s5 e15: Fatigue Case Study

fatigue and burnout

Fatigue Case Study

In this episode, we are wrapping up our case study series with a case study focusing on fatigue. Our third case is of a previous course student and 1:1 client, Taylor. This case study is shared with permission. We did change her name and a few details to protect her privacy. 

As always, this episode is for informational purposes only. Please talk with your healthcare provider before making any nutrition or lifestyle changes. 

Taylor came to us with extreme fatigue (and I mean extreme) and a slew of other symptoms that were very concerning to her. She started out in the Master Your Minerals course and then did a results review with me. She discovered she had very low mineral levels and was as depleted as she felt. After making some hard life decisions and prioritizing her health, she regained the energy she lost and started to feel like herself again.

This episode covers:

  • Her main concerns and symptoms, including what she had previously tried
  • Taylor’s stress timeline, what she was doing well, and where we decided to focus
  • Her HTMA results and the very few additional interventions we added as a result
  • Taylor’s healing ups and downs over the next seven months

Minerals 101 Guide


Master Your Minerals Course
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Free Resources:

Free Healthy Period Starter Guide
Mineral Imbalance Quiz
Mineral Training
Thyroid Mineral Training
Feminine Periodical (monthly newsletter)

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Amanda Montalvo [00:00:01]:

Welcome to the are you menstrual? Podcast, where we dive deep into all things women’s health to support you on your healing journey. I’m Amanda Montalbo functional and integrative dietitian, also known as the hormone healing Rd. If you enjoyed this podcast and you want to keep learning, check out the podcast Patreon, where I share a bonus episode with additional downloadable resources each week. You can go to Patreon.com forward slash Hormone Healing Rd or check out the link in the show. Notes case study is shared with permission. We did change the client’s name and a few details to protect her privacy, but otherwise, all other information is accurate. Okay, we have our fatigue case study. Our third and final case study.

Amanda Montalvo [00:00:48]:

I sadly am not joined by Erin this week. My daughter would not nap. Shocking. And so I have to line up the podcast interviews during her naps. So, Erin, we tried to reschedule, but she couldn’t do it in time to get the episode up for you guys to have the three case studies in a row. So I am solo this week, but I really hope you enjoyed the last two case studies with my nutritionist, Erin. The last one that we’re going to dig into is on fatigue. And when I put up a survey in Patreon and on Instagram to get an idea of what topics you guys want covered the most for case studies, thyroid was huge, gut health was huge, and then energy and burnout and fatigue was the other big one.

Amanda Montalvo [00:01:33]:

So that’s why we are covering this case today. As always, this episode is for informational purposes only. Please talk with your healthcare provider before making any nutrition or lifestyle changes. Very important. So, the third case study, it is a previous course student. She did a little bit of one on one work, but mostly just results reviews, ongoing so that she did three hair tests total that I’ll kind of get into. And yeah, she did a couple of follow up consults and that was really it. So primarily core student.

Amanda Montalvo [00:02:06]:

Quick summary before I dig into her whole case and her hair test and everything. So Taylor came to us with super extreme fatigue, and I mean very extreme. Like, she would do normal activities that you’d do every day and then she’d be like, exhausted and bedridden. So very fatigued. Started out in the course, did a couple of results reviews. The big one was her first results review, where we discovered she had very low minerals in general, and she was definitely as depleted as she felt like. Her tests lined up exactly with her symptoms. Doesn’t always happen.

Amanda Montalvo [00:02:45]:

I feel like there’s definitely some overlap, but she was definitely one of those clear cut, like, no, I probably could have predicted these test results, right? And after making some really hard life decisions and prioritizing her health, she regained that energy that she lost and she finally started to feel like herself again and was eventually ready to prep for pregnancy, which was huge for her because she’s like starting this process. She’s like, I mean, I thought I wanted to get pregnant in the next few years, but now I’m just hoping that I can feel normal again. So very exciting stuff. So I’ll get into all her stuff in a second. That’s what we’re going to cover quickly. We have a podcast sponsor this week. So this podcast is brought to you by Paleo Valley, my one and only and favorite sponsor. They are probably one of my favorite food supplement companies.

Amanda Montalvo [00:03:39]:

And I say food because one of my products that I use from them the most are their beef sticks. So they’re a nice mix of food options, but then like whole food supplements, they don’t isolate things. It’s pretty amazing. And one of my third favorite products. So I talked about their beef sticks in the first episode. That’s definitely the product I use the most. And then I talked about their organ complex because I would say that’s probably right up there as well. And one I recommend for a lot of clients.

