Beansprout

by Beansprout

Hi.

I just turned 50. Reading through the forum i have reason to believe that i've suffered from hormonal imbalance, specifically, estrogen dominance for years. Especially, following the post-partum time after each one of my three babies where at right around the 6 week follow up exam I would start experiencing panic, feelings of anxiety, extreme weight gain, hair loss. Surprisingly, no doctor ever mentioned the possibility of estrogen dominance and my life, the depression, the anxiety at times were almost intolerable. But the years passed and at some point through regular exercise and organic eating cutting out all meat and becoming vegetarian seemed to help and even alleviate those symptoms.

I had my last baby at 37, surgically, at which time i also had my tubes tied having no idea at the time that the minute this is done it signals the ovaries to stop producing progesterone. Thus, the evil cycle began all over again. But this time, being older, it seemed like an impossible task to get the weight off. I had been insulin resistant and the weight just refused to budge. Again, not one doctor ever pointed at low progesterone as being the culprit. I was too stressed, a busy mom, I simply need to "learn to relax". Looking back I think I kind of resent that now. Our intuitive instincts are much more accurate than we think and I wish I had trusted mine a little more and insisted that something was indeed wrong instead of suffering for the past 12 years the way I have.

So I've been perimenopausal for quite sometime. Regular periods, but I never knew when to expect them, how long they would last, if they would be light, simply spotting, sometimes heavy, sometimes extremely heavy with tons of clots to the point i would have to stay close to home and close to a bathroom to prevent accidents.

For the past 4 years, my periods (usually 30-35 days apart) started coming every 45 days, sometimes 65 days, sometimes 26 days apart, very erratic and extremely heavy flow and clotting accompanied by hot flashes and night sweats.

Most recently, I feel like both my estrogen and progesterone (just after the time of ovulation) completely hit bottom because my anxiety went through the roof literally overnight plunging me into a world of hell along with loss of appetite, restless energy, several flashes (sometimes back to back)throughout the day and sometimes throughout the night making worsening the feelings of anxiety nearly to the point of panic. So I would pace, step outside, rinse my face, trying to remind myself to just breathe. The lack of sleep then created another vicious cycle.

Someone recommended progesterone cream and it, so far, has been a godsend. Very calming, fewer hot flashes, somedays I don't experience any. My period started 4 days ago and has been very light and manageable. I'm sleeping and eating better, too. And I'm back to exercising again each night to help keep any anxiety away.

I'm currently taking a 20 mg pump of progesterone as often as i feel necessary. At the first sign of anxiousness (which usually proceeds a hot flash) and I find that my symptoms quickly reverse and usually within just minutes. I'm choosing to use the progesterone continually for the first couple of months just to restore what has been depleted and then will start using it from the 7th day of my cycle (if i get one) and so forth and so on.

I'm taking a good magnesium drink supplement (twice daily), Complex B vitamin containing B12 (twice daily), a 2000 IU of Vitamin D (twice daily), 1000 mg of Vitamin C (twice daily) and MSM powder.

I eat organically and meat-free.

A few questions:

1) Is it lower estrogen or progesterone causing the anxiety?

2) At this point, would progesterone with phytoestrogens be more beneficial since I suspect that my estrogen has bottomed out.

3) Or should I start using a bioidentical estrogen cream in addition to the progesterone cream.

4) Is it true that progesterone cream in itself produces increased estrogen amounts? Will progesterone cream alone help me long-term?

5) At what point through this process do women take estrogen supplementation?

6) Why do I feel crazy in those moments? Is there anything I can do when the hot flashes occur to help ease them. I feel so helpless, sometimes embarrassed, especially when I'm the only one sweating profusely. I feel like everyone must know.

7) Any specific advice for me that I haven't touched on?

Thank you in advance!

Comments for Beansprout

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Jun 27, 2013
Wray I Need Your Expertise
by: Beansprout

Wray - I hope you can address some of my questions.

