Confusing Results

by M.C.
(Oregon)

Hi there,

Without going into too much detail... I am 25 years old. I have struggled with anxiety for the last 7 years or so. I had many other symptoms, too, that have since gone away since diving into holistic health and nutrition.

For the last 14 months, I have been gluten & dairy free, I purchase solely organic food at the grocery store and limit processed foods & refined sugars,I have cut out coffee and alcohol, and have tried a myriad of food-based vitamins and supplements.

Since making the decision to cut out gluten & dairy, I lost 30 pounds of inflammation (20% of my original body weight!) and I feel much more energized and balanced.

April 2014 (5 months into being gluten & dairy free), my anxiety/ brain fog/ shakey-feeling still lingered, so my doctor tested my hormones (blood test):
L-Estradiol: 178
L-Progesterone:5.0
L-Ferritin: 65

My doctor put me on a compounded bioidentical progesterone cream due to the excessively high estrogen levels. The first week was AWFUL. I had night sweats, hot flashes, and I began to develop a big breast cyst that would show up before my periods (I have NO history of having cystic breasts)!

My doctor originally had me taking the cream from day 4 of my cycle until my period started (3 days without it). After a few months with not much improvement, she told me to take the progesterone cream every night and not skip a day... EVER.

October 2014 (6 months after starting the hormone cream), my levels were re-tested due to anxiety STILL not improving:
L-Estradiol: 58!
L-Progesterone: 2.67 ..???
L-Ferritin: 38.6

My estrogen levels looked great, but the results confused me because it seems as though my progesterone levels are way too low, despite using the cream every night and having a very healthy diet and low stress levels.

I am only 25 and am hoping to conceive soon, but I really want my body "back to normal" before doing so! I feel that I am very healthy otherwise, am fairly active, and I just can't figure out why my progesterone is so low :(

I have had a bunch of other tests done and the only other "weird" things are: pretty low cholesterol (which is what progesterone is made from in the adrenals.....), low "BUN" (couldn't find any info about that online), and pretty high cortisol & metabolized cortisol levels....

Any advice there? Thinking of going off the progesterone because it's getting expensive and it's been 10 months without much improvement... (it got my estrogen levels down, but now my diet and lifestyle will keep them "normal"). I don't want to be on it forever, that's for sure.

Thanks for reading.

M.C.

Comments for Confusing Results

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Feb 11, 2015
Confusing Results
by: Wray

Hi MC Your first ratio of P:E2 is 28:1, very low, so I'm not surprised you have Anxiety! Your second is 46:1, not much higher, so again I'm not surprised you haven't improved. You are obviously using far too little judging by those symptoms you first had, see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. You need anything from 200-400mg/day, then you might see some results. Please see our page on Anxiety. We run Saliva Tests on our cream, and from these have found a ratio of 600:1 and over is ideal. We do have a page on Breast Cysts and another on Breast Tenderness. We also have a page on Hot Flushes. It's essential to use progesterone twice daily or more frequently if need be. And please have a Vitamin D test done, a lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone, plus it's vital for a healthy pregnancy. Your high cortisol would be contributing to your anxiety. Please take 100mg/day zinc as it reduces cortisol, see here and here. I suggest you take this dose for a month, then reduce it to 15mg/day. I'd hazard a guess your copper level is too high. High copper stimulates oestrogen and suppresses zinc and progesterone. The reverse is true too, see here. It could be the copper which has in fact caused all your problems. You can have a test done for copper/zinc levels, a hair analysis is usually best for this, see Trace Elements or Analytical Research Labs. Zinc is essential for fertility too. We do have a page on Pregnancy you could look through, and another here. You say you have low cholesterol, well this could account for the low progesterone, particularly if your LDL is low. LDL cholesterol is known to be critical for progesterone production, whereas HDL is ineffective, see here. You don't say how low your BUN is, but this page gives info. BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. If your problem is high copper, your diet is not going to change things much, unless you are eating foods high in copper. Take care Wray

Feb 11, 2015
Thank you
by: M.C.

Thanks for your quick response! My vitamin D levels were tested a year and a half ago and were low (I live in oregon so it wasn't a big surprise), so I began supplementing. My leveled were checked again six months ago and they were perfect. I don't think I've had zinc checked before unless it is on standard blood panals. I have been heavily interested in copper and other heavy metal toxicities, but wasn't sure who to test through / if it would be expensive. I've spent so much money on tests the last few years :(

Unfortunately, not taking enough progesterone making sense because my doctor prescribed .5mL per night of 130mg/mL... Meaning I think I only have been getting 65mg per night.

If I up my dosage of progesterone cream and it DOES start to work.... What do you recommend then? How long should I stay on it? What if I want to get pregnant or DO get pregnant? Stopping the cream seems like a bad idea if I've already conceived....

I just would like to have an "end in sight" where my body produces it's own progesterone again without having the hormone cream.


Feb 11, 2015
Your opinion
by: M.C.

Also, what is your opinion on the creams building up in the skin and no longer being able to work over time? I alternate where I put the cream to try and avoid that, but I've been reading a lot about how it will become ineffective over time?

Thank you!

Feb 16, 2015
Your opinion
by: Wray

Hi MC Please see our page on Progesterone Misconceptions. Take care Wray

Feb 16, 2015
Thank you
by: Wray

Hi MC Are you sure your vitamin D levels are perfect, please check your results. They should be between 70-100ng/ml, labs and doctors say an adequate level is 30ng/ml. I can't answer any of your questions, any more than I have in the info found on the pages I gave you above on….. how to use it, on pregnancy, anxiety etc. Take care Wray

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