You’re NOT Crazy…

“So I’m not crazy?!”

Was the words of one of my patients.

We had just gotten her blood work results back. It revealed a thyroid gland struggling to keep up, elevated thyroid antibodies, and extremely low nutrient levels.

She had been to see her doctor numerous times because she hadn’t been feeling herself. She used to feel great on her current thyroid medication but recently it had become harder and harder to make it through the day. She was crashing on the couch as soon as she came home from work and feeling completely rundown. She was too tired to do any of her favourite hobbies, watch the kids soccer games, or spend time with her husband. She was told repeatedly that all her lab work and testing was completely normal, she was the picture of health! Then she had been told: “you’re just getting older”, “you’re probably perimenopausal”, and “maybe you’re depressed”.*

Not willing to settle for those explanations or feeling like a zombie for the rest of her life, she decided to look deeper. (FYI: If this sounds like you as well, it’s no coincidence. I hear similar versions of this same story almost daily in my practice!) 

I like to tell my patients that YOU are your own expert. You live in your body 24 hours a day. You know how your body feels when you’re tired, or hungry, coming down with a cold, nervous, stressed, (you get the idea). You know what ‘normal’ feels like. You also know when you feel anything BUT normal.

I have watched countless patients with very similar stories look at their labs and say with triumph “I knew it!”

So,

If you’re feeling like no one is taking you seriously, and you’re starting to wonder if it really is all in your head, this is me saying to you:

You’re NOT crazy! 

You can’t find the solution if you’re looking in all the wrong places. Ensure that you’re getting a proper thyroid and nutrient assessment and find a practitioner you trust (and who will take you seriously when you say “I just know something is off”)

Want to know more? Check out what I recommend as a starting point here and here

In honour of your body’s innate wisdom,

Dr. Katie Rothwell, ND

 

*Details have been changed to protect patient confidentiality. Shared with patient permission.

 

What’s in your lube?

Choosing a lubricant is tough. Most women just grab the first one they see and high-tail it out of the store. Because of course, loitering in the lube and condom aisle comparing labels and ingredients for ages doesn’t seem to be anyone’s idea of fun.

Whether you’re using a vaginal lubricant occasionally during intercourse or more daily for vaginal dryness, it’s important to choose the right one with the right ingredients. Not only is the vagina comprised of very sensitive tissue, it also maintains it’s own pH and bacterial balance. Chemicals or harmful ingredients that disrupt this delicate balance can mean more itchiness, dryness, and even an increased risk of potential infections (like yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis). The vaginal canal also contains a vast network of blood vessels, which means anything you put in there can end up anywhere in your body.

Many common lubricants that are available at your local pharmacies and groceries stores are littered with ingredients such as: 

Mineral Oil: A petroleum byproduct (think: vaseline) that can clog pores and may contain impurities.

Glycerin: Has been associated with yeast infections and irritation in some women.

Parabens: Mimics estrogen and can act as an endocrine disruptor. Parabens can contribute to hormone imbalances making your symptoms worse, and have been linked to hormone-dependent cancers.

Propylene Glycol: May cause burning and irritation in some women.

Fragrances and Flavours: Can be a variety of undisclosed ingredients that can be irritating to many women. They have also been associated with allergies and negative effects on the reproductive system.

So what’s a women to do? Here are some options… 

Coconut oil: All natural and so safe you can use it in the kitchen too! Coconut oil can be used as needed for dryness or irritation, as well as during intercourse. Not to be used with condoms.

Natural and/or organic lubricant products: Look for products that avoid the above ingredients and instead use natural ingredients such as: aloe, vitamin E, cocoa butter, coconut oil, or almond oil

Hyaluronic Acid: Is natural to our own skin and connective tissue. It promotes the natural lubrication of the vagina and can improve burning, dryness, and itchiness. This is my go-to option for menopausal women who would prefer a non-hormonal treatment for vaginal dryness.

Vaginal Estriol: Estriol is a hormonal option to be used only under the supervision of a health professional. It’s indicated for menopausal women experiencing vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, irritation or burning. Estriol is a weak estrogen which means it has a better safety profile and only needs to be used 1-2x per week to maintain symptom relief.

If you’re struggling with itchiness, burning, pain or feeling like the Sahara desert, let’s talk! A Naturopathic Doctor can assess what might be contributing to your symptoms and the best ways to get you relief. Your lady bits deserve it!

Dr. Katie

Resources:

The Environmental Working Group: www.ewg.org

 

Mommy Guilt & Judgement

Do you judge other moms? Do you feel judged too? Check out my latest video and then join me over at my private Facebook group, Guiltless Grace where we’re in mothering thing together 🙂

Dr. Whitney

 

Rooted’s Favourite Things – Holiday Gift Guide

Do you still have some Christmas shopping to do? Our team has put together some of our most loved items of 2017, so if you’re still searching for that perfect gift or a great stocking stuffer, you may just find it below in our top picks!