Jun 28, 2013
Beansprout
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Low progesterone would cause the anxiety, or more accurately high oestrogen. With low progesterone there's nothing to counter it. All your past and present symptoms indicate you have too much in ratio to progesterone. Oestrogen stimulates glutamate, our most excitatory neurotransmitter, see here. It increases free radicals, plus destroying beta-endorphin neurons in the brain, these produce endorphins which promote a feeling of well being and relaxation. This paper says "Although it is widely accepted that exposure to estradiol throughout life contributes to reproductive aging.... Recent evidence ..... of chronic estradiol-mediated accelerated reproductive senescence now suggests such a hypothesis. It has been shown that chronic estradiol exposure results in the destruction of greater than 60% of all beta-endorphin neurons in the arcuate nucleus .....This loss of opioid neurons is prevented by treatment with antioxidants indicating that it results from estradiol-induced formation of free radicals", see here. Whereas progesterone protects against glutamate toxicity, it also increases BDNF (brain-derived neuroptrophic factor) in itself protective, see here and here. Excess glutamate increases levels of calcium, an excitatory mineral. Progesterone also protects against calcium induced excitotoxicity, see here. You don't need any more oestrogen, you are already consuming vast amounts if you're a vegetarian. The following papers list the phytoestrogen content of foods, with seeds, legumes and grains having the highest content, see here. All oilseeds contain phytoestrogens too. If high enough amounts of progesterone are used it will suppress any excess oestrogen, if too low it will stimulate it. You say you are using a 20mg pump each time you feel the need. I often recommend this if symptoms are severe. So you could be getting 160-200mg/day? If so then this is within the range I recommend, although many women have found far higher more effective. It seems no woman is warned about the side effects of a Tubal ligation, which I find shocking. Continued below

Jun 28, 2013
Beansprout Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout I will give you a few pages to look through, you'll find on them nutrients which will help, I do advise taking them rather than relying on progesterone alone. See Anxiety, Hair Loss, Insulin Resistance and Peri-menopause. I would never recommend extra oestrogen to anyone, for one thing there are over 100 oestrogen mimics in the environment, see Our Stolen Future. For another our food is full of it. And you might like to see our page on HRT for more info. I have found 400mg/day is needed to stop Hot Flushes, I don't think you're using that much are you? I feel this will help you, others have added resveratrol, omega 3, magnesium and GABA. You mention that at the time of ovulation you hit bottom, this often occurs in women. It's always been believed, and still is by everyone including the medical profession, that progesterone is only produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. But as far back as 1930 it was thought there must be another source. This was confirmed in the 1960's, and re-confirmed in the 1980's, that there is an exponential rise of progesterone about 50 hours prior to ovulation. This surge comes from the brain, see here, here, here and here. Oestrogen also rises exponentially about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Unless there is the progesterone surge too, there is nothing to counter the oestrogen effect. This explains why many women get migraines, seizures, palpitations, panic attacks and asthma attacks around ovulation. The same reasoning can be applied to the symptoms that occur during progesterone withdrawal prior to bleeding. This is obviously occurring with you too. Continued below

Jun 28, 2013
Beansprout Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Please have a vitamin D test done, I suspect your levels are low. 5000iu per day is the minimum we should take, higher if levels are low. You are taking magnesium which is so important too. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. A lack of vitamin D also causes insulin resistance and weight gain. You could consider taking taurine, it's an amino acid that is not found in the vegetable kingdom, only in meat. It is an anxiolytic, see here, here, here and here. Take care Wray


Jun 28, 2013
So thankful.
by: Beansprout

Wray - Part I: Thank you so much. I appreciate everything you took the time to write. You give me both your wisdom and a feeling of confidence and that comforts me. What I like most about you is that it doesn't matter how many times it is asked you'll say it again and again however many times you need to say it and remain consistent throughout each one of your responses. I feel so blessed, so reassured, to have found both you and these forums.

I look forward to reading the links provided.

There is so much information and a plethora of misconceptions out there coming at us at mock speed. And Depending on who you ask, which doctor, the internet, well, you're bound to get a different answer. Mostly, they just don't know. They are uncertain. The medical doctors only solution are HRT and other drugs that are FDA approved. I wanted to go see a compounding therapist but without a primary physician or ob/gyn that they could send the results to and whom could authorize them to mix something for me they said I would be wasting my time or money. My ob/gyn won't even consider it. Because bioidentical hormones have not been FDA approved and then warned me that I could be potentially putting myself at unnecessary risk when all that was needed was a daily pill and perhaps a little something else prescribed for the anxiety. I don't want to cover up or mask my symptoms. It's my body's way of telling me that something is out of balance and requires immediate attention and I am driven and desperate to find that resolution and my peace of mind again along the way.

