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Hi there - Ive not posted on here for a while but have been popping on….. I could do with some advice for boosting my general health…. i feel very run down and life seems incredibly busy… I work full time as a Head of Primary Alternative Provision, mainly working with kids who have incredibly high needs so that is pretty full on…. have two children on my own, partner who works in a theatre so is often working evenings and weekends  so I do most of the child care myself (don’t even get me started on how I become a panto widow once panto season starts…).... I feel my own care comes bottom of the list.. we’ve just bought our own house so things are busy sorting things out here and its all been a bit chaotic and stressful… I feel tired .... and run down… emotionally I’m drained… my bowel is causing me problems at the moment which i need to go to the doctors about.. but in general when I eat I get cramps and end up with the runs ...and also I am finding my periods heavier and longer - and the rage I feel in the time before I get my period is incredible… It never used to be that way and can’t think of anything that has changed in order for it to be so… solo… any suggestions for any supplements I can take? I know I need to put my own self care higher up on the list for a start….Thanks in advance Denise xx




This is just how I felt a year ago so I feel for you. I made a couple of changes, some natural, some not but I feel much better than I did. The most drastic and controversial thing that I did was to have the hormonal coil fitted - I didn’t want to and was very scared to but I was bleeding so heavily that I was getting anaemic and the mood swings were awful for me and the family so I decided to give it a go. I know it can lead to depression so I put my family and friends on mood watch ahead of time and told them that if I got awfully depressed they needed to make me have it taken out and remember that I had told them it might change me! ... the procedure was horrible for me but it has been good for me, no bleeding at all these days (which worries me in some ways from a natural perspective as I wonder what my body is now holding on to) and the mood swings back under control (like a couple of days a month and vastly reduced in anger terms). I also got a light box and have started to use that again now and that has also had a big effect - I used to dread this time of year but it feels so much better now - transformative for me. The final thing I did was to lose 2 stone, which also helped me to feel much better. So I don’t know what worked but all in all I feel much better with more energy over all. I’m a bit run down again at the moment and really busy with the website at the expense of myself so I do need to tweak things again and get more sleep (always need more sleep) - but psycho Mum doesn’t show herself as often as she did! Good luck what ever you do - perhaps you could just choose one small thing to change each week - half an hour earlier to bed, oestrogen rich foods, etc ... sending hugs xx

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Thanks so much for responding berrybump…. some definite ideas to think about… and I like the idea of changing one thing at a time… I have lost some weight but do still have about 2 and half stone to go… and have lapsed into bad eating habits again so from next week when Im back at work after the half term break I am going to reign in my eating… make healthier options and try to do some exercise.. I don’t do any at the moment (and used to be a full time dance lecturer) so think that would have a good effect on my body and my mental health! In terms of the hormonal coil… I currently have the copper coil in so not sure whether i would swap but interesting that it has had a positive affect on general ... something to think about because I really don’t like being psycho mom….

oh and definitely earlier nights would be good… it just never seems to happen - once I’ve got the kids in bed it seems already late and then I like the down time… though hoping that the clocks going back help with earlier bedtimes for them!


I’m glad you recognise that you need some self-care here smile It sounds like there is alot of demand on you right now. I think a great way to start a new phase is to have a holistic treatment of some sort (aromatherapy, reflexology for example) as this will not only detox you physically but also mentally and spiritually. We carry so many thoughts around with us that no longer serve us and I find a good treatment can set me up for months. I’m having similar problems with PMS and heavy periods so I’ve been trying some new things too. For the anger/aggression during PMS try ylang ylang essential oil. If applied to the skin or in the bath you need to dilute it in a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or even raw coconut oil which melts on contact with the skin. For every 5ml of carrier oil you can use 3 drops of ylang ylang. Akamuti do a pre-blended oil called Island Flower Body Oil which contains ylang ylang. Chamomile tea can be very soothing as well for aches and pains. You could also use chamomile essential oil in the same way as mentioned before and this is a very soothing and comforting oil. Restorative yoga, swimming and gentle walking can also be helpful. If you have fluid retention you could try fennel tea which you can drink up to 3 times a day though if you are having problems with your digestive system check this with your GP first. For the first few days of my period I take a Well Woman supplement at bedtime which seems to help with the bleeding as it contains evening primrose oil. On Youtube there are some great short yoga videos by Sarah Beth Yoga called ‘15 minute yoga for PMS’, ‘15 minute yoga for during your period’ and ‘yoga for menstrual cramps’....I do these every month and they really balance and centre me. You could talk to your GP about peppermint oil capsules which may help with your bowel problems. You can get these from Holland and Barrett but I would definitely seek advice before taking any supplements. Check out the ‘Self Care Wheel’ which you can just type into Google and you will see it in images. Hope some of this helps x

I am a huge believer in the relationship between food and health.  What you eat always has an effect on your general well being.  If it were me the first thing I would do is look at improving that (you mentioned you had lapsed into bad habits?).  I know that you are busy and work full time but it has to be a priority if you are to feel well.  Do you meal plan?  Could you try for a few week nights?  Although it takes time to do the plan it does take away a lot of the thinking and worrying during the week which can help if you are busy. 

If you have lapsed into bad habits then it could be that you are short of some essential minerals and vitamins.  Possibly magnesium and potassium but perhaps do some research based on your symptoms.  If you having bowel cramping and the runs then whatever you are eating you are not absorbing properly which would definitely lead to deficiences.  If you can get hold of it, slippery elm is really good for soothing upset digestive systems, it is a powder and is best mixed with honey and eaten with bread/toast or similar.  It will help with your symptoms but it won’t stop them completely you will need to look at your diet too.

I hope things improve for you soon, making time for self care is really difficult as a busy mama but it is really important!

Thank you so much for your replies ladybutterfly and sustainablemum…. lots of great ideas and advice and definitely things that i can try… in terms of food I am going to start cooking up of a weekend and making sure i have meals ready for the week so its easier when I get in… and in respect of the other things mentioned I have written out the suggestions of things I need to get hold of and am going to put time aside for my self care… starting to feel better already by just giving some head space to the issues! xxx

I would definitely go to your doctor and ask for some tests - it could be something minor that is causing your symptoms. I began feeling generally lethargic and lacking in energy after the birth of my fourth daughter. I spent a year feeling generally unwell and put it down to breast-feeding, working hard at a new teaching job and having four children with little help. In the end I went to the doctor with non-specific general symptoms and luckily she did a thorough blood test which revealed I had coeliac disease. It made me realise how just food was making me feel so ill.  I was embarrassed about going as all I could say was I felt about 100 when I was only nearly 40! Hope you find the best thing for you to feel better.

Hi there, Sorry for a quick reply but the best way and quickiest road to health regarding bowel is to see a Doctor who works in functional medicine. There are often qualified doctors that work outside of the NHS as private practicioners on the side. They are not cheap but are worth it. You could spend years tryng different appraoches yourself but whats needed is to tackle it from all sides. It’s the new way of actually curing disease rather than the NHS which like to put just treat the symptom and not the cause, they are at a lost most times at what to do with preventative medicine and gut health. Functional doctors take into consideration every thing that you are not just what is presented to them e.g sore tummy they get to the root. All best.

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