Amanda Montalvo [00:04:06]:

But the third one probably that I use equally as much as the organ complex, if not more, is their bone broth protein. So I love their bone broth protein for many reasons. A lot of people ask me for collagen recommendations and I do think collagen is great. The benefit with their bone broth protein is that you’re getting the benefits of the entire bone broth versus just like separating out collagen or separating out gelatin. You’re really getting everything with their bone broth protein option. It’s also unflavored and truly unflavored. Doesn’t give a weird flavor to anything, which is very important. I know a lot of people struggle with that with supplements, especially bone broth supplements.

Amanda Montalvo [00:04:49]:

But you get all these amazing benefits that you would from bone broth. So to me, it kind of cancels out two supplements, puts them in one, and it’s something you can consume all year round. So I love their bone broth protein. It’s also incredibly high quality, how they actually produce it. They pay attention to every single detail and they’re involved in every step from where the actual bone broth, the bones are being sourced from, and then every single step of the process because they have their own facility to do all of that. So to me, it’s like whenever I’m ordering from them, I know that the product is going to be extremely high quality. It’s not going to have anything in it that I don’t know about because there are certain things when processing that it can be added in. And you don’t necessarily have to put it on the ingredients label because it’s just a part of how they process that specific part of a product or a supplement.

Amanda Montalvo [00:05:38]:

So love their bone broth protein. Highly recommend it. You can blend it with hot or cold liquids. Another benefit. I use a Frother to get it blended really well. They’ve experimented over the years. I’ve been using it for years and it’s definitely only improved in quality as far as how well it mixes with things and stuff. So highly recommend if you are in the market for a bone broth protein supplement or want to include that more in your diet.

Amanda Montalvo [00:06:03]:

But maybe you are like me and you live in the south and you’re like, I don’t know if it’s ever going to be cold enough to want to drink bone broth, then that could be a great option for you. You can go to Paleovalley.com slash Hormonehealingrd to check out all of my favorite products and get a discount. So definitely go check them out, support them. They’re an amazing company. When you support them, you also support me and I appreciate that more than you know, helps me to keep this podcast going. Okay, let’s get back into Taylor’s case. So her main concerns and biggest symptoms, extreme fatigue was number right. Like I remember going through in her results review, kind of going through things that she’s been through to kind of gather how extreme is the fatigue.

Amanda Montalvo [00:06:49]:

It’s like she was like, I mowed the lawn, not even the full lawn one day and then she had to be in bed for three days. So that’s how extreme we’re talking. She was also experiencing full body tingling in the middle of the night and at random times she couldn’t quite pinpoint it. Severe muscle spasms and twitching, not shocking because she had a lot of mineral depletions and then severe headaches. Again, not shocking. Her body’s super taxed and she did become very intolerant to alcohol, which was not a thing for her before. Even just having a few sips was super extreme. So we knew her liver was taxed and likely related to all the mineral deficiencies.

Amanda Montalvo [00:07:29]:

So those were her main concerns. She had tried primarily, I would say, like Westernish medicine things and rest, which is very important. And you might be shocked to hear that a lot of people don’t try that. So I was like, okay, she got really good at knowing like, okay, if I do this, I know that I’m going to have to rest for this long after, or if I don’t take it this far, then I won’t have to be in bed for a few days after I do this activity. So she slowly got to know her body through trial and error and what she could handle, which I think is super important. I mean, you have to, right? She’s like, I have to work, I have to live my life. So that was helpful. She actually did rest.

Amanda Montalvo [00:08:08]:

She tried medication for the tingling, did not help, actually made her symptoms a lot worse. And that’s the thing with the tingling. It’s hard with any medication because there’s always a chance of side effects, right? But for her, she’s like, I have to have this stop. Like, it was not helping her sleep, which is going to make everything much more difficult to heal when you’re exhausted. She did B twelve injections because they thought she had some nerve thing going on. Her B twelve levels were not low, but they’re like, maybe you’re just not absorbing it. So they did injections that made things way worse. Her fatigue got way worse, the tingling got worse.

