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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
If you're looking for information on a particular topic, type that word in the search box below. If I have written about that subject, a list of posts will appear. If no posts come up, I haven't written about it...yet. Emails, and questions in the comments section for possible posts, are welcome.
I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor, Rest in Peace

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Great News! PMDD Tied to Sex-Hormone Reactive Genes

Today's guest post welcomes author Eryn Speers' unvarnished reaction to the news that National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have discovered molecular mechanisms that may underlie a woman’s susceptibility to disabling irritability, sadness, and anxiety in the days leading up to her menstrual period.  I couldn't have said it better myself, which is why I asked permission to reprint Eryn's original Facebook post here.  
The bottom line is this NIH discovery is good news for us all.  Please be sure to watch the five minute video (link provided) at the end.
I have been through the gambit, had my moments of doubt, and a few good months where I thought I was "free" of PMDD. Chalking it up to stress, or difficult times, only to have it return with a vengeance. In my frustration I began my research again, shaking my head every time I ended up down the same road: eat clean, eliminate sugar and caffeine, get your hormone levels checked, get acupuncture, see a naturopath, try anti-depressants and Cognitive Behavior Theory. The list goes on and on, as we know. What I, myself, have come to realize, is that all this conflicting information just makes it all worse. That's why I am taking this new research as a cue to stop blaming myself, and to stop listening to all the noise and babble about what the "correct" treatment of PMDD is. While it's a good idea for anyone to reduce sugar intake, exercise regularly, and investigate possible food sensitivities - these things will make anyone feel better in general, but to continue to go in circles just adds stress to what is already a stressful situation.
I hope this new research helps others to do the same. Yes, it means we still suffer until they find a way to use the info to come up with a therapy that targets the actual cause of the problem, as opposed to the symptoms. However, at least those of us who are desperate and tired of trying everything to no avail, can try to find some hope in knowing that they are really working on it.
This is a disorder on a cellular level, and I am ready to accept whatever treatments they come up with in order to get my life back. My hope is that those of you who are very anti-pharma will try to trust, for a while, and give yourself a break from feeling that the only one who can correct the problem is you.
This puts so much undo pressure on us, and also nurtures an environment of pessimism and fear. We deserve to feel better! This problem is not caused by us. This is not a matter of poor diet or lifestyle choices, or a hormonal imbalance. All we can do right now is cope as best we can, and we're all doing that.
We're here to support one another, and I feel that we should all encourage one another to stay open to the possibilities as the research advances. Please, I implore you to keep trying new therapies until you are finally free of this awful disease. If you want to take anti-depressants in the meantime because they help, great! If you want to take birth control, or stay 100% natural in your efforts to get through and lessen the severity of your symptoms - also great!
However, please don't let the way this disease makes you feel hopeless and useless allow others to tell you exactly how to approach your own health. Don't let the fear and skepticism of others stop you from trying a drug that has been specifically developed to treat this issue in the future. They ARE working on it.
Have faith! ~ES

Sunday, January 15, 2017

PMDD and the MTHFR Gene

Today's gift is a post by PMDD Advocate Danielle Lasher Bosley, which helps to explain the mysterious MTHFR gene we have often read about.  
What is MTHFR? It's an enzyme that can be mutated. Women with PMDD don't all have the mutation, but it is assumed the vast majority of us do. If I had to personally estimate based on women I know who have been tested already, I would say above 90%.
MTHFR is highly linked to mood disorders, autoimmune issues, and many, MANY other things. Heart disease, PCOS, cancer, thyroid issues, addiction, miscarriage, fibromyalgia, IBS, bipolar, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, MS, cervical dysplasia and much, much more...
People with the MTHFR mutation cannot properly methylate. When methylation is impaired, they can't detox properly, among other things. Birth control, any synthetic hormones, prescription drugs overall are riskier for us. They essentially get us further away from being better while making us feel better temporarily. 
People with MTHFR should NEVER use acetaminophen (stick with bioron or ibuprofen if needed). We also should not be vaccinated. Many of us in the PMDD community who have researched this illness for many years and have also researched vaccines are confident there are potential links and that for some of us, vaccines contributed to or outright caused the start of this illness.
The two most common forms of MTHFR we know of are c677t and a1298c. Heterozygous MTHFR means you have one copy of one of these. That is the least serious form, but it still predisposes the individual to more risks than someone without MTHFR. Compound heterozygous means you have one copy of each form. This is more severe than the first form I mentioned. The most serious form of MTHFR is homozygous. Homozygous c677t is the worst one. This means you have two copies of the 677 form. Methylation is decreased to an estimated rate of just 30% of what the body should be doing in these cases. 
People affected by the MTHFR mutation need methyl folate. They also need to avoid folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate (Liana adds: and is promoted heavily by the media to all women of childbearing age.) With MTHFR mutations, only methyl folate can be received and processed by the body. Synthetic folic acid actually builds up on receptors and blocks natural methyl folate from getting through. This makes us sicker.
Keep in mind this goes beyond vitamins. Folic acid is added to a TON of processed foods. Breads, cakes, potato chips, etc... This is part of the reason we improve when we cut out these foods. You might have heard women speak about their PMDD improving when they go Paleo, etc.... It's not merely because they cut out processed food. It's because in that step, they removed the folic acid from their diet and started consuming methyl folate. Their body is finally able to start working properly and detoxing well.
Vitamin B is also important and majorly impacts our moods. We must avoid cyanocobalamin and only use methylcobalamin. (Liana adds: Read the label on your bottle.)
Synthetic hormones and birth control are not only a risk for us because we have higher risks of heart issues, stroke, and pulmonary embolism, but because the synthetic hormones reduce folate! The hormone part makes you feel better today, but the damage its doing underneath the surface will make this illness, as a whole, harder to treat.
We are also at high risk of vaccine injury. Many of us are confident PMDD may be the result of vaccine injury itself. If you've never researched vaccines, they do indeed cause injuries. Many of them are brain injuries and issues that have led to the development of neurological disorders. As of this date, $3 billion has been paid out to victims of vaccine injuries through the federal vaccine court. The numbers continue to grow.
Vaccines are dangerous for us because they contain adjuvants we can't properly detox from when we have either the MTHFR and/or COMT* gene. MTHFR also inhibits our bodies from removing the toxins that vaccines inject. Just some vaccine ingredients include:
Formaldehyde, aluminum, mercury, aborted fetal cells, cow and monkey DNA, glycophosphate, polysorbate 80 (carcinogenic preservative), neurotoxins like ammonium sulfate, antibiotics (more harm to our guts), phenoxyethanol (antifreeze), and more.
Hope you're all hanging in. We ARE going to resolve this illness. ~Danielle
*Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of several enzymes that degrade catecholamines (such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine), catecholestrogens, and various drugs and substances having a catechol structure. In humans, catechol-O-methyltransferase protein is encoded by the COMT gene.