Female Panel Testing

by Andrea
(Canada)

Dear Wray,

just received test results for:

Testosterone T. 1,9nmol/L
FSH 3,3 UI/L
LH 5,6 UI/L
Progesterone 38,0 nmol/L
TSH 2,88 mUI/L
Glucose 7,2 nmol/L

Unfortunately the Oestrogen results are lacking,so I cannot find out about its ratio to progesterone.

My last period lasted for 14 days, so I am not sure about on what day of my "normal cycle" those blood samples were taken.

I am taking about 300 to 500ml of natpro daily since months. Symptoms have much improved, only tiredness and very sore breasts still persist.

My question is, if despite the incomplete information about my oestrogen level, any conclusion can be drawn of my progesterone level?

Also, what is remarkable is the high amount of glucose my results show, as I am not a typical candidate for diabetes. I am rather skinny and eating very healthy,age: 43.

It would be great, if on your site, there were information about the components of a complete female panel testing to ask for. And on which day of the cycle it should be done. The whole accompagnied by "normal ranges".

Keep up your fantastic and generous work,
Andrea

Comments for Female Panel Testing

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 05, 2012
Female Panel Testing
by: Wray

Hi Andrea When I saw your progesterone result I was very puzzled as it's so low. Particularly as you are supplementing with it. This level falls within the normal luteal range. Tests should always be done when progesterone peaks in the luteal phase. This is always ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding. I'm not sure of your cycle length, but am sure you can work out if it was during the correct time. The rest of the month it's low, or rising in the early luteal or falling in the late luteal, so it's pointless taking a test at any other time. I'm also puzzled why you use such a big range, ie 300-500mg/day, it's best to stick to one amount varying it slightly, unless you went high when stressed? And your breasts are still sore, you did try the iodine, did that not help? Prolactin causes sore breasts, but yours should be low on the amount of progesterone you're using. I wish you'd told me earlier about the long period. Please consider taking 2000mg/day N-acetyl cysteine. Excessive bleeding is caused by MMPs, there's more info about them on our Menstruation page. NAC suppresses the MMPs. You might like to see this comment here on bleeding. Your LH level is higher than your FSH, which means you are now in Peri-menopause, or have PCOS, which I'm sure you would have mentioned before! This could have a bearing on the progesterone, as your own level is dropping, but not your oestrogen. Pity you don't have that result, as it's difficult to say exactly what the problem is. We do have a page on Hormone Testing. It can also be accessed through our page Progesterone levels found in the left hand margin. It took me months to do, as I had to find all the sites which gave the levels! Plus converting from ng/ml or pg/ml to nmol/L or pmol/L! In spite of this, I still find labs have different measuring systems. There is no standard it seems. There are glucose ranges on the page too, your level puts you in the diabetes range, very odd! It could be you are borderline with Insulin Resistance rather, this would explain the tiredness. Did you have your vitamin D checked, as a lack of this can cause IR, so can excess oestrogen and testosterone. And a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray

Apr 05, 2012
Excess Estrogen
by: Andrea

Hi Wray, yes, I am variing the amount of 300 - 500ml depending on stress. I already reduced from 800-1000ml, starting last mai; so its already nearly a year now that I take high amounts of natpro non -stop, that is even when bleeding. It was my first time ever, that I was bleeding for 2 weeks. Normally my cycle is extremely regular.
I made a Iodine test, but as the Iodine I put on me, was only absorbed completely after 24 hours and at the same time as all the other family members (children from age 10 to adults age 63), I thought I was not deficient.
I am taking about 8000U of Vit D daily, but will have a test done.
So my Progesterone is still very low?? What would you recommand me to do next?
I am quite sure, that my high glucose levels come
from excess estrogen.
Thank you.
Andrea

