As incredible as it may seem, only now, six years on, am I addressing the intricate state of my hormones. My body is pretty frustrated with me about this tardiness, and has been screaming at me with some rather obvious signs to SORT IT OUT!
Where shall I start? A recent ultrasound showed numerous tiny cysts in my remaining breast. That, coupled with heavy, painful periods and pre-menstrual migraines is a clear indication of oestrogen dominance. Hmmmmmmm, oestrogen dominance eh? No big surprise there. If you go on the contraceptive pill at 15 tender years old (for painful periods, which could have been quite beautifully managed instead with magnesium!) you can bet your arse you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of hormone imbalance. Now, listen to this for a catastrophic cycle. Excess oestrogen (as found in the contraceptive pill) supports the growth of candida. Systemic candida causes leaky gut and malabsorption, which inhibits the excretion of unwanted oestrogen from the body, promoting it's reabsorption and contributing further to oestrogen dominance. Candida depletes gut production of B vitamins, which have a role in metabolising oestrogen to it's safer, weaker sister. To compound these issues, a recent 23andme test shows that I have skewed genetic pathways in both oestrogen and B vitamin metabolism!
As with all hormones, oestrogen and progesterone are synergistic. As we head begrudgingly towards menopause, progesterone levels decline, and the delicate balance between oestrogen and progesterone becomes skewed, leading to hot flushes, etc. Enter Serenity Bio-identical Progesterone cream which naturally rebalances oestrogen levels. I've been using this for about 4 months with quite amazing results. No more pre-menstrual migraines. No more flooding or blood clots. Good.
Back to my body, which has been yelling at me with textbook signs of hypothyroidism: cold hands and feet, dry skin, weight gain, low libido, tiredness. Tick, tick, tick....you get the picture! Recent blood tests backed this up, highlighting a low white blood count, low ferritin, low platelets, low T3, high cholesterol, all of which points to a deficient thyroid. And guess what? Thyroid deficiency also has a role in oestrogen dominance. Or oestrogen dominance has a role in thyroid deficiency. You see how easily this delicate hormone dance can become imbalanced? To complicate issues, adrenal insufficiency is fairly common due to to constant low level stress, and we need fully operating adrenal glands if the thyroid is to respond to any medication! Let's come back to candida, again. Leaky gut causes autoimmune disease, the thyroid gland being a common target of the misdirected immune system. Convoluted but all beautifully tied in. Of course it is, every cell in our body is connected through a system we can only hope to try to understand!
So now we come to the fun part. Yesterday I met my newest doctor. I always fall in love with the best ones, and I am pleased to say that I have a new crush! Dr Barry Durant-Peatfield is a retired NHS doctor. He resigned after a forced suspension, having upset the British Medical Council because he refused to prescribe the synthetic drug Thyroxine, over the natural version (which is dessicated bovine or porcine thyroid gland.) He's an old-school doctor in the best sense. He relies on old fashioned testing: pulse, reflexes, and basal temperature (this is your temperature on waking, before rising. The ideal body temperature is 36.5 degrees. Those with hypothyroidism often measure around one degree lower. Women who are still menstruating should take their temperature on days 1 - 4 of their period). His clinical diagnosis suggests that I have thyroid and adrenal insufficiency. His common sense (and that fact that Serenity has worked so well for me) suggests oestrogen dominance. My coated tongue tells him that I still have some work to do on overcoming candida.
My new protocol involves taking Adrenal Support, Thyroid support, Serenity cream and continuing to work on candida (I'm using caprylic acid, Pau Darco, oregano oil and cinammon). He anticipates that within a few weeks I'll be feeling great. His parting words? "You all get better" I can't wait!