Worth the Change

**TMI Warning**

This has been a rough week for me, health-wise. It is more an emotional and mental challenge than anything physical, though those symptoms are not fun. My hormones are waaay messed up! This is nothing new for me. I have been through a brain scan, several rounds of blood tests this past year all telling me I should be normal. Well, medical professional folks, I am not.

It should not take 5-6 days of brown spotting for a period to start. Period. I should not have acne in my late twenties.

Most of the medical options have been exhausted (though I have not seen an OB/GYN, I guess all they’d do is give me Clomid or the Pill, depending.) The options I have in front of me now are to make some changes in the way I live and eat. This seems to have the greatest impact on the delicate balance of imbalanced parts.

This week has been full of mental bargaining. What do I give up? What do I eat? How bad is this really? Where do I start in this grand scientific experiment that is my body?

My reference materials have been the following:

  • Fertility Cycles and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon. This has been sitting on my shelf for a few years, but the information is still applicable.
  • Cook Right 4 Your Type/Eat Right 4 Your Type – Yeah, I know this has been dismissed by many people, but I’ve found many of their observations to be correct. I will pick n’ choose from their recommendations.
  • Nourishing Traditions – I will eventually try to go the low-meat version of this diet.

To Sum Up: EAT REAL FOOD! Basically that is what any credible diet plan wants you to do.

My first experiment is to give up chocolate and known caffeine and corn syrup sources. These are the three biggest contributors to PMS and Luteal Phase Inadequacy (<—google that). It is an “easy” task to just say no to the goodies at first.

My second experiment is to start in on detoxifiers like kombucha (if the shroom doesn’t die on me).

The third phase of the experiment is to add in Real Food. I found someone who sells raw goat milk nearby. (OH, I was so happy to see their business card!) We can swing by their farm on the way to Jeff’s Uncle’s house on the weekends. I may also have a lead on an Egg Lady, too.

:::Update::: Had a delightful conversation with Paula the Goat Lady. She is a widowed Christian grandma who raises her goats all organic. The best part of it is she lives just a mile and a half from our Uncle! I am so very humbled that I can help support a widow in a small way. We will be seeing her (and the goats) on Saturday.

Now there are other ways of eating that some ladies have found to work for them. One is to eliminate gluten. I was tested for gluten intolerance last year and came up negative. Yes, I am aware that I could still be GI and come out neg on the blood test. But I just don’t have any other accompanying symptoms, so going non-gluten would probably not be the best investment of my time and money at this point in the game.

Some women have gone no meat and dairy. I have heard many tales of women who quit conventional meats and had excellent results. For me, I’d rather have some good goat milk and eggs, maybe a roasted (happy) chicken and some fish once a month. I would feel much more satisfied.

The best part of the week is that my dear, sweet, long-suffering husband is completely supportive of whatever changes I need to make. He eats just about anything I cook.

I begin the experimenting with a diet journal and lots of reading….

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19 Responses to “Worth the Change”


  1. 1 Mrs. Amy Brigham April 10, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Praying for you as you embark on this journey and hoping that the answers you need may be found. I remember when I was trying to first begin sorting out my health issues–all the frustrations and confusions. In addition to making the dietary changes for my celiac and soy allergies, going for “real food” in NT style really did help me a lot, and most of my hormonal and cycle issues cleared up fairly quickly afterward. I’ll be praying that you might experience similar results.

    Have you ever consulted an herbalist or naturopath? When I was attempting to treat my ovarian cysts, an herbalist gave me a tincture that worked wonderfully for me, in addition to my diet changes. (All the OB/GYN would offer was birth control pills *roll eyes*) After using this tincture for a couple of months, I wound up ovulating normally again, becoming pregnant for the first time, and haven’t had any issues with cysts ever since. After all the years of this or that, I was simply amazed to find such relief and help from a simple bottle full of tincture! I’m now seeing an herbalist again, in hopes of addressing possible luteal phase deficiency (and hopefully avoiding the OB/GYN if it can be helped ;o)).

