With deadlines, direct reports and a demanding boss, Ann* (name changed,) an Atlanta office manager, had plenty of work stress. At age 48, She had a stereotypical sullen teenager, and a young adult who just moved back home. Her husband was going through a mid-life crisis, needy for her time and attention. Their marriage was a source of frustration rather than support for Ann. Add in the death of her mother this year and it was the perfect storm of weight gain, low energy and carbohydrate cravings.
Ann was no longer exercising, and felt guilty about her inactivity. She also had difficulty sleeping, awaking at 3 a.m. nearly every night. Ann had issues with her gut, including heartburn, constipation and diarrhea. She was told she had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And she also has irregular periods with PMS symptoms, in addition to anxiety and depression.
Then, Ann went to Ageless Wellness in Peachtree City where she saw Dr. Jamie Walraven. Dr. Walraven did basic tests to rule out underlying causes for fatigue, including a complete blood count (CBC,) metabolic panel and thyroid. She did a saliva test to look at Ann’s hormone levels. Dr. Walraven checked her cortisol throughout the day with a four-point cortisol test.
Ann’s results showed normal CBC and chemistry, but she was hypothyroid. While her estrogen was okay, her progesterone and testosterone were both low. Her cortisol was low throughout the day and into the evening, which correlates with adrenal fatigue.
Dr. Walraven put her on bioidentical hormone replacement, to replace her progesterone and testosterone. She recommended adrenal support to improve her adrenal function. Ann was able to get the adaptogenic herbs she needed right in the office at Ageless Wellness.
Dr. Walraven said, “Stressors effect adrenals. We discussed how we could heal the adrenals, or help her body learn to handle stress better. After our discussion, Ann implemented Yoga and meditation. She started seeing a therapist to help her with her emotional needs.”
Dr. Walraven suggested that Ann try a gluten free diet to clean up her gut. Additionally, Dr. Walraven recommended probiotics and digestive enzymes. She put Ann on Armour Thyroid to treat hypothyroidism.
Almost immediately, Ann’s gut function improved. She had less bloating and constipation. Then, shortly following, she noticed that she was sleeping better. She had more energy. Within several months, she was able to restart an active exercise regimen. Ann noticed she was losing weight, even though she wasn’t really trying. Her carb cravings decreased. Her moodiness and irritability decreased.
Although her stressors with her family hadn’t changed, she felt like she was more in control of her emotions and capable of handling the stressors they produced, especially after seeing her therapist. Her periods were regular and lighter with less PMS. Dr. Walraven added, “And her libido improved. She’s chasing her husband around the bedroom.”
Ann said to Dr. Walraven, “I have a life again. You saved my husband. I don’t want to kill him every day anymore. Really, you saved my marriage.”