Need Help with Anxiety!!

by Sue
(Memphis)

Hi Wray. I am 54 years old and have been on bioidentical hormones for 10 years along with armour thyroid. I work with a great doc who specializes in BHRT. He and his nurses are always there when I call to help me tweak my hormones.

I felt fantastic until a month ago. I had an anxiety attack one day out of the blue with no outside stressors involved. One thing I did do the day before this happened was raise my bi-est (estrogen) cream a little to see if it would help some really slight hot flashes I was having. My doc agreed that this must have caused the anxiety so since then I've gone off the bi-est. However, during this last 4 weeks, I have had a terrible time with feelings of a racing pulse, dry mouth, light-headedness, nervousness, insomnia, etc. I'll have a few days here or there where I think I'm over it and I feel all better, even euphoric a couple times, but then the anxiety comes back.

My doc had me switch from my progesterone cream to caps to see if I would absorb them better. After a couple weeks of no change either way, yesterday we switched back to cream. He has me on 100 mg. a day of prog. cream but after reading your website I have questions for you if you don't mind...

1. Is it cortisol or adrenaline that's surging through me causing this? Why won't it stop?
2. Do you think prog. is the key here? Should I use your recommendations and use 200 mg. prog. cream then if I feel worse, raise it til I feel better?
3. How many days will it take? I don't know how long my body can hold out like this! Plus, I can't function. Thank God I don't have a job to worry about (thanks to my husband).

Also, my Vit. D was 84 last time I tested it in December. Before this blowup I was using 112 mg. prog. cream, 2.5 mg. bi-est cream, 2 mg. testosterone cream, DHEA, and armour thyroid. I had a 24-hr. urine test done one month before all this happened too just to make sure things looked good and everything was good except the prog. was low and the DHEA a little high. But now I'm only using the prog. cream and armour thyroid. I haven't had a period in almost 5 months, so think I'm over them.

I bought the taurine, B6, and B3 you listed and started them last night and today will look for the GABA and Tryptophan.

Thanks for any help -- I need to know I'm not going to lose it and that there will be an end to this!


Comments for Need Help with Anxiety!!

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Jun 28, 2011
Help for anxiety
by: Anonymous

I had anxiety for years too. The only (and absolute BEST)cure for me has been transdermal magnesium. It is truly a Godsend!! I have not felt so calm and relaxed, both physically and mentally,in a long time. I use the Ancient Minerals brand. Some other brands don't seem to work as well. I use the spray bottle and put 6-8 sprays on each foot twice a day, then I put on socks afterward. The magnesium can sting if you spread it on other body parts because it is made of condensed sea water. It can also be a little drying on the feet, but the trade off is totally worth it. By the way, oral doses of magnesium are poorly absorbed and may cause diarrhea. You will not regret trying transdermal magnesium. It's awesome!

Jun 29, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety!!
by: Wray

Hi Sue No you're not going to loose it! Oestrogen does many things to us, most of them unpleasant. Yes we need it, but in tiny amounts. I don't believe we need more, there's too much in the environment as it is, see the website Our Stolen Future. You'll also notice on this site that there are thyroid disruptors too. Many researchers now believe they are one cause of the increasing thyroid disorders which abound now. All those symptoms you've given are caused by excess oestrogen. It 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 and here. The dry mouth too, it often comes with dry eyes, see here. Insomnia, progesterone is helpful for sleep, see here. I think you must have looked at our page on Anxiety, unless you've picked up the info from the comments I make. This page explains panic attacks and what causes them. Definitely adrenaline is the end result, but a drop in blood glucose is behind the adrenaline rush. So yes I do think progesterone is the key, and yes I do think you should use more. For encouragement, please see these comments from other users about high amounts, see here, here and here. But please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance before increasing it. I wish I could tell you how long it will take, but it's impossible. I do know high amounts overcome the adverse symptoms reasonably quickly, whereas low exacerbate symptoms. I'm running out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Jun 29, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety!!
by: Wray