  2. 2 Anne Elliott April 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Don’t neglect the importance of sleep either. Most important is the level of light you encounter at night. You should mimic how dark it is outside. If it’s a full moon, you can have that much light (MAX), but when the moon is smaller, you need even less light. In short, you need to sleep in almost total darkness, to increase (naturally) your melatonin levels, which then affects how your hypothalamus (and all other hormones) works. Here’s an article about it:
    http://anneelliott.com/light.htm
    Hugs,
    ~Anne

  3. 3 patti April 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    You’re actually at just the right age for adult-onset acne, so I wouldn’t stress about that part too much–although I’ve found, in contrast to what worked when I was a kid on my skin, it’s easier to control blemishes with mild products. Gone are the harsh cleansers, now I use Cetaphil and an occasional mask of crushed aspirin and honey to keep my skin in line. It seems so counterintuitive but the results don’t lie, I have far more trouble when I “try to clear my skin up”.

    Even though I’m your polar opposite in so many ways, by the way, I love your blog.

  4. 4 cbrunette April 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Amy,

    Thank you for your encouragement! Glimmers of hope!

    Anne,

    We actually keep a dark bedroom with pull shades and two layers of curtains to keep out streetlights next to our apartment. This is the best we can do, atm. Thank you for the article link.

    ~Anna

  5. 5 cbrunette April 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Patti,

    My acne has been ensconced on my face since I was 12 years old. This does not count the year I was on Accutane. Then the acne came back two months after I went off that dreaded drug. The Pill does clear it up, so the underlying issue is hormonal.

    I also use a gentle cleanser and low-dose topical peroxide. This regiment keeps the zits down, but as my period nears, I break out all over.

    Your blog looks pretty neat, too. 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment and keep reading.

    ~Anna

  6. 6 Paula April 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Anna,
    Something you may want to look into, is doing a heavy metal and a yeast cleanse.
    Metals and yeast really mess up the female hormones.
    Also add cod liver oil to your diet, and remove all refined sugar.
    And you are right about removing gluten.
    I know many women that have done just these things, and everything comes back into balance.
    It would be very imprtant to get the yeast and metal out before you try to get pregnant.
    I posted a link on my blog yesterday, for a basic test to see if yeast is a problem.
    I know you mentioned being dizzy the other day. This is one of the markers for Candida, as wel as the other things you have mentioned.
    Check out Sally Fallons nutrient dense foods book as well.
    If you still need to treat your acne during the cleanses, a bit of tea tree oil will do the trick.
    Just make sure you are treating it from the inside out first.
    Have a great day.
    Paula

  7. 7 Paula April 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    P.S.
    Do not be surprised if you autism gets significantly better as well. Natropaths have made great strides in chelation and yeast cleanses to lessen and remove the symptoms of autism. Both yeast and metal affect how the brain functions.
    Sounds like a rash statement, but it won’t hurt to give it a try for yourself.
    At the very least, your hormonal issues will come into balance.
    Paula

  8. 8 kristin April 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Cool new blog on eating well and frugally from someone in my church: http://oreganicthrifty.blogspot.com/

    God’s blessings to you!

  9. 9 Paula April 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Dear Anna,
    I am not trying to change you!
    I was only giving you some ideas on things that will greatly help the hormone stuff.
    I know how badly you want to have a baby, so checking out yeast levels will be well worth your time.
    I am dealing with the same hormone issues you are, and I am already seeing healing happen from just eating alot of homemade yogurt.
    God Bless,
    Paula

  10. 10 Miki April 11, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Hi Anna!
    I too have acne & I am 33 almost 34! I don’t know why but I just say that having acne makes me look younger. LOL!! I figure that I will have acne until I’m well into my 60’s! UGH!
    About the spotting problem, I have read that it could be caused by using store bought pads or tampons. That they have some kind of dioxins in them that could actually make you bleed more. Interesting huh? Maybe you should look into buying or making some cloth ones. There are many patterns available for free on the web. Just a thought. Maybe a little more info than some would like to know. :oS
    Blessings,
    Miki

  11. 11 cbrunette April 11, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Paula,

    I know your kind heart was offering help. 🙂 Sometimes, however, I have a difficult time discerning between compassionate understanding from others and manipulation. I’m sorry if I gave the impression of being on the defensive.

