Thursday, September 3, 2015

Is Age REALLY Just a Number?

"You know, you're getting older and you just won't recover as fast." Words said to me after seeing my GP several months ago. I looked at him like he was crazy. I know I did, because I was thinking just that. I am very in tune with my body. What it's capable of, what it's NOT capable of, when something is "off" versus just aging. I sat in my doctor's office with tear filled eyes, " I know something is wrong." I told him, "I'm just not myself."
So for a good part of June and all of July I spent most of my time at doctor appointments, or a lab. Blood tests, lab work, follow-ups...all showing I was in normal ranges. Still, I was miserable.
For months I struggled with sleep. I'd wake in hot sweats, or I would feel anxious, tossing and turning all night. My recovery was non existent. I would run 6 miles and feel like I could lay down and sleep immediately after, I would ache for up to 4 days after a run. I was lifting 3 or 4 days a week with 5 days of running, I managed to gain 11 pounds. (My diet wasn't an issue.) My brain was foggy, and my memory was on paid leave somewhere.
I was slowly becoming depressed. I was not capable of running in the woods, I was lacking that connection that grounds me. All of my workouts were showing zero results, my ability actually was on the decline.
I had been researching all of my symptoms, and lab results. Researching them for endurance athletes, not for "normal" people is where I found my answers. At my next appointment I explained to my doctor that my hormone ranges were way out of whack for a female endurance athlete. I showed him all of my data. He agreed it was time for me to see a specialist for hormone replacement therapy. HALLELUJAH!
A week later I found myself meeting with my HRT doctor. She. Was. Amazing. She did all of the same labs that I had had done prior at my GP's office, she knew right away I was off by insane amounts. Talking with someone who understands the impact of hormones on the body made all of the difference. She connected all of my symptoms, including the depression and anxiety, and her answers didn't include medicating me.
What's the causality you may ask? Simple. I am pre menopausal. Yep, at 35 years old. There is no cut and dry answer to why my body chose this route. The human body is full of wonder, and is capable of turning on us at any time it desires. Years of eating disorders, pushing my body to extremes, asking so much of it and never really respecting it until I crashed. My my body had a plan to force change.
The change is working. I chose pellet therapy, it works naturally with the body and is not synthetic. It  has been three weeks since my first treatment,  I am starting to feel the changes. My energy is coming back. My sleep patterns are better. My workouts are not laying me up for days. My brain is starting to cooperate. So far so good, right?
 I keep asking myself is age REALLY just a number? Can we fight the process of aging with supplements, diet, exercise? The answer is yes. But inevitably, age will catch up. That's not a bad thing, and it doesn't mean you or I are old. It means we are progressing. It means our bodies know what needs to be done, we just have to listen.
I share my experiences in hopes that I will help someone else who is struggling. Hormone imbalance is no joke, it has extreme side effects. The answer is not the same for all of us, I just hope to shed some light on the subject. Being an endurance athlete does not put you in the "normal" ranges. Our bodies are used for extended periods of time, under extreme conditions...nothing about us is normal really. It took me doing my own researching to find the true answers to my body's questions, paired with persistence.
You are only given one body to live in...respect it, love it, and nourish it.


  1. Isn't it kind of funny that all of your tests were within "normal" ranges, but you knew something was not right. Then when you brought the research of endurance athletes that's how you figured it out. Had you not done your research who knows what would have happened. Good work! Glad you are on the mend.

    1. I have always found the charts that doctors use to be far too broad. We are all so different, as we require so many different ways to be diagnosed as well.
      I know my body, and that's the key as well. I'm grateful I have the tools to be able to research. Thank you Cecil!

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I love the illustration of my brain on paid leave. :)

    1. You're welcome, Tammie. Thank you for reading :)
      Ha! Some people may argue that's how I am all of the time.