Do I have a hypothyroid or a progesterone deficiency?
(Montello, WI USA)
Hello everyone! I'm so grateful to have found this site today because I am desperately in need of some answers or even just some suggestions on how to handle my current health issues. I am 38 yrs old and have 3 daughters, ages 12, 6 and 2. I had planned to breastfeed all of my kids exclusively but my first born had such severe colic until she was 3 1/2 months old and the fact that she cried almost constantly 24/7, I was unable to keep up a regular feeding schedule with her and my milk eventually dried up. I tried again with my second born, to only BF but I had such a low milk supply that I had to begin supplementing with formula so she didn't starve. And again my milk dried up when she was around 4 mos. old. I found out rather unexpectedly that I was pregnant again in August 2013 and by then I was 35 yrs old and I knew she would be my last, so I vowed to do everything in my power to BF exclusively with her and for as long as I possibly could. I had my tubes tied when she was born in April 2014. Once again I faced problems with low milk supply like I had with my 2 older girls, but this time I asked for help from a lactation consultant and my OB/GYN and I was prescribed Reglan, to increase my milk supply and it worked amazing for me!! I was beyond excited to have enough milk to fill her little tummy and not worry whether or not she was getting enough from me. She turned 2 last month and is such a happy, healthy, lil princess and I'm still BFing!! She doesn't nurse very often anymore though. Mainly she does at nap time, bedtime, when she's sick and sometimes when she just needs comforting from me. I am so happy that I have been able to continue BFing her past age 2 especially since she is my last but over the past 4-5 months my health has taken a serious nose dive. I'm seeing my OB/GYN the day after tomorrow to discuss what I've been going through. I probably should have gone to him when I first noticed things weren't right but instead I rationalized all my symptoms and kind of explained them away becuase deep down I was scared. But now I'm at the point that I cannot handle feeling like this much longer. When I first started researching my symptoms I thought it could be a hypothyroid. Then yesterday as I was making a list of my symptoms and other things I want to tell the DR at my appt, I got a feeling that it may not be my thyroid after all but possibly more of a hormonal imbalance caused by extended breastfeeding?! I have not had my menstrual cycle since my last one at the beginning of July 2013. The following month I had a positive pregnancy test so I haven't had any menses whatsoever in almost 3 years. At first I was delighted not to have my cycle every month and things were fine with my health for almost 18 months after she was born. But slowly I began noticing serious problems such as extreme exhaustion and fatigue regardless of how much sleep I get. I could sleep for 7 days straight and still wake up feeling completely drained and tired. Then I gained almost 30 pounds over only a few months time although my diet hasn't changed in any way to warrant such rapid weight gain, I'm having excessive hair loss, to the point my hair is so thin now that my scalp is visible, my scalp and all the skin on my body is severely dry, regardless how often I moisturize, dark age spots have suddenly appeared on my face, I have acne breakouts that are worse than I ever had during puberty & as a teenager, I have constant body aches and crippling joint pain. Every morning my hands hurt so bad that I can't make a closed fist with either hand, and when I stand up after sitting or lying down for any period of time even as short as 15 mins, my legs feel so heavy and achy it's hard to walk and my feet are always throbbing. Plus I have absolutely zero sex drive/libido and on the rare occasion I do try it's extremely painful so my poor hubby is also hoping I can get some answers soon!! Aside from the physical symptoms, I tend to feel very depressed, sad, angry and irritable. My mood swings have gotten worse recently due to the physical symptoms getting worse as each day passes. I am going to plead with my DR to do a saliva swab to check my hormone levels. From the very limited information I have been able to find online that suggests a possible link between extended BFing and hormonal imbalance or progesterone deficiency, it appears that not many physicians believe there to be connection between them or maybe there hasn't been enough medical research done to support the claims of women like myself, who are very aware of their bodies and who know without a doubt, when something is wrong. I am going to do whatever I can to convince my DR to check my hormone levels before he does any other tests. If anyone else has had a similar experience and has since gotten help to fix their hormone imbalance I would love to hear your story and how you were able to get your life and your body back to normal!! I'm so miserable and I don't believe that anyone should have to feel this way when we have so many medical treatments for anything and everything under the sun. There must be a way to correct this and become mentally and physically balanced again! I apologize for the absurd length of my story but I wanted to tell my background story as accurately as possible so that maybe someone else who has had the same problems can give me some advice :-) Thanks!!!