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#181 of 634 Old 04-23-2009, 08:48 AM
 
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Can you guys help me with a pro-con list for the two? I can't figure out which is the right on for me. I know I need something as I've tried homeopathy, chiro, and diet changes with little relief. I get maybe 2 weeks a month where I'm good and the rest of the time I feel a build up of anger, paranoia, anxiety, feeling outcast, lonley, and lack of sex drive. Plus add acne and poor body image during those times.
T
cons of BCPs include any of the possible side effects of the drugs. just check the insert for these. i spent many years on BCP and discovered later on that my immune system had been effected by the hormones. (i saw a naturopath when i was in my early 30 who explained how hormones affect the immune system) i also tried zoloft for about 4 months when i was married to my first H and i hated how it made me feel and ended up with st. john's wort instead. it worked well and no crazy side effects.


pros of meds it that they some times work very quickly and you don't have to make any lifestyle changes.


lifestyle changes are always more work and take longer. for me, meds aren't healing me. they are just fixing the symptoms. but when you are on a crazy emotional rollercoster every month, sometimes fixing the symptoms can make a huge difference in your life.

i am still trying to decide what to do. i am 43, so BCPs are out, but i am still considering an antidepressant. but i still want to heal myself.

there are other things you can try mama: supplements, exercise, acupuncture, meditation, etc.

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#182 of 634 Old 04-23-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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thought i post these resources.

estrogen dominance is considered to be the cause of the imbalance that causes severe PMS and PMDD. it's referred to as perimenopause here, but i've discovered lots of younger women have the same issues and symptoms.

i complied this info from online resources when i did a presentation for my cousin a few years ago.

Estrogen Dominance: Symptoms and Solutions

The conventional medical mindset is that menopause is an estrogen deficiency disease resulting from ovarian failure. Women have been led to believe that at the slightest symptoms, they should run out and get estrogen replacement. While estrogen levels will decrease during menopause, the truth is, estrogen levels do not fall appreciably until after a woman’s last period. In fact, far more women suffer from the effects of “estrogen dominance” during the transition — that is, they have too much estrogen relative to progesterone. And some women can suffer from the symptoms of estrogen dominance for 10 to 15 years, beginning as early as age 35 for some.

Female Sex Hormones: Estrogen and Progesterone

The symptoms listed below, as well as many others, often arise when estrogen overstimulates both the brain and body. All of these symptoms are exacerbated by stress of all kinds. Many women in their thirties and early forties find that they experience moderate to severe symptoms of estrogen dominance as they approach perimenopause.

•Decreased sex drive

•Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods

•Bloating (water retention)

•Breast swelling and tenderness

•Fibrocystic breasts

•Headaches (especially premenstrually)

•Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
•Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)

•Cold hands and feet (a symptom of thyroid dysfunction)

•Hair loss

•Thyroid dysfunction

•Sluggish metabolism

•Foggy thinking, memory loss

•Fatigue

•Trouble sleeping / insomnia

•PMS

•Estrogen dominance has also been linked to allergies, autoimmune disorders, breast cancer, uterine cancer, infertility, ovarian cysts, and increased blood clotting, and is also associated with acceleration of the aging process.

What Causes Estrogen Dominance?
When a woman’s menstrual cycle is normal, estrogen is the dominant hormone for the first two weeks leading up to ovulation. Estrogen is balanced by progesterone during the last two weeks. As a woman enters perimenopause and begins to experience anovulatory cycles (that is, cycles where no ovulation occurs), estrogen can often go unopposed, causing symptoms. Skipping ovulation is, however, only one potential factor in estrogen dominance. In industrialized countries such as the United States, there can be many other causes, including:

• Excess body fat (greater than 28%)

• Too much stress, resulting in excess amounts of cortisol, insulin, and norepinephrine, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion (see Fatigue), and can also adversely affect overall hormonal balance

• A low-fiber diet with excess refined carbohydrates and deficient in nutrients and high quality fats

• Impaired liver function

• Environmental agents



Solutions for Estrogen Dominance

•Increase nutrients in the diet.

Take a high potency multivitamin/mineral combination to help metabolize estrogen more efficiently.

•Follow a hormone-balancing diet.

Eat a diet consisting of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, adequate protein, and moderate amounts of healthy fat. Remember to get enough fiber. Estrogen is excreted by the bowel; if stool remains in the bowel, estrogen is reabsorbed.

•Use transdermal 2% bioidentical progesterone cream.

