Help! Progesterone Deficient & Excess Estrogen
So I posted a few months ago regarding my sore breasts, wondering if it was because my hormones were out of whack. I didn't get much response and didn't find much online about it...lots of info on menopause, but I'm 30 so I really don't think I'm in pre-menopause stages.
Anywho, I hadn't thought much about it. Figured I would keep working on my health and that the issues would go away. Well they haven't and they have actually gotten worse.
My husband and I want to start trying to get pregnant so I've been charting my cycles and wow I've found out a lot!
From my symptoms I've discovered from charting, I think I may have a progesterone deficiency, excess estrogen and a cortisol deficiency.
Here are my symptoms:
tension headaches and neck stiffness (worse the week before my period)
breast tenderness (2 weeks before my period-it's 1/2 my cycle!)
Psycho emotions: irritability, anxiety, anger, tearfulness, panicky feelings & agitation. And it's not minor..were talking debilitating emotions that affect my whole life.
bloating & hand and food swelling
facial skin discoloration
bad cramping and heavy periods
Most of these symptoms start the week before my period, but by charting I've noticed that I have 1 good week a month where I feel really great and normal. Only ONE! That's ridiculous.
A little history:
I go anywhere from 50%-99% raw depending on the time of year and such. During the winter I do tend to eat more cooked food although I do strive to eat 100%.
I was on birth control pills for 10 years from the age of 16-26. I had HORRIBLE, irregular periods when I was younger so I got on the pill to regulate myself. I also think it's important to mention that I grew up on a SAD diet.
I got off the pill when my husband and I got married because he was "fixed" (he's had a reverse vasectomy now) =) Shortly after we got married, I started having health issues-Many of the symptoms mentioned above.
I started researching and a few years later I went vegan and then mostly raw.
The big question I'm asking myself is this- could many of the health issues that have been plaguing me for years be because my hormones have been wacky since I got off the pill? I've realized that my health started to really decline after getting off the pill and I'm wondering if all along, I've been having problems leveling out.
it's been 5 years since I've been off the pill so I figured that hormones couldn't be an issue, but after charting I know I'm totally out of whack!
I try to eat a well rounded diet. Organic as often as I can. I grow my own garden 1/2 the year. Eat lots of seaweeds. Have bee pollen, spirulina, chlorella on a regular basis. I have 2-3 liters of green smoothies/green juices daily.
I've read on other posts that bitter weeds can help and I'm going to try that.
Does anyone else have suggestions? Has anyone else experienced this?
I've actually made a call into a mid-wife that I want to use if I ever get pregnant because she is experienced with hormones and natural remedies.
Otherwise, I'm at a loss. I feel like I'm doing all the right things to get better.
Thanks so much-
To start you need to support your liver and the best way to do this is via bitter herbs on the back of the tongue pre meal. This cleanses the liver and inturn the liver can metabolize the excess hormones. There are many herbs which support the liver and are also bitters so powder form is a good idea. Some examples milk thistle, dandelion, andrographis, gentian etc.
Supporting the adrenal glands is a good idea with adaptogenic herbs such as schizandra berry, jiaogulan, ashwagandha, siberian ginseng, maca root etc. These also balance hormones and some such as schizandra support the liver. Bee pollen is good for supporting the adrenal glands through its rich vitamin B5 content.
You may be low on magnesium alot of your symptoms could be attributed to magnesium. The best types are acidified such as magnesium citrate/malate. Magnesium oxide should be avoided as its caustic and neutralizes stomach acid/ant-acid. Transdermal magnesium oil is great also and larger doses can be taken as it doesnt act as a laxative/cause the bowels to move.
Being on the pill will disrupt your hormones significantly, and it will take quite a while for your body to equalize. But five years is quite a while, so that may no longer be a significant factor for you.
In the meantime, you may want to consider avoiding both xenoestrogens in the forms of parabens (in many body-care products, even those that market themselves as "natural") and phytoestrogens that occur naturally in plant foods. I've found that my period goes much smoother if I avoid phytoestrogens like flax, sunflower seeds, and even (and especially) papaya around the time of menstruation. It's a pain in the neck at first, but I've found it's worth it for me. There are tons of resources about this online. Oh, and lavender can also be problematic for those with hormone issues, and it's found in lots of skin care products.
You might also want to consider a topical progesterone supplement; as you probably already know, wild yam is a natural source. I have a small bottle of yam extract in oil that I bought years ago and use only sparingly when I feel like I need it--I think of it as insurance.
And I agree with powerlifer about maca and magnesium; magnesium citrate can be really helpful for relaxing both your mind and your muscles. And I think maca will help your fertility quite a bit, and may help your symptoms as well.
Oh yeah, and apple cider vinegar has been amazing for lightening my flow--just swallow a tablespoon a few times a day during menstruation (and I take about once a day the rest of the month). I mean it's been really, really helpful for me. I just rinse my mouth out with water and then a baking soda solution after taking it to protect my tooth enamel. And blackstrap molasses, while not raw, does seem to help my cramps as well.
Whatever you try, I hope you can get this worked out soon.
Phyto-estrogens are ok, they are weak mimicking estrogenic compounds which lock up the receptor sites so more stronger estrogens aren't absorbed.
Id personally give steroidal creams a miss, a good natural alternative to increase progesterone is Vitex (Chasteberry). It does take around a month to kick in though.