Thursday, October 28, 2010


And just because I care, here's a little video to make you laugh. I love them. So much that I stayed up way late laughing my head and was an emotional wreck the next day. Be careful if you watch more of her videos though, the language and whatnot is not always the best.

I couldn't help myself, I had to post another.

Hormones Continued

This has all been great.  Thanks, Kelly for being specific about your issues and the book.  Very interesting.

For me, the hormonal birth control helped rather than hindered my horrible PMS/mood swings  (btw - I've been wondering about the PMS myth and if it's cultural or real . . . I'll be checking out that book if for nothing other than the first chapter).  J. said that was the best thing we ever did for our marriage  (I beg to differ with that, but that's between J. and me!).  :-)  However, coming "off" the birth control was another story.  For the past year I have been very wacky!  Worse, I think, than before the IUD.  When the doctors say, "You'll get pregnant within a month or two" . . . don't believe them!  :-)  Some months have been better than others, but I have felt out of kilter. 

I, too, am more interested in the diet side of things.  I want to figure out what MY body is lacking, not digesting, or just plain doesn't need!

Andrea - I agree with what you said about our mentality and hormones.  It's still hard to distinguish . . .like Marilyn said.  For instance, do you feel you should have "gone on something" when you were having all that rage?  Or could you tell yourself that it would pass, knowing that it would and just not knowing when it would happen? 

I had a dark period after Ethan was born (my 5th/youngest).  It lasted a good two years, at least.  I just kept pushing through it, using prayer as the main remedy.  But I'm wondering if it might have lasted less time if I'd done something more preventative rather than just "dealing."  Not even medication, but counselling might have helped.  You know??

Then, looking back in hindsight I think,  "Well, I got through it, so it must not have been that bad."  But it was bad.  So . . . .

It's just so HARD to know. 

Don't we love being WOMEN!?  :-)

Love you all.


Hormones, continued

Wow!  I didn't think everyone would feel so strongly about hormones.

Since Andrea asked, I'll tell you some of my personal problems.   Then I'll go into some of my notes from the book.

My problems mostly started after the birth of my second child.  Prior to Brynne's birth I cycled about every 35 days and was somewhat predictable.  I used no hormone-controlled birth control after her birth (as opposed to something like a condom).  But then I had a hard time getting pregnant with Logan.  I had a miscarriage.  My cycle ran crazily long - I'd have between 3-6 periods a year.  I attributed it to stress.  We moved a lot, I had an early-morning paper route for awhile, etc.  I was able to get pregnant a year after the miscarriage.  After Logan's birth my doctor convinced me to try Depo-Provera - which is the 3 month birth control shot.  I had it twice.  The second time my period started and never stopped.  When I went to the doctor about it they said that I was having a "reaction" and I would have to wait for all the hormones to go out of my body before my body went back to normal.  I was ready to have another baby anyway, so I wasn't too concerned about the birth control cycle being done.  My body never went back to normal.  My cycles ran anywhere from 2-9 months - totally unpredictable.  After 3 years of trying to have a baby I went to see a different doctor (we'd moved).  He suggested we try to regulate my cycle.  Since I wanted to have a baby he put me on progestin.  It didn't work at all in the way he said it would work.  Among other things, I had terrible hormonal issues for 2 weeks out of every month.  It felt like morning sickness times 10.  After six months I decided I'd had enough of that.  I stopped the drug.  A month later I got pregnant quite by accident/surprise.  I was thrilled.  Kenna is 4.5 years younger than Logan.  After Kenna was born I decided NO MORE  HORMONE BIRTH CONTROL of any sort.  I wanted to give my body a chance.  I'd only used hormone birth control for a combined total of 7 months out of my entire marriage.  It wasn't excessive.  But it wasn't a good thing for my body.  Anyway, I got pregnant again a month after I stopped nursing Kenna. 

