My Hormone Rollercoaster

by Tiffany
(Oregon)

I have asked questions on and off for years and am back again. I am 33 years old and had a hysterectomy in July 2008 because of heavy bleeding and clotting, severe cramps, constant spotting, and probable adenomyosis. I kept my ovaries. After the surgery the doctor told me they found that I had adenomyosis and cervicitis. Prior to all of the problems, I had a 29 day "on the dot" cycle, with occasional severe cramping, clotting, and breast tenderness (mostly during puberty).

I started using Natpro years ago and had good results. In January 2012, I stopped using it because my doctor wanted to see where I was (she never fully agreed with my usage). In June she did some hormone tests and had them sent to me. My estrogens were normal, but on the low side of normal. My progesterone was low. My FSH and LH were high. My testosterone was on the low side of normal.

We got busy with the summer months and I didn't see her till last month. She prescribed Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo, much to my dismay, since she said I am having problems with my luteal phase. I obeyed her though and am just coming off the first month. I WILL NOT be taking another month. This last month has been hell. For two weeks my breasts were so tender and swollen that I went up two bra sizes! I have also gained seven pounds in one month! I'm 5'1" by the way, so seven pounds is a LOT for me. I had to take my wedding ring off because I am retaining so much water. My feet are also very swollen and I have loosened every pair of shoes that have shoestrings. The nightsweats are unbelievable. It is all calming down now, but slowly.

I was thinking about taking 100mg of Natpro per day (25mg in the morning, 75mg at night) for a consecutive 3 months. No breaks at all. I am hoping this will give me some kind of break and get me back to where I was (I wasn't fully recovered to begin with). I have taken doses as high as 400mg in the past, but they felt the same as 100mg. I have also read about Vitex for luteal phase problems. Do you recommend this? Additionally, since I no longer have periods per se, I have always had a hard time taking progesterone cream. They only way I know I am cycling is by the horrid symptoms since there is no longer blood. How should I take it if I don't know what day is day 1? I have always been confused about this, which is probably why after years of use, I was not getting the full benefits.

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Dec 12, 2012
My Hormone Rollercoaster
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany It always baffles me why women are made to stop the progesterone so the doctor can 'see where they are'! This defeats the purpose, as of course progesterone will be low, it begins dropping after about 13 hours. Plus you are no longer making your own. About 3-4 years after a hyst the ovaries slow down, they still continue secreting small amounts of testosterone and oestrogen, but ovulation is rare. This explains your high LH, as it's trying to stimulate your ovaries to ovulate. The FSH is high as it's trying to stimulate eggs to mature. Why your doctor thought giving you a Contraceptive would help your luteal phase, also baffles me. It doesn't surprise me you felt awful, as what little progesterone you had was reduced still further. You might like to look through our page on Menopause. High LH and FSH are indications of menopause. Oestrogen, no matter what form it comes in, is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, plus it causes water retention. We do have a page on Breast Tenderness. Luckily progesterone is an excellent diuretic, there's more info on our page about Traumatic Brain Injury. Try the 100mg/day, although I don't think it will be enough. I've found 400mg/day is needed to stop Hot Flushes and night sweats. Agnus castus has been used for many problems which women suffer from, PMS, mastalgia, menstrual irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, reducing prolactin, 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 is an inflammatory hormone and can cause tender 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. Continued below

Dec 12, 2012
My Hormone Rollercoaster part 2
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany If Prolactin levels are high both progesterone and the amino acid tyrosine are very affective at suppressing it. Agnus castus doesn't contain progesterone. So I'm ambivalent about it! You have no cycle now, in spite of some symptoms, so there's no need to follow one. Even when I had a regular cycle, my symptoms would come back when stopping, so I used it daily. Take care Wray

Dec 13, 2012
My Hormone Rollercoaster
by: Tiffany

Hi Wray! Thank you so much for your time. I have seen so many specialists over the years, but all of them have this in common: They tell me I'm "normal" and that some of this is in my head; I am too young for menopause; and they think progesterone cream is either useless/placebo and or not needed without a uterus. I have read books and medical studies on the web for years, but in the last few months I have really been studying up.

I read in one book that after a hysterectomy, the ovaries lose most of their blood flow, so they slowly die (menopause). EVERY book I read sings the praises of progesterone cream. I don't know how people with specialist level medical degrees can still speak against it or just don't know anything about it. Can you tell it frustrates me?!?

