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Alicia58 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


My tens was purchased from a chemist previously so I already have one. The one that Dr. Jim recommended is preferable because of the size and being able to operate 4 electrodes.
2/7/2010, 2:59 am Link to this post Send Email to Alicia58   Send PM to Alicia58
 
DrJim4 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Alicia,

A couple of thoughts about your situation.
1. You said your period stopped. This actually means you are having good success with the stimulation. When you are cycling normally your Estrogen is up and it inhibits Prolactin release which makes your nipples relatively insensitive to the stimulation. When women try to induce lactation they must go through a period of time that can be one to several months where nothing seems to be happening in response to stimulation. At first not very much Prolactin is released with the stimulation but the stimulation starts lowering the Estrogen also so after some time the nipples become more sensitive to the stimulation. When the Menses becomes light to spotting to stopped this means you are in a hormonal state similar to post partum and the nipples are very sensitive to stimulation and you have plenty of Prolactin release to make milk. Many women can never get to this point so congratulations!
2. You said your breasts feel engorged but you don't have a drop of milk; this can be due to two things; Perhaps the alveoli are just turning on to making milk now. Most women when inducing, experience breasts that first feel full and painful like they are engorged without seeing milk. This is followed in a couple of days with clear sticky fluid or colostrum pre milk, which is followed in a week or less with actual milk. If you think this is the case then just continue what you are doing a little longer. On the other hand, the alveoli may be truly engorged with milk but the ducts are all closed so that it cannot get out. If this were the case the milk being retained in the alveoli would start turning them back off while you remain painful and engorged much as women experience when they try to dry up after giving birth. What could cause this and what would the solution be? If you have not given birth or lactated in the fairly recent past say 2-3 years the ducts in your breasts are probably closed or collapsed. During pregnancy the high Progesterone makes them open up. You do not experience high Progesterone when inducing so you can have a much more significant problem with closed ducts. If you think this might be the case you can do one of these things; Use heat on your breasts to soften up the engorgement then use the Marmet technique to massage them. This is primarily a massaging, stroking from the back of the breast toward the nipple to push fluid through the ducts to make them open up. You might temporarily cut back on the amount of stimulation as well to decrease the engorgement problem. Many women experience at least 1 or 2 "clogged ducts" when their milk comes in by inducing. So if this is your problem you are not alone. Finally, if you feel like most of the ducts are not open and you have a big problem here you could do everything above and give yourself a month of Progesterone to help open them up. Pills or cream would do, if cream, put a good amount directly on the breasts 2 x a day. The Progesterone will temporarily reduce the amount of lactation which is ok.

Hope this helps

DrJim
2/7/2010, 12:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to DrJim4   Send PM to DrJim4
 
DrJim4 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Alicia,

I might add the most conservative thing to do would be to simply go slower; Reduce the amount of stimulation and give things more time. Let the changes in the ducts catch up with the changes in the alveoli. Use the Marmet technique at least once a day in place of some of the stimulation. You probably will not need to use the Progesterone this way. Some authorities would say this is the best way to approach the problem.

DrJim
2/7/2010, 9:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to DrJim4   Send PM to DrJim4
 
Alicia58 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Dr. Jim.

Many thanks for the full and prompt reply.
I am 49yrs old so maybe my estrogen level was already down, although when I was last checked by a Gyno. he said my hormone levels were normal in May 09.
I am nursing once daily, using tens machine for the 3 days that I am at work then again using marmet t. every 2hrly but not stimulating through the night.
As I said my periods have stopped this is a plus because like many women of my age they were heavy, plus my mood has altered. This agrees with the information you have given in your articles earlier.
After the massage in the evening I can pump a few drops of clear milky fluid from my left breast but the right one just seems to produce small beads on the surface.
Again I'm not sure if because of my age my periods have stopped quickly....although always before a period I have suffered from tender sore breasts.

Alicia.
2/8/2010, 8:15 am Link to this post Send Email to Alicia58   Send PM to Alicia58
 
kellyjon Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


I never heard of this and would like to know more. Where can I get one? Is there a site with more info?

Thanks ladies!
2/8/2010, 11:49 am Link to this post Send Email to kellyjon   Send PM to kellyjon
 
tryagain100 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Dr. Jim,

I have been trying to relactate for about 20 months. My husband nurses most of the time twice daily. One breast would have some spray and the other has big drops. I do feel engorged and prickly in between. I get too busy at work so I often forget to do the Marmet. Would the tens help in getting the milk to come in? I had nursed my kids previously. I am premanopausal as I am having irregular cycles.

Thanks.
2/8/2010, 8:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to tryagain100   Send PM to tryagain100
 
DrJim4 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Alisha,

I did suggest above the possibility that all your ducts are closed if you feel engorged but do not have a drop of milk. Actually I have to admit I have never heard of anyone who has had all their ducts closed myself so I guess I was going out a bit on a limb with that line of thought. It doesn't sound like this applies to you anyway but, since you are 49 it is likely that some of the ducts in your breasts are closed and would need to be opened up if milk is produced behind them.
Overall it sounds to me like you are having success and need more time to let things happen as they naturally do.

