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for the ladies; symptoms vary with cycle?

Discussion in 'Hormones' started by leaves, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Rich,

    Thanks for the great info, as always.
    That is whole realm I had absolutely no knowledge of. Your input is always welcome, IMO.
    ~~~~~~~
    One thing that has helped me in the past (though I haven't taken it in some time due to the multiple protocols currently underway)
    is an herbal formula called Woman Power from Sarada's Remedies. This is best for regulating erratic cycles, but over time tends to ease
    much of the PMS symptom picture.

    Some practical way of addressing the info Rich presented is something I'd like to pursue, as it sounds like it touches the core of the matter. From what I gather from Rich's post, balancing the hormonal picture can only help to a limited degree if the body is predisposed to an inability to break certain hormones down.
    ~~~~~~~
    Finally, a reference for the previous biological descripton I posted, Christanne Northrup describes this same ovulatory
    phenomenon in Women's Bodies Women's wisdom. It's a thing.
  2. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    My symptoms definitely get worse during my luteal phase. I always thought it was the progesterone causing troubles for me but perhaps it is the CYP1B1, COMT enzyme polymorphisms. Recently I tried taking phytoestrogens and my symptoms got way worse-I don't know if this is related. Although estriol makes my symptoms better. The hormone stuff is so complicated. I wish I could understand it better.
    Should we take MORE of our methyation supps during times when estrogen is decreasing? If estrogen decreases I am assuming that means it is being metabolized, right?
    Liz
  3. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, all.

    With regard to testing to see if you have the CYP1B1, COMT, GSTM1, GSTP1 and SOD2 polymorphisms, all of these are on the Genovations Detoxigenomic Profile, available from Genova Diagnostics. As you may know from a thread on the forums, some people with ME/CFS have been getting the www.23andme.com saliva genotype characterization run. This panel includes about a million polymorphisms, and the price is lower than for some of the SNP panels various people with ME/CFS have found useful in the past: The Yasko nutrigenomic panel for the methylation related SNPs, the Genovations Detoxigenomic panel for the detox related SNPs, the HLA panel for the biotoxin susceptibilities identified by Dr. Shoemaker, and the Hemex hereditary panel for the coagulation-related genotypes. However, I don't know at this point how many of the relevant SNPs are included in the 23andme panel. I understand that about 70% of the Yasko panel's SNPs are there. As I understand it, 23andme has upgraded to a newer version of the DNA chip they are using, which increased the number of SNPs they interrogate, and it's possible that this may happen again in the future, so I think this "wholesale" characterization of SNPs may be the wave of the future, and eventually all of the ones we know to be important in ME/CFS, as well as more that will likely be identified in the future, will be there, and we may get smart enough to be able to tailor treatment to individuals better, based on these data. But for now, if you want to find out about these particular SNPs, the Genovations Detoxigenomic Profile is available.

    With regard to treatment for a woman who has these SNPs, I'm sure that I sound like a stuck phonograph record, or an illustration of the old adage, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail," but I will suggest that lifting the partial methylation cycle block, which should allow glutathione to come up to normal, should help with the metabolism of estradiol. The main reason is that it will help the body to control oxidative stress more effectively, and I'm suggesting that oxidative stress from redox cycling during estradiol metabolism is the cause of the symptoms. And as aquarius noted, supplementing with antioxidants (so long as they are kept in balance with each other) should help, too.

    leaves: I don't know if milk thistle will help. It might, since it supports the liver in several ways. With regard to activating the enzymes, raising glutathione will help the glutathione transferase enzymes (GST's) to do their job. It should also help SOD2, by taking care of the hydrogen peroxide it produces. COMT needs SAMe to do its job, so building up the methylation cycle function, which will build up SAMe and the ratio of SAMe to SAH, will help this enzyme. So I'm not kidding about the benefits of lifting the partial methylation cycle block and raising glutathione thereby.

