The conversation usually starts with the question of “How can I pray for you, Lisa?” My recent answer has been for my upcoming surgery next week. I will finally be having a full hysterectomy. My insurance company denied the much needed surgery two years ago in hopes of things getting better on their own (a.k.a. they wanted to save money). That insurance company has had to pay for tests, drugs, procedures and doctor’s visits that have probably totaled more than the expense of surgery.
In those conversations with friends and ladies across the country, I have discovered that hormones can really mess with you. People tend to joke or excuse away a very real problem with labels like “PMS”, “the baby blues” or “pre-menopause”. The thoughts are often that PMS is a monthly thing, the baby blues will go away after a few weeks and menopause is simply hot flashes. I have researched and found that side effects are much deeper for many. Depression, mood swings, insomnia, obesity, headaches, hair loss, low sex drive, low appetite, allergies, memory problems and more. In American adults (both men and women), 19 million people suffer from depression. Hormones and depression in women are closely linked.
Now, I am not a doctor but I do know that there are more women suffering through hormonal imbalance symptoms than we realize. It tends to be a topic that many want to tip-toe around. It is important to know the symptoms, the habits that make it worse, and the options for treatment. Some of my earliest symptoms were my hair started falling out and my fingernails became very weak. Over several years, symptoms began to increase but they were issues that could have been a result of some other explanation. Some of the things that began to affect my symptoms were poor diet, lack of exercise, caffeine, junk food, and lack of sleep. There are some other factors that can make things worse such as smoking, alcohol and birth control pills. One reason for my love of healthy eating and nutrition has come from a desperate need to get my body healthy.
The interesting thing I have learned is that as women of faith, we are often encouraged to “pray” it away. Now, this prayer warrior firmly believes in the power of prayer but there is nothing wrong with seeking medical advice or alternatives for treatment. Talk about it! Talk with friends, doctors and other women. For years, I hid my symptoms because I felt guilty that I couldn’t “get a hold of myself” or mind over matter the fatigue and mood swings. I had long work hours, two kids to raise by myself and stress from life in general so by adding hormones that were out of whack, I could not control myself. It was so frustrating for me. I told my doctor to get me some help or get me a gun permit. (That’s a joke)
You can love the Lord and still have a tough season or a tough day. Yes, pray!!! At the same time, be informed, educated, prepared, and transparent so others can be a support and a prayer partner.