So I feel like I've been tossed overboard into the turbulent sea without any kind of floatation device. I feel like I have nowhere to turn, no boat, no shoreline in sight. WoSo much information to sort through, read, process, finding it all a little frightening and a little overwhelming. All too often I'm finding the medical community is motivated by money and less about truly helping people. More, specifically, women. To think all those years, all the money spent, the appointments, not one of them in all of their years of medical school and fellowship training mentioned progesterone. What's even more appalling is the number of other women who are going through and experiencing similar symptoms and being told that they, too, "just need to learn to relax" as they are prescribed yet another anti-anxiety drug that, in most cases (from what I'm reading), aren't always effective and those women continue to suffer and to do so needlessly. Yes, especially, when we are considering a tubal ligation.



Jun 28, 2013
Part II
by: Beansprout

Wray - Part II

Since my Vitamin D is 2000 IU per gel cap. Would it be safe to simple up that a bit and take one three times a day instead of just twice a day as I am doing now?

Also, you mentioned 400 mg of progesterone. What is the best way to administer that much per day. More individual times throughout the day or perhaps 40 mg or more at a time. Taken on a schedule or simply as symptoms appear? That part is the only thing at this point that is unclear. If you don't mind shining your light once more. = )

I'm currently pumping (easily) 5-10 20 mg pumps a day taken at the first sign that anxiety has been triggered and it is helping immensely. But I'm still not stable. I have good days, bad days, really good moments, then moments when I'm pacing and reminding myself to breathe and that this, too, shall pass. It helps knowing that it isn't all in my head and that there is a real and genuine physical reason this is happening. At the same time reminding myself that I am not sick, I am not injured, this is a natural transition into the next 50 years of my life and I try to embrace that, accept it, and forgive myself for those moments when I perhaps don't handle them as gracefully as I would like.

Thank you again. You've been a godsend.

Jun 28, 2013
Wray: Can I safely take Taurine with L-Theanine?
by: Beansprout

Wray - One final question. Does Taurine simply lower insulin levels and regulate blood glucose or does it lower blood sugars. I do have a tendency to be hypoglycemic and, yes, my hormonal imbalance has upset those delicate numbers as well. So i'm paying close attention, eating healthy, checking my fasting blood sugars first thing each morning. I don't eat anything processed, no simple sugars, white flour, table salt, etc. Mostly just whole foods, complex carbs, still eat wild caught fish, shrimp, organic locally raised vegetarian fed farm fresh eggs. But no other meat or dairy. Extra-virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil only, no butter, no margarine. I do drink organic soy milk daily. Would it be best to eliminate this completely for awhile? I also soak, strain, and my own almond milk. Perhaps this would be a better choice for awhile.

Jun 30, 2013
So thankful
by: WRAY

Hi Beansprout Ok I'll try to answer your questions are they appear above! But firstly thank you so much for the kind words. What you've written above echoes the experience of too many women. I've been doing this work for 16 years now, and it still shocks me so little is known, so little is done for women. Phrases like 'take an antidepressant', 'pull yourself together' 'relax more', 'it's all in your mind', I've heard them endlessly. It used to make me so angry, but that gave me severe eczema! So now I have to keep calm when I still hear these stories. Ironic that progesterone is not 'approved' by the FDA, or other such bodies. And yet of all the substances on the market there is rarely one so safe, and that's been proven by over 60 years of use. Dr Dalton would give it to her patients, the first of whom were in the late 1940's. Then Emory University came out with astounding studies on Traumatic Brain Injury, and this their latest on cancer here. My advice on the amount to use is very much more than others recommend, but I've seen the results time and again. And I've seen and read what low amounts do to women, the web is littered with their accounts of how awful progesterone is. My advice is based on the thousands of studies I've read, and not from blogs. Your first question about the vitamin D caps, yes take 3 a day, 6000iu is a good dose. But please try to have a test done too. Re the application, as often as needed, some use it hourly. It doesn't have to be done on schedule, but catching symptoms before they return is a good plan. One woman began using it hourly, then as the progesterone took affect, she reduced to two hourly, but doubled the amount, i.e. she was still using the same amount each day but with longer gaps. Stability will only come after time, and how long that is is impossible for anyone to know. You still have periods, albeit erratic, so you are still producing oestrogen and testosterone, when these surge i.e. just prior to ovulation, or mid-luteal phase, you will have 'moments when I'm pacing and reminding myself to breathe'! Stress affects progesterone levels, vitamin D too. If these drop you'll have those moments too. This is why I advise those supplements. Theanine is a calmative, so too is taurine which is why I suggested it, although I prefer the latter as theanine is not an amino needed by the body, whereas taurine is. The two can be taken together. Continued below

