Bad side effects... 1st month on Prog Cream

by Alice
(California - USA)

Hello, I just started 50ml Prog Cream last month from a compounding pharmacy. Day 15-28. Stopped and got my period the next day.

Side effects I'm getting is...Weight gain (6lbs in two wks), Severe breast tenderness, sweet/carb cravings, increased appetite, 1 Migraine, emotional, tearful, fatigue, un-rested feeling (no matter how much sleep I get), low somber mood, irritated, no energy. Oh and I had a bad hot flash the other night and I'm only 36. I know that's what it had to be.

The reason I'm prescribed this is I'm estrogen dominant. Prob due to 14 yrs straight on BCP. I also take DIM & Vitex. The Vitex is new too and I think some of these side effects could be from that because I started it a month before prog cream. I got 1 migrine too that month and was also very emotional and tearful.

It's all unlike me. I don't cry for no reason. And the only time I've ever had migraines was when I was on Yasmin BCP. I'm very active, energetic, healthy 118 lbs. So for me to put on 6 lbs and be sooooo lethargic is strange.

Let me tell you the other things I'm on too because my story is a little more complicated. I also suffer from hormonal cystic acne along jaw/chin. I have been on Spironolactone for 5 years. I suffer bad side effects from the Spiro. (that's a whole nother topic though). So I'm trying to wean down spiro and replace it with saw palmetto.

So I'm on Spiro, Saw Palmetto, Vitex, DIM, Prog Cream, Vit D, Omega's, Zinc, Psylisium husk, probiotics.

What do you think of taking all this stuff together? I'm concerned abt the Vitex mostly. Should I take more prog cream to speed up the initial process? Do you think these side effects will go away?

thx... sorry that was long.


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Nov 06, 2012
I feel your pain!
by: Deanna

I think you just described my entire life! I too was on the spiro for Acne. It's a good idea to get off if it. 5 years is a long time to be on it. I am not in the medical profession what so ever so that is just my opinion. I too just started the progesterone cream and experienced all of those same symptoms. If you read other post you'll see your not alone. Just started my secon month and I am finally loosing the weight I gained. But I am on a much higher dose. Wray is awesome and very knowledgable so please read her comments and take her advise. I was lucky enough to find someone who prescribed the correct dose for me from the beginning. Hang in there it will get better.

Nov 07, 2012
I feel your pain!
by: Wray

Hi Deanna Bless you for the kind words! I'm so delighted you're feeling better, and the weight is coming off. I so wish women weren't advised to use such low amounts of progesterone, it only gives it a bad name. Take care Wray

Nov 07, 2012
Bad side effects... 1st month on Prog Cream
by: Wray

Hi Alice As Deanna says, she used to take spiro, but I'm pleased you're weaning off it, see here, here, here, here and here. Do you normally have a 28 day cycle? Or were you forced into that cycle length by the pill? Have you only just come off the Contraceptive? As that in itself can cause major problems. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, so to my mind the 50mg/day is causing many of the problems. If too low it stimulates oestrogen, hence the weight gain, Migraines, carb cravings, Breast Tenderness, fatigue and more. I feel with all those symptoms you will need at least 200mg/day. DIM is good, but the vitex does have mild oestrogenic properties. Levels of 17 beta-oestradiol can increase. One study found mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in the luteal phase, see here. All the other nutrients you take are good, but I wouldn't bother with the saw palmetto. Continued below

Nov 07, 2012
Bad side effects... 1st month on Prog Cream Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Alice High testosterone initiates Acne. 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. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy 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. Large meals, particularly those with a high sugar content, reduce progesterone, so there's nothing to stop SHBG dropping, a vicious cycle. And are you taking enough vitamin D, it should be a minimum of 5000iu's per day. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here.

Nov 07, 2012
Vitex
by: Dan

I think you should not take Vitex, check out the side effects! Saw Palmetto 320 mg standardized a day won't hurt you and will help with the acne. Read this!

Vitex
What is Vitex?

Vitex is a plant found in Asia and in Mediterranean countries. The part used medicinally is the dried fruit. Other names for it include Vitex agnus castus, Agnus castus, chaste tree, and monk's pepper.

Why People Use Vitex

Vitex was used as a traditional folk remedy for a range of female conditions, such as post-partum hemorrhage and to help with the "passing of afterbirth". One of its alternate names, "chaste tree", comes from the historical belief that it can suppress libido.

