My Name is Andrea Lambert
and This is My Story
My journey into the healing world began just before my 30th birthday. While I’d experienced health imbalances before then, it wasn’t until May of 1999 that my first dramatic and traumatic experience happened. Prior to this I’d had a health imbalance with my hormones, discovered that I had virtually zero progesterone and that extreme amounts of exercise supported balance and well-being. I had done well for over a decade until I moved to another state and got a full-time job. I was unable to exercise enough and symptoms returned.
At this point, I made the time to exercise more by challenging myself with triathlons and extreme hiking. I also needed to get a new progesterone prescription so I visited my current insurance-approved doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor laughed at me instead of taking a blood test to see for herself that I had virtually zero progesterone. She said that the studies showed that progesterone doesn’t do anything. Although very confused, I trusted this doctor and began using the prescription according to her new diagnosis, based on symptoms only. She’d decided that I needed antidepressants.
After giving it a month with terrible side effects, including feeling depressed all the time and having narcoleptic experiences (falling asleep while driving and anywhere I might sit down), I went back and expressed my concerns and let her know I was not going to proceed with this prescription. She just replied that it was the wrong one and gave me another type of antidepressant. After not sleeping for 2 weeks, I made an emergency appointment to let the doctor know I was having a nervous breakdown. Once again, they insisted that the diagnosis was correct and it was just the wrong medicine.
After going through this prescription “experiment” trying many types of antidepressants, with no better results, I was sent to a psychiatrist even though my blood would have shown my original diagnosis. I went along with it because at this point I was REALLY messed up mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was gaining weight even though I was exercising and eating really well. I decided to kick it up and go for an Ironman triathlon.
I continued to have severe imbalances and it took every bit of my willpower to continue doing anything. When I expressed this to the psychiatrist he decided I needed a mood stabilizer and antianxiety prescription. After 3 weeks on these new medications, I was 50 pounds heavier and started having severe pain during menses (later finding out I had developed adenomyosis where the endometrial cells grow into the muscle tissue causing severe pain during menses). Virtually overnight I could not fit into any of my clothes. I was even more depressed and hopeless. I was in so much mental, emotional and physical pain it was hard to be my optimistic energetic self.
I went into that psychiatrist’s office and screamed at him! I was SO mad at what his stupid medicine and terrible diagnosis had done to me. I demanded that he fix it. He just told me that it happened sometimes and he would change my medicine again. I put up with this treatment for a few more months and since nothing changed I decided I was going to stop all the nonsense and find a real doctor to help me. I KNEW that it had nothing to do with my brain chemistry but was in fact what the first doctor I’d gone to back in high school had figured out; that I was really low on progesterone.
I remember this doctor, I’d seen when I was in high school, stating that she’d never seen someone with such low progesterone and she recommended that I take as much as I need anytime I have symptoms. She gave me progesterone in cream, oral, and sublingual forms. I’d felt much more balanced, focused, and energized through high school and training through military boot camp. However, when I returned home and went to refill my prescription the doctor had retired and I couldn’t find another doctor who would prescribe progesterone without additional experiments that also ended up disastrous.
Seven years after this and many doctors, I needed to try something new, as my will to live was wavering. I was even told that the adenomyosis and associated pain would only get worse with age. I ate a standard American diet at the time and believed I had to eat animal products every meal or I’d become hypoglycemic. But I was willing to try anything at that point so I researched new ways of eating and a whole new world opened up for me. A world that restored hope! I decided to take my health into my own hands and tried the raw vegan diet. I gave it a 60-day trial. I felt amazing just after 30 days and was able to get off all the medications the various doctors had me on. After 60-days, I felt brand new! I decided to keep up with this lifestyle since my previous lifestyle habits didn’t help. I developed a career around teaching people about this way of eating and decided to train as a massage therapist. This new lifestyle took me on a great adventure but I still had issues with my monthly cycle.
My live, plant-based journey began April 13th, 2007, and since then many of the symptoms I experienced have either greatly reduced or completely gone away. While my body was healing from the side effects of dozens of prescription medications, a few issues still were not clear. I was still gaining up to 10 pounds of water weight a month and bleeding more than my body could reproduce before my next cycle. I was suffering from anemic conditions and impairing fatigue. In February 2013, I feared I would lose my job because I could hardly function. Using food as medicine works completely in many cases but my body was so worn down from years of imbalance that I required extra help.
It took 31 years before I could find a doctor who would actually check my blood work and make a proper diagnosis. However, my labs came back with markers that lead this new doctor to believe I had a genetic disorder. He did the test for 21-hydroxylase deficiency. If you test over 100 you have it. I tested 400. We did a number of additional tests to ensure this diagnosis before I started treatment. All tests looked like that was the solution. I started taking Hydrocortisone in September of 2013.
I felt amazing throughout 2014, however, in January of 2015, I mysteriously started losing energy and gaining a LOT of weight near my monthly cycle start time. I was directed by several doctors to increase the hydrocortisone. I’d feel better for a while then drop in energy again, raise the dose, and repeat the cycle. I was getting really nervous. I’d just completed 2 years as the health coach and educator for an Integrative Cancer Center. I was on fire intellectually and loving helping people heal naturally from a disease believed by most that you have to suffer and be in fear while receiving treatments that poison your whole body. After that, I’d gone abroad to build health education programs for a group of wellness centers and even got to go to Thailand to help open a new wellness center. It was exciting and such a great experience. I didn’t want it to end but I was feeling worse and worse!
