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PMS, Menopause, and Hysterectomy

Posted Mar 26 2009 6:14am

A reader from Trinidad writes:

I had a hysterectomy recently and my ovaries are still in.  I am
having off and on low mood swings and can't figure out if its
hormonal or not and what to do?  After a hysterectomy, (with
ovaries remaining) what is a woman to expect about her cycle and
the whole PMS deal, emotional upheaval etc.?


Good question. I cannot answer about your specific situation
because I do not know your medical history. However, there are lots
of women in your position. In general, when the uterus and cervix
are removed and the ovaries are left in your hormones will still be
cycling in the way that they were prior to the surgery - there will
be no menstruation of course. Anybody who had PMS or other symptoms
before the surgery may continue to have them afterwards. An
exception might be that if the person is in their mid-40s and
headed into menopause.  In that case the cycle might change anyway,
surgery on no surgery.


What to do?  As I mentioned in my last newsletter (February 2009)
regarding PMS, many symptoms regarding mood can be due to an
estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Even though the ovaries may be
decreasing their hormone output, the ratio of estrogen to
progesterone can have a significant effect on mood. Both estrogen
and progesterone bind to receptors on different cells and send
signals to those cells. These receptors are on many cells including
brain cells. So estrogen and progesterone both affect mood.  My
advice would be to seek the services of a natural physician or
naturopath in your area and have the salivary levels of your
progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones measured.
If any of these are out of balance you may need to take some
natural hormones in order to bring them back into balance.  These
are called 'bioidentical' hormones because they are natural to the
body and they can be given in dosages that your body is used to.
They are totally different and probably much safer than the
hormones known as Premarin and Provera that are synthetic, and can
increase your risk of heart disease.
 
In terms of your diet it should be as vegetarian as possible with
an emphasis on soy products, detoxifying herbs such as curcumins,
and plenty of fresh ground flaxseed. Kudzu extract also contains a
number of useful isoflavones, including genestein and daidzin, that
are also contained and soy.These have estrogen balancing effects.

For further information about this and how to regulate your system
during menopause and pre-menopause I recommend the following book:
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Pre-Menopause ~ Balancing
your hormones and your life from thirty to fifty by John R. Lee,
M.D., Jesse Hanley, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins. You can also visit
Dr. Lee's website at www.johnleemd.com and consider signing up for my free Healthy Tips Newsletter at  www.arfe.ca

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