Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guinea Pig part Deux

A while back I posted a blog about my attempts to control my menstrual migraines. I wanted to share what I was trying to maybe help someone else with the same condition. I haven't returned to the subject in a long while because I wanted to make sure that my little experiment had legs to stand on before pushing someone else in the direction I went, but now I am pretty sure I can report my finding with little fear of speaking too soon or out of turn.

Phyto Prolief by Arbonne (green bottle) works. t just plain works. I started taking it as soon as I got it in the mail, and I immediately noticed a difference. I was sleeping better at night. I stopped having bouts of chills in the evenings. I stopped feeling shaky and weak. I felt better rested and my head felt clearer than it had in weeks. So I stuck with it, taking it once a day in the evenings. When my period started, I applied it twice a day - morning and night - and I had NO migraine that month. About a day after my period I cautiously ratcheted back down to once daily application, feeling a bit scared of what may happen, and found that the transition was totally painless. Month one, total success.

Month two, I embarked on the same routine. (I will make a small caveat here... I am talking menstrual cycles when I use the term "month", but my cycle is very short so I sometimes am blessed with two periods in one month. Cool, no? uhhhh... no) When my period started, I used the cream twice a day. If I noticed a bit of a migraine feeling,  spot applied a small amount of the cream to by temples. And.... another month with no migraine.  I actually found another fringe benefit that month. I started being able to drink coffee again! Previously, I couldn't have any coffee, because even decaf made me feel jittery and out of it. Suddenly, I was able to have a cup of coffee like a normal person without my body going into shock! This is very good news to me.

I felt pretty convinced at this point, and I fully intended to blog about it, but life got in the way. And besides, that's really not the scientific method. I mean, I had established a link but to fully determine causality I needed to go OFF the cream, right? Yeah, I would be a total doofus to purposefully mess up my health in order to prove for the purposes of a blog that this stuff works. I'm not that dumb.

But I am dumb enough to accidentally forget to apply it a few times and then run out. So the experiment is complete, not due to my willingness to sacrifice my health for science but instead due to me being a dumbie. Your welcome.

During our recent run of breakneck world travels (more on that later) I forgot to apply the cream a few nights. No biggie, I actually felt pretty ok. I thought to myself "hey, maybe my hormones have leveled off now and I won't even NEED this stuff anymore?" Wow, I was wrong. We got home from our travels and I settled back into my routine of using the cream, immediately realizing that in the wake of all the craziness I had failed to notice the return of my night chills. Then, the unfathomable terror came. I started my period and promptly ran out of Phyto Prolief.

Within hours of missing my morning application, my head felt foggy again. I felt that terrible pre-migraine feeling. I rushed to the internet to order a bottle of cream from the Arbonne website and paid $30 for overnight shipping. I'm cheap. For me to be willing to pay that much for shipping, you know I'm in a bad way. I missed both applications yesterday, and survived the day by scraping some residual cream off the inside of the cap and applying to my temples.

Today I missed my morning application and I felt a tad crummy, so my darling husband managed to rip open the bottle for me so I could scrape the insides. I managed to get a partial application, but it was not enough. Today I got slammed by a migraine. I am actually typing this in bed while my husband has taken our daughter out for a while, because I'm so danged fatigued that I'm useless. Walking to the bathroom wipes me out. My body can't seem to regulate it's temperature, so I'm alternating between cold and hot. The pressure in my temples is bearable, but not fun. In short, I'm as miserable as I ever was. The good news is that my re-supply of cream arrived today. I also called my Arbonne rep and ordered a six month supply at half off, due to a timely promo for my birthday. Thanks Maria!

SO there you have it, the stuff works. When I have my Phyto Prolief and am taking it as normal I feel great and my period is only as inconvenient as anyone else's. When I accidentally went off it during my period, I fell apart. I would say that's proof enough for me.

If you suffer from menstrual migraines go out and buy this cream NOW. I can't recommend it strongly enough. At $34 a bottle, it's a bit pricey. Each bottle lasts about 1 1/2 months the way I use it. But honestly, it's totally worth it to not fall apart once or twice a month. Also, you can purchase "Consultant" status and buy your supply at a reduced cost and earn free product from the rest of the company's line. The Arbonne website has a Consultant directory so you can find someone to get you started, and they can give you really good deals periodically and maybe even get your consultant fee waived.


  1. Do you think it acts like other steroid supplementation though? I mean, guys get ball shrink because they're getting testosterone from an external source and their bodies stop making it themselves. Would the same happen with estrogen considering it too is a sex hormone? Maybe since you've started taking the cream to get estrogen from an external force, your body has decided it doesn't need to make whatever amount it was making before?

  2. Good query, but this stuff works very differently. I call it "Estrogen cream", but it actually contains no estrogen. It contains some progesterone and a blend of herbs that are known to stimulate estrogen production. So it doesn't just replace estrogen, it actually stimulates the body's estrogen production. (progesterone and estrogen, by the by, are synergistic hormones; when the level of one increases in your body, the other rises to match. That's why it contains the progesterone - adding progesterone makes my body want to produce more estrogen to match.)

  3. Ah! You look into causes of adrenal fatigue before? A friend's wife had that. I don't know what their remedy was though, she saw a naturopath to get the issue "fixed." But it wasn't anything that required long term supplementation. She was on prescription meds for awhile and I think that made it worse. Her naturopath might have put her on something similar to the cream you're taking now. I wish I could ask, but I won't be seeing them for awhile :(

  4. I suspect this is due to the pregnancy and extended nursing. Not that I would EVER caution anyone else away from either, but in this case it seems that the hormonal changes of pregnancy left my system reeling. I say that because all of this developed at the return of menstruation following 10 months of pregnancy and 11 months of nursing. 21 months is a long time to be in a different hormonal state, and I think my body is having a hard time with the return to status quo. I originally went into this whole thing not thinking that I was short of estrogen overall, but that I needed to shallow out the rises and falls in my body's level. It wasn't until I started with the cream and a bit of research that I realized how many menopause symptoms I had been experiencing.

  5. I forgot that you were pregnant for a bit longer! Geez, did time sneak by?? I didn't realize it had all been that long.