Jun 30, 2013
So thankful Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Strange you should ask if taurine helps blood glucose, as it does, in fact it's a remarkable amino having many roles, see here. One paper says "Taurine administration improved insulin sensitivity and controlled hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in fructose-fed rats. Taurine treatment also restored the glucose metabolizing enzyme activities in fructose-fed rats.", see Diabetes & Metabolism ´┐╝´┐╝Volume 31, Issue 4, September 2005, Pages 337-344 here and here. When you said you were vegetarian I was a bit dismayed, as my four year experience with it was not good. But then the only animal products I ate were dairy and eggs. I accept people's views, so be they vegan or a veggie, so be it, unless confronted with the whys, and I'll give my opinion! So your diet to my mind is excellent, but avoid the soy forever, it has one of the highest contents of phytoestrogens. This paper here is an example, although he did go overboard on the amount he drank. But over time even lower amounts would have the same affect, see here. Stick to the almond milk, or use raw milk, see here. Take care Wray



Jun 30, 2013
Wray - Thank you! One last "Quick" Question
by: Beansprout

Wray - I have no words to express all of my gratitude. You are amazing and I sincerely mean that. Thank you for being here for me and so many other countless others. You are a blessing.

I'm currently upping my Vitamin D as I type. = )

I went and bought 1000 mg Taurine. But what is your recommendation as far as how much, how often, best time to take for optimal results?

Have a beautiful day!

Jul 02, 2013
Wray - Another Question
by: Beansprout

I hope you can take the time to advise me on the last question I submitted asking how much Taurine you recommend, as a daily dose, how often, the best time of day to take it to achieve optimal results.

I recently bought from Source Naturals a product called "Theanine Serene" (there is one with Relora that I am not interested in trying because of the known side-effects many users have experienced and documented in their reviews) mostly headache and nausea. So I chose the "Serene Theanine" without it.

Serving size 2 Tablets

Suggested use 2 Tablets Daily or as directed by your healthcare professional.

Ingredients:
Magnesium (as magnesium chelate)300 mg
GABA 500 mg
Taurine 450 mg
L-Theanine 200 mg
Holy Basil Leaf Extract 100 mg

I've been taking 2 in the morning and then 2 about an hour before bedtime. The problem being my days sometimes start early and would like to occasionally add a third dose midday. It hasn't impaired me in any way. Just a peaceful, beautiful anxiety-free feeling. Is it safe to take this product 2 tablets 3x per day or do you have another recommendation?

Jul 04, 2013
Wray - Thank you! One last "Quick" Question
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Pleased you're upping your vitamin D, that should help no end. And I see the tablet has magnesium which is an important co-factor, so that's good. Very interested it has the taurine in it too, it's very calming. So too is the GABA. I normally recommend 250 to 500mg/day GABA, as I find it can be difficult to administer, so see how you get on with three tablets. If you find it's not as good as the two it'll be the GABA. The taurine 2000mg/day, I've found no adverse affects with that. And I haven't found any particular time to take it, I usually put extra into a complex we make up, and take it in the morning. The theanine I have no experience with at all. I generally prefer to use progesterone and not GABA, as progesterone activates the GABA receptors hence it's calming affect. Don't forget to have that vitamin D test done! Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray

Jul 04, 2013
Wray - 3 "tablets" or 3 "doses" ?
by: Beansprout

Each dose is 2 tablets. When you said try 3 tablets instead of 2 did you mean 3 tablets total per day or 3 separate doses of 2 tablets each per day? Gosh, I'm sorry. Sounds like one of those difficult story problems, huh? I don't mean to be such a knucklehead. But that part confused me. Please forgive me. And thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I got glimpse of you on Youtube. I love putting a face and voice to your words. You are as beautiful as you are wise.

