My battle against hormonal imbalance

I have been diagnosed with PCOS and continue to hyperplasia complex with atypical cells. The last diagnose was given after a biopsy and it was a little bit shocking for me. The atypical cells have been known to carry cancer cells. My doctor warned me that it leads to cancer, and he usually would do a hysterectomy when a biopsy result came out like this. I was 37 at that time, because of my condition he suggested that I have a hormonal therapy. I undergo a hormonal therapy program, which is quite annoying due to the mood swing, and weight gain. All those steroid, and hormone replacement pills were quite expensive. Twice a month I will be waiting in front of the doctor’s office, hoping it will be my last. After one and a half year of long tiring therapy, it was time for another biopsy. It came out clean…

I thought the therapy works but then I was wrong. After a couple of months my symptoms of monthly period came back. Pain and blood came more than before and it made me running to the ER. They gave shots to stop the blood and ease the pain. Another doctor gave pills to balance my hormone. None of them work….

I do research after that; there must be something wrong with my metabolism. I started to look for answer and ask questions. If my doctors could not find out the root of the illness, I will do it on my own. I have no medical background; I only graduated from Biology major in High School. My bachelor degree is Archaeology and my master degree is more to education… far from competence.

I remember every word that my doctor said;  I remember nearly all that he explained. I suffered from low progesterone, my body does not produce enough progesterone and it causes high oestrogen level.

Estrogen dominance can start early in a woman’s menstrual history. Young women who suffer from this enter menarche with tremendously difficult periods, and doctors sometimes give these teenage girls birth control pills to help regulate the frequency and severity of their periods.

 Some women will develop the estrogen dominance syndrome much later in life, sometimes as a result of diet, liver impairment, or environmental factors or also as a result of anovulatory cycles before menopause — that is, menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred. [Ovulation is necessary in order to produce the corpus luteum, (which means, “yellow body”) that is found on the surface of the ovary after ovulation. Surrounding the ripening egg, the corpus luteum remains after ovulation to produce progesterone for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.]”

Diseases or problems that are thought to be related to or affected by excess estrogen and deficient progesterone in women are:

  • Weights gain secondary to insulin resistance.
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Certain types of PMS
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual disturbances–irregular and heavy bleeding.
  • Endometriosis, the uterine tissue disorder, which is helped by the use of estrogen blockers.
  • Fibroids, a sign of excess proliferative capacity of the uterus, which may not be balanced with sufficient progesterone.
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Breast Cancer

All those diseases that came out from single oestrogen dominance is quite a lot. It was mentioned that oestrogen might have cause a higher risk in cancer. How about progesterone?

“One of progesterone’s most important functions is to cause the endometrium to secrete special proteins during the second half of the menstrual cycle, preparing it to receive and nourish an implanted fertilized egg. If implantation does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the endometrium breaks down and menstruation occurs.

If a pregnancy occurs, progesterone is produced in the placenta, and levels remain elevated throughout the pregnancy. The combination of high estrogen and progesterone levels suppress further ovulation during pregnancy. Progesterone also encourages the growth of milk-producing glands in the breast during pregnancy.”

 

There are other Roles of Progesterone:

  • Helps normalize blood sugar levels
  • Boosts thyroid function
  • Helps us use fat for energy
  • Has beneficial anti-inflammatory effects reduces swelling and inflammation

I see my blood test overtime. In several blood tests I suffered from low blood sugar, and low cholesterol. Meaning that I have no bad or good cholesterol. However, I gain weight a lot after the therapy. I can’t stop it even though I don’t eat much daily. I may not have physical exercise because I fainted most of the time. I like swimming, but how can I swim if my period is prolonged every month.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

Many of the symptoms of low progesterone also coincide with symptoms of other health issues, so be aware that just because you may have some of these, it doesn’t mean you’re low on progesterone, but of course it’s definitely worth looking into.

  • a luteal phase less than 12 days
  • sugar cravings
  • ovarian cysts
  • low basal body temperatures
  • irregular periods
  • allergy symptoms
  • arthritis
  • spotting in the days before your period begins
  • recurrent early miscarriage
  • blood clots during menstruation
  • cold hands and feet
  • brittle nails
  • cracked heels
  • decreased sex drive
  • menstrual cramps
  • depression or anxiety
  • acne
  • fatigue
  • fibrocystic breasts
  • PCOS
  • endometriosis
  • fibromyalgia
  • gallbladder issues
  • Foggy thinking
  • headaches and migraines
  • infertility
  • vaginal dryness
  • slow metabolism
  • mood swings
  • weight gain, especially around the middle

From a website a read the author summary of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause by Dr. John Lee and highly recommend it to anyone needing to know more about natural hormone balance. He discusses at length why we may be low in progesterone and how to use a natural progesterone cream to help rectify the issue. Below are the notes from the blog writer.