Vitex does not actually contain hormones. It appears to increase progesterone by stimulating the release of a hormone called luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland. Vitex is also thought to normalize excessive prolactin levels and promote fertility.
•Female infertility
•PMS, especially breast tenderness, cramping, and headaches
•Acne, especially if it is related to the menstrual cycle
•Fibrocystic breast disease
•Heavy menstruation
•Menopausal symptoms

Side Effects and Safety Concerns

More common side effects include mild digestive upset or skin rash. Other side effects may include rapid heartbeat, hair loss, headache, dry mouth, nausea, rash, itching and bleeding between periods.

Vitex is not recommended during pregnancy. It shouldn't be used by nursing women unless under the guidance of a qualified health professional.

People with hormone dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, uterus or prostate shouldn't take vitex.

Small amounts of vitex could increase the production of breast milk in post-partum women. High doses may have the opposite effect and decrease the production of breast milk.

Vitex may affect levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. People with Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, or any other condition in which dopamine levels are affected should avoid vitex unless under the supervision of a qualified health professional.

Possible Interactions

Vitex may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives or female hormone replacement. It could also theoretically increase the risk of side effects.

Vitex could interfere with the effectiveness of drugs that increase dopamine, such as bromocriptine, cabergoline, carbidopa-levodopa, Mirapex or Requip, or decrease dopamine, such as chlorpromazine, clozapine (Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), metoclopramide (Reglan), Risperdal, Seroquel, thioridazine, trifluoperazine or Zyprexa.

Nov 07, 2012
Reply to Deanna....
by: Alice

Deanna, thx for the reply. How much Prog Cream are you on? I'm calling my Dr today cuz I'm supposed to start my next cycle on friday. I want to take more to get all of these side effects over with already. All I can say is thank god it's November. A little easier to accept the "temporary" weight gain. :-)

Also.... how long were you on the Spiro? What dose? And what happened when you stopped? I went from 100mg down to 50mg for a few months because I experience BAD anxiety, mood swings & depression from the Spiro. At 50mg I felt AMAZING! Like my normal self. But then the Cysts came raging back. It's taken me 5 months to get as clear as I was before. Back on 100mg. This wk I dropped to 75mg though. Hoping that helps w my mood and I stay clear.

Nov 09, 2012
THANKS WRAY!
by: Alice

Wray, Thank you for the response. I really appreciate it. :)

To ans some of your questions.... I was on BCP from 17 - 30 years old. I'm 36 now. So I've been off for 6 years. I've always had bad acne. It was controlled by BCP all those years. So when I stopped at 30 my skin went nuts! My Dr put me on Spiro. It gave me the clearest skin I had ever had my whole life! Without the Spiro my skin is a disgusting OILY mess with painful cysts along jaw/chin. It effects me in the most negative way causing severe insecurities and anxiety. When my skin is clear I feel like a different person so this is VERY important to me.

If you don't recommend Spiro then what do you advise for hormonal cystic acne? I've done a TON of research and the only thing I see that really works is Spiro. And why no saw palmetto? I'm taking that because it is supposed to do the same thing Spiro does. And hopefully I can take less Spiro. ???

So in more basic terms what your saying is that progesterone will keep testosterone levels low. But my diet could reverse this? Do you have any other sites I can look at with info on this?

As far as my diet. What can I eat then if I can't eat grains, fruit or vegetables? I'm confused.

Most days my diet consists of lots of veggies, fruit, lean protein, nuts, grains. I do not eat dairy hardly ever. I eat mostly organic. I'm not always perfect and do indulge in sweets like once a week.

I take 5000 IU's of Vit D.

I guess my cycle is kinda normal. I track it so here are my cycles the past year..... 27 days, 37, 27, 23, 35, 25, 28, 18, 26, 25, 30. So what do you think? is that normal? I know the spiro can mess with your cycle somewhat but it seems pretty normal to me with the exception of the 18 day one.

And can U give me more info on the Vitex? Ur saying it raises estrogen?

