Hormones, Schormones

by Natalie on September 19, 2011

Hi!

How was your Monday?

Mine has been good 😀

After an early morning walk with the dog and a quick bowl of PB/honey oats (so good!), I headed to the gym to teach two classes.  There was a desperate need for a Per4Mance sub, so I agreed to take the class.  It was a BLAST!

I started with 15-minutes of kickboxing drills (no combos), 15-minutes of agility [jump rope, lateral hops, quick feet, plyo hops, ski jumps, cross jumps, high knees, and bottom kicks], then about 25-minutes of strength, abs, and stretching.  I decided to add tabata intervals for the strength portion so we did 8 sets (20-sec. on/10-sec. off) of the following:

1.  Squat Jumps (or squats)
2.  Quick Punches
3.  Jumping Lunges (or reverse lunges)
4.  Plank

After Per4Mance I immediately switched gears to teach Pump.  I already felt sweaty and tired, so I took my weight down and tried to focus on form rather than load.  Class went really quickly but I was wiped at the end!

***

I spent the rest of the day working, then headed to an appointment, and eventually home.  I’m about to clean out the bathroom cabinets and do homework…clearly it’s been quite a productive Monday 🙂

An afternoon snack:

I have a chicken stew in the crockpot cooking away (recipe tomorrow) for dinner and the house smells SO good!

***

[DISCLAIMER:  I think most of my blog readers are females, but if you’re uncomfortable hearing about hormones and “girly” stuff, you may want to skip this next part 😉 ]

I’ve been debating about “going public” with this on the blog for a while, but after a lot of consideration, I decided to just roll with it.  I realize how much I use my blog as an outlet, and if I can’t talk about what’s really going on in my life, it’s not doing its job.

So, here we go…

I’ve suffered from amenorrhea for the majority of my life and have never, ever had two consecutive periods.  I’m 29.  Usually when I tell people this, they say #1 “you’re so lucky!” or #2 “have you gone to the doctor?”

I could definitely see why most people would consider this lucky, especially when I have been to the doctor (many times) and have always gotten excellent reports on my health.  Every time, my OB/GYN assures me not to worry, that it is just how my body functions.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I visited my OB/GYN to talk about taking the necessary steps to get my body healthy to eventually conceive.  She did some basic lab work (again, everything came out fine) and sent me home with instructions to gain 5 pounds, take two different prescriptions, and exercise with less intensity.  I followed her steps to a T, but still no period or ovulation…and I felt awful physically and mentally.

Instead of repeating the cycle of medicine (which can be used only a limited number of times because they are hard on the body), I was referred to an ND in conjunction with my OB/GYN to see if we could resolve the underlying issue.  During my first visit with him, he ordered a bunch of different blood tests.

My set of tests came out poorly.  The doctor did a full panel to check my levels of all four reproductive hormones (as it turns out the basic tests just look at FSH, which is why mine have always come out normal), and all of them were extremely low.  He prescribed me medicine to help bring my levels up, along with acupuncture and dietary changes (more protein and healthy fats).

Currently I’m following his guidance, checking in with my OB/GYN, going to acupuncture, and hoping that my body and hormones will start to regulate.  I’m also trying hard to keep my exercise intensity down, which is way easier said than done since fitness is a huge part of my life…and my job.  I’m workin’ on it, though!

I feel worried, impatient, and frustrated, which I know just creates additional stress, but it is really hard not to be!

Have any of you been through something like this?  I’d be interested to hear your stories.

Okay, I think that’s enough for today!  You now know more about me than you may have liked to know…feel free to comment with something personal if you wish 😉

*TIP TIME*
If you suspect you have a hormonal issue get it checked right away!  Our endocrine system is very delicate and many basic blood tests don’t delve deep enough into the individual hormone levels.

Question:  Have you ever had to take your exercise intensity down?

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista (kristastes) September 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Aww, sorry to hear about this but it sounds like you are on the right track to getting everything regulated. I am not at the point where I’m thinking about baby making yet but I know that I have low progesterone which can be troublesome when you are trying. I wish you all the best with this and keep us posted!! Chin up!

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Meredith September 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Hi there – I’ve been following your blog for about a year (passively!) and love it so much I’ve gone back to many of your older posts from years back…love your work outs and for the past 4-5 months have started incorporating your circuits into my routine typically 4 X a week. (and feel stronger, feel more muscle mass!) So…a HUGE thank you for the great work you do. Today’s post just grabbed me though…I struggled through the same issue. Have worked out intensely since I was 18 and when it came time to think about kids really struggled for over a year to get my period back. I also did some of the same things, gained 5 pounds, reduced exercise intensity and did not have any luck. My husband and I did turn to fertility meds very soon after, and were blessed with triplets who turned 5 a week ago. Good luck to you – if you need support/encouragement or have any questions, I’ve talked through this with many friends and others. I’ll be sending good thoughts your way!

