by Rosanne

Hi Wray, to make a long story short my body was shutting down a year ago. Body temp of 96 degrees, depression, insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, trouble breathing ie air hunger, severe fybro pain throughout my body, cold chills, hot flashes, heart shaking in chest, heart palpitations, bloating, water retention, weight gain, migraines etc, etc.

After getting saliva tests done it was evident that I was at the bottom end of progesterone in the first half of my cycle and mid range the last half of my cycle. I am hypothyroid with no thyroid function so we switched to dessicated thyroid and added progesterone. We have continued to up the progesterone and thyroid until my present dosage of 300mg thyroid and 90mg progesterone the last half of cycle. However, due to continued symptoms at the first half of my cycle ie. water retention, bloating, fatigue, sever fybro pain throughout my body, migraines I am now taking between 60 and 90mg progesterone at day 5 - 16 because the fatigue and body pain are unmanageable. When I increase my progesterone the pain, depression and fatigue decreases. My blood tests show top of the range for free t4 and free t3 so I am on enough thyroid medication.

My concern is that taking this amount of progesterone before ovulation will interfere with my natural production. If I took higher amounts after ovulation until 2 days before period would that carry me over the first part of my cycle so that I do not have estrogen dominant symptoms from day 5 to day 16 when I ovulate? Maybe I should go on 150mg and then I would have enough in my body to carry me over from day 5-16? I always take at least a week break from the progesterone. The 90mg of progesterone the second half of cycle decreases my symptoms and more porgesterone during this time would allow me to feel better anyways.

I am stuck on what to do and do not want to go on pain medication or antidepressants when progesterone is helping the symptoms. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. fyi I am 45, take omegas, multi, vitc, vitb, magnesium adrenal nutritional supplements, thyroid support.

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Aug 30, 2011
by: Annette Canada

Hi Rosanne I sympathize with you, I have had a horrible time with my hormones. It didn't help that I was on bcp for 15 years. I'm glad to say I have been using very high doses of progesterone for the last 7 months and I'm starting to feel better every month. I would suggest you skip your cycle for a few months until your symptoms subside, it could take up to 6 months or so. I would also switch to the cream because it has the most effective delivery system. I would at least start at 200 milligrams a day dividing it in half, once in the morning and once at night. Remember your symptoms may get worse for awhile but it will subside. You can always work on a cycle after you are level. If 200 milligrams isn't helping then gradually increase it until you find the amount that works for you. You should also be taking a minimum of 5000 iu's of vitamin D a day. Hope this helps.

Sep 01, 2011
by: Wray

Hi Rosanne I would say you are not only short of progesterone, but vitamin D. Most people living in Canada are, please have a test done. For more info see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital websites. This is an excellent video to watch too, see here. And these papers here, here, here and here. Thyroid problems are often caused by a lack of vitamin D, so too is fibro. Vitamin D is a potent anti-inflammatory. We do have more info on panic attacks etc on our Anxiety page. It gives a list of nutrients which can help, one of which is vitamin D. In fact a lack of this causes depression. I don't believe you are using enough progesterone, I recommend 100-200mg/day, but not oral. This is the least effective Delivery system as most gets destroyed by the gut and liver. The only systems I recommend are injections, suppositories or creams. I would really suggest you use the progesterone daily for 2-3 months, during your period too. This will suppress any excess oestrogen you have, then once you feel stable, you can return to following your cycle. We have more info on our How to use progesterone cream page. Although using progesterone during the follicular phase can stop ovulation, it's worth doing this for a short time to ensure progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. We've found from Saliva Tests we run, that the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be be 600:1 and over to feel well. If you do increase the amount you're using, and change to a system which delivers progesterone more effectively, please our page on Oestrogen Dominance first. And please have that vitamin D test done, and consider taking a minimum of 5000iu's per day. Take care Wray

Sep 23, 2011
by: Rosanne

Thanks for you comments. I should have mentioned I do take topical progesterone and vit D regularly plus sun exposure. My doctor just suggested DIM, a natural supplement made from vegetables as an estrogen metobolizer. I really wanted to avoid taking progesterone all month so I thought I would try it. By day 4 of my cycle the estrogen dominant symptoms began to return as usual and I knew it would only get worse as the days went on. I have taken 4 DIM a day since day 4 and now on day 10 I have been able to keep my symptoms to very minimal, just a very mild low mood and no other symptoms. I will then resume my progesterone cream after I ovulate. I do have one more question though for dosage. When you take progesterone cream do you take the same dosage every day and do you take a high enough dose to eliminate all symptoms including mildly sore breasts. I usually gage what I need according to breast symptoms. If they are swollen and very sore I need more. However, I take enough to eliminate major symptoms but will have mild symptoms like very mild sore breasts and no other symptoms. Just curious as to what you gage it by.
Thanks again for you comments and input. I greatly appreciate it.

Oct 03, 2011
by: Wray

Hi Rosanne I'm pleased the DIM helped. Oestrogen is broken down into 2 principle metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 16-alpha hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1). 16alpha-OHE1 is regarded as a potent oestrogen, whereas 2-OHE1 is a weak oestrogen. DIM increases levels of 2-OHE1, by doing so it also increases the ratio of 2-OHE1:16alpha-OHE1. This increased ratio is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer, see here. Other studies have found a protective role too. Any natural substance which reduces the potency of oestrogen is to my mind worth taking. Another natural substance is calcium D-glucarate. Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. The process also removes other substances, including toxins, drugs, bilirubin, androgens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase breaks the oestrogen/glucuronide bond, which allows oestrogen to be reabsorbed. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here and here Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. My suggestion to use progesterone daily was only until you feel stable, I've found 2-3 months is the norm. Although Annette has been having a very tough time coming right due to the BCP, so understandably has used it daily for longer. I always recommend using progesterone as and when it's needed, and as you do, using symptoms as the best guide. It should be used a minimum of twice a day, hourly if need be. It should never be used as often advocated, ie a fixed daily amount. Dark, gloomy days drop levels, large meals too, a drop in vitamin D reduces it's benefits, thyroid problems drop levels, excess phytoestrogens. So many things affect it, that it's use is not a hard and fast rule. Incidentally rubbing it directly on the breasts is very helpful, as it's effective against sore breasts, see here, here, here, here, here and here. I've run our of space so will start a new comment below. take care Wray

Oct 03, 2011
by: Wray

Hi Rosanne It could be you lack iodine, this might explain why your major symptoms have gone, but your breasts can be sore, see here, here, here and here. An easy way to find out if the level is low is to get a tincture of iodine. Put 3 drops anywhere on the inner arm, rubbing them in with the dropper. If the patch fades in a few hours it means there's a deficiency. Continue applying it until the patch takes days to fade. Alternatively have a blood test. Take care Wray

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