waiting to start until day 12....will this help my awful depression and mood swings???

by martha
(los angeles)

Since puberty, I have spent half my life depressed. By half, I mean the 2nd half of my cycle. I was put on the pill at 18 because I wouldn't stop bleeding. I got off after 8 months because I hated it and it made me depressed and withdrawn at college. I have suffered from depression on and off since high school. Crazy mood swings. My PMS is AWFUL. It's ruining my marriage and my life (I am 27.) When I get my period, I feel better emotionally, but the cramps are awful and there is a lot of blood clotting. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in my life but hate them. About 2 years ago my OBGYN took a test and told me I wasn't ovulating. I then tried THREE different birth controls in a year with awful side effects and no regulation or help with my mood or cramps. I always "spot" for almost a full week during the third week of my 28 day cycle (it's actually 28 days now!) I can tell when I ovulate because I feel it on either side, but didn't feel it this last month, so I figure my progesterone was too low again. I am waiting for my progesterone cream anxiously, as I just found out about it. It is the first day of my period and I am at a hotel because my husband can't take my moodswings. I can't take this anymore! I get SO depressed and angry and even binge eat during the last 10 or so days of my cycle. I am a completely different person...sad, hopeless, anxious, angry. I am pretty much vegan and eat healthy, though I do crave alcohol and drink before my period which I know is bad but it makes me feel better! I just want to feel happy and "normal" and not be terrible to my husband! Have you heard of depression lifting with progesterone cream??? Thanks so much!

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Apr 02, 2012
waiting to start until day 12....will this help my awful depression and mood swings???
by: Wray

Hi Martha I think you've been short of progesterone since puberty. Why they gave you a Contraceptive is beyond me, they think it will solve all problems. But often it makes matters worse like it did with you. All drug based contraceptives drop progesterone levels which is why you felt awful on them. See this page here, scroll down to contraceptives. A drop in progesterone does cause cravings, depression, anxiety etc and it drops sharply just before bleeding. For more info see our page on How to use progesterone cream. And please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance. Although I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, I feel you'll need 400mg/day to start with. Once symptoms have subsided you can reduce it slowly, till you find the optimum level. Please see these comments here. Although I usually suggest following the cycle, if symptoms are severe I ask women to use it daily, through any bleeding, for 2-3 months. This ensures progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. Because you're a vegan I don't think you're getting enough protein. Taurine is a very calming amino acid and it's not found in any veggies, nut, seeds or fruit, only animal protein. Please consider taking it, see here and here. I also think you are short of tyrosine, this amino acid is the precursor to dopamine. If tyrosine is low, and stress drops it sharply, dopamine will drop. Low dopamine causes depression, please see our page on Anxiety. It seems you have anovulatory cycles, plus I believe when you do ovulate, your corpus luteum is making insufficient progesterone, hence the spotting for almost a week before bleeding. Continued below

Apr 02, 2012
waiting to start until day 12....will this help my awful depression and mood swings??? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Martha Please see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. High free testosterone also causes PMS. If bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose (all carbs are converted into glucose), reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Please have a vitamin D test done, a lack of this causes depression and reduces the benefits of progesterone. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Take care Wray

Apr 04, 2012
fellow pmt sufferer
by: Anonymous

I live in England and am also very badly affected by PMT, after been on a number of unsuccessful herbal treatments I decided once and for all to do something about it. My story starts at puberty I guess, but my pmt didn't get really bad until I was in my early twenties.
I went to on the NHS to see a specialist who recommended I go on Cyclogest which I believe is a synthetic hormone of progesterone - it made me feel about 30% better but not great – I was told the next step was either the pill or antidepressants I saw them as masking a problem rather than dealing with it. So I agreed to go on Yasmin (pill), I was told this will either work or not! I went on Yasmin on 1st Jan this year and was advised not to take any breaks so I continued without a break. On my 23rd day I had a complete breakdown - I was basically heading for a bad place. The next few days were up and down and early on the next week I finally called my mother and broke down I told her I needed help. Thankfully she recognized how serious this was and got me home.
I had been doing research on pmt and came across NAPS - its a forum for women like us that suffer from pmt - believe me just reading their comments makes you realize how much a worldwide problem this is and how very little it is understood by all but a few of the medical profession - but its also a support to know you aren't in this alone. Within the site was the name of two consultants and some women said how it had turned their lives around. So armed with my savings (I had to pay around £700) I went to see the doc. After talking for a few minutes he said 'darling you are going to be so easy to treat.'
The first thing he did was my blood work and bone density - the bloods would show what my oestrogen level was like and research shows that women who suffer with pmt are likely to have bad bone density because of a calcium deficiency. My bone scan came back normal and so did my bloods. I was really upset that the blood work hadn't said I had a really low hormone level - but I was told that actually what's normal for one person doesn't work for another individual. Professor Studd's line of thought is that actually alot of women who suffer with PMT are intolerant to progesterone (hence the breakdown with the pill) so he tried to override that with more Oestrogen and testorone (which improves mood/sex drive).
Professor Studd came me the following treatment:

Apr 04, 2012
fellow pmt sufferer
by: Wray

Hi there Clyclogest is natural progesterone, it's not synthetic. It's the suppository Dr Dalton gave her patients for miscarriages, PMS (she coined the term in 1953), post natal depression and post natal psychosis. I would have to know how much you were using, evidently not sufficient. Although I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, like Martha, I suggest you use 400mg/day. Dr Dalton didn't mess around with amounts, she gave her patients with PMS about 400mg/day, PND 800mg/day, and those with post natal psychosis 2400mg/day. Anti-depressants only treat the symptom not the cause. All drug based Contraceptives contain progestins, not what you need. They lower progesterone levels, see here. By doing so they make symptoms far worse in some women, hence the worsening of yours. You are right, there are 40 million women world wide who suffer PMS every month, and there's no need for it. Do you have your hormone levels? Did they in fact check progesterone, I'd be surprised if they did, it's normally omitted. One thing which is never checked are the ratios of P:E2. So they might have come back 'normal' but if oestrogen was in the high range and progesterone in the low range, all hell can break loose. Please check them. Bone density usually has little to do with calcium, and all to do with low vitamin D and magnesium, were these levels checked? Please have a vitamin D test done if not. A lack of this not only causes oesteoporosis, but it reduces the benefits of progesterone and causes depression too, see href="http://blog.vitamindcouncil.org/2011/10/04/vitamin-d-in-diet-and-depression/" target="_blank">here, here, here and here. We also have a page on Anxiety. You'll notice how well progesterone helps depression, plus a number of other nutrients. No woman is intolerant to progesterone, we make over 400ng/ml each day during the third trimester of pregnancy! No contraceptive contains progesterone, as it breaks down too readily in the gut and liver. In fact oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, large amounts are needed to be effective. Continued below.

Apr 04, 2012
fellow pmt sufferer Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately many think progesterone and progestins are one and the same, nothing could be further from the truth. The progestin molecule is so changed it's barely recognisable. The last thing you need is more oestrogen, I believe that's where your problem lies. Excess oestrogen and low progesterone. As your PMS started at puberty, this makes it all the more likely. It's appears you could have a defective luteal phase. All women, irrespective of the length of their cycle, should start ovulating 12 to 14 days before the next menstruation. If the corpus luteum does not make sufficient progesterone during these 12 to 14 days, it will also result in a defective luteal phase. Symptoms are spotting during the entire luteal phase, or for a few days before full bleeding occurs. Not to mention all the PMS symptoms too. Finally anovulatory cycles can be experienced when ovulation does not take place. If this occurs no progesterone will be secreted to counter the oestrogen. Do you know if you ovulate, has that been checked? Testosterone should never be given to a woman, the last thing it does is improve mood and sex drive, that's what men like to think! Testosterone causes severe PMS, see here. High levels of progesterone were needed to increase levels of SHBG. Once bound to SHBG testosterone becomes inactive. There's strong evidence progesterone is involved in increasing libido in men and women. In fact we have many men using it to increase theirs. Testosterone apart from causing acne, facial hair and scalp hair loss, also increases the risk of ovarian cysts, visceral fat, insulin resistance, heart disease and cancer, see here, here, here, here here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Continued below.

Apr 04, 2012
fellow pmt sufferer Part 3
by: Wray

Hi there I believe you are very short of vitamin D, most people living in the UK are. Please have a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Birmingham Hospital send out test kits for £20, but please ignore their levels, far too low. Take care Wray


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