Amanda Montalvo [00:08:45]:

It was crazy. And she stopped working out completely and really had to take a step back from her normal daily activities, which put a huge burden on her spouse. So obviously that’s like another stressor for her. So that’s kind of like what she did to mitigate things and then she ate well coming into this. She has a long history of doing CrossFit and being super active, very outdoorsy, so it’s not like she didn’t have any foundation in place. It was just more of she’s like, I don’t really know what else I can do at this point to help with this. And then she found me through, I think it was one of my podcast episodes, and was like, okay, I think that I have not looked at minerals. She did a ton of blood work.

Amanda Montalvo [00:09:27]:

All came back normal, of course, and anything that was like a little suboptimal, it just didn’t line up with her symptoms. And it wasn’t bad enough for her doctors to actually intervene, which I understand, because you don’t want to intervene if you don’t really have to. So that was when she was like, okay, I’m going to look deeper into minerals. She connected with it, which I think is important. She was like, this makes sense. She was thinking about stress and stuff, which we’ll talk about next. Her stress timeline, and then some foundational interventions that we worked on. And she was like, yeah, I think I’m addicted to stress.

Amanda Montalvo [00:10:00]:

And she put that on her intake form. She’s like, I’m 100% addicted to stress. She’s had a very had a very stressful few years leading up to doing the hair test and kind of going through, I think it was probably about six months that she was before she came to hair testing, that she was struggling with that extreme of fatigue. And I think a lot of it, she’s like, I wanted to do it right away, but then I just didn’t have the energy to devote to it because she was like, I’m trying to just do the bare minimum so that I can work and make a living, and then also doing the mineral stuff on top. She felt overwhelmed, so I’m happy that she waited. But she did say on her intake form, I’m 100% addicted to stress. She had stressful fears leading up to the fatigue, and her life just completely changed once that hit. It really was like night and day.

Amanda Montalvo [00:10:52]:

She was doing CrossFit four to five times per week before the fatigue set in. And then on top of that, she was working full time, but also had a kind of side business that was really like a full time business that she ran with another person that was very physically demanding. So you put that together with the CrossFit workouts. She’s working full time, she’s running this side business. So it’s like nights and weekends. She’s working this physically demanding job. And before that she had been working full time and going to grad school for six years. So it’s not just like, yes, of course, the CrossFit, the intense exercise, plus working on top of a full time job.

Amanda Montalvo [00:11:38]:

But it’s like she was coming to that place already probably a little depleted and stressed and dysregulated because she had been burning the candle at both ends for a while, going through grad school and working so much. And she had some personal tragedies in her family as well, which of course that’s going to take a mental and physical toll. And then that’s when she all of a sudden it was like, she’s like I literally just one day woke up and got hit by a bus. It was not gradual. It was like, felt terribly, started noticing the tingling, tried to go about her regular life because she’s like, I don’t know what else to do. I have a business with this other person and I have a full time job I have to attend to. Luckily, her full time position was not physically demanding. But still, it’s like, you have to show up, go to meetings, be a person.

Amanda Montalvo [00:12:25]:

And yet it was so extreme that she couldn’t live her normal life day to day. She had to take a leave of absence. She had to figure out things with her business partner. It was super stressful and everything was just kind of building up. So she was doing certain things really well. If we think about I always like to look at what do we want to work on, but what do we not want to change? What do we want to highlight and make sure that you keep doing so. For her, resting when her body told her it needed to, I was like, this is definitely the most important skill that you’ve gained from this experience. Of course it’s awful going through that type of fatigue, but she really got to know her body well because she had no other option.

Amanda Montalvo [00:13:06]:

So I was like, listen to that intuition. It doesn’t matter if we’re doing interventions, if we’re trying different things. Always listen to your body. And I think when you’re healing and you’re making changes, you can start to have more energy and feel better and it can kind of make you feel like, okay, well, I should be doing more or I want to do these things. And I just said, continue to rest as much as you can because we’re really trying to replenish. And while we were trying to replenish from an already depleted system. You also kick everything up a notch. It’s going to take even longer.

Amanda Montalvo [00:13:37]:

So she was really good at that. Emphasize keep doing that. She was going through this process of making these really hard life choices and trying to be more realistic with what she’s physically capable of right now and what’s going to actually give her the life that she wants. Yes, she’s passionate about her job and then having the company, and she loved the work that she was doing. But I’m like, this is now impacting how you’re able to show up in the world and you can’t even do both now anymore. And then of course, your relationship with your spouse and everything like that. So she also was going to therapy in conjunction with all the mineral stuff, which I was so happy about because I was like, these are some very big decisions and things that you definitely, absolutely need to talk through. So those were all things she was doing really well and then things that we wanted to work on.