    I realize that the issues being discussed on this thread are not confined to women who have ME/CFS, and I think that may be because a woman can have the SNPs I listed, while not having developed ME/CFS (at least, not yet! :( ) In these cases, maybe antioxidant support, especially just preceding those particular times of the month, would help.

    As usual, I am dealing in unproven hypotheses concerning issues that I don't (and in this case, can't) personally have here, and I appreciate all insights and reports of experience from those actually "on the ground," so to speak.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  4. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Thanks Rich. I always appreciate the advice. I would like to to take the Genovations Detoxigenomic Profile test. One question I have is this, though-wouldn't those same polymorphisms make it difficult to break down testosterone (since it is also a steroid)? Or are the enzyme polymorphisms only specific to estradiol? Or all estrogens?
    Liz
  5. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Liz.

    Testosterone is metabolized by different pathways from those that metabolize the estrogens, including estradiol. As far as I know, the testosterone metabolizing pathways do not generate oxidative stress. The fact that the testosterone level in men is fairly constant, while the level of estradiol in women fluctuates widely with the monthly cycle, probably also means that the demand on the metabolism pathways is greater in women at particular phases of the cycle. I don't know about the relative total amounts of the hormones (testosterone in men vs. estradiol in women), but this may also be a factor.

    Rich
  6. lizw118

    lizw118 Senior Member

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    Hi Rich
    This makes me wonder if taking a birth control pill with set levels of hormones throughout the cycle might help women with CFS that have these polymorphisms. Based on what you are saying, the changing levels of hormones make demands on the metabolism. I wonder if anyone has had success on the bcp.
    Liz
  7. sleepy237

    sleepy237 Senior Member

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    Hell
    Every month i have worsening of symptoms particularly neurological my brain activity is not right at all. GP has prescribed Progesterone only pill and I am going to try it. What's to lose.
  8. HTree

    HTree

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    Hi Ladies and Gent(s):
    I actually started a similiar post, but felt was TMI and deleted...
    Glad someone else got the ball rolling here.

    In college I used to have what I distinctly called "good time" and "tired time"-- in attempt to explain to friends/family when I could or could not do things etc...

    "tired time" was pretty decisively the second half my cycle. I felt some relief when I began menstruation. But the last 10 days or so leading up were very clearly worse. This was before I had any diagnosis-- and one of the first thoughts an OBGYN had was that i was "allergic to my own progesterone"-- And I tried a number of birth control pills. Which didn't help Exhaustion (and gave me "traditional" PMS symptoms..)

    Ten years later, All the time is "tired time"-- But I still am worse during the later half.

    I have wondered how this affects all the Labwork etc: I am sure we go in , as someone else mentioned, during certain times of month/ times of day when we can actually get IN to the doctor's office. That is very true for me!

    So as the illness progressed for me (exhuastion)-- I don't have quite the same division but this was one of the first things I noticed--how menstrual cycle affected energy from Day 14-1 or 2 days in. (I really don't have any other PMS symptoms--pretty luck on that count!)

    *RICH* Sorry I don't know your background: do you have MD/PHD in the area?
    Your theory sounds interesting.

    Thanks all!
    Htree
  9. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Htree.

    I have a Ph.D. degree, but not in anything close to the topic we are discussing! Would you believe engineering (mechanical and agricultural) and applied science (mostly physics)?
    I've been studying ME/CFS for about 15 years, but have no formal education in the biomedical sciences.

    Frankly, I'm surprised at how little seems to be known about how to help with problems associated with the menstrual cycle (apart from the additional complications of ME/CFS), considering how much misery they seem to cause for so many women, and what an ancient issue this must be. I have copies of the books by John Lee and Christine Northrup and also the Take Charge of Your Fertility book. I have been the only male member of the CFIDSorFMSpregnant group for quite a few years.

