Some background: Why is this so important?
In Clinical Practice, I see people time and time again who are afflicted by symptoms that they unknowingly trivialize by saying "but I think that's normal, right?".
Things I often hear include: "I'm exhausted every day at 3pm, but that's normal, right?" or "I have joint pain, but that's normal, right?" or "Yes, I'm stressed every day, but that's normal, right?" or, my favourite "I'm a completely different person before my period, but that's normal, right?".
The short answer, that I hear myself saying to patients on an almost daily basis, is this: that those symptoms, encountered by so many at any given time are common, NOT normal.
Don't worry, I explain myself to them, and will explain myself here, too.
These symptoms, or situations that we find ourselves in are SO common in the people we know, and in society as a whole, that we think they are normal. They're not.
And here's why:
A normal, healthy body has boundless energy, buoyant mood, uses good quality food as fuel, is able to rest deeply, heals quickly, can fight off infection, is pain-free (or nearly) and has seamless (or nearly seamless) transitions from one hormonal cycle to the next (whether pregnancy, menstrual cycles, or menopause).
These may sound like pipe dreams, and while they are complex, many people can look back after a few visits, 6 months, a year, or even 5 years and tell me that they understand. They feel the changes in their bodies and minds AWAY from what is common, and toward what is truly normal.
Ok, so what's in it for you? (AKA How to use this series)
My goal in this series is to tackle these "common, not normal" symptoms one (or one group) at a time, and to provide you with useable, useful, evidence-based information that will help to take your health from common to normal.
Some of the information will build post to post, but overall the topics will be stand-alone. So, you can jump in anywhere that feels interesting.
First up? I'll be taking on the mother of all "commonhood": PMS. She's tough, but I'm game, if you are! Ready? See PMS SOS for more information!
Emily Murphy ND