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Care For Yourself -Your Coach

Hormone Imbalance Questionnaires: Your answers to these questions become the map to the rest of the journey. If you check more than 3 to 5 boxes in each section, there’s a good chance that particular hormone is out of balance.

High Cortisol Do you have or have experienced in the past 6 months: A feeling you’re constantly racing from one task to the next. Feeling wired yet tired? A struggle calming down before bedtime, or a second wind that keeps you up late. Difficulty falling asleep or disrupted sleep? A f feeling of anxiety or nervousness— can’t stop worrying about things beyond your control? A quickness to feel anger or rage— frequent screaming or yelling? Memory lapses or feeling distracted, especially under duress? Sugar cravings (you need “a little something” after each meal, usually of the chocolate variety)? Increased abdominal circumference, greater than 35 inches (the dreaded abdominal fat, or muffin top—not bloating)? Skin conditions such as eczema or thin skin (sometimes physiologically and psychologically)? Bone loss (perhaps your doctor uses scarier terms, such as osteopenia or osteoporosis)? High blood pressure or rapid heartbeat unrelated to those cute red shoes in the store window? High blood sugar (maybe your clinician has mentioned the words prediabetes or even diabetes or insulin resistance)? Shakiness between meals, also known as blood sugar instability. Indigestion, ulcers, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)? More difficulty recovering from physical injury than in the past? o Unexplained pink to purple stretch marks on your belly or back? o Irregular menstrual cycles? Decreased fertility?

Low Cortisol Do you have or have experienced in the past 6 months: Fatigue or burnout—you might use caffeine to bolster your energy, or fall asleep while reading or watching a movie)? o Loss of stamina, particularly in the afternoon, from two to five? An atypical addiction to a negative point of view? Crying jags for no particular reason? Decreased problem-solving ability? Feeling stressed most of the time (everything seems harder than before, and you have trouble coping)? Decreased stress tolerance? Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep, especially between one and four in the morning? Low blood pressure (not always a good thing, since your blood pressure determines the correct amount of oxygen to send through your body, especially into your brain)? Postural hypotension (you stand up from lying down and feel dizzy)? Difficulty fighting infection (you catch every virus you meet, particularly respiratory)? Difficulty recovering from illness or surgery or healing wounds? o Asthma? Bronchitis? Chronic cough? Allergies? o Low or unstable blood sugar? Salt cravings? Excess sweating? Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea? Or loose stool alternating with constipation? Muscle weakness, especially around the knee? Muscle or joint pain? A thyroid problem that’s been treated, you feel better, and suddenly you feel palpitations or have rapid or irregular heartbeats (a sign of a low cortisol/low thyroid combo)?

Progestone Do you have or have experienced in the past 6 months: Heavy or painful periods (heavy means going through a super pad or tampon every two hours or less, while painful means you can’t function without ibuprofen)? Bloating, particularly in the ankles and belly, and/or fluid retention (in other words, you gain 3 to 5 pounds or more before your period)? Ovarian cysts, breast cysts, or endometrial cysts (polyps)? Easily disrupted sleep. Itchy or restless legs, especially at night? Increased clumsiness or poor coordination? Infertility or subfertility (you’ve been trying hard to conceive but haven’t hit the official twelve-month mark of no conception—six months if you’re thirty-five or older)? Miscarriage in the first trimester?

High Estrogen Do you have or have experienced in the past 6 months: Bloating, puffiness, or water retention? Abnormal Pap smears? o Heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding? Rapid weight gain, particularly in the hips and butt? Increased bra-cup size or breast tenderness? Fibroids? Endometriosis, or painful periods? (Endometriosis is when pieces of the uterine lining grow outside of the uterine cavity, such as on the ovaries or bowel, and cause painful periods.) Mood swings, PMS, depression, or just irritability? o Weepiness, sometimes over the most ridiculous things? Mini breakdowns? Anxiety? Migraines or other headaches? Insomnia? Brain fog? A red flush on your face (or a diagnosis of rosacea)? Gallbladder problems (or removal)?