Thx Again! :-)

Nov 10, 2012
THANKS WRAY!
by: Wray

Hi Alice The only thing I can advise about the acne, is what I suggested. At least 200mg/day progesterone, probably more. It is trial and error, so you have to play around with the amount. It's always best to start high to overcome any Oestrogen Dominance. So possibly 400mg/day might be a better place to start. I'm currently helping another with acne, she was given cyproterone acetate, a supposed anti-androgen, which actually has androgenic properties. So too does spiro. She's now avoiding all grains, eating protein and green veggies. Avoiding all the sweet, starchy veggies and fruits, and using progesterone and vitamin D. So far she's doing well, had only one spot break out. She applied the progesterone to it and by the next day it had gone. I'm not saying this would work as well for everyone, but it's worth a try, rather than taking a drug to treat the symptom and not the cause. Please note I said all 'sweet, starchy' fruits and veggies, not all of them. So diet does play a very big role, see here, here and here. You might like to look through the Paleo Diet web site. Dr Cordain has studied extant hunter gatherers and there was not one case of acne. The link can be found on our Nutrition page. He believes, as many do now, that no human should be eating grains of any kind. You could look at Dr Mercola's site too, he also believes this, and has brought out a book called the 'No Grain Diet'. It might the an idea to increase your vitamin D substantially, to 10,000 or 20,000iu's per day. It's always best to have a test done first to find your level. There's no doubt vitamin D does help too, see here, here, here, here and here. Continued below

Nov 10, 2012
THANKS WRAY! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Alice Keeping track of your cycle is very helpful. It's very erratic, there's a 19 day variation, from 18 days to 37 days, both outside the normal range. There should be no more than 1-3 days between each. And in fact makes me suspect you could have PCOS. Has anyone checked for this? It would certainly explain the high testosterone and acne. Everyone, including the medical profession, thinks every woman has a 28 day cycle, it's simply not true. A normal cycle can vary between 21 to 35 days, making 28 days the average only, anything outside this is considered abnormal. That might sound confusing, it means women could have a 21 day cycle, i.e. bleeding occurs every 21 days, varying by 1-3 days. Others a 35 day cycle, i.e. bleeding every 35 days, varying by 1-3 days. Certainly not a 19 day variation. The problem began with the pill manufacturers, as they package their pills in 28 day cycles for their convenience. This forces all women, irrespective of their cycle length into a 28 day cycle. You want more info on vitex. Agnus castus doesn't contain progesterone. It's active constituents are the essential oils limonene, cineol, pinene, and sabinene. The iridoid glycosides aucubin, agnuside, and eurostide. The flavonoids casticin, kaempferol, quercetagetin, orientin, and isovitexin. And the diterpenes vitexilactone, rotundifuran, and 6-beta,7 beta-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-dien. It also contains several essential fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. It's used for PMS, mastalgia, menstrual irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, reducing prolactin, increasing lactation and more. These are a few more papers, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Continued below

Nov 10, 2012
THANKS WRAY! Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Alice I don't say it raises oestrogen, studies have found it does. Dan has given you more info too. But where the informant got this from 'It appears to increase progesterone by stimulating the release of a hormone called luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland.', heaven only knows! LH doesn't stimulate progesterone production, judging by the sequence of the hormones around ovulation, it appears that progesterone actually stimulates LH release. As the LH rise only 'occurred 12 h after the initiation of a rapid rise of P4, see here. LH stimulates the release of the ovum from the follicle, i.e. causes ovulation. Thereafter the follicle, now called the corpus luteum, secretes progesterone. Unlike any other system in the body, where a negative feedback occurs, progesterone synthesis and secretion is stimulated by progesterone, see here. Take care Wray

Nov 12, 2012
Thx Wray~
by: Alice

Hi Wray, Your info is so helpful. Thank you!

I get what your saying about Diet now. I know that when I eat too much sugar that I feel bad physically. I have friends that are full Paleo and LOVE it. They look and feel amazing. I need to look into it more. Do you know if you can eat Sweet Potato on Paleo?

I've wondered if I have PCOS because of the Acne. But I don't have any other symptoms. I don't have weird hair growth, I don't have hair loss on my head, Although you say my cycle is erratic... I always have a period and they are 100% painless & light-medium flow for 5-7 days. I don't have weight issues, I've never had Ovarian cysts, My glucose is always normal, I have low cholesterol. My DHEA is very low, So other than the Acne ~ PCOS just doesn't seem to fit my symptoms.

A little about my Dr. I live in Newport Beach California and go to one of the best Naturopaths in this area. She was featured in Susan Summers book "Knockout" as a preferred provider for Bio Identicals. And also in Jenny Mcarthy's book on Autism. So I know I'm in good hands. I know there are alot of Dr's out there who don't know alot about hormones but I don't think she is one of them.

