Hormones & Depression

Updated on September 13, 2008
P.H. asks from Dallas, TX
24 answers

I have a 10 year history of Depression. It has come and gone at different times in my life and I can always blame it on hormonal changes: birth control, PPD, etc. I have tried YAZ which had a reverse effect for me. I am now using Mirena and things have been pretty smooth for a few months, but here it comes again. I don't think it could be that could it? I am totally frustrated! I just went to the doctor who suggested my B12 level was off. The labs came back and the levels were fine. Ugh! I have been on antidepressants before and I really don't want to go that route if possible. I do have a great therapist which I see from time to time. I know I can always improve the diet and exercise routine... I just want to find out if there is anyone out there who has been through a similar situation. I know my hormones are not going away (ha!) and I just want to find something that will REALLY HELP. My poor family is starting to suffer with me, so I will absolutely get on meds if I have to. I am starting to look like one of those slumpy looking characters in the Simbalta ads. ha ha! Just want to find an alternative if possible. Thanks

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B.L.

answers from Dallas on

I to have suffered from depression in the past. One of the things that worked for m, when I did not want to be on meds, was St. John's Wort. This can be found at any health food store. It is an herbal antidepressant. I experienced no side affects unlike when taking a prescription. I have also used this to aid in coming off my prescription. Good luck! I know how you feel and that it doesn't seem to make any sense and you can't explain it to others.

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S.P.

answers from Amarillo on

Yes, it could definitely be the Mirena (I tried Mirena with terrible side effects, so I had it removed). Have you tried no birth control what so ever? Some women just don't respond well to artificial hormones in their body. Also, try seeing someone at the ICAM clinic. It's definitely time to look at alternative medicine if it's been 10 years with no success.

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C.W.

answers from Lubbock on

I am on Cymbalta and it does help. I too battle depression. Nothing to be ashamed of. If you aren't on an antidepressant, you may want to try one.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

The blood test for B12 is not always an accurate indicator of what your body is able to use. 33% of the population has a genetic defect that results in low levels of the enzymes that are necessary to use the B12 in the methylation cycle. The best test is actually to get a B12 shot and see if you feel better. If so, you generally do those everyday for a month to build your levels back up and then back down to once a week and overtime once a month. Also, did they measure your folate/folic acid. If that is high, that is a sign that your body can't use the B12. Also, sublingual or transdermal B12 can be good alternatives to the shots. For me personally, transdermal works well.

Also, ANYONE with depression should have their thyroid checked, including Free T3, Free T4, TPO and anti-thyroid antibodies, along with TSH, which is all most docs will measure and isn't particularly useful for folks that are borderline. I would bet you have been hypothyroid (borderline for those 10 years). Depression is one of the #1 symptoms.

And, yes diet and exercise can help, but at some point, they no longer will. I was likely hypothyroid for a very long time (absolutely after the birth of my first child) and a near perfect diet and exercise virtually every day helped compensate until I hit 40 and peri-menopause kicked in. Then, other hormonal changes just add to the problem. The best doc in the area to help deal with all of this is Dr. Margaret Christensen: www.christensencenter.com I don't know if it could be Mirena, but Dr. Christensen was a top OB/GYN before she switched to functional medicine and she would absolutely know the answer.

And, I still need regular exercise (and a good diet to feel well). Bad carbs like cookies, bread, etc. will just add to the problem and need to be avoided if you want to get and feel well.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi. I know what you are going thru I was the exact same way. I started taking AdvoCare products. They are not drugs, they are just good solid nutrition. Once you get the right nutrition in your body, your body responds. I was able to get off my Meds and now I feel increadible! (I've also lost 22 pounds!) I never would have believed it. Anxiety and Depression run very heavily in my family and I thought it was something that I would just always have to deal with.
The only reason I am now selling AdvoCare is because everyone kept asking me what I was doing differently and how they could get some too. So I signed up as a distributor so I could order for my friends.
Please give me a call and I can tell you more about the products. ###-###-####
Just be aware that I will not sell you products and be on my way. I will stay in contact with you to make sure you are getting the results you want. My goal is NOT to move products, my goal is to help people change their lives, because that is what it's done for me!

