
I’d love to support you in feeling more energized, calm and balanced.
Join my Balanced Mom Method program now.