Am I taking too much progesterone?

by Mary
(San Diego, CA)

I have written before and I am very thankful for your website. During a five year terrible funk of not seeing the point in life I tried every alternative to get better: therapy, meditation, yoga, breathing, EFT, acupuncture, massage, supplements, drugs, out-patient psychiatry,a physical move; you name it I tried it.
Finally I found progesterone (topical cream) and I felt like I had found my life again. I met new friends, hobbies, activities and so on. I kept saying to myself that I felt normal again. This went on for almost 1.5 years then starting in March this year I could feel myself falling back into the gloom and along came the anxiety, irritability, impatience, terrible mood swings, crying easily, lack of sleep, lack of interest, depression, etc. It just happened to coincide with the gloomy weather. We live in Southern California and it used to be "june " gloom in June and now it has started in March. I always know that it will turn sunny later but somehow it does not help me with the mornings and I just dread getting up.
I felt that it was my hormones again and had a saliva test done and the results came back showing >2000pg. I am under the care of a kinesiologist and he has suggested that I cut back on the progesterone. He also put me on some supplements to help with the anxiety and sleep disturbance.
He feels that I am not metabolizing my hormones and they are out of balance yet from what I read on this site my symptoms seem to indicate that I am not using enough progesterone cream. Can you shed any lite on this? I am really struggling.
Thank you,

Comments for Am I taking too much progesterone?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 26, 2013
Vitamin D
by: Liz

I know Wray will tell you this anyway but I am willing to bet you're deficient in Vitamin D3.

We can only make Vitamin D by sunlight or UVB hitting naked skin.

Our make -up, sunscreen, sun glasses, clothes, windows etc all prevent the suns rays from allowing our skin to create vitamin D3 and D3 deficiency is very VERY common.

D3 is actually a hormone and the lack of it in our blood serum levels has been linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia, thyroid issues, certain cancers (Including skin ironically), heavy periods, CFS, and M.S

But as Wray will point out, Vitamin D has a direct effect on progesterone too.

Here in the UK the acceptable "normal" lab level is 30. Ideally it should be higher than 80. Mine is 167.

I was tested at 21 my partner at 5!

I take micronised liquid D3 5 to 10,000 IUs daily.

Everyone I know who has the D test is deficient due to the global advertising of "anti ageing" skin creams and "Skin Cancer" campaigns.

Further info here:

Jun 26, 2013
Am I taking too much progesterone?
by: JL

Hi Mary

Well it is rather difficult for anyone to advise if you are using too much as you have not stated how much progesterone you are currently using. I would take a guess and say, less than 100mg/3ml which is why your symptoms have returned.

Also do you know what your vitamin D level is as a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone, it is vital as it is connected to every single cell in our bodies.

Take care.

Jun 27, 2013
Am I taking too much progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Mary I know all about the funk you were in, I too spent time wondering about the point of life. Progesterone saved me too. Although your progesterone showed higher than normal, understandable, it's not as high as those found in our Saliva Tests. It can go much higher too, see here. If you know your oestrogen levels you can work out the ratio, this will give a better clue about your symptoms. They could well be out of balance, and reducing progesterone is not going to help. You ask if you are using too much progesterone, but don't say how much are you using! Your June gloom in March indicates your vitamin D is too low. A lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. In fact it's a waste to use progesterone unless vitamin D levels are high. Please have a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the following websites, Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L, and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Take care Wray

Jun 28, 2013
Vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Liz Love your reply. Thanks for the support! It is the single most important nutrient there is, sounds traitorous coming from me. Although on second thoughts you could throw progesterone in, as I've found the two not only work synergistically but have the same or similar action in the body. I'm not sure if I've given you the page I did on Progesterone and Vitamin D comparing the two. Take care Wray

Jul 06, 2013
I think I found the link!
by: Mary in San Diego

Thank you all so much for the feedback because it made me dig further into the other links to Vit D deficiency and guess what? I traced this relapse back to when the "June Gloom" started her (only this year it started in March) AND I also started supplementing with more OTC cholesterol reducing supplements. So! I have started on the Vit D drops and will build up to 10Kui/daily (I originally was taking Kirklands 5K capsule) and see what happens.
I would like to ask if these hormone levels look right. I had a saliva test done and to the best of my calculations I seem to be pretty close to Wrays' recommended ratio of 600:1 for the progesterone to oestrogens:



E1-ESTRIONE 9/depressed



P1-PROGESTERONE >2000 Reference range for this one indicated HRT Target Range: 100-300 pg/ml



I currently take 10mg tablet of estriol vaginally (3x/week) and 1 gram of compounded 3% progesterone topically (daily)-which when measured out comes out to 1/8 tsp.
So once again I wonder if I am taking the right amount of hormones?
Thank you everyone!

Jul 12, 2013
I think I found the link!
by: Wray

Hi Mary Glad you looked into the vitamin D, and you're going to take the 10,000iu/day. I'm sure you'll find this makes a difference. I did tell you the March gloom was probably due to low vitamin D. Levels fall over winter. Yes your ratio of P:E2 is good, about 666:1. We do have a Hormone Testing page you could look through. I'm really puzzled your progesterone is so high, if you're only using about 20mg/day. JL did suggest you were using too little if you had those symptoms. It could be just a lack of vitamin D causing them, it would be interesting to hear if it has helped when your levels get higher. It says your free testosterone is too high, so this could be another reason for them. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone and severe PMS. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, processed milk and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Take care Wray

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.

Search over 7,500 pages on this site...