A few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night freezing in a pool of my sweat. Oh no, I thought. Is it that time already? Perimenopause? I’m 44 so it makes complete sense that symptoms would start creeping in. I didn’t have a fever. I wasn’t sick. Yep. It must be the beginning of the change.
I immediately made an appointment with my naturopath, who said that I was actually too young to experience perimenopause symptoms. She said we needed to slow down the process as much as possible. Low estrogen levels can increase the chances of many medical conditions, like osteoporosis, ovarian cancer and so on. As much as I do not like that time of the month, I need it.
She ordered a series of labs and a test called OAT (Organic Acid Test), which tests for over 70 markers that would affect gut health. About 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, and largely affects pretty much everything. Your gut is your second brain, and if it’s not functioning properly nothing else is.
For example, a few years ago my labs revealed that I was not absorbing any nutrients. My doctor swore gluten was the culprit, and she was right. As soon as I removed it from diet, my absorption improved as did all of the inflammation I had in my body. My cholesterol went down and I can now actually feel the benefits of eating healthy. I’ve been gluten-free for three years and if I accidentally ingest it, I get heart palpitations, nausea, skin rashes, you name it. My body rejects it like poison.
However, going gluten-free was not enough. According to my recent labs, there’s more work that needs to be done. The doctor found that I have candida and Vitamin Bs, C, D and L-Carnitine deficiency. I ‘m also bordering on hypothyroidism. These factors play a huge role in the aging process – inside and out – affecting hormones. It’s all connected, guys. Every cell, every tissue…all connected.
Before treating the candida, my thyroid or the perimenopause symptoms, I need to get my body on track with an even more restricting diet that includes less grains, no sugar or fruit. Her theory is that cleaning up the gut will relieve the other issues. Right now, I’m taking a variety of supplements that I will share in a separate post. I have to follow this protocol until January, at which point we will start tackling the candida. She doesn’t feel my body would be able to handle of the die-off phase without essentials vitamins and minerals. My candida is not that severe so it’s OK to wait a few months before diving in. We’re taking it one step at a time. But how empowering is it to have all this information about my body? May I also add that these deficiencies can also lead to night sweats. So, is it peri or nah?
The moral of the story is – get tested on a cellular level. I went in to the doctor with what I assumed were perimenopause symptoms, which could have been easily masked with medication. And hey, I have no issue with meds, at all. If the day comes that I need them, I’m taking them. But! I could have easily kept going on not knowing that my body is actually running on empty, which is actually pretty dangerous in the long-run.
I will be sure to update as I go along on this journey. After all, can’t be perennial chic if your body is not happy.