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Vitex - side effects rash, depression, anxiety  This thread currently has 5,072 views. Print Print Thread
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Symbi
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 2:42am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

AO + MN Super-taster SWAMI-X Explorer
Ee Dan
Posts: 1,252
Gender: Female
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Age: 40
Lab rat No. 22 reporting for duty here.  Just to let you know the latest reaction to herb I was trying in case it might help someone.

To try and help adenomyosis (endometriosis of the uterus) and PMS, low progesterone I've been experimenting.  First I tried a PMS formula with black cohosh, Vitex and more but that also didn't agree with me - see this thread Phytoestrogen Types / Hashimotos Thyroidism http://www.dadamo.com/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1312681800/s-1/highlight-vitex/#num1

To narrow it down and see which herb wasn't agreeing with me so I tried 600mg of Vitex extract daily in the morning for a few weeks.
Even on the first day of taking it I got severely depressed and anxious.  Soon after an eczema-like itchy rash appeared especially on my arms.  The depression got so bad that I was suicidal and filled a prescription for Prozac which I still haven't taken.   When I started taking it early in my cycle I felt like I had PMS and it wasn't even that time of the month!  
I still had a 4 day early period, heavy and painful - I forgive it for that since increasing progesterone can increase the sensitivity of oestrogen receptors at first so could take a few months to work properly.  Has less sore fibrocystic breasts tho.  Did find an increase in OCD symptoms, compulsive shopping and overeating so put on some weight.  Fibromyalgia too.

Stopped taking it during my period since I read it can increase bleeding.  Now that's over now I feel much better.  Did some research to see if I should take it again.  Seems like it does increase progesterone and decrease prolactin but with a cost.

A study showed that it does this by increasing dopamine which competes with serotonin.  Furthermore it decreases serotonin by enhancing it's breakdown.  Not good for someone with already low serotonin - after three months a study showed higher dopamine and lower serotonin levels http://www.frontiernet.net/~batory/REPORT.htm  
It's good for people with high prolactin and high serotonin but not for me!  As one plus I didn't get menstrual migraine, but not worth it!

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/blog/vitex-not-pms.html - they recommend taking Magnesium, B-6, Zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, iron and chocolate !   instead to increase dopamine and increase progesterone

Some others experience with vitex and depression: http://unicornandi.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/vitrex-beware/

I've read some good experiences with it, even some people conceived when they couldn't before or shrunk some fibroids.  Am not saying it would be bad for everyone, just this little chook.
Next try will be progesterone cream so I will be running out to get a prescription soon.  Probably write a novel about that one too!  


INFJ ex-Ghee Whiz, GTD Explorer Sept_09 - SWAMI Mar_10

Family - O+ DH and DD (both hunter-ish)
IBS, Fibro, Hashimotos, Adenomyosis, Oral Lichen Planus, Breast Cancer, Terminal case of Optimism
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Lola
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 2:57am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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hope you find relieve soon!!


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
DNA mt/Haplo H; Y-chrom/J2(M172);ISTJ
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!
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Symbi
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 3:16am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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Thanks Lola!  


INFJ ex-Ghee Whiz, GTD Explorer Sept_09 - SWAMI Mar_10

Family - O+ DH and DD (both hunter-ish)
IBS, Fibro, Hashimotos, Adenomyosis, Oral Lichen Planus, Breast Cancer, Terminal case of Optimism
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Possum
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 5:46am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Rh- Expluntherer... It means I'm an O...;-)
Ee Dan
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Quoted from Symbi
Lab rat No. 22 reporting for duty here.  Just to let you know the latest reaction to herb I was trying in case it might help someone. Am not saying it would be bad for everyone, just this little chook.
Now I am confused - are you a rat or a chook??!! Seriously...Hope you get the answers you are searching for soon & ups to you re the experimenting & thanks posting

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Goldie
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 6:28am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

All Gatherer -70 Scorp/Sag on BTD/GENO 17 year
Sam Dan
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Symbi , what a horrid experience.. You have been living with this a long while, but did you look what might apply in the Eat Right ENCYCLOPEDIA?    and followed one supplement protocol after the other in some sequence?  

My friend has found that she is sensitive to most meds so she uses liquids, or homeopathic meds .. thinking that they will be milder..