Amanda Montalvo [00:14:29]:

So for her, she had this very extreme fatigue. She was doing well with the resting piece. She still had kind of messed up sleep though, because she was waking up with the tingling. And then she would have a hard time falling asleep at first, even though she was so tired. So I knew she was wired. We knew her nervous system was definitely dysregulated because she had been pushed to such an extreme. And so I was like, let’s work on light first. What’s going to really help those cortisol patterns and try to regulate those? Again, she’s already doing all the resting.

Amanda Montalvo [00:15:05]:

She’s already making hard choices and trying to confront the things in her life. But it’s like, what could help you take those things to the next level and help build up a healthy stress response minus all the mineral stuff, right? And so that’s where light comes in, especially because she had a hard time getting up in the morning. So I was like, all right, first thing in the morning, get outside, don’t wear any contacts, glasses even just for a few minutes. And then try to eat breakfast outside if you can. If not, try to go for a walk. At some point in the morning, she had to get right to work. So she would go outside for a few minutes, get the light in her eyes, sip on her water while she’s out there, and then she’d get ready for work and head out. And then when she got to work, she would hang out outside in the parking lot and read for a little bit because that’s what worked for her.

Amanda Montalvo [00:15:54]:

She was like, I know that if I can just get to work a little bit early, I’ll have at least ten minutes where I can just be outside. And she also lives in the south and so that worked for her pretty much year round. And she loves reading. She’s like, I never read anymore because I’m always working or working on something or I’m too tired. So that was something that it was going to benefit her in multiple ways. So that was the first one. We were trying to improve that cortisol response. We also moved her coffee to 90 minutes after she woke up.

Amanda Montalvo [00:16:23]:

She was having coffee after breakfast because she had heard it on my podcast before. So she was already implementing that. But she was still having it because she woke up and got ready and went to work right away. She was having it around like 30 to 45 minutes after she had been awake. And I was like, okay, can we wait and delay that? And you save it for when you’re at work because if we can wait that 90 minutes peak. And it was mostly she had think she ended up having it when she was like in the parking lot reading, which probably nice, right? But if we can wait that 60 to 90 minutes, then that’s going to be helpful for your cortisol response. Your body producing its own cortisol and not overdoing that cortisol production because, yes, we want that cortisol in the morning, but we don’t want too much. So that was very helpful for getting her more alert in the mornings.

Amanda Montalvo [00:17:14]:

And she was like, oh, I noticed a huge difference with the light right away. And then she would take light breaks throughout the day because she worked in a building with crazy fluorescent lighting all day. And so she did take light breaks and stuff like that. She loves being outside. So for her, it was like I think that also probably had a big effect on her energy. But before, she was just inside all day trying to get as much work as she could done so she could leave a little bit early and then go do her other job. So we worked on that quite a bit. Eating a bigger breakfast to help with her blood sugar control was a big one.

Amanda Montalvo [00:17:53]:

She was kind of doing a smaller breakfast and then having bigger meals and a bigger dinner right before bed. And I think that was her digestion was definitely sluggish, which we’ll get into when we talk about her hair test. So that was something where I’m like and her blood sugar. She’s like, I feel like I need to eat every hour. Nothing is sticking with me. So when we looked at her food, she was definitely undereating. But I was like, let’s not focus on calories macros right now. Let’s just focus on eating a bigger breakfast, balancing that protein, fat and carb, getting plenty of protein.

Amanda Montalvo [00:18:28]:

And then she prioritized protein at her main meals as like, what am I going to focus on? What’s the most important here? What’s the priority? And that’s how she worked on increasing protein at her other meals. I have compiled all of my favorite and I think best to get started with mineral resources in one place. And that is my Minerals 101 guide. This is a free guide that I will share my screen for those that are watching the video version of this podcast and go through with you quickly now. So I basically wanted a place where if someone’s new to my podcast, my Instagram, and you’re like, wow, she mentions minerals a lot. And I can go off on tangents and talk about how they’re so important for different things. I wanted a place where you could just download this quick guide and get right into, okay, what are minerals? How do they affect our hormones? How do they get depleted in the first place? How can we test them? And then I have additional learning and resources depending on the topics that you want to get into. But I think this is definitely the best way to get started with all my content that I share.

