Month: April 2018

Managing endometriosis pain

Did you know that a significant amount of endometriosis pain is driven by inflammation? And this inflammation is typically at its worst in the week you have your period. If you have endo, you won’t be surprised by this at all, right?


What do I mean by inflammation? 


Inflammation is the body’s attempt at protecting itself by removing something it perceives to be harmful and allowing healing to begin. It is part of the body’s immune response and is initially beneficial when it happens over a short period of time.


However, long-term (chronic) inflammation can be detrimental to the body.  Chronic inflammation can occur from an autoimmune response, where the body’s immune system mistakes healthy tissue for something harmful and attacks it.


For women with endometriosis, food and supplements can be a very powerful way to reduce inflammation, which can then lead to a reduction in pain levels too.


This isn’t a quick fix, mind, but can work really well in the long term.


Research shows that turmeric can be an especially powerful way of reducing endometrial pain and inflammation through its very powerful compound, curcumin. Magnesium, fish oils and castor oil packs can help too.


Okay, I hear what you’re saying – I need help now!


In times when endometriosis pain is at its worst, painkillers can be extremely helpful, especially in instances of severe pain.  It’s worth bearing in mind that research shows that long term use of painkillers can have negative effects on liver function and on the lining of the stomach.


With my clients with endometriosis, we take a long and short term approach, looking at diet and supplements to reduce inflammation and pain in the long term, as well as practical ways to reduce pain in the short term.


What can I eat to help reduce endometriosis inflammation and pain? 


Diet can make a huge difference in managing the inflammation that happens with endometriosis. I always recommend adding in foods that can help you reduce inflammation over the long term.


I’ve already talked about turmeric and its wondrous compound, curcumin.


Eating lots of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables is helpful too, as these foods help your body remove the excess estrogen that is a hallmark of endometriosis.


They also help you empty your bowels regularly, which is an important way for your body to remove excess hormones. If you’re constipated (i.e not emptying your bowels at the very minimum, once a day), there is an increased risk of the excess estrogen being recycled back into the body, which for endometriosis sufferers, can exacerbate your symptoms and increase inflammation and pain. Having a healthy bowel movement in the morning, before breakfast, is a great way to support your body and reduce endometriosis and other symptoms of excess estrogen, including PMS, period pain and mood swings.


The research also shows that a higher intake of fruit, especially citrus fruit, can reduce the risk of  endometriosis further developing.


If you have endometriosis, have you used food as a way of managing your symptoms?


Do you want help improving endometriosis pain? My short e-book, ‘Six Ways To Fix Your Period Pain‘ will give you practical tips to change your period for the better.

What are the best foods to support good thyroid health?

To round out the thyroid health series, let’s look at how we can eat to support our thyroids!


Making sure you have enough zinc, iodine and selenium in your diet are key ways of supporting your thyroid health.


Including lots of fruit and vegetables, including cooked greens, brazil nuts, eggs, beetroot, chickpeas and lentils, grass fed organic red meat and dairy and wild-caught seafood will help.


Notice a theme?


Essentially, if you’re eating a diet that includes 7-10 portions of fruit and vegetables that are a mix of cooked and raw, nuts & seeds, high quality meat & dairy and wild-caught seafood, you’re well on your way to eating for good thyroid health!


Do you want to know about your thyroid health? Book in a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review with me! 


Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash 

Let’s talk about endometriosis!

What is endometriosis?


Endometriosis is one of the most common chronic hormonal disorders affecting women in reproductive age, affecting up to 10% of women.


Endometriosis has been described as an autoimmune condition where endometrial tissue typically grows on the outside of the uterus instead of on the inside. The tissue is most commonly found around the organs in the pelvis, but can grow anywhere on the body, turning into growths and lesions in the intestines, bladder, rectum, even as far up as the nose!


Endometrial tissue typically responds to the changes in our hormones across each phase of our cycle, as it would if it was in our uterus. Endometriosis sufferers usually have excess estrogen in relation to progesterone, which drives the ongoing hormonal imbalance.


The primary symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility, as well as painful periods, painful sex and painful urination.