Hi Sue Above all please have a vitamin D test done. This nutrient is critical for health, including our minds. It's also vital for a normal functioning thyroid, it could be this is all you need and not the Armour. A low level also reduces the benefits of progesterone. For more info see the Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth websites. It's interesting the anonymous comment suggests magnesium, it is very calming. It's also a vital co-factor for vitamin D. It's low in most of us, so it's something to think about too. I'm very relieved you've stopped both the testosterone and DHEA, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here for testosterone. And here, here, here and here for DHEA. You might like to look through our pages on Peri-menopause and Menopause. Take care Wray


Jun 29, 2011
Help for anxiety
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for your helpful suggestion! Take care Wray

Jun 29, 2011
Help with Anxiety
by: Sue

Hi. thanks for the magnesium oil information. I am so desperate for a fix that I immediately went out to buy some. They didn't have the Ancient Minerals brand, so had to get another one, but I will order some of the Ancient Minerals. I am praying this will help!

Still waiting to hear from Wray regarding my progesterone.

Jun 29, 2011
Help with Anxiety
by: Sue

Forgot to also ask you - how long did it take to feel results after beginning with the magnesium oil? Thanks, Sue

Jun 30, 2011
Help with Anxiety
by: Sue

Hi Wray -- thanks for writing back. I will use more progesterone for sure. Yesteray I convinced my doc's office to let me go up with my compounded bioidentical cream so I used a bit over 200 mg. I will go up more today -- do you think 250 mg would be good or should I go up slower? When you say slower, how much of a change per day and over how many days? I'm sure you know better than anyone, that when you're feeling this bad, one day feels like a week and it's hard to be patient.

I have read all the pages on your site (more than once!), and yes, that's where I got the info for natural alernatives for anxiety. I looked for tryptophan locally but they say you can't purhcase it anymore so they sold me 5-HTP and said it was the same thing. Is that true? But now I have found tryptophan on vitacost website so I will order it. I also ordered some of the Nerve Tonic cell salts I discovered on this site. Regarding Vit. D, in my first post I listed that mine was 84 when last tested in December and I use 6000 iu per day, so think I'm OK there. Toward the end of your post, you have 3 links to posts from others on using high levels of progesterone, but the 'here' links don't work -- can you resend?

I thank God for you and the work you're doing to help others. Even though I have a good doc, you're my lifeline right now.

Jul 06, 2011
Help with Anxiety
by: Wray

Hi Sue Bless you for the kind words! Yes, I would try the 250mg/day. I've re-read my comment to you and can't find where I say 'slower', in fact the word is nowhere in the comment. Don't increase progesterone slowly, as that often turns on oestrogen. I see you've actually doubled the amount which is good. It really is a question of experimenting. Apologies for the 'missing links', you'll see from them all how they increased the amount quite considerably. Plus playing around with dose, reducing when they felt they could. I've given them again, see here, here and here. Incidentally it was Eve who recommended the cell salts, I've given above a link to one of her comments. And it is hard to be patient, particularly when symptoms are severe! It's nonsense about not being able to purchase tryp, there was a time when it was banned. Conveniently just when Prozac was launched! A bad batch caused problems, which have long since been resolved. And 5-HTP is not the same. Tryp is the precursor amino acid, first converted to 5-HTP, then to serotonin or B3, and finally into melatonin. I've not found it as good as tryp. And how dim of me! I failed to notice your vitamin D level, it is good. I just wonder how long it's been that high, have you been taking the 6000iu's for any length of time? It could have been too low before you started on the high dose, and it just now needs time. I do hope eventually all the nutrients you're trying work for you, but please be patient. I've found taurine a great help, and take that daily, it's very calming. Particularly after too much coffee, which I tend to indulge in! It also cured me of cramps in my calves, unless I forget to take it. Take care Wray