Amanda Montalvo [00:19:31]:

Especially if you’re brand new here and you’re like, I don’t even know where to get started with minerals. Start here and I promise you won’t be confused and you’ll know, what are the next steps to take. And if you have specific health concerns, you’ll see at the very end of the guide here, I go through, okay, so if you want to take our mineral quiz, if you have thyroid health concerns, if you have period concerns, if you just want to hear from me on a regular basis, here’s my newsletter. So I tried to put everything in one place. I also have Mineral Deep Dive podcast episodes that I link to if you want to get into specific minerals as well. But I highly recommend downloading the guide. I put a lot of work into it and I think it’s a perfect place to get started so you can go to the link in the show notes, the Minerals 101 guide and get started now. Other big thing with food and to support digestion, because it was one of those cases.

Amanda Montalvo [00:20:24]:

Again, we’re talking. And I’m like, it’s not normal to not have a bowel movement every day. And it’s like, oh. She’s like, yeah, pretty much like every other day. But she didn’t have bloating, she didn’t have any discomforts, she didn’t think anything of it. And so that was one where I’m like, we need to make sure you’re having a bowel movement every day. And so increasing her meal size actually helped with that. I think just eating more, of course, if you’re undereating, that can definitely affect that.

Amanda Montalvo [00:20:48]:

And then relaxing at her meals because it was definitely like, okay, I’m getting up, I’m eating my breakfast really fast, heading to work, rushing through lunch so that she can try to leave work a little early to go to her next job. And then she would eat dinner super late at night when she got home, and then try to sleep right after and it was usually a bigger meal because she’s hungry. She hasn’t eaten enough all day. So relaxing at meals and not like multitasking, trying to get other work things done and just letting herself truly just eat like 15 minutes. It’ll probably take you if you just relax and eat and focus. So then even if you want to get outside, if you can’t eat your lunch outside or whatever, or if you’re outside, you want to eat for a little bit and then go for a quick walk to get some more light, it’s like you should have time for that. I feel like the meals take a lot longer if we’re scrolling and doing other things while we’re eating. So that was a big one.

Amanda Montalvo [00:21:40]:

And then hydrating with minerals in every beverage. I’m not always like a huge stickler on this with everyone, but because her minerals were so depleted and we were really trying to increase them, we’ll talk about she was like a fast four. Four, lows mineral pattern. I’m like, let’s put trace. Like she was doing adrenal cocktails. She did better with the coconut water version. So just coconut water, sea salt and like some sort of lemon or lime or like a vitamin C powder or even sometimes she would just do like coconut water and sea salt, which is also it doesn’t have to be perfect, right? We’re just trying to get that sodium potassium in for her. So she would do a couple of those a day.

Amanda Montalvo [00:22:22]:

The orange juice was too much for her. Blood sugar kind of put her in. She’s like, I feel like fatigue a little bit later, she knows she felt much better without it and I’m like, that’s totally fine. And then in all her other beverages, we did trace minerals. Like the concentrate drops from trace minerals. Not a ton, just like probably like a third of the dropper in there and like one squeeze and she noticed a big difference. She wasn’t peeing constantly. She felt more calm at work and her tingling improved a lot.

Amanda Montalvo [00:22:54]:

So that was a big one. And those were the main interventions. And that’s like without even really digging into the nuances of her hair test, just knowing she’s extreme fatigue, she’s very depleted and we have to get her feeling better and having more energy. How are we going to do that? So those were like the initial ways we started and that took a little while for her to adjust that. I mean, remember, she was also making very hard life choices at this time. So she had a lot on her plate and very little energy to deal with it and implement. But she got it done in like a few months. And then a few highlights from her hair tests and other interventions that we did.

Amanda Montalvo [00:23:32]:

So she was a fast four with the first four minerals low. I mean, most of her minerals were low. Very depleted mineral pattern. And showing that she’s in that exhaustive stage of stress. Of course we know that because of her symptoms, but her hair test really did match up. All minerals were low except for zinc, selenium, and sulfur. Zinc was optimal, which was great. Selenium was very high because she was using a specific type of shampoo.