1 mom found this helpful
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N.T.

answers from Dallas on

Hi P.,

I recommend an incredible book, titled Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by Winston and Maimes. It is fascinating. From the book "There is a category of herbs called adaptogens that help the human body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic processes, and restore balance. They increase the body's resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function".

"If we can improve our mental condition, we can improve our overall health. This is supported by recent studies that indicate that mental stress triggers changes in the immune system. People suffering from depression also have a higher risk of having heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hormonal disorders".

"Adaptogens have a direct effect on nervous system health. They enhance mood and relieve stress. Many adaptogens have anxiolytic, antidepressant, and nervine effects".

The 10 most potent adaptogens on the earth, with the highest therapeutic properties available, are now delievered in a fast acting oral spray, called Tunguska Mist. Go to www.VitalHealth.TunguskaMist.com to learn more.

Tunguska Mist Relieve will help reduce the negative effects of stress on your body (weakened immune system, decreased energy, mood swings, short temper, anxiety, depression, and fatigue), and help restore balance, or homeostasis. Holy Basil Extract is one of the key ingredients in Relieve (an 11th adaptogen) that acts as an antidepressant. The adaptogens in Tunguska Mist also help to regulate the use of cortisol, allowing the body to maintain a healthy stress response.

Tunguska Mist tastes great and with the intra-oral spray you get over 90% of the nutrients absorbed immediately, which go to work within seconds.

Please let me know if you have any questions. My husband and I have been using adaptogens for a long time. We are passionate about helping people reduce the damaging effects of stress on the body and restoring balance naturally, without medications. Good luck and God Bless:)

Best regards,
N.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.G.

answers from Dallas on

What has helped my anxiety/depression are these few things:
Exercise is a must. Even if its just a fast 30 min walk. That takes the edge off, and clears the mind. I am also taking my vitamins religiously. Lastly, I'm taking an Omega-3 supplement by Country Life called Mood. I bought it at Sprouts, but I'm sure they'd have it at any health food store. I am also hypothyroid, but that has been medically managed. I did switch from a synthetic thryoid medication to a natural one instead that has made me feel more normal. I'd bet that your situation can be managed without heavy antidepressants. At least its worth a try. I have also heard bad things about Mirena & its effects on mood. You may feel much better without it.

1 mom found this helpful

M.A.

answers from Dallas on

P.,

I have a skin care, health and wellness company.

We have a natural hormone balancing cream that some people have had amazing results with. If your hormones are out of whack this will help them get back to where they are supposed to be. I'm not making any medical claims, I can only tell you what I've heard from actual people who have used it. One of the ladies in my business has stage for breast cancer which threw her lymphatic system all out of whack. She used ot have to have her friend come and roll a rolling pin over her back to get the fluid to move. She started using our cream and her lymphatic system started working again to release the fluid.

I'm just thinking it's worth a try. We have a 45 day money back guarantee, so if in 30 day or so it's not working I'll be more than happy to refund your money.

Please let me know if you're at all interested or would like more information.

M. Atterberry
Independent Consultant
Arbonne International
Consultant ID 17301540
www.arbonne.com
###-###-####

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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

There is a lot of info out there about natural therpies including diet, exercise ,omega 3 fish oil, and healing through relaxation techniques. You can search Dr Mercola's website for a lot of answers: www mercola.com.

The Sedona method has also been very helpful for a lot of people. You can order the CDs and listen to them in your car.

These have been a big help to me!

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

You need to double check the side effects of Mirena! It does contain hormones and can cause terrible emotional issues. If you want birth control, I would suggest you use a copper IUD instead. They have no hormones.

Call and talk to your dr!!!

GL!

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J.B.

answers from Tyler on

I read several months ago that a psychiatrist in England was having amazing results with Omega 3---FISH OIL!!! I had to go off anti-depressants because they were making me gain huge amounts of weight! So I decided to try it. I bought the Enteric coated fish oil (1000 mg)at Wal-Mart, and I take 6 capsules a day, 3 in the a.m. and 3 in the p.m. I've been off the Cymbalta since June 1 and I am doing fine. I truly believe God has provided natural ways of dealing with our problems. We just have to seek to find!! Hope this helps.

