When I first started paleo I was coming off an extended period of high estrogen levels, so paleo foods made sense in that way (less plastic, less chemicals,no grains, no soy = less estrogen). At the risk of TMI, the truth is I was feeling VERY sexual ALL the time and was very heavily lubricated ALL the time. My husband loved this ;). My sex drive was at a record high. It turned out I had developed a cyst on one of my ovaries and I wonder if this contributed to increased hormone output. It grew large and then burst, so I went to the hospital after losing quite a bit of blood. Half of my ovary was removed along with a large clot.
Now I am experiencing vaginal dryness and lower libido. I wonder if paleo exacerbates this, due to the elimination of soy and grains, etc... What can I do to help couterbalance this naturally while staying paleo (I feel so much better in every other way healthwise)? I'm going to try some topical creams which I have ordered online (my experience with this company has been positive). I have a dr. appt coming up, but I cannot stand my dr. and will have to switch soon. What if she suggests the birth control pill? It was suggested I take the pill to reduce the chances of another cyst, but I have not. Would that help? What are the downsides? Is the pill really so bad if you are low estrogen anyway? This dr. refused to check my hormone levels post-surgery, so I think I will be looking for a more natural practitioner that specializes in HRT. I may have found a nurse practitioner locally that fits my needs.
Mainly I really want back that high-functioning libido and sexual vibrance I experienced recently and now seems to be on the shelf. I'm assuming that correcting this could also improve general skin elasticity and overall "glow" that I want to maintain throughout the rest of my thirties and beyond (I'm 37). Please share any experiences and suggestions you have.
EDIT: My menstrual cycle is regular, running approximately 27 days. I suspect I am not ovulating, or ovulating less (cld be every other cycle? not sure). It used to be very obvious to me when I was ovulating.
EDIT UPDATE: N=1, Emerita estrogen cream has given positive results OVERNIGHT.
asked byHeather_18 (971)
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on July 20, 2012
at 06:08 PM
Avoid the Pill at all costs! Will mess up your gut flora & make things worse in the long run.
Read Dr. John Lee's site on estrogen dominance. Lot's of other helpful information there.
You can still be estrogen dominant with low estrogen.
Getting your Progesterone level up via a paraben-free bio-identical hormone cream should help, though it may take some time. It definitely helped me! Progesterone is a precursor to Estrogen.
49, 2 years Primal, Pro-gest cream days 15-28, all perimenopausal symptoms are gone! Still cycling regularly & ovulating. Good libido, etc...
You also need to optimize your diet for hormonal balance, especially Vitamin D:
on July 21, 2012
at 08:06 PM
http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2010/06/low-carb-gynecologist.html Low-carb gynecologist Excerpts below:
Posted on June 6, 2010 by Dr. William Davis (author Wheat Belly) I met infertility specialist, Dr. Michael Fox, on Jimmy Moore???s low-carb cruise just this past March.
Dr. Fox is quiet and unassuming, but had incredible things to say about his experience with carbohydrate restriction in female infertility and pregnancy. While readers of The Heart Scan Blog already know that I advocate a diet free of wheat, cornstarch, and sugar for heart health and correction of multiple lipoprotein abnormalities, it was fascinating to hear how a similar approach seems to yield extraordinary benefits in this entirely unrelated area of female health.
WD: Dr. Fox, could you tell us something about yourself and what led you to use carbohydrate restriction in your female patients?
MF: I have been in practice as a reproductive endocrinologist for 15 years. During that time, I have seen our specialty move from a broad based practice of reproductive endocrinology to a narrow IVF [in vitro fertilization] focus, with patients being pushed through IVF in a cookie-cutter fashion without any emphasis on non-medical therapy.
Our focus has been to remain as a broad practice where we individualize care and attempt in every case to achieve pregnancy short of IVF. 5 years ago, this continued quest for better care led us into the insulin resistance, low-carbohydrate metabolic world that has transformed our practice, although our practice offers all aspects of reproductive endocrinology including sub-specialized minimally invasive surgery, and all available infertility options.
WD: I have been intrigued by your comments about improved fertility with the low-carb diet. Could you elaborate on this?
