Massive energy rush + insomnia

by Riana
(Los Angeles)

I'm 35 and had surgery for endometriosis (as well as three hellish months of Lupron) two years ago. I can't tolerate the Pill (I bloat horribly, break out and am a demon to everyone I know), so I'm looking for natural ways to raise my progesterone while lowering my estrogen (I'm obviously estrogen dominant).

When I use the cream, even the tiniest little bit (I'm talking a little more than a pin head), I get a rush of energy that lasts all day and night. I can't sleep. I feel really fantastic and my IBS is non-existant, but I have to be able to sleep.

I've read this reaction is due to the waking of estrogen receptors. It takes about two or three cycles for the body to adjust...but I can't endure that long without proper sleep (with which I already have plenty of issues).

I've read that I'm supposed to up my consumption of phytoestrogens (soy, etc.) to ease the rush of energy and ensuing insomnia, but this sounds counterproductive.

Ideas? Advice? Alternatives to progesterone cream? What about maca?

Comments for Massive energy rush + insomnia

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Mar 21, 2012
Massive energy rush + insomnia
by: Wray

Hi Riana Endometriosis is caused by oxidative stress, this leads to Inflammation. Did anyone think of checking your vitamin D levels before surgery? Your oestrogen and progesterone levels? Oestrogen is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, which exacerbates endo. Progesterone is an anti-inflammatory, as is vitamin D. It's evident your progesterone level is low, not being able to tolerate the pill is one clue. Endo is another. All drug based Contraceptives lower progesterone levels by preventing ovulation, this causes a multitude of problems. They also have the potential to cause harm. Another clue is your reaction to progesterone. Endo requires 500mg/day progesterone not a pin head. This will only exacerbate the excess oestrogen you have, in spite of the lupron, causing Oestrogen Dominance symptoms. Progesterone is excellent for sleep, see here, here and here. But enough has to be used. You are so right about upping your phytoestrogen consumption, nothing could be worse, see here. It will only counter the progesterone, plus give you more oestrogen, which you certainly don't need. Interestingly maca apparently has no affect on oestrogen or testosterone levels according to this one paper, see here. And yet this paper said it increased oestradiol levels, see here. If this is so it could cause oestrogen dominance symptoms. It does appear to increase diastolic blood pressure slightly too, see here. Continued below.

Mar 21, 2012
Massive energy rush + insomnia Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Riana One woman wrote in saying hers increased. It has no effect on progesterone levels. So I can only suggest using far more progesterone, please don't play around with gradually increasing the amount, it doesn't work, usually makes matters worse. I see you live in LA. One of the regular contributors to this site, who also lives there, has just given me the name of an excellent clinic she goes to in San Diego, see Progressive Health Services. Please have a vitamin D test done, it's vital for the normal functioning of all cells, and prevents inflammation. For more info on vitamin D levels, testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L 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. Take care Wray

Mar 23, 2012
Vitamin D
by: Riana

Thank you, Wray.

I did, in fact, have my vitamin D levels checked a few weeks ago, and lo and behold, I was deficient.

I'm scared to death to apply the therapeutic dose of progesterone cream! My heart starts pounding ferociously. What can I do to ease the adjustment period? Should I take even more than the recommended dose? I have a good, paraben-free brand from Whole Foods.




Mar 27, 2012
Vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Riana Please get your vitamin D levels up quickly, I know you'll find a difference. You might like to see these comments here. Interesting you have heart pounding when you use the progesterone, that's a result of oestrogen being stimulated by progesterone if not enough is used. 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, here and here. I feel the 500mg/day will be enough, you can always increase it. Some creams now say they contain no parabens, but use instead phenoxyethanol which has been banned by Ecocert for use in natural and organic skin care. If the cream you are using contains 16mg/ml of cream, you will need to use 31.25ml or 6 1/4tsp of cream each day. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Apr 02, 2012
Tried 40 mg today
by: Riana

Hi, Wray,
I've upped my vitamin D supplements (and have been spending a bit more time in the sun [15 min/day] even though I gave up tanning five years ago).

