Julie Rehmeyer's 'Through the Shadowlands'
Writer Never Give Up talks about Julie Rehmeyer's new book "Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand" and shares an interview with Julie ...
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For all the ladies...

Discussion in 'Hormones' started by LilacGardenia, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. LilacGardenia

    LilacGardenia

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    This ones for all the ladies, possibly some of you can relate?

    I'm pretty high functioning (about a 7) when it comes time for "Auntie Flo's visit" my fatigue gets like 10 times worse and my O2 levels drop. 2 days before "the visit" I'll start to get more tired than usual and horrid "I think I'm in labor with an elephant" cramps. :( Tylenol helps, but doesn't completely cut it. I usually don't eat much because of this (otherwise I get pukey.)

    My fatigue gets worse before I bleed (which only lasts like 3-4 days), then afterwards the fatigue lingers for several days. I've had tests for anemia and I'm not anemic nor iron deficient.

    Today I've been upset with myself because I haven't been able to do much due to this wave of fatigue and achy pain. I took a nap and did a lot of low energy type stuff (which is okay since I'm only working and not in class at the moment, but come fall I'm kind of in a bind.) I'm looking forward to menopause, but have like another 25-30-ish years to go. :cautious: Haha.

    Do you get worse before/after this time? What do you typically do about it?
     
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  2. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    So sorry to hear you're having a rough time of it *hugs*. I know you probably already know this, but just to have it said...you need to accommodate your body when it's achey and in pain, so that you don't become worse. Even though you'd rather be doing stuff I'd like to congratulate you on resting instead, as it is the proper response. :)

    I hear you on the nausea/puking; I also have to restrict my eating around then or it just comes back up. I typically have a pretty awful time the first day, although some recent attempts to address it have been promising in giving me a month of relief here and there and I'm hopeful that will become continuous. Besides cramps so bad I've been told they're "worse than having a baby", I also get a kind of severe weakness that leaves me quite shakey and unable to sit up for hours at a time. I used to think it was from the pain but sometimes it happens even when the cramps are at a manageable level. My theory is that it's something hormonal.
     
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  3. Lala

    Lala Senior Member

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    I too have horrible problems around my period. I do not know if this is only hormonal. I have read about chronic lyme beeing adjusted to the monthly cycling of women s hormones. These bugs like estrogen, so they grow in the same time, causing increasement in symptoms around period.

    I have not found many things helpful. Primrose oil helped with my breast pain, but apart from this only pain killers helped litlle bit, but not too much. Everything is weak for such a pain.
     
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  4. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Estrogen is lowest right before menstruation and during the first few days of the period. If estrogen were making the bugs grow, it would be in the middle of the cycle near ovulation and then again around day 21 possibly.

    I think it is much more likely that there is a hormonal imbalance. Terrible cramps are often a sign of estrogen dominance.

    If your adrenals are flagging, progesterone may also be propping up those levels during the second half of the cycle. When progesterone drops right before menstruation, many women feel an increase in fatigue and symptoms. I often felt shaky and had to stress dose with cortisol for my period before I got more stable on cortisol.

    There is also a wide range of normal for iron results - I shoot for serum iron around 100 and ferritin 70-90. There is a big difference between optimal and normal. My first ferritin of 20 something was technically "normal" while functionally dreadful.

    Do you know if you have low magnesium? Magnesium can help with cramping. You might try an Epsom salts bath.

    Have you had any sex hormone testing on day 21 of your cycle to see what your levels are doing? Adrenal testing?
     
  5. Lala

    Lala Senior Member

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    Perhaps bugs get impulse to start reproduce and it takes some time- I do not know. This is just hypothesis, which I read in lyme world. I am heavy supplementing magnesium for a long time, so I guess I am not deficient. I did not have any special tests on 21st day of my cycle nor for my adrenals. I had only general testing from my blood- testosteron, dhea, etc. in the middle of my cycle once and all hormones came back ok. I used to have horrible cramps during first day of menstruation, but it decreased with using antibiotics. Now it is often just pain in my woman´s organs.
     