    When you wind together the menstrual cycle issues with ME/CFS, the situation gets very complex, because cortisol and the reproductive hormones are in the same family (steroids). I'm not sure that anyone has a good grip on all of this yet. I certainly don't, but I'm hopeful that there is some validity to the detox enzyme polymorphisms hypothesis.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  10. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    It *is* surprising how little info and unbiased perspective there is on this subject. Even the language (-hyster, the greek for womb, being the root for hysterical) reflects the prevailing bias.

    I suspect, though this is pure conjecture, that it is entirely a modern issue.
    It seems likely that, much like with M.E. and so many of the chronic neurotoxic disorders, this is just one more manifestation of the effect of a toxic, chemically-laden, have-it-all kind of world. Taking a day or two to go within, reflect, rest when needed is not an accepted part of the current paradigm. Connecting with the wisdom of, through, and beyond the body is considered woo-woo and unrealistic.

    Not at all surprising that one of the most feminine of processes objects and rebels at the poisonous acts and attitudes of modern "society."

    Sounds like Feminism 101, but as you said, it's surprising how far we have *not* come in our collective acknowledgment of the imbalance so-called civilization exhibits on so many levels.
  11. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Yes, it is exactly as you say. It is definately related to hormone fluctuation. I had a hysterectomy recently but my ovaries were left in. I have a period tracker app on my ipod so I still know approximately when I would normally have gotten my period (before hysterectomy). My symptoms are still worse in what would have been about a week before the first day of my period and the first day or two of what would have been my period.
  12. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    My m.e symptoms always get even worse for the two days round ovulation and just before and during my period. I read somewhere that women with neurological conditions often experience an exacerbation of their symptoms around the start of their period. It obviously is all hormone related

    My gp prescribed me the progesterone only pill so my hormones wouldnt fluctuate so widely. This definitely did get rid of the dips; however, for various reasons after a few months I decided to come off it. I might go back on it sometime. I am wondering how my me will be affected when menopause hits, am forty so a few years yet hopefully
  13. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    This is a very good point. And although it is still conjecture there is some evidence for this point of view.

    For example, there is some medical research that links endometriosis to toxins such as dioxin (see http://www.endometriosisassn.org/environment.html ). Since ME/CFS is a hundred times more likely to occur in women with a diagnosis of endometriosis when compared to women in the general population (see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/442245 ) I think it's quite probable that at least some cases may be caused (or at least exacerbated) by various environmental toxins.
  14. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Female Brain Gone Insane

    Hi, all.

    Has anyone read the book "Female Brain Gone Insane" by Mia Lundin? It apparently deals with hormonal issues, neurotranmitters, and things of that sort. She is an R.N. and a Nurse Practitioner in Santa Barbara, CA. I'm thinking about getting a copy.

    Rich
  15. HTree

    HTree

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    Regarding a modern-issue: I've studied environmental science including pollution/toxicology to a degree-- and Yes indeed, there are hundreds of chemicals we produce and have not studied--especially the synergies (how they all interact in the outdoors with eachother and with natural substances)... Neruoendocrine disruptors-- are all causing problems..

    On a related note--women's health vulnerabilities in general--not CFS per se:
    i remember (as a former athlete) reading tendons....like knee injuries, or maybe achillies..in female athletes were more likely to happen during certain time in the cycle due to fluctuations... Not known why exactly, but true...

    Thanks Rich for your input; I have to look into your theory (put it on the to-do list!)

    Htree
  16. hope love light

    hope love light

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    Hi Rich,

    This is interesting and thanks for coming into the Ladies Room. I was reading Dr. Jamie Deckloff-Jones blog and one of the things that she said helped her the most was" bioidentical hormone replacement in physiologic doses". That is before the anti-virals anyway... http://treatingxmrv.blogspot.com/2010/05/thoughts-about-chronic-lyme-disease.html

    I personally have had dysmenorrhea since the onset of my menses at 16, and now that I suspect that I am in peri-menopause I have had a relapse of my illness which now includes dysautonomia and or POTS.

    So my questions is what can we do, how can we activate those enzymes?
    Is glutathione alone enough?

    Thanks,
    Hope Love Light

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