I do hope you are finding what you need.. I once used a ZYTO.com in on office and found what I was missing for my fibro.. (manganese for me)  maybe someone there ( so far away) has one to measure what your body is missing..

I am sending you a PM



Being here is invaluable, but not enough. We need ALL the Doctors. I needed them for a very small cancer spot-I could never feel!!! Please do your mammograms! Doing so saved me from cancer later on. I am grateful! Thanks for learning from my experience! I was lucky! I wish the same for YOU!
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honeybee
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 7:45am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

INTJ
Ee Dan
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What a rough ride Symbi!!!

Everything I had read made it appear a perfectly safe herb.

Hugs matey!
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honeybee
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 8:11am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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Another thing I noticed was the amount of vitex in Dr D's formula Fem Balance is very low (100mg) compared to most vitex supps on the market - one I had was 1000mg...
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balletomane
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 8:33am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Hunter / Rh+ / Aquarius / INFJ
Ee Dan
Posts: 1,553
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Location: Hong Kong
Age: 42
Hi Symbi dear! So sorry to hear about your experience with Vitex. Even if it takes away your migraine it's not worth that depression.

I have been taking Vitex at a fairly low dose for about a year now, with no particular ill effects. But once I tried to take it first thing in the morning in a double dosage as usual and that gave me constipation two days in a roll. So I've reverted back to taking it after my dinner with herbal tea. I also take FemBalance and progesterone cream, by the way. Vitex did help to shrink my ovarian cyst once. Now that it has grown big again I'm upping the dosage to see if that helps.

I see that you are Type A, which might explain your different reaction than mine? I'm not sure. Like the BTD, the use of herbs and supps is also very individual! One time I tried DIM for a few weeks and I got so depressed.

I hope you feel better and maybe the progesterone cream will help you. Experiment with different dosages but be careful. It did get me feeling depressed when I was using double the dosage as I currently use. Hormones are tricky!


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Symbi
Sunday, August 28, 2011, 2:14am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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Hey Thanks everyone! Lovely to hear from you Possum! (did you go Aus for a holiday?) Yep I'm a rat or a chook depending on what's for dinner!   No animals were harmed in the testing of these herbs

Good point HoneyBee , Goldie and Balletomaine about dosages and drops may be better.  DOH! I should have taken notice of Dr D when he said on page 154 of GTD:

Quoted Text
..Explorers can be quite chemically sensitive, and they often react negatively to "typical doses" of drugs, antibiotics and even vitamins and minerals. When using these medicines, they should always start with the lowest doses and gradually work their way up.


Even so not sure if I'll take it again without an antidepressant at the same time as last resort.  
Did the full dose cos I thought it was slow acting and I have a big problem to fix quickly as I can.  Have had it for years undiagnosed.  At least there's a name for the pain now and help!  Thank goodness for high resolution ultrasound and medicare in Australia.

Yep Honeybee, herbs are powerful but it can annoying when nobody knows how they work exactly and information is scattered and conflicting sometimes.  Probably cos one size fits all 'fidn't did!'  Like I read some say to take vitex in am, stop during bleeding, or take it the whole month, or take it only after ovulating (that may be an idea next time then I might not feel like PMS all month).  

Progesterone if it works for me, may kill many birds with one stone.  The natural type is a precursor to cortisol in the body and I always feel low in that at PMS time, is also anti-anxiety and should lengthen my cycles to normal and make less endometrium build up to lighten the periods once body gets used to it.  Sign me up!  

Balletomaine - sorry to hear your fibroids are playing up again.  Do you know that from symptoms or imaging?  Wondering how you know - I'm afraid of growing fibroids.  Interesing about DIM reaction maybe your oestrogen when too low?  One thing I'm back on is Almond milk instead of rice milk.  Almond is more expensive but rice milk is a black dot, Dr D answered in a post because it is possibly oestrogenic.  Eat lots of broccoli and curry herbs etc.  Things have gotten better since SWAMI.  My hormones tested okay in a blood test but still the progesterone is a bit low as you might expect at my age.  Still seem to be ovulating.