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have been there and highly suggest you find an endocrinologist who specializes in women's problems and not just an ob/gyn. OB's are great for so many things, but are not trained for those of us with severe hormonal imbalances. There are further tests they can run and more natural and different hormones they can try with you instead of just a birth control pill. They literally saved my life! I used to go to Dr. Walvoord but he is on the other side of Dallas and may have retired by now. (I just moved back to the area after 7 years). Hope it helps! Hang in there!

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K.V.

answers from Dallas on

I say, take the meds. Especially if they helped before. I think you need to weigh the benefits.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hello P.,

I am a mom of three beautiful children. A 4 year old boy, 2 1/2 year old boy and a 1 year old little girl. I experienced PPD after my first and last baby. This last time was really bad. I hadn't realized how severe it was till I was out of it a little and could look back. My husband and I talked recently and I hadn't realized how much of a toll it has taken on him!!!
Recently I did a 21 day body cleanse. No sugar, caffiene, no preservatives. . .just fruits and veggies along with the cleanse system you use. After the 21 days I really do feel alot better mentally and I don't live for my naps every day. I also take a whole food supplement called Juice Plus+ and that was the first thing that seemed to help. Your depression does sound hormonal because it sounds from your letter like it comes and goes. Maybe that cleanse wouldn't be a bad idea. It would take everything out of your diet but what you need, and give your body a chance. The Juice Plus+ would provide you with all the natural vitamins your body needs to be balanced so your not lacking anything. Sometimes when our body is lacking things it can really through us off. I know everyone is different but for me anything was worth trying. I had been on Zoloft during and after this pregnancy but it was giving me such severe craving and I was gaining so much weight that I went off of it. Since I was breastfeeding there was really nothing else I could take. I truely feel for you with all my heart because I know what your going through. I am still working through it myself, but I am much better than I was. As far as the Mirena goes, the only thing I don't like about that is if your not reacting well to the hormones it's harder to change. Yasmin (pills) had worked for me in the past, and now that I am not breastfeeding I may try that again. Don't know the difference between Yasmin and YAZ, but it might be worth asking your GYN. Sorry if this is scattered, I'm trying to write fast before one of my three little ones needs me!!! Where do you live? I am in Savannah, Texas. If you'd like to chat over the phone let me know. Or if you'd like info on how to get the 21 day body cleanse and Juice Plus+. The cleanse you would get through this wonderful doctor of natural medicine. Sometimes when conventional medicine does not work you need to look to other means. He may have some great ideas for you, and I know he would talk to you. I'd be happy to have him call you. He is out of Plano, Texas. I hope you have a great day today! Things will get better!!!

Sincerely, D. S

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T.K.

answers from Abilene on

Please don't act as if Anti-Depressants are satan in a bottle! Some of us, and you sound like "us" need them due to hormonal imbalances that keep us from having normal lives. If the first A-D didnt work, try another and then another until you feel sane. Also look into the possability that you may be bi-polar and the meds are a different catagory and will make a huge difference too! There is no shame in being hormonally imbalanced to the point of needing meds, until we meet people like you who make us feel shamed. Please consider a pschychiatrist for your med management, they are the only ones that can get you on an even keel, therapists are great to talk to, but they cannot prescribe your meds for you. Please take care, and remember we are not crazy if we are on meds when we need them, we are crazy for thinking that meds are the enemy.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

P.,
You are not alone. I have dealt with depression off and on my whole life, but it became much worse once i started having kids. I got post partum with my first, and began taking antidepressants. I hated the idea of taking them so i dont think i took them more then a month and i literally forced myself to be happy after that. After my second child, the postpartum was way worse. I swore that my baby hated me because as soon as he would look at me he would cry, but if someone else went to him and picked him up he was fine. I know NOW that he was just reacting to my feelings. He was upset, because I was upset. I got so bad for a while there that I was literally drinking myself into a stupor so that I didnt have to deal with reality. I finally called my doctor and he put me on a new antidepressant, celexa. It has made a world of difference in my life. It keeps me very balanced. I know how you might feel about taking antidepressants. I always thought that people who took antidepressants were weak individuals, BUT that is not the case. Depression is a chemical imbalance that people can not control. The anti depressants just balance the chemicals. I suggest you speak with your doctor and see what they say..Good luck to you and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

Sounds like you should get on the meds now if your family is starting to suffer. It is not worth it when the depression starts affecting others. Trust me, I had severe PPD after my first child, refused to take any kind of med and that almost cost me my marriage and my child. I am still on meds 8 years later and do not regret it one bit. While there may be other options out there, take something NOW then research later.