Amanda Montalvo [00:24:00]:

And then sulfur was high because her liver is working hard. I mean, she wasn’t having daily bowel, but her minerals are depleted. She did have really high aluminum. And as we went through, she did start to move some other heavy metals as well. So her liver had a lot of work to do. And so additional interventions based on this gentle liver support. Very gentle, because even just replenishing your minerals is going to help support liver detoxification. I get a lot of questions of like, do I have to do a specific protocol for heavy metals? And I’m like most people that have high heavy metals on their first test, you’re probably not appropriate to do like a heavy metal type of detox.

Amanda Montalvo [00:24:43]:

And there’s so many other minerals that impact those heavy metals. Like if you have mineral deficiencies that can lead to an accumulation of heavy metals. Her zinc was good, but her magnesium was really low, which can impact aluminum. So it’s like before you take a binder for a heavy metal, you want to make sure that you have healthy levels of the minerals that avoid their accumulation in the first place. A lot of her minerals were low, so that was our focus anyway. But I did want to give her liver a little support, especially because she was struggling with those headaches. So we did a little Sheila G. Again, it’s kind of like a multimineral type supplement.

Amanda Montalvo [00:25:20]:

So I was like, that’s going to be helpful for her anyway. And it can be helpful for energy. And then castor oil packs, she did those for short periods because I didn’t want her to overdo it. As far as liver detox goes, it’s a lot of work for your body. So she would just do them for like 1015 minutes, that’s it. And it would help her sleep. Eventually, she worked up to doing them longer, and she’s like, once she wore them overnight, she’d get the best sleep of her life. That is not the case for everyone, and not everyone’s appropriate for Castro packs, so make sure you talk with your provider.

Amanda Montalvo [00:25:52]:

But it did help her. But she had to go really slowly. Again, she was depleted, extreme exhaustion. She wasn’t having a bowel movement every day. You want to take things in phases. So that was helpful for her eventually. I eventually did have her experiment with tracking her food for a little bit because I was like, once her energy was better and once she made those hard decisions, once she had more space, not only in her schedule, but mentally, I was like, okay, let’s just get an idea. Because I really wanted her to start eating more and work on blood sugar.

Amanda Montalvo [00:26:28]:

But it’s hard to give exact recommendations if I don’t know what someone’s taking in, right? And she was like, I’m ready. I’m ready to dig into this more. And that was extremely helpful for her because she was eating a lot more carbs and a lot less protein than she thought she was eating, which is very common and actually pretty low fat. And I think that was just because her background was CrossFit. She had done the zone diet previously, which is very low in fat, typically. So those previous dieting habits were kind of still stuck with her. And so we adjusted that a bit. She had increased her protein a little bit more, which for her, we had to do it slowly anyway, because her digestion was a little sluggish, so she felt ready to add more protein in.

Amanda Montalvo [00:27:13]:

She was like, I’m hungrier. Like, I want to eat more. Whereas before, her appetite wasn’t it wasn’t terrible, but a lot of times she’s like, I’m eating because I know that I should. Not necessarily because I want to, which is never enjoyable. So it was helpful that she’s like, I’m starting to get hungry. I’m ready to track food. Eat more. We adjusted her carbohydrate intake because at this point, she wasn’t as active as she was before.

Amanda Montalvo [00:27:38]:

She could have used those carbs before, I tell you what, because she was doing CrossFit in that physically demanding job. So that would have been helpful. But we did scale back a little bit on that upped protein, and we increased her fat because her fat was very low. I was like, this is not good for your hormones. And that helped a ton, just eating more. It did take a while for her to balance out. Like, her appetite was kind of like up and down for a little bit, but then finally she was like, okay, I feel like normal. I feel like I get up and I’m hungry.

Amanda Montalvo [00:28:08]:

I want to eat a nice big breakfast. And then she’s satisfied until her next meal. And she had a lot less blood sugar swings. I would say the evening and the nighttime while she was sleeping was then the next thing to work on, just because she had to build up that liver glycogen because she was, like, burning through the glucose in her liver previously because she was so stressed and overdoing it. So now we just had to build that up again and just make sure that she’s processing the amount of carbs that she’s eating well, and everything’s balancing out. So that was really big. And honestly, those were the interventions. So it’s like, yes, we added one supplement and castor oil packs.