Last period was more painful than normal probably also cos I tried tranexamic acid (a drug to help the blood clot).  Have you ever tried it?  Reduced the bleeding more than 60% but the pain seemed worse and caused severe IBS as well that had me wondering if somethign was growing on LHS.  Even took ibuprofen which I never do if I can help it.   Sounds like you're clever taking different things in small doses.  Yep Explorers may be different with our detox issues.  Didn't take the full dose of tranexamic acid prescribed and will experiment to take the least necessary.

Sorry to go on so much!


INFJ ex-Ghee Whiz, GTD Explorer Sept_09 - SWAMI Mar_10

Family - O+ DH and DD (both hunter-ish)
IBS, Fibro, Hashimotos, Adenomyosis, Oral Lichen Planus, Breast Cancer, Terminal case of Optimism
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Possum
Sunday, August 28, 2011, 4:52am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Rh- Expluntherer... It means I'm an O...;-)
Ee Dan
Posts: 5,394
Gender: Female
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Age: 53
Quoted from Symbi
Hey Thanks everyone! Lovely to hear from you Possum! (did you go Aus for a holiday?) Yep I'm a rat or a chook depending on what's for dinner!   No animals were harmed in the testing of these herbs
lol Yeah we did go to Aus nearly 2 months ago now (did Melb, Adelaide, Hobart) Had just under 2 weeks away, saw my brother & his family, most of Phil's siblings & parents, & our son & grandaughter...
Then our daughter arrived from LA with her baby boy, to visit us in NZ for 3 weeks...so it was full on Grandparent's month & a bit Lots of fun!!!
Activities ranged from turning 50; jumping with Lily in her bouncy castle, to a road trip to Auckland & getting stuck (with highways closed) due to a snow storm & sleeping in our car one night... In between, I managed to get a medical checkup, including a lot of blood work done while away in Aus...
So sorry to hear you are still suffering as you are... You will be wishing for menopause at this rate??!! Hijack over...
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balletomane
Sunday, August 28, 2011, 10:58am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Hunter / Rh+ / Aquarius / INFJ
Ee Dan
Posts: 1,553
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Location: Hong Kong
Age: 42
Hi Symbi,

I visit the radiologist twice a year to keep track of the sizes of my fibroids and cysts. The last time I went, the cyst had grown substantially while one of the fibroids had enlarged a bit.

Regarding "milk," I actually don't drink any almond or rice milk, so it wouldn't be an issue.

I think in my case, the lack of sleep and stress due to the crazy work schedule was a major contributor. Do you have any major stressful events of late? Stress could wrack havoc to our endocrine system, you know. I'm trying to get some help from taking Catechol supplement. Do you take Cortigard? I heard it works great for Type A's.


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Amazone I.
Sunday, August 28, 2011, 12:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Rh+ GT 4...E/..INTJ ....prop.=non-taster..
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hey Symbi, this didn't worked for me either... I felt really sick on those...changed to Dong Qaui and found out that 500mg's of DPLA is to high for me, so far cut it back to 250mg's and now yippie no pains since some hours....


MIfHI K-174
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Paula 0+
Sunday, August 28, 2011, 11:16pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Wow, Symbi, I wanted to post here but was a little busy today.  I definitely felt depressed on vitex also.
I was using 400mg caps and taking a couple in the am.  I am more convinced than ever from recent experience that my fibroids are a result of insulin resistance type problems.  I mean I think the insulin
imbalances from my inconsistent diet are what is behind my fibroids.  I know I SWAMI as an explorer,
but I am very close to a gatherer in many ways.  Lately, I have drinking coffee again, and each day I get up saying green tea today.....but slip up.  There is no excuse, I guess I need AA for coffee or something.
But what was interesting was that when I was eating lower carbs, less grains, more "paleo", I felt like they (the fibroids) were smaller along with my abdomen.  I just need to work on compliance, consistency, etc.  Also, my serotonin levels did feel reduced on low carb, it's like I really need the brown rice at certain times of the month.  Geez, I really am too old for this and don't feel like a great role model for younger women if I don't get this under control.  But when I reflect back on my past  and remember that all my babies were over 8lbs, some even 9lbs, they were big....so my diet was probably too carby and sweet, etc.  I never did eat enough veggies.  Now it's making lots of sense to eat according to the SWAMI lists, and stop that coffee!  Anyway, I love hearing what works or doesn't work for fibroids and adenomyosis.  Thanks for the links you posted.  Vitex might not be for eveyone....
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Symbi
Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 11:07pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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Possum - sounds fabulous!  2 weeks and so many place and faces to see, no wonder you weren't on here so much.   Glad to hear you're having a good year overall.  Bouncing is very good for kids and us too! Neighbours laugh when I trampoline but wth!  What bloods did you do and find out?
Too right I'm wishing for menopause !