Apr 07, 2012
Excess Estrogen
by: Wray

Hi Andrea Ok now I understand, but still very puzzled by your progesterone level. Please try the NAC I suggested for the bleeding. I obviously didn't make myself clear enough about the iodine. It should take days to fade, not hours, which means all family members have low levels too. Iodine deficiency is on the increase, see here and here. You could have a blood test done to check your levels. Please have that vitamin D test done, as this could have a bearing on your blood glucose levels too, and the tiredness. I don't think you should alter your progesterone, rather find out your vitamin D level. A low level reduces the benefits of progesterone, plus has a bearing on insulin resistance and diabetes, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Apr 07, 2012
Response to Wray
by: Andrea

Ok thank you, Wray.
The 14 days non stop bleeding occured for the first time. Since, my cycle seems to be back to normal. This month is the first time after a long period of time that I stoped the progesterone for the 14 first days. I am a bit anxious about eventuel symptoms coming back, but the strange thing is, that since making the break my breast tenderness is completely gone. This confirms the impression I already got, when taking even high doses of progesterone: It seems the more I take, the more it triggers the production of estrogen in my body, instead of becoming progesterone the dominent hormone.
Is my progesterone level of 38,0 really that low? I thought it falls in the normal range.
Will have a VIT D test done, I really take about 8000U daily since several months now, but will see...
Take care,
Andrea

Apr 08, 2012
Response to Wray
by: Wray

Hi Andrea Oh good, I'm pleased you're trying to follow your cycle again. And you are right, increasing progesterone does increase oestrogen dominance symptoms. It's a question of finding the right balance of the two. I've found high amounts are needed initially to overcome the severe symptoms, but always recommend reducing the amount once they've gone. Or following the cycle again, whichever is the case. I still get oestrogen dominance when I use more progesterone, and that's in spite of using it for 15 years now! Yes your progesterone falls within the normal range, as I mentioned. I was puzzled as usually it's much higher if supplementing. It will be interesting to see your vitamin D level, and please follow up on the iodine too. Take care Wray

Apr 08, 2012
re
by: Andrea

Thanks again. Now, it gets all clearer to me. Wished I understood earlier, that using even high amounts of progesterone would not make it automatically the dominant hormone.
Take care,
Andrea

Apr 17, 2012
Ratio
by: Anonymous

Back with new results:

Estradiol 595 pmol/L
Progesterone: 38,0 nmol/L
Prolactin 9UG/L

Glucose back to 5,3 from 7,2.

Thank you very much for helping to calculate the 1:600 ratio.

Andrea

Apr 17, 2012
Ratio
by: wray

Hi Andrea Well your ratio is 64:1, not very high, which still has me puzzled. Although it does fall in the normal range, which I think I mentioned to you, I feel it should be higher with the supplementing you were doing. But blood tests are not as sensitive as saliva, so this could account for it. Possibly there's a limit to how much progesterone serum can hold! Your prolactin is within normal range too, which is a good thing, as it's an inflammatory hormone. I'm delighted your glucose is back down, that was most strange, maybe an anomaly in the testing? It didn't make any sense to me, nor to you. Take care Wray

Apr 18, 2012
re Ratio
by: Andrea

Ok, thank you for the ratio interpretation. (I got puzzeled with the different mesure unities and wasn't able to calculate the ratio myself)

Hmm... but yes, very strange, that the progesterone is still low.

Take care,
Andrea

Apr 18, 2012
re Ratio
by: Wray

Hi Andrea They can be confusing, there are too many too. Even between different labs, not to mention different countries! Yes it is strange, but the main thing is it helping you? I haven't found any info on how much progesterone serum can hold, so can only assume this is the explanation. Take care Wray

