Louise Breton 

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I remember  playing outside  with my friends when I felt this gnawing  pain  in  my  stomach.  Mom  was  not  home  so I decided to heat up some milk  (our go to remedy) and went to take  a hot bath  to try and soothe  the pain.  

When  mom  came  home  to  find me laying on the couch,  there was concern in her eyes.  She knew exactly what my issue was. I was having my period for the first time.  In her eyes,  being  only 11 years old,  I was too young.  Between my  own  painful  cramps  and   watching  how  my  mother suffered,  I was led  to believe  that being  a woman meant “pain and suffering”. 

It took many years  for my period to normalize itself. I would sometimes go two months without a period.  I felt controlled by my pain as I was not able to  plan events  because I just never knew  when  it would strike.  I missed  many days  of school  and  work  due  to  the  pain  being unbearable.  My moods  were  erratic,  feeling  happy go-lucky  one  minute  and  angered or depressed  the next.  

My pain  was also  accompanied by a host other symptoms like  bloating,   breast  tenderness,  constipation,   cravings, headaches, nausea,  fatigue  and low back pain.  This was my new level  of “normal”.  I often referred to  my period as the “Curse” and  resented  both  my  period  and  my  body  for inflicting this monthly torture upon me. 

My gynecologist  prescribed me  an NSAID drug  designed for heavy and painful periods. They were my magical “blue” pills and  although they helped  me survive  the pain, I was  still afflicted by other premenstrual symptoms.  After taking them  for  seven years,  I noticed  that my usual one to two capsules  were  no  longer  effective,  it  was  like  my  pain grew immune  to them.  I needed  to  increase  the  regular dose  to four or five capsules, but then felt disoriented and sleepy. 

After learning about the possible side effects of the NSAIDs and  fed up  with  putting  toxins  into  my  body,  I made the decision to get off of them  and go cold turkey.  I remember one very bad period  while visiting my mom,  it was day two of my period,  one of the  absolute worst days  of  my cycle. Without   the   anti-inflammatories,   my   pain   began   to escalate.

I tried  the usual  taking  a  hot  bath  to  relax  my muscles, applying a  hot water bottle, drinking my herbal tea  and yet still felt no relief. Curled up in the fetal position and sobbing so  badly  I literally  wanted  to die.  Nausea  came  on  and I  vomited bile because I had nothing i n my stomach.  Mom tried  to get me  to  take  something  to ease  the pain  but I stubbornly  refused.  

My  flow  was  so  heavy  that  I  bled  through  my clothing. This  went on for hours  until I  eventually passed out  from the excruciating pain.  I desperately needed help  finding a solution.

Over  the  years  t he  doctors  could  never  find  anything wrong.  They  checked   for   endometriosis,   fibroids  and  Polycystic  Ovary  Syndrome  (PCOS)   but  all   the  tests  came  back negative. I was simply told to continue  taking the NSAIDS.

Due to my heavy flow,  I became iron deficient,  this caused me to feel tired,  weak and out of breath,  have pale looking skin  and  experience  some  hair  loss.   As  someone who leads an  active  lifestyle,  my workouts  and ability  to  play sports were  negatively  affected.  I  remember  attending a fitness  conference  unable  to  even  walk  a flight of stairs  and  too  exhausted  to  even  participate  in  a  class. I felt devastated.

I made  an appointment  with a local Naturopath. I filled out  a full  lifestyle  and  history  questionnaire  and  after  some general testing,  he labeled my condition  as Dysmenorrhea (a.k.a. heavy  and  painful  periods).  I was  sent home with some  Chinese  and   homeopathic  remedies  and  general recommendations  for nutrition.  My world  forever changed for the better.

I took  a  part-time  job  working  in a  health food store and immersed  myself   in  learning  everything  I  could  on  the subject   of  nutrition,   herbs  and   supplements.     I really enjoyed    helping customers    with  their   dilemmas   and challenges.

I began  to  devour  books  and  articles  on  the  subject  of holistic  nutrition.  I  was  optimistic  that  there  had  to be a solution to my period pain.

