I think taking DIM was a mistake for me

by Shalny
(NYC)

My main reason for seeking out progesterone was to help with the heavy periods I get every month. I just turned 47 and my cycles which used to be 28 days are now creeping down to 22-25 days. My period lasts from 5-8 days and 2 of those days are very heavy and clotty where I can barely leave home soaking through super pads and tampons every 20-30 min. Incidentally, using pads for urinary incontinence has helped a little. The rest of the period is normal with surprise flooding now and then even on the last day. I had some tests done at the gyn and she told me I had fibroids, possible adenomysis and that my lining was out of phase (she didn't clearly explain what that meant. She suggested Aygestin (synthetic progesterone) to get it back in phase or an ablation. I didn't want to do either. I asked about natural progesterone and she said it wasn't strong enough. I went on my own and started natpro. I began taking around 80 mg a day. I also took about 500 mgs of cal d glucarate and NAC along with several other supplements for PCOS and iron of course. I removed many xenoestrogens and phyto estrogens from my environment hoping that would reduce my need for alot of progesterone as well as help level out my hormones. The first period I had was very slightly better. It was the first one that I didn't actually have any leaks. Then I decided to add DIM because I heard that could help. It was very unusual. I was eating right and exercising, but everything felt tight. I was so bloated. I realized then my period was a week late. That never happens to me. I took it as a sign that the DIM was working. Boy was I wrong! The week leading up to my period was so painful. I had cramps everyday. My breasts hurt (which never usually happens to me) and when my period finally came it was so awful. Sorry to be graphic but I woke up and left a trail from my bed to bathroom. It looked like a crime scene. Ugh!! I started reading up on DIM again and some women on this forum had similar experiences. I stopped DIM immediately. As suggested, I increased my Cal D Gluarate and NAC to 2000mg. and I increased my progesterone to 200mg. for every day I don't have a period. Hopefully this will make a difference. My question is about calcium d glucarate. I know it removes excess estrogen but is there any chance it may remove too much?

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May 21, 2015
I think taking DIM was a mistake for me
by: Wray

Hi Shalny Calcium D-glucarate doesn't necessarily remove 'excess' oestrogen, therefore it won't remove too much. Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is one of the major detoxification pathways of the liver. It removes carcinogens, toxins, tumour promoters, the sex hormones ie, the androgens and oestrogens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, aromatic and heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, various nitrosamines, drugs, fungi etc. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase reverses the glucuronidation process. It breaks the glucoronide bond between a toxin and glucuronic acid, and releases carcinogens, toxins and excess steroid hormones back into circulation. There's evidence beta-glucuronidase activity is increased in breast and prostate cancer. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here, here, here and here. Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Silymarin from milk thistle also inhibits beta-glucuronidase, plus it helps the liver detox. I'm not sure how long you've been using progesterone, but the early days can bring on surprises, some are listed on our Oestrogen Dominance page. But during Peri-menopause, when the normal, heavy to light to spotting to flooding occurs, the very heavy/flooding periods can increase. We do have more info on our Menstruation page. And at the end is a protocol to prevent/stop heavy and/or continual bleeding, NAC is but one item. Take care Wray

May 21, 2015
DIM
by: DIane

Hi there~
I think that DIM was not the culprit but lack of progesterone triggering Estrogen dominance. Your symptoms suggest this. Your dose of progesterone was too low at 80mg. Ive been on DIM for over a year along with 250mg progesterone. Ive never felt better. I also take Vit D 10,000iu. My daughter is also on progesterone 200mg (for terrible PMS) from 14-28, and 100mg DIM daily. She now has normal cycles and her hormonal acne has cleared up.
I believe your symptoms will resolve over time if you increase Progesterone to atleast 100-200mg and maybe more. The higher dose will help you overcome E DOMINANCE. I believe DIM is a wonderful supplement to lower the effects of bad estrogen and better utilize good estrogen.
Good luck,
Diane

May 27, 2015
Why I blame DIM
by: Shalny

Thanks Wray and Diane for your info and advice. Diane, I have heard many good reviews for DIM which is why I wanted to try it. It's great that it works for you and your daughter. I'm just wondering if it works for some and not others. I began using about 60mg. of natural progesterone (another brand) and cleaning out a majority of the possible hormone disrupters in my life mid November 2014. I know the dosage is low compared to what is advised on this site. I didn't notice much of a difference. Towards the end of jan. 2015 I began Natpro and upped it to around 80mg.(not sure the exact amount because I eyeball it). I still didn't feel much of a difference pos or neg until my march period. I felt the slightest difference. It was still very heavy but I didn't leak for the first time since I could remember. I wasn't sure if it was the Progesterone or if it was just a fluke. That was when I added DIM to my regimen and that was when everything went haywire. My April period was miserable... a week late, horrible PMS emotional and physical and painful and 2-3 days of super heavy bleeding instead of 1-2 days. This is why I felt DIM was the culprit. I stopped the DIM right after. I upped my NAC and CDG and Natpro to about 200 mgs. My May period came on day 23 (not great but more the norm for me) and my breasts were not as sore. My emotional PMS still very bad and it was very painful and heavy like the month before. I was wondering if I was still feeling the effects of the DIM. I had been on natural progesterone for a while and my symptoms only got worse after the DIM. Maybe I needed some time to adjust to it but I was sooo miserable that I didn't want to chance waiting it out. I'm praying that my june period is better. I will keep you apprised with an update.