Low Estrogen Poor memory (you walk into a room to do something, then wonder what it was, or draw a blank midsentence)? Emotional fragility, especially compared with how you felt ten years ago? Depression, perhaps with anxiety or lethargy (or, more commonly, dysthymia: low-grade depression that lasts more than two weeks)? Wrinkles? Night sweats or hot flashes? Trouble sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night? A leaky or overactive bladder? Bladder infections? Droopy breasts, or breasts lessening in volume? Sun damage more obvious, even glaring, on your chest, face, and shoulders? Achy joints? Recent injuries, particularly to wrists, shoulders, lower back, or knees? Loss of interest in exercise? Bone loss? Vaginal dryness, irritation, or loss of feeling (as if there were layers of blankets between you and the now-elusive toe-curling orgasm)? Lack of juiciness elsewhere (dry eyes, dry skin, dry clitoris)? Low libido (it’s been dwindling for a while, and now you realize it’s half or less than what it used to be)? Painful sex?

Testosterone Imbalance Do you have or have experienced in the past 6 months: Excess hair on your face, chest, or arms? Acne? Greasy skin and/or hair? Thinning head hair? Discoloration of your armpits, where they’re darker and thicker than your normal skin? Skin tags, especially on your neck and upper torso? Skin tags are small, flesh-colored growths on the skin surface, usually a few millimeters in size, and smooth. They are usually noncancerous and develop from friction, such as around bra straps. They do not change or grow over time. Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar? Reactivity and/or irritability, or excessively aggressive or authoritarian episodes (also known as ’roid rage)? Depression? Anxiety? Menstrual cycles occurring more than every thirty-five days? Ovarian cysts? Midcycle pain? Infertility? Or subfertility? Polycystic ovary syndrome?

Thyroid Imbalance Do you have or have experienced in the past 6 months: Hair loss, including of the outer third of your eyebrows and/or eyelashes? Dry skin? Dry, straw-like hair that tangles easily? Thin, brittle fingernails? o Fluid retention or swollen ankles? An additional few pounds, or 20, that you just can’t lose. High cholesterol? Bowel movements less often than once a day, or you feel you don’t completely evacuate. Recurrent headaches? Decreased sweating? Muscle or joint aches or poor muscle tone? Tingling in your hands or feet? Cold hands and feet? Cold intolerance? Heat intolerance? A sensitivity to cold, making you always wear layers and shiver more easily than others? Slow speech, perhaps with a hoarse or halting voice? A slow heart rate, or bradycardia - fewer than 60 beats per minute, and not because you’re an elite athlete? Lethargy? Fatigue, particularly in the morning? Slow brain, slow thoughts? Difficulty concentrating? Sluggish reflexes, diminished reaction time, even a bit of apathy? Low sex drive, and you’re not sure why? Depression or moodiness? A prescription for the latest antidepressant but you’re still not feeling like yourself? Heavy periods or other menstrual problems? Infertility or miscarriage? Pre-term birth? An enlarged thyroid/goiter? Difficulty swallowing? Enlarged tongue? A family history of thyroid problems?

Understanding Your Results If you checked three or more boxes in one category, you likely have a hormonal imbalance. No matter what your results are, know that you are not alone. I’ve seen women literally jumping up and down after answering these questions, because somebody finally acknowledged and named their daily struggles something other than “crazy” or “PMS.” Help is on the way. If you had more than five YES answers in one test, and your symptoms are worsening or you feel moderately distressed (or worse) about it, you may need to work with your local and trusted doctor in order to tailor the treatment for you. Please understand that the tests are signposts, helpful hints, designed as tools to clarify how you can most efficiently balance your hormones. I am not a Dr. this information is just for learning purposes only! #healthcoach #yourcoachAri

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