Dizziness/low blood pressure & hypoglycemia after childbirth

by Kate
(NY)

Hi Wray,
I'm 31 years old and have a 4 year old daughter. After reading your site, I've realized that I've probably always suffered from progesterone deficiency.From my very 1st period, my cycles have caused me migraines, very heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, bloating and cysts in both my breasts and my ovaries. When I was 16, my Obgyn put me on Ortho Tri-cyclen to "help" my symptoms. I still suffered all of my symptoms but I continued on the pill, eventually switching to Mircette, for 10 years. When I went off the pill, I had a difficult time getting pregnant. My doctor tested my hormone levels and said I had zero progesterone in my body and that I would probably have to undergo fertility treatments. I decided to wait on the pharmaceuticals and actually ended up getting pregnant just 2 months later. Although I did carry to term and have a beautiful daughter, my pregnancy was awful!! I bled frequently and had to be hospitalized several times for severe morning sickness through my 22nd week of pregnancy.
After birth, I bled very heavily. I was unable to produce milk and my periods were frequent and heavy. Within a few days of childbirth I was a terrible emotional wreck: crying, anxiety, insomnia. My doctor said it was the baby blues and told me to wait it out. Eventually I became weak, emotionally and physically and began to develop a constant dizziness. I've been tested for everything in regards to the dizziness and everything checks out except for low blood pressure and just recently low blood sugar, (which I had never had an issue with before!) My doctor also prescribed me Hydrocortisone for low adrenal function, which he thinks may be caused by low progesterone) This past year I also had a trip to the ER for a fast heart rate, and which I am now on Beta Blockers. I also had a breast biopsy this year for a suspicious cyst, which ended up being negative.
Im sorry for the long story but I have felt like a crazy person since the birth of my child. Does this sound like Progesterone Deficiency to you? Do you think I can ever feel like a normal person again? Thank you for your time.
Kate

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Nov 18, 2012
Dizziness/low blood pressure & hypoglycemia after childbirth
by: Wray

Hi Kate Thanks for giving the full story, as you only gave part of it on that page Kathryn started. I would hardly call your 'crying, anxiety, insomnia' the baby blues!! It's no question you had and still have post natal depression. Progesterone drops sharply after birth, sending 25% of women into some form of depression. From the baby blues, which passes quickly, through post natal depression to post natal psychosis which can end in infanticide. I had PND too, it lasted 4 years, and before I knew it I was in the first stages of Peri-menopause! I had my daughter when I was 33. But it certainly appears you have been short of progesterone since puberty. We do have a page on Migraines, another on very heavy bleeding, see Menstruation. Nausea and vomiting are caused by substance P, which rises if progesterone is low, oestrogen exacerbates nausea, see here. The bloating is caused by excess oestrogen, it causes water retention. And we do have pages on Breast Cysts, Breast Tenderness and Ovarian Cysts It doesn't surprise me you had difficulty falling pregnant once off the Contraceptives. Or that your progesterone registered zero. They suppress the ovarian cycle, which stops ovulation. And of course without ovulating we don't make any ovarian progesterone. I'm amazed with all you went through during your pregnancy you managed to go to term, your daughter must have been very tenacious! The muscle weakness or myopathy I also had, sometimes barely able to pick up my newborn daughter. Days when I could barely walk. I had this again during peri-menopause, luckily it all went once I'd started the progesterone. Years later I discovered a lack of progesterone causes it, so too does a lack of vitamin D, see here, here and here. Continued below

Nov 18, 2012
Dizziness/low blood pressure & hypoglycemia after childbirth Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Kate This last abstract has nothing on it, so I've pasted a passage from the paper... 'Substantial relief of myopathic disability by progesterone therapy'.....
(We report about a 41-year old woman who was suffering from a general muscle weakness since her early childhood....From July 1998 until July 1999 the patient was treated with progesterone suppositorium 0.4 g once a day from the 14th to the 25th day of the menstrual cycle. In July 1999 her gait had improved signi´Čücantly and she could get up from a chair more easily, even her ability to walk up and down stairs had improved....Progesterone dosage was increased from 400 mg to 600 mg. In January 2001 the patient reported enthusiastically about the improvement she had gained from progesterone-therapy. The patient reported a clear increase in strength in all affected muscle groups resulting in dramatic functional improvement.) And here, here and here. I also had hypoglycaemia after giving birth, progesterone does help stabilise this, whereas oestrogen exacerbates it, see here. Dizziness can be caused by excess oestrogen too. The ear has many oestrogen and progesterone receptors, if oestrogen is dominant, oedema can occur in the ear which upsets the balance. This is never checked, nor is oestrogen ever checked for heart problems. I think I gave you those papers, but in case not I'll do so again. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia, Torsades de Pointes and sudden death. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. This is why more women get these problems than men, they have very little oestrogen, whereas we have a great deal more. Did your doctor check your QT interval, I doubt it! Continued below

