Caregivers Need Self Care Too!
By Dr. Ann Nakajima, ND
In my practice, I often hear my patients, many of them mothers, having to balance multiple roles and responsibilities as a caregiver to their children and/or elderly parents, career professional, home owner, and family member or friend to their loved ones. With the weight of such demands, it is no wonder that my patients can experience fatigue, anxiety, and difficulty falling asleep.
Once we begin to experience these concerns on a chronic basis together with symptoms such as feeling worn out, hot flashes, issues with memory, and weight fluctuations, our bodies are usually trying to tell us that something is out of balance and asking us to listen. Instead of trying to fill the role of being your own diagnostician via Google, I would encourage you to seek professional guidance so that your health care provider can assess, provide treatment, and offer you individualized suggestions for self-care.
As a Naturopathic Doctor versed in women’s health, I commonly look at potential thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone imbalances while investigating for possible sources of inflammation. Thyroid hormone panels, auto-immune thyroid markers, cortisol, and female & male/androgen hormones, are part of my diagnostic tool box of lab tests that I consider running when indicated; they are not always part of a regular screening process through conventional medicine. The thyroid is an organ that is sensitive to stress, environmental toxins, and immune-related issues. It can also be responsive to stress management techniques, dietary changes, and herbal support, which is always rewarding to see. For newly diagnosed (mild-moderate) thyroid concerns, I do find that it is often worthwhile to try natural approaches before initiating prescription medication use.
Let your healthcare provider be part of your self-care team so that you are better able to understand your body, the symptoms you are experiencing, and ways you can support your health so that you can have improved vitality and resilience when caring for others.
If you are interested in booking an appointment for a FREE 15 minute Meet & Greet Call with Dr. Ann Nakajima click here to book online now or call the office at 905-845-7668 (ROOT).