After four years  of working  at the  health food store  I was promoted to manager.The added duties and responsibilities began  to  pile  up.  The  stress   led  to  overeating,  eating simple carbohydrates,  not sleeping  and feeling tension all over  my  body.    This   exacerbated   my   Dysmenorrhea  symptoms. A  sales  representative noticed my stress  and handed  me  a  bottle of ginseng.   Within a couple of days  my stress levels  decreased immensely.  I began  to  make the connection with stress and how it made  my symptoms  more  pronounced and uncomfortable.

I took a position  working in the auto industry  making better money.  It was during this time I started to date a co-worker who  helped  me  change  my  diet  and  exercise  regime. I learned  that  my diet  of potatoes,  bread  and  pasta were causing an inflammatory response to my body. 

Adding  more fresh fruits, vegetables,  lean  proteins,  good fats  and  reducing   my  sugar  and  alcohol   consumption  significantly  lowered  my  pain.  My  cramps,  bloating  and headaches also subsided  and I was  totally blown away by the results.

Soon  my  relationship  with  this  co-worker  began  to  turn toxic,  we were off and on again for over 10 years. With the stress,  I engaged  in my  previous  habits  of  eating simple carbs,  not   sleeping,  feeling   anxious,   drinking   alcohol, eating  sugar   in  order   to  comfort  me,   and  this  led  to my symptoms  re-bounding.

A grief counselor introduced me  to a technique that helped release stuck emotions.  She explained that when  we don’t express  our  emotions   they  can  manifest  an  imbalance in physical  form  in  our  bodies.It was during  this time that I started to connect my emotions with my pain. 

I enrolled in classes  at  the  local  college,  exploring  other natural  modalities.  Therapeutic  Touch,  Reiki,  reflexology were just some techniques that I experimented with. I  went to see Naturopaths,  an iridologist,  reflexologists, massage therapists,  acupuncturists,  you   name  it,  I  was  open  to experiencing  every  option  because I  was determined  to  have pain-free periods.
 
I attended  an  open  house  at  the Canadian  School  of Natural Nutrition (CSNN). The moment I  sat down in that classroom I  knew  this  was  where  I was  meant  to  be. 
I enrolled  in  their  one-year  program  where  I a ttended classes twice a week.

My  knowledge  of  nutrition  grew after each class learning more and more about how the body functioned.

Proper digestion  was  key  and  fundamental  in  achieving pain-free  periods  for  myself.  As I  started  to learn  more about the roles and function of the liver, I began to wonder if my own liver could be toxic? Was  my overeating, eating while  overstressed, eating  too  many  simple  carbs  and suppressing my anger  causing congestion in my liver?

I decided  to cleanse  my liver,  ate more  liver-loving foods,
took  supplements  and   botanicals,  used  stress-reducing modalities such as yoga and meditation, increased my sleep quality and ate while I was relaxed.

After  a period  of four  to six months,  I experienced  fewer headaches,   more  energy,   less  nausea,   better  moods, weight loss,  regular  bowel  movements  and   less intense menstrual cramps  and I felt  much more at ease and better able to handle my life. I was elated to say the least.

My  personal  journey  with  nutrition  has  been   a series of winding roads and roadblocks. Learning which nutrients my body required in order for it  to  operate at  an optimum level. I have also  done internal work  to change  my belief around being a woman and that we are not meant to suffer. 

Through  creative outlets like journaling  and spending time outdoors  I  have  been  able  to  express  my  emotions including the anger that I had suppressed for many years.

Today  Dysmenorrhea  no longer  controls my life. I actually embrace  my period  and  realize  the importance  of having healthy  menses.  My  cycle  is  more  regular  (every 28-30 days) and my flow  much lighter  lasting five days instead of the  usual  seven  days.  I feel like a woman  who has been freed from a life-long sentence.

Nutrition  not  only  changed  my  period   but  also  had  a positive effect on the way  my face was aging. My skin had greater  elasticity  and  it  helped  produce  more  collagen  leaving me with a brighter , more youthful  appearance.  

Now I teach  women how to  transform  their own face, look younger and healthier with targeted nutrition without having to resort  to the trauma  of risky procedures  and expensive creams.
Louise's Story of her Health Challenge is Just One 
of the Articles in book below
You can contact  Louise Breton  
 

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