Many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance can be relieved with natural, bioidentical progesterone, which is available over the counter in a 2% cream (one-quarter teaspoon contains ~20 mg progesterone). Use one-quarter to one-half teaspoon 2% progesterone cream on skin (e.g., face, breasts, abdomen, hands) daily for two to three weeks prior to onset of period. If periods are irregular, use 2% progesterone daily, or from the full moon to the dark of the moon. (That way you’ll be teaming up with the cycle of the Earth itself — the same cycle that governs the tides and the flow of fluids on the planet.)


•Lose excess body fat and get regular exercise — especially strength training.

•Block excess estrogen with phytohormones: flax; soy; and others.

Soy helps regulate estrogen, so if you have too much estrogen relative to progesterone, soy will act as an estrogen blocker at the tissue level.

•Detoxify your liver.

Traditional Chinese Medicine explains that menopausal symptoms are caused by blocked liver and kidney chi. This makes sense. The liver acts as a filter, helping us screen out the harmful effects of toxins from our environment and the products we put in our bodies. When the liver has to work hard to eliminate toxins such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine, or environmental agents, the liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen is compromised.

•Decrease stress.

Learn how to say no to excessive demands on your time. Remember, perimenopause is a time to re-invent yourself. This means investing time and energy in yourself, not everyone else.



•The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change by Dr. Christiane Northrup
•What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone by John R. Lee, Virginia Hopkins
•The Pause: Positive Approaches to Perimenopause and Menopause by Lonnie Garfield Barbach
•Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, by Dr. Andrew Weil
•The 30-Day Natural Hormone Plan by Erika Schwartz
•Healing Mind, Healthy Woman by Alice D Domar, PhD & Henry Dreher

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#183 of 634 Old 04-24-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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Umami- I thought soy was problematic in relation to estrogen. Everything I've read says to avoid soy like the plague!
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#184 of 634 Old 04-24-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Umami_mommy,

THANK YOU for posting this!

I have been craving soy recently and went with sprouted soy tofu mostly...

more later...

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#185 of 634 Old 04-25-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Umami- I thought soy was problematic in relation to estrogen. Everything I've read says to avoid soy like the plague!
i avoid soy at all costs. It makes my PMDD so much worse. IN fact, it wasnt until after i went vegetarian and began consuming soy that i developed endometriosis within a month and my PMDD symptoms became very severe. A doctor i saw confirmed it was the estrogen in the soy that was wreaking havic in my body.
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#186 of 634 Old 04-26-2009, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i avoid soy at all costs. It makes my PMDD so much worse. IN fact, it wasnt until after i went vegetarian and began consuming soy that i developed endometriosis within a month and my PMDD symptoms became very severe. A doctor i saw confirmed it was the estrogen in the soy that was wreaking havic in my body.
wow! How do you feel about Miso and Tempeh?

I am glad this has come up in the discussion...

I've been craving it lately and felt my symptoms were a lot worse this month compared to last...maybe a connection.

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#187 of 634 Old 04-26-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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I would love to read more about soy. Does anyone else have positive experiences with it? Since discovering my estrogen dominance I have had almost no soy.

Also my holistic midwife/gyn and herbalist/acupuncturist also both counseled me away from it. I felt that alot of my imbalances were a result if being on the pill combined with being a vegetarian. (b vits, zinc)
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#188 of 634 Old 04-27-2009, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From what I've read, soy is best in very moderate amounts...I was going overboard lately.

I bought some Maca Root today, next month we shall see if it helps... : )

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#189 of 634 Old 04-27-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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i know the tend is towards no soy now, but the thinking behind the soy is the belief that plant based estrogen helps to protect the body from the chemical pollutants that mimic estrogen in the body. the belief is these plant isoflavones fill the receptor sites before the chemicals can get in there and do it instead.

this is based on cultural evidence of asian women and their experiences with hormones imbalances and breast cancer.

i do believe that a lifetime diet of soy is way more protective of these issues, but the fact is, many (most) asian women eat soy every day and so not have issues with estrogen dominance, hot flashes and high rates of breast cancer. so, for me, the logic of avoiding soy if you have these issues just don't hold water.

however, it is difficult to extrapolate one factor to a whole other lifestyle and culture... perhaps adding in soy later in life is problematic. i guess it should be approached on a case by case basis and how you feel when you add soy. i know women who have had a horrible time with menopause after hysterectomy and found relief taking saw palmetto. a plant that has the plant isoflavones of both estrogen and testosterone.

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#190 of 634 Old 04-27-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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A comment of a (male) gyn I consulted: 'I am a gynaecologist and still I'll never be able to fully understand the dynamics of female bodies' lol.
It was in comment to me saying that I have had bad side effects with some very light (low estrogen) bcps my family doctor had prescribed and that the 4th pill he then prescribed was a very heavy (high estrogen!) kind and BINGO! that one had done the good work for me.

