desperate for an answer

by Emily
(Melbourne)

Im 21 years old and have been struggling for 3 years with low progesterone. I have been plagued by extreme mental and physical fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, panic attacks, feelings of loneliness, uselessness, hot flashes, depression.. the list goes on.

It has been a issue for me that has severely limited my life, distorted peoples view of me and made it impossible to have a relationship. One minute I will be rational and peaceful attending to my life tasks, the next I will be argumentative until war breaks out! .. Then I'll cry and feel like the worst person on Earth.

Often it's on schedule around the 17th day of my cycle. For a long time I feared I was crazy, and I still can't count on myself for normal planning of life events, making me a totally unreliable person. I miss intimacy, I lost someone I loved because one day I became this unpredictable, incapable personality changing emotional mess.. and I know anyone who gets close enough will see this too.

I limp along, trying to appear normal to the outside world but become more and more exhausted. I can't go after my dream career because i know every 3 weeks i'll become useless. I've lost all of my good friends and am too scared to let anyone else in as i know, again, I'm a total mess.

My biggest struggle is with the weight. I'm 5"10 and used to weigh 60kgs when i was happy and healthy .. now even though I eat the healthiest possible and exercise most days i weigh 75kgs. Basically i feel like my life is over. I can't do anything i want to do, achieve anything i want to achieve or build relationships with anyone.

I have been on 500mg Progesterone Troche which I split in half and dissolve under my tongue each night from days 7-28. I seem to cope until day 17 when i turn into a crazy person, hate myself, decide I'm so ridiculously tired of fighting to get better and wish I wasn't alive.

I'm desperate and need help. I just want my life back.

Comments for desperate for an answer

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Feb 19, 2012
Re: desperate for an answer
by: Eve

Emily, I can completely relate to what you are going through. Please know that through trial and error I eventually was able to find a stablization of mood. It is possible that the 500 mg dose is not enough for you at this particular moment. Considering you are taking it via trouche, I assume you are under a physician's care. If that is the case, are you have your levels tested? Possibly you need a higher dose?? What i found for myself is that I have to dose by the symptoms. Sometimes I take less and sometimes I take more. If you become fixated on a specific number, it can hinder your progress. For me I was on very high doses until I felt stable and then I started doing some tweaking of my dose. As I said I have had trial and ERROR as a part of the journey. When things were at their worst, my mood was the worst between day 20-25. The body is very complex and I hope that you have or can find someone to help you. The WHOLE body has to be looked at. Why are you so progesterone deficient? Is it genetics or some other cause that needs to be addressed in order to restore the balance? What are you LH and FSH levels like. Is the body not recognizing the progesterone you are taking? If so why not? Is there a signaling problem from the brain? So many factors that just are very difficult to determine without having some tests labs taken and also help in interpretating those results. Hang in there!!

Feb 19, 2012
Courage
by: Andrea

Hi Emily,
surely Wray will very soon respond to your post, just in the meantime I wanted to encourage you to keep on going. I find there is a very good news in your history: It's that you are only 21 and you already figured out, that your behaviour is due to some kind of hormonal imbalance. There are a lot of women out there, who only in their menopause make a relation between their "crazyness" and their hormones. You allready got to this point, even you know it's starting day 17!Therefore, I think you might not be very far from getting back the Emily you used to be. Best wishes. Andrea

Feb 19, 2012
you are not alone
by: Rosanne

Hi

If you go to google site search and search how much can i take you will find some good dialogue on what has worked for some of us. It is a place to start while you wait for support from Wray.

I wish you well. Don't give up there is relief.

