First, the results:
About 5 or 6 months ago I started natural hormonal therapy with natural progesterone cream. I noticed a dramatic difference that first month. Not only was my period just 4 days instead of 5, but my PMS was virtually gone. I got a little scared, wondering if perhaps this was a fluke month, but each sequential month brought similar results, give or take a little PMS. I mentioned this to my facialist who told me she used to use progesterone but switched to 5 HTP. I did some research on it and decided to try it…
5 HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid and a precursor to serotonin. Yes, serotonin, our favorite word! Cause that’s the thing, for serotonin to pass the blood brain barrier, it needs tryptophan; they’re like buddies. It is marketed as a mood enhancer, appetite suppressant and a sleep aid. The first and latter sounded pretty good to me so I gave it a try. My period showed up ten days early and things felt totally off. I realized that in taking progesterone and 5 HTP I was elevating the progesterone levels too much. I stopped taking the progesterone and am now just taking 5 HTP and things are much better. I do find it to help, unlike St. John’s Wort which does nothing for me. And unlike certain herbal supplements that relax you like chamomile tea, I actually notice a huge difference. It took about a week to notice a change and the days where I don’t take it, I can tell. It makes me less anxious and helps me to fall asleep.
The moral of the story is that if you are taking birth control or other forms of HT, then maybe you shouldn’t take 5 HTP. Other than that, it helps with my mood and sleep.
I am off 5HTP and back on progesterone. The daily benefits of 5HTP were nice, but my menstrual cycle went back to its usual PMS before when I wasn’t taking anything. Since my period is a great source of my OCD I decided to ditch the 5HTP and do the progesterone again.