Nov 18, 2012
Dizziness/low blood pressure & hypoglycemia after childbirth Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Kate So yes I do believe you have a progesterone deficiency. I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, but feel you will need at least 200mg/day if not much more. I suggest you start with the 200mg/day and see how you get on. You might like to read our page on Pregnancy, but particularly this page here. Dr Dalton would use amounts in excess of 800mg/day for PND, 2400mg/day for post natal psychosis. Cost is always a factor when using high amounts, and often more than progesterone is needed. There is a list of nutrients which can also help on our Anxiety page, I feel you would benefit from some of these too. For instance taurine is essential for a normal heart rhythm, but it's also a very calming amino acid. Plus low levels have been found in dysfunctional uterine bleeding, see here. We do have more info on progesterone on our page How to use progesterone cream. Please have a vitamin D test done, low levels reduce the benefits of progesterone, plus it's vital for the normal functioning of all cells. 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. Take care Wray

Nov 18, 2012
Dizziness/low blood pressure & hypoglycemia after childbirth
by: Kate

Thank you so much for all of your time, research and dedication to this important issue!! I've seen 20 doctors and only my most recent one tested my progesterone! Its a travesty what's happening to so many women, and the lack of knowledge within the medical community.
My doctor started me off on only 25 mg a day of bio-identical progesterone cream (50mg per gram) 6 months ago, and then upped it to 100mg a day for the past 2 months, but only during days 15-25. While my sleeping is better, (only during the past 2 months)I think I'm experiencing estrogen wake- up because my face broke out in acne, my breasts became very swollen, and I'm generally having worse symptoms, except I am starting to feel a bit more energetic, and a little less "on edge." I am so glad to hear you say I probably need more progesterone. I thought I did but I've been hesitant to do it because my life has been such a roller coaster. Even though I'm not menopausal, do you think I am candidate for continuous progesterone for three months with no breaks?
I'm praying to get my life back! Does hypoglycemia improve after progesterone level are stabilized?
Thank you so much again! You are a pioneer and I'm so glad to be able to share with you and other women!

Nov 19, 2012
Dizziness/low blood pressure & hypoglycemia after childbirth
by: Wray

Hi Kate 15 years ago I gave myself severe eczema as I got so angry hearing stories such as yours! 15 years later I still don't know why progesterone is not considered. After all, during pregnancy we make very large amounts, up to 400ng/ml in the third trimester. The sudden drop after birth, is no different than going cold turkey with any drug. It's interesting you have had some good affects from progesterone, and some oestrogen dominance too, this does occur. I've found one or two things at a time are helped, often the things we are not aware of, or aren't concerned about too. But over time the rest are corrected. Why on earth he told you to use the progesterone for only five days is beyond me. It should be used from ovulation, for the entire luteal phase. This occurs in all women, irrespective of their cycle length, 12-14 days before bleeding. Do you have a 25 day cycle? If not you need to adjust when to start it. Alternatively you can use it daily, through any bleeding for about 2-3 months. This ensures excess oestrogen is suppressed and progesterone becomes dominant. Once stable you can then begin to follow your cycle. There's more info on our page How to use progesterone cream You certainly have enough symptoms to warrant doing this. And please increase the amount, as 100mg/day is the barest minimum I've found to work. The hypoglycaemia does improve, but please look through our page on Insulin Resistance. There are a number of nutrients which also help, and can reverse it. Vitamin D being the most important. We do have other pages you could look through, one on Acne and another on Breast Tenderness. Bless you for the kind words! Take care Wray

Nov 19, 2012
same story
by: Julie

Hi Kate,
My story sounds a little like yours. Nine months after my last baby was born I started getting constant dizziness/ lightheadedness. Along with that I have also had bad fatigue and muscle weakness and more...you can read my story under the title 37 year old mother of five.

I just started on progesterone cream about 1 week ago after finding out my levels are rock bottom. Right now I am doing 400mg of cream a day. Today I am feeling more energy but still low blood sugar/lightheaded. I really just wanted to share you are not alone. If I can help let me know.

Nov 20, 2012
Thank you!!
by: Kate

Thank you Wray and Julie! It's so great to know that I'm not alone. I actually called my doctor and told him that I was going to continue the progesterone with no breaks for 3 months. He's been amazingly supportive and said that he's completely on board with that. I know I don't need my doctor's approval but its nice to have support through this process.
Julie- please keep me updated on your progress! I'll keep you posted on mine. Thank you so much for sharing!
Wray- I am vitamin D deficient. My level is 32 but was 19 last year. I had previously tried vitamin d supplements but felt "hyper" on them. I want to get my levels up to 70 or above, so I will try them again. I didn't realize that vitamin D was so crucial in so many processes, as well as blood sugar regulation. Thank you for the links and as always your support and encouragement.
Kate

Nov 22, 2012
to Kate
by: Julie

Kate,

Have you tried adding some sea salt to your water in the morning and afternoons? That has helped me out quite a bit. It has made me less dizzy and my b/p goes up a bit so that makes me feel somewhat better.