Apr 19, 2012
re
by: Andrea

It helped me, as now I know that my ratio is far fom the wished 600:1.
Yeah... that would be my explanation too, that there can only be a limited amount withheld and metabolized by the body.
I suspect a Cortisol connection being somehow the culprit for it. Having adrenal fatigue, a condition, who comes often along with unbalanced hormones,seems to make it more difficult for the hormones receptors to respond.
Here is what I found from an interview with David Zava Ph.D.
"Too much cortisol, again caused by the adrenal glands’ response to excessive stressors, causes the tissues to no longer respond to the thyroid hormone signal. It creates a condition of thyroid resistance, meaning that thyroid hormone levels can be normal, but tissues fail to respond as efficiently to the thyroid signal. This resistance to the thyroid hormone signal caused by high cortisol is not just restricted to thyroid hormone but applies to all other hormones such as insulin, progesterone, estrogens, testosterone, and even cortisol itself. When cortisol gets too high, you start getting resistance from the hormone receptors, and it requires more hormones to create the same effect. That’s why chronic stress, which elevates cortisol levels, makes you feel so rotten—none of the hormones are allowed to work at optimal levels.

Again, thank you for your availability.
Andrea

Apr 19, 2012
re
by: Wray

Hi Andrea I think I've been very dim, and concerned you needlessly, and puzzled myself into the bargain. You had a serum test done, the 600:1 ratio I quote is from saliva tests we do. The two are very different, and really can't be compared. Dr Zava is always so good, do you have the link to the article you quote above, as I'd really like to read all of it? It makes so much sense, and it's what I've found too, far more progesterone is needed if stressed. Luckily it binds to the same receptors as cortisol, so effectively shuts it off. We have an excellent article by Dr Zava on our site, see here. In it he says….."when steroids are delivered topically, serum testing grossly underestimates bioavailable hormone levels and is not reflective of either tissue uptake or response. Saliva hormone levels, on the other hand, closely parallel tissue uptake of the hormone." I think if you had a saliva test done you would find your level very high. Take care Wray

Apr 21, 2012
Dr. Zawa
by: Andrea

Hi Wray,
hope this is the link, as I find very interesting article, is working for you:
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/cortisolthyroidaging.html

On the next occassion I will have a saliva test done. But even if it is more acurate per se, it would not change the estradiol/ progesterone ratio, would it?

Thats interesting, that you too even after 15 years of using progesterone, there are times when you still get OD. Why is it so difficult to get progesterone dominant?
What is remarkable for me, is that where I put the creme on my body, is where I will get swollen due to water retention which sets in, as I said exactly there where I apply the creme. It became especially obvious, when I used amounts of 800 to 1000ml and even though I rotated the zones of my body, my fingers of course, were the most in contact with the creme and were extremely swollen then. Is that kind of local OD frequent?

Take care,
Andrea


Apr 23, 2012
Dr. Zawa
by: Wray

Hi Andrea Most interesting thanks! I've read it and converted it into code so it's now an active link for others to view quickly. Having a Saliva Test would change the ratio, progesterone tends to suppress oestrogen. If you look through the results on the link I've given, you'll notice the before and after values. Progesterone has risen exponentially, whereas oestrogen hasn't. I don't think it's a question of being difficult to get progesterone dominant. But more one of what else is affecting it. I know recently I've needed far more than my 170mg/day I normally use, due to added stress. So I increased it to 800-1000mg/day to get over this time. I'm not using quite as much now! Probably about 500mg/day. I find if I eat wheat which I do try to avoid, I blow up, as if I've eaten a bowl of oestrogen! So I use the progesterone to reduce it. There are so many variables, too many in fact. I find women new to progesterone write to me after Christmas or some celebration saying their symptoms have come back. Even happy occasions are stressful. Or they've been on holiday and their period has started early, or the excessive bleeding they had has started again. And that's in spite of high progesterone. I always suggest N-acetyl cysteine for heavy bleeding. One woman with this problem found her bleeding came back, she increased the progesterone still further, no help. She then went back to the brand of NAC she had previously had success with, and the bleeding has stopped. Why? It could be something to do with the other ingredients, or a better quality. It's so difficult to pin point it. Progesterone does travel quickly round the body, within minutes. But I have found if used on the area with a problem, it works faster, sometimes within seconds. I've not heard of it causing instant swelling though! But it would be an oestrogen dominance effect. Take care Wray

Apr 23, 2012
Ratio
by: Andrea

Thank you Wray for answering my questions.


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.


Search over 7,500 pages on this site...