Monday, June 6, 2011

Hormones & Tick Borne Diseases

It is amazing to me that even after Suzanne Somers' book, "Breakthrough," and Dr. Christiane Northrup's "The Wisdom of Menopause" and "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" that hormones and hormone replacement remain such a mystery and somewhat taboo to doctors. After seeing so many doctors (see previous posts!), it wasn't until my current doctor, who is an integrative doc, got on board that hormone replacement came into the picture. I had been telling my sister and friends for years that part of my "fight or flight" feeling had to do not only with cortisol issues, but a progesterone deficiency as well. Finally, FINALLY, my doctor (love him!) has given me progesterone cream and I am putting it on at night. I had a very bad experience 2 years ago with Prometrium (the SYNTHETIC version of progesterone) and it is very important to know the difference. I didn't know enough then, and the doctor who was trying to help me at the time didn't know enough either. The Prometrium made me CRAZY and sick and I could only tolerate it for about 2 days. My current doc, Dr. X., tells me this is because it was synthetic and 100 mg is WAY too much for the body (or my body) to process.

The hormone connection is a very important one for women with tick borne disease. So many of the symptoms cross reference, and as a 42 year old woman who may or may not be starting peri-menopause, it has been very confusing differentiating what is hormonal and what is being caused by babesia, bartonella etc. In my own experience, it has been truly frustrating trying to discuss the hormone connection with doctors of all specialties. Many of the doctors on my journey were dismissive and couldn't or wouldn't discuss hormones with me. Even a reproductive endocrinologist I saw didn't have any suggestions about hormones or cortisol! This is an area I feel needs to be studied much more extensively in terms of healing the damage that these bacterial infections cause. Imagine going through peri-menopause or menopause (which are BAD ENOUGH), but add to that a bacterial illness that causes untold number of uncomfortable symptoms. No wonder I felt suicidal so often! My testosterone is also very low and I am now being put on testosterone cream as well. Haven't started that yet, but maybe it will help with the energy and lack of libido. I'm hoping! I'm doing B12 shots and cortisol, and STILL my energy is lagging. I'm depleted in so many ways beyond the bacterial infections, and it is so important that doctors educate themselves about how these infections further damage other systems in the body. And the hormonal connection can't be overlooked! Again, I'm not a doctor, just a patient who is going through this right now, so this is just my opinion!

I've just started the progesterone cream and will start the testosterone soon. Interested to see how this helps overall in the healing process.