Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Breakthrough

So I started figuring out what kind of food made my depression worse, but I couldn't figure out what would make it feel better. So back to "The Mood Cure" book I went and started looking at each section that I felt had some symptom that I suffered with.

The general premise of Julia Ross's book "The Mood Cure" is that Americans don't get a enough nutrients in their diet anymore to build the "happy" chemicals, like serotonin that we all need. So for instance she believes that a lot of drug addicts or alcoholics "self-medicate" because the drugs give them that short term "happy" that their bodies are craving. For the average American that doesn't have substance abuse issues, a nice warm roll, or your favorite candy bar full of sugar can give you that same euphoric feeling, until the sugar crash happens. The author Julia Ross believes Americans are addicted to sugar. So she really recommends cutting as much sugar out of your diet as possible. After doing this for a couple of years now, I have to say I really feel better. We've largely stopped baking many of our favorite things, and I noticed a big difference in the kids moods as well. They've even noticed the difference. I'm certainly not saying we don't eat ice cream anymore, or other sweets, but we don't have a warm plate of cookies around all the time either. I started taking some of the enzymes and vitamins she recommends to build serotonin. Taking vitamins that build serotonin also help stop some of the sugar cravings which just start a viscious cycle of cravings and depression.

Here's what I started with:

Wake-up - 25mg. DHEA, 1000mg fish/flax, DLPA - 500mg., L-Tyrosene 500mg., 5HTP 200mg.

After Breakfast - 5HTP 200mg., B-50

Lunch - DLPA 500mg., L-Tyrosene 500mg., 5HTP 200mg.

4PM - 5HTP 200mg.

Bedtime - 5HTP 200mg., Gaba 1000mg. , Valerian root 500mg.

I actually started feeling slightly better, but it still wasn't great. I was talking to one of my friends, Kay Vanderveen, and she was going to an alternative medicine doctor that had an MD. I liked that idea because I had hope that my insurance would pay for some of my testing. (Anthony Burden really doesn't take insurance, but he's very reasonable, and at that point I didn't care what it cost!) So I made an appointment with Anthony Burden, a weight specialist at Northstar Medical in Bellingham. He had learned a lot about moods, while working with people with weight issues, because so many people have mood issues that are overweight.

He was the first doctor that took the time to actually ask me pertinent questions and to listen to me. I had been on birth control pills for 23 years, and a lot of my symptoms pointed to estrogen dominance. Basically in my case my body reacted very badly to my own estrogen. Thinking back on it, it totally made sense to me. When I was 10 years old I felt this utter depression. Then again at 15 years old, at 20 right after I got married and coincidentally started "the pill", then at 3o too. All the hormone pivotal years in a girl/woman's life is when I was feeling really low. He suggested I try taking some natural progesterone and he said he would suggest the same enzymes that "The Mood Cure" recommended, and of course protein and more protein.

At first he just gave me some Prometrium pills. I only took one pill a day in the evening, and it made such a difference. It was the breakthrough is soooo needed. I started sleeping better, which made me feel more hopeful in the morning. Progesterone together with the enzymes I was taking was really helping but at different times of the month, I still felt like I needed more progesterone, because I was still feeling really agitated. Eventually Dr. Burden put me on a Progesterone cream as well as a pill and that was a great combination. The only problem is for the progesterone to be truly effective I have to go off it for 5 days a month. (The family just heads for the hills those days).

So probably for a year, this was my regime. I feel like finding Dr. Burden and progesterone was such a Godsend. There was still a lot more to figure out, but there was serious hope. . .

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