Oct 19, 2019

MOON-TO-MOON WITH KRISTIN BURDI

Welcome to our Moon-to-Moon series where we interview our community in the hopes of strengthening the most foundational tie that connects us all — being human. Each interviewee will discuss a health challenge they’ve faced, lessons they’ve learned and how they found answers and empowerment. We hope that for those experiencing their own challenges, this serves as a light and support system.

    • Full Name: Kristin Burdi
    • Where You Live: Denver, CO
    • Your three favorite hobbies: Hiking, singing in the car, skiing, yoga
    • Go-to vegetable: Tie between Kale and Mushrooms!
  • Favorite ice cream flavor: Cookie dough!
  • Number 1 Simple Self-Care Action: Waking up early and getting quiet time to do gratitude journaling
  1. Tell us a little about your health challenge(s) and the symptoms/affects that were registering in your life: I have two big health challenges: years of disordered eating habits and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I first developed my first eating disorder as a teenager and then developed binge eating in college and then exercise bulimia after college. It wasn’t until I got my PCOS diagnosis that I actually confronted my mindset behind food and my relationship with myself. The biggest symptom for me with PCOS was the fact that I didn’t have a period. I got my first period when I was 14 years old and developed my eating disorder shortly afterwards – and my period completely disappeared. I was forced to go on birth control to avoid developing osteoporosis and that came with a whole host of side effects. But in 2016, I finally went off birth control to really get to the bottom of my period issues in my teens and that’s when I got diagnosed with PCOS. While the main issue was a missing period, I had also suffered through some hirsutism and crazy food cravings.
  2. What was the turning point for you where you decided either “I’m going to get help” or “I choose to do this my way”, etc?: The turning point for me was when I was getting a third doctor’s opinion about my PCOS diagnosis at a local endocrinologist in NYC and they told me I should try going on thyroid and diabetes medication “just because.” My thyroid levels and my blood sugar were all completely  within the normal range, so going on medication unnecessarily didn’t sit well with me. So that’s when I decided to explore some other alternatives to managing PCOS. I have what doctors call “lean PCOS”, which many conventional practitioners don’t know how to treat. After almost a year of having no period post-birth control, I finally got my period back naturally!
  3. Was there someone in particular that helped in that turning point? Someone who made you feel empowered or truly LISTENED to you and the challenges you were facing?: My roommate and now-husband were beyond supportive. They reassured me that I wasn’t crazy for not wanting to go on medication unnecessarily. I also went to a reproductive endocrinologist who was the first doctor who asked me to explain my whole health history from when I was a kid. He really listened to me and made me felt heard and not crazy! At that time, he spent nearly an hour getting my background and doing some tests, which he then came to the conclusion that I had Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and PCOS. His prescription to me was to stress less and do more yoga. It was the first time I’ve ever heard a doctor prescribe yoga!
  4. What was the biggest takeaway/lesson you learned from this experience and how has it shaped your life moving forward?: It’s so hard to boil it down to one thing! But if I had to choose one thing, it would be that our bodies aren’t trying to work against us – they’re super geniuses keeping us alive and if something is off, that’s a sign to look deeper. I was living a really fast-paced, stressful, unsustainable life so my body was giving me signs that something needed to change by not having a period.
  5. If there was one bit of advice you could give to someone currently facing health challenges and looking for answers, what would it be?: Don’t take one doctor’s opinion as the end all, be all, ask for help, and don’t downplay the role of your mindset in your health! It wasn’t until I addressed my mindset issues that I started to see my period come back.

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