Jul 06, 2013
Wray - 3 "tablets" or 3 "doses" ?
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Apologies, I saw the "Suggested use 2 Tablets Daily", and missed the fact you are taking this twice a day. So I'm the knucklehead! So if twice a day is not helping you could try it three times daily. i.e. 2 tablets three times a day, or 6 tablets. The problem with a complex like this is the amounts of each nutrient you will be getting. The magnesium will then be 900mg, not a bad dose, but over time could cause the runs! The GABA will be 1500mg which I feel could be too high, you'll notice as symptoms come back. Taurine will be 1350mg, which might not be enough. The other two I have no idea what an excess is. So if you go for the 6 tablets let me know how you fare! And bless you for the kind words, one of our distributors interviewed me for those clips. Take care Wray

Jul 06, 2013
Wray - Thank you. I agree.
by: Beansprout

I agree. Especially, right now when i'm trying to bring some pretty severe symptoms back into balance. I think the Theanine Serene is a great product for people with mild to moderate stress or anxiety. But right now, the Taurine you suggested has been a godsend and i'm currently finding that between 3,000 - 4,000 mg divided equally several hours apart throughout the day is benefiting me the most. Being sure to up my Vitamin D, taking B12 and B6, the magnesium drink CALM, staying away from soy and other phytoestrogen rich foods is also helping tremendously. Then just an hour or so before bed, i drink a glass of CALM, take two 100 mg of Theanine and a 1,000 mg of Taurine and have been sleeping like a baby and all through the night with no hot flashes or nightsweats or anxiety whatsoever. So little by little things are improving. I'm learning as i go. Remembering to love, accept, forgive myself along the way. My greatest resource in all of this is you and the progesterone cream. I am grateful for both of you.

Jul 11, 2013
Wray - Thank you. I agree.
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout I'm so delighted you've found the taurine so helpful, it is a remarkable amino. Besides it's one which the body needs, it doesn't need theanine in the same way. Glad you're finding by avoiding the phytoestrogens it's also helping. Very interested you've found] the Hot Flushes etc have gone, I have someone still struggling with them. I have suggested magnesium to her, but I will give this comment to her to read through. I can only imagine it's one of those loops. It could be calcium is too high, it's an excitatory mineral, not only in the muscles, as that website on the Natural Calm so clearly explains, but in the brain too. Excess glutamate increases levels of calcium. Progesterone protects against calcium induced excitotoxicity, see here. But excess oestrogen stimulates excess glutamate, our most excitatory neurotransmitter, see here. Your oestrogen could still be too high, but if magnesium is too low, that still leaves calcium to do it's excitatory thing. The complexity of the body is wonderful, but does drive you nuts trying to find the missing links! You're so right about the 'love, accept, forgive myself', with the emphasis on the self, something we tend to forget. Thanks once again for the kind words! Take care Wray


Jul 15, 2013
HOT FLUSHES and a word about THEANINE
by: Beansprout

I just wanted to add that although my hot flashes have let up dramatically and vanished for several days that they did return in a less intense, shorter, more manageable way. I suspect there will be ups and downs, good days, some bad days through this entire process. But at least I'm has desperate as I was only a few short weeks ago. I listened to your advice and trusted your experience and I'm glad that I did. But using 100-200 mg a day everything changed for the better and rather quickly. I no longer retain water, no more bloating, no more headaches, and instead of gaining weight as I had feared I have actually started losing weight and doing so rather effortlessly for the first time since entering into this perimenopausal stage of my life 12 years ago. I'm taking great care to eat as healthy and as organically as possible and in a way that will help balance my blood sugars and I've put myself on a schedule (just like a baby) where I am in bed every night by 11pm and have made quality sleep a new priority. That's where Theanine has been the most beneficial. I don't and won't take any kind of OTC medicines or prescribed drugs. So I have to search carefully through nature to find what will aid me in a safe and non-addictive way. From my own personal experience, Theanine promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. Adding Taurine in at bedtime only increases the overall benefit and taken 30 minutes before retiring it's not long before I'm yawning and after a relaxing shower I'm go to bed and fall asleep with my mind or my heart racing. I don't feel medicated, it doesn't make me drowsy, it just promotes deep relaxation as a precursor to a deep, restful night's sleep without that hungover feeling in the morning. So far, it is working beautifully for me. Again, thank you....for everything.

Beansprout

Jul 18, 2013
HOT FLUSHES and a word about THEANINE
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Well this is music to my ears! Looking back at your first comment and now you've got to this point so quickly too, I'm so delighted all those symptoms are calming down, or have calmed down. It's so interesting you find the theanine beneficial for sleep. I will remember this. As I said to you, I always prefer to use aminos needed by the body. But if a plant amino helps, why not. Adding the taurine at night seems a good plan too. So many women have sleep problems and I rack my brain for answers! So I will now throw your 'recipe' at them. Thanks! Take care Wray

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