Maybe I need Progesterone also?

by Jeannie
(Tiverton, RI, USA)

Hello Wray:
I stumbled on your site a few weeks ago, after trying to self diagnose a couple of odd symptoms. I keep coming back to read more - what a wealth of information you give us. It's clear your mission is truly to help. I hope you're thanked daily.

I'm a 47 yr old female and have been fortunate to have enjoyed good health all of my life. I am a type A, always on the go. I have a 23 yr old daughter and 2 boys 6 & 7.

The past 6 months, life has thrown me for a loop. I lost my Mom in June after being with her constantly in ICU for 30 days - then my Dad was hospitalized having a heart attack. During this time, I developed a bacterial vaginal infection, promptly followed by a stubborn yeast infection because of all the antibiotics. I am not one to have issues like that, so I was convinced I was headed downhill.

I am convinced my issues are likely stress related - but getting frustrated trying to connect the dots.
The first symptom was muscle twitching (painless) that could be anywhere, but the preferred location was legs/feet. I narrowed it down to possible magnesium deficiency, so I started supplementation and finally things started to get better. I still have some twitching but much better. Then out of the blue a few weeks ago, the cold hands started. This really bothered me. I can be a bit anxious at times, but for months now I feel impending doom. I'm not fatigued, eat very well, exercise and get plenty of sleep.

Found a Dr. who ran some thorough blood tests because I was convinced something larger was looming. Everything looked good except for "slightly" low thyroid, low Vit D (29.5 ng/ml) and a slight elevation of Cardio CRP (inflammation). He didn't seem too concerned about the D, recommended a horrible smoothie protein powder, and a natural supplement to boost thyroid and told me to relax and that his hands are cold a lot also.

I researched daily and realized that the D was very low - so have been taking 6000/8000 per day to get that boosted. So now I'm taking so many different vitamins/supplements to cover everything thyroid related. I also started iodine supplementation and I think that is helping my cold hands a little - but afraid it's just a vascular dilation effect.(I did an iodine loading test but those results not back yet).

Incidentally, 2 years ago, I started having hot flashes at night and a friend recommended a local bio identical hormone pharmacist. He ran some saliva tests and determined I was somewhat "estrogen dominant." I felt better soon so rather forgot about that and ceased taking the supplements for this.

Long & short, I'm suspecting that perhaps my hormones are indeed out of whack. And that maybe this is causing the slightly low thyroid. And/or maybe I'm still estrogen dominant, possible more so due to the recent stress factors. I will be getting the saliva test again, so I will learn more soon about the hormone status.

I'm sure my husband thinks I'm a bit nuts to be so worried about some clammy hands but I can tell something is just off. I start to cry much more easily also. I am praying this can all be fixed so I can get back to being productive.

Thanks in advance for any input - it will be grateful.


Best,

Jeannie

Comments for Maybe I need Progesterone also?

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Apr 07, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Wray

Hi Jeannie Thanks for the kind words about the site, I try! I would put it all down to Peri-menopause, you're the right age now. It is a sweeping statement, but it covers a multitude of symptoms. We don't all get all of them, naturally! But we can get many, some not pleasant either, so I'll start at the beginning. But firstly I'm sorry to hear about your mother, your father too, I do hope he's recovered. Most definitely this would have caused great Stress, on top of peri-menopause. The stress hormones rise, oestrogen rises, progesterone and Vitamin D drop. A rise in adrenaline will cause constriction of the peripheral blood vessels, which could account for the cold hands and feet, it can also cause a feeling of impending doom. Understandably, it's one of the fight/flight hormones, so a rise in adrenaline would suggest to the person that they are about to have a fight, or run for their life! Rather like Pavlov's dogs, we've been conditioned down the millennia. Progesterone does thin blood slightly, so helps the blood flow, and I found my cold hands and feet resolved once I started it. It also increases temperature slightly, whereas oestrogen lowers it. Vaginal infections are often a result of high oestrogen, there's more info on our Candida page. Low magnesium is often the cause of cramps, I have to take it regularly to avoid getting them. It is also the most important co-factor for vitamin D, and as your D level was very low, it wouldn't surprise me to hear your magnesium is too. I'm pleased you've increased the D, you might even consider taking 10,000iu/day, see here. The "slightly" low thyroid could be due to the oestrogen, I'm glad your doc gave you something natural. Did he tell you what was 'low'? The TSH, T4 or T3? If T3 the most active of the hormones, it could be you need more selenium in your diet. This is the co-factor needed for the conversion of T4 to T3. If T4 maybe you do need more iodine or tyrosine, the amino acid that binds to iodine to make T4. Breast Cysts and/or Breast Tenderness can be caused by a lack of iodine, do you suffer from either? We do have a page on Hot Flushes you could look through for more info. As for crying more easily…I cried myself dry on numerous occasions, exhausting myself in the process too! The most puzzling thing for me was why? I had no reason for the tears, I could be in a happy situation like a dinner party, when I would have to leave the room and find somewhere to cry alone. Then repair the damage to my face, and re-join the party! Take care Wray

Apr 07, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Wray:

Thank you very much for the quick reply. Sometimes even just a voice of reason and understanding helps.

