"Hormonal Rush"

5 years ago (I was 51 yrs old) I had episodes of what I would call "fight or flight" or "hormonal rush". My heart would race and my blood pressure would go out of control, and then when it passed, I would start to cry.

My periods had started to be irregular. I had 3 EKG's in one week, saw a cardiologist and he (who was young enough to be my son), said, "I think we're chasing menopause, here". A doctor put me on a beta blocker and I wore a holter monitor, but eventually it passed. I hated being on the beta blocker but my family history is very strong for heart disease. (My father died of a stroke at 67 after having heart bypass surgery twice. My mother is on medication for hypertension, high triglycerides, high cholesterol.)

I stopped the beta blocker after 3 days. I sought help at a local "natural pharmacy". The pharmacist there gave me "holy basil" and felt that my adrenals were probably stressed. He also suggested I try some progesterone cream. I tried it a few days, but then, like I said, the episodes passed and eventually resolved. That was until 2 months ago. I am 56 years old. Still have a period. I occasionally miss but the longest has been three months without one.

Then, along come the episodes again. This time I was prepared! I have spent the past 5 years reading about bioidentical hormones. I went for a physical on Jan 28th and by blood pressure was up. The doctor put me on Benicar and felt that a low dose was probably not going to work. My heart was racing again. It took me a few days to realize this was the same condition. I was reading everything on your site. This was "estrogen overload"! I made an appt with a GYN doc and specifically asked about BHRT before I made the appt. (By the way, I'm a registerd nurse, exercise regularly, am not overweight, do not smoke or drink). They assured me that I would be able to get BHRT.

My blood pressure was so high at the appt, I wouldn't let them tell me what it was. My heart was racing. My husband had to drive me to the appt. The doctor explained that there was no difference between "natural" hormones and "synthetic" hormones. She said it was probably my thyroid and she couldn't give me anything until my blood pressure came down. She told me that any hormones she would prescribe would just make me bleed and increase my blood pressure. She wrote up a lab slip and sent me on my way.

These episodes were so scary, my heart raced for weeks. I would lay in bed in the morning and think, "I'm not going to stroke, I'm not going to stroke!" I have also had "spotting" in between my periods for years.

I started the progesterone cream (expired in '07, but it still worked!) and followed the directions in the package. I felt a change in two days. My pulse went down, my blood pressure lowered and the episodes subsided. I went to see my brilliant pharmacist and he looked at my lab work and felt I would be helped by prescription progesterone. I feel much better right now, just using the OTC cream. I no longer have any "spotting". I have an appt with another doctor in that practice who will prescribe "BHRT". If not, I will continue with the OTC.

Thank you for your very informative website. It has been so helpful to me. You have equipped me with enough knowledge to help myself when the doctors were not willing to listen. By the way, that consult with the GYN was $182.00 and I will have to pay another $182.00 for the next consult. Our insurance does not cover doctor visits. The progesterone cream costs $26/month.

Comments for "Hormonal Rush"

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Mar 10, 2011
"Hormonal Rush"
by: Wray

Hi there I'm so happy the info on the site helped you, that's my intention, to make people better informed. Most people don't have the time to search for answers, I do, I do it all day! I think I know exactly what was occurring. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here and here. I'm appalled your doctor said there was no difference in natural and synthetic hormones! See here, here here. The hormones she would have given you would have been synthetic, they would have made you bleed and increase BP. Progesterone is a potent vasodilator, which would cause your BP to come down, I'm glad it helped you! See here. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, I'm not sure how much you are using now. But if you feel you need to increase it, it's very safe to do so. You might like to see our page on Peri-menopause. As you appear to be almost at Menopause, please read this page too. If you do decide to increase the amount, please see this page on Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Mar 16, 2011
hormonal rush continued
by: Anonymous

