Long term use/ gland atrophy?

by Temperi
(Virginia)

Hi Wray, I happened to some across this information from a man named James Sloan who also goes by Hveragerthi and as far as I can tell is a scientist/ researcher of sorts. Hes is very knowledegable about many things but usually has quite the opposite stance on many issues. I have gotten much improvement from progesterone cream but have to say this does intuitively make sense to me and really want to get your take on this and see if you had any research that might go against this stance, especially for women that might be in perimenopause of menopause and might not be making enough progesterone anyways...

"Progesterone creams can be used short term in conjunction with the vitex for faster results. Long term, or high dose, use of hormones will cause the glands that normally produce those hormones to atrophy (shrink). The body then becomes dependant on the external source of hormones. This is true of all hormone therapies (birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, DHEA, melatonin, etc.), and raw glandular therapy, since the glands must be forced to work to maintain their health and activity. By substituting for the glands the glands become lazy, and if hormone levels go too high the brain will atrophy the gland to try and return hormone levels to a proper level. Therefore I recommend that progesterone creams not be used for more than 2 weeks a month and for 2 months at a time. This allows sufficient levels of progesterone to build up in the fat tissues, which will meet the body's progesterone needs until the vitex can take effect allowing the body to generate its own progesterone."

Also, one thing I dont understand is I keep hearing that wild yam creams are not the same as progesterone but every single one I have found is made from wild yam, including the one I use (emerita pro-gest) but says its USP progesterone on the label. Is this not the same thing then? Heres what he went on to say.. so am I really putting diosgenin on my skin and not really progesterone and are they all like that? Sorry this was so long but I would love to hear your input as I know youve done more research on this topic than anyone else I could ask. Thanks!

"Progesterone creams are applied to the fatty areas of the body in a rotating manner. For instance: Day 1 apply 1/2 teaspoon of the progesterone cream to the right breast and rub it in. Day 2 apply the cream to the left breast. Day 3 apply the cream to the left upper arm. Day 4 rub the cream on to the stomach. Day 5 apply the cream to the left inner thigh. Day 6 apply the cream to the right inner thigh. Day 7 apply the cream to the right upper arm. For the next 7 days you should remain off of the cream. Then the same 7 day application cycle is repeated. Repeat for 2 months then it is recommended that women discontinue the cream. After several months off the cycle may be repeated if needed. Wild yam creams are a safer alternative to progesterone creams. Wild yam, and fenugreek seed, contain a substance, known as diosgenin, which exerts a weak progesterone-like effect. In fact diosgenin is the building block for the synthetic progesterone used in progesterone creams. Diosgenin does not convert in to progesterone in the body though. If wild yam or fenugreek are taken orally the diosgenin will go from the stomach through the liver where much of the diosgenin will be metabolized. By using extracts of these herbs topically the diosgenin will absorb through the skin and bypass the liver, yielding a stronger effect."

Comments for Long term use/ gland atrophy?

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Nov 22, 2014
Long term use/ gland atrophy?
by: Wray