Doing the saliva test today, and I believe this will cover not only hormone but cortisol as well.

The thyroid results were as follows. He said Total T3 & free T3 were both low - but the Free T3 showed in range on lab. TSH-1.83,Total T3-.08, T3free-2.7 and T4-1.05. Does this all seem "slightly low" to you?

I bought the Dr's "formula" which consisted of many herbs/vitamins but oddly no iodine. Another Dr. I met via a teleconference recommended his formula which had only completely different ingredients. With all the reading I've been doing I guess I took a "cover it all" approach. Have been taking good doses of C, D3, Selenium, Zinc, E, Coconut Oil, Maca, Magnesium, B complex plus B2 & B3, fish oil, Multi, Tyrosine, you name it... but is taking 20-25 pills a day reasonable?

The weird thing about my cold hands (not feet) is that after about 5pm they start to warm up and feel fine. Around 10am they start to cool down.

I'm very low sugar overall, but did always love a glass or 2 of red wine while cooking/eating dinner. Given that up too but not very happy about it.

I'll try to relax and stay hopeful until some of these results come back.

Thank you again! - Jeannie

PS - my husband grew up in Joburg :)

Apr 08, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Wray

Hi Jeannie We do have a page on Hormone Testing you could look through. Obviously your doc has different values to those I found, as your TSH is in range, but your T3 and T4 are very low. All those pills are a huge cost and the excipients will be a burden too. Why not reduce it all to those most important at the moment, i.e. the selenium, zinc, magnesium, tyrosine and above all the vitamin D. It sounds as if your cold hands are following your circadian rhythm, as do so many of our hormones etc. You could look it up and see if any one of them fits. I have lived in Joburg too, not my favourite place! I'm in Cape Town at the moment, beautiful city, but think I need a change. Take care Wray

Apr 13, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

So...as the saliva tests weren't to be "ready" for another 10-14 days...and after all the reading I had done, I was convinced half (or most) of my feelings of anxiety (and maybe cold hands also) were resulting from estrogen dominance. I decided to take the plunge and bought some natural progesterone cream at the health food store. I swear I felt better later that first day...and again the next day? Is this possible? I probably uses about 100mg each of those days. A little headache but short lived. Now, of course I just started my period and have tried to read up on what you recommend. Although last year I did skip a couple of cycles entirely, usually I still have regular periods. So, should I now discontinue use? My cycles are usually about 30 days-ish. Hate to stop using it so soon after feeling better, but I'd rather do it the "right" way and not interfere with natural cycles. Any suggestion Wray?

Many thanks again....Jeannie

Apr 13, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Well, .... as the saliva tests weren't to be "ready" for another 10-14 days...and after all the reading I had done, I was convinced half (or most) of my feelings of anxiety, normal TSH but low-ish FT3 & FT4 (and maybe cold hands also) were resulting from estrogen dominance. I decided to take the plunge and bought some natural progesterone cream at the health food store. I swear I felt better later that first day...and again the next day? Is this possible so soon? I probably used about 100mg each of those days in 4-5 applications.

Now, of course I just started my period and have tried to read up on what you recommend. Although last year I did skip a couple of cycles entirely, usually I still have regular periods. So, should I now discontinue use? My cycles usually have averaged about 30 days. Hate to stop using it so soon after feeling better (plus daughters' wedding coming up in 10 days yikes!), but I'd rather do it the right way and not interfere with natural cycles. Any suggestion Wray?

Many thanks again....Jeannie


Apr 13, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Wray

Hi Jeannie I don't know what cream you are using so can't advise on how to proceed as I don't know how you are going to react to it. I normally say use it daily through any bleeding until stable. There's info on our page How to use Progesterone Cream. More info on our page about Menstruation. And finally please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Apr 13, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

It is from a co called Life-Flo...Progesta Care Mist. It's a 1 ounce bottle containing 1120 mgs of progesterone. Says 3 sprays = 20mgs. I do intend to order your product though, this was to just get going on some sort of relief. Thank you! Jeannie


PS: My husband wants to know why you may want to leave Cape Town? He understands why you'd not be a fan of Joburg, but he had fond memories of Cape Town.

Apr 15, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Wray

Hi Jeannie I don't know anything about the product you are using, so don't know how well it absorbs! But it seems to be helping. I would consider using it daily for at least 3 months, just to get stable. As for CT, I do love it and have good friends here, but I'm a bit of a gypsy and have lived in many places, if not many in one town! I've moved within CT 10 times in the last 10 years, including once going to live in a little village 2 hours away for a year. Then another stint in Zimbabwe for 9 months! I was wondering about Spain next?! I have a friend who's lived there for 23 yrs and loved it, her daughter lives there now. Take care Wray

Apr 15, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Hi Wray: I rec'd an email notification of a new comment this morning, but nothing materialized here on the website....? I had last left info about the type of progesterone I found.
Thanks! Jeannie

Apr 20, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Hi again Wray!