Amanda Montalvo [00:28:49]:

We changed your food a bit, but that was her results review. I was like, you don’t need to do anything else. You have to continue doing what you’ve been doing. These interventions need time when we’re a fast four, low mineral levels. It can be very tempting to want to try all the supplements and take things to replenish. Oftentimes it can be too stimulating. Number one, she was very sensitive to supplements. And then number two, it’s a lot for your liver to process, and it’s probably not functioning well anyway because your minerals are so depleted and your body’s exhausted.

Amanda Montalvo [00:29:22]:

So that was it. She gave this about seven months, and then she retested. Her retest was completely different. She then moved to another extreme. So she was an extreme fast forward, low minerals across the board, exhaustive stage of stress. Right? Then she moved to a slower metabolic type. So she went from a fast forward to a slow one, to the fast of the fast, to a pretty balanced, slow metabolic type. But her metabolism had definitely slowed down.

Amanda Montalvo [00:29:53]:

So her potatium potassium did improve, which was great, but calcium, magnesium were now very high. And this is all part of healing, right? For me, when I saw her retest, I was like, yes, because she’s not a fast four anymore. I mean, in seven months, to get out of that depleted state is really fast, especially if we look at it was like nine years of a ton of stress. That’s a lot. So she was ecstatic. She felt better. She’s like, I don’t even care what my hair test shows because I feel so much better. I have way more energy.

Amanda Montalvo [00:30:26]:

But she was definitely still being cautious, and I think that a lot of I mean, I think it was great that she was still being cautious, but I think a lot of that was just like her being scared to overdo it and feel terrible again. She was waking up feeling more energized. The light also helped a lot with that, I think. But she wasn’t waking up and completely exhausted. Didn’t want to get out of bed. She was like, okay, I’m ready to get up. I’m awake and I’m hungry. Let’s go.

Amanda Montalvo [00:30:53]:

Her tingling was greatly reduced. That was a pretty quick one for her in the beginning, and then her headaches were gone, so that was very exciting. So even though she was kind of more in this high calcium, high magnesium, showing that she’s still stressed, but she’s no longer exhausted, she did start to move some copper on this test. Her copper was elevated, same with her zinc, but all of her other minerals started to even out, and it’s not uncommon for that to happen. Like, she could have had some hidden excess copper on her first test, but we just couldn’t see it because she was so depleted. And now it was slightly elevated, and her heavy metals were higher, but it was nothing like crazy, and that’s very normal on a retest because she replenished a lot of her minerals. She was supporting liver detoxification, and her magnesium increased significantly. And so that’s going to mean that her body can hopefully get rid of those heavy metals better.

Amanda Montalvo [00:31:46]:

So based on this test, we added Taurine to help with the excess copper and to support sulfur, because now it was low, which on the first test it was high, so now it’s depleted. And then I told her, I was like, let’s monitor retest in six months, see if we need to do any further testing. Her digestion was good, consistent daily bowel movement. Her blood sugar was much more regular. She was still kind of afraid to overdo things with exercise, but then she was like, I’m like, experiment, trust your body a little bit. And eventually she did add in strength training. But six months later, we retested. She kind of stayed the course, and things balanced out, which was very exciting.

Amanda Montalvo [00:32:31]:

So her calcium magnesium came down. They’re no longer high. All of her other minerals started to they continued to improve and get closer to that middle optimal line on their hair test. But her copper was now much higher. So we knew, okay, we have to really try to address this copper. And so that’s when I was like, all right, let’s add in some more vitamin C. We looked further into gut health to see if there’s anything deeper, because one of her goals was to try to conceive soon. And her zinc was also very elevated.

Amanda Montalvo [00:33:05]:

So I was like, I just want to make sure there’s nothing else going on. And I didn’t want her to feel terrible during pregnancy, because if you have a lot of gut histamine issues, it can lead to a lot of nausea, fatigue, energy issues, reflux, like, not fun things while you’re pregnant. But she was just so happy that she was able to add in strength training again. She went on a trip with her family, and she could participate in everything. And there was like an outdoorsy adventure type trip. And she’s like, I wasn’t exhausted. I think she had to eventually get out of the head space of waiting for the other foot to drop with the energy and exhaustion. And that’s okay.

Amanda Montalvo [00:33:48]:

That’s something where it’s going to take time, because her nervous system and her brain got used to that, and they’re put on high alert in relation to that. So eventually that will go away. But, yeah, she was feeling really good. Digestion was good and everything, but because that copper and zinc were still high, like, she was still moving them, or primarily the copper. The zinc was probably elevated for inflammatory reasons. I was like, let’s do a stool test and everything before you try to conceive, just to make sure everything’s all good. But she was ecstatic. And I always like to go through the ups and the downs because it can be really easy to be like, yeah.

