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UPDATE Sept. 2018 – I stopped writing the Let’s Get Personal series in 2016. If you would like to get the most recent update on my health and healing journey, please read this post, 3 Reasons Why I No Longer Share About My Healing Journey Online. You are always more than welcome to email me with any questions as well! Cheers! ~Jessica
Today, I want to talk to the ladies specifically. Though, if you’re a guy and you have a special lady in your life who deals with bad PMS, painful periods, etc., please share this info with them.
Minerals and My Cycle
I am here today to tell you that minerals have changed my life.
I know it sounds dramatic, but they have and I want to tell you why:
Because they have made my periods NORMAL again!
Up until about two years ago, my periods were pretty “normal”. I never got cramps, had very little fatigue, had a normal flow cycle from start to finish, etc.
Then, something changed.
I’m not sure what it was exactly, but I went from periods that didn’t really cause me any problems to periods that I dreaded and were sometimes excruciatingly painful.
Sometimes the cramps wouldn’t be too bad, but other times they were SO painful that I could barely function.
I remember one time, about a year ago, that they were so painful that I didn’t move from the couch for a full day. And, I was so sore the following 3-4 days that every time I took a step my whole torso throbbed. I felt like my stomach had been run over by a train.
It was BAD. Thankfully, that severe pain only happened once, but I was still experiencing some pretty painful periods.
And the cramps didn’t just happen on the first day. Sometimes they happened EVERY SINGLE day of my period.
Yeah. No fun.
I also noticed that my flow also changed. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but let’s just say it wasn’t normal. If you want more details, feel free to email me and I’ll share more. 🙂
I knew that what was happening was not normal, but I attributed it to my Hashimoto’s and adrenal issues and was confident that as I continued healing things would regulate again.
Hair Testing and Mineral Balancing
In November (2014), I decided to get a hair tissue mineral analysis (affiliate link) done through my NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner), Lydia from Divine Health. She had been having great results with her clients and encouraged me to get one done myself.
I was thrilled with how affordable the test was too. I am used to tests costing $500+ and coming back inconclusive. I have spent hundreds (well, probably thousands) of dollars on testing over the last few years and nothing has been as helpful or eye opening as this mineral test.
Now that I am a few months into the balancing protocol, I really wish I had known about this test a few years ago when I first started out on my healing journey. I am pretty sure it would have saved me a ton of time, frustration, and $$$.
Fixing my period never even crossed my mind when I got the test done and started on my subsequent mineral balancing protocol. It was the most pleasant (and unexpected) of “side effects” and quite honestly the biggest and most noticeable change for me.
I started the new mineral balancing protocol around the beginning of December (2014). I am taking a combination of minerals that are specifically tailored to my own needs, based on my test results. Zinc, selenium, and magnesium to name a few.
11 days later, I started my period and noticed that I didn’t have any cramps. I had the very slightest feeling of cramps coming on the first day I started, but I used some clary sage essential oil and they went away. I didn’t get any hint of cramps for the rest of my cycle.
January’s cycle came around and I guess what?
NO CRAMPS! Not even the slight twinge that I had felt in December.
I was ECSTATIC.
So then February rolled around … And I started to get nervous.
I was scared that it was a fluke. That my body was tricking me and that I was sure to get cramps again with that month’s period.
Well, it arrived and guess what?
None, nada, zilch.
I actually can’t believe it as I sit here writing this. It is unreal to me that I no longer have those painful periods that have been plaguing me for the last couple years.
And, my flow is completely normal again too.
Like I said, fixing my cycle was not even on my radar when I started this mineral balancing protocol. I was more focused on seeing how the mineral balancing would help my thyroid, adrenals, and blood sugar. But, I’ll take it!
In regards to other improvements, I have to say that I think I would be seeing more improvement if I had managed my stress and sleep schedule better in December and January. I really got out of whack with sleep, eating, work, stress, etc. and I think that has prevented me from seeing some other improvements from the protocol.
But honestly, if nothing else changed except my period, then that is fine with me. That alone is enough to make this worth it.
On a side note, I think that my hair loss has improved. I am not seeing as much fall out and my hair is feeling thicker than it normally does. It’s hard for me to tell 100%, as my hair loss seems to cycle with the seasons, so I am interested to see if the loss continues to improve.
As some of you know, my hair is a sore spot for me. You can read more about my hair loss struggles here.
I am getting ready to take my re-test soon. As a matter of fact, I am sending in my hair sample tomorrow. So, in a couple weeks, I should be able to see if things have improved on paper when I get my results back.
I am also working really hard on managing my stress better, sleeping more, and exercising (walking and yoga) more, so I should start seeing some other improvements soon.
The Final Word
So, really what I want to say is that if you’re suffering from painful periods, I would strongly encourage you to get your mineral levels checked and try a mineral balancing protocol.
I know how rough painful periods are and I hate to think about all the women out there who are suffering like me (and some even more so) when there IS something we can do about it.
Hair tests are going to be the most accurate gauge of mineral balance because it’s essentially a snapshot of the last three months of your health. Blood tests are not nearly as accurate, as they can’t show you what has happened over the course of the last few months.
I got my hair tissue mineral analysis through the NTP that I have worked with for years, Lydia from Divine Health.
Lydia’s not only my NTP, but she’s one of my dearest friends and having her as a supporter on my health journey has been incredible. She is brilliant, really knows her stuff, and is the perfect cheerleader and motivator to get you through the rough patches.
Lydia has also written extensively on my site about mineral balancing and you can read all of her posts here.
Supporting Hormones, Thyroid, & Adrenals Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting women’s hormones, the adrenals and thyroid play a pivotal role, along with your blood sugar balance. When someone is suffering from dysfunction in this area, caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs. Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. In my mind, if I can get something to not only taste amazing but do amazing things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief. Now in its second edition, this ebook features all of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
In addition, you get a ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
Lastly, you get access to your own personal coffee shop. I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.