Tired all the Time?

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Need to Recharge??

Tired all the Time?

Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning?

Low Energy & No Stamina?

Do you rely on things like coffee or sugar to get you going?

I suspect a lot of you do and just think that it’s normal. Actually it can be a sign of a problem called adrenal exhaustion. Other symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include:
Low mood, frustration and anxiety, poor concentration, poor sleep and exhaustion.
Adrenal exhaustion is caused by long term or a lot of, stress. This may be stress as we usually define it – work, life, family, money – anxieties and frustrations building up. But it may also include traumas, bereavements, illnesses or operations – these are all things that your body has had to cope with and recover from, which may have left it depleted and struggling to catch up.
Your adrenal glands when they are working properly help you to feel energised when you need to be and relaxed when it is time for rest. It is your adrenal glands which give you the energy to get through tough times. But if we make too many demands on them they become exhausted and stop working as well as they should. The way that most people deal with the dips in energy caused by an adrenal gland under pressure is to give themselves a boost with a coffee, a cola or a sugary snack. The trouble with this is that this temporary boost is provided by causing extra stress on your poor tired adrenal gland, forcing it to produce energy from nowhere. Therefore they will ultimately become more exhausted and your symptoms will start to get worse.
What you need to do is to nourish and support your adrenals so that they will start to work properly again and you can start to feel better.
There are three key ways to boost adrenal function and energy and stress support:
Balance your blood sugars!  Eat regularly and do not rely on caffeine and sugar to get you through.  Caffeine and sugar both create peaks and troughs in your blood sugar levels, which leave you feeling more exhausted, shaky and anxious.  The mineral Chromium can be useful here if you do struggle with sugar cravings as it helps to balance blood sugars.

Super Siberian Ginseng. Siberian Ginseng is a great adaptogenic tonic and balancing supplement. It is thought to help support adrenal function and restore energy levels. Clinical studies have shown it increases mental alertness – lifting the mental fog, which can so often descend when we are tired or run down. Siberian ginseng has also been shown to help improve energy and endurance and has often been used by athletes to help support their efforts and energy levels. Again though you need a good dose.

Boost B5 – B5 is used by the body to release energy for carbohydrates and it is needed by the adrenals for good function. Signs of low B5 include fatigue, headaches, poor sleep and burning painful feet. It is not expensive and trying 500mg twice a day for a month can make a big difference, especially if you do have the burning painful feet – we have seen many happy customers whose feet have vastly improved after a month on B5!

The great news is that all of these nutrients are available in one easy to take supplement, designed with this problem in mind – RECHARGE!  Recharge is an energy support supplement, exclusive to Help me be Healthy and we have had great reports on it – so why no give it a go!


PMS – Acne & Sugar Cravings

Saulo Cruz / Foter / CC BY

This week I am going to look at another hormonal issue linked with PMS and which is also involved in problems like PCOS. This is high androgen/testosterone levels. This can lead to issues with PMS acne, greasy skin, sugar cravings and weight gain.
Androgens and testosterone are most commonly thought of as male hormones – but we all have them. However as with anything, whilst we need certain levels of these hormones – too many can cause us issues. Androgen levels tend to be at their highest during puberty as they are involved in the development and growth of body hair and breast tissue. These raised androgen levels can also be one of the causes of the oily skin and acne that many teenagers experience.
Normally as we leave our teens and enter our twenties, androgen levels should start to subside. However, this does not always happen and this can cause some real hormonal problems. Including the PMS acne, greasy skin and sugar cravings!
Raised androgens tend to mean a greater amount of testosterone being produced, which can lead to mood swings and you could feel really aggressive, irritable and angry. Then the periods can also be affected, but with high androgen levels the periods tend to be quite erratic, they could also be light and you may even find that you miss periods occasionally.
The other major issues with raised androgens include oily skin, acne, increased or heavy facial and body hair, head hair thinning, weight gain around your middle and major sugar cravings.
These are the issues most commonly experienced by women suffering with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which affects quite a large number of women. However, just because you have these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have PCOS.
If you think that all of this sounds like you and your PMS issues, or if you know that you have PCOS, then there are some natural remedies which could be well worth a try. The first is a supplement called Saw Palmetto which is often used by men to help control excess testosterone. Recent research has indicated that saw palmetto could also be useful for women exhibiting the signs of high androgens and raised testosterone. With some women trialling it reporting improvements in their cycle, mood and their skin. It has also been trailed in women with PCOS and the reports coming out are extremely promising. It is safe to use with the pill or HRT so if you are struggling with hormonal acne and anger then saw palmetto could well be worth a try.
On top of this I would also suggest adding in the mineral Chromium. Chromium helps to contribute to the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels, which basically means that it helps to control the blood sugar dips, which tend to be associated with sugar cravings. We have found this to be a very useful addition for anyone who would mug a child for a chocolate bar at their time of the month!


