In this part, I’m sharing the experience I had with taking certain remedies: prescription, herbs, supplements etc, that I explored over thirteen years from when my peri-menopausal symptoms were triggered. Some of these remedies work very well for a lot of people. I am not negating their effectiveness on the whole. Remember this is my story, and each of us is an experiment of one.
In the years leading up to 2017, I was tested for Lupus (and other autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis factor) — I can’t remember if there were other tests and don’t much feel like spending the time going through the paperwork to find the exact details at the moment, partly because I feel ambivalent.
Not only do symptoms of disease creep up on us when we least expect it, but they’re also a sure sign that we’re no longer in homeostasis. What do we do when we start having mild symptoms? Usually, we wait and see. It’s not such bad advice, except what are we waiting to see? Either that the symptoms go away on their own, which sometimes happens or they get worse and develop into something that needs treatment. Should we use treatments or pharmaceuticals for these symptoms or would we be better off working towards realigning our body’s equilibrium? In the end, the latter is what made all the difference for me.
Could It Be Zinc Deficiency?
In my early twenties I experienced daily mild nausea and tasted a metallic residue in my mouth. (1, 2) Amazingly, eating would suppress the nausea and I didn’t mind eating. I don’t recall when I stopped noticing the nausea or metallic taste but both lingered over a ten year period. I wondered if it was from my amalgam fillings, which I eventually had removed (in Vancouver) and replaced with porcelain. I remember clearly describing it to doctors in Toronto and to my new doctor upon moving to Vancouver in 2000. Once again, it was my husband who encouraged me to talk to someone about these peculiar symptoms.
Looking back over my calendar, I’m feeling both irritated and bored reviewing these lost years of my life. My calendar was the place where I kept track of mostly EVERYTHING: herbs or medications that I took, the pain I experienced, irregular menstrual cycles and for years I tracked my morning temperature…trying to identify patterns if they existed, anything to solve my declining-health-puzzle.
At my core I am an optimist, and am hopeful that learning about what happened to me may help others who are struggling in similar ways. It’s not as though this information is not readily available to everyone and am somewhat bewildered it took so long for me to unearth it. It boils down to asking the right questions, which is farcical. I think it’s safe to say that for most of us suffering from illness or mysterious symptoms, that we don’t know what the right questions are and so we ask a lot of random questions and offer our own suspicions hoping that someone who knows more than us will be able to grab a clue from our bizarre analogies and symptoms, and run with it.
I’ve always had a “passionate streak” that bordered on the obsessive, but lucky for me, generally, my interests were of a healthy nature. However, around 2011, I became negatively obsessed with saving the planet. I wasn’t fun to be around anymore and if I didn’t show it on the outside, I was a completely stressed on the inside navigating my way around the city watching how everyone’s daily habits were so oblivious to the pollution we were generating. Having school-aged kids at the time, my attention zeroed in in particular on all the daily waste generated in schools –what were we teaching our kids, the next generation? So in a moment of positivity and activism when my daughter (in grade 5 at the time) initiated an eco-movement, I helped her with the social media side of things (here) and a lot of sewing. My dark outlook on the depressing and futile future of our planet was weighing me down. I was trying to save the planet ALL by myself. I could no longer see that all the ways in which I was inconveniencing and further stressing myself to do the right things didn’t make much of an impact if the global population didn’t care. Note: More on obsessive tendencies later, and how I still feel passionate but the negative side has vanished as a result.
Ironically, it was the Earth that saved ME.
I was so focused on protecting the Earth that I was unable to see what SHE was offering —all the while staring me right in the face. A bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, the answer was with me (with all of us), only I didn’t know how to access it properly. Turns out, my instincts were on the right path, albeit a thirteen year path: it’s the Earth’s natural balance of what’s in the soil that will help us all.
If you didn’t already need a reason to tread lighter on our Mother Earth, hopefully this will give you something to consider. (3, 4, 5)
This is not an original thought, but somehow even though we know it in theory, there is a comprehension piece missing. And if you are demineralized like I am (and was severely demineralized over the last few years), making obvious connections to seemingly glaring signs is downright impossible. Yet, we all know that we rely on the planet for survival — but do we really understand what that means?
We are dependent on the minerals in the Earth’s soil and water for optimal health. As we deplete the Earth we deplete ourselves. It’s simple biochemistry.
The amount of minerals in food often depends on the mineral concentration of the soil and water, where farmers grew or raised the food.
We all know how important nutrition is, and most people I talk to believe that they’re eating very well. They either follow various ethically imposed diets or elimination diets based on disease or illness protocols, and yet almost everyone I talk with has some kind of unresolved health issue or concern. This is why I’m sharing myself as example because you probably haven’t heard it like this:
-someone who had been apparently healthy (but likely depleted from birth, due to genetics, familial habits and environmental exposure, also known as luck of the draw —this is why prenatal vitamins/minerals are encouraged), (6)
-I became further depleted through developmental years (because as a teenager I “knew everything and ate whatever I wanted” at least that described me and most of my friends),
-a high intensity personality
-followed by lifelong high intensity exercise/activity,
-two pregnancies and postpartum periods of child rearing and breastfeeding (16 months and 19 months).