I do not know about soy's effect on my own hormone levels/moods. I am not a vegetarian and just try to moderate intake (but it seems to be in everything processed lately). I sometimes make my own soy milk (and then it's not fermented soy which is the more risky kind it seems) but have not looked at a correlation between more soy intake and my moods. Something to keep in mind.

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#191 of 634 Old 04-30-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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I just found this thread and I am so glad. I definitly am dealing with severe PMS, at least. My cycles returned a little over a year ago, after almost 2 years PP. I got an IUD (Paraguard) a year ago and was convinced for a while that it was somehow responsible for these new, scary, crazy feelings I was having each month. (My theory was that the excessibe bleeding was making me anemic and therefore depressed. Blood tests shot that idea down.) As my uterus adjusted the the IUD and the bleeding settled back down, I realized The Crazies weren't going away. In the first few days of my cycle, I get completely irrational and feel out of control. I get terrible, pounding headaches. My MW suggested I look into a place called Women 2 Women here in Maine, so I checked out what they offer, which is natural hormone therapy using vitamins and herbs, and found a similar vitamin supplement more locally. I've been taking them and fish oil for a little over a month and I think it's helping. The Crazies seem to be limiting themselves to the very worst days of my cycle, instead of popping up throughout. DD will be 3 next month and had announced she will stop nursing on her birthday. I'm trying to encourage her to follow through with that; I think weaning will help my hormones find their balance again. (Although I will miss nursing VERY much.) I feel like weaning will open up some other options for me if the supplements aren't going to do enough for me.

Anyway, I'll be checking in here I think. I'm so glad to have found other people who understand what it feels like to have no control of your emotions and how disruptive it is to the whole family.
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#192 of 634 Old 04-30-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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Anyway, I'll be checking in here I think. I'm so glad to have found other people who understand what it feels like to have no control of your emotions and how disruptive it is to the whole family.
Welcome.

And yes. I've had enough. It wasn't my first day of the cycle, but I desperately started BCP again yesterday because I can't stand it anymore. Been of BCP for 6 months now for health reasons but I like to take the involved health risk OVER being how I've been lately, feeling how I've often felt lately, knowing it's my own hormones acting out like crazy and knowing the BCP will put these on track again...I got 6 months worth of bcp and when that's done I may look into alternative BCP or other treatment, but I know this is the one that works for me so works for ppl around me.

Hearing someone say 'just re-focus' can be pretty hard if that is exactly what you are unable to do when suffering from severe PMDD .

So I choose my moods over my health. Or say, one part of my health over the other. Let's hope all will be all right...

Me:,loving HB,two active sons of 3 & 5,1 cat, nature lover,,extbf,occ,SAHM, multicultural/lingual family,+/-cl, :become a better parent/person by not expecting to be the perfect parent/person
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#193 of 634 Old 04-30-2009, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thx mamas

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#194 of 634 Old 04-30-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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i know, my DH has been home all week on vacation. i am ready for him to go back to work now.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#195 of 634 Old 05-01-2009, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thx umami_mommy...

thank good ness....

I hope this doesn't mean this month will be harsher.

still eating the Maca and my liquid vitamin supplement is on the way...

the moon is growing and I am glad I will have some days of feeling good.

my DP today said jokingly that I become a "mooniac" we both laughed...

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#196 of 634 Old 05-02-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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my DP today said jokingly that I become a "mooniac" we both laughed...


Went to see my pdoc and although my cycles haven't fully returned (still nursing my 15 m.o.) I can feel the up and down of mood with ovulation and then again near menstruation. Except I haven't had a period but I've had spotting. She wants me to chart and then we will probably try some new meds. I have been on Wellbutrin and Prozac which have been good until now... but now doesn't seem enough for anxiety and irritability.

Yesterday dh said "I think you're ovulating!" because I have been b!tchy!!!!

Health and healing to all

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#197 of 634 Old 05-03-2009, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we were talking last night and I realize it was actually:


Moonatic


I was off on my ovulation, I went by other symptoms and not my cervix *duh!* so last night I took plan B...we do not want to get pregger....I feel fine so far, no side effects.