Hi Temperi If a gland is not producing a hormone etc, then replacing it is not going to atrophy it! Many women don't ovulate each month, some don't ovulate at all, like those with PCOS, in Peri-menopause or Menopause. It can only benefit these women. Many people are confused about how progesterone is made and where from. The confusion arises as so many web sites say made from yam, while others say made from soy. Which is the best or safest is always upper most in people’s minds. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what plant is used for synthesising progesterone, providing it contains a plant sterol in sufficient quantities to make it economical. The plant based sterol goes through many enzymatic changes on it's conversion process, leaving a progesterone which is 99.9% pure. Sterols are ubiquitous in eukaryotic life. They are an integral part of fungal, plant and animal cell membranes and precursors to many things, for instance in animals to hormones. Over 250 different types of sterols, known as phytosterols, have been found in plants. Animals only have one sterol, or zoosterol known as cholesterol, and fungi only have one mycosterol known as ergosterol.  But there are plant sterols and plant sterols. The phytosterols used for making progesterone do not have a triple bond in the A-ring as does oestrogen. In fact they have no bond in the A-ring, unlike progesterone which has one.  So the molecule must be changed, this has to be done in a lab. The final step produces progesterone. Now the other type of sterol which is not used at all in the synthesis of hormones is known as a phytoestrogen. This has a triple bond in the A-ring, identical to oestrogen. Cholesterol is the starting point for the steroid hormones made naturally in animals, including humans. Progesterone used to be extracted from pig's placentas, until it was discovered plant sterols could be used. Plants such as the soy bean, Dioscorea species of yams, fenugreek, sisal, calabar bean, some lilies, yucca, some solanum species, maize, Quillaja saponaria, a Chilean tree and many more contain phytosterols. Some of which are stigmasterol, diosgenin, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, hecogenin, sarsasapogenin, solasodine. As these plant sterols have a similar molecular structure to cholesterol, they are used as starting points for the synthesis of progesterone. So the synthesis ends with a progesterone molecule, or molecules, as it’s made in large quantities. It is only progesterone and can only be progesterone. Of interest, stigmasterol is the starting point for vitamin D3 synthesis. Ergosterol is the starting point for vitamin D2 synthesis.Take care Wray

Nov 22, 2014
Very well explained
by: Liz Uk

Can't really argue with that! lol

There is some sense in the initial question/statement.

For example, when taking tranquillisers (benzodiazepines) over a long period, our brain stops producing the natural calming relaxing chemicals such as norepinephrine, Serotonin, Dopamine etc and the body becomes dependant upon the external supply, that being the sleeping tablet or tranquilliser.

Eventually, we build up a tolerance to these tablets and thats when all of the anxiety and insomnia comes back with a vengeance because our brains no longer make the hormones that calm us and the tablets have become next to useless due to our long term tolerance to them leaving us two options, increase the dose and face the same scenario some months or years down the line or come off them and go through Hell to get our brains kick started into creating natural calming and relaxing chemicals again.
This takes months or years. Hate benzos!

The same is true of chemical hormones, such as the Contraception Pill, our bodies stop producing the hormones and the pill takes over the task but I have never heard of anyone becoming "tolerant" to contraception pill or there would be many unplanned pregnancies and associated law suits against the pharma companies who create them.

I don't know why we cannot become tolerant to chemical hormones but can to chemical tranquillisers.. not sure how or why.

It is true that our own natural source of Progesterone slows down and/or stops regardless of outside interference as we age and hit peri and MP anyway, so adding what was already depleted cannot make the situation any worse, it can only benefit us.

That "gland" is going to shrink due to the simple process of ageing. Our ovaries start backfiring and the production of progesterone continues to decline.

Wray, your knowledge on this subject is simply amazing.. you lost me a little bit in your explanation as to how Progesterone is made as that is not an area I am concerned about, I will forgive you! lol


Liz

Nov 22, 2014
Long term use/ gland atrophy
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray,
I too am very interested in what your thoughts are in the sense of gland atrophy? If we use long term progesterone cream, as I have? I have used the cream For aprox. 3 years at around 300-350 mg a day. can this cause the glands to not function properly on their own anymore?? As i have now been informed by my natropath doctor that my adrenal glands & thyroild are looking a little off? I am now taking supplements to correct this. Please let me know if you have any info. regarding this?? As I do feel I still need the Natpro cream. And also I know you have said that you have used the cream for many years & was wondering if you had any issues arise with your glands or others who has used the cream long term, on higher doses??
Thanks

Nov 23, 2014
Long term use/ gland atrophy
by: Wray

Hi there As I explained to Temperi above, if the glands are not producing any hormones etc, it can only benefit. I've now used progesterone for 18 years, I started in late Peri-menopause when ovulation is slowing down naturally, until it finally stops at Menopause. So my glands have atrophied over time. I don't Hi there As I explained to Temperi above, if the glands are not producing any hormones etc, it can only benefit. I've now used progesterone for 18 years, I started in late Peri-menopause when ovulation is slowing down naturally, until it finally stops at Menopause. So my glands have atrophied over time. I don't know how old you are, so can't comment on your situation or symptoms. But if you're in P-M or menopause then the progesterone could benefit you. The thyroid is such an important gland, governing all cellular metabolism, it also effects the adrenals too. It's wise to give it supplements to keep it functioning normally. Take care wray
know how old you are, so can't comment on your situation or symptoms. But if you're in P-M or menopause then the progesterone could benefit you. The thyroid is such an important gland, governing all cellular metabolism, it also effects the adrenals too. It's wise to give it supplements to keep it functioning normally. Take care wray