I want so badly for Progesterone cream to be the answer for me. But the side effects I have been feeling are so intense that my Dr told me to stop for now. :( She told me to Continue the DIM & Vitex. And wants me to ADD Calcium D Glucarate. What are your thoughts on this??? She said it helps your body rid excess estrogen's. ??? I think she told me to Stop Prog Cream because I was freaking out abt the weight gain. It's NOT an option for me. I told her abt this site and what you said "that I may need MORE Prog cream in the beginning to help make it the dominant hormone". She said yes there is some truth to that. But she is afraid that I'll have a cpl bad months of more weight gain and doesn't want to put me thru that. I'm upset about it all. But I'm going to do what she says because I'm spending so much money to see her. I gotta follow her plan. I'm starting the Calcium D Glucarate today and will see her in a cpl months for new blood work. She said lets work on getting the estrogen down a little more and when I see her next we can discuss trying the Prog Cream again at a different dose.

I will also say that I feel a MILLION times better now a few weeks off the Prog cream. I have 3 lbs more to lose. And all the other weird symptoms are gone.

And the Vitex... So Dan said that side effects of Vitex are this... "More common side effects include mild digestive upset or skin rash. Other side effects may include rapid heartbeat, hair loss, headache, dry mouth, nausea, rash, itching and bleeding between periods". I don't have any of those side effects either. I read so many GOOD things abt Vitex. So I need to research this more.
Cont...








Nov 12, 2012
cont....
by: Alice

Oh and these are my Labs. What do you think? She always has me draw my blood on day 21 of my cycle. So in August of 2011 I started DIM & took Prog PILLS for a several months. So that could explain the drop in Estradiol & rise in Progesterone. The Aug 2012 I had been off the Prog Pills so it explains the drop again.

8-13-2012
Progesterone – 1.24

4-26-2012
Progesterone - 3.53
Vitamin D - 57.3
Estradiol - 137
Testosterone – 37
Free Testosterone - 0.15
DHEA – 48

8-11-11
Progesterone – 2.7
Vitamin D – 39
Estradiol – 456
Testosterone – 18
Free Testosterone – 0.6


And again I really really Appreciate all of your advice. It all makes sense. I will definitely be talking to my Dr in depth about all my research over the next cpl months. I know that balancing these hormones will take time, trial & error. This site is extremely helpful!

Nov 13, 2012
Thx Wray~
by: Wray

Hi Alice I suggest you do look into the Paleo diet, it does make the most sense of them all, and is easy to follow. Potatoes are a no-no on the Paleo, I would imagine sweet potatoes would be a better choice, but they are mostly carbs. Acne doesn't cause PCOS. Oxidative stress causes it, high testosterone exacerbates it, and causes the acne. If you don't have the other symptoms for PCOS then you probably don't have it. I explained why you were having the side effects on the progesterone, because you weren't using enough. 50mg/day is enough to stimulate oestrogen and make you put on weight plus the emotional issues. So it doesn't surprise me at all you feel better without it! Use enough and you won't have those symptoms. Have a look at other comments on the site, see here, here and here. She's right about the C-D-G, it does help reduce oestrogen. Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is one of the major detoxification pathways of the liver. It removes carcinogens, toxins, tumour promoters, the sex hormones ie, the androgens and oestrogens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, aromatic and heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, various nitrosamines, drugs, fungi etc. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase reverses the glucuronidation process. It breaks the glucoronide bond between a toxin and glucuronic acid, and releases carcinogens, toxins and excess steroid hormones back into circulation. There's evidence beta-glucuronidase activity is increased in breast and prostate cancer. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here, here, here and here. Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Silymarin from milk thistle also inhibits beta-glucuronidase, plus it helps the liver detox. Continue taking the vitex, you wanted my opinion on it, and I gave it. Continued below

Nov 13, 2012
Thx Wray~ Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Alice I don't recommend any oestrogenic herb beyond milk thistle, as the advantages to that far out weigh the possible disadvantages. Day 21 is when progesterone should be tested for, although your cycle is so erratic it would be impossible to gauge each month accurately. Your 8-11-11 progesterone to oestradiol ratio is 6:1. Your 4-26-2012 progesterone to oestradiol ratio is 25:1. We've found from Saliva Tests a naturopath runs for us, that a ratio of 600:1 and over is needed to feel well. When I had my one and only test done 15 years ago, my ratio was 5:1 and I was a basket case! Yours wasn't much better at 6:1, no wonder you don't feel well. Glad the site has helped you! Take care Wray

