For some women, it feels like a week after their 40th birthday, suddenly their bodies stop behaving the way they used to.
Not only does it seem like your body can’t handle the same types of foods anymore, but you’re suddenly hit with waves of excessive fatigue.
For others, chronic fatigue is “sudden onset”, either after a traumatic experience or a viral infection. And it feels like, no matter what you do, you just can’t shake the heavy, foggy, sluggish feeling.
And, at this time in your life, the most common excuse for fatigue (and other confusing symptoms) is your hormones.
A Common Mis-step in Hormonal Health
Perhaps it first hits you as awful, debilitating afternoon energy crashes. You can’t function at work anymore; you’re relying on coffee to finish off your day. And all you want to do after work is nap. For, like, 3 hours!
Then maybe sleep becomes a problem. You’re wired and tired at bedtime and can’t fall asleep. OR, you’re waking up throughout the night, hitting snooze more and more often each morning.
Either way, your fatigue has become such a nightmare that you call and book an appointment with your doctor to talk about it.
If you’re like most women, your doctor does a basic examination, orders some basic lab tests, and tells you everything is normal.
Maybe, just to keep you happy, you get some medications to try – something for low thyroid, antidepressants perhaps.
If you do get a hormonal blood panel taken, there is a good chance you’re, again, told things look normal for your age.
And away you go.
Even though you know something is “off” in your body.
Because that one thing that your doctor didn’t do? Determine if you have hormone resistance.
What is a hormone imbalance?
A hormone imbalance is a problem with how much hormone your endocrine glands are producing. An imbalance can be too much of a certain hormone, or too little. Or, sometimes this imbalance is a problem with a ratio of one hormone to another, like with progesterone to estrogen.
Another imbalance, especially with cortisol, is whether or not your glands produce the right amount of hormones at the right time of the day, too.
Blood, urine and saliva tests can give us a good view into whether or not your body is producing hormones properly. If caught at the right time, you can get a vivid picture about your hormonal health.
What is hormone resistance?
Hormone resistance is defined as a defect in how well a tissue is able to respond to the hormones your body produces.
This manifests when you have normal or elevated levels of certain hormones in the blood yet you experience symptoms of a hormone imbalance. This is because of the loss of normal feedback mechanisms from the target cells or tissues.
The problem with hormone resistance is that it can go undetected for a really long time. Partial problems with how the tissues and cells respond to hormones can be compensated by increasing the levels of hormone production. This increase is rarely seen in the blood, urine or saliva tests.
Hormone resistance is your body’s inability to respond to the hormones circulating in your body.
And there are no blood, urine or saliva tests for this.
Insulin Resistance Explained
Insulin resistance is probably the most common hormone resistance problem. Let me give you a quick review of what this looks like.
When you eat foods high in simple carbohydrates like candy, white bread, white pasta or commercially baked cakes or cookies, the carbs are very quickly broken down into glucose.
Glucose enters the blood stream, triggering your pancreas to release insulin.
Insulin is designed to attach to cells and tell them to open up and let glucose in to be used for energy.
If you’re sedentary, have low lean muscle mass, or are someone who enjoys a high carb diet, insulin will only be able to move a little bit of that glucose into your cells. The rest is shunted to fat cells for storage.
A few hours later, your brain signals to you that your cells have run out of glucose – you get an urge to eat a muffin or a big plate of pasta.
You eat more high-carb food and that cycle happens again.
When this cycle repeats for significantly long time – usually years – eventually the cells become resistant to insulin. Meaning, the receptors for insulin on your cell walls are less responsive. So, to get that glucose out of the blood and into the cells, your pancreas starts to pump out more and more insulin. It’s trying to use force to get those cells to respond.
So, you have more than enough insulin circulating in your body, but the cells aren’t responsive. Eventually the pancreas wears out and you become diabetic.
A blood test can tell you that insulin levels (and glucose) are really high, but there is no test to tell you that your cells have stopped responding.
This same problem happens to other hormones like cortisol, leptin, estrogen, and thyroid.
Determining if you Have Hormone Resistance
There is no medical test to identify hormone resistance!
The only way to find out whether or not your cells are resistant to hormones is to complete a comprehensive symptom and health assessment analysis.
This assessment will also tell you what nutrients your body is missing so you can focus your meal planning on energy boosting foods.
In my signature program, the Energy & Hormonal Rebalance System, I uncover the root cause health imbalances and nutrient gaps for my clients. They classify their symptoms – over 250 of them! – on a scale of 0-3, and then I take the data and correlate it.
This is how I can get the most comprehensive picture of what’s going on inside their bodies. And how I can then give them personalized nutrition guidance and support to help them rebalance their root causes.
How to Improve Hormone Response
The fastest, most efficient, and long-lasting way to reverse hormonal resistance is to eat real, whole foods.
Now, this isn’t a quick and easy solution…In the Energy & Hormonal Rebalance System, we follow a 3-step nutrition plan to get those cells responding to hormones again!
First step is to lay the foundation – this means eat very specific foods to prevent further imbalances from making your symptoms worse.
Second step is to refuel with the nutrients that have been lost due to hormonal resistance.
When the body is imbalanced, it fights like heck to keep itself functioning, and certain organs and tissues will steal many different nutrients away from other areas in order to keep you alive.
Third is clearing out the garbage, the stagnations, the inflammation, the toxins, and the excess hormones, that are keeping your body stuck.
This 3-step plan takes 12 – 24 weeks to smooth out imbalances and help boost the health of your cells and hormones.
It takes time and patience to fix the nutrient gaps and health problems that have built up over the years.
The longer you’ve been struggling with chronic fatigue, the longer it’ll take to regain your energy but…if you commit and follow-through and do all you can to learn what your body needs, the improvements steadily happen week after week.