Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Holidays! AND fewer mood swings!

What my doctor decided to do

So, I've been on Progesterone for ten days now.  What is progesterone?  Progesterone is naturally secreted by the ovary in the second two weeks of the menstrual cycle in reproductive age ovulating women. Progesterone or progesterone-like substances called progesterone's or progestins are also ingested by women in birth control pills, menopausal hormone replacement therapy, or just sometimes to induce a menstrual period or regulate abnormal bleeding problems if menses are skipping or bleeding is irregular or prolonged. Progesterone has been used also as therapy for PMS syndrome and for women with infertility or frequent pregnancy loss.

Apparently, my levels were all askew. The Doc was suspicious that this problem was the culprit for many of my "issues", and that's what the tests confirmed. I'm using the cream formula that must be compounded at a special pharmacy (not many chains do this, but many locally owned pharmacies do).

Women who have low levels of progesterone often have infertility problems and when they do conceive, they are at a higher risk for miscarriage. You may have low progesterone levels if you have any of these symptoms:
• Irregular Periods: Your menstrual periods have gaps or inconsistent spaces of time between cycles.
• Spotting: You have occurrences of light pink to red mucus when you wipe between cycles.
• Clots: You experience clots during your menstruation.
• Weight Gain: You gain weight even when you haven’t made changes to diet and/or exercise routine.
• Memory Issues: You may forget things that seemed clear a few minutes ago, your thinking might be fuzzy.
• Vaginal Dryness: Your vagina is dryer than it should be; there isn’t mucus when there should be.
• Anxiety/Depression: You may have feelings of fear or sadness without basis. Worry about things that shouldn’t affect you strongly.
• Breast Sensitivity: Your breasts are sensitive and may ache if touched.
• Night Sweats: You wake up sweaty and uncomfortable in the night
If more than one or two if these symptoms seems familiar and occur at the same time you get a test for hormonal imbalances. This will help to determine what can be changed to resolve the problem.

Reasons for Low Levels of Progesterone Hormone in Women
• High Estrogen Levels: Higher estrogen levels can overpower the body’s hormones, throwing production of other hormones including progesterone out of gear.
• Chronic Stress: Stress affects your body in many ways. It can make you sick and it can upset the normal function of your body when it overtakes your life. Chronic stress is stress is one of the causative factors of low levels of progesterone hormone in women.
• Lack of Proper Exercise: Exercise is essential to good overall health. Without it your body’s natural functions don’t get the proper signals they require to determine how best to maintain a healthy level of activity.
• Resistance to Insulin: A condition that doesn’t allow the body to use the insulin it makes. Associated with obesity, it can also play a part in low Progesterone levels.
• Lack of Proper Nutrition: When the body is starved of proper nutrition it is unable maintain itself. Certain foods may also help unbalance your hormones.
• Medication Interaction: Certain medications don’t interact well with each other and can have side effects that affect your body’s function.
• PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome): A disorder caused by a lack of ovulation in a woman, this disorder causes issues with the interaction of hormones, ovaries and brain. It also usually means infertility without treatment by as doctor.