May 28, 2015
DIM
by: Diane

Hi there~
I know how frustrating it can be to find the right combo to optomize how you feel. I and my daughter can so empathize with you and so desire you to feel even better:). I read and re read your posts, and once again, based on what you wrote, I believe that it is not that you stopped DIM that helped you feel better, but it is that you upped your dose of progesterone. You were on far to low a dose when you were on 60-80mg. All things you encountered are signs of E dominance. You increased your Progesterone AND gave up the DIM at the same time and concluded that your feeling better because you gave up DIM. I believe its because you upped your progesterone.
Anyway, it is not necessary so much that you take DIM. It's far more important that your dose of Progesterone is high enough.
I'm personally on 250mg daily, Vit D 10,000iu, DIM 100mg, Iodine 12.5mg. Your Vit D level is critical to help optimize the benefits of progesterone in the body. It should be atleast above 75 and higher. Lab range is 30-100 as normal. That is ridiculous. 30 is far too low. Iodine is also so vital in order for your thyroid to function optimally. If you havent had those checked, then do so with a a good functional medicine MD.
I wish you well, and please keep us posted on how you are doing.
Blessings,
Diane

Jun 09, 2015
moving forward
by: Shalny

Thanks so much Diane, for your support and input in helping me figure this out. I really appreciate it! I guess it just puzzles me that I had been taking the Pr for months and didn't feel bad until the DIM. I'm wondering now if the brand I was using was possibly the problem. But as you said, it is not necessary to keep it in my regiment either way. I don't need to be shelling out the extra bucks anyway...lol. What type of iodine do you take? I've been taking Lugol's 2% but it makes my stomach upset to take it by mouth, so I rub it on my skin. Btw, I'm on day 25 of my cycle and I have been spotting for the past week with cramping on and off but no period yet. I have my fingers crossed that it will be even slightly lighter than it has been. Thanks

Jun 13, 2015
DIM
by: Diane

Shalny~
Hi there:)
You are 47.. A year younger than me. We are in the fire with perimenopause. It is the most volatile time hormonally. Some months may be light, some heavy, some no periods at all. The key is again that your vitamin D level is nice and high- at least 80 and hiigher. Also, your Progesterone should be applied at minimum 2 times daily. I rub P on 3 times...100mg AM, 50-100mg noon, 100mg PM. At minimum you should apply twice daily.
In regards to iodine, I use i-throid 12.5mg every morning. I find my energy is so much improved since on idoine not to mention, my hair fullness and length is greatly improved since on i-throid. My level in the blood was 30.. far too low.
Did you get a chance to read Dr Platt's book "The miracle of Bioidentical Hormones"? It is so informational.
Remember, we are on a rollercoaster with perimenopause. The goal is to feel better over all. We will have some bad days. The goal is to lessen those days and that is what Progesterone at a high enough dose, Vit D, and iodine can help with. It is very helpful to have a really good functional medicine MD to help you weed through all of this based on your symptoms and lab results. The critical thing is to have a doctor who knows how to interpret your labs. Google and read reviews of doctors in your area. Your best bet is a functional medicine/ holistic integrative MD.
Blessings,
Diane

Jun 30, 2015
Great info
by: Shalny

Thanks Diane! I ordered the ithroid. I don't feel like the lugol's is doing much for me. possibly because I put it on my skin instead of internally, but it upsets my stomach otherwise. Hopefully the ithroid won't do that. I'm especially excited to hear that it has helped thicken your hair. My hair has been thinning for years as well as my eyebrows and much of my body hair. I also am looking for and hopeful to find a functional/holistic MD in my area but there aren't many and I'm doubtful that my insurance covers it.

Jul 27, 2015
Update
by: Shalny

Here's an update on my last period since I increased my progesterone cream and NAC. It was not a great period but definitely better! The week before it began I had some cramping and spotting. Then it began heavy with clotting, but not as bad as it usually is. There was mostly some flooding and clots at the beginning instead of all the way through and surprisingly a dramatic decrease in pain! I was so happy that I didn't have to take mounds of ibuprofen, especially with all the new heart attack warnings. I usually pop them like candy and they still don't really help. At the end there was about 5 days of spotting.... annoying but tolerable. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel!!! :)))))

Jul 28, 2015
DIM
by: Diane

Dear Shalney~
Glad to hear your period was better:) remember it can take months for P cream to overcome E dominance. It's a rollercoaster ride.. Some months better than others.. Goal is to OVERALL feel better:) Remember to take your D, iodine, read Dr Michael Platt's book. Please keep posting how your feeling.
Blessings,
Diane

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