Balletomaine - that's smart having regular checkups dunno if they'll be doing that for me I should proactively request them I guess.  Thanks for the tips - I'm following adrenal fatigue burnout protocols and that helps some (my cortisol is on the low side).  Sleep is so important.  Wish you sweet dreams and shrink those pesky things.

Amazone - thanks you're always teaching me things.  Sorry that you suffer these things too.  Never heard of taking L-Phenylalanine which converts into L-tyrosine and onwards to dopamine - very clever!  According to this page http://www.livestrong.com/article/87947-dong-quai-benefits/ dong quai is an maoi so I wouldn't be able to take it unfortunately, they don't agree with me.  

Hi Paula O - you're welcome and glad you figured it out too before heading for antidepressants like how many other people would?  Coffee I read may contain lots of pesticides that may be oestrogenic so no wonder it's not recommended.  Organic may be ok sometimes tho   My DH O type is addicted too. Good point about diet, carbs etc.  I eat a few carbs but also plenty of protein - maybe I eat too much   but pretty sure it's been after caesarian and being over 35 making less oestrogen and liver clearance problems caused mine.  

We're complicated but it's all worth it!


INFJ ex-Ghee Whiz, GTD Explorer Sept_09 - SWAMI Mar_10

Family - O+ DH and DD (both hunter-ish)
IBS, Fibro, Hashimotos, Adenomyosis, Oral Lichen Planus, Breast Cancer, Terminal case of Optimism
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Paula 0+
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 2:45am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Symbi
Just wondering if you started the progesterone cream?  I decided to
try it again but it's only been one day.  I am only using it in the evening.
Anyone else have progesterone success stories?
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balletomane
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 2:59am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Hunter / Rh+ / Aquarius / INFJ
Ee Dan
Posts: 1,553
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Location: Hong Kong
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Paula,

I have been using progesterone cream for almost two years. About half a year after I started, I did a hormone saliva test and it showed that my progesterone level was back within "normal range" for my age group and that the estrogen/progesterone ratio was also normal. I have been able to keep the ratio in check since then.

In the beginning I used it twice a day but the morning dose made me super tired and depressed. So I scaled down and just use it once a day, just before bed time. I probably could use a little more since my estrogen level is now a bit low. But I don't want those side effects so I'm holding off on upping the dosage. Let us know how you do on it after a while.


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revitalise
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 3:05am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Spring: Growth, Peace.
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Hi

Any of you women have a negative blood type Mum and are a positive blood type.  Have been wondering if this has an effect on reproductive health for the positive child.  Just a wee ponder...
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Paula 0+
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 3:51am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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I heard a health professional say to only use progesterone at night cause it can cause tiredness/sleepiness earlier in the day.
Revitalize, not a negative so can't help you out.  I'm 0+ with 3 + kids and 2 - kids......
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revitalise
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 4:24am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Spring: Growth, Peace.
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Thanks Paula,  everything ok for you after the birth of the 2 - types?
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ruthiegirl
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 6:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

SWAMI O+ Gatherer, Healing from Fibromyalgia
Kyosha Nim
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It doesn't cause any problems to Mom when an Rh + mom has an Rh- baby. I had two of them, but didn't know their blood types or Rh statuses until they were teenagers. I had my B+ son after giving birth to two O- daughters, All three pregnancies and births were healthy and normal.

The only danger is for Rh- women who have babies with Rh+ men, as the women could get sensitized to Rh+ with their first pregnancy, and then their immune system might "attack" subsequent Rh+ babies. This is something my daughters will have to worry about, but it wasn't any kind of health risk for me, and they're not in any kind of risk from prenatal or birth exposure to my blood. They'll only be at risk if they get pg with Rh+ babies.


Ruth, Single Mother to 19yo   O- Leah , 18yo O- Hannah, and  12yo B+ Jack


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revitalise
Sunday, September 25, 2011, 7:12pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Gotcha, thanks for that Ruthiegirl.  
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