I stopped nursing Natalie in January of this year.  I'm still having those crazy cycles.  I think it was a blessing from Heavenly Father to be able to have her so soon after Kenna.  But those two pregnancies back to back wore me out, so I'm currently using the copper-T IUD because it does not have any hormones.  I would love to do natural family planning, but since I have no predictability to my cycle, I'm trying to get that more regular before I move away from the IUD.  I have mixed feelings about birth control.   I know there are people who think it's a totally evil thing.  I think the hormone ones can be bad for our bodies, but I don't think it's necessary evil for people to - with spiritual guidance - control the size of their families.  But that's a whole separate topic.  I had problems before I even tried the depo-provera, but I do blame the depo-provera for making my problems worse.

I don't have PMS very much.  I do have a family history of women with fibroids and hysterectomies, which I am trying to avoid.   I also have irregular and anovulatory cycles.

So on to the book:

Chapter 1: PMS is not a natural or inevitable part of life, but rather one created by our culture, lifestyles, and environment.   It is a result of hormone imbalances, most of them caused by an excess of the hormone estrogen and a deficiency of the hormone progesterone.  It's also about women being out of touch with the cycles and rhythms of their bodies, their feelings, and their souls.

Chapter 3: excess or a deficiency of estrogens can make a world of difference in a woman's outlook on life and her overall health and well-being.  Excessive estrogen can cause cancer.  Estrogen dominance is a condition where a woman can have deficient, normal, or excessive estrogen but has little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body.  Symptoms of estrogen dominance:
acceleration of aging process
allergy symptoms, including asthma, hives, rashes, sinus congestion
autoimmune disorders
breast cancer
breast tenderness
cervical dysplasia
cold hands and feet as a symptom of thyroid dysfunction
copper excess
decreased sex drive
depression with anxiety or agitation
dry eyes
early onset menstruation
endometrial cancer
fat gain
fibrocystic breasts
foggy thinking
gallbladder disease
hair loss
increased blood clotting
irregular menstrual periods
magnesium deficiency
memory loss
mood swings
polycystic ovaries
premenopausal bone loss
prostate cancer
sluggish metabolism
thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism
uterine cancer
uterine fibroids
water retention/bloating
zinc deficiency

causes of estrogen dominance include the environment: pesticides, plastics, waste products, car exhaust, meat, soaps, and other solvents.  All called xenohormones.  Most noticeable symptom is lack of ovulation.

If you have your hormone levels tested, be sure progesterone levels are tested to in order to compare to estrogen.  Estrogen levels by themselves don't signify much.

Chapter 4: progesterone
evils of synthetic progesterones and progestins.  Natural progesterone is cheap and fairly safe to use.  Hard to overdose on.  Chapter 16 goes into greater detail on it's actual uses and how to find a good one.  It is NOT prescription.  Usually can find in health food stores - but there are ones that you should NOT buy.  the book details what to look for and gives some suggestions of reputable brands in the appendix.  It's fairly safe to experiment with on your own, but you can see your doctor to have lab work done.  There's a section on the testing - what sorts of results you'll get and how to interpret them.  And notes that hormone levels fluctuate greatly - even over the course of a day - so the best indicator is symptoms, not lab tests, and they treat the symptoms to get you feeling good.

Chapter 5: disturbing effects of xenohormones in environment -
undersized penises of boys who's mothers were exposed to PCBs
50% decrease in sperm count since 1938
increased incidence of testicular and prostate cancer
endometrial cancer
cervical cancer in women who mothers were given DES (which is synthetic estrogen)
postmenopausal osteoporosis
change in sexual orientation
estrogen dominance syndrome
increases in breast cancer

