Brain fog in menopause completely cleared in 8 weeks

LM was 59 years old when she came to see me asking for help with severe menopausal symptoms. Her most significant concerns were severe brain fog, low energy and wanting to get fit to do a trek. She said: “I have always had a busy, active life and enjoyed walking and cycling holidays. Now when I have an active day at work I get home exhausted and sleep most of the evening. I find I have a ‘fog’ in my brain which makes it difficult to work especially as I have several ongoing responsibilities at any one time. This year I am transitioning to retirement and I want my energy back in order to enjoy it.” LM had gone up a dress size in the last year and although she had cut down on eating biscuits and cakes, this didn’t make any difference to her weight. She was still having some hot flushes and night sweats. She regularly fell asleep straight after dinner and was tired in the daytime. She wanted to do regular exercise to prepare for the trek that she planning, but she just didn’t have the energy to do it.  Health History Nutrition History Menopause Type Analysis Significant Test Results Marker Level Interpretation Vitamin D Severe deficiency Low immune functionBone concerns Cholesterol High Inflammation Liver enzymes High Impaired liver function Root Cause Analysis During the menopausal transition and post-menopause, a woman’s body is switching from using sugar as an energy source, to using fat. Hence menopausal symptoms are not really an oestrogen deficiency problem, they are an energy deficiency problem.  LM’s diet was too high in sugar for this phase in her life. Her body was converting her dietary carbohydrates to fat, and at the same time it she was not able to burn fat for energy. This meant that her brain and body were starving for energy, leading to severe brain fog, weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats and feelings of severe exhaustion.  Her high sugar intake was affecting her liver, possibly leading to a fatty liver, and at the same time her vitamin D deficiency was lowering her brain function and preventing restful sleep. First Consultation Protocol NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS INITIAL SYMPTOMS Symptom Scale: 0=none, 1=mild, 2=moderate, 3=severe Memory deficit 3 Brain fog 3 Fatigue 2 Hot flushes 2 Night sweats 2 Vaginal dryness 2 Pain with intercourse 2 Bloating 2 Mood swings 1 Poor sleep 2 Anxiety 1 Headaches 1 Hair loss 1 Weight gain 2 Decreased sexual desire 2 Decreased sexual arousal 2 Decreased sexual response 2 TOTAL SCORE 34 / 51 Follow-up Consultation 2 Results (+8 weeks) – symptoms reduced by 82% SYMPTOMS AT WEEK 8 Symptom Scale: 0=none, 1=mild, 2=moderate, 3=severe Week 8 Memory deficit 3 0 Brain fog 3 0 Fatigue 2 0 Hot flushes 2 0 Night sweats 2 0 Vaginal dryness 2 1 Pain with intercourse 2 0 Bloating 2 0 Mood swings 1 0 Poor sleep 2 0 Anxiety 1 1 Headaches 1 0 Hair loss 1 0 Weight gain 2 0 Decreased sexual desire 2 1 Decreased sexual arousal 2 1 Decreased sexual response 2 1 TOTAL SCORE 34 / 51 5 / 51 – symptoms reduced by 82% Client Review “My specialist menopause plan concentrated on my nutrition and supplements personalised to me to support me – it has seen my whole health and mindset change.“ LM My Review I was delighted for LM, she cognitive function was excellent and she had more than enough energy in day, enough to start training for her mountain trek. No woman should be suffering through menopause and the main change that needs to made is with nutrition.

