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Thread: Hormone Changes After Weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    11

    Default Hormone Changes After Weaning

    Hello... I've never posted here before, but I'm wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar to the issues I've been dealing with since weaning my son.

    He is my second child. I breastfed my first, but only for 3 months before having to have surgery and giving up. I nursed my second for 11 months before he suddenly decided he didn't want to anymore. He became far too busy for it and just would not nurse. I was very sad that he didn't want to anymore because I wasn't ready emotionally to wean.

    Anyway, I have always gained a lot of weight in pregnancy. We're talking 70 pounds or so. I've always been around 100 pounds at 5'9", so I would gain a lot of weight at the very beginning, and then it would taper off throughout. I gained 77 pounds the first time and lost 60 of it within a month after birth. Second pregnancy I gained 60 or so and started to lose it, albeit much more slowly. I was down about 20 pounds when he decided he wanted to wean. I noticed I started to feel depressed and figured that to be normal. But before that I noticed the less he nursed the more my knees and hips would hurt. I started to have joint pain so severe it kept me up all night long. I started to see specialists. It's been 8 months since he weaned and I have gained nearly 100 pounds despite only taking in around 1,000 calories a day and exercising 5 days a week, have awful joint pain, periods that will be all month long one month and then only one or two days the next. I always feel like I'm on the verge of starting my period. Constant, dull lower back pain, mild crampy feeling and bloating all the time. I'm much more quick to anger and I sleep constantly and still never have any energy. I just generally feel unwell and unlike myself.

    So, my question is, could this be related to weaning or is it just timing that makes it seem that way? I've been to doctor after doctor and none of them can tell me what is going on. I have had my estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, thyroid and prolactin levels checked and everything has come back normal.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,940

    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you describe is definitely not the norm for a mom in the post-weaning period. While it's not uncommon for moms to experience mild versions of some of the things on your list of symptoms, experiencing them all at once and to such an extent suggests that the timing is coincidental.

    If it were me, I would go and see some more specialists. Your list of symptoms makes me think of thyroid disfunction or Cushing's Syndrome- but you've had blood tests that should rule out both of those conditions. I'd ask for a repeat on the TSH, T3, T4, and cortisol- if it were me!

    This is a good article on abnormal uterine bleeding- maybe it will suggest some different avenues: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0101/p35.html
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    11

    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    Thank you! I left out symptoms like full body acne, low libido, heart palpitations and feeling sick after eating or drinking just normal amounts of food or liquid, which is why my caloric intake is so low. I have had three full thyroid panels so far. Two by my nurse practitioner and one by an endocrinologist. I've seen 8 different doctors so far and am starting to lose hope. I'll be seeing two more OBGYN's this month, so hopefully one of them will have an answer for me! Thanks for your input!
    Last edited by @llli*pandamarie; June 6th, 2014 at 06:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    Aside from the cortisol level, did your docs do any other tests for Cushing's ? Dexamethasone suppression test, perhaps- and if so, what was the result? Because the symptoms match so well- acne, weight gain, low libido, bone pain, mental changes (depression), fatigue, menstrual irregularities... That's about 1/2 the textbook description.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    Hi I do not have the knowledge mommal has, but I do have the experience of having something wrong with me where know one understood what it was. When I was pregnant with my first child 11 years ago, I itched desperately all over. My doctor said it was normal and kept telling me to use antihistamines and lotion, neither of which did anything. It wasn't until I did my own research I found out that it might be obstetric cholestasis, a (then considered) rare condition which was not only causing the terrible itching that nothing would treat, but is a potentially a very serious issue for the unborn baby. I had to insist they give me the proper test and no one was as surprised as my OB when it turned out I was correct. Then I had to fight for the proper treatment. Because I knew more about the condition then the doctors did.
    Now that same hospital system immediately tests and (if indicated) treats for this condition whenever a pregnant mom presents with a non-rash related itch.

    My point is, just because your doctors are not finding the problem, does not mean there is not a problem. Sometimes we have to be really tenacious advocates for our own (and our families) health.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    mommal, Nom they haven't done any other tests for Cushing's. Mostly I keep being told I'm just depressed and have anxiety and being dismissed. I also have heart palpitations and as of this weekend, chest pain. Chronic sore throat, the list is half a mile long. I went to the ER for trouble breathing and they told me I had pneumonia and gave me a strong antibiotic. I went back 3 days later when I was also done the meds and not feeling any better and they said my X-Ray looked the same and they didn't know why my chest hurt. They also told me I should visit the mayo clinic, but there's no way we can afford to make a trip like that.

    My husband wants me tested for heavy metal poisoning. We work in a factory and while I am at a desk and not around any metal, he is, so he's afraid he's passing it on to me. I am very sensitive to metals, but I don't know that it would cause this many issues. I sure wish someone would figure something out. I'm not even keeping up these days.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    I am so sorry, mama. You deserve to feel better and to get a diagnosis that makes sense to you.

    The docs think you're depressed- so have they suggested antidepressants? Might it be worthwhile to try one and see if anything improves? If not, maybe that's an arrow in your quiver: "See? I told you this wasn't simply depression/anxiety!" Although I'm loathe to suggest that anyone take a medication that they aren't sure they need...

    Given some of your symptoms, I can understand why your docs are thinking depression/anxiety. I mean, weight gain, exhaustion, mysterious aches and pains- those all fit. But what doesn't is the menstrual irregularities and the heart palpitations. Depression/anxiety don't give you month-long periods, and I don't think they change the way your heart beats.

    Mayo Clinic's out of your price range, but how about your local endocrinologist?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    11

    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    Unfortunately I have tried three separate antidepressants and the first one landed me a stay over night in the neurology ward. I lost control of my gross motor functions after the second dose and had to be admitted following an abnormal brain MRI. It turned out to be nothing, but the bill was... Ow. The second and third only seemed to make me worse. They also tried putting me on birth control to regulate any hormone imbalances and I gained 10 more pounds the first three days so they told me to stop, which threw everything off even more. I just visited the endocrinologist here for the third time and he referred me to a third OB after my estrogen, prolactin, progesterone and cortisol all came back normal. I'm looking at going to somewhere like Vanderbilt that's a little closer than the May Clinic. I'd like to find an actual diagnostician to see, but I'm not having a lot of luck in that search.

  9. #9
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    So antidepressants are out. What an awful experience!

    I think it's a really good idea to see someone with fresh eyes. Let us know how it goes, okay?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
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    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    Default Re: Hormone Changes After Weaning

    http://www.20somethingallergies.com/...-witch-doctor/

    I thought I'd throw out an alternative to conventional doctors since you're getting little help from them. You'll see she had similar symptoms as you, and has changed her health through diet. Now she's a nutritional therapy practitioner and likely way less expensive than a trip to mayo.

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