Osteoporosis is more prevalent now, and more severe, and is occurring 15 years or more before menopause.
(My insert - and this in a country where dairy consumption - the supposed cure for osteoporosis - is higher than any other country)
Chapter 8 - a whole chapter devoted to PMS
The most important physical influences on PMS are hormonal imbalances caused by stress, diet, and environmental toxins.  Natural increase in sensitivity in a woman premenstrually,.
Healing PMS -
*correct estrogen dominance with natural progesterone cream
*take a daily multivitamin that includes zinc, B complex, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin E, etc.  take additional vitamin B6
*Eat a plant-based, fiber-rich diet of fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes
*eat fish at least twice a week
*try herbal formula for PMS that includes some or all of: peony root, milk thistle, Vitex, wild yam, dandelion root, yarrow, and nettle
*manage stress
*get some exercise every day
*keep a journal and allow yourself to nitice the deeper levels of your anger and pain.  seek to resolve unresolved issues the rest of the month

what to avoid:
*birth control pills
*unopposed estrogen
*situations that cause anovulatory cycles
*sugar and refined carbs
*rancid unsaturated oils and dydrogenated oils
*feed-lots meats
*pesticides of all kinds
*chronic stress

Chapter 14 - Nutrition
There isn't one right way that works for everyone.  Get to know your body.  In general - organic, fresh, whole-grains.  Fish in moderation is good for you.  Less sugar and refined carbs.  Plenty of fresh air, exercise, and STRETCHING!  think of processed foods as the enemy. ;-)   Identify problem foods - you can have too much of a good thing.  yeast - importance of probiotics, proper vitamins.


There you have it!  I got the book from my library, but it's pretty cheap at Amazon.  Lots more information, of course and some of it is pretty technical.  One doctor spent much of his career studying the effects of progesterone on women, so he's basing his knowledge on research that he conducted himself.  The female doctor likes to use both traditional and non-traditional healing techniques, which I personally like, to help people have happy, balanced, healthy lives.  She's spent her career treating women.

Thank you

This is all really interesting.  I want to read the welfare book and the hormone book.  I agree that one of the most confusing things is to feel these emotions/impulses/etc. and not really know if they are "real" or if they are hormone-driven and if they will pass, or if they are more serious, or if you should be worried, or if you should be doing something, or if you should be trying to ignore it all----or what.  Very baffling, and scary sometimes.  Andrea, that is really scary about the molar(?) pregnancy.  It is helpful for me to hear of other people's experiences, if only so I have some frame of reference for what kinds of things can be caused by hormones and how other people have handled it.
Anyway . . . thanks for all your thoughts.

Mental Illness

In response to Julia, I think hormones are sometimes confused with mental illness--such as depression, or being bi-polar. People suffering from those diseases can't "pull themselves out of it" and need medication and other help. Hormones are different because, while they can exert the same control of your reactions, they usually level out again--after a period or, in my case, a d&c, so after the "episode" you can think again. Also, I don't think many of us can "pull ourselves out of it" when we are having a hormone induced reaction to something. I think you basically said that yourself--how you respond to your hormones and how you plan before and after the hormones hit can be your only way to positively handle the problem. During is pretty much lost. For Kammers, things like "don't live in Chicago during the winter" is an example of a positive help. Not solution, but help. My mom tracked her period and the three days leading up to it she and dad weren't allowed to talk about money. At all. Positive strategy. For me, lots of sex usually helps. I know, too much info--but seriously, my emotional health is directly related to how much I'm being touched. So---these are the things we need to know about ourselves to make a positive plan of action.

I don't know. Kelly, does the book talk about specific things in your diet that can help??

More on Hormones

I think it is one of the hardest parts of being a woman trying to distinguish between mental thought and hormones.  This has baffled me for years!  I, too, have had those scary moments of thinking I'm going to hurt/ruin my children or my marriage, even. I don't think necessarily as drastic as Andrea's situation, but times of darkness nonetheless.

I have to ask myself, though, why one person can "pull themselves out of it" while others continue to suffer?  Is it only hormone related?  Sometimes, yes.  But I don't think all the time.  I've had a very interesting couple of years that have caused me to think more about my hormones as well.  And what's been most interesting is that after a major paradigm shift recently in my life, the "bad times" haven't been as bad.  Does that make sense?  I had a mental shift, which thus shifted the hormonal responses.  I still had symptoms (bad PMS) but my husband and I dealt with the situation with much clearer vision rather than how we'd unproductively and distructively handled it in the past.  I don't know if that's making any sense.  But with this experience I'm just wondering where the mental and the hormonal meet.???