Jul 06, 2011
Help with Anxiety
by: Sue

Hi Wray. Great news to report! I used 250 mg. progesterone cream for 2 days, then went up to 280 mg. for 2 days, then to rid the insomnia that was the final symptom of my anxiety problem I used 320 mg. for 2 days . Well, after only 6 days, I feel 100% better! I slept very well last night for the 1st time in a month and woke up feeling back to my old self! I can't tell you how relieved and grateful I am! Words cannot express how thankful I am for your wise advice! If this helps only one more person out there, it was worth the 3.5 weeks of hell I went through! I am now going to slowly lower it down to 200 mg. per day (maybe that's where I got the word "slowly" from one of your posts?) And I will stay off the bi-est, testosterone, and DHEA!

Regarding the tryptophan, I went to a third supplement store and they did have some tryptophan (even though the other 2 stores said they don't make it anymore). The brand was "Sundown". But I don't think I'll need it now!

Now that the anxiety is behind me and my progesterone levels are where they should be, do you think I can stop the following that I'd been taking: inositol, taurine, B3, GABA?

Thanks again, Wray -- if you were here I'd kiss you!

Jul 07, 2011
Help with Anxiety
by: Wray

Hi Sue I can't tell you how delighted I am! And so quickly too, I'm so happy for you. And yes, the slowly was probably from another comment. It is necessary to reduce slowly, and if at any time you feel symptoms coming back, it means you are reducing too fast. So go back up to the level you had been on, stay on that until you feel stable, then begin reducing again. You might find you don't need 200mg/day, I find about 170mg does me, but then I have been using it for 15 years. I might add I do give myself a top up every so often, by covering myself head to toe in the cream. And please don't touch those other hormones! I don't believe you'll need the tryp now, but at least you know it's at hand if you feel you do. And those other supps are all so good, I would finish them up rather than waste them. Once finished see how you feel, you can always go back to them if need be. I accept your virtual kiss, you've made me feel so happy! Take care Wray

Jul 16, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety
by: Sue

Hi Wray. I need your help again. I wrote a couple weeks ago to say I was feeling 100% better after raising my progesterone. I felt good for a week, but last week, the anxiety symptoms have all come back and the insomnia too. I have been using between 200 and 320 mg. a day trying to figure out which one makes me feel better and I can't track it! When I was using 320 for a few days I wasn't getting better, so I dropped it down to 200 mg. for a day or two and thought I ws a little better, but then it got bad again! I am using the natural supplements from your "anxiety" page in addition to 4000 mg. of inositol and I don't see them helping. Should I just try to go a lot higher for a while with the progesterone? My fear is that it will kick in the estrogen dominance even higher and increase the anxiety which I don't think I could deal with. Please help!
Thanks, Sue

Jul 31, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety!!
by: Sue

Hi Wray. Since I didn't get a reply from you on my July 16th post, I'm trying again. I had temporary success aleviating my anxiety using a higher dose of progesterone. Unfortunately, after a week, the anxiety came back so I upped the dose to 320 mg. a day for a couple days and it seemed to get worse, so I lowered it and it seemed to get better, but only temporarily. So I upped it again and for 13 days I was pretty much symptom free on approx. 300 mg. a day. After the 13 good days, I felt the anxiety coming back, so I upped the dose to 320, then to 360, and yesterday to 400 mg. Last night I only got a couple hours of sleep and I still have anxiety today. Can you tell me if I'm doing the right thing? It's so dissappointing since I thought the estrogen dominance symptoms were behind me and then they come back! My big question is this: if my symptoms were stable for 13 days on the same dose, why would the estrogen dominance symptoms come back after that? How long would I need to wait to know for sure that they are gone so I can then lower to a dose between 100-200 mg.? I realize that some women need high doses from some posts on this website, but it seems that I HAD found the dose I needed, but it only lasted 13 days. Is it normal for this to happen? Please help!

