Once I determined that I needed to get hormone-altering chemicals out of my life and balance my hormones, I should have proceeded to the next logical step of getting a full female panel hormone test by someone versed in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. But it was brand new at the time and not so well-known.
I was also broke. Even to get a diagnosis, I chose my doctor very carefully. I could not afford to go from doctor to doctor looking for the name of my illness. I chose well and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome and CMP (Chronic Myofascial Pain) on my first visit. I refused the doctor’s offer of anti-depressants and pain killers. I had already tried several other types of products and failed. I was not looking for symptomatic relief that would carry me into decades of having fibro; I wanted a cure.
Not even being able to afford to have my hormones tested, I followed the advice of my friend, a nurse, and self-medicated with Prolief, Arbonne International’s Balancing Cream containing pure USP Progesterone from soy. By chance (or with God’s help — are there any coincidences in life?) I had stumbled upon what I later learned was the best OTC progesterone on the market. Doctors who have done their research have called progesterone the one substance coming closest to a silver bullet for whatever ails women. Unfortunately, Arbonne is no longer making Prolief, but there are other over-the counter progesterone creams available. Do not use wild yam, which is diosgenin, a precursor to progesterone and doesn’t convert in the body. A closed tube is less likely to gather germs than an open jar. The dosage should be 12-20 mg per pump.
Prolief jump-started my recovery. I later found out about my fatigued adrenals and low thyroid, but since progesterone feeds the adrenals and metabolizes thyroid, I began to feel results immediately. It was like a miracle for me. If you begin using OTC progesterone without seeing a medical professional, do see one soon. Many women helped by progesterone need more than the 12-20 mg dose provided by over-the-counter products, and once you increase the dose, it starts to become expensive. It’s much cheaper to get higher doses in prescription form, blended at a compounding pharmacy chosen by your medical practitioner. To find someone savvy about bio-identical hormones, look for an “anti-aging” clinic in your area. You will find many of them advertising help for fibro sufferers.
As I used Prolief (buy Arbonne’s “Phytoprolief” for added plant estrogens if you are menopausal), I also began to switch out my chemical cleaning products in my home and to use natural products in my personal care and makeup. Again, after researching both quality and price, I found Arbonne to be the best. After 10 months nearly all of my symptoms had disappeared. That may seem like a long time, but on the fibromyalgia timeline, it is not.
Eventually, I was able to afford thorough tests and prescriptive treatment, with hormones tailored for me from a responsible compounding pharmacy. Here is what I do:
I use about 35 mg of bio-identical progesterone in cream form (transdermal) with a little bi-est (Estradiol, Estriol combo) daily (at night before bed).
I take a combination of T3 and T4 thyroid compounded for me.
I take two Metformin ER (500 mg) with meals daily for hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. No more blood sugar crashes, hooray!
I take Vitamin D (5000 IU) to support my hormone system.
I was low in DHEA but couldn’t tolerate any form of it. So I don’t take it.
I use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach in my laundry and housecleaning. Oxyclean™ is hydrogen peroxide and is safe for cleaning and laundry. Use bottled hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to kill mold and disinfect in the house.
Vinegar will clean mineral deposits on glass as well as any harsh chemical.
I use natural products for cleaning and especially like Method brand products (available at Target).
I use Tom’s toothpaste or Arbonne’s new one. I use the best deodorant I can find that’s non-toxic — this takes some experimenting, but Arbonne now has one that I like.
To see Arbonne’s products and more details on the ones I use, go to Arbonne.com. For questions, contact nurse Debbie — [email protected]