Maybe I just need to read the book.  :-)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hormones are interesting

Kelly, that book sounds fascinating. I would, actually, like to hear about your issues. Most people I've told this to think I'm making it up, but I think I've been a lot more sensitive to hormonal changes since the molar pregnancy. What happens with a molar pregnancy is that the egg that is fertilized doesn't have a nucleus, so a mass of cells grow really, really fast. Cancer, essentially--though they don't treat it like cancer unless there is a recurrence.

I went through 12 weeks of pregnancy hormone increases in three weeks. Basically, I became mentally ill. Literally. I don't like to think about it, but I kept my kids locked in their rooms for several days (they would get out when Timothy came home and fed and whatnot) because I was afraid I was going to hurt them. My brain would be telling me to do something but I would be doing something completely different. It was very, very scary. And confusing. And hard to admit to anyone. I called my mom one day to ask for help and she told me to take a nap. Not her fault, but you can see how people can spiral out of control before anyone realizes there is a serious problem.

Anyway, since then, any hormonal fluctuations and I flip out. I switched birth control once, fairly recently, and my body freaked out. I had a miscarriage and my body FREAKED out. Pregnancy hasn't been as bad--I think it is because the hormones increase more gradually, but still--this summer was rough. Hormones is one of the main reasons I'm scared to have more kids--even though I want at least one more after this baby. I just hate feeling like I've ruined my family because I can't keep my actions in check.

Again, I can hear all the people in my head who I know would tell me I'm just justifying bad behavior.

Anyway--like I said, I'm very interested in the topic.

Currently I'm reading two books. The first one is Miracle of Forgiveness. No, I've never read it. A lady in my ward gave one of the best RS lessons I've ever heard about repentance, and now I'm motivated to learn more.

I'm also reading Pure Religion. It is the history of our modern church welfare program and it is RIVETING. Much more so than I imagined it would be. Love it. You should all read it. What has surprised me most, so far, is the emphasis on avoiding idleness as the key reason the program got started. Makes you think. Also, many stories are included about how DI and other assistance plans helped people get not just what they needed but also a few extra things that they wanted. The point has been made repeatedly that people are here on earth for joy, and that feeling deprived all the time doesn't encourage the feeling of joy. Also makes you think.

(There was one story about a little girl sent to the Bishop's Storehouse to get shoes, and she was so sad that she had to get the practical, ugly shoes. The Bishop--a literal Bishop--working there at the time insisted the girl take home a pretty red pair instead PLUS three little anklets that weren't on the original order. He said that watching that little girl bounce out of there with a mile-wide smile and a better sense of worth was EXACTLY what the welfare program is about. So, so interesting. Another story that made me cry and laugh was about a Scandinavian gentleman whose only skills were playing the violin and cutting hair. The man interviewing him for assistance told him to report the next day to work as a barber. Then the interviewer spent the rest of the night CREATING a barbershop in the storehouse so the man could have a job. Amazing. It was ready for operation by opening time the next morning.)

Like I said, the book is fantastic and has really made me think about fast offerings and taking things to DI in a slightly different way. You should all read it.

The end.

Female Studies

Hey gals.

Just read a fascinating book about premenopause.  Does that seem weird to you?

It's called, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause".

Really, really interesting.  I find hormones an interesting topic.  I won't go into personal details (unless anyone wants to hear them) but I've had my issues and I'm trying to fix them.

If you are at all feeling something is not quite right that could be hormone related, I'd recommend this book.  It gives a lot of information about what we know about how hormones work in our bodies (that knowledge is really limited, by the way), and some suggestions about common complaints that are usually hormone-related but overlooked.

Other than that, I haven't been reading as much as I normally do.  I've had a lot of things going on.  I've been enjoying some light reading in my spare time, and re-reading of favorite books.

Hope you guys are all doing well!!