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Me too with that (thou I dont have issues with it making me tired.. just the "elephant" cramps causing me pain to the point that it can make me nauseated and nearly vomit. Fortunately for me, it dont happen every month, just some months (I have no idea why some months are different for me).

    I used to use both panadol and asprin at the same time but 2 hrs apart (pharmacist said that was fine) due to the degree of pain I can get with this. As I have given birth twice, I can say that this issue can be as painful for me as giving birth actually is. Ive half passed out in pain due to it. Even with the panadol and asprin which I used to take both in high dose.. I still used to often end up having to try to sleep the night in the bath, just to try to ease the pain.

    So now doctor now has me on Mefenamic acid for this as that is targeted for period cramping http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mefenamic_acid (the drug I take is called Ponstan capules). It thou only gives me about the same relief as high dose asprin dose .. maybe a touch more Im not sure. I thou still need to take Pandol ie paracetimol at times as well (I dont advise taking other things with Mefenamic acid to anyone as Im not sure if taking other pain killers with it are safe or not thou Im doing it.. I think one CANT take Asprin with this drug? I think a doctor did warn me about that.).

    Probably the mefenamic acid would be working better for me if I did start to take it a couple of days before my period as that is when one is supposed to be taking it (and when a doctor told me it should be taken from).. but I dont get to do that as I only start getting cramping from the day before it, sometimes now period warning at all.. with the extremely bad pain being day 1 or day 2 of my period. (as I also have PCOS, I dont know when Im going to get my period due to irregular cycle so hence why I cant take this drug like it should be taken from in advance.

    anyway.. i suggest you ask your doctor about this drug and see if you can give it a go but you will need to take it a bit earlier then 2 days if you already are getting pain from there.
     
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  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    I used to get horrible cramps like that, but after having testing done and using bioidentical progesterone from a compounding pharmacy for a while (this was prior to getting ME) this got waaaay better

    terrible horrible cramps is anecdotally related to being a DES granddaughter
     
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  8. LilacGardenia

    LilacGardenia

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    Thanks so much, everyone! I REALLY, REALLY appreciate it! :hug:

    I haven't had any testing aside from an ultrasound (like 8 months ago) to chest for ovarian cysts or any abnormalities like that. Nothing was found. I also had blood work done to check for anemia--it came back normal (this was like 7-8 months ago.)

    I started taking magnesium and bought some molasses to make this tea recipe I found that's supposedly beneficial for cramps.I've been doing yoga and I'm going to try the Epsom salt bath idea. I'm into the natural and alternative approaches. My GP suggested I go to the gynecologist to see what they have to say, but I'm pretty sure they'll push birth control. I'm strongly opposed to it because I feel like it's a band-aid solution that creates more problems than it solves. The risks and side effects are awful (one of my friends took it for monthly headaches and had a horrible reaction to it) and I know most of the research labs at my university will turn away or group together study participants on birth control since it does physiological changes to the brain. There is a huge difference in some of the data looking at differences in girls/women on birth control versus not on it. Anyways, if I see any doctor, I'd go to an alternative medicine physician.

    I have heard of the hormones from plastic acting as hormone disruptors and all the hormones injected into animals that we consume/consume products from. I'm a bioethics minor and wrote an essay on the rBST and Monsanto scandal. #facepalm the FDA fails to protect the consumers to the point where other countries no longer accept it's views as legitimate. :thumbdown: Anyways, I have been watching my dairy consumption and I only by rBST-free dairy. I also eat hormone-free meat, avoid plastic (especially the higher risk numbers), and watch the cosmetics and lotions I buy. My parents tell me this is overkill and ridiculous. My mom is well into menopause and my dad, well... he has no experience to begin with. :lol: They don't have to live with the consequences I do from all of the DES, BPA, etc. hormone disruptors (at least not in the same ways.)
     
