The Nutrition Coach

Lack of energy and nutrition case studies

Emma came to see The Nutrition Coach in April. She is a busy banker with a hectic schedule. We had to meet at 7.45am as that was the only time she could make - the bank certainly didn't want her taking time off for any outside meetings.

Emma, despite being really determined, was struggling desperately with her rock-bottom energy. She could hardly fight her way out of bed and she felt like she was "walking through treacle" most of the time. This pattern of drooping energy continued throughout the day until 6.00pm when she suddenly seemed to get a second wind. To make up for the lost hours at work, Emma would stay up until 1.00am. Of course the next morning Emma's lethargy started all over again. Even at weekends when she could sleep in, she felt exhausted despite some restful sleep between 7 and 9am. The drops in energy made her drink loads of coffee, and guzzle sugary muffins which in her mind kept her going throughout the day. In addition, persistent low level colds, infections and mouth ulcers were beginning to wear her down.

After completing our in-depth questionnaire a strong finger of suspicion pointed towards depleted adrenal function. In other words her stress hormones were struggling to keep up with her relentless lifestyle. After some diet guidelines that changed her energy quotient from minus one to about a score of five out of ten (ten being dynamic energy and one being exhausted). Emma completed a biochemical test called the Adrenal Stress Index. It measures cortisol (one of the main stress hormones) and a recovery hormone called DHEA. Once the results were back we found that low cortisol (gas in the tank) would indeed make her struggle energy wise. Similarly low levels of the recovery hormone explained the constantly low immune system.

Emma really took on board how to eat better for great energy, slightly adjusted her lifestyle to include some yoga, and we gave her some nutritional supplements to support her stress hormones. Six months on, Emma can't remember what low energy feels like, recently giving herself eight out of ten in the energy stakes.

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