7

votes

Hack my downward spiral to rockbottom...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM

I am trying to figure out what I have done in the last 3 weeks that has pretty much made things go from pretty bad to rock bottom.

My last post I was inquiring about having gone off the pill and not menstruating and feeling very funny and having abdominal pain..It was clear after 3 or 4 months that perhaps my past PCOS came flaring up and I am not able to menstruate on my own, So out of pure panic (from pain in my abdomen) I went back on the pill I went off...

I really can't describe the last three weeks of my life, other than saying it has been pure and simple meltdown. First I started having more and more cravings for fruit, thats all i wanted to eat (i have cut out fruit for 6months prior to this with NO PROBLEM) then that led to binges...(only on paleo foods) then that led to some sort of depression..and in the last week (my partner has threatened to leave me) I have become out of nowhere a completely insane gf, with constant need for reassurance and attention, crying non-stop, everyone in my life is strongly demanding that I go on anti-depressants (I've never ever been on this before) ...

This morning...I tried to continue my normal routine..went to the gym...found myself in the women's locker room...curled in a ball, crying uncontrollably, with no energy for workouts.

I see a therapist, and I have a consult booked with Gyno etc re: pill and cysts...

But there must be something I have done to my hormones that has caused this chemical reaction and imbalance....

I can't believe this is happening, i really don't want to go on SSRIs and i REALLY DONT want to be on this STUPID PILL...but when i was off..i couldn't menstruate..so i just don't know what to do...

Any advice, at this point...would really help..

Ps. ALL I WANT TO EAT ALL DAY still...is fruit. I don't get the fruit part.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on April 30, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Maybe fruit isn't so bad. I'd add some oranges, apples, and bananas (replace with your favorite fruits) and see how it feels. I would keep the other aspects of the paleo diet (low PUFAs, no grains, good amount of meat, sunshine)

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on April 30, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Maybe fruit isn't so bad. I'd add some oranges, apples, and bananas (replace with your favorite fruits) and see how it feels. I would keep the other aspects of the paleo diet (low PUFAs, no grains, good amount of meat).

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on April 30, 2012
at 06:12 PM

Maybe fruit isn't so bad. I'd add some oranges, apples, and bananas (replace with your favorite fruits) and see how it feels.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:08 PM

I hope it helps, at least to give you a better handle on what's happening in your body. Explaining to patients what is happening to them is something physicians often overlook, but I think it's important.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:38 AM

Interro- this is incredible...thank you so much.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:15 AM

Also, SSRIs will not help treat the problem. They probably won't even help treat the symptoms.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I'll second the Emily Deans. She's a total rockstar.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Please email me. vb10vb10@yahoo.com. It sounds like an emergency.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:45 AM

Walks, time in the sun, music, and fun activities are all great advice. In addition to potassium, the fruit cravings could also be vitamin c or copper. Those are the nutrients that stick out for me a lot when I crave fruit.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:29 AM

You really need to see a naturopath who specializes in hormonal balance or an endocrinologist. Most dietary changes will take some time and it sounds like you need immediate help.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:27 AM

This is good advice, including the link to Emily Dean's blog

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11 Answers

7
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:18 AM

That sounds really rough. I hope you and your doctors are able to figure out a solution for dealing with the PCOS. As for the cravings: if you're craving fruit, I say, eat fruit. I did low carb for a few months and my body did not like it. Adding back fruit, especially oranges, blueberries, and bananas, made me feel better. If there are specific fruits you're craving, you could plug them into fitday or cronometer and see if particular nutrients stand out as the source of your cravings.

Also, if you haven't checked out Emily Deans's blog, I highly recommend it. She has a lot of great ideas and information about mental health that I'm finding invaluable. I've been reading through the archives.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I'll second the Emily Deans. She's a total rockstar.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:27 AM

This is good advice, including the link to Emily Dean's blog

6
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:02 AM

A guy who can't put up with you in a time like this is t worth staying with. What will pregnancy be like? That aside, I know all too well about depression, crazy hormones, and binges. Try to find the right doctor. Others may help with how to do that. I mostly wanted to tell you that it will be okay, give you a hug, and remind you that it won't be like this forever. If you're keeping bf, remind him of that, too. It's all going to be okay. You probably need to get your pill swapped for a different balance of hormones. You are strong, strong enough to not beat yourself for temporary emotional weakness.

3
8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

on April 29, 2012
at 03:14 AM

This sounds absolutely terrible. I can't say I know what that sort of hormonal storm feels like, but I can offer you what I know, and hopefully that will help bring some clarity.

