Hi, I’m Camilla, I’m a nutritionist specialising in female hormone health and mother of 3 school-aged children. I help women to identify and manage the insidious symptoms of peri menopause.
Like many of the women I now help, it took me many years to join the dots and realise that the various events, episodes and health scares I experienced were all connected.
Growing up, my father was in the Army and we travelled around, moving every 2 years. I lived in 13 different houses, in 3 different continents, attending 8 different schools all before the age of 18. Though many elements of this lifestyle were exciting and offered opportunities to travel the world, it also left me feeling uprooted, always leaving behind friends and altogether unsettled. By the time I left home at 18 I had lost any sense of ‘self’ and I went wildly off the rails. I sought refuge in recreational drugs. On the outside it may have seemed that I had things under control but inside I was completely lost.
My health started unravelling in small pieces, an abnormal smear test in my 20s, then a few years later an abnormal lump on my breast presented as hyperplasia, I started focussing more on healthy food. Newly married, my husband and I were ordering organic food boxes and taking better care of ourselves, with no idea how or why, I just needed to regain some daily control.
When I realised that I wasn’t falling pregnant, my anxiety escalated. It eventually took 10 cycles of IVF to have our daughter. Over the course of 5 years, this was a deeply emotionally and physically draining time, never knowing whether there would be a positive result to follow. After our daughter was born, we tried one final round of IVF for a sibling and I became pregnant with twins.
I still don’t know enough about the long-term impact of so many invasive cycles of IVF, each time being artificially stimulated and manipulated with hormones, but my own health started to deteriorate. My periods became so bad that I passed out cold on the bathroom floor with pain, further investigations followed, fibroids, endometriosis, I was then given the Mirena Coil to help curb my cycle. Mood swings and depression flourished at this time, I was put on anti-depressants and HRT, neither which touched the sides. I came back off both. My bladder weakened, I had an operation to repair it. Nobody once suggested that these symptoms could all be linked to underlying hormonal imbalances. A paragraph cannot do justice to the daily anxiety, upheaval and distress of those years.
You might think that this was my motivation to go back to university and study for a 5-year Nutritional Therapy degree? NOPE!
I still had no idea that any of these symptoms might be connected! My husband was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and I began to study Nutrition in order to help him manage his flare ups. It was only as I started studying that I came to realise the interconnecting role of the hormones in the body. The impact of stress on our brain and our hormones. The penny dropped.
When women come to my clinic or participate in my online programmes, they find a safe and compassionate environment to discuss all their frustrations with their health, their energy levels, their mood swings, their weight gain. We spend time joining up all the dots.
Women often arrive feeling guilty that they can’t easily solve these ‘problems’ themselves, and soon come to understand that only by working with their underlying body system imbalances can they regain the vibrancy they desire. By allowing women to connect their past history with the present day, we find a meaning and an understanding about the positive transitions a woman makes during her life and learn how to work with those transitions in a redefining way.
Helping other women regain their health has also given purpose and community to my own life, providing a valuable missing piece in my own puzzle.