There are four stages of severity to endometriosis; ranging from stage one: minimal endometriosis to stage four: severe endometriosis. The level of severity depends on the number, size and location of adhesions and endometrial tissue.


Diagnosis is usually done through a surgical laparoscopy.


Getting a diagnosis


Did you know that it can take up to 7.5 years and sometimes even 10 years to get a full endometriosis diagnosis?


It’s so important for women to feel confident about advocating for themselves in medical situations and empowered to ask the right questions so that we get the answers and diagnosis we deserve.


Pain is not normal and is a sign that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing pain, never let someone tell you that it’s all in your head! You know your body best!


Endometriosis pain can be severe and it can be systemic, with inflamed endometrial tissue appearing outside of the uterus.


If a doctor tries to minimise your pain, then get a second, third or fourth opinion. Do what it takes to get a medical professional that will listen to you, take what you say seriously and help you find the answers you need and deserve.


Do your research. Knowledge is power and will help you advocate for better health outcomes.


Keep track of how you feel and your pain levels, so you’re armed with evidence that will help you fight your corner.


Most of all, be relentless in your pursuit of good health.


Do you want help improving endometriosis pain? My short e-book, ‘Six Ways To Fix Your Period Pain‘ will give you practical tips to change your period for the better.


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Let’s talk about how our thyroids are affected by stress!


Let’s talk about your thyroid and stress!


Good thyroid health is closely connected the health of your glands that produce your stress hormones – your adrenals. These tiny glands are located on top of your kidneys.


Chronic stress is the enemy of a happy and balanced hormonal system.


Sustained levels of stress increase the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) that your adrenals produce. And when you’re constantly stressed and not doing anything to reduce your stress levels, this causes a disruption to balanced thyroid hormone production.


Here’s the science: Chronic cortisol production means you produce less free T3 and too much reverse T3, which blocks thyroid hormone receptors.


What do I mean by chronic stress?


These are things that place stress on your body: not getting enough sleep, not eating enough fruit and vegetables, dehydration, excessive levels of cardio, shallow breathing, physically and emotionally abusive relationships, constant worry, amongst many others.


Doing things to act as a counterbalance to stress is essential for balanced hormones!


We all live busy lifestyles so some amount of stress is normal – it’s when you’re not doing anything to offset that stress, that issues can arise.


How do you manage your stress?


Do you want to you know more about your thyroid? Schedule in a 30 minute Hormone Health Review with me! 


Photo by Antonika Chanel on Unsplash


Do you need to care more about your thyroid in your 40s and 50s?

Do you need to think about your thyroid health more as you move into your 40s and 50s?


In short, yes!


Research shows that hypothyroidism tends to be more common in women over 40, as thyroid hormone production gradually decreases as we get older.


For women in their late 40s and 50s, it’s worth noting that symptoms of menopause are similar to hypothyroid symptoms, so you might be doing everything you can to manage your menopause and still find that you continue to suffer from dry skin, weight gain, lethargy, dry hair, constipation, low mood, reduced concentration and poor memory.


Does this sound like you?


I would encourage you to get your thyroid hormones (TSH / T3 / T4) checked as part of your annual check up and even sooner, if this is something that’s troubling you right now.


Do you have questions about your thyroid? Book in a 30 minute Hormone Health Review with me! 


Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Why you need to care about your thyroid!


Over the last week, we’ve been talking about our thyroids. We’ve talked about what happens when you produce too much thyroid hormone and when you produce too little.


We’ve learned that the thyroid is a bit like Goldilocks – you want to make sure that you get the balance just right.


You might be thinking, “well, Le’Nise, neither of those apply to me, so why do I need to care about my thyroid?”.


Your thyroid controls your body’s metabolism and energy (that’s pretty important, right?), however nothing in our body works in isolation. Research shows that imbalances in our progesterone & estrogen levels can have an effect on our thyroid hormone production and vice versa.


Taking care of your hormone health (with sleep, a balanced diet, stress reduction, regular emptying of the bowels and lots of physical movement) isn’t just about caring for reproductive hormones – your thyroid and stress hormones will also benefit too!


