When Amie Charraudeau, CNM nutritional graduate, used natural therapies, exercise and supplements to address her PCOS, she decided to turn her passion into a career.
My first GP visit for problematic menses was at aged14 and I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) at 19. What followed was numerous visits to GPs, gynaecologists and endocrinologists. I was prescribed the contraceptive pill, metformin, the coil, antidepressants and painkillers for painful periods.
No nutritional/lifestyle advice was offered. I gained a lot of weight, my periods stopped, I developed acne, and had mood and liver problems. Eventually, a gynaecologist told me I was unlikely to ever conceive naturally.
Taking back control over my health
My mum inspired me to try natural therapies, persevering even when I told her I wasn’t interested. But after years of living in denial, I decided I was the only person who could make these changes. So, I started researching the effects of diet and exercise. I removed all refined sugars and carbohydrates from my diet and added plenty of vegetables. I also exercised at the gym daily and within four months I’d lost two stone. Then, I added herbal supplements, became adventurous with healthy meals and listened to my body.
My periods returned, my skin and energy improved, the weight kept coming off and my body shape changed. This motivated me further to manage my own health. I’ve kept my weight at optimal levels, which is key to my hormonal balance, and I’ve had three children without any issues.
Enrolling at CNM to empower others
After experiencing first-hand the difference nutrition can play in health, I enrolled on a naturopathic nutrition course at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM). The course structure allowed me back into education and the career I wish I’d always had. The 200 hours of clinical experience were fascinating. The knowledge and confidence I gained between the first year and third was amazing.
I now run my own company, Surrey Nutrition, with a focus on women’s health. It’s a privilege to be able to listen and support women to use the tools that helped me, and to see the changes in them. The sense of empowerment they gain reminds me of myself once I’d learned how to manage my health.