I am on the fence about vitex. I have read about it in two books recently, but since breast cancer runs in my family (my grandma and all of her 5 sisters died from it), it may not be my best bet. If I do try it, I will wait until I have been using progesterone cream for a few months. By then I may not feel like I need it anyway. I am going to use it daily for possibly forever after reading your post. I get my best results when I use it daily. I really don't see the need for taking even 5 days off. Glad to hear you feel the same.

Thank you again for all your input. You are a rare gift for women!

Dec 15, 2012
My Hormone Rollercoaster
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany Glad the info helped and bless you for the kind words! I'm always tempted to ask a doctor how he would feel if he had his testes removed! As having a hyst is tantamount to this, even if the ovaries are retained, they do atrophy. It's not in your head, or any of our heads, it's very real and very unpleasant. I'm also baffled so little is known about progesterone, after all it's been used successfully for over 60 years now. Dr Dalton was the main protagonist, using it for her patients from the late 1940's. There are thousands of studies done on it, covering many medical disciplines. If breast cancer runs in your family, then a vitamin D deficiency runs in your family. A low level of this increases the risk of getting over 20 different cancers. Please have a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Pleased you've decided to use the progesterone daily, I've never regretted doing so, and I'll also be using it forever. A friends says she wants to be buried with a tube! Take care Wray

Dec 31, 2012
Two Week Update and Questions
by: Tiffany

Hi Wray. I thought I would give you an update and I also had a few questions. Sorry in advance that this is so long...

I have been doing really well on 400 mg per day. I tried to put the largest amount of the dose on at night, but anything under 200 mg in the morning gives me awful oestrogen symptoms. I was using a retinol cream at night (and have been for 5 years), but I read that vitamin A fights vitamin D receptors so I quit using it. I now use Natpro on my face every night and WOW, what a difference in my complexion. And in such a short amount of time too! I also noticed that putting it on my face helps the tension I have around my temples, forehead, and jaw. I am now taking 2000 iu's of vitamin D daily, plus my multivitamin that has 100% of the daily value.

We are a busy family and sometimes travel frequently. To help myself with easy dosing, I searched online until I found a progesterone cream with a pump that measures 1 ml per pump. I decided on Supplement Spot's Progesterone Gel since the pump locks for safe travel. The gel was so weak, I was putting on tons of it! It only took five days to use it up though, and then I cleaned the bottle and put two bottles of Natpro in it. Now to the bad part... I didn't put two and two together until after the gel was gone, but it did make me feel funny (not like Natpro) while using it. During those five days my urine had a strong, weird almost sweet smell. It didn't stink, but it was quite strong. Any ideas of what that was? Thankfully, all was well as soon as I began with Natpro again.

My daughter is 15 and is having moderate to severe PMS and horrid cramping during her menses. We are finding it hard to keep track of her periods because she spends every other weekend at her dad's and she's busy girl. Her cycle is pretty good, a 29 or 30 day cycle most of the time. Stress will make her start earlier. At present time and in the past, I rub some cream on her when she gets snippy, grumpy and/or agitated, and I rub some on her when she is having horrid cramps. She says that the cream really helps her cramps. I don't think using it daily will work for her because one or both of us will forget or she'll forget the cream at my house when she goes to her dad's. She's quite active. Horseback riding, showing steers, taxidermy, high school of course, and we own a small ranch. How should I dose her? Is it okay for me to smear her in cream whenever I can? (100 mg).

Additionally, does Raspberry Leaf supplements and tea work for cramps? I'd hate to give her another supplement that doesn't work, but I'd love to see her take less tylenol and ibuprofen. She is on the same vitamins as me by the way. (Multi, extra D, E, and B-6. Enzymes with most meals.)

