When talking hormones, where does one even begin?!
I will begin with my story. Maybe yours is similar. Or maybe not. Feel free to let me know your story!
I recall my first thoughts about hormones possibly impacting my health when I was pregnant with my first child. I was 28 years old and relatively healthy, despite growing up in a house where junk food was the norm. As a teenager, I chose to eat much healthier and incorporated water regularly into my day. Foreign in my childhood, as soda was a staple. I was always a healthy weight and as a young adult, I began to weight lift and fine tune my eating to what I thought was "clean" eating.
During pregnancy, I was incredibly sick. More so than the average person, as I lost 10 pounds then gained that back plus an additional 70, pushing my tiny frame to just barely under 200 pounds. I was sick constantly and could barely keep food down, yet I gained a crazy amount of weight. During this time, I was a full time student in my Master's program for psychology. As a result, it was a great teaching for myself to learn about self-care and letting go of some of my personal expectations and perfectionism.
After the birth of my first born, I was still an unhealthy weight despite eating (mostly) well and breastfeeding and exercising. I knew that my hormones were off but no doctor took my comments seriously and downplayed everything, attributing it to pregnancy. I could not understand how others could be healthy and have little to no sickness or weight gain in their pregnancies but I could not, especially since I ate better and worked out where many others I knew ate junk food.
I lost a lot of weight with my divorce. I lost 56 pounds in 6 weeks due to stress and complications in life. Although my weight loss was quick and ultimately not the healthiest way to reduce my weight, I was able to maintain a healthy weight for many years. I tried "bulking" with my weightlifting programs and quickly gained weight again. It was a struggle to reduce my weight, although I was able to lower it some with insane amounts of cardio. (NOT the ideal way to live life). I remarried and the struggle continued with some success but not much. Then, comes another pregnancy. The issues are the same. Weight gain is the same, despite even more focus on my diet and making healthier choices than with the first one.
Again, I knew. KNEW. Hormones. I KNEW they had to be playing a part. I did not know enough to know how or why at the time. Fast forward through a move from Montana to Oregon, a new job, a few life stresses and overworking my body in the gym with Power lifting and not eating enough. I began doing a ton of research and scheduling doctor appointments to figure out what I could do. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, which impacted my adrenals and thyroid somewhat, but ultimately, made my tired and my body not function like it needed to. More research and testing showed that I was extremely low in progesterone. I took hormone therapy shots for a time, but I discontinued those as they did boost progesterone but also boosted testosterone, which- if anyone has experienced too much testosterone- resulted in facial hair!!! NO THANK YOU! I stopped those when I was looking at the potential of shaving my face! No way.
I then started a synthetic progesterone. This progesterone helped with sleep, balancing moods and hormones but I learned that the more synthetic anything I take, the less my body will produce naturally. I did not like this option. With more personal research and learning, I decided to make the switch to Young Living's Progessence Plus Serum.
After more research to figure out how to use the product and how it compares to the synthetic prescription, I decided to use 30 drops a day to replace my 100 mg of synthetic hormone. I added a carrier oil and, since it is diluted 50/50, I take 60 drops total: 30 in the a.m. and 30 in the p.m. I monitored my symptoms, especially sleep, to determine if this amount was sufficient for my body at this time. I was still struggling some with symptoms, but not drastically. After more research (research has become life for me in these years), I added in FemiGen, which is a great female support for the female reproductive system and helps to maintain balance in the system. This product provides additional wild yam as well as fennel, Dong Quai, licorice, cramp bark and other supports that are infused in this product. I love that I don't have to take multiple pills or oils to balance my system as it is all in a capsule. I also learned that PD 80/20 was a great addition to support the endocrine system (adrenals- they work harder when the body is low in progesterone, which then can cause adrenal fatigue) so I added this to help strengthen my adrenals as I increase my progesterone. Once my progesterone is built up, I can eventually decrease my need for PD 80/20.
Currently, I am sleeping well and my moods and symptoms are fairly well adjusted. I LOVE adding Dragon Time around my cycle to support my moods and emotions, keeping me stable. My family sure appreciates that! I am loving that I can support my system in ways that it needs with natural products. The Seed to Seal guarantee is a HUGE benefit to knowing that I am ridding my body of toxins and that I am giving my body a chance to regulate itself and rebuild the hormones in my system.
Stay tuned for updates!