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  • Hormonal Depression

    I'm treating a woman for anxiety and depression at the moment, and there seems to be a hormonal component to her depression as she describes having a '2 week window' every month where she feels much more stable. I'm going to recommend increasing her consumption of the right sort of fats because it's a safe thing to do and the link to hormonal production is clear, but I wondered if anyone here has personal experience of hormonally-driven depression, and what helped?
    My primal journal
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  • #2
    Progesterone cream definitely helped my cyclical mood swings. I use Pro-gest.
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    • #3
      A MAJOR cause of depression is Vitamin D Deficiency.
      http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vdds.shtml

      Put her on 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 daily, and in 3 months do a blood test to adjust the dosage up or down.
      * 10,000 IU D3 Gelcaps Daily to achieve correct blood level in most people
      -Proper 25(OH)D Blood Level is 60-70 ng/ml Toxicity overdose > 120-130 ng/ml
      http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/se...el/vitamin%20D

      * My favorite Vitamin Shops for 5,000 IU D3 Gelltabs:
      http://www.drugstore.com/products/pr...367&aid=332800
      http://www.swansonvitamins.com/NWF182/ItemDetail

      * Home Test Kits, 25(OH)D Blood Level should be 60-70 ng/ml
      ZrtLabs $65
      http://www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil/
      Lab Corp Testing $50
      http://www.saveonlabs.com/products/V...2dHydroxy.html

      Grizz

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      • #4
        Pmmd?
        ad astra per aspera

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        • #5
          yes, definitely the fat, i have noticed that i am more stable if i stay away from the starches during ovulation and stick to more leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. and no sugar. which sucks, because when you're ovulating, all you wanna do is stuff chocolate up in your face.
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          HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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          • #6
            Great stuff, thanks a lot for the help folks.
            when you're ovulating, all you wanna do is stuff chocolate up in your face.
            LMAO!

            Any more hormonally-steadying tips before I put together a suggestions list for her?
            My primal journal
            You might find these handy: Free gluten free restaurant cards in 50+ languages
            In Praise of the Primal Lifestyle

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            • #7
              Of course, depression is hormonally related in women! I used to joke with my family that if I ever committed suicide, it would be the day before my period arrived. I used to get intense, bleak moods of depression, and a check of the calendar always assured me that it was 'just hormones.'

              Many women in middle age suffer from depression because they're undiagnosed hypothyroid. I deficiency in thyroid hormones always causes depression, and hypo is more common in women.

              You're 'treating' this woman? Are you an MD? I don't think anyone should be messing with hormones who isn't medically qualified. You cannot 'steady' hormones with diet. It's far more complex that that!

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              • #8
                @Emmie
                @Batty
                & other ladies,

                Study after study has linked Vitamin D Deficiency to PMS. Here is just one of thousands of reports:
                http://www.fightingfatigue.org/?p=2045

                Is your Vitamin D 25(OH)D Blood level optimal at 60-70 ng/ml ?
                If not, it might be worthwhile taking 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 daily for a few months to see if your PMS improves.
                Then get your blood tested to adjust your dosage up or down as required for an optimal reading.
                I am looking forward to some feedback from the ladies on this topic.

                Grizz
                Last edited by Grizz; 12-10-2010, 09:35 AM.

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                • #9
                  I've been taking fish oil, vitamin D, and B complex and my mood is much more stable throughout the month

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                  • #10
                    I'm sure that Vit D would be helpful but I doubt having optimal Vit D will prevent or cure a hormone imbalance of estrogen/progesterone. Pretty much every woman I know can say a lot about her personal experience with mood swings during their menstrual cycles. Personally I would get depressed, anxious, and irritable as my estrogen level dropped at the end of my cycle. This is the classic "PMS." (Not to ignore those killer migraines!)

                    Later after menopause both estrogen and progesterone levels drop (but not at the same rate) and many women report depression at this time as well.

