Since estrogen dominance is a huge, undiagnosed problem many people suffer from, my newly educated self will try to explain what I know to the best of my ability. Again, these are MY symptoms and progress and should only de used as a point of reference to your own self-education and discovery.
Over a year ago I’d given birth to our 5th child and began breastfeeding immediately. During my pregnancy I had 4 migraine attacks and all of them occurred in a cluster right before I even found out I was expecting. Two weeks after giving birth, I had one migraine and then proceeded to have exactly 8 blissful months of no migraine attacks. (Breastfeeding causes the hormone prolactin to be released, which suppresses ovulation and even the entire menstrual cycle.) Yes, I was keto, but not strict like I needed to be. And those 8 months were absolutely wonderful. I felt like a human again.
By March of 2017, my husband started to mix bottle feeding with my breastfeeding so he could share feeding duties with me and then it happened…..my first attack. I remember vividly being in Lowes with out oldest and taking a picture of a barn door, when I realized I couldn’t see his face. It was like I was looking at a Monét again and I gasped. And my oldest, who’s been my biggest helper since the beginning of all of this, helped guide me out of the store without any commotion. I got into our vehicle and he quickly handed me my water so I could take my pill and gave me his coat to cover my face. As I held it again my eyes, I cried. I cried like a baby and I knew I shouldn’t because crying, as you migraineurs know, can make migraines so much worse. But I just thought, why?? Why is this happening again?!!! I was angry, frustrated and of course, I can’t see and I’m in a parking lot waiting for the squiggly lines to go away. I had to go back to the drawing board. Again. Ugh.
Fast forward to last month and I’ve narrowed things down to estrogen dominance. Now, I know what your asking; “What makes you think it’s ED?” Well, my symptoms are all in the same estrogen dominant/hypothyroidism ballpark; hair loss, weight gain, breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, constipation, and increased sensitivity to cold. AND guess which hormone peaks every single time I’ve had a migraine attack in the past few years? Estrogen. And how do I know it’s peaking? Well, I’m one of those females that meticulously tracks her menstrual cycle and I know EXACTLY when I ovulate (via ovulation test strips and menstrual calendar app). And once those ovulation test strips are positive, I brace myself for the next 36 hours. And ladies, I’m like a clock! My aura hits, my migraine attack begins and I’m ok for the next 30 days or so until it happens again. At this point it’s not even funny how accurate I am at pin pointing when they’ll happen. Mittleschmerz is finally benefiting me! Ugh. lol I have to laugh at all this sometimes. It’s just too crazy.
What makes all this even more interesting is that I had actually narrowed my symptoms down to hypothyroidism initially. And even though I was satisfied to with dealing with hypothyroidism, it didn’t deal with how I am getting it nor my migraine attacks. And that’s when I discovered estrogen dominance. I’d heard about estrogen dominance so much in the last year and I’m a “preventative maintenance” kind of self healer, so I got right on track to dealing with it.
After months of trying different vitamins and detoxes, I finally received a good sign; my hair stopped falling out. I’d ordered a small dropper of J.Crows iodine (2 drops in a glass of water that I drink) and within a few days I suddenly realized I wasn’t having to wipe out my shower drain. Was this for real? Was it just a fluke? I mean I wasn’t nursing any longer and maybe my body was just going back to normal. So, I tested myself and stopped taking it. Sure enough, I was pulling strands off my clothes and everywhere else again. I began taking the iodine once again and again, no hair loss. Wow! I was finally on the right track. Relief isn’t a big enough word to express my optimism. Happy and AT LEAST I know how to begin dealing with it.
Since I now know and understand that estrogen dominance is on my body’s radar, I’ve begun to eat keto in a different way; no more hormones AT ALL. And since I can’t afford grass feed meat every day (once a week is ok), I stick to organic eggs and Kerry gold butter as my main sources of protein. Which if you think about, is already kind of where I need to be! Lol
It’s only been one week since I cut out the (hormone-laden) meats but I’m already feeling a positive difference in my moods and I’m definitely getting better sleep. Not to mention, I feel much more alert and focused, which is always a plus. I’ll have to keep this up at least a month longer to see if and what other changes occur.
Prayerfully, I’ll be migraine-free.
Stay tuned & keto on!