Jan 01, 2013
Two Week Update and Questions
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany I don't mind how long a post is, the more info I have the better! It's most interesting you find you can't use less than 200mg/day in the morning, I've not heard that before. I'm relieved you've stopped the vitamin A, far better to take beta-carotene the precursor, it doesn't affect the vitamin D and is safe too. And of course I'm delighted to hear about how it's helped your face! I can't remember if I gave you that paper which shows it does, see here. It's absorbed well everywhere, even the hair follicles absorb it, see here. In fact a friend of my daughter's say he uses it as a conditioner, the best he says! Very costly for that though. How interesting you found a pump measuring 1ml and then decanted the Natpro into it. We have had many requests for a container which gives a measured amount. I've been reluctant to do so, as we have men using only 10mg/day and women using 1000mg/day. They would have to pump the pot 30 times a day, which I suppose if divided up wouldn't be too bad. Cost was another factor too, as they are more to purchase. We must look into it again. I can only imagine on of the ingredients in the gel caused the odd smell, and making you feel funny was probably because it doesn't carry the progesterone into the skin as well as an emulsion. Oil based progesterone's don't either, see here. I see the ingredients are.....Deionized Water, USP Progesterone, Carbopol, TEA, Optiphen Plus (a paraben-free preservative). The TEA is Triethanolamine and according to the EWG site, it's 'a strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical.....Fragrance Ingredient; pH Adjuster; Surfactant - Emulsifying Agent; BUFFERING; MASKING" with a hazard rating of 4. Many companies are stating they are 'paraben' free, giving themselves a pat on the back by doing so, and then go on to use phenoxyethanol, which has also been banned for use in natural and organic skin care by Ecocert! Optiphen Plus is a combo of 'Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid'. It's hard to say which of the ingredients could have caused the smell. It is ok to 'smear' your daughter with cream whenever you remember! But of course better if she could remember when to use it. My daughter didn't have regular periods until she was about 17/18, so she just used it daily, which made remembering easy. But talk about vague! She has only now found she has a 21 day cycle, and is 31! Continued below

Jan 01, 2013
Two Week Update and Questions Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany Raspberry leaf is good, it's used for ...."Orally, red raspberry leaf is used for GI tract disorders, upper and lower respiratory tract disorders, cardiovascular system disorders, influenza, fever, diabetes, vitamin deficiency, as a diaphoretic or diuretic, for stimulating bile production, "purification of skin and blood", diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, morning sickness associated with pregnancy, preventing miscarriage, and facilitating labor and delivery." I can't give you the link as it's subscription only. But if the progesterone works, just use that, it's one less thing to remember. It doesn't appear you're using enough vitamin D, if you only take 2000iu plus 100% of the RDA in a multivitamin. The FDA have recently set the RDA at 600iu, up from 400iu. Assuming it's giving you another 1200iu, it's still not enough. The minimum maintenance dose should be 5000iu/day. When you can please have a test done. And do let me know how you both get on. Take care Wray

Jan 04, 2013
Two Week Update and Questions (Reply)
by: Tiffany

Hi Wray. When I don't use 200 mg in the morning I get anxiety, moodiness, the jitters, a headache, and feel overall bad. Now that I am not scared by large doses of progesterone cream, I think I am one of those that needs a lot of it for the time being. I am also in my worst time of the month right now (luteal phase). I would use more than 400 mg per day if I could work it into our budget. I did find that I am low on iodine, which makes sense because we use iodine free sea salt and rarely eat kelp. I have been putting it on my inner arm for three days now and it is still gone within 12 hours.

I know I am having some adrenal issues, and have tried Adrenogen by Metagenics, but it made me feel so wired and jittery. I couldn't sit still and didn't sleep well that night (that was with one early morning dose). I do tend to be sensitive to everything though. For instance, after my first surgery I slept for three days almost straight. My husband called and asked if it was normal. They told him they used the correct dosages for my weight. When it comes to pain meds like vicodin for after surgery, I take half of the weakest pill. I'm like this with most of anything I have been prescribed or have taken myself. Hence me being scared of getting too much progesterone in the past. My allergies (all kinds) are also worse than they have ever been in the past. Some medications have even landed me in the hospital. A few years ago, I found that I am very allergic to lavender of all things.

I know this is going to take time since it has taken many years to get to this awful place, but I am feeling better already at this higher dose. Definitely calmer, acne has vanished, sleeping better (having insomnia at the moment, but I am sleeping deeper than usual), night sweats are minimal, and I have lost two pounds. We exercise as a family at the gym 4-5 days a week and I am finding that I have more energy and spend more time on the machines. THAT is great. I just read the nutritional page too. I have been using metabolic diet typing for years and am happy to see that on here! I'm a mixed type, so I have to be careful or I throw myself to a carbo or protein type if I eat wrong.

I am not scheduled to have any tests until May, so I will up my dose of vitamin D. I do use a light box daily for 20 minutes in the winter and have wondered how much that is helping my vitamin D levels.