PCOS is essentially an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Estrogen secreted by your ovaries is suppressing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from your pituitary. FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) are secreted cyclically from your pituitary in response to GnRH from the hypothalamus and progesterone/estrogen feedback. FSH stimulates your ovarian follicles to mature ova, so suppressing it with estrogen prevents ovulation and menses. Unopposed by progesterone, estrogen will continue to suppress FSH, and LH will continue to stimulate estrogen production in a vicious cycle. The estrogen is converted to testosterone in your body, which tends to cause body hair growth, acne, and sometimes other masculinizing symptoms. The excess estrogen also causes your uterine lining to continue to grow without being shed, perhaps explaining your abdominal pain. What's worse, unopposed estrogen stimulates insulin secretion while enhancing insulin resistance. This can cause both consistent hyperglycemia (often leading to diabetes) as well as weight gain, and further feeds back into the cycle promoting estrogen and suppressing progesterone. The inability to get glucose into your tissues may explain the fruit cravings as well.

The BC pill probably contains enough progesterone that it helps to alter the balance. Without knowing exactly which type, however, that's just an educated guess. The fruit is almost certainly not doing you any good at this point, though, because it feeds into the cycle. Low-carb and exercise, if you can tolerate it, often helps begin to break the cycle.

When you speak to your OB-GYN, you should have blood drawn and get hormone levels. You may also want to inquire about progesterone hormone therapy. There are several BC formulations that should help, and s/he will be able to tailor the dosing to your specific needs. If you don't want to be on birth control, clomiphene citrate (which is a Rx med) is the first-line therapy to get you ovulating again, which may begin to break the unopposed estrogen cycle.

Lastly, don't give up hope. We don't have thorough agreement on how to treat PCOS, in part because it's so complex and involves so many feedback loops, and in part because it can have very different triggering events in different women. Your partner is being completely insensitive if s/he is threatening to leave, and you deserve more sympathy than that. Moreso because you're actively trying to combat it and seeking help. I hope I'm not just telling you what you already know, and I hope it helps you to begin to feel better.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:15 AM

Also, SSRIs will not help treat the problem. They probably won't even help treat the symptoms.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:38 AM

Interro- this is incredible...thank you so much.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:08 PM

I hope it helps, at least to give you a better handle on what's happening in your body. Explaining to patients what is happening to them is something physicians often overlook, but I think it's important.

2
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on April 29, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Sounds hormonal. The going off the pill thing likely caused a hormonal swing and hence the cravings for sugar/fruit. See a doctor.. I'm sure it is not that out of the ordinary for women who stop taking birth control to have this sort of reaction. It is very fixable, just don't beat yourself up. Its fruit! Fruit is good! Best of luck.

2
Cfc7dee889a66db9cd76c4f348109294

on April 29, 2012
at 12:18 AM

I second Sara's response. Don't beat yourself up over food right now. Try (it's hard, I know!) to be kind and forgiving to yourself as much as you can. Maybe skip a few workouts and instead, go for a walk or something easy and fun that will take your mind off things, get you moving, and get you outside. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule - getting your sleep cycles in check can help with mood. Eat plenty of healthy fats.

See a doctor that is friendly to your needs. I have an osteopath that is also an MD who is helpful. It's OK to tell your therapist, "Hey I need you to not prescribe xyz" if you don't want that right now. You can always change your mind in the future.

I can't explain the fruit thing, but I would definitely get hormones and bloodwork done. You may be having cravings for potassium or another nutrient. You could be low on D.

Treat yourself to as much "you" time as you can afford. Music, sunlight, fun activities will be helpful. You'll need the support of family, friends, and lovers through this. Best wishes.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:45 AM

Walks, time in the sun, music, and fun activities are all great advice. In addition to potassium, the fruit cravings could also be vitamin c or copper. Those are the nutrients that stick out for me a lot when I crave fruit.

1
1a8287e347615e85e0cbf6930795cfcb

(439)

on May 20, 2012
at 04:13 AM

Sounds like you are having very rough times. I feel for you.

A lot of good things have been said, but I wanted to add my 2 cents, having experienced some hormonal crash and mess ups myself, mainly due to my own making, by going on a rather extreme autoimmune elimination GAPS, with very little carbs.

I am not gonna go into all the details, but I had a full thyroid crash, amenorrhea for seven months, a mood problem, a brain problem, energy problem, athletic performance problem etc. etc.

What I can say, is that getting back in order takes time. It took me about a year, with very hard work to get back to "normal". For some, it might take longer. There are no easy fixes. Being "strict Paleo" is not a guarantee for anything. In fact, if you are doing low carb, my might mess up your hormones further. People are different though. But for me, low carb was very bad, but I am not claiming this is the case for everyone.

For me, eating more carbs in the form of fruit, was essential to getting better. I make a big effort to get 200 grams of carbs per day, a bit more when I train hard. I eat fruit 5 times a day, and I drink OJ. I take a table spoon of coconut sugar or honey on hard work out days. Starches have not been all that good for me. Fruit is better. If you crave, eat!

I was also on the pill for 16 years, and I think it set the stage for the hormonal crash I had last year. I do not think you do yourself any favours by going back. In the medium and long term you are making it worse, possibly much worse.