My tube says 20 mg per 1/4 tsp, so I put on four. That's 80 mg...nowhere near what you recommend. I'd have to use half the tube (it's 2 oz, and it says 450 mg of progesterone per oz). That seems like so much! It would cover my whole body, it would seem. Is that right? I've never been good with math (don't laugh!). So far, I have no crazy burst of energy or heart palps, though...so far, so good...keep fingers crossed...

Apr 06, 2012
Tried 40 mg today
by: Wray

Hi Riana Oh good, please make sure you take enough, and that you have another test in about 3 months. And yes some of the creams are not very strong, so you do have to use lots of cream to get enough progesterone. Your maths is not bad! The one you have contains 16mg progesterone per ml of cream. So to get the 100-200mg/day I recommend you'd have to use 6.25ml to 12.5ml, or 1 1/4tsp to 2 1/2tsp cream. Let me know how you get on, you know what to do if the palps bother you. Take care Wray

Apr 06, 2012
doing well so far
by: Riana

Hi, Wray,
Thank you again. I've been doing very well on the 4 1/4 tsp. It might be too much, though, because I am sleeeeeepy (this is good - so, so, so much better than anxiety). I just put on 3 1/4 tsp, and I can feel my menses about to come on any hour now. I'll stop during that phase, and then start back up (seven days after the start). I do have some significant bloating (when before, on a lesser amount, I'd get bloating relief), but I believe that's probably from the introduction of the additional progesterone so close to my menses. My body is saying, What's goin' on?!

I know I need to see a neuropath soon to get the right amount from a compounding pharmacy. I know you recommended someone in San Diego. I'll look into that.

You've helped me tremendously, Wray! I've been struggling with a host of estrogen dominance symptoms for about two years now. It's been such a rough road. Thank you for your help.

Apr 08, 2012
doing well so far
by: Wray

Hi Riana I'm delighted the higher amount is helping you, especially going that high, that will be costing you a fortune. 4 1/4tsp is giving you about 340mg/day progesterone. Please be aware of any oestrogen dominance when you stop, and if it's too bad, start using the cream again. In other words don't wait till day 7 to start again. Please make sure you get the right amount of progesterone from the pharmacy, all too often they give too little. Take care Wray

Apr 23, 2012
Have to stop
by: Rhiana

Hi, Wray,
It's been about three and a half weeks, and I can't continue with the cream. I've been doing two 1/2 teaspoons of the cream, and while I feel much better mentally (more positive and clear), the water retention and extreme bloating are two things I can't live with (I've gained 6 pounds, which I realize is mostly water, but I also have a fatty tissue issue now, especially in my stomach...and I'm exercising six days a week as well as eating only healthy food/watching calories). I'm exhausted, but my sleep isn't that much better (I'm waking frequently and now my eyes are twitching all the time). My hair is also falling out in droves, too. I've tried playing around with my doses, but I just keep retaining the water and getting this pure fatty tissue thing going, all over my body (I can see it my upper arms). I'm doing a saliva test this week (Dr. Lee's), so we'll see where I'm at. Something tells me I'm low in progesterone and estrogen. I'm thinking of switching to maca or vitex next cycle. Thoughts on those?

Apr 25, 2012
Have to stop
by: Wray

Hi Rhiana Why have you reduced the amount of progesterone? You were using 4 1/4 tsp or 340mg/day progesterone. It's no wonder you have water retention and now fatty tissue. In my first reply to you I suggested 500mg/day as you have endo. The Hair Loss and weight gain over the stomach is caused by excess androgens. Testosterone increases visceral fat, see here and here. Woman make more testosterone than oestrogen, but luckily most of it is converted to oestrogen. Using a small amount of progesterone you will be stimulating the production of testosterone and oestrogen, hence the water retention and stomach weight gain. I do understand how you feel. I did say you should be taking high doses of anti-inflammatories for the endo, and gave you the link to theInflammation page, but I don't think you could have read it. Progesterone alone won't help the endo, which is why I asked you to take the anti-inflammatories. If you believe you're low in progesterone, which I believe too, why do you want to stop it? And if you still have endo and all those symptoms, your oestrogen won't be low. You asked me about maca on the Mar 21, 2012, please read my comments there, plus I've given you papers to read too. The agnus castus has been used for many problems which women suffer from, PMS, mastalgia, menstrual irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, increasing lactation and more, see here. In days gone by it was used by monks to reduce sexual desire, hence it's name 'chasteberry'. It can also reduce prolactin levels, prolactin can cause sore breasts, see here, and luteal phase dysfunction, with subsequent problems in embryo implantation, see here. But because it has a mild oestrogenic action, levels of 17 beta-oestradiol can increase. One study found mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in the luteal phase, see here. If prolactin levels are high both progesterone and the amino acid tyrosine are very affective at suppressing it. Agnus castus doesn't contain progesterone. Take care Wray