Nov 13, 2012
Even the best doctors can be wrong
by: Susie

Hi Alice,

I don't know how much of this progesterone therapy site you have read but if you have not read all the links on the left side of the page then you really should do so. It has a wealth of information about progesterone in our bodies and more importantly the truth about REAL natural progesterone cream and the differences between natural P/cream and all the other forms including bio identicals. I think if you will take the time, and it does take time there is a lot of information to read, a light will go on in your head. It did for me. I also had to go back and re-read things again because there is so much wonderful information.

I really understand about your confidence in your doctor but doctors do not always know everything. You can put a group of the truely best doctors in the world together and they will argue about different medical treatments. I am surprised that your doctor advised you to take any suplaments because aside from a multi vitiman they are not taught about them in medical school. Their knowledge of suplaments has to come from their own personal research. Since no prescription is involved in suplaments most do not bother with prescribing them.

I am happy your doctor told you to take a suplaments that helps the body to get riis of estrogen. I hope you are taking at least 2000 mgs/day. I beg you to try the Natpro brand of natural progesterone cream in the amount Wray suggested. She can direct you with the amount needed and how often to apply. It is so simple. Natpro natural progesterone cream will not cause you to gain weight or stop you from losing weight.

It takes ttreating the underlying problem for it to go away. Just treating the symptoms and your problem will never go away plus there are the side effects that Always acompany prescription medication. I am not against taking prescription meds. I take them myself for high blood pressure. I am however working on trying to reduce my high blood pressure so that one day soon I can stop taking the BP meds.

I do however realize that you want to treat your symptoms. What woman would not go to lengths to control acne? I do have a suggestion on something to try for the acne that will not hurt you in any way and is inexpensive and easy to use. If you try it and you see no difference then just stop using it. I am not suggesting this will cure why you have the acne but it could help the appearance of the acne.


Nov 13, 2012
Even doctors can be wrong continued....
by: Susie

Continued......

Have you ever read about magnesium defficancy? There is less magnesium now in the foods we eat then there was 100 yrs ago due to the pollution of the earth. As a result more people are becoming magnesium defficent. Magnesium taken in a pill form does not get fully absorbed. It also can cause the undesirable side effect of diareah. The best way to get the most magnesium is transdermal. Using either a magnesium cream or oil on the skin or soaking your feet in magnesium oil or bath flakes mixed with water for about 20 to 30 minuets/day. Best part besides getting the best apsorbsion is no diareah. You also can get the largest does with the bath flakes. Any magnesium your body does not need, your body will get rid of so no worry about getting too much.

You actually need magnesium along with calcium and vitiman K and boron to fully metabolize vitiman D when taking that in a suplament form. If you are going to take a vitiman D suplament try Dr Canelle's formula (he is the head of the vitamin D council ) you can look it up on line. I think it is from Purity products suplaments.

Try using magnesium lotion (from Acient Minerals brand) on your acne. It is worth a try and the magnesium is good for you. You can also rub it on your feet and legs at night before bed to get more magnesium into your system if you are low in magnesium. Putting the lotion on your acne is not a cure for the underlying reason you have the acne like to much tostesterone but it is just a possible treatment for the symptom of the acne. It is natural and not a prescription drug and can't hurt you or cause a bad side effect. It is fairly inexpensive at about $16 or so for a lg bottle of the lotion. I got mine on amazon.

I want to go back again and say please, please try the Natpro natural progesterone cream in the dose Wray recommended for you. Give it a few weeks, it really will work for you and the best part is it can't hurt you and you don't need a prescription for it. Keep taking the suplament your doctor recommended for flushing out estrogen.

