Good suggestions here already. I highly recommend looking into Lara Biden's book! Or one of the other books I list below--they are generally written for people trying to get pregnant naturally (who are having trouble) but the information is critical for all women to know what a normal cycle looks like and to know what "typical" hormonal symptoms (we've always been told are normal) probably indicate are problems in our overall health (which few women were told and few MDs were taught).
Anyway, these natural fertility specialists are finding 80-90% success rates (vs the typical 30% rates of the "infertility" industry) simply by correcting and tweaking and balancing the cycle rather than intervening with meds and procedures. Go figure. So the books are about
female health (of all ages) but they are marketed as fertility support, for obvious reasons.
While some of us are lucky to find wonderful, caring, brilliant gynecologists and endocrinologists, the conventional medical system is incredibly limited with certain fundamental aspects of our biology and female health is at the top of that list. So it’s really up to each of us to fill in the gap ourselves and thankfully some generous experts have been putting together some good sources over the past decade.
In a couple of books I read explaining women’s cycles an explanation was given for the general lack of knowledge about
a woman’s cycle that really says it all.
Period Repair Manual: Natural Treatment for Better Hormones and Better Periods
Briden ND, Lara
The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles & Optimize Your Fertility
Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health
Hormone health is a critical link in nearly all other health systems in our bodies—if your hormones are off many other problems will
start creeping up and it’s only going to get worse as the years go by. Often, this is the reason perimenopause is so miserable for many women and it doesn’t have to be. Often, this is why getting pregnant is so challenging and why babies and kids have health challenges and so much of this is preventable.
While women in most other cultures don’t experience PMS or infertility or even go through a perimenopause, more and more western women are experiencing problems throughout their entire reproductive decades. Young women are starting out with abnormal cycles and don’t even know it because their MDs describe PMS as “normal” and either put them directly on the pill (causing a whole cascade of additional and sometimes more serious problems--and I say this as a huge supporter of birth control but there are much healthier ways to do it) or symptom meds that may or may not relieve symptoms but certainly mask the underlying problems that never get diagnosed or addressed until one day they start having trouble conceiving and don’t know why. And neither does their MD.
I also dealt with estrogen and progesterone imbalances, along with other levels. I learned that so many products we use (on our bodies, for cleaning, in our homes, etc) are xenoestrogens or chemicals that either mimic estrogen or cause estrogen imbalances so the first step is to get clean and the fastest way to do that is to literally stop using products! Ha--right. But I went very clean (easy to do because when I had my IV port in I really couldn't shower except for once/wk and this really cut down on shampoo, for instance). But the easy part is there are so many natural and organic products out there now and there is also a ton of information about
natural products you can make from basic items (baking soda, vinegar, borax) that our grandmothers used all.the.time. So there are good substitutes (at least while you're trying to get things balanced).
The other thing I learned is that estrogen dominance is usually more about
progesterone reduction, which makes estrogen look dominant. In other words, our bodies (even men) are meant to have a specific estrogen-to-progesterone ratio that needs to stay in balance. So any time your estrogen looks too dominant you really need to look at your progesterone levels and often, supporting progesterone can bring estrogen back into balance. I also reached a point in my very intense treatment where my progesterone plummeted beyond menopause levels. When that happens you certainly need to retest to verify but it's also not that uncommon. There is a ton of info about
why progesterone gets out of whack and what you can do about
I'll also share that I had some minor issues with uterine fibroids and polyps (almost asymptomatic) and a highly regarded gyn (whom I never returned to) scheduled me for a historectomy. Idiot. It also sounds a little like malpractice. But I digress. After doing some research and finding many articles and posts online warning women that "there are no natural remedies for these conditions" I reduced them with castor oil packs. Period. I haven't had any imaging done to verify how much reduced they are but the associated symptoms are entirely gone. Castor oil on the liver, over GI, can have some serious detoxing impact.
As I was looking into liver flushes I learned a ton about
how big a role the liver plays in balancing hormones and/or sequestering or hoarding homrones in order to prevent abundance in the blood stream, etc. It's fascinating. Anyway, it's safe to assume that if your liver isn't real healthy or is struggling w/ Rx (like mine was) a hormone imbalance can result from a poorly functioning liver. So many hormones are also produced and managed in the gut and in the liver. A diet full of veggies goes a long way to help the liver help you detox.
Finally, diet. There are good foods and bad foods and yes, this can cause hormonal disruption, especially if you have GI issues.
Also, based on all my research and my own experience with the 35-day fast that I did (yes, see this thread https://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=4175117
) I have achieved some healing and hormone rebalancing with the fast and the intermittent fasting that I continue to do, which supports my gut healing and in turn supports my immune system's ability to keep up with daily aging. Of course, you can get serious impact with just a 5-day fast.
I'm now off all my thyroid meds and most of my adaptogen supps. In 20+ years I do not remember feeling as good as I did in the 2 months following my fast.
