Reply To: Struggling During Pandemic and Possibly Going Through Perimenopause

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Amy Jo

You’re not imagining this! Like many women, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD at age 45 – the same time my hormones were secretly conspiring against me. Two doctors had tested my hormone levels and told me they were normal so I asked my psychiatrist to adjust my meds, but nothing helped. Then I saw a sexual health specialist, she tested my sex-hormone-binding-globulin(SHBG) and it was extremely high. She explained that the standard testing protocol done by most doctors (even Ob/Gyns and endocrinologists) would show my estrogen as “normal” when in reality 100% of it was actually bound to the SHBG. So as far as my brain and body were concerned it was if I had no estrogen at all. My periods had also become intolerable, to help both issues she put me on a BC pill with the lowest dose of progesterone available (progesterone makes me bat$#!t crazy/depressed). I felt better but I had to stop taking them after 3 years because my SHBG became too high again. All my previous symptoms returned and I was miserable. When I couldn’t take it anymore she started me on an estrogen (specifically Estradiol) patch (different than the birth control patch and I won’t affect my SHBG level). The estrogen patch definitely helps my brain and my periods are normal.
I really wish you all the best! I know we’ll eventually come out on the other side of this.

Here a few links that helped me get a better understanding of the variables-
note: I’m not affiliated with anyone/thing or selling/promoting anything or giving medical advice

Do a Google search for the PRISM Calendar (Prospective Record of the Impact and Severity of Menstrual symptoms), I just found it and I’m using to help me learn patterns, symptoms, and mood-swing brain-fog warnings.

Learning about PMS and PMDD helped me understand hormones overall-

Premenstrual Syndrome and Menstrual-Related Disorders

Patricia Quinn, M.D. is a great source for women’s ADHD/hormones info. There are several links within this article:

Changing Estrogen Levels Affect Women’s ADHD Symptoms—Part Three

sidenote: SSRIs are always the default when doctors don’t really know what to do, but SSRIs make life much worse for me.