Nov 14, 2012
Even the best doctors can be wrong
by: Wray

Hi Susie To start with I'd like to thank you for the wonderful things you said about the Natpro and the site! That's so appreciated and makes my work worthwhile. You mention taking vitamin D to Alice, so I'm assuming you also take it. But are you taking enough and have you had a blood test done? The reason I ask is a lack of vitamin D causes the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system to kick in. Angiostensin (ANG) causes blood vessels to constrict, so BP goes up. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone. Aldosterone production causes sodium to be drawn into the tissues, which causes water to be retained, so BP goes up. A sharp drop in blood glucose causes adrenaline to increase. Stress also causes adrenaline to increase. Excess adrenaline causes the heart to beat too fast so BP goes up. A lack of nitric oxide causes blood vessels to constrict, so BP goes up. The precursor to NO is arginine, this amino acid is also a powerful antioxidant. NO is potent vasodilator. Progesterone increases the production of NO, it also inhibits aldosterone. Progesterone itself is also a potent vasodilator. Lack of salt causes the aldosterone system to kick in to prevent it's loss. But this causes water to be retained, so BP goes up. Interestingly, in pregnancy blood volume goes up by about 40%, cardiac output increases, but BP does not go up. The reason being progesterone, more specifically it's most potent metabolite allopregnanolone, inhibits the ANG system, and causes NO to increase, see here. The precursor to ANG is angiotensinogen, which is produced by the liver. Angiotensinogen is increased by corticosteroids, oestrogen, thyroid hormone, and angiotensin itself. Stress causes cortisol to increase, cortisol is a corticosteroid. So which is it?! So pleased you mentioned the importance of Mg and vitamin K. This is the link to the supps Dr Cannell recommends, see here. Mg is absorbed transdermally, see here. Although Ancient Minerals is a good product, it's far cheaper to buy a 50lb bag of Mg sulphate (Epsom Salts) from a farmers co-op. Then throw two or more handfuls into a bath, I do this every night. For a really good Mg bath you need 2 cups of Mg and a hot bath, and soak for an hour! Please come back to me if I've made any sense re your high BP. Take care Wray

Nov 16, 2012
Reply to Susie... & Another Question for Wray..
by: Alice

Thx for Your info Susie. I'll definitely look into the Magnesium Lotion. I'm OPEN to try anything that could help my Acne. The pain and humiliation I go through is devastating. That's why I take the Spiro. Even thought it's not the best.... it keeps me clear and I'm able to LIVE my life. When my face is a mess I cry, cry, cry and am crippled with terrible anxiety and never want to leave my house. :(

About my Dr. She is NOT a MD. She is an ND. Naturopathic doctor. She does NOT take insurance there for she is not governed by their rules. She only prescribes prescription medication when necessary. She is not opposed to it if needed. She has given me many prescription meds. My Spiro included. But our goal is to get me off. We are trying to heal my body and set everything straight so it operates properly. This doesn't happen overnight as you all know. Naturopathic medicine is more about Prevention because it involves a wellness-oriented diet, lifestyle change and supplements. So this is why she has me on all those supplements. She doesn't make money from prescription drug companies so she is not pushing meds. She makes money from office visits. It's not cheap to see her either. But worth it.

I am sure that we will get the Progesterone straight. She WANTS me on it. I have new blood drawn after the holidays and then will revisit her. I know that the more info I gather on my own and the more informed I am when I see her again will be beneficial. That's why I'm on this site asking for help. I read ALOT and value what Wray has told me. I am printing alot of this info and bringing it with me to my next visit. I will try the cream again and prob at a higher dose. The thing is that I am a FREAK abt my weight. It's the holidays and I have alot of events. I live in Southern California where it is still hot so I can't cover up in bulky sweaters. Weight gain is NOT an option. That's why my Dr stopped me for now.

And Wray... Susie mentioned there is a difference between Natural Progesterone cream & Bio-Identical? I understand the difference between synthetic progesterone. But I thought Natural & Bio-Identical were the same. Can you explain? I'm confused.

Thanks again!

And Susie... I really appreciate your advice. Like I said... I do read everything. Word for Word and am taking it all in. :)