I think I vote for Spain! What fun to be able to explore many different cultures/regions.

A quick question about the progesterone use - I did decide to continue using throughout this first whole cycle - but I noticed some brown spotting starting yesterday and again today - I think I'm at about day 11 (my period just ended less than a week ago). From other forums, it seems like this isn't something to be worried about? Just keep using it? I have been feeling better all the way around already.

Incidentally, I ran into a Dr. over here (US) who also recommends high therapeutic amounts of progesterone (Michael Platt). I had read his book and happened to call to ask a question - was able to speak with him directly. He is sure my cold hands (daytime) is due to "adrenaline dominance" - he guessed correctly about other things like teeth grinding etc. and even said I was probably supplementing with coconut oil (which I was) otherwise symptoms would have been worse. He definitely recommended at least 100 mg of natural progesterone also, among other supporting supplements. He recommended application 2-3 minutes before meals..? Interestingly though, he was railroaded by the medical establishment here, forced to surrender his license because of his belief that so many health problems could he healed by natural methods and proper hormone balancing.

Thanks again Wray,

Jeannie in RI

Apr 21, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Wray

Hi Jeannie I'll let you know where I end up, maybe still here as it is very beautiful! Yes the brown spotting is just old blood coming away, nothing to worry about. Glad you're feeling better. Yes I know Michael, actually he used to prescribe Natpro to his patients, but asked us if we could make up cream with his own label etc. We're not a contracting lab, so he found another company to do it for him. What the 'authorities' did to him was shocking, we tried to support him during this time. His books are well worth reading. You might like to read our page on Anxiety, I go into adrenaline and it's effects on us. Many of the anxiety symptoms are nothing more than a surge of adrenaline. Take care Wray

Apr 30, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Hello Wray:

Well, the saliva testing results are back and I'm struggling to make sense of them. It seems everything is in pg/ml so no need to convert? I'm just not sure if I should use all three estrogens (E1, E2, E3) in calculating? Testosterone in range at 34. DHEA high at >25 but likely because I was using that over the counter cream previously that I didn't know contained 7Keto DHEA?

Estrone says elevated at 136, Estradiol was 7, Estriol said low at 5, and Progesterone was 218.

Cortisol both morning and evening were elevated at 46 (range 13-24) and 5 (range 1-4).

Your thoughts? Feeling pretty anxious/low mood again lately.

Much appreciated, Jeannie


Apr 30, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Wray

Hi Jeannie Saliva tests are always done in pg/ml or pmol/L if living in the UK, so there is no need to convert, makes it easier! Generally it's oestradiol or E2 that's used. E1 is the predominant oestrogen in menopause, and E3 in pregnancy. 7-keto DHEA could have raised levels, although I've read it doesn't! So if we take your E2 result and divide it into the progesterone result, we get a ratio of 31:1 which is very low. Have a look at our Saliva Test results, you'll see the ratios are 600:1 and over. We know the women felt well once that ratio was reached, although some do well on a lower ratio. Higher than normal cortisol means you are stressed. And after reading your first query I can see why. Zinc lowers cortisol levels, see here and here. I think it's just a matter of time now to allow the vitamin D and progesterone, plus the other supps you're taking to begin working. Take care wray

May 22, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Dear Wray:

So, I've been continuing the daily dosage 3-4 times a day which I would guess is around 150mg. Using Dr. Platts (5%) for now but intend to try yours since it sounds like you need to use much less cream to get the same dosage. I'm feeling better overall especially my optimism seems to be back :). You suggested to use it daily at first, but now my period is late by about 10 days. Should I just expect it to be late? Is this dosage suppressing it completely? If it shows up soon, should I then stop using cold turkey until mid cycle? Although I missed a couple of periods last year I had been pretty regular with maybe 32 day cycles.

Hope you are well and thank you in advance. Have told many girls here in RI about you and natural progesterone.

Best, Jeannie

May 22, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Forgot to mention noticing a slight sense of possible dizziness the last few days...very mild but thought maybe because of the progesterone but read here where this could be another sign of estrogen dominance? :) Jeannie

May 25, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Joy

Hi Jeannie

When first using progesterone it does disrupt one's cycle, it can take 2-6 months before things settle down again. However, as Wray mentioned, you are in Peri-Menopause when the monthly cycle becomes erratic. Should your cycle become regular again, then you can use progesterone by following your cycle, but I really do feel that it should be used every day from now on. Please ignore any spotting/bleeding/clotting that may occur, just continue using progesterone. Wray's pages given to you explains all of this.

Dizziness is an Estrogen Dominance symptom, time and patience is needed to get you over this stage.

Hope this helps.

May 26, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Jeannie

Thank you very much Joy! Thanks for all you and Wray do - it's so very appreciated.

May 27, 2015
Maybe I need Progesterone also?
by: Joy

Hi Jeannie it's a pleasure. When progesterone is used correctly it solves a multitude of health issues. Vitamin D is just as important.

Take care.

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