ADAPTOGENS and ENDOCRINE SUPPORT
I truly feel my hormones are back in balance but I do continue to take Vitex, which is supposed to be an overall balancing support and a very specific maca product, which is also geared toward overall balance. But it's important to understand the whole body and do some testing to understand the context for "estrogen dominance". I highly recommend doing a DUTCH Cycle and Complete bundle testing (expensive but very helpful).
GIGANTIC apologies for such a long post but most of you can stop reading here.
A quick note for women who are worried about
Our medical system has taught nearly all of us that hormones and reproductive health are separate issues from everything else in the body. But many women are finding that an underlying problem with whatever chronic illness they might have can be a hormonal imbalance and these books cover the basics pretty well. But so many women are experiencing fertility issues—some which are real and some which are “manufactured” by and some actually created by the infertility system itself.
Many, if not most women are entirely fertile even if they are having trouble getting pregnant easily. The problem is that they are not optimally healthy and so many of these women are becoming pregnant after implementing very straightforward tweaks—strategies they won’t find out about
from the infertility industry… The sad truth is that it’s pretty basic information and couples are jumping through so many hoops and experiencing so much frustration and grief. The industry has successfully flooded our culture with infertility propaganda that has convinced many to jump over basic reproductive health strategies and toward artificial, expensive, time-consuming and risky fertility support and sadly finding themselves still hitting a very expensive, time-consuming and heart-breaking wall of fertility problems.
Protecting future fertility and solving most fertility issues as well as other cycle symptoms like PMS or PCOS or endometriosis or perimenopause—and later increased risks for cancers and other problems starts with understanding of your reproductive cycle and how to support it. It sounds like one of those old weird health films they made in the 60s to teach girls about
their periods without actually using the word “vagina”! But seriously, it really is that simple. In order to protect it or fix it you gotta understand it and I was shocked at how much I learned. Especially for anyone who has been told she is infertile or convinced she should rush to an infertility clinic to “get checked out” due to all of the infertility industry media noise and fear-mongering that has convinced us we’re all infertile—that we’re broken if under 35 or fine until 35 and then we're "geriatric" (that is literally the term for "older" women in pregnancy), shaming couples for waiting and blah blah blah. In other words making everyone think they already have a problem and time is ticking and they need a fertility specialist right away…is really good for business.
So the first problem is that our society sees that everything “health” is covered by the conventional, pharmaceutical and insurance-driven health industry. You have a health problem? Your first and only stop is your insurance-associated MD. Alternative resources are deemed frivolous and ineffective, if not labeled “quackish” and conspiratorial. So we’re conditioned from birth that there is only one resource for medical support. The infertility industry is well-rooted in the medical system so while a gyn might automatically refer couples to an "in"fertility specialist, the mainstream media has burrowed their infertility narratives into the brains of all breathing mammals and it’s broadly understood that the "in"fertility industry is our only hope. Unfortunately, that’s not even true for the 20-yr olds who are now finding themselves “infertile”.
The financial success of the entire infertility industry is predicated on a) establishing a need and then b) creating a system that “solves” the need and c) rejecting everything else that doesn’t fit into that model. If the infertility industry were fertility-focused, it would have an entirely different business model. That’s why it’s called an infertility industry, not the fertility industry (which is why many alternative fertility experts use that terminology instead of “infertility”).
The sad part is that even the billion-dollar infertility industry isn’t really that successful at creating families and many experts suggest it pales in comparison to the natural fertility support community, which few people know about
or feel confident to engage. Maybe even sadder is that some of these artificial solutions are contributing to an even higher and riskier rate of illness and disease in women. Perhaps saddest of all is that the public has been brainwashed into seeing the whole infertility paradigm as the fault of a woman’s age (and women are blamed) when really, it’s the system’s fundamental lack of understanding of a woman’s body. And the more I dig into this the more it seems that it was the design all along. And perhaps the ultimate failure of this broken system and the biggest impact of it is that decade after decade of their reproductive life women are misdirected away from knowledge and resources that can solve simple as well as life-threatening health problems.
Unfortunately, the information in the Period Repair Manual book and most useful endocrine information I’ve discovered is beyond the knowledge and training of most gynecologists and endocrinologists—however good and loving and caring our doctors might be—who are literally trained and their practices controlled by a pharmaceutical/insurance-based system. This goes back to the 1940s and 50s when the American Medical Association (AMA) was founded. I’ll share more background on that at another time that is shockingly scandalous but this is when the medical system in this country was “formalized” into the billion-dollar enterprise that we have today, which structures and legitimizes education and training and licensing, etc.
But it also severely limits and controls what medical professions learn and how they practice “medicine” and therefore, what treatments are offered to patients and what is covered by insurance and also what information is shared with their patients about
human health. Ultimately, it’s not a very successful system where our actual health is concerned, or we wouldn’t have chronic illness rates skyrocketing over the past few decades and impacting every age group and every demographic.
Our first step in fixing PMS or smoothing out perimenopause or avoiding fertility scares or even reversing “infertility” is understanding our own unique hormonal and reproductive cycle, which this book covers pretty well.
The industry has developed several strategies to make us think we’re infertile and need its help creating families.
Post Edited (Pirouette) : 1/13/2020 11:12:03 AM (GMT-7)