I am on 400mg a day of progesterone. The first week to 10 days I was feeling worse but I have started having some better days over the last few days so I hope I am over the hump.

God Bless

Nov 24, 2012
Thank you!!
by: Wray

Hi Kate Julie has been so encouraging to a number of women, and has only just started the rather bumpy ride with progesterone. But I hope soon she'll have some plain sailing, the amount she's using is high enough to do it. It saddens me so many, too many, women feel so alone, you are so lucky to have a supportive doctor, as they usually dismiss our problems as being all in the mind. I'm dismayed your vitamin D is so low, and was even lower, it's just such an important nutrient. It's interesting to me too that you felt hyper when taking it. There are a few women who have found it can cause Oestrogen Dominance symptoms, one even began bleeding out of sync with her cycle. This flawed me at first, but as a low level reduces the benefits of progesterone, it finally sunk in that taking vitamin D would ramp up progesterone's effects, hence the oestrogen dominance symptoms. Don't forget to take magnesium too, the most important co-factor for vitamin D. I'm sure it was Julie who mentioned taking Mg citrate to another woman on this site. And found it helped her sleep, maybe Julie will be able to confirm or correct this. I have Mg sulphate (Epsom Salts) baths every night, I buy a 50lb bag from a farmer's co-op, and ladled it in! Take care Wray

Nov 27, 2012
Thank you!!!
by: Kate

This is the first cycle I'm not taking a progesterone break. I'm on day 30 and my heart rate is very fast. It actually feels like the time I was on birth control pills after my daughter's birth. I felt a tight chest, heavy/fast heart rate and had a terrible migraine. I immediately stopped taking the pill back then.
I'm very sensitive to changes in blood pressure and considering that I have low blood pressure, I'm worried about increasing my dose beyond 100mg a day. Do you think that by taking this dose without a break I will be able to overcome the Estrogen wake up, or do you think I'm just boosting my estrogen?

Nov 28, 2012
Thank you!!!
by: Wray

Hi Kate With all the symptoms you have the 100mg/day is definitely not enough. This is why I suggested at least 200mg/day if not more. The fast heart rate will have increased your BP. If you have a monitor you could check it. Please read those papers I gave you about the QT interval, as they explain what's happening. Alternatively you must stop the progesterone, as it's only stimulating oestrogen. You could get advice from your doctor, as he seems to understand progesterone. I suggest you take those papers on the QT interval to him, they should help him. Take care Wray

Nov 28, 2012
Magnesium
by: Julie

Hi Wray,

It was me who mentioned the magnesium Citrate. It has been very helpful to me with panic attacks. Also wanted to let you know I got the Natpro last week and have already started my second tube of it!! I really love it!! The smell is wonderful and it is so light and easy to work with. I am holding strong at 400mg and am seeing some improvements here and there. Also got the Energy Boost in the mail today. I plan to start it tomorrow with 1 tsp building up to the 4 tsp. a day. Does that sound right. I am also taking Noni juice of which my friend is paying for a 3 month supply for me.

I will let you know how I do in a few days on my other thread:)

Julie


Nov 30, 2012
Magnesium
by: Wray

Hi Julie Ah so I was right, my memory sometimes plays up! Magnesium is such a calming mineral, whereas calcium excites. Mg relaxes muscles, Ca constricts, both needed to make our muscles work, but too much Ca causes them to tighten up. Bless you for saying you love the Natpro, we have tried to make it as pleasant as possible to use. It has helped with me using it of course, as I don't like thick greasy creams. Unless they contain the natural plant butters for rough areas. So delighted the 400mg/day is helping, it is a bumpy ride in the beginning, please don't forget that. Pleased you're going to build up with the EB, you can have a slight detox from it, so watch for aches or flu like symptoms. It doesn't happen to everyone. I've taken it every day now for about 5 years, can't do without it, if I forget I have a major slump! Noni is good, but very expensive! Full of antioxidants, so you'll be getting a double whammy, as the EB if full of them too. All the studies coming out now, on all major diseases are saying they believe they're caused by oxidative stress, i.e. too many free radicals. I feel we should all be taking antioxidants to cope, as stress also causes a cascade of inflammatory cytokines. Would love you to keep in touch, feedback is so essential for me. Take care Wray

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