Monday, September 1, 2008

An Interesting Discovery

This past winter I struggled with treatment resistant depression - the medicines and counseling just weren't cutting it. My counselor and psychiatrist suggested I try some alternative treatment options - one of them was Hormone Replacement Therapy. There is a fantastic pharmacy here with a pharmacist who works primarily with women and hormones. It took until June to get an appointment and at that point, I was feeling significantly better and wondered if I needed to bother with the test at all. The pharmacist told me that it was actually best to be tested when I felt better. I had to go off of one medication before I could complete the test so I just took the test at the end of July. I got my results last week...I'm screwed up to say the least. Every hormone she tested was not just sort of "off" - they were WAY off! I've never been so happy to be screwed up! Maybe this is my answer...Maybe I will really begin to feel better!

I share this with you, because I have determined that EVERY woman should be tested! My doctor tested my hormones, sure, but the pharmacist explained that they need to be tested on a particular day of your cycle. Hormones fluctuate throughout the month and if not tested on a particular day, they may appear to be normal even though they are not.

It was an easy test. It was just spitting into tubes. Now it was a challenge to come up with enough spit at times, but still a very non invasive test. Then I popped the kit in the mail and waited...

This is what we discovered:

  • My estrogen level should have been between 1.3 and 3.3...mine was 12.7!
  • My progesterone should have been between 75 and 270...mine was 41!
  • There's a way they create a ration between these two and the ratio should fall between 100-500. My ratio was a 3- THREE!!!
  • My testosterone for my age should have been about 25...mine was 68!
  • My DHEAS for my age should have been about 14...mine was 22.9!
  • My cortisol level started out ok in the morning, but did not follow the normal "curve." It's supposed to gradually decrease throughout the day. Mine started ok, spiked and then plummeted. By night the amount of cortisol in my system would not even was that low!

She said she was surprised that I was able to handle these levels as well as I did. I felt so validated - I was not crazy! She kept saying, "No wonder you are tired and have trouble losing weight!"

So what now?

She made a recommendation of hormones and supplements and had these approved by my doctor. I started the treatment last week. I don't feel much change yet...I have been having headaches, but I don't know if it's related. I will be retested in 8 weeks to see if my levels are improving. Hopefully this will help me feel more energized, emotionally stable, and help me lose this awful weight!!! There are 4 things that she prescribed and 5 that I was already on - talk about confusing to keep up with! Some are not to be in light, some are to be refrigerated, some require me to take different amounts at different times of the's gonna be crazy to keep up with...but if it works it will be worth it!


Karisse and Callie said...

WOW...hormones are sucky!!!

Soooo glad you found out WHY you were screwed up. ;o)

Were you officially diagnosed with PCOS? I had seriously unbelievable migraine headaches that lead to my diagnosis, so your hormone fluctuations are most likely related to your headaches. Hopefully, after your body adjusts, the heads will disappear!! Keep us updated on how the drugs/supplements go!!!

Miss ya!

Rochelle said...

All this goes to show just how strong you are. You will make such a terrific mother. Good luck with keeping track of all the medicine.

Monica said...

I'm so glad that you have answers- you were persistent and it led you to answers!! I'll be praying for your new treatment plan. I don't doubt this is God's preparation for getting everything in order for your little girl. Many blessings.

Alana said...

Wow. Amazing. Did your pharmacist give you the test? Does any pharmacy do that??

tiffany said...

Who does this testing? I might like to have this done!