My body crash happened about 18months ago, aged 45 right after a stressful work related breakdown. I’ve spiralled over the last year into the full horror of oestrogen madness and crashing fatigue, but in the last three months I’m slowly getting on top of things and here is how I’m doing it. I’ve cut my anxiety/estrogen madness by 80% and my fatigue by 3/4s
My symptoms: heart palps and flip flops; tachycardia (up to 200bpm) regularly but mostly around ovulation and pms time; severe chest/solar plexus tightness; dizzy, faint, weak. Severe anxiety, not from my mind but from my body – important distinction here. I’ve never had anxiety like that ever before, which is how i knew it was body response; feelings of madness and despair (pms); shortness of breath; body aching all over like the flu; swollen glands, aching behind my eyes before period. Crashing badly every night between 5-7 pm, tremors. Shaking. Numbness and tingling in extremities. Crawly, prickly skin.
Potassium deficiency super common at middle age. This was my in my top 3 biggest issues. It doesn’t show up in a blood test, because blood tests only show serum potassium, not what’s in the cell. Hair mineral analysis (HMA) tests are a good as they show a snapshot of the previous three months. Mine was almost zero in the HMA but within normal range on blood test. Potassium gave me my energy back, Its been 3 months and I’m already a different person, full healing and restored levels can take up to a year so I expect to keep on improving. This article is a must read, here’s an excerpt:
‘..explores all the research relating to dietary potassium deficiency leading to a functional deficiency, and how it applies to many chronic disease processes (he essentially includes chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as well). In some cases these correlations have not been examined before, in part because conventional medicine overlooks the role of potassium, and the labs that are typically used to assess potassium and electrolyte levels don’t give the entire picture.
If a person is very deficient (at the cell level), then it can take a long time for general healing to occur… maybe 6 months to a year or more…..according to Wikipedia, “In cells, taurine keeps potassium and magnesium inside the cell, while keeping excessive sodium out” so, supplementing with taurine is also very important.’
Also, find here the story of someone who recovered from CFS by correcting a potassium deficiency.
And here, a clinical trial of women taking potassium who were 100% free of pms symptoms within 4 months.
Moving on, there is a common gene called COMT gene, and amongst other things, when expressed, this gene interferes with the ability to flush out estrogen. I have been tested for this gene which made it a lot clearer as to why I am suffering so severely through perimenopause – a time of crazy spikes and dips in all hormones especially estrogen. Epigenetics (triggers from the environment like stress can cause your genes to go from latent to fully expression, for me it was triggered due to unbearable stress in the workplace).
A spike in estrogen feels like madness to me. Unbearable tension. Wanting to crawl out of my own skin. Unable to find pleasure in anything and episodes of physiological panic. Physical. Not mental. My body becomes sensitised and filled with terror and it has nothing to do with my brain and everything to do with hormonal fluctuations. It’s not you. It’s your hormones. The freaking long slow death of your reproductive system.
What takes the edge off?
Firstly diet. Get clean. Get rid of gluten. Dairy and sugar. Getting rid of dairy significantly helped my general anxiety. “All disease begins in the gut.” — Hippocrates
Second. Take DIM every day. I take 50mg x3 per day. DIM is a phytonutrient made from cruciferous vegetables. It removes the bad estrogen in your body. Making the ratio between oestrogen and progesterone more acceptable. Remember its not always the hormone itself but its relation (ratio) to the other hormones that causes the problem. I use 30mg of bioidentical progesterone cream am/pm as I know those progesterone levels are bound to be low as they start dropping from your mid thirties/early forties. (also I had blood work show it was a bit low)
Thirdly. Take Calcium D Glucarate (CDG). (1000 to 1500mg for an ‘attack’) But not every day. This amazing natural supplement has been shown to drop oestrogen in rats by 23%. If your anxiety/madness/tension is hormone related like mine, and you feel a ‘surge’ this tablet will help flush the oestrogen out of your body and for me within an hour of taking it I can go from despairing and off the charts anxious to absolute peace. It can make you go to the toilet, which is how the oestrogen leaves your body, through number 1’s and 2’s 😀 The reason I don’t take it daily is the it makes me feel sick which leads me to assume my oestrogen levels are ok aside from these surges. Think of CDG as a big strong garbage bag, it gets all the oestrogen out of the body without the bags breaking open and going everywhere, (i.e. like when oestrogen can’t get out and recycles through your system making you toxic).
Take magnesium too, this takes the edge off of panic. I take two 200mg tablets of elemental magnesium.
Im not out of the woods yet, but I am seeing significant improvements, and I hope my experience might help you.