-regular blood donations (during a one year period when my ferritin levels were normal)
-irregular and too frequent menses
-unsuspected drug-induced mineral depletion from bio-identical and regular HRT
-further intensified demineralization from vigorous long-term sweating in Hot Yoga
-finally on the edge of complete fatigue and failure to thrive,
-I bounce back to life from a simple but essential mineral from the Earth:
“Zinc is an essential mineral that the body needs, and it supports your reproductive, immune and endocrine systems. If you don’t get enough zinc, you may be more likely to develop depression, skin problems such as acne, age-related macular degeneration, hair loss and neurological problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ingesting too much zinc, however, can also cause medical disorders…” (7)
Let’s go back in time again: Over the years I either went to specialists and/or worked on my own, doing the following (not all at once obviously —this covers twenty years worth) and I may have forgotten some things…this list is from the top of my head and a quick scan through my calendar.
I’d go for regular:
- physio or massage (Rolfing/KMI/ myofascial release work)
- roll my body out with foam roller/Travel Roller
- Thai Massage, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong
- Pilates, Gyrotonic, Yoga (Trained and certified in each)
- practice meditation, consult a psychic, reduce stress, calm walks in the forest,
- Hot/Cold water therapy
- Homeopathy = Homeopathic remedies + supplements
- Vitamin C + Flavinoids; Magnesium; Vitamin D; Iodine (self-prescribed); Iron
- Infrared sauna
- 2010-2012 Bio-identical Progesterone topical cream after learning about Jerrilyn Prior’s book Estrogen’s Storm Season (8)
- Integrative Medicine =supplements
- Naturopathy = acupuncture + 2x B12 injection + supplements
- Vitamin C + Flavinoids; Iron; Magnesium; Fish Oil; EstroSmart; Adrenal Support; Probiotics.
- Dec. 2/2013 HORMONE 24 HOUR URINE TEST collection
- Feb. 4/ 2014 – April 9/2015 Bio-Identical Progesterone oral and Estrogen topical (Rotation: Estrogen during Menses or 10 Days + Progesterone Day 11 – Day 25 or till menses starts)
- Seed Cycling
- Arvigo Abdominal Therapy (9) then took the self-care course so as to practice on myself
- I even flew to Belize in Central America to study Spiritual Healing!!!
- Fémance by St. Francis Nov. 3/16- Feb. 7/17
- Harmony Menopause Max Feb. 14/17 – Feb. 21/17 (2 weeks) then switched to Pueraria Mirifica Feb 22/17 until August when it stopped working due to extreme sweating from Hot Yoga
- Feb. 22/17 Advanced Hormone Testing: DUTCH Test (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones).
- Studying Herbalism
- Vaginal Steaming
- CBD Oil 3x/day
- Sept. 2017 – April/ 2018 Bio-Identical HRT + Pregnenlolone
- April /2018 – July 20/2018 Mainstream HRT
- Zinc June 11/2018
- July 20/ 2018 STOPPED ALL HORMONES
- July 24/ 2018 HOT FLUSHES returning, MOOD normal and stable
- July 25 to August 2/2018 Pueraria Mirifica (1 Tab 2x/day)
- August 3 to August 5 Harmony Menopause Max (2 tabs 2x/day)
- August 6/2018 RESTART mainstream HRT because HOT FLUSHES became intolerable as before.
To be continued in Part 5 (‘cause this is so long and editing myself to keep it short is taking too much time). Next time I’ll go into more detail about what happened with each remedy and explain more about why zinc made all the difference for me. The next part is already written so I’ll post it within a few days. Please note: I am not affiliated with any supplement products company or pharmacy and that this is a true story.
(1) Nausea and Low Vitamin D & Vitamin B-12 https://www.livestrong.com/article/547745-nausea-and-low-vitamin-d-vitamin-b-12/
(2) Metallic Taste in Your Mouth? https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/dental-oral-health/metallic-taste-in-your-mouth/
(3) Too Many Tourists? http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/too-many-tourists-rethink-how-you-travel-or-risk-ruining-destinations-says-expert-1.4775306
(4) Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible ‘hothouse’ conditions, new report says https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/world-hothouse-report-1.4775649
(5) Study: Plastic degrading in the oceans could be contributing to global warming http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38791434/study-plastic-degrading-in-the-oceans-could-be-contributing-to-global-warming
(6) Ancient Dietary Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Children https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/traditional-diets/ancient-dietary-wisdom-for-tomorrows-children/
(7) Zinc http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-zinc-much-humans-5684.html
(8) Jerrilyn Prior Estrogen’s Storm Season http://www.cemcor.ubc.ca/resources/estrogen’s-storm-season
(9) Arvigo Abdominal Therapy https://arvigotherapy.com