  • Xeno-estrogens/xeno-hormones make us estrogen dominant. They come from plastics, synthetic hormones, conventional meats and animal products, etc. This exposure can result in low progesterone. If our mothers were exposed to it, it can cause dysfunction in her daughters’ ovarian follicles.
  • The embryonic stage of life is when ovarian tissues are most sensitive to the toxicity of xeno-hormones
  • Xeno-hormones are fat soluble (meaning the body absorbs and holds on to them) and non-biodegradable
  • Stress increases levels of cortisol, which blocks progesterone from its receptors in the body. Too much stress and progesterone won’t get where it needs to go.
  • Using huge amounts of supplements over the long-term may result in another imbalance in the body.
  • Our bodies release mood and energy enhancing chemicals (like adrenaline) to fight allergic responses to food – we are hooked on what we’re allergic to!
  • Exercising to hard lowers antioxidant levels in the body. Moderate exercise raises levels.

This book also went into the explanation of natural progesterone creams, which aren’t truly natural; a better name is bio-identical. You see, the progesterone in our bodies is produced nowhere else in nature. Dioscorea Mexicana is a plant that is part of the yam family native to Mexico. It has a steroid called diosgenin that is taken from the plant and is converted into progesterone by changing the cellular structure.

I think stress will always causes progesterone level to go down. And for some women will cause the ultimate pain during a period. I do take supplements for increasing my progesterone and it causes a lot of imbalance in my metabolism. I suffer from other illnesses. Once my internist even suspected me having autoimmune disease. I do a lot of blood test but nothing was confirmed. He gave up at the end… similar to other doctors in my life. They gave up, and I become frustrated. My doctor even said he always got headache when he had to give me a diagnosis. It took him 9 days to find my illness once. I had to stay in the hospital for 9 days…. boring. But that time he was lucky, my illness that concealed itself appeared in the scan. He was quite all right compared to others that gave up after one or two months. So I stick with him. It is quite tiring changing doctors with a thick medical record like I do.

Well, after a while I seek other means to get well. And I start to do a little light reading. It was quite difficult to find one in Indonesian. Articles and Books are not abundance. I have to search, and luckily I can read well in English. Well let’s start the own observation of my body. All this time my symptoms and all my blood test came out not really supporting one and another. I gave up a lot of time, cried river of tears when pain struck. I could not even move because I was too tired fighting the pain. I take painkillers to ease the pain, but lately it does not work that well. I am searching for the root and open to suggestion. I gave up on a cure and cried for days. But I remember my father never let me gave up on anything. He told me that you can be sad and in great pain,  take a lot of rest as long as you want to recover and then you have to fight again.

Maybe I will do the hysterectomy and be well. Bu is it the right answer? What will be the effect? another imbalance? Mood swings? Is it an answer? Is it a way out? Or creating a new problem. I have no idea… I just have to find out.

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Words of Imperfection

When time passed me by

When the clock keeps on ticking

I hold on to faith and never let go

I keep going strong no matter how the storm is

Never will I give up

Experience taught me not to lose hope

Through the storms I will become stronger

But then sometimes I say….

How can I not cry, when I know it hurts so much

How things are better unknown and never revealed.

For I have nothing, just the emptiness of my soul.

When I call for help but no one hears.

And I am too proud to say I need you.

I will then hide behind reasons

Reason to keep on going

Reason to fight

Reason that all will come to an end

Reason that every cloud has a silver lining

I am always too proud to admit defeat

Never let anyone see my tears

Sometimes when things get tough

I will sit by your side and look at you

You will smile and hold my hands

I am strong on my own, but I am stronger with you

I am still human, I have my downfall

I have to admit I need someone by my side

I run freely through the maze of life

Knowing you will always be there

I learn from you….

It is all right to cry

God creates human imperfect

Life doesn’t always teach you to be strong

It teaches you how to live

And I am living my life

17 September 2010

The Coffee shop

Candle Light

I am back to the spot where I can sit down and I don’t have to say a word. I sit while typing words that pops out of my mind in my laptop.  People sit around me sipping coffee out of a plastic glass. The room is filled with buzzing sounds from people talking to each other. The smells of tobacco tempt me to have another round.  I am here in the middle of a crowd but I feel alone, my mind keeps galloping through the air. I am wondering why my heart seems so difficult to see what lies in front. My fingers type one word to another wishing that I can come to a conclusion of my confused mind. Can I see you again? That is all I can hear inside my head. A perfection of life is in my grasp, but my heart runs faster than lightning. My memory goes down a rabbit hole, trying to find what I am looking for. I remember, your big black eyes looking at me. Your heart is pure, your soul was not lost. You were the best thing I could remember all my life. You touch my heart and my soul with your sincerity. How I longed to hold you and tell you I really love you. But I am a lost man, I don’t have a chance. You have a perfect life, a perfect love. And I am sitting here lost in the crowd. What misery does to your soul is nothing anyone can explain.