Feb 20, 2012
desperate for an answer
by: Wray

Hi Emily Although you're using a large amount of progesterone, troches are not the best Delivery system. Could you explain what you mean by day 17, is this when you ovulate? Or a few days prior to bleeding? Either of these times can cause adverse symptoms to occur. Is your natural cycle 28 days? Please let me know then I can help further. Progesterone should be used from ovulation to bleeding, although in severe cases I recommend using it daily, through any bleeding, for about 2-3 months. This ensures excess oestrogen is suppressed and progesterone becomes dominant. I don't know the composition of the troches you're using, but would suggest you dissolve them in some water. Then rub this over your skin. It probably contains some form of sweetener which could makes things a bit sticky! But this would allow the full benefit of progesterone. Progesterone should be used a minimum of twice a day. But in severe cases I do recommend using it hourly. It sounds as if you could also have Insulin Resistance too. This is caused in part by excess oestrogen and a lack of vitamin D. Please have a test done. You live in Melbourne, Australia has a daft policy of covering up in the sun. Nothing could be more dangerous to our health, we need the sun to make vitamin D. It's vital for both mental and physical health. For more info on vitamin D levels, testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. 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. Please come back to me about those questions I asked. Take care Wray

Feb 20, 2012
Thanks for the support
by: Anonymous

Firstly, thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who's commented. Just being heard and knowing that people care is amazing. it really helps.

Hi Wray. So i take the troche from day 7-28 leaving day 1-7 for bleeding, HOWEVER, i haven't actually bled since i began the troche. Thinking back, i don't really know what my cycle was like before as i never really took proper notice. Would you recommend that i continue to take the troche through the 'bleeding days' evening though there's no bleeding? suppressing excess oestrogen sounds goo to me!

I don't know the composition of my troche but its pink as i could choose a flavour and i chose raspberry.. so i'd say you were right to assume it contains some form of sweetener. It seems odd to think that diluting the troche and rubbing it on my skin would be more affective that dissolving it under the tongue but i'll give it a go.. although i must say I'm a little apprehensive of the affects of change.

You said Progesterone should be used a minimum of twice a day.. does this mean i should be taking the second half of my troche in the mornings (as i currently take half at night) ? This would up my dosage to the full 500mg a day.

Thankyou for the link to the information on insulin resistance and vitamin D deficiency. Back when i was slim i used to spend most days on the beach and in the sun but since gaining weight i've stopped completely so this is definitely something i will go get tested and get some supplements for.

FYI - My first blood test:
LH: 19.3
FSH: 5.4
Oestradiol: 1077
Progesterone: 0.6

I had this test ordered and my troche prescribed by a specialist in Adelaide - I moved to melbourne in October last year and although i had a follow up blood test, she won't following up with me. I booked in with 2 different endocrinologists here in melbourne but the waiting list is painful.

Thanks again for all your support. It makes such a difference x x

Feb 21, 2012
Thanks for the support
by: Wray

Hi Emily It's wonderful how supportive other women are! I thought you were taking the full troche each day, ie the 500mg, and that splitting it in half was just to make it easier to dissolve. I need a few more things clarifying. I take it your blood tests were done in pmol/L for oestradiol and nmol/L for progesterone? If your test was done when it should be done, ie ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding, your level means you're not ovulating. Progesterone peaks mid-luteal phase, it's pointless having the test done at any other time. If it was done during the follicular phase then levels are normal. As <3.18 nmol/L progesterone is made then, whereas oestrogen ranges between 110.13 - 1468.4 pmol/L over the entire cycle. Please confirm this for me. If it was done mid-luteal phase, then the test is measuring only the amount made by the brain and adrenals, although adrenal progesterone is converted into cortisol. And none from the ovaries, this would make you feel unbelievably ill! Your ratio is the lowest I've ever seen, it's 0.56:1. From Saliva Tests we run, we've found the ratio needs to be 600:1 and over to feel well. But please confirm when the test was done, this is critical. But if your LH and FSH tests are accurate, I would hazard a guess you are not ovulating. In fact I'm really surprised alarm bells didn't ring with the ratio you have. The LH:FSH ratio should be approximately 1:1, if LH is higher than FSH it's an indication of PCOS. The FSH range in menstruating women is 3.5-30.0 IU/L, and that for LH is 5 to 25 IU/L. Did anyone think to do a scan of your ovaries? Please look through the list of symptoms on the PCOS page and see if you have any others. It would explain your weight gain, also the moods too. Normally 250mg/day progesterone does not stop bleeding, I've found it has to be as high as 400mg/day or more to do this. So it could be you were not bleeding regularly before you began the troche. This is also indicative of PCOS. Before you change anything, please come back to me about when your test was done, and if you have any other symptoms on the PCOS page. Take care Wray

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