Tired? Is it just mom’s life, or could your hormones be to blame?
As moms, we are often guilty of putting our family’s needs over our own. We are often exhausted and touched out, especially if you are breastfeeding. It comes with the title “mom.” Or does it?
How do you know when it’s just #momlife or if it’s something more?
I breastfed my 3rd baby, Anya, until she was a little over 3-years-old. She loved her milk; she was always up several times a night wanting to nurse. So, it should come as no surprise that I was always tired! However, on top of being tired, my libido completely disappeared, I was constantly getting sick, and some days I could barely get through a workout. While other days my body hurts just walking up the stairs. My periods are very irregular, and I often have bad bloating, cramps, and PMS.
I’ve seen so many moms complain of these same symptoms, and we are all told that it’s “normal” or it’s because we are “breastfeeding.”
While mom-life can be absolutely exhausting, and it is “normal” for breastfeeding to lower your libido, we have become too used to the “new normal.”
I just wanted to feel better and like myself again!
So, I started seeing a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) after almost two years of dealing with these symptoms.
My ND suggested doing a SIBO test as our first step. SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. (Watch for a blog on SIBO in the future!) The test came back positive! We started a natural treatment course and treated this as a first step.
After we completed the SIBO treatment, she suggested that we do hormone testing. The test was a urine test that I completed at home at a specific time during my cycle. When we got the results back, it explained so much about the symptoms I was experiencing.
For two years, I thought it was all a normal part of breastfeeding and NOT!
It turns out I was in a total burnout stage! I’m so thankful that I turned to an ND for help! We started with a Dutch test. One of the hormones in my report that was really low was Testosterone. This explains my decreased libido and muscle weakness. My estrogens and progesterone were out of balance, which also explains a few of my symptoms!
I was finally getting answers to symptoms I was told were normal.
Your cortisol levels are supposed to rise and fall throughout the day. My levels were low all day, so I was tired ALL day long. Many days I woke up tired and needed an afternoon nap. Because I was breastfeeding, we started some natural supplements and took a mild approach. It helped a little, but I was still experiencing issues.
I stopped breastfeeding Anya a year ago next month, and we just retested my hormones. This time we used the saliva test. It came back showing that my DHEAS were low, my cortisol levels were high, and it was affecting my estrone. All of this caused many of the issues I was still experiencing, such as breast tenderness, dehydrated skin, and more. She recommended different supplements for me to try this time.
Sometimes we are just exhausted from being moms and sometimes it’s so much more.
When my second daughter was born, I had many of these similar symptoms, and my primary care physician told me it was post-partum and put me on antidepressants. However, I wasn’t depressed. I wish I had known about Naturopathic Doctors back then.
Now I share my story hoping it will help a mama in the same situation.
Mom-life is hard, and we need to look out for each other!
Although I wrote this blog aimed towards moms, I want to mention that women aren’t the only ones who suffer from hormonal imbalances. If one of the men in your life is experiencing some of these symptoms, then I suggest they see an ND and have hormone testing done as well!