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Hi Meredith! Thank you so much for your comment, I can’t even begin to express how much it means to me. Not only am I glad to hear you use the workouts, but also I love hearing your story! Triplets!! I will definitely let you know if (when?) I need some extra support.

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Kalie September 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I hope you get to the point where you can concieve this is sad 🙁

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Ellen Smith September 20, 2011 at 1:29 am

I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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Krissie J September 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

I’m actually planning a running hiatus for the month of October. I have a 10K this Sunday and then I don’t have any future races for a while. My left ham has been sore on/off since my first half in May, and I want to do some cross-training/strengthening/stretching to try to heal it (so I don’t have to get a cortisone shot). I hope you’re able to get everything more regular and conceive soon! <3

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Christy September 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

Hey girl – hang in there. Know that you’re not alone and take it one day at a time (I know…easier said than done!) Let’s get this “talk time” planned soon!

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Julie September 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

Natalie, I sent you an email. You’ve got every last drop of my positive energy and good vibes headed your way. Thinking of you. 🙂

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Elisa September 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

So so so so proud of you for being willing to be transparent. That was so hard for me when I went through this before Jonah and I really suffered in silence for a long time. And wasn’t the best way. Remember during those down/tough days that you aren’t alone! Struggles like this can make us feel so isolated … and that only makes it worse. You aren’t! You have wonderful family and friends who want to be your support system through the tough AND good times in life! Love you lots!

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Thank you, Elisa! I so appreciate your comment.

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Sarah September 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

I too am wishing you happy thoughts and prayers. You are an inspiration to me and to so many others and you do need to know that you are not alone in this situation. Infertility issues are something that is not widely talked about and I am proud of you for talking about your issues on your blog. So many of us have had them in one form or another! Who knows how many other women will realize that they are not along just in the few paragraphs you wrote! Lots of hugs and kisses coming your way.

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Thank you, Sarah!! What an amazing comment.

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LauraJayne September 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I’m really glad you said something about it – I know from my own experience that the healthy-living blog community was (and is) so supportive and full of information.

This is actually the next next step in my hospital “testing” line-up. I have to have an endoscopy and testing for autoimmune disorders, and once we’ve figured our why my WBC count is so low, then they’ll start focusing on hormonal issues! I’m not sure where they are going to look, but it is actually those tests that led to the discovery of the anemia, etc in July! Good luck!

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Agreed! The healthy living community blew me away with their support and info.

Gosh, I sure hope they figure out why your WBC is low…I will keep thinking lots of good thoughts for you, too!

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Tracey September 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

You know how I feel. I’m here if you need anything ever at all. You are incredible, strong and will be an excellent, loving momma. 🙂 Chin up, always!
xoxo

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Thank you, Tracey…you’re such a wonderful friend!

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Allie September 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Hey Natalie, just wanted to check in. I’m happy you decided to share this with everyone. We should talk soon.
p.s. LOVING all this positive energy in the comments. Look at all the people who love you girly!

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Yes, let’s talk this weekend. I have been thinking about you a lot lately!

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Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this. I lost my period over two years ago and it’s since come back, but it’s still pretty irregular. I’ve been tested for all sorts of things and everything seems to be normal, so I’m not sure what’s causing it. I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this- I hope you get everything figured out soon!

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Natalie September 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Thanks, Kate! Apparently it’s rather common! I’m glad yours got all figured out on its own.

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Paige @ Running Around Normal September 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Natalie, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. At least it’s assuring to have a plan to be able to follow though, right? My periods aren’t regular either, but I do have one every oh..30-50 days…which did alarm my OBG/YN also.
I hope this plan of action is what your body needs:)

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Ann September 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Natalie–I too read your blog regularly but never write comments. I’m always inspired by your committment to your health and it helps me keep mine. That said, I wanted to share that my best friend has the same condition–she’s never had regular periods her who life–but has gone on to have three beautiful daughters even without fertility treatments. Also, I have a cousin-in-law and a sister-in-law who had fertility problems and both went on to have triplets via IVF–one 20 years ago and the other only two years ago! I hope you continue your positive attitude about this and have faith that things will work out for the best. And finally a side note–please, please don’t stop writing your blog! Good luck.

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Natalie September 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thank you, Ann! I really appreciate your positive words of support…especially the success stories. It makes it so much easier to have faith and stay positive!

[With comments like yours I will never stop blogging ;)]

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