Amanda Montalvo [00:34:29]:

And after seven months, it was like all her issues were gone. They definitely weren’t. I would say it took seven months for her to feel better, significantly better, and know that, okay, this is working. I just have to continue to stay the course. And then of course, she was able to see that in her hair test. But I mean, she didn’t really work out again for like a year. And I don’t always think that you have to do this, but for her in particular, she was like, I can’t. I think it was like a mental thing.

Amanda Montalvo [00:34:59]:

And then also she would try, but she had a lot of exercise intolerance and I’m like, you’re just really depleted and you’ve worked out really hard your whole life, so it’s okay to take some time off. And then when she did start to strength train again, she felt amazing. So I think you can do a program that is not super taxing on your body and be smart with that. But I also think sometimes for those people that have been an athlete their whole lives and worked out really hard their whole lives, it’s okay to just chill. But it did take her seven months to see a difference, and a lot of people don’t want to wait that long. She was taking some supplements when she came to us, and I’m like, of course, let’s stop the majority of your supplements if you feel comfortable, and then focusing more on that food light lifestyle stuff. And I think probably the hardest part of her healing journey was making those hard choices that affected personal relationships that she had. She stopped doing something that she really loved, which is hard, but it was something that eventually turned out to be a good thing, but still very difficult.

Amanda Montalvo [00:36:04]:

And then for her, just that the biggest highlight, I think, was when she went on that vacation, she had reached out to me and was like, I literally can’t believe that I can do all this stuff. And she’s like, I think we’re going to try to have a baby soon. So lots of ups. I would say if you ask her, she’d probably say a lot of downs because it took her a while to make certain choices. Dealing with the repercussions of that is difficult within relationships and stuff. And then taking a break from something like working out, I mean, that’s hard. She loved it. So lots of ups and downs, but ultimately she finished on not that you’re ever really done, but she ended the hair testing and stuff on a very high note.

Amanda Montalvo [00:36:44]:

But that is our fatigue case study. Taylor’s case. I think a lot of people will probably relate to that one. And I think it’s a great testament that less can often be more. And sometimes it’s like the hardest things in our lives that we don’t want to face could be the thing that can make the biggest difference in our health, which is not always easy and you have to be ready. I think for her, she’s like, I should have made this choice a long time ago, but I was stubborn and I didn’t want to. My body basically forced me. I don’t think we all need to get there, but sometimes it can be difficult not to.

Amanda Montalvo [00:37:18]:

So that is our case for today. The bonus episode is all about light exposure and some super basic information on healthy light exposure. I talk about different types of light. So if you want to get that, that will be out the Thursday. So this episode comes out on Monday. The bonus episode always comes out on Thursday and that will be inside Patreon. You can go to Patreon.com Hormonehealingrd. If you want to get access to that bonus episode and all the other previous ones that I’ve done, I’d love to have you in there and I think that’s it.

Amanda Montalvo [00:37:50]:

So next week we’re going to dig into talking more about pregnancy. I’m going to go through my most recent pregnancy compared to my last one, and then we have a couple of cool episodes digging into certain aspects of the hair test to talk about that a little bit more. I have a mom stress episode coming up that I’m very excited for. I’m doing that with one of my friends and then we’ll have a kids and minerals one, which I’m very excited for. I’ve been diving a lot into mineral testing in children with my daughter and then we’ll wrap up the season with a reflux one. Because I’ll tell you what, I get a lot of questions from you guys about reflux. So I’m going to have my friend Michelle come back on the Reflux Queen, truly. And we’re going to talk all about reflux, things you can do for it, different types, how to figure out what kind you have and all that good stuff.

Amanda Montalvo [00:38:40]:

So thank you for being here. I hope you enjoyed the case study and I will see you in the next episode. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Are You Menstrual? Podcast. If you want to support my work, please leave a review and let me know how you like the episode. This lets me know what you guys want more of less of. I read every single one and I appreciate them more than you know. If you want to keep learning, you can get access to the bonus episode and additional resources on Patreon.com Hormonehealingrd. I’d love to have you in there.

Amanda Montalvo [00:39:09]:

Thanks again and I will see you in the next episode.

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

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Hormone Healing RD