Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hormonal Apocalypse

Just to add to the general fun and games of CFS, being female throws an extra curve ball into the works every month or so.  Yup, this was the week of the Hormonal Apocalypse otherwise know as my period.  What makes it worse is that since the CFS started I have no idea when it will show up.  It skipped a month this time so arrived unannounced on Friday evening.  This explains my bizarre meltdown on Wednesday closely followed by the three day physical crash and burn culminating in not being able to get out of bed yesterday.  Ah fun times...

 At least when I was healthy, I knew when it was coming and I understood my bizarre behavior and took some extra B6 to avert the sense of impending doom.  I tend to get very VERY depressed just before my period.  It slowly builds the week before to climax in an epic meltdown.  It was so predictable that when I went crying to hubs that I was a terrible mother/wife/employee/fillintheblank, he would ask me if my period was coming up.  This meltdown phase rapidly ends as soon as my period starts.  It is like a light switch gets flipped and I'm happy again and left wondering what the big deal was a couple of days ago.  Yeah, whack.  I know.

So now I have a problem.  How can I tell if I'm truly depressed or if it is just hormonal?  The randomness of my periods doesn't allow me to use the calendar as a warning system any longer.  I have so many mood swings because of my illness anyway that I am at a loss to figure out whether to take antidepressants or not.  I hate adding more meds to my regimen.  I hate taking antidepressants in general.  But this last meltdown was a doozie, a total sobfest on my shrink's couch on Wednesday.  I had no idea it was hormonal.  I'm probably going to try the antidepressants.  This emotional roller-coaster I'm on sucks.  I hate it just slightly more than I hate taking the meds.

I did feel better when I started my Paleo diet a year ago but I'm no longer sure if it was due to the food or the hope that it would "cure" my CFS.  While the diet has helped with symptoms, I'm obviously not over the CFS.  I've been cheating a lot but I don't know if that is due to my pissy mood of late.  Apparently carb cravings are part and parcel of depression.  After all, wheat acts as an opiate in the brain so it isn't too much of a stretch that it makes you feel better emotionally after you eat it.

BTW, yesterday morning I couldn't get out of bed.  In fact, I could barely move.  You know what I did... I ate sandwiches.  Yup, I had a carbolishous day!  Roast beef sandwich and fries, then a turkey club on sourdough with potato chips and a chocolate shake.  You know what.  I feel GREAT today!  I'm up.  I'm moving about.  I have a little bit of intestinal pain from all the bread but I got to shower and go grocery shopping and go out to eat with hubs.  And I'm happy!  So potatoes or prozac????  Or was it just the end of the Hormonal Apocalypse???


  1. Well, carbs DO increase levels of serotonin in your blood, so they really can have a mood-lightening effect!

    I couldn't handle being so totally incapacitated 1 week out of every 4, so I now take a 90-day birth control pill - keeps my hormone levels completely steady, except for 5 days out of every 90 or so. Much better!

    Hope your better mood and physical condition continue!!


  2. My mood dysfunction kicks in 2-3 days prior to the onset of my period. Since I came down with CFS, I am bedridden for the first 24 hours of my period. My period and I have never been on friendly terms so the worsening of the symptoms since the onset of CFS is no big surprise. The bit I'm having the most trouble with is the unpredictability of it. CFS or menopause (not sure which) have totally messed with the schedule. I could take preventative measures if I knew when it was coming. I hate this illness!