Thank you so much for your time and kindness and this wonderful website. You keep me sane!

Jan 08, 2013
Two Week Update and Questions (Reply)
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany Bless you too, you help so much by giving me feedback like this, I find it invaluable. Particularly as little tidbits come out. For instance you mention being so allergic to substances, so I suspect low vitamin D, see here, here, here and here. One paper says "....the potential role of vitamin D in promoting the inappropriate immune responses which underpin the rise in a broad range of immune diseases.". As is usual with these papers, the wording is so ambiguous, it appears vitamin D is the culprit! I wish they'd all be given lessons in English and editing. What should have been added was a 'deficiency' in vitamin D can cause inappropriate immune responses. I'm now coming round more and more to the fact that our so called 'autoimmune' diseases are nothing more than a lack of vitamin D. It's vital for the normal functioning of all cells, a lack causes them to malfunction. The same can be said of progesterone too, it's also fundamental to normal cell function. Each one of us reacts differently to a deficiency of both, generally our weakest areas being affected. I would hope that once your vitamin D level is up, you will be able to smell the lavender again! Interesting about the iodine, it has become a serious problem again, deficiencies abounding in many of us now, see here and here. I've just found I am deficient too, whereas I was fine a few months ago. I used to make nori wraps and miso soup with wakame in it, but haven't for months now. I've been taking iodine drops but my level is still low. So I think I'll go back to the nori and wakame, they taste better! So delighted you follow the Metabolic diet, it does make sense to me, although very complicated if followed to it's extreme. So I tend to follow the Paleo diet which suits me so well as I'm a protein type. Like you, if I eat the wrong foods it throws me off balance. Take care Wray

Jan 17, 2013
Decanting into the ml dispensing pump is a bad idea
by: Tiffany

For anyone that stumbles upon this page, my bright idea of decanting Natpro into a ml dispensing pump is a bad idea. I was going by total tubes used to figure out how much I been using. I went 6 days over what I should have. Which means I was only getting an average of 341 mg of progesterone per day, instead of the 400 mg I was shooting for. Since the cream was covering the same amount of area, I didn't think I was using less. It should have dawned on me that depending on the weather, how much water I've drank, and many other variables, that the cream won't always cover the same amount of body parts. I have now went back to using a 1/4 teaspoon to measure. A 1/4 teaspoon measures about 41 mg, so I know I need five of them twice a day. I have also tried using a ml syringe, but I found it too messy.

Jan 20, 2013
Decanting into the ml dispensing pump is a bad idea
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany It was a good idea! The 1ml of cream the pump dispenser gives, would give you 33.3mg progesterone. So 3 pumps would give you 100mg. If you want to use the 400mg/day you have been, then that would need 12 pumps a day. Or 6 pumps in the morning, 6 at night. We do have a chart showing the various millilitre measurements on our page How to use progesterone cream. Scroll down to the very bottom of the page. We have asked the lab we use to look for a pump dispenser, I'm finally coming round to the idea it would be helpful! Particularly if someone wants to use it hourly if they have very bad symptoms or something like Hot Flushes. This does generally need about 400mg/day. So using the cream hourly would mean, over say a 12 hour day, exactly 1 pump would give the right amount, i.e. 33.3mg progesterone each hour. I agree the syringe would be messy. Take care Wray

Jan 25, 2013
Decanting into the ml dispensing pump is a bad idea
by: Tiffany

Hi Wray. I was using 12 pumps (12 ml) per day, but it wasn't delivering that much. I sure thought it was until I added up the days six tubes of Natpro, plus the progesterone cream that came in the pump bottle, should have gave me. It should have lasted 35 days, but it lasted 41. I think it was a faulty pump. I will be looking forward to you putting Natpro in a pump as I'm sure you'll use an accurate pump! I thought the idea was a pretty good one myself! It saved me so much time.