I am staring at my laptop monitor holding my cup of coffee and once in a while looking at my phone, wishing I could send her a message telling her how much I miss her. I know I am just a side dish from a meal but I really miss her. And down inside my heart I miss you too. I keep on typing words that I won’t send… hope that one day she can read it and understand. I still remember you too; I always do even though I don’t admit it. You know me as a person who lied to you, and I hurt you that much. Life is not a fairy tale, but dreams are essential. Don’t give up a dream, I love your enthuastism when you tell me about your days. Your face light up with joy, your eyes shines, and you glow. You give life a new meaning. I don’t want you to give in to sadness, and lose the war. You might lose a battle once in a while, but you are going to win the war. Words I can’t describe how I feel for you. I remember telling you words that are inappropriate, but you just stood still looking at me with no words to reply. I pour you with words of nonsense, I just keep on going and I am ending up hurting you. You are a friend, you care so much about me, and you never judge me. I didn’t know that I made you cry. I am sorry that I did that. I have a foolish heart that cares for someone so mean. She takes advantages of the love that was true once in a lifetime. I know how much I love her, but I can’t satisfy her. You are the one who sees the real me, and in front of you I trembled when I lie. I am a person who dares faced the world, but I can’t face the one I love. You are to me is better than her, better than me. And you have a life that is perfect. You have someone who cares; he gives you the future that I can’t give. And I know how much he loves you. I saw him looking at you with eyes full of love, and his heart is sincere. He will do anything for you; he will never let you go. I can never ruin that picture of happiness that you have. I might have left you alone, but it is for the best. I love you… I always will, but you are better off without a memory of me.

I sit while people come and go. Time stops for me, I am in the middle of a dream. My mind runs in a circle not knowing when to find the answer. All I Remember was the pain tearing parts of my heart. My heart was broken into pieces. The hurt she caused me will take time to heal. My eyes keep staring at the gloomy weather, rain has just fallen from the sky. I remember how you like the rain, I like it too. Every drop of rain is rhythm to you; the rain itself is your music. I once imagine running through the rain with you, and suddenly I will stop to kiss you under the pouring rain. You will try to get away, but I will make you stay. I wonder if you still think of me. If I can turn back time, I will tell you that you are everything to me. I will hold your hand, and never let you go. I will stare into your big black eyes and see forever.

Suddenly everything becomes so bright, sunshine makes the gloomy weather disappear. I raise my head and see a woman smiled at me, she wakes me up from a dream. Her big black eyes remind me of my dream. “Wake up dear… it is time for us to go home.” I look at her, and wonder if  it is all just a dream. Am I dreaming while sitting down in a crowded coffee shop waiting for her? I close my laptop and put it in my bag. I run after the woman of my dream, she reaches for my hand and we walk along the sidewalk. She laughs when I told her about my dream.

“You dream of the past?”

“I dream of the time when you were not mine. You were once my secret affair.”

She laughs again, her eyes twinkled. “Am I?”

“You are.”

“I never recall that.”

“You don’t…. I never told you but I kept my heart for you even though we are apart.”

“Ohh… you did, I thought you have forgotten about me.”

“No, I didn’t. I missed you.”

“I missed you too…but that time I know it would be impossible. You left me wondering what I did wrong.”

“Nothing was wrong, I come to my senses….you were happy, so I left.”

She holds my hand tighter, “Don’t leave me now. Don’t disappear.”

“Never… I found my peace.” I looked at her, she might not be as beautiful as her, but she has a more beautiful heart than hers. I might love another once, married her and lost her love at the end. But it is all just the past; my memory of the pain has passed.

Now, I love this woman, and the most important thing is I know that she loves me with all her heart.  You are my friend; you never gave up on me. I know sometimes you can’t hide the pain from losing your perfect love to the hands of fate. I know your life with him is a happy one and the memory of him still lives inside of you. He will always be alive in your heart. The pain you hide alongside with the love you have for him will never disappear easily. But I promise you, I will take care of you like he did. I know I won’t take his place in your heart but I will make your tears disappear. And you will see me as your perfect love. In time…. you will forget the pain. In time I will take his place in your heart. I never keep a promise, but for you I’ll do it.

I leave the coffee shop with a little question mark. Is this a dream? Or was the one before? If this is a dream, I like this dream better.  Let it be like this forever.