Postpartum anxiety, & other symptoms?

CinnaSnow

New member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
This might be a bit confusing, because well, honestly i'm confused as to what is going on with me / wrong with me, but it's becoming really hard to deal with on a daily basis. I'm tired. I want to feel normal again.

I've been having mild anxiety attacks, i say mild because i can talk myself down and out of them, but they are still scary and make me feel like sh*t I've had them since the 3rd trimester of my 2nd pregnancy - my daughter was born in December. I'm not on any meds. I haven't been able to go the the dr, and honestly I'm really skeptical about going to a dr anyway because I'm afraid they will just dismiss it as an anxiety "disorder" and prescribe anti-anxiety meds. I don't want to have to rely on anxiety medication for various reasons...

But the thing is, anxiety is not my only symptom. (My anxiety attacks are always emetophobia-related, which has been phobia of mine for 10 years)... But it ties in because it exacerbates my anxiety because my other symptoms include daily upset stomach, frequent need to go to the bathroom (even throughout the night), chronic daily fatigue, my ability to handle stress is very low (which isn't much help as a stay at home mom of a toddler and an infant), & mood swings coupled with emotional numbness (i feel like i'm pushing my feelings away, or hiding them, even when trying to cry or "let it out")

I don't really have any emotional support because 1. I'm home with the kids all day and don't have any friends, 2. I don't feel comfortable talking to most of my family about these problems because I'm ashamed, 3. My husband becomes annoyed when i even mention that i feel anxious (which hurts the most, and is part of the reason i feel like i need to hide my feelings). He is a great husband, i just think he doesn't know what to do to help me, and gets frustrated that when he used to try to help, it doesn't do anything. I'm pretty much on my own.

I'm not convinced that its just all anxiety and in my head because i have physical symptoms as well. I've tried to find a number of possible underlying issues: leaky gut, thyroid problems, postpartum depression, adrenal fatigue.. And i get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, take prenatal vitamins daily as I'm breastfeeding, practice yoga several times a week, practice deep breathing, use essential oils, and recently began taking probiotics. Which all help my anxiety, but I'm not sure how to handle the underlying issue, because whenever i slip up and don't sleep enough, forget to do something, or whatever my anxiety just increases again. I want to fix the underlying issue.

I just don't know where to begin or what to do or who to go to for real help. Has anyone else ever experienced this before? Or anything similar? Is there any advice anyone can give me? I'm seriously desperate and exhausted from this battle.
 

liverock

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Jul 18, 2008
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First of all congratulations on going through with your pregnancies. It must have been doubly stressfull for you with emetophobia, to have the trauma of morning sickness with this type of phobia.

It sounds like you may have high copper levels causing some of your anxieties, which is common in a lot of post partum mothers.

Copper is a mineral very much involved throughout pregnancy from the time the the egg is first fertilised. High copper is required from then on in the mother, to ensure that the fetus has adequate copper to form the heart and arterial system. The copper level is at its highest in the third trimester because the baby is taking on board a load of copper to store in its liver, which it needs from when its born and apart from its mother.

During this third trimester your copper level will have doubled and once the baby is born the copper level slowly drops back to normal in most mothers.
Some however find that the copper level stays high or doesn't decline very fast and the high copper can cause anxiety and post partum depression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M4vmM1juEk

This is understood by most doctors and they usually prescribe a high vitamin B6 and/or a zinc supplement as a copper antagonist to speed up the copper elimination.

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/postnatal-depression-and-low-zinc-and-high-copper-levels

If also you are taking any supplements with copper in them this will tend to exacerbate the problem as will birth control pills and copper IUD's. If by any chance you are a vegetarian there is a chance also that you may have a copper/ zinc imbalance as well.

I understand some of your anxieties about seeing a doctor but most doctors are usually well versed in treating post partum, and it may help if you arranged a visit and had a check up, which is quite normal for mothers a few months after childbirth.

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CinnaSnow

New member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Original Poster
If its a simple matter of high copper levels, man would I be relieved. I've never heard of this issue before. And my prenatal does contain copper, which wouldn't be helping the issue. But i looked up symptoms of copper toxicity and i do have a few symptoms of it. I forgot to mention in my original post, but i'm also covered in small bruises / bruising very easily. Even though my WIC office tests my iron levels which are always good.. But bruising is a sign of copper toxicity. I'm skeptical about going to the dr, but I feel like if I know what to ask to be tested for I can get some answers. & If it really is a copper issue, i can start taking a zinc supplement asap.
 

larryz

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
Sorry about your issues.

How good is your diet? The term "good" can mean anything. Get off caffeiniated coffee, tea and soda pop.

