Wild Yam Cream was one helpful tool among many

Hi, Ms. Ueda,

I was glad to see your website. I appreciate the thoroughness you show in explaining about hormones and women's health. I am a 43 year old never-married woman living on her own, had worked for years in San Francisco as fundraising staff at non-profit organizations (hence high stress). But had enjoyed good exercise and nutrition habits and rich social life into my early thirties. At thirty I felt I was drinking too much and began alcoholism recovery although I had not had much trouble from the disease; as it runs in the family I felt it was prudent to stop before it got to be a bigger problem.

When I was 35 I started psych. treatment for depression (severe) and anxiety (considerable). Improved some but not restored to former health. Also had borderline high blood pressure which I successfully managed through diet and exercise for several years.

Then when 37, started missing periods. Followed by a serious "virus" which never seemed to really go away. Although I had recently left a job, done consulting for 3 months and landed my dream job with almost no commute, long-held goals I felt great about, I had to call in sick two days the first week on the new job--unthinkable! I felt sick with extreme fatigue--much worse than in my severest stages of depression. It just didn't go away. I had difficulty thinking, learning, understanding, and reading. My body ached all over like the flu, sometimes just in bones and joints, sometimes in muscles too--hard to discrimnate where it hurt. I had some irritability, significant mood swings and a lot of stress intolerance. (I too stopped watching any violent or scary movies, TV shows, even stopped watching/reading news for a year--and I normally feel a duty to stay up on local, national, international news--my friends were shocked). My only waking entertainment became listening to soft music on the radio or talking on the phone. On "good days" I shopped and cooked.

I had ongoing wakefulness at night, headaches, nausea and dizziness, frequent diarrhea, gas and bloating, itchy bumps on skin turning to small pimples taking long time to heal, fingernails splitting, change in hair oiliness like you. Tremendous weight gain, about 50 or 60 pounds that year; but of course I was overeating and not burning many calories as I was too extremely tired to exercise or even do much self-care, and was still taking antidepressants which tend to destroy leptin which controls feeling of satiety. My bloodpressure got worse.

My doctors (at an HMO) first told me it was my depression--NOT!. I insisted it was something new, different and much more debilitating, and ruining my life. They tested me for anemia, thyroid dysfunction, infections, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.and turned up nothing. In despair after four months, in danger of losing my job due to absenteeism I went to an acupuncturist/herbalist, Dr. Stephanie Lum in San Rafael CA. She diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and hormonal imbalance caused by adrenal-thryoid-pituitary axis overload from longterm stress.

Besides acupuncture, moxabustion and cupping, she prescribed various herbs, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes and Wild Yam Cream to apply during the second half of my menstrual cycle. I noticed changes right away, including the end of nausea the first week. After a short time, I think it was two or three months, my periods returned and have been regular ever since. The mood swings were eased sometimes and worse others. Meanwhile I found an internist at my HMO who confirmed the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis and tried various antidepressant combinations and NSAIDS to deal with the symptoms-with modest results.

I did lose my job one year after onset of the serious fatigue and was on disability for over three years.

The mood swings and other symptoms wax and wane and my psychiatrists now diagnose me and treat for Bipolar Disorder II (Manic-depressive illness where the mania, to be brief, is more like anxiety than euphoria).

Most of the other physical symptoms come and go. I had just over a year of feeling well enough to move to a less stressful town and get a new job where I was pretty happy although struggled with fatigue, pain, nausea and sleep disturbance. I worked 13 months but this summer was too sick and am now in my fourth month of disability. I am back on the herbs and vitamins and minerals and enzymes and hope to improve soon. When I take them I have little or no pain but the other things are still debilitating. I pace my days very carefully.

I still use the Wild Yam Cream occasionally as I do think it helps with depression shortly after ovulation and right before my period. It didn't seem to touch the anxiety so probably the psych's are correct that I am bipolar and will have to deal with that the rest of my life.

So I want to conclude with, for me the Wild Yam Cream was one helpful tool among many; my case was a mixed bag of hormone imbalance plus other organic problems that took a long time to sort out as they mimic one another. Only thru advocacy and persistent searching for explanations by myself, my family, and an understanding wholistic practitioner did I begin to find out whether any hope existed for me.

Patricia W.

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