I returned to America in 2016 and almost immediately got a position as a raw vegan health chef for Dr. Gabriel Cousens. He also wanted me to teach his patients how to adjust the food to their tastes. It was an incredible experience learning how to help people heal type 2 diabetes naturally and support type 1 diabetes in order to reduce insulin use. It was great to be back in America, with my friends and family, and have this experience with this particular AMAZING doctor/Rabi! I was re-energized. Dr. Cousens started seeing me as a patient and found supporting supplements that helped me start feeling back to normal while continuing to take the hydrocortisone for the genetic disorder.
However, once again, I started having energy deterioration and was unable to handle the heat, which had never happened before. By the end of 2017, all I could do was work and sleep. I was barely eating anything and gaining weight like crazy. The doctor decided to discontinue public programs in order to travel city to city so He could help many more people. We all got laid off and he ensured we had good health insurance by the end of our time at his facility. I decided to head to the endocrinologist per the doctors’ recommendation.
At my first appointment, they found that I did not have the genetic disorder but tested to be sure. They also diagnosed me with Cushing’s Syndrome, which is an adrenal suppression disorder. They said it would resolve itself once I discontinued the hydrocortisone and it left my system. I was scared! The doctor who prescribed it said I would die without it. These doctors were telling me I’d die if I continued to take it! What I was doing wasn’t working and despite the additional fear of side effects from 5 years of using a steroid, I decided to listen to these doctors. Was I ever in for an extremely bumpy ride!!!
Getting off the hydrocortisone was way more difficult than I would have ever thought! Every joint in my body was either achy or on fire depending on the moment. My muscles became so weak I could barely lift my head off my pillow for days at a time. I run my own business and thank goodness I saved money because I was unable to work more than a couple of hours a week due to extreme fatigue. While my mind was very dull I still was able to keep a hopeful outlook that this would all end soon, but my body felt severely depressed. After about 6 months I started to feel a turnaround. This process became a long long series of feeling better for a few weeks then crashing, feeling better for a few weeks then crashing.
After moving back to Phoenix so that I could find enough work to eek by, I was able to find a new Endocrinologist. I told him about my original diagnosis, extremely low progesterone (>1), and he proceeded to address that. We started blood tests, then he let me experiment with oral progesterone. It took 800mgs per day and my brain turned back on. We were getting somewhere! However, the insurance company wouldn’t cover that and wanted $7K per month to provide it. One of my clients is a Naturopathic Doctor. She told me the compounding pharmacy is way cheaper and natural progesterone works way better. I asked the endocrinologist and he immediately wrote me a prescription. We also did a new blood test to see how well the 800 mgs was working as he was super concerned it was too much. The test came back very low. 2.3. The low end is 1.3. The high end is 23.
After using 350mgs of progesterone cream daily for 6 weeks I was tested again. This time my test came back at 15! The Endocrinologist let me know that meant I metabolize synthetic medication differently…..really fast leaving metabolites that give bad side effects. That made SO much sense since I had so many issues with prescriptions in the past. I asked another hormone specialist about this and he agreed. The reason I kept feeling so tired was that I was metabolizing the oral progesterone and metabolizing it into allopregnanolone, which makes you feel really tired. WOW! The puzzle pieces were coming together!!! \
Since I have been able to balance my progesterone my life is coming back together! I have a new story now. The old has passed. I am finally experiencing balance. Homeostasis is the balancing system the body is always striving for so that we can thrive, not just survive. I feel the difference now. I feel so blessed, so filled with gratitude. I have learned so much from this experiment/experience! It is vital to not only pay attention to symptoms but actually use tests to find the root cause of health problems! It is vital to ensure we prevent disease by adjusting our lifestyles to reduce stress and fatigue, making sure to get the right amount of sleep as many nights a week as possible, eating at least 80% healthy nutrient-dense foods every meal, and recharge spiritually on a daily basis.
I look forward to my daily prayer and meditation now because I don’t fall asleep anymore. I look forward to assisting my adrenals in healing by doing gentle exercise and stretching instead of pushing myself to extremes. I am on my way to achieving flexibility and strength, not necessarily like I had when I was doing endurance sports and gymnastics before things got out of hand, I need to be healthy and balanced. My goal is to get back into cycling and join a riding group as soon as possible!
My old story has now passed. I have come to a new era of my existence thanks to God creating the superpowers of my body to heal when given the right tools, tools God created for our bodies! Personally, I don’t want to rely on any pharmaceuticals. I don’t believe we have ibuprofen deficiencies or antidepressant deficiencies. I’m grateful to have only natural progesterone to contend with. However, there is a time and place for prescriptions after proper lab testing and diagnosis. We live in extreme times with more chemical exposure than ever, so sometimes it takes extreme measures to get the healing we want.
That is a fact I saw in the integrative cancer clinic daily. The health imbalances caused by chemical exposure in our modern-day world sometimes require stronger treatment than what nature can offer initially. Although we may not want to use pharmaceuticals or strong chemicals sometimes they’re necessary to tip the body balance back into health. Once we get back into a space that’s less toxic the body can take over again. Nature is gentle, precise, and efficient.
I have also learned that we all have a unique healing equation. When we know our specific healing equation then we can dial in health. Whatever health imbalances we may face we can bring ourselves back into balance by understanding and applying our personal healing equation. I’ve had many incredible experiences between and since these dramatic experiences that have helped me learn the deep truth behind and give evidence to the importance of treating each person as an individual versus lumping us all into one or two categories.
I’m super excited to share all that I have learned through my lifetime of actual experience. As one who has experienced, I feel better equipped to support many types of people through many types of health imbalances. My “Your Healing Equation” program is a program that helps you dial in the majority of your body/mind/spirit specific needs so that you can get the ground running, heal quickly, get back into balance and have a healthy long life!
If you have any further questions and would like to receive your own analysis to dial in your unique needs faster, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click this link here to schedule an appointment.
To Your Health! Andrea