How much outdoor exercising do you do? Yoga is good but without my daily cardio I'd be lost.

Mental health counseling is a good option. It's ok to seek someone else's opinion. It doesn't mean you're crazy. Don't worry about being pushed drugs. Only psychiatrists can do that.

Seems like a nutritional deficiency of something as well. Good luck.

And forget going to a conventional doctor. They know little or nothing about nutrition, just drugs and surgery.
 

CinnaSnow

New member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Original Poster
Well by a healthy diet i mean i stay away from processed / refined sugar foods. I go for honey or stevia. Drink almond milk and avoid most dairy aside from yogurt. I make sure to eat enough protein via meat, seeds, nuts. Plus, i eat a decent amount of fresh fruits and veggies, usually opting for organic when available. I dont drink soda or tea (other than green tea or chamomile), and drink a small cup of coffee only on occasion because it does sometimes exacerbate my anxiety.

As far as my exercise goes, i only do yoga. But i practice ashtanga vinyasa yoga, which covers cardio, strength, and flexibility.
http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/739

Although i've tried really hard to get all of the nutrients i need, i honestly do hope its just a nutritional deficiency. Because that would be an easy fix.

But thats also why i just recently began taking probitoics, because i may be eating enough nutrients, but the bacteria in my body may be off balance and might be inhibiting absorption of key nutrients. I think i agree with you. I just need to get tested. And then hopefully find a natural cure for whatever it is..

Im just terrified that its unexplained postpartum anxiety. The last thing i would want would be anti-anxiety medication
 

liverock

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Jul 18, 2008
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Most women have high copper levels as a matter of course, not only new mothers. As Estrogen rises every month during menstruation, so the copper level rises ready to go to work in forming a fetus if the egg gets fertilised.

If its not, the copper level drops back to normal till next month and then the process is repeated every month. This can be responsible for a lot of PMT symptons, but not all.

High copper can be reduced by taking high doses of Vitamin C (that includes bioflavanoids) as well as zinc and vitamin B6.

Your doctor may not want to do a copper test, but he should be aware of treating Post Partum with vitamin B6, which can also raise serotonin levels which helps lower depression, as well as lowering copper.

http://www.melissadianesmith.com/Articles/CopperOverLoad.html

http://www.yourdays.com/articles/postpartum/remedies/natural-cures-for-postpartum-depression.htm

If you cant get any satisfaction from your doctor and dont want to use drugs you could consider going to a naturopath for a more in depth check up and treatment using natural products. They usually spend more time with patients giving advice, as well as monitoring progress of any treatments.
A naturopath will also be able to help more with your fatigue which sounds like poor adrenal function. Good adrenal function is needed to get rid of high copper as the adrenals produce Ceruloplasmin, the necessary protein that binds to copper in order to excrete it.


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CinnaSnow

New member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Original Poster
I will definitely keep this in mind when talking to my general practitioner. Hopefully he's knowledgeable about treating my problems with vitamin supplements..

I'd love to go to a naturopath from the getgo, but my insurance unfortunately doesn't cover it. I don't doubt that my adrenals are mixed up in the problem though, because i've had a lot of success in feeling better by supporting my adrenals and thyroid with essential oils. But of course, like i said, if i stop using the essential oils, i fall back and start feeling worse again. So i want to nip the underlying problem.

I haven't actually had a period yet since my daughter was born. I'm wondering if that might ne part of the issue as well, because menstruation is supposed to be detoxing for a woman, isn't it? My daughter cosleeps with us and still nurses throughout the night though, so i don't expect it to come back just yet.
 

Cookie

Lovin' life~
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Location
JerSea
hi CinnaSnow :wave:

Very good responses so far, I'm impressed.

It sounds as though you have your diet under control.
It probably would be very difficult trying to get a toddler & infant out for a walk, but perhaps if you mention to your hubby that you'd like to go for a quicky family walk when he gets home from work, he would accommodate by helping to pack everyone up & go.
Do you have heart palpitations with these anxiety attacks?
Also, don't underestimate the power of postpartum depression. Mine didn't start until 3-6 months after the birth of both of my kids which was right around the time when you're completely exhausted from lack of sleep.. However, daily anti-depressants was not prescribed for me. My OB/GYN gave me what she called Rx XYZ. If you took one, you got a slight buzz.. such as a glass of wine. Two, two glasses of wine.. etc. It's funny, but I only used them once. Just knowing they were there did the trick for me.
Another thing is that I've always felt a male OB/GYN wasn't the right choice for me as men truly don't have a clue what our bodies go through regardless of their medical training. If you're able to talk to a woman, you may be more comfortable opening up about the smallest things that may be helpful.
 


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