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#198 of 634 Old 05-04-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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Hi again- I'm finally going to see someone about my hormone issues and am desperately hoping for some help (I'd love more pros and cons of both pharm options as well!) My period last month was horrendously heavy, but then I had a flat out beautiful week last week- absolutely wonderful-- and now as I reach ovulation I woke up like someone had flipped a switch in my brain. I don't know how I'm going to get through the next two weeks- hoping that maybe things will level off a little (I understand having the hormonal zits and bloating that make you feel even worse about yourself) Send me some good vibes with the doctors (it's a women's health clinic that deals specifically with hormone issues, so I'm optimistic) I'm nervous about SSRI's, getting a little old for the bcps (though I'm also terrfied of getting pg, so there's that bonus)- but I feel like it's just not fair to my dd, my dh, or to ME to keep living like this. A couple of days I could handle, but this is too big a chunk of my life, you know?
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#199 of 634 Old 05-04-2009, 07:16 AM
 
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...but I feel like it's just not fair to my dd, my dh, or to ME to keep living like this. A couple of days I could handle, but this is too big a chunk of my life, you know?
That's why I'm back on bcp since a few days even if I started around ovulation, not the beginning of cycle, and despite health issue/risk. I choose to be happy ME and again over the possible health risk. You can imagine this was quite a desperate but firm decision of mine. It makes my feel guilty somehow that I seem to be incapable of feeling like a 100 percent 'normally functioning person' without these bcp... My gyn had said to my in the past that around 35 she may put me on lower dose bcp. I'm in my 33th year now so I know I won't be on this high dose forever, and somewhere dread I won't be, too. Actually I do know of a woman in her 50s who continued taking bcp because they helped her in feeling good. I'm not sure that this is so wise, but for her it felt right. And for me now it feels better to take bcp than not to since anyway I was of any form of bc lately and were not planning to conceive, the reason I take those is a 3-in ıone pack (skin, mood, bc).
If somehow the bcp seem to fail me now I might go on a more natural remedy that may or may not work. But I'm still extbf and the remedy my gyn suggested would affect milk supply while combination bcp would not affect milk (ime) nor child anymore at this point.

Good luck.

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#200 of 634 Old 05-05-2009, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know what your saying about your health and using BCP's to feel better, I agree and can see this point.

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#201 of 634 Old 05-05-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Sweet Potato and all those searching for answers- I hope the appointment goes well and you get some knowledgeable doctors who can help you find something that works for you!

the last time I posted I was feeling a little too good to be having PMS. The last time that happened I was pregnant. Well, once again!!

In a way I'm frustrated b/c I really wanted to work through this PMS thing and learn to deal with life and handle my emotions and find what type of treatments or lifestyle changes work for me. I am much more stable emotionally since I've been pregnant. While I'm not dealing as much with the monthly ups and downs, I know I'll have even greater challenges to deal with, more sleep deprivation than ever before, and more kids, and more demands on my time! Not to mention the hormonal changes after birth and with breastfeeding. So I won't be short on practicing how to deal with tough days.

So now I feel like it's just being put off, and I know that horrible PMS monster will be waiting for me on the other side of this and I dread facing it again.

One good thing is that the nausea has finally gotten me off of coffee!! Woo hoo. Even in previous pregnancies I have never stopped drinking coffee. I feel so much better and more stable. I don't know if it's just the lack on monthly cycles, or the lack of caffiene but I do see a very positive difference and hope I will get addicted to feeling good rather than addicted to coffee, so I can maintain this!
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#202 of 634 Old 05-06-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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ARGH!! that time between ovulation and bleeding SUCKS!! i always feel burned out and just so totally done with being a SAHM and a wife. i hate the drudgery of dishes, cooking, laundry, cleaning and shopping. my kids drive me nuts and i have no patience for them. DH called me a psycho bitch last night, though i don't think i am really that crabby... mostly just unhappy with everything. and DH never does anything to help when i'm in this place, just criticizes.

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#203 of 634 Old 05-06-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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Awaken - congratulations on your ++ !

umami - I hear you on hating the drudgery of the mundane aspects of dishes, laundry, etc. Hang in there. Do you think dh would give your feet a rub if you asked him?

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#204 of 634 Old 05-07-2009, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awaken~ Congratulations on your little one, I know I felt relief during most of my pregnancy....I can understand how you might feel about your work on PMS related issues being put on hold and having a new set of things to take care of,,,that is part of the reason I am not feeling I want to become preggy....hence the plan b taking...

umami_mommy~ I can also relate...that time can really suck..hope u find some ways to take care of you and feel better

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#205 of 634 Old 05-09-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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Awaken, congratulations on your pregnancy! I am sure things will work out, and as you said, at least you get a break from this for a bit, right?

Late in the day yesterday, I just got SO tired and just down feeling, then really snappy. Well, this morning I figured out why...my temps went up. So I figure I must have been ovulating last night. Dang hormones!

To me, it seems the older I get, the more I am affected by the changes in hormones, or is it just that I am way more aware of it? I am about to turn 36. Anyone else feel this way?