PMS – irritable, heavy bleeds

Camera tests positive
dearbarbie / Foter / CC BY-SA

Over the coming weeks I am going to be looking at hormonal issues. There are 3 main hormones that are in control of your periods and which have an impact on PMS. This week I am going to start by having a look at the most common hormonal issue for those suffering with PMS symptoms – Low progesterone. Progesterone is one of the main hormones involved in maintaining your menstrual cycle, it is also really important in female fertility and for maintaining the beginning of a pregnancy. Therefore those who suffer with the symptoms of low progesterone, could benefit in many ways from looking at ways to help balance their hormones.
As well as being important in the maintenance of your cycle, progesterone also has a major impact on your moods. Therefore low progesterone is highly likely to give you PMS with mood issues, this would include anxiety, frustration, anger, irritability, irrational behaviour and poor sleep. Your periods may also be heavier, with clots and could be painful. You may also suffer with swollen, heavier, maybe painful breasts, headaches, fluid retention and acne flare ups with your cycle…PMS-irritabl, heavy bleeds.
If this sounds like you, then low progesterone levels could well be at the bottom of your PMS issues, in which case, the following options could be well worth considering.
Many herbalists will often suggest the use of the herb Agnus Castus in these situations as it is thought to help regulate that part of the cycle where progesterone should be produced. We have been using Agnus Castus in our clinic, for many years and the feedback we have had from many of the women who have used it has been brilliant. We have had many women tell us that it has really helped them regain control of their mood and anger issues, which played a big part in their PMS. We have even had one lady tell us that she believed it had saved her marriage – because previously she had been so vile to her husband in the week before her period, she thought he was going to leave her! All of this means that this plant could well be worth a try for anyone who is struggling with PMS – irritable, heavy bleeds. However, please note that because of its potential hormonal action, Agnus Castus should NOT be used in conjunction with the pill, but if you are not on the pill, it could be worth a try.

If you are on the pill and can’t try the Agnus castus, fear not – there are great options for you too. Naturopathic Practitioners often link low progesterone with high oestrogen and talk about a condition called oestrogen dominance. This is often linked to the liver, which is responsible for breaking down and eliminating excess oestrogen. Therefore something like Milk Thistle, a product often used to supports the health of the liver and its ability to breakdown oestrogen could be helpful to help regain balance. We have used this herb for people suffering with PMS- irritable, heavy bleeds and had some great reports back.


Natural Help for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a hormonal condition which affects a number of women. In endometriosis, the tissue which would normally grow in your womb during your cycle (endometrial tissue) has also formed outside the womb. This occurs most commonly around the ovaries, in the pelvis, around the top of the vagina and even around the bowel. During your cycle, this endometrial tissue, outside your womb also grows and thickens and is then shed. However, unlike the tissue in your womb, which leaves your body during your period, the endometrial tissue outside the womb has no way of leaving your body, so this shedding then leads to pain and swelling, which can be quite debilitating in some cases.
The development of this problem, tends to be linked to excess oestrogen, so treatment tends to focus on hormone balancing alongside pain relief.
We have seen a number of women over the years who have been looking for natural remedies to help them better control their symptoms and whilst there are never any guarantees there are a few things that could be worth considering if you are in the same boat.
Herbal remedies have been used for a number of years by women looking for natural ways to balance their hormones. One of the most popular is Agnus Castus. There have been a number of trials carried out using this plant, which have found it to be very useful in relieving the symptoms of PMS. The reason it is thought this plant could also be useful to women struggling with endometriosis is because Agnus Castus is thought to work by restoring the balance between oestrogen and progesterone – therefore potentially reducing the excess oestrogen which is linked to the development of the problem. Due to its potential hormonal action, Agnus Castus should not be taken alongside the pill or other hormonal treatments.
Another plant which may be useful is one which has typically been looked at for supporting the hormonal health of men! That is Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto has for years been used by men seeking natural ways to support a healthy prostate, however, new research indicates that this plant could be equally helpful to women struggling with hormonal issues. Saw Palmetto is thought to help reduce the levels of androgens, which in turn could help to reduce the problems linked with high oestrogen – certainly the research seems promising and this could well be worth a try however, again dues to its potential hormonal action, do not use it alongside the pill or other hormonal treatments.
Good Bacteria – most people these days are aware that there should be certain levels of good bacteria inside them. It is now generally accepted that these bacteria could help with bloating and bowel issues. However, these good bacteria could have a wider impact on our health and our hormones than most people expect! This is because good bacteria are actually involved in breaking down hormones like oestrogen, therefore, many practitioners of natural medicine will actually suggest that people suffering with complaints linked to high oestrogen, like endometriosis, should take a good bacteria supplement. There are many reports from women with endometriosis, which suggest that using a good bacteria supplement daily could be a good idea.
Look after your liver – like the good bacteria, your liver is also involved in breaking down oestrogen, therefore nutritional and botanical ingredients which support health liver function are often suggested for those suffering with issues related to high oestrogen. If you want to look into supporting your liver, to see if you feel any better, eat plenty of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, flax seeds, walnuts and beetroot and look at plants like dandelion, artichoke and milk thistle.