March 22, 2012

Progesterone: an old post

This was a post I wrote a while ago for my health/food blog.  I wrote it before I realized the bigger picture of connecting thyroid and adrenal functions to the progesterone problem which leads into post-partum depression.  Still, it contains some important information, not the least of which is the way I came to realize all of this.  


The miracle of all-natural progesterone support - Part I: Post-Partum Depression

I've never had problems with miscarriage, but with both my daughters' births, but especially my second-born daughter's, I felt awful.

I was outrageously angry and short-tempered all of the time.  And at the end of every day, I felt like I had the flu - I couldn't stand for anyone to touch me, my muscles and skin ached so badly.  My progesterone was certainly low - not low enough that I was ever in danger of miscarrying my baby, but low enough that I did not feel well.  As a result, I also suffered adrenal fatigue, which lasted months after my baby was born. 

After my daughter was born, my progesterone levels dropped.  This is normal, so it normally wouldn't be a concern, but because my progesterone was already low, the drop brought on a serious battle with severe post-partum depression (PPD). 

Dr. Thomas Hilgers of Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, NE maintains that it is progesterone deficiency is the cause of Post-Partum Depression which occurs in 15-20% of women who have given birth full-term, suffered a miscarriage or a tubal pregnancy or an abortion (see physician comments in In Their Own Words: Women Healed, ed. Jean Blair Packard).

The solution?  All-natural, bio-identical progesterone support.      

Thankfully, my Napro Practitioner saw the warning signs and encouraged me to contact Dr. Hilgers regarding natural progesterone support.  Within HOURS of taking my first dose of this all-natural, bio-identical progesterone, I felt like a completely different person.  I can't even begin to describe this to you other than to liken it to walking out of a pitch black closet into the sunshine. 

My family, especially my husband, was shocked at the difference.  I had gone from:
  • Guilt, especially "mommy-guilt"
  • Feeling inadequate in taking care of my preschooler and my baby
  • Low or no energy
  • Becoming easily frustrated
  • An inability to handle normal, daily stress
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anger
  • "Foggy thinking" paired with difficulty in conversation and writing
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overwhelmed
  • Lack of appetite at some times, extreme hunger other times
  • Inability to be comforted
  • Exhaustion/Fatigue - different from the normal post-partum tiredness
  • Emptiness
  • Decreased sex drive
to completely well in hours.  The same day I took my first dose, I cleaned the entire house, organized a few rooms, cooked dinner, cleaned the entire kitchen, and played with my girls without yelling - all in the same day! 

Suzanne Temple is a blogger and a NaproTechnology Practitioner.  She graciously shared an email of mine on her blog last year. 

You can read more of what Dr. Hilgers has to say about natural progesterone support during post-partum depression here.