Healthy eating and living have always been a part of my character (it's the Virgo in me!) however, my career in Nutrition for Women's Hormonal Health actually began after I suffered with my own hormonal health problems - Fibroids, Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) and Anaemia.
Here’s my story…
Not long after I turned thirty, my periods began to get really heavy, long and clotted - I regularly experienced sudden flooding onto my clothes and my bedsheets were saturated by morning. My abdomen blew up like a balloon during menstruation and I had extreme fatigue and irritability during my period.
It often took me a week to recover after my period finished and it wasn’t long before the next one started! My cycle became irregular and my periods were so heavy, my body never had time to recover before the next. Over time, the excessive blood loss put me in an anaemic state and I barely had the energy to walk to the shop or up the stairs in my office building!
Some days I found it so difficult to drag myself out of bed to go to work, I just wanted to call in sick, because my body was so drained! There were mornings when I had to turn back home to get changed, because my period had already flooded onto my clothes! Month after month it became more debilitating and interfered in my everyday life. I loved yoga and had got really strong from doing it, but as my periods got heavier, I became more anaemic and weak. I lost my muscle strength, got muscle injuries more easily and started to gain weight.
Each time I visited the doctors their only recommendation was to take the pill or medications to reduce the bleeding and a very constipating iron supplement for the Anaemia.
Eventually I had an ultrasound - it showed I had a Fibroid growth on the outside of my uterus, a benign tumour, linked to too much oestrogen, known to cause heavy periods. Slowly over time the fibroid started to grow and I could feel it pressing against my bladder. As it got bigger it made my lower abdomen protrude and I looked two or three months pregnant!
I was told the only solution was surgery, but it had risks - especially if I wanted to have children. I felt very disempowered and disappointed with the medical solutions. I knew taking the pill or meds would only mask the problem and I didn’t want to have surgery. I needed to know what my causes were and find some better solutions.
I decided to take control of my own health to find out the root causes and explore alternative, natural options that would offer me long-term results. I sought the help of a Nutritional Therapist who took a much deeper look at my health history and symptoms and gave me a personalised nutrition and supplement plan to help rebalance my body and hormones. I also took Chinese herbal medicine alongside acupuncture treatment and I gradually changed to an organic plant-based diet, which brought me further benefits.
As I followed the plan, my body started to re-balance and the symptoms reduced. My periods got lighter, less clotted and more manageable and I started to feel normal and energised again. I had less bloating and no menstrual pain and I was no longer anaemic. With a few simple dietary changes and specialised supplement support, my condition improved a lot. It felt great to be in control of my own health!
After learning about the best tests available during my Nutritional Therapy training, I invested in functional hormonal testing, which gave me a much more detailed picture of what was happening with my hormones. This information enabled me to target my treatment more and as I reduced my oestrogen levels, the Fibroids started to shrink. My abdomen flattened and the pressure on my bladder disappeared!
What was driving my imbalances?
For eighteen months before my symptoms started, I was teaching in Spain. I had lived with a host where all of my food was prepared for me. Every day, my Andalusian Host lovingly made me a high sugar breakfast - a bowl of thick hot chocolate, which I called Chocolate Soup! At first I was horrified (I was used to what I thought were my healthy cereals), but I quickly became addicted to that Chocolate Soup and even found myself requesting it for my ‘Merienda' (afternoon snack)! Lunch and dinner were mostly fried foods with very little veg.
Later, I house-shared with a group of Spanish girls who had a system of shopping, cooking and eating together, so I ate what they ate - lots of high glucose carbs like white pasta and creamy diary sauces! My diet was very different to how I would normally eat and after just a few months of excess carbs, sugar and diary, I quickly started to gain weight and got cystic acne on my chin. I was well aware of the physical affects of my ‘new’ diet, but I didn't realise the affect it was having internally on my hormones!
When I returned to the UK after living in Spain, I went through a painful break-up and moved to London, where I was working in a busy, stressful job and I didn’t have time to eat properly. The combination of my Spanish diet and these stressful events had gradually affected my health and pushed my body out of balance.
Why did I become an Nutritional Therapist?
Nutrition and natural supplements gently supported my hormones back into balance and turned my health around. I was so pleased with my results that I immersed myself in learning more about natural solutions for women's health. I felt such a strong calling to help other women suffering with similar issues, who desperately need these tools too.
I decided to re-train as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist to help women like me. I studied in London with some of the best practitioners from around the world and after three years of intensive studies in Biomedicine, Nutritional Science and clinical practise, I set up my own online practise as a Women's Hormonal Health Specialist and now I help women from all over the world balance their hormones and get back to optimal health, with natural solutions that work in harmony with the female body.