I think I saw in another post that you had had some ED related issues. What I can say is, do not be so hard on yourself when you are trying to fix your hormones. Allow your body to gain some weight if this is what it takes. In the period I got better, I gained 5.5 kg in a very short time in the form of muscles, water and some fat. It might not sound like much, but it was over 10% of my bodyweight. I was not so happy with the fat gain in my thighs (I already had a pronounced pear shape) as I compete in triathlons, and I like to be as lean as possible. Luckily my coach said all the right things: That the weight gain was a part of getting my health and hormones back in order. That I looked good. That I had gotten stronger, and that it is difficult to get to stronger without adding some fat. That I should continue to focus on my health and hormone balance, and that the leanness should be a long-term issue that will come by itself, but not something I should focus on in the short and medium term.

Another thing - the period when I decided that I had to re-think my approach (after 6 months on the Perfect Health Diet, and 8 months on Paleo), I cut virtually all training for six weeks. This was very hard for me, as I had a race coming up 3 months later, but I think it was the right decision. It seems like you train pretty hard. Maybe you need to wait untill your hormones are more balanced.

Eating more frequent meals was also critical for me to get better. On a Perfect Health Diet I ate 3 times per day, and tried to get a 12 hour overnight fast, sometimes 14 hours. Now, I eat 5-6 meals per day. I know this is quite common easy fix for women with hormonal mess-ups. A friend of mine is able to control extremely nasty PMS depression by simply eating frequent meals.

I try to get nutrients from foods - bone broth every day, raw diary when I can get my hands on it, otherwise organic goats milk and goats cheese, liver once per week, oysters once per week, mussels, prawns, white fish, oxtail and lots and lots of tropical fruits. I found that eating minimal vegetables work better for me. I used to eat tons of sweet potatoes while trying to fix my problems, but no more. I take desiccated thyroid, and as of recently, a low dose of pregnenalone. Desiccated thyroid worked for me, even though my TSH and T4 were consistently normal (T3 low after low carb stint).

When I stated with 35 mg pregnenolone a few weeks back the effects were pretty instant. I was already feeling 80% "normal", and the pregnenolone gave me the last 20% back, in terms of brain function, mood, and recovery from workouts.

And one more thing - for me charting my cycles (after my period came back....) using FAM has been helpful. It indicates that I still have an estrogen-progesterone problem, but at least it seems to get slowly better.

Good luck. Everybody is different, so you just need to find out what works for you.

1
Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on April 30, 2012
at 04:51 AM

I agree with Dragonfly's comment. You are in a health crisis and the right practitioner can help. Also consider and an accupuncturist experienced with women's health issues. My hormones were out of wack after a miscarriage, and again after a c-section and in both cases 1 or 2 sessions of accupuncture restored balance. Be kind to youself and seek help. Good luck.

0
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 20, 2012
at 12:03 PM

I know you may love your partner, but if they can't deal with the lows along with the highs of the relationship, I also agree that they aren't worth being with! That's not the kind of love that lasts a lifetime.

I can't offer any suggestions other than to try and either ride it out (in a healthy person, I'd assume the body will eventually right itself), or see other specialists as others have suggested.

Sending good vibes your way <3

0
A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

on May 20, 2012
at 05:49 AM

Let me preface with the standard "I Am Not A Doctor"...

Given the PCOS, which is a hormonal imbalance, I'm wondering why you stopped the pill. Diet and exercise can only do so much, and in the face of a hormonal disorder that has relatively little discovery into the cause other than some genetic links, maybe stopping hormone therapy (which is what the pill is) wasn't a grand idea?

At this point, I think you should concentrate on getting back to "normal"; in this case, that means feeling more like yourself. Reset with the pharmaceuticals, under a doctor's care, and get back to the point where you can deal, rather than looking for answers that, frankly, might not exist.

Might you have to take an SSRI or SNRI for a while? Probably. But working with your medical and psychological professionals to come up with a plan where they're a crutch to heal, and not a lifetime saddle, is a fantastic start! Given your PCOS, you might need to be on supplemental hormones for a long time; no shame in that, you've got a legitimate reason.

Get better, now, so you you can work towards staying better for the long haul.

0
E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

on April 30, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Everyone else has already given great suggestions about what might be going on and where to seek help. I'll just add to remember that this is temporary. Whatever the cause, you will emerge from this. You are your number one priority. You are already on the right track, identifying the pattern and seeking help. Keep up the hard work and continue to take care of yourself. You will feel like yourself again soon. In the mean time, connect with your family and friends and those who love you. You are not alone and your feelings, however nonsensical they may feel, are real and painful and not your fault.

0
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:17 AM

I can think of worse things to binge on. Fruit comes from God's garden. I feel sorry for you. I know what it's like it feel like the world is caving in on you. Everyone has given some good advice. I hope you keep us posted.

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