I seem to have a paradoxical effect from progesterone

I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure 8 years ago and started HRT 2 years ago. I had estradiol and progesterone cream from a compounding pharmacy. Everything seemed fine for the first year besides tweaking the RX every few months. I woke up one am and had horrible acid reflux and have been fighting it ever since. I went off the hormones for awhile to see if they were causing it but I couldn't stand the symptoms so I got back on them. The problem is I can't get back to a balanced level and I now seem to have a paradoxical reaction from progesterone. I get this crazy, restless anxiety feeling and horrible insomnia. Every doc says keep raising your progesterone levels but I can't cause the feeling gets worse. Just wondering if anyone has had this problem? I have had my labs done and they show very low levels in progesterone and estradiol.

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Jun 05, 2013
I seem to have a paradoxical effect from progesterone
by: Wray

Hi there The 'crazy, restless anxiety feeling and horrible insomnia' you have is caused by excess oestrogen. It's an excitatory inflammatory hormone. Oestrogen stimulates glutamate, our most excitatory neurotransmitter, see here. It increases free radicals, plus destroying beta-endorphin neurons in the brain, these produce endorphins which promote a feeling of well being and relaxation. Beta-endorphins also appear to boost the immune system, protecting against cancer, see here. This paper says "Although it is widely accepted that exposure to estradiol throughout life contributes to reproductive aging.... Recent evidence ..... of chronic estradiol-mediated accelerated reproductive senescence now suggests such a hypothesis. It has been shown that chronic estradiol exposure results in the destruction of greater than 60% of all beta-endorphin neurons in the arcuate nucleus .....This loss of opioid neurons is prevented by treatment with antioxidants indicating that it results from estradiol-induced formation of free radicals", see here. Whereas progesterone protects against glutamate toxicity, it also increases BDNF (brain-derived neuroptrophic factor) in itself protective, see here and here. Excess glutamate increases levels of calcium, an excitatory mineral. Progesterone also protects against calcium induced excitotoxicity, see here. I suggest you stop the oestradiol and just use progesterone. I don't know how much progesterone you were using but it appears to be low, this will only stimulate oestrogen making matters worse. The web is littered with comments such as yours about the paradoxical affect. There's more info about this on our Oestrogen Dominance page. I'm not sure how old you are, but please see our pages on How to use progesterone cream, Peri-menopause and Menopause. Please have a vitamin D test done too, a lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone. Take care Wray

Jun 11, 2013
response
by: Anonymous

Wray- My blood levels for testosterone is-total 34 ng/dl and free is 2.6 pg/-estradiol is-19.8 pg/ml and progesterone is 0.4 ng/ml. Do these numbers show the estrogeon dominance? I will try not using the estradiol but it does scare me because I was really only using a dot of Estrogen with 3 to 1 progesterone and every time I would try to increase Progesterone only the symptoms would get much worse. How much do you think I should take of the progesterone? right now i'm only taking 2.5 ml. Thanks for taking the time to help me

Jun 11, 2013
me again
by: Anonymous

Wray- Forgot to tell you that my vitamin D level is 34 ng/ml

Jun 12, 2013
response
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately the 2.5ml of progesterone cream does not tell me how much progesterone you are using. Do you know the strength? If it's a 10% strength the cream is giving you 250mg progesterone, if 5% then 125mg, if 1.6% (the standard) then it's giving you 40mg. The last seems nearer the mark as your progesterone is very low. It makes your ratio 20:1, also very low. You might like to see the results of our Saliva Tests, you'll notice the ratio was 600:1 and over. With a ratio such as yours, I'm not surprised you feel awful. I suspect you will need 400mg/day progesterone, it should be used a minimum of twice a day too. Your vitamin D is low, specialists believe it should be a minimum of 50ng/ml, some advocating 70-100ng/ml. Please increase it, you will find a benefit, particularly from the progesterone. Take care Wray

Jun 12, 2013
response
by: Anonymous

50 mg/ml is the strength for Progesterone and the Estrogen is 1.1. I used my normal dose of Progesterone this morning but didn't take the estrogen. Very restless feeling. When I jump up the dose am I going to have to work through the restless feeling before it gets better?-Thanks

Jun 13, 2013
response
by: Wray

Hi there So it's a 5% cream, i.e. you're getting 125mg/day progesterone. Evidently this is not enough with the oestrogen you are also using. I would suggest doubling this, although I have no idea if it will be enough. You will have to play around with the amount. And yes you will probably get Oestrogen Dominance. I haven't found one woman who hasn't except the very few who opted for 1000mg/day and over. Even some of these did, it all depends on the level of oestrogen and testosterone present and the symptoms. Take care Wray

Aug 25, 2013
Paradoxical progesterone
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray, I took your advice and doubled my progesterone so now I'm taking 250mg a day. I felt almost drunk and dizzy at first and it seemed to calm me down. Now 2 weeks later I am back to grinding my teeth, headache, insomnia, weepy, muscle and joint aches and hot flashes and MAJOR hair loss. My doc called me with my blood results and she said my progesterone was off the charts at pregnancy levels and my estrogen was a 24. She wants me to cut P in half and double my E. what do you think of this advice? I am so frustrated. She thinks the P is pushing down my E. Thanks again for listening to me

Aug 26, 2013
Paradoxical progesterone
by: Wray

Hi there Progesterone does suppress oestrogen if enough is used. It's really up to you if you follow her advice. Try it and see how you feel. Plus read all the stories from other women who've written in to this site who've used high amounts of progesterone. These are some of them here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Sep 05, 2013
Response
by: Anonymous

Wray, I'm so sorry to keep bothering you but I really need some clarification . With my progesterone levels so high and estrogen so low, am I experiencing estrogen dominance still? Also, should I even worry about my P levels being high? Is it possible that I got a false reading on the lab results because I used the sublingual drops of P right before the blood test? It is now almost 4:00 am and I am clenching and wired praying ill get a couple of hours of sleep. I feel like I'm losing my mind...no sleep day after day really eats away at you and one can't figure out if its the lack of sleep causing all the symptoms or the hormone imbalance. I still get maybe 4 hot flashes a day but I was getting them every 20 minutes. Do you know what hormone causes the acid reflux? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks for all you do

Sep 07, 2013
Response
by: Wray

Hi there I don't know how high your progesterone level is, so can't work our the ratio. This is the important factor not the amount of each hormone. You didn't mention Hot Flushes before, I've found 400mg/day is needed to stop these. This amount will also help those other symptoms you have. And please increase your vitamin D intake, you must get your level up high. Too low and the progesterone doesn't work efficiently. Oestrogen causes smooth muscle to constrict, the gut is lined with smooth muscle. Progesterone causes the muscle to relax. It your vitamin D is so low, then possibly your magnesium is too. This is the most important co-factor for vitamin D, it also relaxes muscle. I suggest you take about 800mg/day for a month, then reduce to 250mg/day. Take a look at these comments here, here, here and here for encouragement. Take care Wray

May 29, 2014
Why Oestradiol
by: Frango

Firstly what a great web site about hormonal truths.
Acc to Dr John Lee, of the three Oestragens, Oestradiol is the one that proliferates breast growth and maybe cancer? I could be wrong. Progesterone should balance it though?
Saw a news paper article 6 years ago "Connection between women who eat red meat and B.C" Thought to myself -- you want to believe this. Researched the hormone growth implants in grain fed cattle and discovered they were considerably Oestradiol.
"My year with meat" written by Japanese lady. Amazing book on this subject.

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