Nov 17, 2012
Reply to Susie... & Another Question for Wray..
by: Wray

Hi Alice I appreciate your concerns, particularly about the weight gain. But if you read through those who do get it, all of them have been recommended 20-40mg/day, which would cause it. This page here is worth looking through. Mateja has asthma. I know progesterone helps this, but I was overly cautious with her, as it can exacerbate it initially. The last thing I needed was her being rushed to the hospital with an asthma attack. I should have told her to go very high immediately, but I didn't. And she put on even more weight. I explained my position to her, she was under a doctors care and I don't like to interfere, particularly with something like asthma. Once she realised this, she said she was going it alone as the doctors hadn't help her at all, plus she'd read all the papers I'd given her which had convinced her of it's benefits. So I then told her to increase the amount to 500mg/day, and it worked. She stopped getting the asthma attacks, didn't need her inhaler and stopped putting on weight. I put 'Bio-Identical' into 'find' and only come up with your mention of it, not Susie. But there is no difference, they are the same. It's a term I dislike as progesterone is progesterone is progesterone. If it's not, it's a progestin, there's a world of difference between the two, as the molecule has been changed. Unfortunately doctors use the word progesterone to mean a progestin, which only makes it more confusing! Take care Wray

Nov 17, 2012
Wray...
by: Alice

Yea Susie said this.... it was in the very first paragraph, 2nd sentence.....

"It has a wealth of information about progesterone in our bodies and more importantly the truth about REAL natural progesterone cream and the differences between natural P/cream and all the other forms including bio identicals"

That confused me. Because I thought they were the same. I definitely know that progestin's are BAD!

Thanks for clearing that up.

I am definitely going to try again with the cream at a higher dose. I am going to wait til my January cycle though after I see my Dr. I will discuss all of this with her. And if she doesn't agree for some reason then I may decide to try on my own and see what happens. I know it's going to take some trial and error. I feel good now and just want to make it thru the holidays because I have a very busy event filled December. :-)

Thanks again soooo much!

I'll come back on here and let you all know how it goes when I restart. Take care!



Nov 18, 2012
Wray...
by: Wray

Hi Alice You're quite right! But I'm glad I cleared that up. I do agree about not upsetting things now, as it can be a bumpy road to begin with. As you've discovered for yourself. Whenever you feel like trying it again, and need advice, please write in. There are always women who will support you too. And I hope December goes well for you, sounds hectic! Take care Wray

Apr 15, 2013
Update?
by: Ashley

Hi Alice, I'm new to this and reading thru all these comments. Your story was interesting and similar to mine, so I'd love to get an update....are you still on natural progesterone cream? What are your symptoms like? Anything you'd like to share would be helpful :) Thank you!

Apr 24, 2013
Reply to Ashley...
by: Alice

Hi Ashley, I am not on the Progesterone Cream anymore. If you read the whole thread...My Dr stopped the cream due to bad side effects. Weight gain being the worst.

Well since then I still have been unable to lose the weight I gained in those two weeks on the cream. It's crazy! I weigh the most I've ever weighed and it won't budge. I've done some extreme dieting too.

My progesterone is super low and I know that I need to get the number up but the thought of gaining even one more pound is unbearable. So I'm at a loss of what to do. :( I feel awful mentally & physically.

Apr 25, 2013
Hi Alice
by: Ashley

Hi there, wow! Same here...I was only on it for three weeks...gained seven pounds that WILL NOT BUDGE. I have been dieting and exercising for weeks and I mean I cannot lose an ounce (my scale includes ounces). It's the strangest thing I've ever seen....never have I had so much trouble when truly trying to lose weight. It's always come right off when I do try. It leads me to believe that the progesterone could have caused my ovarian cysts to swell up again. At one time (2009) the largest 2 were 8 cm each!! Over the next few years they shrunk and shrunk and my last ultrasound a few years ago they were 1.5 & 2 cm I believe. So I'm wondering if this could be part of the "weight"...b/c we all know it's too much estrogen that causes them to grow and I had major estrogen dominance when using the progesterone cream. Am seeing Dr. on Tues; will update after that. As far as being miserable, there are some things you can do to naturally raise your progesterone. Let me know if you're not sure what they are and I will write back :) Thanks for the reply! I totally understand how you are feeling, especially with this weight gain!!!

