Lab testing dieting, energy levels, emotional eating, chronic stress, estrogen dominance
Do you wish you could feel amazing every day? Well, you can – but in order to do so, we have to get to the root cause of what is going on inside your body, and correct what’s not right so that you can feel amazing every day.
STRESS is very often the culprit. In fact, 90% of all doctor’s visits are related to stress, and let’s face it: we live in a stressed-out world, trying to get more done each and every day, while also looking after our kids and spouse, often putting ourselves last – especially you moms! I know I was guilty of that myself, and all it does is leave us serving from an empty cup – exhausted, irritable, and running on fumes.
And that doesn’t even get into the physiological changes happening inside your body, that are putting your body out of balance and leading you to feel the way you do.
What does chronic stress do to your body?
- Kills off good bacteria in your gut.
- Can trigger estrogen dominance.
- Slows your metabolism.
- Increases insulin levels.
- Causes sleep difficulties.
- Causes weight gain.
Why does stress do all of that? Let me explain each of those a little further for you:
Stress kills off good bacteria in your gut, which can lead to your gut becoming unbalanced. This is when the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, which can result in a myriad of symptoms from nausea, bloating, diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, joint pain, headaches/migraines and more.
Stress can trigger estrogen dominance because it causes your body to produce more cortisol, and it does this at the expense of producing progesterone. It’s called the “progesterone steal.” When your body is in this “fight or flight” state, it is trying to provide you with enough energy to get to safety, and in that moment it shuts down what isn’t needed, such as digestion and procreation. So you end up with less progesterone and regular estrogen levels, creating “estrogen dominance,” resulting in symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, overwhelm, tender breasts, weight gain, menstrual cycle changes, acne, and bloating.
Over time, estrogen dominance results in higher insulin levels and slower thyroid function as the body is trying to cope in this “survival state.” This is also a known cause of breast cancer.
Stress results in difficulty with sleeping, which means your body is not getting a chance to recuperate and re-energize, lessening your stress resiliency even more and continuing this cycle of chronic stress.
Stress causes weight gain, especially around the waist and hips, due to a sluggish thyroid, i.e. slower metabolism, which means we are burning less sugar, which then gets stored as fat to get it out of our bloodstream. Aside from this, when we get less sleep, our brain asks for more energy, so we compensate by eating more often, taking in more calories (often coming from high-sugar snacks like chocolate bars, cookies, or muffins) to give us quick energy in the moment.
What can you do to reverse the effects of chronic stress?
The quickest solution is to run a Complete Stress, Mood, Hormones & Metabolism Lab Test to see exactly what your levels are so we know how to bring your body back into balance by taking action to lower your stress levels.
Support your body with good supplements and adaptogens, that will help your body cope with stress, while you take action to lower your stress levels. I recommend working with a Naturopathic Doctor or Integrative Health Practitioner to guide you in which supplements will be helpful to you.
Take action to lower your stress. To do that you first have to identify your stress levels. There is a great online assessment tool that comes with a workbook, to guide you through taking action to lower your identified stresses, called the Stress Indicator Assessment Tool. My podcast coming out June 12 will talk more about this, and you can find that here.
Ask yourself 3 questions when your to-do list gets overwhelming:
- Does this need to be done? If yes, keep going.
- Does this need to be done by me? If yes, keep going.
- Does this need to be done right now? If yes, mark it with an “*” on your list.
Keep doing this with each item on your list. If it doesn’t have to be done today, cross it off your list for now. If it doesn’t have to be done by you, add the name of the person you will ask to take care of it for you. By the end of this process, your to-do list should be much shorter.
Take time for you! This saying has become my mantra: “Self-care is the MOST selfless act as it allows you to show up and give the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you!!”
Schedule time for you into your calendar every day. This is non-negotiable. If you can’t find an hour, start with just 15 minutes and build up to 30 minutes. As you notice the benefit of this, you will find ways to schedule more time for yourself, to do something that brings you joy, and is just for you. It could look like:
- Going for a walk;
- Connecting with a friend for a chat (live or on zoom);
- Stretching or yoga;
- Cranking your favourite tunes and dance;
- Reading a book in a cozy bed, in the sun or by a fire;
- Taking the time to just sit outside and soak up the sun;
- A shower or even better, an Epsom salt bath;
- A gym workout; or
- There are so many things, but it’s important you do something that brings you joy.
It can be something different every day!
If you have been wondering what has been going on inside your body, book a complimentary 30-minute session with me so we can discuss steps to getting to the root cause of your health issues.