Would you to find out more about your thyroid or ask specific questions related to your thyroid or hormone health? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!


Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash


What happens when you produce too much thyroid hormone?

In my last post, I talked about producing too little thyroid hormone. Now let’s talk about what happens when you produce too much.


Do you often feel out of breath or short of breath?


You might have trouble keeping weight on.


Do you feel like your eyes look like they might pop out of your head?


You might feel like you get tremors or shakes or heart palpitations.


You might sweat excessively or feel very hyperactive all the time.


You might be losing your hair.


You might have a swelling in your neck caused by an overactive thyroid gland.


In combination, these can be symptoms of an overactive thyroid. If left unchecked, an overactive thyroid / hyperthyroidism can be life threatening.


If this is you, I would encourage you to get your thyroid hormones checked as soon as possible!


Would you to find out more about your thyroid or ask specific questions related to your thyroid or hormone health? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!


Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

I Tried It: Giving Up Sugar For Lent


It’s spring and it’s time for change and renewal.


For me, this is the time of year when I take stock and look at what’s working and what isn’t.


Sugar wasn’t working for me. My moods were up and down, my skin was breaking out and I started feeling bloated a little too often.


So I broke up with sugar for Lent.


The first 10 days were the hardest. I realised that I was using sugary foods, especially chocolate, as a fix when I was stressed out. And the first week and a half was especially hard because I had a lot of things happening in my life that were causing me to feel stressed.


Identifying stress as a trigger for my sugar cravings was huge for me. I realised that I needed to find something else to do in these stressful moments.


I decided that I would drink water instead of eating chocolate.


And honestly, I’ve never been so hydrated in my life!


In the first ten days, I had to think consciously about this.


Breaking an unwanted habit takes a lot of mental energy and the first couple of weeks require a lot of mindfulness for the change to become real.


Eventually, it became easier and I didn’t need to think about it as much.  My new ‘water for chocolate’ routine became a habit and I managed to break my sugar / stress connection.


What were the results of this experiment? Well, my skin is clearer, I’m less bloated, I have fewer headaches and I’m less moody. The biggest result is knowing that I have the power to break a habit that simply isn’t working for me any more.


I can’t say that I’ll never eat sugary foods again. Come on, I have to live in the real world! What I know for sure is that it makes me feel terrible, despite tasting oh so good.


Are you ready to give up sugar?


Check out my free guide to giving up sugar in 21 days for actionable ways to reduce the amount of sugar you eat. Click here to download it!


What happens when you produce too little thyroid hormone?

If your thyroid hormones are a little bit like Goldilocks, what happens when you produce too little of them?


You may find that you struggle to lose weight.


You might feel tired all the time.


You might empty your bowels less than once a day.


You might always have cold hands & feet and fight with your partner over the thermostat in the winter.


You might feel a little down in the dumps but aren’t sure why.


You might have a hard time concentrating or feel a little foggy.


These aren’t normal things you should expect as part of ageing.


When you piece the puzzle together, these symptoms can be the sign of an under active thyroid.


If you feel like this, I would encourage you to see your doctor and get your thyroid hormones (TSH / T4 / T3) checked as part of a full blood test.


Do you have any questions? Get in touch for a free 30 minute hormone health review!


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

How much do you know about your thyroid?


Let’s talk about our thyroids!


Our thyroids are a gland that sit in our neck and produce thyroid hormones, which are one of the top three most important hormones for women.


Can you guess the other two? Estrogen and cortisol!


Over the next week, I want to talk a little about the thyroid, because thyroid heath is an important part of good hormone health for women.


Our thyroid affects our metabolism and our energy levels – think of the thyroid a little bit like Goldilocks.


If you produce too little thyroid hormone, you can feel sluggish, gain weight easily and get constipated. This can lead to hypothyroidism.


Too much can send you in the other direction with weight loss, shakiness and shortness of breath, amongst other symptoms and can lead you to hyperthyroidism.


How much do you know about your thyroid?


Do you have any questions? Get in touch for a free 30 minute hormone health review!


Image via Allef Vinicius on Unsplash


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