Instant Pot
Maddie and Dr. Whitney have been loving their new instant pots! It’s a single pot that does the job of seven different kitchen appliances and most importantly, can cook full meals in record time (kind of like a slow cooker on steroids). Use for staples like rice and beans, family favourite soups and stews, and even bone broth!

Essential Oil Diffuser
Dr. Katie has been eyeing up a new essential oil diffuser from Saje for home (and the office!). You can use these anywhere in the home for toxin-free scent and all the benefits of essential oils. Try lavender in the bedroom for sleep or eucalyptus for coughs and colds.

Oh She Glows Everyday Cookbook
Laurie is an all-star baker and we always take her food recommendations seriously! This is a vegan cookbook with recipes that never sacrifice flavour. Best of all, they’re easy and simple to put together quick for meatless Mondays or any night of the week!

Intuitive Eating Workbook
Speaking of food, Dr. Kerri highly recommends this amazing workbook for anyone looking to foster a peaceful and positive relationship with food. A wonderful item to gift to yourself or a loved one.

Muse Meditation Device
Dr. Katie has recommitted to her meditation practice and is in love with her Muse! Do you need some extra motivation for your meditation practice and love the techy stuff? Muse is a device that reports brain wave activity while you meditate so you can see the effects of meditation in real-time and track your progress.

Rooted Herbal Teas (stocking stuffer alert!)
Try gifting our grounding herbal tea or “kick-your-cough” blend to your favourite herb tea lover.

Option B – Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, Finding Joy
As Dr. Whitney well knows, life doesn’t always go as planned. This book combines research, stories, and practical advice to make the most of “Option B”.

EcoParent Magazine Subscription
Canadian made Eco-parent Magazine is a great gift for a member of your mom tribe or favourite crunchy couple. Their articles are always fun and inspirational, and never judgemental! From bump, to baby, to parenting tips, this magazine has it all on how to keep your family healthy and happy.

 

That’s the round-up! Hope it inspires some seriously healthy gift giving. As anyone who has seen our snack drawer here at Rooted, some good quality dark chocolate is always a crowd pleaser!

From all of us at Rooted, Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

The Hating is Dissipating

My youngest daughter is enjoying her gymnastics class a lot. It’s a parent and tot class so each of the little ones has a parent with them to assist with all the cute moves they’re doing.

A couple weeks ago there were just 4 kids there with an adult. We did their warm-ups of jumping, bear walks and walking on tip toes. It was already 10 minutes into the class before I realized that all the other parents were Dads. I was the only Mom there. A year ago I would have noticed immediately and have been devastated, hating the Dads and their cuteness with their kids. Their loving hugs and connection with their children.

But the hating is dissipating. I don’t feel as angry. I don’t feel as empty. It’s there still…the sadness, the longing for the way things should be. But peace is slowly creeping into my life.

Learning to live this new life is a day to day exploration. Figuring out how this is going to work without Steve. He was a light and rock in our lives. He was our cheerleader.

So, if your life is not working out the way you’ve hoped here’s some of the things I’ve done to help me over the last 2 years.

  1. Take Care of You – I’ve put a big emphasis on taking care of me so I can take care of my kids. Going to bed early, eating well, seeing my counsellor, going to the gym etc. What small changes can you make to your day which would be a bit more kinder to your body, mind and spirit?
  2. Find your Passion – I’ve done a lot of self-reflection over the last year. When death hits so close to home people often reflect on their life. Are they living the life they want? I’ve refined my business to grow the parts I really want to do more of. I’ve tried out different hobbies and keep exploring who I am so I can find joy today and not put it off. I know too well that life is too short.
  3. Enjoy the Now – I have been actively working on my inner game, my mental state. I could complain about how hard my life is (sometimes I still do) or I can embrace the gifts I’ve been given. My 2 healthy, brilliant little girls who are strong-willed and funny. It’s not all roses and picture-perfect moments but I’m grateful for my kids. So, each day, I’m learning to enjoy the now, the present moment.

So yes, the hating is dissipating. It’s being replaced by love and gratitude. I hope your hate is leaving too.

If you want more support, click here to join me in my private Facebook group Guiltless Grace.

Talk soon,

All Hands Deck – Ask for Help

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned being a solo parent is to be ok with asking for help.

I can’t do this alone. If I try, I will be too stressed out and tired. That’s no good for me or for my kids.

Also, when I ask for help, the others who help feel better. They get to help the girls and I. And they also get to see and bond with the girls if what they’re helping with is watching the kids.

Even the small things with parenting – ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone.

We used to live in close-knit communities with multiple generations that leaned on each other, cooked together and supported one another. We’ve become too self-sufficient.

My challenge to you this week – pick one thing on your to-do list and ask someone else to do it. Then let the outcome go. Things don’t have to be perfect. Talk soon,