Dear Wray,
Thank you for your response. I found a doctor to prescribe what my pharmacist thought would be the best combination for me. My blood work shows that I am completely menopausal but I have been getting my period every 23 days or sooner. The OTC progesterone held my period off to 30 days and I am feeling better. The wonderful Gyn I went to, listened to me and apologized for her colleague's lack of compassion. She only charged me $60 for an hour of thorough consultation. She is willing to work with the pharmacist and "tweak" my prescription until we get it right. I just started on the prescription cream today. It's a combination of progesterone and a little bit of estrogen because my estradiol level was also low. I'm a little confused by the addition of estrogen but I completely trust this pharmacist. My heart started to race today but I may have some adjustment time. I happened to look back at some pictures that were taken last month. I looked puffy and tired and I was exhausted. My heart had been racing for weeks, nonstop. I'm hoping this script will do the trick. Once again, thank you for your guidance, without it I would not have felt confident enough to pursue what was best for me.

Mar 24, 2011
hormonal rush continued
by: Wray

Hi there I'm so happy you've found a Gyn that was sympathetic. I am concerned about the oestrogen though, so please keep a look out for the racing heart again. You can always print out those papers I gave you if need be. It might be the pharmacist or the Gyn has not heard of oestrogen causing a prolonged QT interval and racing heart. Although your blood work showed you Menopausal, you are evidently still in Peri-menopause. It's not until we've had a year of no bleeding that we are in menopause. And please make sure you are getting sufficient progesterone too. I've found it's essential to make that the dominant hormone before we feel well. You might like to look at the results of some Saliva Tests we ran. The ratio of progesterone to oestrogen is over 600:1. The women felt well, and we know the progesterone is being absorbed well too. Take care Wray

Apr 09, 2011
hormonal rush conti...
by: Muriel

Hi Wray, I started with the "low estrogen/ higher progesterone" mix as prescribed by my pharmacist and I gained 5-7 lbs in 2 weeks...just like "The Pillsbury Doughboy". I stopped the estrogen and increased the progesterone and I am gradually losing the weight. It was fluid retention. Not fun. I will stop the progesterone today and I should get my period in the next few days. We'll see. Once again, thanks for your help.

Apr 29, 2011
hormonal rush conti...
by: Wray

Hi Muriel I'm delighted you've stopped the oestrogen, and that the "Doughboy' look is going. Take care Wray

May 05, 2011
hormonal rush conti...
by: Muriel

Dear Wray,
The good news is, my heart only races occasionally. The bad news is I look and feel like a "beached whale". My thighs and upper arms became massive! This is not the look I was going for. I had continued to increase the progesterone after I stopped the Estradiol and I continued to retain fluid. So, two weeks ago, I stopped the progesterone. I am s l o w l y losing the excess water weight but this is worse than a pregnancy. I nursed after pregnancy and quickly lost weight. I am not going to use any more progesterone until I am back to my normal weight.

May 11, 2011
hormonal rush conti...
by: Wray

Hi Muriel I'm glad the racing heart is not as bad. Pity you want to discontinue the progesterone though. Were you using enough to counter all the oestrogen you were given? Oestrogen is a mitogen, stimulating cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. As these are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, a vicious cycle starts. Progesterone counters the mitotic action of oestrogen, it stops cells multiplying. Not only that but oestrogen causes water retention, hence the beached whale look. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims, to prevent oedema forming, see here and here. I hope eventually you win. Take care Wray

Mar 07, 2012
Muriel please answer
by: Debbie

Muriel
the progesterone seem to make things worse weight gain all over after using it abdomin legs arms puffy face ..how long before you returned to normal after you stopped using it and what were all your symptoms while using it
please respond ...I am at a loss and the depression is so bad I cant function due to the raoid effects on my body
thank you