May 15, 2012
an update
by: Riana

Hello,
I just wanted to give an update for anyone following this thread!

I got my saliva tests back, and they showed that I'm NOT, in fact, estrogen dominant. I had been using far too much cream also, as my progesterone levels were through the roof, as were my cortisol levels and testosterone.

I have so much water retention that nothing fits. The scale has jumped 8 pounds in a month, and it has to be water because I don't eat enough calories for it to be fat. I feel incredibly uncomfortable, like a boat.

Anyway, I have to just wait for the progesterone to wash out of my body and start over with addressing my PMS and bloating issues (IBS) with a naturopath in a few months.

Any idea how long it take for progesterone cream to work its way out of the body? It's been two weeks, and I'm still waterlogged to the hilt. It's truly miserable.


May 15, 2012
an update
by: Wray

Hi Riana This is a pity, as you were oestrogen dominant and still are. If you hadn't had too much oestrogen they would not have given you the lupron, which suppresses it entirely. I made a mistake thinking you were using 4 1/4 tsp per day. You meant you were using 4 x 1/4tsp ie only 1 tsp per day. This was only giving you 80mg/day progesterone, so it's no wonder you're bloated. I did tell you you needed 500mg/day because of the endo. The bloating is not from the progesterone, but because the amount you're using is stimulating oestrogen. Oestrogen and only oestrogen can cause water retention, progesterone cannot. It's such a good diuretic it's given via IV transfusion to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to reduce the oedema they get. You say your progesterone is through the roof. Topical progesterone normally raises levels to 3000-4000ng/ml, up to 100,000ng/ml if a great deal is used, see here. Was it above this? But as you weren't using much, it's probably not very high. Progesterone begins dropping after about 13 hrs, so all the progesterone has probably gone. It's a great pity, as you said you were now sleeping, IBS better and no anxiety either. All the symptoms you had previously will come back again. Please make sure you get your vitamin D levels up. I know this will help. Take care Wray

Sep 11, 2013
How Frustrating!
by: Liz UK

Wow.

I am willing to bet this lady is no better.

I do wish people would stop having such blind faith in the medical profession and put their health and well being into their own hands and do their own research.

This lady seemed to be more concerned about her weight than anything else and at least from my point of view...weight issues of several pounds are the least of my PMS and Oestrogen Dominance symptoms.

The fact is, there is a progesterone (natural) suppository/pessary available in the UK on prescription created specifically for PMS.

They come in either 200mg or 400mg per pessary.
Dosage is 1 to 2 pessaries a day for PMS, so that's 800 to 1.600 milligrams of natural progesterone PER day for PMS.

This is a prescribed medication. This should be in itself evidence that the 20mg and 40mg that cream manufactures suggest is WAAAAYYY too low.

However, my 400mg a day Natpro dosage (8 weeks now) is still leaving me with issues. :(

Tried the pessaries, as you may recall, but the delivery system was so direct it sent me to PMS Hell with Oestrogen dominance.

Anyway.. I will write to you on my own page in due course :)

Liz

Sep 16, 2013
How Frustrating!
by: Wray

Hi Liz Yes it would be interesting to hear if she's better. The 80mg/day was far too low, particularly if endo is present. There are pessaries in the States too, you have a very good point there! I must remember it. Although the progesterone applied in the vagina via the pessaries is a direct route, you mustn't forget most of it goes to the uterus and stays there. Which means you would be getting very little elsewhere. This could also account for the PMS hell. I have seen the new comment on your page, so we can continue this on that page. Take care Wray

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