Chronic fatigue misery

by Diane Gardner RN
(UK)

Hi Wray from the UK! After two decades of increasingly debilitating chronic fatigue misery I was, last October, diagnosed by an alternative doc with severe adrenal fatigue/hypothyroidism. I don't doubt this after having now doubled my brain size with information on the subject!

My NHS docs are ignorant of this controversial diagnosis and reluctant to treat me adequately with hydrocortisone and so are now testing again for Addisons with an ACTH stim which I know is not where it's all at! Having said that, I've just read Dr John Lee's book on pre-menopause. As my periods, until recently, have always been like clockwork and normal I had never considered femail hormonal imbalance as a cause of my years of misery.

I do have a majority of signs/symptoms of low progesterone thrown into the bargain! Low red cell Magnesium, borderline hypothyroid, very high hair copper, irritability, weight gain/swelling - the list goes on. My open minded NHS Doc is happy for me to try the Progesterone cream. I am on day 7 of my cycle and still bleeding. I was planning on starting the cream on day 9 - should I still do so if I'm still bleeding? Also, I want to do a saliva assay on day 21 - am I right in thinking I should wait 12 hours after the last application? On day 21 my NHS Doc will do a serum FSH/LSH, oestrogen, to hopefuly indicate estrogen dominance - he's unfamiliar with saliva testing - the NHS does not routinely test progesterone - shame! Thankyou for the very helpful website.

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Apr 26, 2010
Chronic fatigue misery
by: Wray

Hi Diane. Your symptoms could easily be an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone, it can start from birth! Pre-term babies are sometimes given progesterone if their lungs are underdeveloped, which they often are. Puberty is another hectic time for us, with enough oestrogen but insufficient progesterone, hence the puppy fat many get. Strange how doctors believe an imbalance can only occur once in menopause! Progesterone is thermogenic, so speeding metabolism slightly, it also suppresses oestrogen which causes the thyroid to slow. Oestrogen also increases copper, depresses both zinc and progesterone, you obviously have a large amount of oestrogen! I suggest you start taking 100mg/day zinc, unless your hair analysis showed you had adequate. The zinc will suppress the copper, so will adequate progesterone, this will help the zinc level to rise too. Try the high dose zinc for a month and see if it helps, lack of zinc and excess copper, causes irritability and aggression. The adrenals make progesterone, from which they make the stress hormone cortisol. If stressed they rob ovarian supplies, you evidently had little to give, which would have stressed the adrenals further. Supplementing will help the adrenals. Progesterone is very calming too, so further helping the adrenals. You could have insulin resistance, the weight gain makes me suspect this, as you only have borderline hypothyroidism. Please see here. I'm puzzled why you are starting the cream on day 9, maybe you have a 23 day cycle? Progesterone should be used for the last 14 days of the cycle, starting it the day after you've ovulated. Please see here.
A saliva test on day 21 is pointless if you have a 23 day cycle, as progesterone will be dropping then, due to a period starting. For a 23 day cycle you would need to have it taken on day ±16. It should be done ±7 days before you bleed. If you're supplementing it will show a high level, but I would wait for a couple of cycles at least to have the test, too soon will not help much. Waiting for 12 hrs after application to have a test won't make much difference to the level either. Far better to have a saliva test done before using it, and then one about 2-3 months later to see the difference. This is how we test for progesterone on new users. You shouldn't be bleeding for so long, evidently too much oestrogen building the lining, low progesterone unable to suppress the bleeding. To stop this you would have to use at least 200mg/day, if not more. Thanks for the kind words! Take care, Wray

May 03, 2010
I sympathise
by: Micky

Diane, if you read my post you will see I have had problems that I have been having since I was 17 (am now 32). I was diagnosed with 'maybe some form of post viral fatigue' right at the start after being a very healthy young woman previously. It is only now in the last year that things are beginning to fall into place for me and I reckon I have had a hormone imbalance probably since puberty.

I was recently prescribed a bio identical progesterone cream which I havent rec'd yet but I will let you know how I get on. I have just finished 4 packets of the pill (in an attempt to 'balance' my hormones) and I feel terrible - want to sleep all day and feel like I am going off my head - exactly how I felt when I first became unwell all those years ago - and I was on the Pill then - interesting isn't it? I am quite angry as my NHS doc has been totally uninterested in looking at my hormones and insists that saliva tests cannot possibly measure your hormones! Shocking.

Luckily I had a chiropractor who had access to Genova who do saliva tests which showed low oestrogen and low progesterone. I reckon a lot of CFS diagnosis could be cleared up by hormone test but our NHS system is so rigid that I think once you are diagnosed then that's the end of that. I have NEVER been happy with that diagnosis and am glad I have persevered after considering that I had anxiety or depression because its very clear that there is something hormonal going on.

May 03, 2010
ps
by: Micky

PS Diane, my periods have been completely regular. Plus I had a blood test to check my LSH levels etc and they were all normal but my saliva test indicated otherwise!

Genova diagnostics can send out a saliva test to you - look them up on line.

May 04, 2010
I sympathise
by: Wray

Hi Micky. So pleased you had saliva tests done, they are far more accurate, as you've found out. We also use Genova for saliva tests. A naturopath in Somerset does them for us on new patients. The lab checks the cream we make is still delivering progesterone. The results have always been excellent. How any doc can say saliva tests can't measure hormones is beyond me! I do hope the progesterone helps, it's helped so many of us. But please read this web page first before you use it, in case you weren't warned about possible symptoms of oestrogen excess. Most disconcerting if it does occur! Take care, Wray

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