Jan 27, 2013
Decanting into the ml dispensing pump is a bad idea
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany Ah that explains it for me, as it was a good idea! Well I would certainly hope we get an accurate pump. It's easy enough to test by weighing out 10 pumps worth on a very accurate scale, then finding the average. We have a scale which goes down to 100mg, far lower than needed for the 1ml or 1000mg of cream dispensed. We did find one, but the cost was prohibitive, will continue looking! It does save time. Take care Wray

Mar 20, 2013
4 Month Update and some Questions
by: Tiffany

Hi Wray! Well it has been 4 months since I have been really working at this hormone problem. I did 3 months of 400+mg daily of progesterone cream and for the last month I have used 160mg mostly. I do up the dose when needed and have gone as much as 600mg on bad days. I have found some great supplements from Pure Encapsulation and feel they are making a big difference. I take 1 Multi'd, 1 Homocysteine Factors, and 10,000 iu's of vitamin D daily. I am also taking acidopholus, enzymes, flaxseed oil (alternating with fish oil), prelief (for my bladder), and calcium d-glucarate. As soon as my bottle of calcium d-glucarate is gone, I am switching to EstroSmart, since I have heard some great things from various women where I work. Mentally I feel absolutely wonderful. Gone is the anxiety and depression. I have good levels of energy, but still get occasional insomnia. I worry far less than I used to about trivial things. My cellulite looks a little better too.

My first question is: When does the weight gain stop? I now weigh more than I ever have. I just keep gaining. It's beginning to really concern me. I eat healthy, for the mixed type that I am, and rarely go over the amount of calories I should have in a day. I also exercise, doing cardio and weights 2-4 times a week.

My second question is strange. On my abdomen, I have that line from my belly button to my pubic hair that you get when you're pregnant (linea nigra). It popped up in the last few days. I have no uterus, so I know I am not pregnant. What could be causing this? My husband and I both laughed at seeing it.

Thank you and bless you as always, Tiffany.

Mar 21, 2013
4 Month Update and some Questions
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany I'm so delighted you're feeling better! I'm glad you're now using the progesterone as and when needed. But don't forget if you go very high, come back down again slowly, the large drop can cause adverse symptoms to occur. And I'm very pleased you're taking supplements too, they do help. No matter what anyone says about a 'balanced diet' our food is now is so de-natured, it has little goodness left in it. Unless organic of course, but even this can't combat all the environmental toxins we encounter on a daily basis. Most of our diseases are caused by oxidative stress, which in turn causes Inflammation. They're discovering depression is caused by inflammation, obesity too. EstroSmart is good, I've looked at the ingredients. Try inositol for the insomnia, it can help. You'd need at least 4000mg/day, taken at night, lovely sweet taste, for a B vitamin that's really odd! I sometimes have it at night, not that I need help sleeping, but when I take it I don't even have time to think! I like thinking before I fall asleep. Weight gain is a problem, you're taking a good amount of vitamin D too, as a lack of this can cause it. Progesterone does suppress the oestrogen which causes water retention and weight gain, but it appears it hasn't helped in that area yet. It's also an excellent diuretic too. Although you're a mixed type, it could be you're eating slightly too many carbs than you need. I'm all in favour of the metabolic diet, but found it so complicated, I'm a protein type, that I gave up, and follow the Paleo diet now. You could consider doing the Ketogenic diet to kick start the weight loss. In it's strictest form is very difficult to adhere to. But this is usually only used for people with epilepsy and cancer, which it does help. The reason being it reduces glucose levels to the barest minimum, and the body uses ketones for energy. It's a very high fat, moderate to low protein and very low carb. Only the good fats should be used, i.e. MCT oil, coconut oil, butter, olive oil or macadamia oil. The first three are saturated fats, the other two mono-unsaturated fats. The best is the MCT oil, an extract from coconut oil. The body converts the fatty acids into ketones, in fact the brain does better on these than glucose. MCT oil forms ketones more efficiently than the other oils. The diet varies from a 4:1 ratio of fat to protein/carb down to a 1:1 ratio which is the easier to follow. The best and clearest explanation I've found of the 1:1 is this web site on the Basic Ketogenic Diet. Continued below

Mar 21, 2013
4 Month Update and some Questions Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany Apparently the linea nigra is caused by the 'placenta' increasing melanocyte stimulating hormone, which stimulates the melanocytes to make melanin, the pigment in our skin and hair. I believe it's not the placenta per se, but oestrogen, which of course the placenta makes. Oestrogen definitely stimulates melanin production, causing melasma on the face too, see here, here, here and here. This paper here looks at it backwards, hopefully you'll see what I mean when you read it! They wondered if LN could be used as a diagnostic tool for prostate cancer or hyperplasia. Well it seems from the studies I have that testosterone does not cause PC or BPH, but oestrogen is implicated. Plus the men had a greater incidence of gynecomastia (Man Boobs) and female pubic hair, I didn't know it was different! Gynecomastia in a man is caused by excess oestrogen, so too would the hair be. So we're back to excess oestrogen again. PubMed only had 20 papers, all saying it happens in pregnancy, none mentioned out of pregnancy. So it really does seem as if you're not using enough progesterone now, having dropped down. This could explain the weight gain too. Blessings to you too! Take care Wray

