Well, the ups and downs of my hormones over the last few weeks have given me alot of food for thought.  My ‘bible’ as such has to be the above book ‘it’s my ovaries stupid’ by Elizabeth Lee Vliet MD.  This book is a must read for ALL
women.  Over the next few blogs I will highlight parts of the book that I feel may be useful to ALL women to know, not just particularly hormone challenged women like me!

Do you know that Estradiol (estrogen) alone is involved in over 400 functions in a woman’s body – AMAZING!  So imagine if something goes wrong with the supply of it, either an illness that causes supply to be temporarily didisrupted or a natural life event such as your menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.  I like to think of my body as the most amazing machine that was ever invented, a complex electrical circuit with numerous pathways all linked together.  Now just imagine for one moment that something goes wrong with on of those pathways – the electricity is going to try and find another way to get around.  Then things start to become unbalanced – still functioning but not as it should.  I’m a perfect example of this – for the past few weeks I have been unable to function at my usual levels due to an imbalance in my hormonal (endocrine) system.  I can only assume that due to various viral illnesses my body had gone into this adjustment mode and my circuit was out of sync.  The symptoms that are experienced are very real, and they are physical and psychological.  Many people fail to see the link between female reproductive hormones and many conditions, but increasingly (thankfully for people like me) more and more evidence is creeping to the surface to highlight the very obvious
links.  Here are just a few examples  http://women.webmd.com/estrogen-and-womens-emotions

Yet we still live in a society where health professionals are afraid of using HRT yet will freely prescribe anti depressants to people – I read just the other day that prescription rates for anti d’s continue to rise.  When I was feeling particuarly low last week – I could have walked out of my GP’s surgery with a prescription for anti d’s based on my symptoms alone – there are no blood tests that would have been carried out, the doctor would have listen to me and assumed
(understandingly) that I was depressed.  Its not so easy to walk out with HRT though – you will be subjected to blood tests that will be scrutinised to within an inch of their lives, you will be given the whole HRT carries risks talk. Interestingly you don’t get that talk for antid’s – but some of the risks associated with use of them are pretty frightening also. 

You will probably be looked at as if you have 5 heads if you say to the doc that you are certain that HRT will alleviate your low mood, anxiety and various aches and pains – they may even think you are delusional and in definate need of some psychiatric care given you are showing signs of depression also!!   The scaremongering around the WHI report  MUST be put into perspective.  The study appears to have been very flawed – even from the fact that it only investigated 2 type of HRT – Premarin, an estrogen derived from pregnant mares, and Provera, a synthetic progestin. These hormones are only 1 of many many available to women.  The new bio-identical hormones which are readily available through your GP are much more appropriate and studies now show that they actually have more benefits than risk when used correctly to manage disturbing menopausal symptoms, in early menopause especially.  So I will continue to fight the corner for HRT!!



Donna spent 10 years battling with Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder - a condition classed as a 'mood disorder'. The wide range of symptoms frequently lead to misdiagnosis for women. In Donna's case, she was diagnosed as having reactive depression, anxiety and post natal depression until at age 29 Donna received the correct diagnosis and successful treatment. Donna now advocates strongly within the mental health and gynaecology field for women to be correctly diagnosed with hormonal based depressions and treated accordingly. She speaks at Women's Health Conferences in Glasgow and London. Donna highlights the need for better gynaecological and psychiatric care for women suffering from hormonal based depressions. Donna speaks openly of her own experience of mental health services, disbelief within the gynaecology and general practice of her condition, her mental health issues and her recovery journey. Donna has had many articles published including an article in Menopause International Journal entitled 'Menstruation and mental health - what's the chance of talking about that?'. Donna has also appeared on This Morning. Donna currently works as an Acute Inpatient Forum Worker alongside her freelance training/facilitation. Her aim is to empower individuals to take control of their recovery, to inspire hope and to educate health professionals on what really works for people with mental health problems. Donna is a member of Voice of Experience VOX and also Lanarkshire Links.

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