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Health Update: Itty Bitty Ovaries

Big fan of all things itty bitty lately, so why not my estrogen issue too. I appreciate all of the many emails and continued concern for figuring out what is going on with my enigma of a health issue. I guess when I said I didn’t want children, my body figured what the hell let’s use that energy elsewhere. What’s interesting is saying that I don’t want children and then having someone tell me that I could get pregnant if I wanted to was a completely different thing!

For many people it seemed I went from “Oh My God” they think it’s a tumor to “I’m going to PR in June!” In reality there were a few steps in between..

  • First my health insurance put me on “medical hold” to determine I suppose if I really had a health issue?! This meant I couldn’t do anything for awhile.
  • Finally I was released and we did an ultrasound at my urging to find that my ovaries are roughly half the size of a normal adult female. This helped everyone understand that this low estrogen issue has been happening for a very long time.
  • I was wrapped up in trying to understand everything and thus allowed myself to give in to the “I’m tired” feelings and to eat less than stellar because I felt like it didn’t matter anyways.

ESTROGEN MATTERS
I don’t want kids (in theory) so why does it even matter? Low estrogen puts me at high risk for osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, heart disease….yeah all the things women post menopause worry about only I started about 30 years early meaning it could be a much bigger issue for me as I age.

Right now in this moment it means belly fat, high cortisol, brittle hair, fatigue…and other gloriously fun symptoms. In other words, I can do a lot of things right to feel better but it’s definitely like biking up hill non-stop.

CHOOSING HEALTH
After about three weeks of that “I’m sick” thinking I was feeling worse than ever!!! Which is right when the What’s Beautiful challenge appeared and I decided if I had been living with this for years anyways why was I going to suddenly let it stop me.

I went back to daily green smoothies, pushing it in exercise and focusing on overall clean eating and in many ways started feeling better. Not perfect mind you and as soon as things heated up at work my hair started falling out again…so yeah keeping my cortisol in check is fairly important. That being said I’ve also seen a pattern over the last few years where I am able to push myself for a month or two feeling great, then I usually have a big drop where everything feels awful and I slowly bounce back.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT
One of the first questions most folks ask is can you just take estrogen? The answer is technically yes…but ideally I’d like my body to start making the estrogen. The laundry list of possible side effects for hormone replace therapies is to me personally…terrifying.

1 in 10,000 have a stroke, breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer…and that’s with a limitation of taking it for only 2 years. Those are just not odds on which I want to gamble. There is another alternative called bio identical hormones, but I’m not there yet. I’d still rather try to find out the issue and heal my body.

NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT
For all my adorable friends who have told me to just solve it with nutrition…once I got over wanting to punch you for assuming it’s that easy I did a lot of research. As it turns out from the foods I eat and the supplements already in my diet I am actually getting all of the recommended herbs, minerals, etc.

Which lead me to my next question..WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! Being unable to answer this by looking in the mirror; four weeks later returned to my holistic health doctor for his pressure point test to determine how my body is using the nutrients I’m so diligently providing.

Here is an overview of this test..first in a fasted state (which nearly killed me), he goes through a series of pressure points on your body and determines which one’s hurt. When I say hurt, I mean that as he pushes on them you try to leap off the table to get away from the pain.

Next you drink a protein/carb/fat powder mixed with water and wait 45 minutes to repeat the process. At that point many of the previous areas no longer hurt and he can start to identify how your body may or may not correctly be using food.  In my case it was overly clear that I’m not digesting or using protein correctly. From there he is so intrigued by my case (told you I’m an enigma) that he’s calling a number of other doctors to weigh in and I’ve gone back to try a few other tests.

No supplements or changes in place yet, just figuring out the entire spectrum. Have I mentioned I love how thorough he is?!

OVERALL INFO
Since many of you have reached out I thought I would provide some of the other interesting information about why my estrogen has become such an enigma:
Cholesterol good
Adrenals fine
Testosterone normal
Thyroid normal
Vitamins/minerals normal

So there you have it…just over 3 months later and I’m still right where I started. I don’t feel great, don’t feel awful and am still waiting for an answer.

I know there are many of you dealing with your own health or hormone issues and I understand how frustrating it is…but I can’t encourage you enough to keep searching. Taking the holistic path feels right for me at this point, but decide what works for you and KEEP ASKING!
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Gratitude JournalRunning_motivation
June 5
I am grateful for a holistic doctor that is willing to explore all avenues before simply handing out a pill.

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