Lifelong depression and severe premenstrual anxiety

OT was 33 years when she got in touch with me seeking help for her long-standing daily anxiety and depression, which became much worse before her period. She felt low 80% of the time and even worse in the week before her period, where she would have an emotional meltdown. She had tried all kinds of approaches to manage her low moods including counselling, anti-depressants and hormonal birth control, none of which were successful. She said: “I have suffered with anxiety and low grade depression for as long as I can remember although I only realised that there was a name for how I felt when I was in my late teens. Whilst at college, I hit my lowest point and had some counselling but I think i only had a few sessions. The counselling did not work for me as it felt very “standardised” rather than looking to help me work through my own personal issues. I struggled with my mental health all through university but managed to distract myself with friends and work. Recently I made positive changes to my diet, but I still suffer with anxiety and depression. I started taking sertraline as I again hit rock bottom. I stopped taking sertraline around 8-12 months ago as I was having bad side effects including severe night sweats. My anxiety and depression is also heightened a week leading up to my period and I am now looking for a more natural way to manage my symptoms as I hate how I feel most of the time. This state of being can be so frustrating at times as I know that I am very fortunate in my life but my mood is always low. I believe my menstrual cycle has an effect as I have a few days around the time I am ovulating where I feel “normal” or better than I usually do.” Health History Nutrition History Significant Test Results Root Cause Analysis OT’s mood was low in general, which indicates a deficiency of serotonin and dopamine, and this was confirmed by a neurotransmitter questionnaire. Depressive, anxious syndromes can be caused by nutritional deficiencies from poor diet, including Additionally, it was very clear that her low mood was cyclical, improving at ovulation when oestrogen is higher, and crashing premenstrually. It was also clear that her oestrogen was too low in general and progesterone was too high premenstrually, as evidenced by Factors contributing to low oestrogen in OT included First Consultation Protocol NUTRITION LIFESTYLE SUPPLEMENTS INITIAL SYMPTOMS Symptom Score out of 6 Depression every day 4 Depression before period 6 Anxiety every day 4 Anxiety before period 4 Meat cravings before period 5 Craving for fat before period 5 Follow-up Consultation 1 Results (+4 weeks) SYMPTOMS AT WEEK 4 Symptom Score out of 6 4 week score / 6 Depression every day 4 2 Depression before period 6 2 Anxiety every day 4 3 Anxiety before period 4 3 Meat cravings before period 5 2 Craving for fat before period 5 2 Follow-up Consultation 2 Results (+8 weeks) SYMPTOMS AT WEEK 8 Symptom Score out of 6 4 week score / 6 8 week score / 6 Depression every day 4 2 0 Depression before period 6 2 1 Anxiety every day 4 3 0 Anxiety before period 4 3 0 Meat cravings before period 5 2 0 Craving for fat before period 5 2 0 Client Review “Within weeks of starting my supplement plan, I noticed a significant positive shift in my mental health and I am confident that this will continue going forward. I can honestly say that with Sandra’s help, my life has changed for the better.” OT I have struggled with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. Having tried everything from counselling, antidepressants and even Reiki, I was beginning to feel as though I would have to live with my anxiety and depression forever. I made contact with Sandra following a recommendation from a friend and I am so glad I did. During the initial call, Sandra made me feel at ease straight away. Within weeks of starting my supplement plan, I noticed a significant positive shift in my mental health and I am confident that this will continue going forward. I can honestly say that with Sandra’s help, my life has changed for the better. Thank you Sandra! My Review Despite the fact that I see significant improvements in client’s health every day in my work, it still sometimes takes my breath away when I see the power of functional medicine in action. I always expect to see results within 4 weeks, and OT’s progress was no different. She was committed to the process right from the start and did an incredible job of following her plan. As she said to me, and I agreed – “I wish I could have done this years ago, and I dread to think what my life would have been like if I hadn’t done this work with you”. It saddens me to think of all the women that are suffering through their cycles and not getting the help they need, and I am so pleased to have seen OT recover so quickly.

Acne and severe PMS

BA was 33 years old and working as a solicitor when she came to see me saying: She said: “Since the age of 13 I have been suffering from what I think is cystic acne. At that age, once every 6 months or so, I would get one massive spot on my face. As the years have progressed, this has become much more frequent and appear to be more prevalent on my cheeks and jawline. Now, about 10 days before my period, massive cysts develop under my skin. Sometimes they are solid and other times they pop. It causes me severe anxiety and has had had an affect on my mood, social life and confidence. I’ve been taking antibiotics every other month for the last 4-5 years but they’re not helping. I also find that 7-10 days before my period I go completely bonkers – my mood, tolerance and anger levels are beyond my control. I feel out of control and unable to deal with my emotions rationally. As soon as my period starts, I have a sense of relief. This is having a negative impact on my husband and my children. I am struggling with my relationships.” Health History Nutrition History Significant Test Results Marker Level Interpretation Vitamin D Severe deficiency Low immune functionOestrogen too high Creatine Low Impaired methylation and liver detoxification of oestrogen Bilirubin High Impaired liver function Ferritin High Inflammation Haemoglobin Low Iron deficiency HbA1c High Insulin resistance / pre-diabetes Root Cause Analysis Acne PMS First Consultation Protocol NUTRITION LIFESTYLE SUPPLEMENTS INITIAL SYMPTOMS Symptom Score out of 6 AcneThere are massive cysts on her face for 10 days before her period and she can still feel them after period. They are painful when sleeps and wears glasses. She won’t go out if has cysts on her face. 5 Number of cysts 6 Mood disturbancePremenstrual anger, explosive irritability and crying. 6 Follow-up Consultation 1 Results (+4 weeks) SYMPTOMS AT WEEK 4 Symptom Initial score / 6 4 week score / 6 AcneThere are massive cysts on her face for 10 days before her period and she can still feel them after period. They are painful when sleeps and wears glasses. She won’t go out if has cysts on her face. 5 0 Number of cysts 6 0 Mood disturbancePremenstrual anger, explosive irritability and crying. 6 2 Client Review “I’m really happy with what Sandra has done for me. My skin and mood have completely transformed, to the point where I am so happy.” BA My Review I was delighted with the quick response that BA had to the protocol, and particularly with how happy and confident she became in her life. Acne and PMS are so incredibly responsive to focused nutritional interventions, and BA ‘s experience is a perfect example of how having the know-how to balance hormones leads to such a positive results.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder reversed in 8 weeks