  9. Foggy

    Foggy

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    My fatigue is far worse about 2 or 3 days before my period along with even more painful leg muscles, knees and ankles. Then it eases up as Aunty Flo slowly stops flowing.
     
  10. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    i have chronic pain/fibro/cfs...the pain from the cramps is so bad sometimes it really feels like im in labor with a baby...the fatigue is much worse also...maybe from teh blood loss...ive been told before i have anemia thoguh im not sure i still do...
     
  11. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I feel much worse before ovulation and menstruation.
     
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  12. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I did some research on menstrual cramps a while back and it turns out that the reason it feels akin to being in labor is because those actually are contractions!

    I've always had bad cramps, and as a teenager the only help my doctor could advise me on was to take birth control. I declined. I've tried progesterone as a topical application, and it seemed to make things worse. Muscle relaxants were recommended, and the one time I took a huge amount of valerian root was the worst I have ever had in my life - muscles were completely relaxed but the pain was unreal; it was non-stop screaming and my caregiver was surprised i didn't pass out.

    I've noticed that heat can help to a certain extent to soothe, but if the cramps spin completely out of control then cold, as awful as it feels, can actually bring it down. Ice packs, cold shower, lying on a cold tile floor, anything. I know it's the opposite of conventional wisdom, but I stumbled upon it by accident once and it's now my go-to strategy for when it begins to completely overwhelm my body.

    For a long time I was planning to try Maya abdominal massage, which is a form of visceral manipulation where they feel any area your uterus and surrounding organs are not quite where they're supposed to be and massage them into place. I've read it can be particularly effective for menstrual cramps. The route I'm currently going is similar but it begins with the bones - since my pelvis and tailbone where not where they were supposed to be that's where I'm starting with my cranial osteopath, and there are other visceral issues in my abdomen that will be worked on soon so hopefully my uterus will get sorted out during that as well.

    Since beginning the treatment it turned out that working on my SI joints made a significant difference in my cramps, so that some months I could avoid them entirely. But that took a lot of careful work and concentration, and personally I won't feel satisfied that this area of my body is working properly until I can come through unscathed without having to stop my life completely. I'm fairly confident I'll get there, but since this treatment is not just focused on that it could take a while.
     
  13. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    Dainty are you still doing Visceral Manipulation? Do you still advocate for it and do you think its safe if one has tendency to hypermobility in certain ares of body like neck?
     
  14. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    @xrayspex wow, that's an old post!

    Yes, I am still doing it and continue to experience improvement from it. I wrote a blog post specifically about my abdominal progress last month, you can find it here. After that recent breakthrough, I've been working on my abdomen at least half an hour a day, often at least twice a day, sometimes longer or more often. My last menstural cycle cramps were very different and did not get severe.

    I have hypermobility as well, though not severely. When it comes to manipulation....put it this way, it's never "safe" to manipulate the body structurally. Especially critical areas like the neck. There will always be some risk. The first osteopath I went to, her treatments resulted in some structural problem where I could only breathe when my chin was all the way down to my chest. She claimed it was "just anxiety!" I didn't go back, saw someone else for a second opinion, who rightly diagnosed the problem and was able to address it.

    A chiropractor only evaluating, not treating me, managed to significantly aggravate a cervical sprain in my neck from a car accident. Chiropractors are extremely rough on the body compared to osteopaths specializing in cranial manipulation. I would strongly warn against anyone with hypermobility or any sort of sensitive body to stay away from them.

    Cranial osteopathy is extremely gentle treatment. In the work my osteopath taught me to do on my own abdomen, I am often barely even touching the skin, with sometimes enough pressure to slightly depress the tissue. It never comes close to the pressure of even a gentle massage. So I feel that it is as safe or safer than receiving a gentle massage.
     
  15. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    thanks Daisy, what you say makes a lot of sense to me, fits with me experiences.....a chiro adjustment was one of the first precursors to my CFS and pain, messed up my neck bad many years ago from trying chiro and before that never had neck problems.
    Even cranial sacral creates too much residual pain in me for too long for me to do it even tho there is benefit ---just not worth it for me....did it for years and put up with the pain and then quit doing it--I do think its a good thing for most people.

    glad to hear still thumbs up with the VM from you, yes I would only allow very "homeopathic" like treatments if continue VM with caution.
     
