When I found out my body stopped producing estrogen a few years back, I went straight to the web. Western medicine just didn’t sound appealing to me, and quite frankly the doctor reminded me that if I wasn’t looking to have babies immediately, I wasn’t on a short timeline. To me, this translated to ‘might as well look into some homeopathic medicine and see what happens!’.
Let’s back up a little bit… I hadn’t had my menstrual cycle in YEARS. It wasn’t like it was ever normal to begin with really. I was a late bloomer and had since spent three years with a seasonal cycle, meaning I’d had my menstrual cycle at least four times a year and had dubbed that as ‘enough’.
When it suddenly disappeared, I approached a variety of specialists and a plethora of unnecessary testing to be diagnosed with ‘amenorrhea’, which is a really vague diagnosis for the absence of menstruation.
My body was producing zero estrogen, FSH or LH, but normal amounts of all other hormones. Lovely.
I launched into the world of health. I started exercising more frequently and gained interest in the food I was putting into my body. I wanted to be the epitome of health. Surely if I was doing all of these things right, my hormones would correct themselves!
Not so much. I needed more help than just eating whole foods and practicing yoga. Eventually this path led me to homeopathic medicine. Here I dabbled in acupuncture, special diets, adaptogens, herbs, you name it.
I wanted to correct my hormone imbalance for menstruation, but also my tendency for intense anxiety and mood swings that came along with it.
I spent countless hours researching and reading studies and insight about people who experienced similar symptoms or imbalances. Nobody was exactly the same and to be quite frank, we know that none of these studies result the same way either. Homeopathics can be a gamble.
So I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Over the past five years of experimenting, I have begun my menstruation cycle again on a seasonal basis. Here’s what I found as tried and true- the habits that I’ve stuck with.
Essential Oils When I get anxious, I can feel it in my entire body. I’m overwhelmed. I’m on edge and more prone to mood swings. Without estrogen, my cortisol levels rise, raising blood pressure and blood sugar, causing panic. Estrogen also helps regulate the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is responsible for balanced moods. The drop of serotonin levels that accompanies low estrogen causes an unstable mood and, as a result, anxiety and panic. HOORAY!
The most effective way I’ve found to handle my anxiety is using essential oils. doTERRA Clary Calm Essential Oil Monthly Blend for Women brings me calm and emotional balance. I like keeping the roller in my purse to apply to my wrists and neck, but recently learned it’s most effective rubbed into your ankles.
Collagen Peptides My non-existent estrogen levels put me at risk for increased bone decay and osteoporosis. Estrogen helps regulate the bone cells that are responsible for building new bone. When estrogen levels drop, fewer cells are produced and bone is lost, but not replaced. I put emphasis on fitting workouts into my routine that increase strength, like yoga and incorporate Collagen Peptides into my diet daily, as a proactive measure to strengthen my bones and joints.
Maca It’s rich in beneficial plant sterols that are biochemically related to hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Maca has been said to link to an increase in hormones, including progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH, which stimulates ovary function). It also may stimulate estradiol and suppress the production of chemicals like the stress hormone, cortisol.
It comes in both pill and powder form. I always prefer powders to mix into coffee or smoothie concoctions.
Maca can be SUPER potent and I’ve ruined many cups of coffee with a heavy spoonful. I recommend starting with a smaller dose, about one teaspoon, and making your way up to two.
The easiest and tastiest way I’ve incorporated maca into my day is via REBBL coconut-milk elixirs. They offer a large variety of elixirs with an alphabet-full of adaptogens.
I love using their elixirs to bake, as creamer in my coffee, a base for my smoothie or to swig straight from the bottle. They’re perfect for when I’m in a pinch while traveling and need a convenient dose of adaptogens.
Chaste Berry The golden nugget. If there’s any one particular supplement that’s impacted me most, this is it. Also referred to as Vitex, chaste berry has been said to support normal hormone levels, particularly progesterone. While it doesn’t directly supply hormones to the body, it does act directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. It increases luteinizing hormone (LH), modulates prolactin and aids in the inhibition of the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Remember I mentioned my body wasn’t producing LH or FSH? They all help balance the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising the levels of progesterone.
I say this is the golden nugget because after taking chaste berry daily before breakfast for one month, I went to my GYNO for an annual exam and requested a hormone panel. My hormone panel came back COMPLETELY NORMAL when just one year prior my estrogen, FSH and LH were undetectable. That’s when I knew I was onto something. I continued taking the supplement daily and after three months had my first menstrual cycle in five years.
In all instances, I think it’s important to really stick with something for a few weeks to measure if it’s made a significant impact. At the same time, it’s also important to cycle on and off after a few months to allow cell receptors to have a break too. Without a break, they may try to shut down because your body has become reliant on supplements.
I hope this information is helpful! More than the supplements I’ve tried and experiences I’ve had, I really want to share that if you’re going thru something similar, YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Nobody’s experience is the same and there isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ solution. But over the years I’ve connected with so many people just by opening up about my journey. Whether they’re experiencing issues with hormones or their menstrual cycle or found solutions in homeopathic medicine elsewhere, there’s something to be said about sharing a personal connection.
After all, we’re only human.
Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. They are statements regarding my personal opinions and experiences.