Apr 26, 2013
Reply to Ashley...
by: Wray

Hi Alice I'm sorry you're feeling so awful, please consider using progesterone again, but using far more. I suggest you start with 400mg/day, but this must be in a form which is absorbed well, creams, suppositories or injections. You had been using only 50mg/day via a cream, you also tried oral which is the least effective Delivery system. We have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. The extreme dieting won't help, as it's not a question of calories in, calories out. This is such nonsense. Oestrogen is a mitogen causing cells to proliferate, including fat cells. These also secrete oestrogen so a vicious cycle starts. Unless this is addressed no amount of exercise or dieting will help. Have you had another vitamin D test done? Your last test a year ago showed 57.3mg/ml, it could have dropped since then if you haven't been taking at least 5000iu per day. It should be between 70-100ng/ml. A lack of vitamin D causes weight gain, I did give you all those papers. This has to be addressed before weight loss can occur. Plus a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone. In fact it's pointless even using progesterone if your level isn't high enough. Progesterone does stimulate metabolism slightly so it will help, but only if enough is used. Excess testosterone causes weight gain, see here and here. This has to be addressed before weight loss can occur. Progesterone does suppress both oestrogen and testosterone. Finally there are obesogens in our environment now. These disturb metabolism to the point we gain weight, see here, here, here and here. The last paper is very long, enter 'obesogens' into control/find to get to the reference to them. This has to be addressed for weight loss to occur. So it's nothing to do with calories in, calories out. You might like to read this book about it, see here. Take care Wray

Apr 26, 2013
Reply to Ashley and Alice
by: JL

Hi Ashley and Alice

Just a question! Have you both read this entire thread and the links that Wray has provided?

I am asking because it has been mentioned so many times that by using too little progesterone cream will cause adverse symptoms i.e. estrogen dominance symptoms and weight gain is one of them. Nothing LESS than 100mg/3ml per day is the required amount. However, depending on how severe ones symptoms are, more progesterone cream will be needed. Various website/blogs and pharmacies will advise to use between 20mg - 40mg this is incorrect and merely makes matters worse. If you have not done so, already please read Wray's Estrogen Dominance page see here. Alice the bad side effects that you experienced where all due to estrogen dominance symptoms. All you need to do is to use progesterone cream correctly and you will soon fell much better.

Another thing that is mentioned so many times on Wray's site is vitamin D, a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone. If your vitamin D level is low then you are wasting your time!

It is so important to read the research papers that Wray provides as they will also explain things to you.

Hope this helps you both.





Hi Ashley, I am not on the Progesterone Cream anymore. If you read the whole thread...My Dr stopped the cream due to bad side effects. Weight gain being the worst.

Well since then I still have been unable to lose the weight I gained in those two weeks on the cream. It's crazy! I weigh the most I've ever weighed and it won't budge. I've done some extreme dieting too.

My progesterone is super low and I know that I need to get the number up but the thought of gaining even one more pound is unbearable. So I'm at a loss of what to do. :( I feel awful mentally & physically.


Apr 26, 2013
Thank you...
by: Alice

Thanks everyone for all your comments. I appreciate it. And Wray thanks for the papers you attached... I will read them all.

Yes Wray I am taking Vit D 5000 iu's daily.

I actually did do the cream that was prescribed and I got from a compounding pharmacy. That is what made me gain the weight and have all those side effects. I did take pills years ago and didn't really feel much from it.

I'm tempted to try the cream again at the high dose but am so scared to gain more weight.

Right now I'm trying to get my estrogen down.
... I'm still taking DIM & Calcium D Glucarate to help lower my bad estrogens. I am also doing my very best at limiting Xenoestrogens.

I was on Vitex but I stopped because I thought it was contributing to the weight gain. Wray I know you aren't a fan of the Vitex anyway.

Ashley... what are the natural ways your talking about to raise Progesterone?

Thanks again for all your input. :)

Apr 27, 2013
Thank you...
by: Wray

Hi Alice Yes I realised you used the compounded cream, but it was only 50mg/day. This is what caused the weight gain as it stimulates oestrogen and will continue to do so. You need a far higher amount to stop this and prevent the weight gain. The best way to lower oestrogen is via progesterone. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone and oestrogen become inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone and oestrogen 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 and subsequently oestrogen to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Wine and beers contain carbs, so it's best to avoid those too. Plus alcohol affects hormone levels in women, see here and here. It decreases progesterone levels and increases androgen levels, both the total testosterone and free testosterone become higher. Testosterone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, which causes abdominal fat gain, see here and here. The lowered progesterone, higher testosterone and oestrogen probably accounts for the increased risk in breast cancer risk among women, see here and here. Higher testosterone and oestrogen are also associated with an increased risk for Insulin Resistance and heart disease, see here. Sugars and large meals also drop progesterone levels, see here. Plus insulin drops levels too, see here. This means SHBG also drops, testosterone and oestrogen rise, another vicious cycle. I hope you come right soon. Take care Wray

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