Help a Sister Out! High cholesterol, amenorrhea, and no reason why
Hi there all,
I don't post here much but today I really need some input/ resources/ help of any kind! A little backround info: I'm 24 and since I went off of depo-provera last April I have not had a period and have had crazy break-outs, excess hair growth, and my body shape has changed a bit not to mention the usual groggy stomach, fatigue etc. I got a barage of blood tests done by my doctor because we thought I may have PCOS (signs from my childhood such as no breast growth, excess hair, irregular and painful periods etc) as well as the new stuff since going off of depo. I got my results back today and according to the tests everything is 'fine' except my cholesterol which is twice the normal numbers. I eat lots of coconut oil, eggs, coconut cream/milk, meat and animal fats and very little to no high-sugar ingredients or grains of any kind ( I do eat a lot of dairy, which I don't do well with and am cutting out, but I digress). I have seen evidence that PCOS is linked in with insulin resistance and high cholesterol and I just wanted to know if anyone had any info, websites, personal experience etc? I'm really happy nothing is 'wrong' other than my cholesterol but I KNOW something is wrong with me. I am a little overweight but by no means obese and I exercise: the nurse didn't even seem to think diet and exercise would help me, she thinks at my age that it must be some kind of genetic thing. Help!
Your Native Sister,
How long have you been eating Primally? Many women have their hormones balance over time once they are fully Primal in their diet.
Look at The Heart Scan blog. Dr Davis who writes it feels strongly that high cholesterol and so forth are thyroid problems. This would certainly be a good rock to look under. You can have thyroid problems in spite of relatively normal thyroid blood test results and most MDs wouldn't catch it. Selenium deficiency, for instance, impairs your body's ability to make use of your thyroid hormone. Or, you may need a little more iodine.
I haven't had a period for at least 3 years now... even having been primal for almost a year. I also have a self-esteem-smashing amount of excess body hair for a girl and wondered about that myself.
As far as I have understood, cholesterol 'numbers' don't matters?
Take a good look at your blood test results (I presume you asked for a copy) and look at where your results are within the normal levels. Your level may be at the lower level of normal or the higher end. This is a clue where you are headed. For eg with thyroid results doc may say you are within normal but if say your TSH is at the higher end of normal this is no good as most good health practitioners believe TSH should be a lot lower than is considered normal.
Re your excess hair growth and no periods, could be :
Functional ovarian cysts
How high is the cholesterol? What your doc considers high may be okay in relation to HDL and triglycerides.
Did you know depo-provera ingredient is used for chemical castration of sex offenders - I just read it - not sure of accuracy.
Last edited by Sue; 01-24-2011 at 10:18 PM.
You went off hormonal birth control less than a year ago. It can take that long for hormones to stabilize, so I strongly suggest you try not to worry about hormonal issues for a few months yet (plus, when you say you "went off Depo" in April, was that the date of your last shot? Or the date of the next shot you would have gotten if you weren't going off it?). Depo-provera is a particularly nasty hormonal birth control drug and has even been linked to fibromyalgia.
I also suggest that any woman read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and start charting her fertility signs. I do it as a backup birth control method (we use condoms and avoid "fun time" during my fertile time when a break would be catastrophic), but I also like how it shows you what's going on with your body beyond the "well, I'm supposed to have a period every month, right?" check-in. This cycle, I ovulated a week and a half late because of a high fever I had early in my cycle, so my period is going to come 40 days after my last one, but because I chart, I know not to be worried. It also showed me that I was anovulatory for like 3 months after going off a low-dose birth control pill. I knew my hormones were starting to normalize when I started seeing a more "normal" temperature pattern. At the very least, the book gives way more insight into the female reproductive system than any other source I've had since I got my first period, and it's good to know how your body works.
Ok ,thanks for the input everyone! To Dragonfly: I have not been eating purely primally for very long, as the sugar cravings overtake me every time! Slacker: thank you for the blog, and the nurse did say my thyroid hormones were 'normal'. Sue: I did not ask for a copy! I am going back on Monday, do you think I can politely ask for it? Melantha: it's not just the 'hormone' stuff since going off of the depo, it's that this is how it's always been. Whilst I was being pumped with progesterone I was actually happier and healthier (seemingly) but when I went off of it all of my old symptoms came back. I also appreciate the birth control info, but my man is fixed
I suppose I should mention that my etsi (mom) has had these same symptms her whole life and at 40 discovered she had cervical cancer and at 46 they gave her a full hysterectomy. All of my aunties suffer from endometriosis but funnily enough they are fertile myrtles. My doctor seems quite focused on the fertility issues around anything 'female' but from my own research it seems very closely tied to insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome stuff. I'm going to see if he'll trial me on Metformin and if it works, my point would be proven? I never thought I'd go on drugs but I've just about gone down every avenue with this sh*t since I was 11...I'm really worn out. Anymore advice, etc. is most welcome, thanks again!
Make sure you get your Vitamin D sufficient as well as giving yourself at least 6 months of eating Primally--especially cutting sugars, grains & fruits. Until you get your diet and D3 sorted, your body doesn't have a chance to balance your hormones naturally. You need to eat more fat to deal with the sugar cravings.
And there is a lot of support here. Start a journal, log your meals if it helps--ask questions!
I can just about guarantee that you have PCOS and that the doc just might not have known the difference between "optimal" lab values and "lab norms".
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Get your thyroid antibodies tested. I'd also find a functional endocrinology practitioner at http://www.thyroidbook.com/practitioner-locator.html
These people can help identify exactly what's going on with your endocrine system. PCOS notoriously goes hand-in-hand with hypothyroidism.
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