Dr Camilla Cameron | Acupuncturist

It’s always good to know that your therapist understands.

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Like so many of my patients, getting pregnant was not the easy ride I thought it might be.  While my conception story was relatively easy compared to many, it was still an intense journey that has helped me empathise with my patients in similar situations.

My Health Journey

As a child and teenager, I considered myself pretty healthy. I had lots of energy for the most part and I didn’t get sick often. Looking back I realise that I was actually pretty unhealthy.  I had asthma and eczema and lived in a kind of chronic state of anxiety that I thought was normal.  My mind was certainly not calm, and my body reflected this.

When I got my first period at the age of 12 it went for an astounding 65 days! At around day 10 I started to do my research.  I read encyclopedias (remember those?), found pamphlets on periods and read them, asked other women how long their periods went for (even then periods did not embarrass me). Everything said this introduction to womanhood should last no longer than 10 days. When I finally saw a GP at the 65 day mark she put me on a short course of the oral contraceptive pill and said that would sort it all out. My next period was a much more manageable 7 days but it was super heavy, pretty painful and, unsurprisingly, left me feeling completely exhausted. But this abnormal period became my new normal.

For the next 20 years I would have incredibly irregular cycles that would go anywhere from 45-120 days with excruciating periods that were super heavy and were accompanied by every PMS symptom possible; bloating for weeks, acne, moodiness, headaches, breast tenderness, daily headaches.  Despite my work as a Natural therapist I somehow considered this fine, this was my ‘normal’.

It wasn’t until my 30th birthday, when I decided it was time for a baby, that I started to look into my ‘normal’ and realised that it really wasn’t normal! It was pretty clear from my symptoms alone that I probably had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I had a pelvic scan and blood work done and this was absolutely confirmed, as well as a large 9cm fibroid. This is when my mission to work out a new normal for myself began. I can thank my first daughter for the path my health interests took at this point.

CREATING MY NEW NORMAL

I realised that I needed to make a new normal for myself, and that if I wanted to change the way my body functioned, I was going to have to change how I loved, fed, moved and sourced treatment for my body. I could not expect my body to work better for me if I refused to work better for it. Some of the changes took longer to implement than others, but ultimately the changes my body required to reflect health included:

  • Getting to bed by 9:30 and getting at least 8 hours sleep a night.
  • Drinking no more than 3 standard drinks a week.
  • Significantly reducing my sugar intake.
  • Eating 5 small meals protein rich, fiber full meals a day.
  • Ensuring that most protein was plant based.
  • Undertaking moderately intense exercise 4-5 times a week.
  • Reducing stress by changing to a less stressful job.
  • Drinking 2 Litres of filtered water a day.
  • Having weekly Acupuncture treatments with an Acupuncturist who had a passion for fertility.

As soon as I started to make changes, my body reflected this by significantly reducing my cycle length until eventually it was 28-35 days in length and my basal body temperature chart clearly demonstrated ovulation. My body was giving me back what I had put it in. And after 2 years of hard work my body gave me the ultimate reward, pregnancy.

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