Nov 23, 2014
Very well explained
by: Wray

Hi Liz Thanks!! I think the difference lies in the addictive nature of the benzos and other drugs. Hormones are not addictive, well I've not come across any paper to say so! They do of course have a strong influence on how the body functions. So going cold turkey off them can cause unpleasant side effects. Cocaine, heroin, benzos, alcohol, tobacco and sugar are all highly addictive. There's strong evidence that the most addictive substance of all is sugar. Take care Wray

Nov 23, 2014
long tern use/gland atrophy
by: Anonymous

HI Wray, I am the woman who commented earlier about my thyroid & adrenals & I am in my early 40's. I was just concerned that long term use of 300-350 mg/day for long period of time could have caused my glands to not function fully on their own due to the progesterone therapy & in light of what the above comment suggested. I appreciate your insight & yes I am on support for these now. So in your above comment about our glands naturally shrinking with age, when does that typically start to happen in women? I also would like to say, I have not had any issues with my thyroid or adrenals in the previous years, as i have been seeing my natropath for many years now. Thank you for your insight, I guess i was just a little concerned that I was taking too high a dose of natpro, for too long already?? Thanks again :)

Nov 24, 2014
Long term use/ gland atrophy
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray, I am the lady who commented above in regards to the thyroid & adrenal. I tried sending another message and dont think it went through. Anyway, I am in my early 40's and have seen my natropath doctor for many years now & have been using the Natpro cream for aprox 3years @ about 350mg/day or sometimes up to 400. I have tried to reduce slowly, but still feel the need to use the cream. My question lies in whether or not the high doses of progesterone can cause the atrophy of the glands & could be why mine are off now?? Thank you for you info. & would appreciate any info you have on progesterone use & the adrenal & thyroid glands, also the kidneys?? Thanks again & I have enjoyed using the Natpro!

Nov 24, 2014
makes sense
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray, thanks for the thorough response! Thats exactly what I thought as well.No need to worry so much about atrophy when the gland is already in a sense atrophying from age.I am almost 39 years old and when tested found to have annovulatory cycles and low progesterone anyways.I will say no matter what anyone says I first try and go by how I feel and it would be hard to convince me that the amount of improvement Ive seen from progesterone is in any way bad.Coupled with the fact that we are assualted daily with numerous xenoestrogens I see progesterone also as a preventative measure as well especially for menopause and perimenopause women and even men.As far as the creams and which type is safe which is the type then that they say isnt real progesterone and only has a few characteristics of it but is not the real deal, is that wild yam extract?

Nov 24, 2014
Liz,forgot to add
by: Temperi

Coincedentally since you brought up about coming off meds I usually have a heck of a time even taking certain meds even as needed. I have had a genetic test done and have been found to most likely produce less gaba than most people and to have lots of other sensitivities with medication as well. I usually only take meds in emergency situations but I have found that progesterone almost virtually negates all of my sensitivities towards meds. Of couse Im not a doctor but do have extensive experience in this area after working in rehab facilities and from my own experience, but anyone that might be trying to come off of any medication especially narcotic medications might do well to take progesterone. Because it activates gaba receptors,it can make the taper or withdrawal process SO much easier.(:

Nov 30, 2014
makes sense
by: Wray

Hi Temperi I do agree about the preventative measure. The yam creams do not contain progesterone, the ingredients list should not mention the word. I'm not sure if there are any left on the market now. There were when I first started using it 18 yrs ago, but I've not seen any for years now. Take care Wray

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