Mar 08, 2012
Debbie
by: muriel

Debbie, I would say it took at least 9 months to get rid of weight. I finally started counting the grams of sugar I ingested daily and wow! woke me up. I heard a guy on TV say that we should keep it down to 15 gms daily. That was in the morning and I had taken in about 80gms at that point. Everything was puffy on me, including my face. I recently lost 5 lbs in one day because my brother had a stroke. Totally freaked me out and there wasn't a bathroom my sister-in-law and I didn't pass without going. (Fortunately, he is recovering), but I don't suggest losing it that way. I weigh 120 right now and I'm 5'1" I still have flabby arms and legs and would like to walk and work out and get rid of them. I was doing zumba but that was before my brother's stroke and our first grandchild was born 2 months prematurely so we have been spending quality time in ICU's. Good luck with the continuing process...check out your sugar content, makes a difference. I also drink a lot of water!

Mar 09, 2012
Muriel please answer
by: Wray

Hi Debbie You were evidently given far too low an amount, it's essential to use enough progesterone to overcome the Oestrogen Dominance. Amounts of 20-40mg/day only exacerbate symptoms, there's more info on our page Progesterone Misconceptions. Progesterone cannot cause weight gain, oestrogen can and does. Oestrogen is an excitatory, inflammatory hormones. It's a mitogen causing cells to proliferate. Progesterone speeds metabolism which is why it's thermogenic, it inhibits mitosis, ie prevents cells multiplying and it's the best diuretic there is. So good it's given to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to prevent oedema. Unfortunately the low amounts of progesterone recommended only stimulate oestrogen, 100-200mg/day or more is needed to prevent this. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. You'll notice the website has many women all successfully using large amounts. Take care Wray

Mar 09, 2012
Debbie
by: Wray

Hi Muriel I'm pleased you finally got rid of the weight gain. I never did find out how much progesterone you were using in the end. But it seems not enough. A lack of vitamin D also causes weight gain, please have a test done. Incidentally both prem babies and strokes victims always have low vitamin D levels too. In fact in any type of heart disease levels are low, there's gaining evidence it could actually be a cause of heart disease. The TV guy was right, except no sugar should be eaten at all, no fructose or glucose either. It's the most damaging thing we can do to ourselves, it leads to oxidative stress, inflammation and AGEs. No grains or legumes should be eaten either, as these also contain sugars or convert to glucose. We do have a page on Nutrition you might like to look at. Take care Wray

Mar 22, 2012
weight gain
by: muriel

Ladies, with all due respect to Wray and the progesterone therapy, I have just made a discovery. I recently went on blood pressure medicine, (as much as I protested doing so). My brother recently had a massive stroke and my BP was ridiculously high. It went to 252/116 in the ER. I am convinced that this was mostly anxiety. I started on 2 BP meds and a diuretic. Guess what? The weight that I have had on me, (mostly cellulite) since I started the progesterone last yerar at this time, is dropping off of me. I am on hydrochlorthiazide 12.5mg once daily. I have already stopped the one BP med because my pressure was going too low. The diuretic has to be what is getting rid of all this excess weight I have had. So, my recommendation to any of you who have gained and can't lose is get yourself to your doc and temporarily try a low dose diuretic to give yourself some relief.

Mar 24, 2012
weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Muriel Thanks for this, as anxiety can raise BP, it sets off a chain reaction in the body. Please read that page I gave you on TBI, progesterone is the best diuretic there is. They've tried 50 different drugs over 30 years on TBI patients, to reduce oedema and inflammation, not one of them worked, but the progesterone did. Combined with vitamin D it's even more effective. Vitamin D also reduces cholesterol and BP, a lack of it causes the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system to kick in, this causes BP to rise. Please check your vitamin D levels. Take care Wray

Apr 18, 2012
for Debbie or anyone..weight gain/loss
by: muriel

I must reiterate.... get a diuretic! I used more than enough progesterone last year at this time than is necessary to overcome the "oestrogen factor". I was using over 200mg a day and I used it for 6 weeks.I just kept gaining weight and fast! I am now down to 115 lbs because I had to go on a diuretic prescribed by a doctor. I have only been on the diuretic for 5 weeks now. I really want to go off the diuretic and the 20 mg of lisinopril that I am on for my BP but I don't want to stroke. So I am going to remain on it till my BP gets too low. But, let me tell you, my thighs are actually starting to look normal. The last time I weighed 115 was 20 years ago. I feel the progesterone just added tons of water weight and it was impossible to get rid of.I now realize looking back at pictures from last year how swollen my face and everything else was. Please get some relief. You'll feel and look better!