  16. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    @xrayspex you mention cranial sacral, do you perchance mean cranial sacral therapy? That's actually vastly different from cranial osteopathy, which is why I ask. It's so confusing. Cranial sacral therapy is learned in a single weekend, whereas the skill needed for cranial osteopathy requires several YEARS to learn. Cranial sacral therapy is a set of techniques used on everyone, whereas cranial osteopathy starts with medical diagnosis of structural issues and it is very selective on what techniques are applied depending on your unique problems.

    A cranial osteopath must have a very extensive understanding of anatomy, because every single structure of the body affects every single other structure. Whereas a cranial sacral therapist might work on the problem areas and you might experience some relief, cranial osteopaths address the whole body and might not even touch the main problem spot at all! Their goal is to help the body heal itself so that you don't need to keep coming back. My DO talk about how lots of people with neck problems who have been seeing chiropractors for years come and see him. He says he tends to identify the issue usually in their lower back. They get mad he didn't work on their neck. He tells them "do the homework I gave you, call me in two weeks." They grumble, but two weeks later....there's no need to come back at all, they're pain-free.

    An osteopath must know anatomy so well that they know how their treatment will have a ripple effect on other structures of the body. If you have multiple structural issues, it might be that a direct approach on one of them would end up aggravating a different structural problem. Cranial sacral therapists do not have the training to identify this and successfully navigate around it. I suspect this might have been happening because you say it caused you pain for years. That really shouldn't be happening. :(

    EDIT: Also, just FYI visceral manipulation was part of my cranial osteopathic treatments, not separate from them. The cranial rhythm is felt throughout the entire body, not just the head and spine -- or at least, it's supposed to be. A cranial ostepath can feel where there rhythm is not reaching, similar to feeling there's no pulse in the wrist of a badly injured arm, for example. They then trace the issue back to where the problem is located and work on that.

    You know how if a joint is immobilized for a long time, it freezes up? It gets all stiff and cranky and painful. Well, the idea is the cranial rhythm helps prevent that effect from happening to our body tissues. It's subtle movement that keeps everything loose and relaxed and operating smoothly. When I first saw my osteopath, he remarked that my legs were "dead", in his words. Medically speaking, they were still alive - blood flow, sensation, the works - but the cranial rhythm was completely absent from them. Over time, as this got corrected, I felt warmth and more feeling return to them, and subsequently became less and less bedridden as my legs began to be capable of supporting me.

    My abdominal stuff was linked to pelvic stuff and the both of those structural issues were preventing the healing movement from reaching my legs. It's allll connected.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  17. blueberry

    blueberry

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    When period pains are that bad it may be useful to rule out endometriosis. It doesn't show up in scans so the only diagnostic tool is a laparoscopy. Endo is massively under-diagnosed, I was 40 before I got my diagnosis. I take the mini-pill daily to control the symptoms. Not ideal for everyone, but it has made an immense difference to my quality of life. I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but it is worth considering. I'm on a bit of a personal mission to raise awareness about the condition!
     
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  18. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    "@xrayspex[/USER] you mention cranial sacral, do you perchance mean cranial sacral therapy? That's actually vastly different from cranial osteopathy, which is why I ask."
    oops yes, thanks Dainty for catching that and saying more about the difference! and also so sorry I got your name wrong the first time :)
     
  19. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    It's interesting, I have had many doctors say I probably have endometriosis. But they also said there was no point in finding out for sure because it would not change the treatment approach. :/ I tried the Nuvaring to relieve the symptoms, but the side effects were too much for me. I wrote about it in this thread. I'm glad the minipill works so well for you!


    No worries! It happens all the time....both mixing up cranial scaral therapy with osteopathy and mixing up my name with Daisy. ;) I respond to either! :D
     
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