My Hormonal Rollercoaster Ride. . .

by Pamapause
(Oak Harbor, OH)

Hi... This is not a success story...as of yet...but have high hopes of being able to write "my success story" soon!!

I am 54 yrs old and I am post-menapausal. I started peri-menapause aprox. 12 yrs ago...maybe longer... and have not had a period now for about 10 yrs. I have been suffering way too long and way too much with menapause...peri & post... and the only answer from the dr was to put me on anti-depressants. At times they sorta worked and other times not. Getting off them is a whole nother story in itself!! He also wanted me to do HRT...but I only took it for a few days and got really sick from it...which I thank God for because of learning how bad HRT is for you!!

Menapause is by far the worst thing I've ever had to deal with...other than when I had post-partum depression...to the max... and all the years of debilitating PMS!! So...actually...I guess you could say I've been on an "emotional hormonal" rollercoaster for most of my life... and I don't even know how in the world I've made it this far!! That, I would have to say, is only by the Grace of God!! OKAY...I could go on and on and actually write a book about all this but I need to get to where I'm at right now...So...here I go...

I started using a progesterone cream about a week and half ago but stopped 2 days ago because I was having some terrible "side effects" such as lower back pain, lower abdominal pressure/discomfort...almost like menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, fluid retention, headache, increased hot flashes & sweats, increased insomnia... etc.

I did not know until I read the info on this site, today, that I was experiencing "estrogen dominance" which, from my understanding, is to be expected at first. Well...I'm back using it as of 10am today because I turned into a "crazy" woman without it!! I don't know if I'm doing the right thing but I am decreasing the amount of progesterone cream from a "heaping" 1/4 teaspoon 2 x day down to 1/8 teaspoon 2 x day. I just started back on the cream about an hour and half ago so I won't know for probably a day or two what the outcome will be. I am using another brand of natural pro-gest cream right now but do plan to order "Natpro" because of the great help this site has been for me!!! I was so debilitated by the abrupt discontinuation, as before mentioned, that I was ready to totally give up on ever getting better...

I came across this website this morning and found renewed hope!! "Hope" is about all that I have to hang onto right now!! I hope and pray, perhaps within a few weeks or so, to be writing "My Success Story" about how progesterone turned my lfe back around and gave me back my "sanity"!! I am starting to believe that this would have been a "miracle" for me many years ago! As the saying goes...."Oh if I had only known back then what I know now...how different my life could have been"!!

I hope this helps someone!! And hopefully I will be back soon to give a "positive" update!! That's all for now....."Pamapause" :)

Comments for My Hormonal Rollercoaster Ride. . .

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May 29, 2011
dosage
by: Annette, Canada

Well I know your frustration the reason you felt like that is because of estrogen dominance. The worse thing you could do is lower it. Wray recommends starting at 200 milligrams a day. If you don't feel good at that, increase your dose. You have let your body be your guide. I'm up to 600-1000 milligrams a day and I feel some what normal but have not arrived at a stable level yet. Keep in mind a woman's body produces 300- 500 milligrams when pregnant in the last trimester. Best advice I can give be patient read other women's stories and know your not alone. Take care

May 31, 2011
FAO Annette
by: Anonymous

Hi Annette
I was quite alarmed at reading how much you can use up to in 1 day - so at your highest dosage you could use 1000mg - that would mean using one tube of Natpro over 2 days - this is what puts me off starting on this as there would be no way I could possibly afford £120 a month - even if it was just initially until progesterone became dominant!

Jun 01, 2011
re: FOA Annette
by: Natasha UK

Hi Anonymous,

I understand your alarm. Whilst I totally agree that a higher dose than the basic 20-40 mg of other creams is too low, Wray also says that around 100-200 mg a day can be enough and the reason some women go higher is because they want their symptoms to ease faster. The difficulties come because each woman has a different reaction to this lack of progesterone and some are more extreme than others.

I too have money worries, I'm sticking with 1 tsp a day until I feel stable and then plan to drop back to a more affordable amount. I am making progress on this amount - you can see my account - the hormonal roller coaster under progesterone levels - but possibly its taking me a bit longer than if I increased the dose.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Jun 01, 2011
understandable
by: Annette

Yes I know it is very expensive to do but for me I had to ladies. I was on birth control for 15 years and it has made me very sick. I started with 20 milligrams almost went crazy so I kept going up as Wray said until the symptoms eased and this is where I am. I'm not choosing to take so much but I have to right now. When I try lowering it I get very very sick. I think 200 is a great start, 20-40 milligrams would take so long to bring your body to balance. To me it is like gold right now another lady had to take that much and it took her a year to come into balance. So yes I agree about the finances but I want to be free of this ride. Thanks Natasha..

Jun 03, 2011
My Hormonal Rollercoaster Ride. . .
by: Wray

Hi Pamapause Incidentally I love your pseudonym! Peri-menopause can start 5 to 10 years before Menopause. Looking back I went into P-M in my early 40's too, the adverse symptoms gradually increasing over the years. The depression, endless crying and short term memory loss being the worst. I was offered AD's too, but declined knowing what they can do to us. I also had PND too, and wished I had known about progesterone then. I also had depression at puberty too, so know all about depression! Interestingly depression during these phases in our lives can be caused by excess copper, or a low level of zinc, please have your levels checked. The best is via hair analysis, through Trace Elements. According to William Walsh of the Pfeifer Treatment Center......"Adult females with Cu/Zn imbalances benefit from the cessation of growth but are prone to severe depression and irritability if estrogen levels become elevated. Their depression can be aggravated by (a) estrogen medications, (b) birth of a child, (c) a hysterectomy, (d) menopause, or (e) environmental exposures to copper. A Cu/Zn elevation is associated with many cases of PMS." I'm pleased you read our page on Oestrogen Dominance as this can occur and takes many women by surprise. Very few are informed it can happen, which only gives progesterone a bad name. All the blogs are filled with dire warnings against progesterone, and yet it's oestrogen causing the symptoms. I'm pleased it did help enough to make you feel you needed it, and not to stop entirely. You don't mention how much progesterone you're using, but decreasing is not the way to go. You should increase the amount, I recommend 100 to 200mg/day progesterone. But judging by your symptoms and the past experiences you've had, your oestrogen is high, so I would suggest you use the 200mg/day, if not more. You might like to read this comment here for encouragement. Please consider having a vitamin D test done, most of us have low levels, and this impacts on progesterone, reducing it's benefits. For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray



Jun 03, 2011
dosage
by: Wray

Hi Annette Bless you for the encouraging words! And more importantly for saying how much you're using and being honest about the difficulties too. There's no point in glossing over oestrogen dominance, it can be awful for some women. Thank you too for pointing out that progesterone levels rise exponentially when pregnant, something which is always overlooked. The worse the symptoms, the more is needed. You might consider taking calcium D-glucarate to reduce your oestrogen levels. Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. The process also removes other substances, including toxins, drugs, bilirubin, androgens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase breaks the oestrogen/glucuronide bond, which allows oestrogen to be reabsorbed. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here and here Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Take care Wray

Jun 03, 2011
I just love ya!
by: To Wray From Annette

I just love ya Wray and when I'm normal I'm flying to your town and we are having a nice dinner together, really. This has been a horrific experience. I'm 39 and was on birth control for 15 years on and off. If you need high dosages then you need them, estrogen dominance is pure evil. I was scared taking those doses but I'm not no more, I didn't have a choice. My question is how much of the calcium d-glucarate should I take and for how long? Also I have a teenage that was very affected by my use if birth control, she is 15. She is doing well but I have tried to cycle her as best as I could but she had to have high doses in her luteal phase, 300 to 500 milligrams to combat symptoms. Could she go on the calcium d-glucarate as well. She also still has mild acne, greasy hair and face. Would zinc help and how much? I take her blood sugar and it is in the 4's. We are hip to the probiotics, multi, vitamin d and we take dandelion to keep the liver strong. Can any thing help my hair loss? If you pray Wray please pray for me that I make it through this time.

Jun 08, 2011
Dosage
by: Wray

Hi everyone The cost of progesterone can be alarming if ultra high amounts are used. But as both Natasha and Annette say, it's worth it for a short time. Low amounts of progesterone would take far too long, if not worsen the problem. Sometimes doctors are willing to write a script for it, with medical aids sometimes willing to cover the cost. It's worth asking around if there is such a doctor. But I have found the 100-200mg/day I recommend often works well, it's only those like Annette who used the BCP for so long, that need higher amounts. Take care Wray

Jun 08, 2011
I just love ya!
by: Wray

Bless you Annette! It is horrific, and it's not just the BCP which can cause it. I only used this briefly in my early 20's, as I found out about the copper T IUD. Prior to needing contraception I had depression during puberty. I 'weathered' this, as counselling and anti-depressants weren't in use then as they are now. Then after 5 miscarriages I had my daughter, but suffered from post natal depression for 4 years. I was offered AD's then, but declined, knowing what they can do to us. So I crawled through this phase in my life, then peri-menopause hit me. Luckily I found progesterone before I did myself in, or someone else! Doses for Ca D-glucarate range from 200 to 2000mg/day, 10g/day have not shown any toxic effects. As for how long, it's so difficult to say, it really depends on your response to it. Much as you are experimenting with the progesterone, I suggest you do the same with this. The Ca D-glucarate would be safe for your daughter too. The acne, greasy hair and face are caused by excess testosterone. Often progesterone suppresses it sufficiently to help, but food also plays a role too. Please read through this link I've given you, as I've given a number of nutrients which help, one of which is zinc. I've found in boys 100mg/day of zinc is needed to help, this amount is safe if taken for a month, then reduced to the normal 15mg/day. Again it experimenting would be required. Very happy you're taking those supps, do hope the vitamin D is sufficient. It should be a minimum of 5000iu's/day, there's more info on these websites Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. This is an excellent video to watch too, see here. I'm running out of space, so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Jun 08, 2011
I just love ya!
by: Wray

Hi Annette Hair loss has baffled researchers for years, there are now dozens of theories. Plus many, many studies have been done, but as yet no one knows why it occurs. Although a few causes have been found, they don't cover the majority of cases. The ones which stand out for me are excess testosterone, insulin resistance, stress and a lack of blood flow to the hair follicle which prevents nutrients reaching the growing shaft. Each month women make more testosterone than oestrogen, but luckily most of it is converted to oestrogen. The enzyme aromatase effects the conversion, but as we get older this conversion seems to slow. So we end up with more testosterone than needed, hence the scalp hair loss and facial hair women in peri-menopause and menopause experience. In fact the menopausal ovary is an androgen producing organ, see here. Another conversion takes place, this is governed by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is implicated in alopecia. Progesterone inhibits 5 alpha-reductase activity by 97 +/- 5.3%, see here. I recommend 100-200mg/day, this is generally sufficient to suppress any excess testosterone or oestrogen. Both these hormones can cause Insulin Resistance, implicated in hair loss. Stress causes hair loss, progesterone is very calming, thus reducing the stress response, see our page on Anxiety. Progesterone is a vasodilator, plus it prevents platelets aggregating, so enhancing blood flow. This would allow nutrients to get where they are needed. Please consider taking 5000iu's/day vitamin D, 2000mg/day N-actyl cysteine, 2000mg/day inositol, 2-3mg biotin and 100mg thiamine (B1). All these have a bearing on healthy hair. Take care Wray

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