Aug 06, 2013
Back with more questions
by: Tiffany

Hi Wray! It's been awhile and I've got some weird goings on. First, I should tell you what and how I've been doing. My vitamin d was 62 (up from 21 initially) at my last check-up and I continue to take 5,000 iu's daily. I was taking progesterone cream for one week a month at 120 mg daily (that is down from continuous at 400 - 600 daily for 4 months). I think I mentioned before that I began taking EstroSmart. I went through several months where my breast tenderness and night sweats/hot flushes were diminishing by several days every month and now I haven't had them for 2 whole months (yay!)... until last night. I stopped EstroSmart a month ago because I was noticing some massive water retention and thought it might be the culprit. I also stopped progesterone cream because I really don't know when I cycle now since I no longer have all the symptoms and can barely tell, if tell at all, where I am at in my cycle. I have tried to use progesterone here and their with a mood swing or anxiety, but I am having weird issues.

In January, I went to the ER because I was having severe left lower abdominal pain. It was throbbing and occasionally sharp with a few elecroshock type pains that ran down my left leg. After several appointments and a million tests, they ruled out my appendix, gallbladder, liver, and even spleen. They said it was probably scar tissue from the hysterectomy. My urologist sent me back to pelvic floor therapy and during my second visit the therapist hit the spot and I jumped and told her that's the spot. It feels like it's burning, tearing, and gonna explode when she was on it. She moved around some more checking it out slowly and then told me "Uh oh, well then, that's your right ovary. It's not where it should be and it is swollen." Wonderful. I have noticed since then that when I try to use progesterone cream, it makes my ovary hurt like you would not believe. I have no idea why and thought it was possibly coincidence, but then I did a few trial runs and sure enough, it's progesterone cream and it happens at any dose. The more the dose, the more the pain too. I am scheduled with a gyno doc on August 15 and I am worried. It is the same doc that did my hysterectomy and her and I DO NOT get along. She does not believe in natural anything and thinks that patients should leave the doctoring to doctors. I am going to bring the EstroSmart bottle with me to show it to her and tell her how wonderful it was for me, but I think I am going to leave out the progesterone cream useage altogether. What are your thoughts on all this? Any ideas what this could be?

Aug 07, 2013
Back with more questions
by: Wray

Hi Tiffany It was a pity you didn't keep taking the 10,000 vitamin D for a couple of months more to get your level up high very quickly. 5000iu is a maintenance dose, and raises levels very slowly. Your level still needs to be higher, between 70-100ng/ml, nearer the 100ng/ml is what I feel you should aim for. All those problems you had before your hyst showed you had oxidative stress. It appears you still have if your cyst has become inflamed. You should be taking large doses of antioxidants, plus the vitamin D. I'm surprised they didn't check for Inflammation. It's most important to reduce it, so please consider taking them. The progesterone was helping you so much, so I don't understand why you reduced it to 1 week a month. You have no cycle to follow so should be using it daily. Lowering the amount as you did is good, the high amounts are only to get us over the symptoms. But using it ad lib as you are would give you really weird symptoms. Each time you stop it allows oestrogen to rise again, with all it's adverse effects. And then when you use the progesterone again it will stimulate the oestrogen, causing a worsening of symptoms, until it's once more dominant. I've not heard of the EstroSmart causing water retention, but oestrogen certainly does. Undoubtedly using the progesterone for only 1 week a month caused this to rise. I'm surprised they didn't check your ovaries first, as other women have reported those symptoms of yours, including the shock type pain down the left leg. And of course progesterone would make the pain worse, as it's stimulating oestrogen. I wouldn't even bother to show the gyno the Estrosmart, if she doesn't believe in natural remedies she will laugh at that too. And of course will want to take your ovary out. You were using the iodine drops on your arm, but evidently you are deficient as it faded quickly. We only absorb about 12.5% via the skin, so you should take it internally. It does help cysts, please get some now and start taking it, and read these papers here, here, here here and here. This is a good supplement as it includes tyrosine too, see here. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

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