    Now that I’ve found a raw milk source, the next item to order (after our tax refund check arrives) is to get a yogurt maker. I could eat yogurt at every meal! This yogurt will be way much better than processed cow milk. Where do you get your cultures?

    Miki,

    I’ve been a mostly-cloth user for the last 8 years. Gave up tampons 4 years ago. Cloth is so much more comfortable! Thanks for the recommendation.

    ~Anna

  12. 12 BriarCat April 11, 2008 at 10:51 am

    If there are any nurse-midwives in your area, you might consider talking to one about your spotting problem since you seem determined to avoid a gynecologist. It that is a situation of long standing, rather than something temporary that might have been brought on by stress or some other transient cause, it could actually be serious. I have faith in diet and behavior as a method for keeping the body in ballance, but if there is an underlying structural abnormality, no amount of good food will change that.

  13. 13 Paula April 11, 2008 at 11:17 am

    No problem,
    Yogurt is way to easy. Just buy a tub of plain yogurt, organic is best, and use that as your culture.
    Also, check out these two blogs for lots of ideas for nutrient dense eating.
    http://www.cheeseslave.blogspot.com
    http://www.garlic_breath.blogspot.com
    I will send you yogurt making instructions later on today.
    As far as getting a yogurt maker, subscribe to your local freecycle, and post that you are looking for one. I did that, and I got one within hours of asking.
    Also, when my period will not start, and I know I am not preganant, I make an infusion of rosemary, fresh ginger and parsley. It works within hours.
    I will get those amounts to you as well.
    Paula

  14. 14 Paula April 11, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Oh, one more thing.
    I make cloth pads. I can make you a set at cost if you want, or I can send you the pattern and instructions.
    Paula

  15. 15 Cathy April 13, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Ditto to whomever suggested the cod liver oil. I also had a luteal phase defect (mine were too short for implantation) and we ended up being married 7 years before having our first. One suggestion I had read was that vitamin A can help with this, and cod liver oil is high in that.

    And hey, we used to get our goat milk from Paula; her niece goes to our church. She’s a sweetie. There’s another family in Sterling who sells it if you ever need another source.

    Best wishes!

  16. 16 cbrunette April 13, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Cathy,

    I think I have the business card for the Sterling folks somewhere…thanks for the reminder. Paula has “loaner goats” right now to meet the demand. With her I can get 1 gallon twice a month, which is ok, I guess. But if I want to start yogurt and kefir-making, I think I might need more. Stay tuned for goat pics!

    ~Anna

  17. 17 Cathy April 13, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Yes, we needed more than Paula could provide…we normally got 2-2.5 gallons per week until a couple of weeks ago. I was tired of making the drive weekly (plus the cost of gas!) so have arranged to pick it up frozen, monthly from Sterling for the time being. Just as an encouragement, my PMS and pregnancy-induced acne has completely disappeared since switching to raw milk. Not sure if that’s the whole reason…we also switched to free-range meats and eggs about the same time. Still trying to work up to the fermented foods. Did you find your kombucha scoby locally? I’m wanting to try that. Take care.

  18. 18 Allison August 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Hello! I had thyroid cancer when I was 18 and still am dealing with regulating my synthroid levels, which I must take because I have no thyroid whatsoever. I had the same problems as you with the acne, period problems, etc as well as severe cramping and then really heavy bleeding when it did come. I went to my gyno who did an ultrasound and discovered that I had a fibroid on my uterus as well as tons of cysts on my ovaries. He told me that those things combined with my thyroid levels would make it near impossible (medically, no spiritually :)) to have children….Just something to research if you haven’t already 🙂 Be blessed!

  19. 19 Zeke May 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I’m a little out of my depth here, partly because I’m a dude, but I’d look into flax. The lignans might help up your progesterone. Flax is low in digestible carbs, but high in protein, fiber, and and fat with an n-3 to n-6 ratio of 3:1 (the n-3 is almost entirely ALA). I know it has done wonders for my a-fib.

    Hope I could help in some small way.


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