I believe that it is more likely your period will stop in response to the inducing process if you are in the perimenopause age/experience than if you are younger and in your most fertile years. The reason is that your estrogen levels are higher in your younger years but the breasts of younger women seem to respond very readily anyway.

Concerning the use of a TENs unit. I have written a lot about this, see some of those posts for answers. A TENs unit can help in the initial inducing process but is not helpful once milk starts coming in. Then a pump is most effective with the Marmet technique.

The engorged feeling before milk comes in is a good sign that Prolactin is at work causing some fluid to transfer into the alveoli. This progresses eventually to milk. The tingling feeling is also a very good sign indicating that the alveoli are beginning to contract a little bit leading to the letdowns later. Successful lactation requires good letdowns to empty the alveoli to allow them to make more milk. If the milk stays in the alveoli, that is poor letdowns, it will eventually turn them back off.

This can help make more milk:

For women that have poor letdowns which means poor Oxytocin release, there is a supplement that can help; Arginine. Some women are actually a bit deficient in Oxytocin! They may not be getting the right foods in their diet.

You can buy it at stores that cater to body builders.
Taking Arginine helps to increase Nitric Oxide in the muscles of body builders. It is a potent vasodilator, a very good thing, for women it will not make the muscles bigger. Most importantly, Arginine will increase Oxytocin because, it is my understanding Arginine is a precursor for making Oxytocin in the body. Here is another thing, in the summer eat lots of watermelon! It is loaded with Citrulline, a super healthy compound that is converted in your body to of all things, Arginine!

DrJim
2/9/2010, 9:46 pm Link to this post Send Email to DrJim4   Send PM to DrJim4
 
sapphireyes Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Dr.Jim,
    I acquired a Century 2400 TENS unit, and it is a dual channel model, with pulse width control, and a frequency control. I have read your article on TENS, and just wondered if you had a specific setting suggestion?
I also tried the link for the breast electrodes, but it seems to be dismissed.
  I want to thankyou for your wonderful articles, and help that you provide to all of us that love ANRs. I appreciate it so much! Kim
2/10/2010, 11:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to sapphireyes   Send PM to sapphireyes
 
Alicia58 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


Dr. Jim,
Am I correct in understanding that,
1. Inducing lactation can mean that it brings the menopause on, by lowering estrogen levels. Can this be harmful? so could this be a cure for heavy periods?

2. A tens machine is of no use once even very small drops of clear/white fluid are produced?

Many thanks for the suggestion of taking Arganine, I have started taking it today. The dose on the package says take one 500mg cap daily. Would this dose be appropriate?
Will keep you informed if there is any progress.
2/11/2010, 1:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Alicia58   Send PM to Alicia58
 
DrJim4 Profile
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Re: Intro and TENS question


There are about 5 questions above, I will try to answer them as best I can;

1. Is inducing lactation harmful in any way? I don't think so. Inducing lactation does lower Estrogen but Prolactin is elevated and satisfies the hormonal needs in many ways. Women that breastfeed in their life have lower rates of breast cancer and probably uterine cancer as well. Lactating, whether in the post partum period or by inducing tends to balance the hormones in a good way for many women. It can help a variety of medical conditions including endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease and menses abnormalities. It usually causes a decrease in ovulation to some degree which doesn't have to be a bad thing. There is a general thought in medicine today that many women who are hormonally imbalanced and have a variety of problems as a consequence are imbalanced in the way of too much Estrogen and not enough Progesterone most often. It seems that chemicals that are not good for us such as preservatives and plastic conditioners that get into our bodies somehow often have a hormonal effect and mimic Estrogen. So, as a general rule I think many women could benefit from a little less Estrogen and a little more Progesterone.

2. Yes, inducing lactation has been a cure for some women with heavy periods.

3. If you are perimenopausal and induce lactation, your periods are likely to stop, but you will probably not experience the hot flashes that you normally would with menopause because the elevated Prolactin will satisfy the Pituitary in place of the Estrogen preventing them.

4. A TENs machine stimulates the release of a little bit of Prolactin every time it is used wether you have achieved lactation or not, this does not change. Once you start lactating however, you must regularly pump and do the marmet technique, especially if your breasts are swelling and feeling tight and engorged. Getting some of the fluid out of the alveoli at this point is important to keep them producing fluid. If you are pumping and using the Marmet technique regularly say every 4 to 6 hours you could use a TENs unit in between to increase the amount of Prolactin and hurry the breast changes along. I don't think it ever hurts to use the TENs unit per se.

5. The Arginine- you can take up to 5000 mg. a day at bedtime to help increase Growth Hormone release at night (another good use). To just make sure you are getting enough of it in your diet you probably can take a 500mg cap 2 x a day.

6. About the TENs unit settings- Very easy, try all the settings and pick the one you like best. There is usually a pain blocking setting and a muscle stimulation setting. Usually you can pick a pain blocking setting that is smooth feeling and has an on off frequency about 2/second. It can feel eerily like a baby suckling. If you find this I think it would be the best.

DrJim
2/11/2010, 8:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to DrJim4   Send PM to DrJim4
 


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