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#206 of 634 Old 05-10-2009, 10:00 AM
 
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To me, it seems the older I get, the more I am affected by the changes in hormones, or is it just that I am way more aware of it? I am about to turn 36. Anyone else feel this way?

Yes! I feel this way too. I seem to be more sensitive to my hormones and much more aware of it. I think being so aware of it is a positive thing because I seem to know myself and my body so well.

Well, I have finally gotten my period instead of just the symptoms. I had a feeling it was coming soon because the last two months my mood and anxiety have been terrible. I am on day three and it is so heavy which is nothing like what I am used to. I have never had it so heavy like this. DH and I actually went on a "date" last night and I sent through my clothes/jeans and everything. Thank goodness we were close to home and nobody noticed. I have done good this month. I had some minor anxiety but was able to recognize it for what it was and I kept to myself for that day. That turned out well. I have been much better about diet and exercise again so I feel like I am back on track.

Awaken, congratulations on your pregnancy! I had the same issue with coffee during my pregnancy. During my first pregnancy I just couldn't stop the coffee, but with the second I couldn't drink it. Turns out with DD nursing and being sensitive to that I have stayed away from it. Now I feel great...I hope it works out for you!
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#207 of 634 Old 05-12-2009, 09:04 AM
 
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Hi! This is my first time posting on this thread. I have battled with severe PMS/PMDD for 7 years. It started when my periods returned 9 months after my youngest child was born.

So far, I've tried evening primrose oil, fish oil, vitex, vitamin B6, Maca Root, Magnesium, natural progesterone cream, 5htp, and an SSRI (Celexa).

The only things that helped were the SSRI and 5htp. Unfortunately, I had to stop taking the 5htp because it gave me cystitis. The SSRI worked, but I don't want to have to keep taking it for the rest of my reproductive years (I'm 35 years old), so I am off it now while I try some more natural things.

The progesterone had a terrible effect on me. It threw me into a major depression. I know it helps some people, but it definitely didn't help me.

I've recently seen a doc who practises integrative medicine. He ordered a bunch of tests for me. The tests showed that my cortisol is low, my DHEA is low, my iron is low, and my insulin is high (I'm overweight so that wasn't really a surprise).

I'm going to try taking 7-Keto to get my DHEA levels up (I ordered some today), and have just started taking Siberian Ginseng and Gotu Kola because these herbs are supposed to help with adrenal fatigue. I am also taking iron supplements to get my iron levels up. I am trying to stick to a low GI diet. I need to lose weight, but I feel like that's not going to happen until I get the PMDD under control, because I binge eat when I'm in hormonal hell. And finally, I'm trying light therapy to get my serotonin levels up. I've installed a light box in my bedroom, and I'm going to use it every morning. I started this morning with 40 minutes of light therapy. So that's my plan.

Good luck to you all. I hope we all manage to find the answers we need to free ourselves from this distressing disorder.
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#208 of 634 Old 05-12-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumof3 View Post
I am trying to stick to a low GI diet. I need to lose weight, but I feel like that's not going to happen until I get the PMDD under control, because I binge eat when I'm in hormonal hell.
i just posted about this in FWM. under "emotional eating."

a friend recommended the book "intuitive eating." i'm going to get it ASAP.

i also joined the eat to live thread, as i think a mostly vegan diet is best for detoxing the body and helping the clear out the excess hormones. i am doing well right now, decided to use rescue remedy and EFT whenever i am craving food to quell the emotional storm.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#209 of 634 Old 05-12-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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ok so this is what i posted in the main mental health forum but as of now there are no replies...i hoped you ladies who have taken YAZ for this could offer some experience with it?

here's my post in the main forum:

Ok, so I was prescribed YAZ about a week ago and diagnosed with PMDD. I start taking it tomorrow and just wanted to know how it's worked for those of you who've tried it. Thanks so much!

Oh and to clarify, I have tried almost every natural remedy there is and just nothing works. I am also on Paxil for depression and occasional xanax for anxiety. Believe me when I say i honestly tried EVERY natural remedy I could think of before going with the whole western meds thing.

So please, just advice from those of you who have used YAZ for PMDD. The good, the bad, the ugly, I wanna hear it all because i'm a little nervous! Haven't been on hormonal BC in over 5 years...

Alia + Brian proud parents to Rowan (9/8/04) Lila (9/3/07) and Rhys (6/11/10)
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#210 of 634 Old 05-14-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Sorry, I have not tried Yaz and have not heard anything about it.

Anyone know any good books related to PMDD and womens cycle in general? I feel like I just need to understand my cycle a bit better. I have learned so much already from you ladies!
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