                    In lieue of actual hormone testing by someone who knows how to treat the issues of imbalanced sex hormones, it would be safe to focus on keeping one's blood sugar as stable as possible (we know how to do that), getting optimum levels of Vitamin D, anti-inflammatory O3 balance, and increasing exercise. Also avoid grains and sugar, excess caffeine and alcohol.
                    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Grizz View Post
                      @Emmie
                      @Batty
                      & other ladies,

                      Study after study has linked Vitamin D Deficiency to PMS. Here is just one of thousands of reports:
                      http://www.fightingfatigue.org/?p=2045

                      Is your Vitamin D 25(OH)D Blood level optimal at 60-70 ng/ml ?
                      If not, it might be worthwhile taking 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 daily for a few months to see if your PMS improves.
                      Then get your blood tested to adjust your dosage up or down as required for an optimal reading.
                      I am looking forward to some feedback from the ladies on this topic.

                      Grizz
                      my D's at 63, grizz. while i agree that vitamin D is crucial, other factors, including what you eat, can also be of influence. if vitamin D was all it took, then we could eat twinkies all day in the sun, or lace em with D3 during the winter. as we all know, that's not the case.
                      sigpic

                      HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Canarygirl View Post
                        I'm sure that Vit D would be helpful but I doubt having optimal Vit D will prevent or cure a hormone imbalance of estrogen/progesterone.
                        Actually, given the vitamin D is a hormone pre-cursor, it makes sense to me that the body could balance its hormones more effectively if it has all the nutrients it needs. I have noticed that the longer I have been taking D3, the less I seem to need my progesterone cream. I'm still waiting for my test results for D so I am just guessing that I had a severe deficiency and am just( in the last 3 months) approaching optimum levels.

                        Also, eating grains uses up more Vitamin D, so just going Primal could be enough for some women to balance their hormones. Judging from some of the stories I've been reading where women are getting pregnant right after going Primal, there may be a connection.
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                        • #13
                          Well, I've read that fat cells can convert testosterone into estrogen in post-menopausal women (after the ovary has backed off or stopped making it). And healthy fats and proteins are needed for the body to make testosterone, so I can see how eating a Primal diet could help the body manufacture some of the sex hormones--especially in a still-menstruating woman. Depending on which ones are depleted, this action may result in the woman's hormones getting more balanced out.

                          On the other hand, I've also read that the ovaries are the only glands that produce progesterone so after they stop making it, there is no more to be had. The idea that precursor hormones such as DHEA and pregnenalone can be converted by the body into sex hormones like estrogen/testosterone, some sources say it can be done in the still-menstruating woman. But the book I just finished by Elizabeth Vliet said that the ovaries are the only source for the enzymes/chemicals responsible for converting DHEA and pregnenalone into estrogen or testosterone, or converting wild yam into progesterone, so once the ovaries are non-functional that conversion from precursor hormones into sex hormones (other than estrogen, which happens in adipose cells), is not possible.

                          The sex hormone thing is a fascinating and complex subject. I have to tell you it was eye opening for me to read that in post-menopausal women, the body will make it easier to store fat and more difficult to lose fat, because it wants those little estrogen-factories to keep operating. Maybe that explains why I haven't been able to lose any lbs in the past 7 months on PB. And to think that my fat cells are grabbing my testosterone and converting it to estrogen....DAMN!
                          Last edited by Canarygirl; 12-10-2010, 02:34 PM.
                          I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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                          • #14
                            On the other hand, I've also read that the ovaries are the only glands that produce progesterone so after they stop making it, there is no more to be had.
                            True. So I should have qualified what I said by specifying pre-menopausal women.
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                            • #15
                              Liver function is a huge player in premenstrual hormone balance and mood (the liver is the seat of both anger and depression in Chinese medicine- it also clears excess estrogen)
                              There is a great traditional Chinese herbal formula that is used for just these symptoms- whether someone is feeling super bitchy, anxious or depressed (it also works well for breast pain- the liver meridians go right through the breasts and when they are "backed up", breast pain is the result). Planetary Formulas makes a good one. She can start 2 weeks before her period and use 4-8 tabs/day.
                              http://www.iherb.com/Planetary-Herba...lets/1517?at=0
                              http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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