I should probably start this story from almost 16 years ago when I became pregnant with my second child and lost my other ovary. Long story short, it was not that easy getting pregnant the first time and second time was a bit quicker with the help of some reflexology (or just luck). Reflexology might have had something to do with why I lost the ovary in the first place, but maybe more about that later. Point being my ovary had to be removed surgically due to it getting gangrene causing immense pain. Surgery was done when I was 10 weeks pregnant and luckily all went well and she is a healthy 15 year old young lady now, but they said due to one ovary doing the job of two, I might go into menopause a bit earlier than others.
This is of course all very individual, but I think that because I only have one ovary it might have accelerated my hormonal imbalance a bit. Again I am not a doctor and am just observing my own body. Making notes and conclusions solely based on what I feel and think, what I think might be going on, what has helped me or not, but no, I am not a doctor and know only my what works for my body.
Up and down
I have never had to worry about having any particular mood swings or symptoms during my normal cycle so I was not really expecting anything out of the ordinary. Yet a few years ago I noticed that I was abnormally emotional at times. Again I thought it must be just the stress or work load, or what ever, it did not cross my mind that pre-menopause could be the culprit! I thought it was something, somewhere in the future, and I don’t need to worry about it yet. It was one of those things you put somewhere in the back of your mind to ”deal with later”. I mean, I just had a baby when I was 40 years so hormones are still up and running normal right?
First I noticed some changes in my cycle. Shorter, then longer, then back to ”normal”. It was the first thing that made me think that maybe, just maybe something different is going on. Then started the massive mood swings. One day you are fine, the next your world is falling apart again. Petty things cause the floor to drop from under your feet although there is nothing wrong with the world, or your life, all is actually fine. It took a while to understand that this is not me, it’s all in your head and just the hormones talking. You will be fine again in a few days, but remember, don’t make any rash decisions during these days! I learned to live with those swings somehow.
Help, I cannot stand me anymore
But… The truth is that I started to fear those hormone swings and doubting myself and my decisions. I felt like I am not myself anymore, this is not me! What happened, where did I go? You start getting too used to the ”changed you” so much that you forget who you really are. On the ”good days” you got more speed again and get to be that ”old you” and think, ”I need to get this lady back”. You cannot stand you anymore. Your brain takes over and rationalises, analyses realising something has to be done. This ”changed you” is not ”you” anymore…
Some sort of balance
With the sweating every night, horrid PMS migraine headaches and crying like a baby due to being ”a bit emotional” I thought there has to be a way to make this transition easier, I cannot stand this for the next 5 to 10 years, or how ever long it might last. There has to be something that could make it easier. What I hated the most was the constant night sweating. It was so uncomfortable to wake up to multiple times a night.
So I googled, read about hormones and what you could try and not. What life hacks there are to help tackle this new era of my life post ”baby-making age”.
They say that in general healthy lifestyle and exercise helps, but since I already do eat pretty healthy, exercise regularly and do not smoke etc., those boxes were already ticked and yet I get these swings. One option would be to go to doctor and get hormone pills, but I have never been a fan of chemicals and they have never agreed with my body so thought that there must be something natural to help out and it was was mentioned somewhere that oestrogen aka estorgen could ease the symptoms. So more research on which food substances have it and which I could add to my diet. The ones I remembered was soy beans and broccoli so went to the shop and got some soy drink and broccoli.
I started having broccoli every now and then and soy drink in my coffee always and with cereals sometimes. I quickly noticed the difference and felt much more balanced. My mind was not an emotional roller-coaster anymore and the night sweats stopped. So I think it takes the worst edge off and it’s been now almost a year since I started taking soy drink with coffee and the night sweats have not come back. So this seems to work for me and I surely will keep putting it to my coffee in the future.
Or then the worst mood swings and night sweating is at bay for some completely other reason, but when I have not taken any soy drink for a few days, the sweating has returned so I do think it has something to do with it. Again this is just my body and what it seems to like or lack.
I have had migraine every now ad then my whole life but in the past years I have come to link it to my cycle and as a PMS symptom. It has been manageable with just Panadol so haven’t thought about it too much until (again) few years ago. They started being so horrid that I finally began to understand what other people with migraine meant when they say that they cannot work, concentrate and eyes are really sensitive to light and you feel like half paralyzed. You are in fact useless for a good while until it passes.
Eventually I went to the doctor and got migraine medicine which has luckily helped when you take it quick enough, but the reason for the attacks getting worse is for sure again the imbalance of the hormones. It always happens around the second day of my cycle when the hormonal variances become bigger. Meaning the highs are higher and lows are lower causing in general my hormones to do a continuous monthly rollercoaster. No wonder you feel a bit weird!
The other thing I have noticed is THE pimple. OMG I hate it. I have never had normally pimples not even when I was a teenager, but this ”cycle pimple” that pops to the right side of your jaw is the most annoying thing in the world and it happens always when you have a photo shoot or an important tv/movie shoot coming up. For this I have not found a solution yet how to prevent it. So if you have any suggestions how to prevent or even ease the inflammation let me know! I am almost certain that because I mentioned it just now, it will start tingling tomorrow morning because it knows I have an important video ad recording next week 😀
Even out the line
I have learned that I need to even out the highs and lows so that these symptoms stay manageable. The level of estrogen is decreasing all the time and it’s fine, I accept that this now the reality and past is past. I feel that I have now found some sort of balance with this all, but must admit that in the beginning I was about to loose my mind. Not only because of the hormonal imbalance it caused, but there is also the mental and the physical side. How you feel and all the other ”exciting” (not) things that are happening to your body.
With soy drink I have managed to keep the emotions and night sweats at bay and I do like broccoli too. With migraine medicine (taken on time) I can still function if the attack hits, but for the annoying pimple I could use some advice with!
Next time we will dig deeper into the other physical changes in my body that I have noticed. I can tell you it’s not promising. I very strongly believe that my ”best before” date has passed in that sense 😉 Just joking! This is my prime time! <3
Stay tuned for next episodes the old(er) I get!