If you have followed my health journey for any period of time you know that I have been working incredibly hard and yet still struggle with seeing the results I think I should. It’s not that I don’t put in the work, because I do. I press my limits at the box, I follow a clean eating plan from a nutrition coach with the exception of a few meals out with family per month. Still, despite all my work I was seeing little to no progress. I mean, yea, I was making better choices for my health but as hard as I have worked I should be further along… I know everyone says that! But it’s true!
I chalked most of that up to the fact that my thyroid is whack thanks to my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. 98% of the time I accepted that my reality would be that I would have to work twice as hard for half the results. The other 2% of the time I threw myself a big pity party that included fried pickles, burgers, loaded fries, and ice cream. Because if I wasn’t going to lose weight I was going to eat whatever the heck I wanted anyway. This lasts for about a day before I start feeling sick. Then I get back to business and keep working. The thing that always bothered me is that since starting my medication my labs have always come back as normal. That means everything should work like it is supposed to, right? Wrong…
I started to notice more signs that something wasn’t right in the last few months. I was having crazy headaches, I was sleeping on average 8 hours most nights but still feeling extremely fatigued, generally felt “off” and “foggy brained”, and the biggest red flag was my ability to go from happy go lucky to extremely irritable in 0.6 seconds… particularly when dealing with my daughter. That was a huge eye opener. If you know my daughter you know that she is seriously the best kid ever. I’m not just saying that because she is my daughter, but she is seriously the sweetest, kindest, most well behaved child I know. So when I lost my patience with her on a regular basis that was a huge red flag. Not to mention my lack of results with hard work on the diet and exercise front. I really started to feel like I was legit going crazy. I had my thyroid checked again just to see if my levels fluctuated… but nope. Still normal. My nutrition coach, Jamie from Precision Fitness STL, suggested the theory of Estrogen Dominance. When I read the symptoms I felt like I was reading through a description of my life. Check these out…
- Decreased sex drive
- Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods
- Bloating (water retention)
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Headaches (especially premenstrually)
- Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
- Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
- Cold hands and feet (a symptom of thyroid dysfunction)
- Hair loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Sluggish metabolism
- Foggy thinking, memory loss
- Trouble sleeping/insomnia
Uhm, HELLO! McFly! This is seriously my life. Could THIS be reason why my thyroid is jacked up to begin with?!
I brought it up to my general practitioner who deals with my thyroid issues and she hadn’t ever really dealt with it, but was interested in doing so. We got my blood work done and I was on pins and needles waiting for the response. So, it turns out that my estrogen levels are normal… HOWEVER… My progesterone levels came back in the range of someone who was Post Menopausal. Meaning there was practically no progesterone in my system.
My first reaction? I’M NOT CRAZY! YAY!
Then I was a bit confused, My estrogen levels were “normal” after all… so it wasn’t that I had too much estrogen… It was that it wasn’t balanced with the other hormones in my body. One of the places I was reading about it made it make the most sense to me “the theory of estrogen dominance is very real, but its significance lies in the overall ratio of estrogen to progesterone”
So, it isn’t that I have an excess amount of estrogen, it is that I am not producing enough progesterone to balance it out. So, I am going to start using a natural progesterone cream to help supplement. This is a tricky issue as too much can cause my body to swing the other way. Another complication to the issue (and a TMI alert) is that I have the Mirena IUD and don’t have regular periods. I can’t tell you the last time I had a period. I do plan on having it removed in the next few months and I hope that helps things to balance out.
I know this is long winded, but I wanted to share this with you in case any of you were struggling with the same things.
Have you ever felt crazy? Were you really crazy?