hi there shelby:), sorry i have not been able to get back to you sooner, but i have been away from the computer for a few days. I wont be around much for the near future either as my time is rather limited at the moment, but will do my best to reply to any messages you have for me.
The best way to get a conclusive test done is via a saliva test. In the US you can get these at a pharmacist, but i understand from "Heater" on this forum that you have to get a note from your doctor first. I live in the UK and do not want to get my doc involved in this,(and especially not my specialist, since he was the one who put me on mirena in the first place), so i am doing things myself. I ordered a saliva test from America, cost a lot of money, but it will be interesting to see what it shows up. Saliva tests are supposed to be much more reliable and up to date than a blood test, and they have to be done at a certain time of the month - around day 20 of the cycle. I wil do my test later this month. In the meantime though, i have cut caffeine out completely - i never had much anyway, so that was no big deal - cut out all Sugar and certain foods which make Estrogen Dominance worse, and am taking herbs and vitamins and minerals for my liver, adrenals and the hormones generally. I have just started with a bio identical progesterone cream to help speed things up. It is early days yet, in this treatment, but already my period, which last month was heavy and full of 5 inch clots, has been considerably lighter this month, with fewer and smaller clots, so i am hopeful. Also, the acute period pain that i have suffered all my life since i was 10 years old, has not made an appearance this month. I have also not had any numbness this month - although that is not necessarily an indication, because since i had the mirena out in May, i had not had any major numbness till last month, so i suspect it may be intermittant for a few months yet, and i shall only feel that i am completely winning when i have no numbness or other symptoms for at least a year. We are talking long term stuff here - there are no quick answers, and no doubt there will be some fine tuning of diet and products used, over the months. The body is constantly changing too, so one needs to monitor all things all the time. So if you are able to get saliva tests then you should probably get them on a regular basis to see how your body chemistry is changing. I do not plan on always using progesterone cream - that is just for now. I will see how things develop and what symptoms i have or don't have, and will adjust thing accordingly. We are all individuals and no one dose of something will work for everyone. Also of course, the hormones fluctuate during the month anyway, so i will have to keep a close eye on things. My plan is to phase out the usage of natural progesterone cream gradually though, and feed my body well enough (as well as avoiding as many environmental estrogens and poisons as possible) so that it should be able to produce it's own hormones in the right amounts.
As you are thinking of changing doctors then maybe the best thing is to talk to people in your area or talk to the doctor practice manager and see if there are any doctors who would be willing to work with, or who know about bio identical hormones, rather than docs who work with synthetic hormones. Or perhaps find a qualified homoeopath, herbalist or accupuncturist of repute, in your vacinity - any of those treatments should be able to help you. Reading the estrogen dominance sites, it seems that if you dont get a saliva test, then you can still get a pretty good idea about your estrogen dominance through just looking at the symptoms associated with it. Dr. Lee has a couple of books out which are on amazon, as well as the various web sites which you have no doubt visited already. There is a world of info out there just for the taking and that is what i am looking at and piecing together.
You say you have had a lot of blood work done - i guess if anything obvious showed up on that they would have told you. Though usually they don't test hormone levels as standard - more things like cholesterol, inflammation and iron levels etc. But if you had hormone tests then it is worth finding out exactly what your results were and getting your new doctor/specialist to explain to you what they mean.
I am pleased you are feeling generally better since mirena removal but as you say, it would be good to feel 100%! I dont think i have ever felt 100% and was probably, almost certainly very estrogen dominant before mirena went in, as i already had hormone problems - polyps and thickened uterus lining, which was the whole reason for having mirena in the first place. If i had found out about Dr. Lee and estrogen dominance first though, i would have done what i am doing now, and would have avoided all the extra nasties that followed mirena insertion. I do hope you find a doctor or natural alternative practitioner who can help you, that would be the ideal thing, but in the meantime, it certainly will only do your body good to make dietary changes and avoid cancer causing environmental estrogens where you can, in order to improve not only your hormones but the whole of your health. Take care and keep us posted:) Kabel xx