MF: Yes, 5 years ago, as more information regarding Polycystic Ovarian Disease or Syndrome (PCOD/S) and its relationship to insulin resistance (high insulin levels) was emerging, we had a simple realization. As we???ve known for some time, insulin stimulates excess male hormone levels in the ovary, which disrupts ovulation and fertility. Then our job was to lower or virtually eliminate high insulin levels. Again, in simple fashion, we looked at physiology and realized that insulin is released only in response to dietary carbohydrates. Thus, elimination of carbohydrates should resolve the problem. This, in fact, is the effect that we have seen.
In our previous approaches to PCOD, we utilized oral ovulation medicines generating pregnancy rates in the 40% range overall. Now, with the nutritional approach, for those patients that follow our recommendations, our pregnancy rates are over 90%! This has dramatically reduced the need for in vitro fertilization in these patients.
To extend this idea further, we first started with relative low-carbohydrate diets, such as the South Beach diet, but quickly realized this didn???t produce a metabolic effect. Over time, it has borne out that only the very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD) approach produces significant metabolic change. Our impression then was that the current U.S. nutritional exposure probably increases insulin levels and that this has a detrimental effect on fertility.
To counter this effect, we now recommend the VLCD to all fertility patients and their spouses. The pregnancy rates do seem much better overall, as well as seeing a reduction in miscarriage rates. For the first time at our national meeting last year, there were three articles that showed improved pregnancy rates in patients without PCOD or insulin resistance in IVF when Glucophage was used. This drug decreases insulin. This supports the idea that our entire population is subjected to fertility-reducing high-carbohydrate diet.
WD: Do you see any other changes in these patients on the diet?
MF: Yes. All metabolic parameters, as well as many common complaints, improve. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels improve, while ???good??? HDL cholesterol levels increase. Weight drops at a pace of 12 lbs per month very steadily and we have many many patients who have experienced 50lb wt loss. Blood pressure decreases steadily in these patients and we are often able to get them off of cholesterol and blood pressure medicines. Common symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, decreased energy, migraine headaches and depression all dramatically improve. Again we can often get patients off depression and migraine suppression medications. So this approach helps in a multitude of areas.
WD: I was also interested in hearing more about your experience with morning sickness and the effects of a low-carb diet. Could you tell us more about this? Also, any thoughts on why this happens?
MF: As we continued to expand our thoughts about VLCD and fertility/pregnancy, we began to extend the nutritional approach into pregnancy. We know that pregnancy hormones dramatically worsen insulin resistance that is responsible for the condition, gestational diabetes. If insulin resistance is worsened, then reactive hypoglycemia is worsened. One of the biggest symptoms of hypoglycemia is nausea. So, in response to this, we have counseled our patients on the diet in pregnancy and have found a dramatic reduction in nausea. We recommend snacking every two hours in pregnancy.
The other ???traditional??? issue in pregnancy are cravings. These also likely stem from hypoglycemia. I have had many husbands tell us later that their wives, in contrast to friends etc, were calm and not moody or anxious during their pregnancies. Hypoglycemia probably is a serious issue for the fetus as well and may be the ???signal??? that turns on the insulin-resistant gene. Many theorists feel this might be an activated gene during the pregnancy.
WD: Do you use any unique approaches to the low-carbohydrate approach, e.g., inclusion of dairy, meal frequency, ???induction??? strategies (i.e., induction to the diet, not of labor!), etc.?
MF: Yes. As I???m sure everyone who works in the VLCD world does, we also have some tricks to make this work better. My biggest push, although hard to get patients to agree, is to see a counselor along with our follow-up in order to deal with ???addictive behaviors??? and ???stress eating??? that so many of our patients relate to us. Good stress management and cognitive behavioral therapy go a long way in helping this become a permanent change.
Our other big push is fat. People can wrap themselves around protein and vegetables, but they totally miss the high-fat (animal fat) part of the conversation. We have to really push that aspect. In regards to dairy, we allow for non-processed cheeses and minimal milk. An alternative is to mix about 4 oz whole milk with 4 oz of heavy whipping and 4 oz of water to create a ???milk??? with less sugar. Similarly, shakes and smoothies can be made with heavy whipping cream with pure whey protein powder added to create a liquid meal for those who ???don???t have time??? to cook.