“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
My new patient looks as she described. Dorothy has bags under her eyes. Her energy’s sluggish, and she looks at least ten years older than she claims to be.
She came into my office carting a large satchel full of drugs and supplements – everything she’s been prescribed or tried on her own over the past few years. Sometimes she gets a bit of relief but nothing lasts. She’s seen seven other specialists and no one has been able to help her. I look at the list of symptoms she’s checked off with her comments on my Hormonally Challenged intake form.
- Fatigue – need caffeine throughout the day
- Insomnia – can’t fall asleep or stay asleep
- No sex drive – it’s ruining my relationship!
- Irritable – unreasonable anxiety Depressed – on meds but not working
- Brain Fog – YES! I can’t remember anything and it’s affecting my job!
- Changes in Body Fat – I’ve put on 20 pounds in the last few years
- Exercise Intolerance – I used to be an athlete, but now I’m too tired to exercise
- Temperature Intolerance – my feet and hands are cold, but I overheat easily and sweat at night
- Stress Intolerance – I can’t handle anything anymore.
On the last line, where I ask What’s Your Main Concern, she writes: If I don’t get better, I’m going to lose my job, my husband, my life. Please help me!
Dorothy comes to me diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She’s on synthetic thyroid hormones, antidepressants, allergy meds. Her cholesterol is elevated, her blood pressure is low, her heart rate is high. Her skin is dry, her hair is thin and brittle, her eyesight is diminished. She complains of frequent bladder and vaginal infections. Her bowels are irregular and she reacts to many foods she used to love.
She’s tried lots of diets but keeps gaining weight. She’s taking so many supplements that it’s a wonder she has an appetite for real food. Dorothy is my typical patient. And Dorothy could be Don. Dorothy is anyone, any age. Dorothy could be you. You see we’re all on a healing path. We’re all looking for the Yellow Brick Road that will lead us to optimal health – body, mind and soul. So let’s begin with my new patient Dorothy.
Your hormones affect everything. Your moods, your memory, your metabolism. Your appearance, your aging, your appetite. Your sleep patterns, your stress response, your sex drive. Everything. Think of hormones as the software program of the human computer. Many of us are so Hormonally Challenged – sick, aging, tired, or just plain stressed out – that we need a software update.
Excerpt from Hormones in Harmony