It has been just over 3 months that I’ve gone off the birth control pill and started Chinese Medicine. Reason I was on the pill was for horrible menstrual symptoms. I’m almost certain it was related to Celiac disease and intake of gluten. Since coming off the pill I have had 2 cycles that were mostly pain-free. Things are not back to normal yet, but my naturopath is assuring me to give it some time and keep on the Chinese meds. I’m taking Tang Kuei (Dong Quai) and Bepleurum and have had no bad side-effects. I have to say, I can’t quite believe how well things are going. Doctors had pretty much given up on me by age 16 in dealing with painful cramps. They seemed to think Tylenol 3’s + codeine was a decent solution, and birth control pills an ever better solution. Wow am I ever glad I don’t rely on doctors anymore!
I have had acupuncture twice and can’t believe how well it works. I was so skeptical about it but tried it out of trust for my naturopath. I have had 2 sessions before my cycle starts to try and ease any PMS symptoms and regulate timing. Literally within an hour of having the acupuncture session all PMS symptoms are relieved, it’s amazing. HIGHLY recommended that any woman with any problems related to their cycle seek out a good naturopath and/or acupuncturist. Also if you are worried about pain or anxiety with the needles, oh my goodness they are so harmless! Tiniest little sensation from them going in and then you forget about it. Plus you get at least 20 minutes of lying still which is a nice break.
So far timing is not at all regular but I’m being patient, it’s only been a few months! I feel better off the pill so that is worth it to me. And btw, libido is very much back, even after being on the pill for over a decade and being as sick as I was. I hope that gives someone out there some comfort to know, you can get healthy again! And if anyone is considering a gluten-free diet for endometriosis or any menstrual related symptoms – DO IT! Fluffy bread is not worth the pain and torture. Check out the GAPS diet (http://gapsdiet.com/) and the SCD diet (http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/). I am not the only one reporting relief from pain due to these diets.
A few more things my naturopath suggested:
-magnesium for cramping: I take up to 600mg per day during crampy days, 200mg on a regular day
-fish oil: I did take some for the first month off, but now am stopping it, will post about that soon!
-vitamin C and bioflavonoids: instead of a supplement I am buying fresh lemons and oranges, and eating lots of sauerkraut
-vitamin D: I get mine from cod liver oil, plus an extra vitamin D supplement (no sun strong enough here in winter)
-walking every day: this has helped so much, and I do yoga once or twice a week
-lots of leafy greens: still working on this, I don’t do well with lots of veggies
Now another update, I had gone to no-poo (no shampoo or conditioner) last May out of frustration with the skin issues I was having. It has helped, but mostly it has shown me just how much I do NOT need shampoo or conditioner! Here’s a pic of me this past week, no shampoo or conditioner since last May. It’s not a super clear picture, but I think you can tell my hair looks ok, no greasiness, no tangles, I’ve even had compliments lately! Everyone keeps asking if I dyed my hair, saying the colour looks richer. Nope! I have used apple cider vinegar as a rinse a couple times a week, and an egg once or twice a week to wash with. No chemicals. I tried baking soda a few times but didn’t notice it doing anything so I don’t bother with that.
(BTW do you notice I look alive in this pic? I have energy! And I’m showing off my new scarf from Taiwan – gift from a friend)