TG was 43 when she came to see me about what she described as severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS): She said: “Two weeks before my period starts and usually around the new moon, I go what can only be described as loony! I lose the plot and shout for no reason, get angry very easily and have absolutely no control over it. This goes on until I get my period 2 weeks later and then I’m totally fine. It’s affecting myself and my family enormously now, so I desperately need some help. GP just wants to put me on either the mini-pill, antidepressants or fit the coil – neither of which I am keen on, due to a bad experience with hormones when I did my IVF treatments.” TG’s husband had difficulties with conception and they went through several rounds of IVF. They now have 3 happy and healthy children, but with one cycle of IVF she had an extreme reaction to Cyclogest, a synthetic progesterone. She described her reaction as being 1000 times worse than PMS. Health History Nutrition History Significant Test Results Marker Level Interpretation Vitamin D Deficient Negative impact on mood and sleep Vitamin B12 Severe deficiency Impaired methylation and liver detoxification Luteal progesterone Within functional range Premenstrual progesterone is normal Root Cause Analysis TG described her symptoms as severe PMS, but I suspected that she was suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Both PMS and PMDD are associated with disturbing, predictable, recurring, cyclic symptoms that start towards the end of the cycle and stop shortly after the onset of menstruation. Common symptoms include headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, irritability, depression, angry outbursts, and anxiety. The difference between PMDD and PMS is the severity and predominance of mental/emotional symptoms in PMDD and the marked impairment of personal/social relationships, including increased conflicts. PMDD is at the most severe and disabling end of the spectrum of premenstrual disorders. TG experienced at least 5 of the diagnostic criteria required for PMDD including 3 of the depressive, anxiety, cognitive, and physical symptoms which seriously interfered with her social activities and personal relationships. The exact cause of PMDD is unknown, but it appears to be related to an abnormal response of neurotransmitters including serotonin and GABA to normal ovarian function. In PMDD there is no demonstrable hormonal imbalance, rather PMDD is the result of the way that oestrogen and progesterone a!ect serotonin and GABA metabolism. PMDD usually starts within 1-2 weeks before the onset of menstruation, when progesterone is climbing and oestrogen is decreasing. Progesterone is converted to alloprogesterone which normally interacts with GABA receptors in the brain to produce feelings of calmness and relaxation. In PMDD however, it is thought that the GABA receptor is malformed which means that the alloprogesterone does not lead to calmness, and instead results in high anxiety, anger and other mental/emotional symptoms. This is probably why TG had such an extreme reaction to the synthetic progesterone she received during IVF treatment – the very high level of progesterone induced extreme PMS symptoms. The malformation of the GABA receptor is associated with various nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin K, magnesium and vitamin B6. At the same time, the decreasing oestrogen level in the luteal phase is associated with a decrease in the level of serotonin. In PMDD this can be hightend, leading to a serotonin imbalance which can cause depression, anxiety, sugar cravings, insomnia, headaches, obsessions and compulsions. Serotonin is not found in food, but it is synthesised from l-tryptophan, which is found in protein as an amino acid. Synthesis of serotonin requires vitamin B6 and vitamin D. TG had vitamin D deficiency as evidenced by her blood test, which likely contributed to her ‘winter blues’ and may have impacted her serotonin level and led to insomnia. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is synthesised from serotonin, and hence sleep is worsened when vitamin D is low. TG’s diet, which was high in sugars and starch, and low in vegetables, fibre, omega 3 fats and water was also a likely contributor to her symptoms. A high carbohydrate intake depletes the body of essential vitamins and minerals, while a lack of omega 3 fats and vegetables can lead to deficiencies in essential anti-oxidants and micronutrients. First Consultation Protocol NUTRITION LIFESTYLE SUPPLEMENTS INITIAL SYMPTOMS Symptom Score out of 6 Shouting and pent-up anger 6 Insomnia 4 Sugar cravings 4 Follow-up Consultation 1 Results (+4 weeks) SYMPTOMS AT WEEK 4 Symptom Initial score / 6 4 week score / 6 Shouting and pent-up anger 6 4 Insomnia 4 3 Sugar cravings 4 0 Follow-up Consultation 2 Results (+8 weeks) Symptom Initial score / 6 4 week score / 6 8 week score / 6 Shouting and pent-up anger 6 4 1 Insomnia 4 3 2 Sugar cravings 4 0 0 Client Review “Following my nutritional plan and the right supplements, the impact was huge. Knowing what triggered the hormone imbalance and what I needed to do to balance it out again, was the biggest part of the jigsaw. Finally, I was able to take back control.” TG Since having had my children, my hormones were all over the place and my mood swings were out of control. I did not recognise myself or my actions throughout certain times of the month and after a while I finally plugged up the courage to go and see my GP to talk about the symptoms I was experiencing. The help which I was offered was one of three options: None of which I wanted to do, as I figured that these would mess even more with my hormones, give me side-effects and not solve the underlying issues. After some research I found Sandra and we ended up having a telephone consultation to see, if she could help and if we would “click”. I am so very glad I made this phone call, as we ended up meeting and having a total of three face-to-face consultations. Quite frankly it changed me; my outlook on life; my hormone imbalance….

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