Apr 19, 2012
Thank you Muriel
by: Debbie

Muriel I value your honesty and compassion our journey seems the same

May 19, 2012
Hi Muriel
by: Debbie

Hi Muriel
I have another question for you did the doctor try a diurectic first or was it always combined with the bp medication I understand that lisinopril is an ACE Inhibitor so am just wonder which pill actually helped first ...the diuretic or the Ace Inhibitor ...I also have not lost weight and developed high blood pressure sometimes due to the fluid retention I think and also get low blood pressure at times ..so we are just trying to get some information together
thank you for all your insight

May 21, 2012
wt gain
by: muriel

Debbie, to answer your question, I went on Norvasc and Lisinopril for 3 days and then I started the diuretic. I stopped the Norvasc about 1 week into it, as my BP was too low. I am now taking 10 mg instead of 20 mg of lisinopril every day. I am trying to take the hydrochlorthiazide every other day. I have been taking 1-2 tabs of celluloss by herbalife for 25 years. When I gained so much water weight after the progesterone, I had been taking 3 celluloss tabs daily to try to get rid of the fluid. It did nothing. I am now taking 2 celluloss daily and apple cider vinegar on the opposite days of the hydrochlorthiazide. Confusing? Yep, I think so, too. All I know is I don't want to stroke and I don't want to be fat....so I'm doing whatever it takes....good luck!

May 24, 2012
Muriel
by: Debbie

Hi Muriel
did the fluid start coming off at all with the BP medication
thanks

May 24, 2012
hormonal rush
by: muriel

Debbie, the fluid started coming off with the diuretic within the week. I weigh 115 and I would like to stay at that. I am trying apple cider vinegar and celluloss as an alternative to the chemical hydrochlorthiazide as a diuretic and it seems to be working. But the hydrochlorthiazide is what got rid of the extra poundage that I feel accumulated with the progesterone. Again, best to you...nothing like feeling "yourself" again! And a special thanx to Wray for allowing us to use her site for this medium.

May 25, 2012
hormonal rush
by: Wray

Hi Muriel Thank you so much for saying that, very kind of you! I'm delighted the water has finally drained off, although I'm still convinced the progesterone would have done it! Please, please don't forget to have your vitamin D levels checked and keep them high. Take care Wray

May 25, 2012
Hormonal rush
by: Muriel

Wray, You are correct. I really should check my "D" level. I do take 1000 units of D3 daily and get as much sun as weather permits. Not a big believer in sunscreen. Thanx for your continued support.

May 25, 2012
Hormonal rush
by: Wray

Hi Muriel Please consider taking 5000iu's per day. I know you probably suspect my advice, over the progesterone! But it's just so important to get levels up high. These are excellent sites to look through, see Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. They all have test kits they send out too, that's if you can't get one done easily where you live. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml and not the 30ng/ml 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. If you have one done, please let me know the results, I'm fascinated by vitamin D and the benefit it has on us. Take care Wray

May 26, 2012
hormonal rush
by: muriel

Wray, no problem. I'll gladly up it to 5000 iu/daily. I'm all about vit D! We have a sailboat and as soon as we are thru spending everyday in a medical facility (which we have done for the past 4 months straight), I will be on that boat! In the meantime, our youngest son and his friends are getting plenty of Vit D via our vessel!

May 27, 2012
hormonal rush
by: Wray

Hi Muriel Oh I'm so pleased, would love to know if it helps you at all. Most people find it does. How lovely you have a boat, I do envy you, enjoy the summer! Take care Wray

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