Where have you been?
That’s a question that many people have asked me over the past few months.
And quite frankly, I’ve often wondered the same thing myself.
Where have I been?
What happened to the zest, the drive, the energy that I used to have for my work, my life, my art?
A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with acute anaemia.
I had had no idea.
Until I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without becoming out of breath.
Until I could only get to 11 am before I began feeling tired again.
Until I couldn’t play with my daughter or hold my attention the way I wanted to.
All I thought was that perhaps there was something wrong with me, that my mind was getting old, that I was just going through something that would pass.
My energy was low so naturally I had negative thoughts, emotions and behaviour come up that really didn’t serve me, my family or what I wanted to create with my life or my work.
All because I had low iron in my system and my body wasn’t circulating oxygen efficiently enough.
Now whilst I’m no expert what I have learnt is that it’s really freaking common for women.
Especially women who have given birth, breastfed, extended breastfed their children or who experience a lot of stressors in their lives.
And it doesn’t only affect your energy, it affects your hormones, your reproduction system, it affects your ability to recover from stressors and your thyroid gland who just so happens to be responsible for your hormones, helping your metabolism and keeping you healthy, happy and functioning.
Which explains a lot.
Nervously I had had visions of being in peri-menopause, having the option of having another child taken off the table, my imagination wandered whether my thyroid wasn’t functioning and I would need to take medication forever (when I barely ever take simple pain killers) so when I was diagnosed thankfully everything began to make sense.
I’ve breastfed my daughter for 3 years and whilst that’s considered controversial with many people I’m good with it – it’s what she needed, it’s provided us with an extended period of bonding, it’s given her immune system an incredible boost and as far as I can see, given her a sense of security that I see many other three year olds with out.
I supplemented around the time of my period each month because I knew that was when my iron was low but it wasn’t enough.
My brain fog I put down to having occasional disturbed sleep, to feeling out of sorts, to being the wrong side of 40.
But I was so freaking wrong to overlook these simple symptoms. It meant that my enjoyment of my life was waning, my energy with my daughter was so much less and my joie de vivre was low too. I felt like I was wasting time feeling this way.
Two weeks down the line, an adjusted diet and natural supplements a crazy I feel more like myself again.
The short of it is ladies that if you find yourself feeling tired A LOT or easily, if you have brain fog, an inability to keep focus or think clearly, if you feel low or experience negative moods or thoughts that can change momentarily, if you’ve given birth (even three years ago) or breastfed then you may very well have low iron too and it doesn’t always show up in blood tests (I have no idea what conventional medicine measures against but if you’re sensitive like me even a slightly lower fluctuation can create these symptoms).
So, consider this a wee love letter from me to you. Be sure there is enough iron in your diet, in your supplements, in your healthcare routine because it’s so much more important than we may think, especially in such a chaotic world.
And if you’re feeling like reviewing your energy or what might be zapping it and causing you not to enjoy your work or life as much as you know you can, jump over to my resources page and download the Cultivating wellness exercise right here. It will help you identify where in your life you can create a small change to affect the whole kit and kaboodle.