It’s time for another case study blog post!
If you missed the last few, here they are:
Today's isn't just on one topic - it spans digestion, hormones, energy and sleep! Meet Brenda!
“I met Mandy thru a Corporate Wellness program my employer had set up. One benefit was that I had received an email about an upcoming webinar that Mandy was having. At the end of the webinar Mandy had offered a free session that I took advantage of. In my session I discussed my symptoms that I was experiencing (menopause symptoms, having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, digestive issues that the doctors told me was IBS, low to no sex drive and no energy) with Mandy. Mandy explained that is sounded like adrenal fatigue &/or possible food sensitivities. I decided to work with her for 1:1 coaching”
A few additional things she mentioned was that she had joint pain from time to time, was having menopausal hot flashes and that one of her goals was to eat to fuel her body.
*Note from Mandy: It’s actually quite common that IBS comes along with adrenal fatigue and difficulty sleeping as it’s all related.
During one of our first calls, Brenda explained that her IBS symptoms were so severe that whenever she was out of the house she had to know where there was a bathroom, because she didn’t know when her stomach would act up. (I remember experiencing this too before I was diagnosed with the parasite and Celiac disease). She also wasn't feeling great about herself from the weight she had gained.
The very first thing we did was run tests on her food sensitivities and her hormone levels. With IBS, food sensitivities are often at the root of the cause. When someone complains of extreme fatigue and/or has problems sleeping, I often look to hormone levels, particularly the adrenals. She also complained of low libido, which could have been hormonal as well. We ran a saliva and blood spot test (that she could do at home and then mail back to the lab) to look at her cortisol levels, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid.
Sure enough, her hormones were pretty out of whack! You’ll see from this screenshot that her adrenal glands were in stage three adrenal fatigue. Put simply, she was burnt out, which you can see from her low cortisol levels. The fact that she was exhausted and not sleeping through the night makes total sense.
Then, you can see that her other hormones were also low. This would impact her sex drive, sleep and even her energy too. It’s not uncommon for women that are in and around menopause age that have adrenal fatigue to also have very low sex hormones because during menopause, the adrenal glands take over production of what’s left of the sex hormones.
One of the reasons I LOVE testing so much is it gives you a concrete place to start. Given how low her hormones were, we had to take action to get them back into the normal range, and we did this using adrenal herbs, one being licorice root. (NOTE: This is not for everyone as it can raise blood pressure!) We also used a combination supplement high in B vitamins (to support the adrenals) and herbs to support the adrenal’s production of estrogen and progesterone. If you are interested in getting this testing done, this is something I offer my 1:1 clients. Please book a complimentary call here to discuss how I can help you.
While we were waiting for the food sensitivity test results to come back, we also put her on a 4 week elimination diet. This isn’t always required, but when someone has extreme digestive symptoms (diarrhea!), it can stop the upset stomach in its tracks. For the elimination diet, I gave her all the recipes and meal plans that she would need so that she didn’t feel like there was nothing she could eat. She said she enjoyed the meals and after the first week of adjusting, didn’t really find it too hard.
We also immediately added in some digestive enzymes, a probiotic and something called Slippery Elm powder which works really well to stop diarrhea. During the elimination diet, Brenda’s IBS symptoms completely went away and we did a slow reintroduction of the foods to identify which foods had been the issue. Turns out for her it was cow’s dairy. Even just a small amount upset her stomach significantly.
A few months later, Brenda’s IBS symptoms are gone (unless she consumes dairy), her energy has improved immensely, she sleeps through the night and has already lost 10lbs without even trying. On one call she also mentioned how her cravings had hugely subsided which was a nice side effect too.
I signed up for the one on one coaching, had test done for hormones & food sensitivities. The test came back that yes my hormones levels were all low. Right away Mandy set me up on supplements and meal plans that would help my hormones. I am on the road to becoming “normal” again! Thanks Mandy! The hot flashes are becoming less and less. I fall right to sleep and most nights stay a sleep. Very rarely do I have digestive problems now and when I do I know exactly why and my energy levels are slowing getting better. The one side effect of this was that I lost 10lbs without even trying. I would recommend Mandy to anyone who hasn’t gotten the results from Western medicine or who wants a natural approach. Mandy is professional, knowledgeable, kind and always makes herself available to her clients. - Brenda, HEAL Client