Have you ever dealt with a hormonal imbalance? Having a hormonal imbalance can be extremely daunting to deal with, both physically and mentally. Right before I started on my journey to re-balance my hormones I was feeling so helpless. My body was betraying me and I had no idea how to fix it.
Let’s back up a few steps so that I can explain how this all started for me. When I was 16 years old I started taking the hormonal birth control pill. Now, you can take the pill for a lot of reasons. Pregnancy prevention, acne, heavy periods, etc. I was taking the pill strictly for pregnancy prevention. I never had any issues with acne or painful periods prior to taking the pill. My periods were exactly 28 days apart (down to the time… 6am.. I kid you not).
Well, fast forward 11 years and I was still on the pill. I had heard a lot about the fertility awareness method and it opened my eyes to a way to prevent pregnancy without pumping synthetic hormones into my system. The more I read the more I wanted to live more naturally and experience how my body worked again.
Coming Off The Pill
About six months ago I came off the birth control pill with no plan. I didn’t realize all of the adverse side effects my body was about to be subject to and I really wish that I did.
I started getting hormonal acne, around my mouth and on my chin and jaw, right away. I did ovulate and get my period back right away so I thought that every else was going smoothly. About three months after I quit taking the pill I noticed a major shift in my mood. I no longer had any drive. I didn’t want to write blog posts (and you might have noticed a lack of posts on here in December because of this) and I didn’t want to do anything at work.
It was more than not wanting to do things. It was a complete lack of wanting to do anything. I had piles of work to do and I would just stare at my computer. Then I would go home and just want to lay down and watch television. Everything just felt so exhausting and difficult. After a few weeks I realized that I was feeling depressed.
I had never felt that way before. I knew that deep down I wasn’t depressed, if that makes any sense, but I couldn’t figure out why I would be feeling this way. I started reading about hormones shortly after. I read that a sign of an imbalance could be depression and anxiety and it really made me start to wonder if this was what was happening to me.
I dove deeper into hormone imbalance symptoms and I realized that I had a lot of other symptoms. Even though I got my period back pretty quickly they started to become irregular. They started off being about 27 to 28 days, then 35 days, then 30, then 35 again, so I never knew when my period was coming. Then in January I completely skipped my period altogether. Mild panic set in. Am I pregnant? No, okay… is something wrong with me? For sure, but what is it?
A month before this I started following Dr. Jolene Brighten on Instagram. Actually, one of my followers told me I should follow her! So after I lost my period I was getting desperate. At just that time her book, Beyond The Pill, all about post birth control syndrome (her amazingly coined term), launched and I grabbed a copy right away.
Beyond The Pill
In the beginning of Beyond The Pill you take a quiz to help you pinpoint what your specific imbalance might be. After that Dr. Brighten goes on to explain how all of the different parts of your body contribute to an imbalance and why changing your lifestyle is important. Finally she gives you a 30 day plan to re-balance your hormones that is personalized to your quiz results from the beginning of the book.
My Hormonal Imbalance
My results showed that my hormonal imbalance was due to too little thyroid and too much cortisol. My less prominent troublemakers were also too much estrogen and too little progesterone. It made me feel really amazing to have a name to put to to my symptoms but even more so to have an action plan to help fix my issues.
Along with the suggested supplement list you get a meal plan, a list of foods to avoid and some activities that you can do improve your overall health. Being vegan I had the alter the meal plan to fit my dietary restrictions, but I didn’t find it difficult. I just make sure to avoid the foods suggested my Dr. Brighten and focus on balancing healthy fats with protein and whole, healthy carbohydrates.
So there’s the background to why I developed a hormonal imbalance and how I learned how to fix it.
I plan to write a post next on what supplements I’m taking to help me balance my hormones as well as an example of what I’m eating each day. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions that you want me to address in that post.