Praying for you!

J. S.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I also have dealth with anxiety and depression. I have found that walking...even 3 nights a week has helped my mood and my energy level. I walk with 2 friends and that also gives me some social time--away from kiddos! I know u said u didnt like meds, but I tried Cymbalta and took it 1 1/2 years....it worked wonders! I just recently stopped taking it so I could try life without it, which is where the walking came in. I am doing fine, but have no problems taking it again if I feel I needed to.
One other thing u might try is journals....I find that writing helps vent my moods when I feel nothing else will help.
Hope any of this helps! Good Luck.

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K.E.

answers from Dallas on

Have you had your thyroid levels checked? Sometimes over or under active thyroid conditions can have symptoms similar to depression. I have had thyroid issues for around 5 years, and what was going on with my hormones (birth control, going off birth control, being pregnant, having a baby) always seemed to have an impact on my thryoid levels.

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L.

answers from Dallas on

I am no expert, but have been in a similar situation before. I have tried holistic ways, like ginger tea with black cohosh and echinacea. I have also tried 5-HTP. What really helped me was making myself a priority and dropping weight and exercising. I wish you well.

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C.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Have you ever seen a nutritionist? There is a clinical nutritionist in Wichita Falls who is awesome. She could absolutely, for sure, no question, help you! She has clients all across the country and even some international so she can help you no matter where you are. Her website is www.advancedclinicalnutrition.com and you can reach her by email at [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####. Her name in Dr. Donna Smith. CALL HER!!

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

You need to have hormones tested by saliva tests -- it is more accurate. I know two doctors both of which I have seen that are excellent. Dr. Sharon Irvine in Mansfield and Dr. Staniland on the west side of Fort Worth. If you are interested let me know and I'll give you their phone numbers. Dr. Irvine is a DO and Dr. Staniland an MD both great Christian doctors that I am positive can help you get to the root of your problem. A.

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T.W.

answers from McAllen on

Hi P., I've been on antidepressants since I was 18 and I'm 26 now. I definitely know how you feel. I have heard different things, try a complex B vitamin, try switching your depressants, try a counselor, neurologist, could be birth control, yada yada. SInce you did mention Mirena, I will tell you that I have heard alot of people say they've had terrible mood swings with it, so you might want to look at that. I would start with that. Try a B complex vitamin too, bith control can take it away from you. I know you said you weren't low on B12, but you could try the B Complex anyway. If you like tea, there are teas that are said to be mood enhancers. I don't have depression really, but I get very anxious alot. Unfortunately, I think it's a trial and error thing. I would first try taking out the Mirena and trying the ComplexB and then if that does nothing then you might think about getting on Antidepressants, I'm on Cymbalta, and I like it, it's also good for headaches and anxiety, which are my issues. I hope you feel better soon, know that you're not alone.

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

It could very possibly be the Mirena. Speaking from real life experience, I just had mine removed 3 weeks ago because of this very issue. I, too, have struggled with depression over the course of the years, but it was too coincidental when I really started feeling terrible again after the Mirena was inserted. That little plastic thing is emitting hormones and there are many, many, many women who experience this type of problem. I would recommend getting the Mirena out and then see how you feel. You wouldn't want to medicate the Mirena. Who knows what the side of effects of that might be?

Be aware that many doctors, especially OB/Gyns will tell you that what you're experiencing isn't a "usual" side effect or that there really isn't that much hormone or that it's not getting into the bloodstream. That may be true, but the physician's information lists 15 different, and in my opinion, unwanted side effects. You can go to their website and read the "patient information" and see how it sounds great and then sift through the side effects on the "physician information". On the physician side, the "very common adverse reactions" are listed on page 5.

If you do get it removed, your doctor may not tell you that within days of its removal, you will experience the worst period of your life, passing clots the size of quarters and half dollars. I had severe cramping that I thought was going to send me to the emergency room. But three weeks later, things are much better and I feel much better and am able to be a much better mom to my girls.

I hope this helps.

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