…women’s health researcher, author and former long-time sufferer of hormone imbalance issues. Just a few years ago, I was a different woman.
It all started six years ago, I was in my early thirties and had just had my third child. She had finally started to sleep through the night and I was excited because I thought that with a decent night's sleep I would feel a bit more energetic.
But as time went on and my children didn't need me during the night I realised I was still struggling with my energy levels. I seemed to wake up exhausted and would have to drag myself through the day only to fall into bed at night and be tortured with insomnia.
I knew that exercising every day was meant to naturally boost energy levels. So I walked and I walked, for miles every day.
But still nothing changed. Not only was I exhausted, I was also disheartened that none of the walking seemed to be helping me to lose any of the 'baby weight'. In fact, I seemed to be getting bigger.
And the worst part about it all was the guilt I was feeling as a mother.
I had 3 small children who needed me… who wanted me to play and to give them cuddles in the middle of the night. But most of the time I just couldn't do it.
I was too tired, and seemed to spend the whole time they were awake waiting for the time they would go to bed. This wasn't the life I wanted or the life I imagined for my children.
This wasn't the life I had imagined for my children.
I had always thought I would be one of those active, fun loving mothers I saw all the time at daycare... not one that was constantly struggling to keep it together.
As a woman who has struggled with hormone-related conditions from the age of 14, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Disease, and later Endometriosis, I felt sure that once again my hormones were at the root of the problem.
Feeling desperate for help, I went to my doctor, hoping that she would be able to tell me what was going on.
She said all the right things, ordered hormone blood tests, and ruled out Postnatal Depression.
But then three days later, I was devastated to hear my doctor say;
“Ange, your test results are in the normal range... there is nothing more we can do.”
What?? I thought.
How can that be right? Surely there has to be a reason for why I feel so tired all the time, not to mention the weight I can't stop piling on?
The doctor brushed off my questions and said…
“Look Ange, you're a mother of three young kids. Have you considered that what you're feeling is just a normal part of being a busy mother?”
I felt like my head was going to explode. I knew deep in my heart that what I was feeling was NOT 'normal' in any way. Yet, she did not see a need to investigate further.
In desperation, I asked if there was anything else that could possibly help.
Reluctantly, my doctor put through a referral for me to see an Endocrinologist. She was doubtful it would help as my blood tests did not appear abnormal, but still I was hopeful for answers.
Unfortunately, the appointment was a complete disaster. The endocrinologist barely listened to what I had to say and sent me out the door telling me I had depression and a sleep disorder - which I just knew wasn’t right.
At home, I dissolved into tears of frustration and despair. Deep down I knew I wasn't going crazy - there is no way this exhaustion, weight gain, and moodiness was “normal”.
Something had changed following my last pregnancy to make me feel like a completely different person. I knew this wasn't the real me... it was my HORMONES. And I was fed up with letting them ruin my life.
So, I threw myself headfirst into finding out what the experts hadn’t been able to tell me.
One of the first things I questioned was what it actually MEANT for a hormone test to be defined as NORMAL versus ABNORMAL.
And I was shocked to discover just how huge the ‘normal’ range was for most hormones.
Looking back at my test results, I could see that some of my hormone levels were at the very low or very high end of ‘normal’. So although it hadn’t raised any red flags, I wondered… was it really HEALTHY?
Over the next few weeks, I must have read hundreds of scientific journals in the field of endocrinology, to find out everything I could about hormone imbalance in women.
I also got the opinions of several other medical professionals, including an amazing doctor who specialised in women’s health and openly embraced naturopathic medicine as part of her practice.
She reviewed my hormone test results and helped me to confirm a suspicion I had had all along:
‘Normal’ does NOT mean ‘Optimal’. And only once a woman has reached the Optimal Hormone Balance that is right for HER body, can she be functioning effectively in all areas of her life.
After a lot more research and a little trial and error, I learnt exactly what my personal optimal hormone levels were. And best yet, I learnt exactly what I needed to do to achieve and maintain these hormone levels to live my best life.
And the results were truly AMAZING - the weight just seemed to slide off, I was able to sleep at night, my energy levels skyrocketed, and I was finally back to the fun, happy Ange my family had all missed.
I was so relieved and elated… But the thing that still bothered me after the dust had settled was how HARD it had been to simply feel like me again.
I wondered about all of the other women out there who were feeling the same way I had been and were desperate for answers.
So, that’s when I decided to compile everything I discovered about hormone imbalance and how to treat it into a book, so that other women could use it to discover their optimal hormone levels and finally become free of debilitating symptoms.
And this is how The Power of Hormones movement began...
…A tribe of incredible women who share the common goal of treating hormone imbalance for greater health and happiness, and refusing to accept that feeling sub-optimal is OK.