Read more:
So, this means what?
Well, this means that I'm gonna try this and see how it goes. I'm still taking everything else I've been taking, but I've added this to the mix. So far, I haven't noticed much improvement, but I'm hopeful that my body will begin to show improvement. Even if I only see improvement in one or two of the issues I have been suffering with, then I think I will be happy. There are many who think that natural alternatives to drugs are the only way to go. Below are a list of natural alternatives (some I will be adding to my lifestyle) that are said to naturally increase the levels of progesterone in a body.
Schedule a Doctor’s Visit: Go see your doctor and see if your progesterone level is low enough to require treatment. If it is, see how low it is so that you can best determine progesterone level you are losing and the urgency with which you need to seek treatment.
Find Natural Supplements: Look for supplements that match what you require to properly regulate progesterone production. They are available in oral, intra-vaginal, injectible and intra-dermal forms. Oral supplements are generally only available through a prescription from your doctor. Please be sure to research each supplement before starting to take them to determine side effect and allergy issues.
Stay Tested: Be sure to keep seeing your doctor and get regular testing on your hormonal levels. The balance needs to be maintained. High levels of progesterone can be just as risky as low ones.
Watch Your Diet: Only eat foods that don’t boost hormone production lest you or else you risk unbalancing your hormones otherwise.
Avoid These: Avoid blue cohosh, vitex, saw palmetto berry, lavender, tea tree oil, licorice, hops, rhodiola rose root, black cohosh, dong quai, red clover blossom and motherwort leaf as they all increase levels of estrogen further lowering progesterone.
Reduce Stress: Stress reduces progesterone production drastically, the less you have of it the better.
Exercise: Improving your overall health does wonders for the regulation of all your body’s hormones and secretions at the same time as helping you feel better about yourself.
Diet: Eating these foods can help improve your progesterone levels: Wild Yams, walnuts, whole grains, soy milk, red meat, chicken, shellfish, turkey, turmeric, thyme and oregano. Foods that are rich in vitamin B-6, zinc, and promote progesterone production like these can help.
Get Your Vitamins: Zinc, magnesium and vitamins such as Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C, are generally found to be lower in women who have low progesterone. Getting more of these vitamins in your diet and vitamin intake can help boost your levels.
Stop Smoking: No seriously! Smoking has been shown to bring on premature menopause and increase infertility in younger women. The more you smoke and longer the higher risk there is to bring on these side effects.
Try Natural Supplements: Chasteberry is one of several supplements you can get that may boost progesterone levels.
Environmental Toxins: Pesticides and contaminants found in food can alter the way your body produces hormones. Petrochemicals can cause bind to the receptors in your body that detect estrogen and thereby alter the way your body produces estrogen and its balance with other hormones in the body.
Of course, I must insist that you get tested and not self medicate even if you feel sure that this is the reason you are having problems.
This is day ten, and I still hurt, my head feels a little less foggy, I may have more energy than I usually do, I can't tell yet if my mood is better or if I am less likely to break into tears at the drop of a hat, but I'll let you know about that.
At the beginning of the year, I intend on drastically changing my diet. I know it's going to be hard, but I feel like I need to do this. I will eliminate all the unnatural sugars and processed foods from my diet. I've done this once before for another reason all together, and I had wonderful effects. I lost around 30 pounds, and felt much better, but that was long before the Fibromyalgia fully took hold. I am slowly taking measures to eliminate stress. I know that's easier said than done, but I feel like my quality of life is in jeopardy.
At this point in my struggle with Fibro, I think I'd do just about anything to make it better. I know that there are plenty of you in that same boat, and I pray that each of us are able to find relief until it's cured. I don't think that God put this on us, and I don't think that this has necessarily happened for a reason. I do believe that we can work to make change, we can always use our circumstance to help others and that is what I'm trying to do. Even if I only manage to help one person, then I have done something positive. As I search for information and try to find remedies, I will continue to post and tell anyone who is still reading or who stumbles across my quaint little blog what I have found. I would love you to post anything you have attempted, even if it didn't help you! We know that some things help some of us and some things help others, and I don't believe I have met one person who is like another even in their list of symptoms, nor in their list of things that help their battle with fibro.
I pray for you, pray for me. We will continue to stand together until we come out of this cured, and I want each person who reads this to take away something positive and in turn, give something positive to someone else. I wish you all a happy holiday, and a reminder to take each day a minute at a time. Remember to count each blessing and don't look over the itty bitty ones. 
This is my latest "itty bitty" blessing.  "Adara"


  1. OMG Heather...I love your new little blessing! So CUTE! Thanks for all the info and I hope you are feeling better everyday with this new drug therapy...keep us posted and God Bless! Love~Tory

  2. Loving the pup and good to see you taking so many positive steps toward good health - we're praying for you and cheering you on from slightly south and west of Daingerville!(you know I'll call it that forever!)

  3. I catch myself calling it that as well! Now you can rest knowing that you have had a lasting impact on me. :-)