Post Weaning Hormonal Changes -Please help!

by Fiona.
(Los Angeles, California )

Hi I nursed two babies back to back for two years each. The first one continued to nurse six months into my 2nd pregnancy. I had a 3 month break before I started nursing my 2nd child for two years. With each birth I returned to menstruation 2 months postpartum with very regular but heavy menses. I barely gained any weight during both pregnancies but gained about 10 to 15lbs while nursing each child. During my last pregnancy I gained less than 10lbs but started gaining 4 months pp. I weaned weaned my son 9 months ago after two years of heavy nursing. I loved nursing and suffered mild depression with sever anxiety 2 months post weaning. Mood swings like the worst PMS ever starting at ovulation. I'm lethargic with low energy, I have decreased thirst and appetite I have to nap in the afternoon I literally pass out on the sofa while my kids go wild. I fall asleep easily at night but wake up after 3hrs. I've lost a lot of hair on my head but have stubble on my chin. Periods are regular but lighter. The most alarming thing is my weigh gain. During the 9 months since weaning I have gained almost 20lbs!!! I'm not a big eater but I eat well following Weston Price and a gluten free low carb diet. I have never been overweight before. My knees and hips ache from all the extra weight. Blood tests of course show everything is normal. I know that something is not right. I just took the Progesterone Questionnaire on this site and scored 63!!! I live in LA can anyone recommend a Dr please? I am a 40yr old single mum of a 4 and 2yr old. Can anyone provide me with their personal suggestions? I take 10,000 IU of Vit D daily and also Zinc and Magnesium. I feel like I'm always PMSing. Another alarming thing is every time I eat my abdomen bloats to the extent that I look like I'm 9 months pregnant! People open doors for me give up their seat, ask me when I'm due, tell me I have my hands full I'm too embarrassed to say I'm not even pregnant. Truth is I'd love to be pregnant. I'm really pining for another baby so much but I'm single. I do not get constipated or suffer low libido either. What's wrong with me? I'm tired of the Dr constantly telling me its just stress. HELP me please.

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Mar 26, 2014
Post Weaning Hormonal Changes - Please help!
by: Joy

Hi Fiona

How lovely that you were able to nurse your babies so successfully, I really battled and gave up after 7 months. I do feel that you suffered from PND, your depression, anxiety, mood swings suggests this. Your score of 63 on the Questionnaire also suggests that your estrogen level is very high which explains all your adverse symptoms. Hair loss and facial hair is also an indicator that your testosterone level could be very high too, have you had this tested? You might also like to look at the page on Insulin Resistance. The Ketogenic Diet is excellent for those suffering weight problems.

You are heading towards Peri-Menopause too, which also brings on its own challenges and is not a pleasant time for most women. Progesterone is very much needed now and it will also help your body to prepare for Menopause. Please read How to use Progesterone Cream and Estrogen Dominance. When choosing a progesterone cream, please make sure that you choose one with the correct progesterone concentration – see here.

Your daily dose of 10 000iu’s Vitamin D is a good amount, but do you know what your level is? A deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone. I am happy to read that you are taking magnesium and zinc, two co-factors which are vital when taking vitamin D. Vitamin K2 is another one to consider.

Hope this helps you.

Mar 27, 2014
Post Weaning Hormonal & Physical Changes
by: Fiona

Thank you for your response. I have never suffered from PND I believe the regular influx of oxytocin and prolactin I received during the four years of on demand breastfeeding protected me from that. All of the symptoms I mention began as soon as I weaned my son after he turned two. That was 9 months ago now. The depression & anxiety lasted about two months post weaning. My periods while breastfeeding were so heavy that I would have to stay home for the the first three days. Now, since weaning they are lighter but by no means light! I ovulate every month and have done so two months postpartum after each birth. My weight gain also began about two months after weaning. The facial hair around my neck and chin has always been there but seems to be worse since weaning. I also just turned 40. I don't not believe that this is peri menopause as all my symptoms suddenly began as soon as I stopped breastfeeding. Between Oct 2008 to July 2013 I have had two full term pregnancies, given birth twice, breastfed on demand from July 2009 to July 2013 continuously with just a 3 month break in between as I was in my last trimester. So I was constantly pregnant and nursing for 5 years then all of a sudden I stop and my body goes haywire!
I have been on Paleo/Atkins diet wich is very similar to Keto diet you mentioned, for 6 months and no weightloss yet!!! I'm just getting bigger and bigger. I don't eat carbs or gluten just fruit, veg, animal protein and high quality fats in moderation. I have a very small appetite much smaller than when I was nursing. Everyone is so shocked when they see me including me! Something is just not right. It's not PND, Perimenopause or my diet. I just don't know what to do. The onset of all my symptoms began when I stopped breastfeeding. I wish I had never stopped!

Mar 28, 2014
Post Weaning Hormonal Changes - Please help!
by: Joy

Hi Fiona

The Ketogenic Diet achieves far better results, please try it. I am not surprised you are not losing weight. You say that you are eating lots of fruit and vegetables, fruit contains a tremendous amount of sugar and certain vegetables do too. Moderate fat, you need lots of fat. Try making smoothies with lots of coconut oil.

Mar 29, 2014
Post Weaning Hormonal & Physical Changes
by: fiona

I mostly eat pastured eggs, bacon, grassfed beef, pastured chicken (just the breast), pastured butter, organic virgin coconut oil, whole milk just a little in tea once a day, I hardly eat fruit or veg to be honest. Just a handful of berries now and then at breakfast, lettuce in my chicken salad and spinach or zucchini with my eggs. I hardly eat at all. I always feel full. My toddlers eat more than I do. I feel like I don't feed them enough since I never feel hungry myself. Since I stopped weaning I've lost my appetite I don't feel hungry or thirsty anymore. I'm too full to drink water!
I'm at a loss. The weight gain is a mystery.

Apr 02, 2014
Hi Fiona
by: Anonymous

I'm trepidatious of posting here, as I have had a bad experience and just recently came back here to defend myself (another story) but saw this post and wanted to comment. I had almost all your issues during breast feeding and thereafter, except facial hair. Let me just say that if you had thyroid testing, they may not have done the proper, quality tests. It sounds like thyroid issues on top of estrogen dominance (which can subsequently bind to thyroid hormone and exacerbate problems further). Did you have any testing done there? If so, can you post those results? If not, I highly suggest getting your TSH (not always useful), free t4, free t3 and all thyroid antibodies done. They typically will not run the antibodies. I suspected a thyroid problem as far back as puberty. Low and behold, after walking into the doctor for the final time to test my thyroid, I had antibodies off the charts. Really, they were the only thing indicating autoimmune thyroid disease and the answer to all of my health woes. I have hashimotos that wreaked havoc on my body, similar to what you describe. I hope you find your needle in the haystack. I have much compassion for where you are. I have been there. Have hope you will find your answer. A good hormonal panel, including saliva cortisol 4x throughout the day is a good place to start (this needs to be done around day 21 of your cycle). Checking all hormone levels at the precise time will give some light on which hormones are out of balance and where to begin. Often a domino effect happens and it's common to have low progesterone, high estrogen, sluggish thyroid, low or high testosterone, low high adrenal output. Good luck to you Hun!!!!

Apr 03, 2014
Post Weaning Hormonal Changes
by: Anonymous

Thank you Anonymous.
Best advise yet!
I'm still trying to a find a Dr that will do all those tests for me!

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