Aug 05, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety!!
by: Wray

Hi Sue I'm so sorry I didn't answer your earlier comment, I took a few days break. Glorious, but came back to more work than I bargained for, so I'm now playing catch up! I'm finding so many struggling with anxiety, up and then down. In both the amount of progesterone they use and the anxiety itself. Did you stop taking the supps you were on, the GABA, taurine etc? I did suggest you stayed on them. Could this account for your relapse? I know you found some tryp, did you in fact buy any? Maybe you could try this, as it does help. Don't forget to read the info on how and when to take it. Did you ever have the vitamin D test done? A lack of this has such a bearing on our health, not least causing depression, anxiety, insomnia etc. Please have it done. And are you taking any? Please consider it, I know it will help you. Can you tell me if you had extra stress when your symptoms came back after the good 13 days? Stress drops levels sharply. So many things can upset our balance, and drop progesterone, dark cloudy days, a drop in vitamin D, oestrogen in the environment, ie in food, air, water, skin care, etc. A drop in blood glucose also causes anxiety/depression. We never know if the wind has changed direction and we get a blast from some toxic factory, most of the environmental poisons mimic oestrogen, see Our Stolen Future. The only way to tell if you can start reducing the amount, is when feeling stable, you start doing so. If symptoms come back, you know it's too soon, or you're reducing too fast. This varies so much in all of us, one girl saying she found she needed to use 400mg/day for 6 months before doing so. Others have used amounts in excess of 1000mg/day, see here, here, here and here. I wish I had a magic wand, as there are too many with anxiety and depression. Do hope this helps a bit. Take care Wray

Aug 09, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety!
by: Sue

Hi Wray: Yes, I'm still taking all the natural supplements you recommended; however, I did run out of the taurine, so I will buy some more. My last vit. D level was 84 and it has been above 55 for the past couple of years. No, I didn't have any stress that would have caused the progesterone drop -- it just came out of the blue! The anxiety level is not as severe as it was when all this started 2 months ago, so I will just perservere and give it more time.

I will report back in order to possibly help someone else with this same problem -- I see so many posts on your website where women are reporting their problems, but without enough of them writing back to let everyone know how things worked for them. Leaves us wondering if it's not working or if now they're doing fine and don't need the help anymore. It would be so reassuring to those of us struggling along to know there is hope and to hang in there! Thanks Wray for all you do to help us!

Aug 11, 2011
Need Help with Anxiety!
by: Wray

Hi Sue I do hope the taurine does the trick, and wonderful news about your vitamin D level. It would be so good of you to report back, all feedback is so essential. Not only to me, but to others reading this site. And please persevere, it does take time, I wish it didn't! And thanks so much for the kind words, I so wish I had a magic wand, remembering my depression and anxiety, I could have done with one then. Take care Wray

Jan 16, 2013
Bi est
by: Anonymous

I didn't feel "normal" until I got off bi est and went on estradiol.

Jul 09, 2014
Update
by: Sue

I am posting this update to help, if I can, any woman reading these posts like I did a few years ago that got on the wrong track by taking Wray's advice regarding using progesterone. If you are a young woman, yes, I think it would perhaps help (in small amounts). BUT, if you are a woman over the age of 40 and are in peri-menopause, menopause, or surgical menopause, beware! Your body needs estradiol! Not gobs of progesterone. Wray states there are no published papers or proof of this, but she is dead wrong. I have found so many reports and studies the list is too long to post. Just google them and you'll be surprised. Unfortunately, when you google progesterone, you get tons of links to sites that either sell progesterone cream or are still under the misconception that Dr. John Lee and his contemporaries had the answer, but I believe their conclusions were way off and noone since has been able to duplicate his "results". Wray, I'm hoping that you are keeping this site up to try to help women, not to sell your cream, but it seriously harmed me and I feel I am only one woman in a group of many who've had this happen to them. Women are supposed to be estrogen-dominant! That's what makes us women! Get your bloodwork checked (not your saliva) and if your estradiol is low (under 90 pg/mL), supplement! There are many bio-identical, FDA-approved forms of estradiol you can get from your doctor. Patches, pills, creams, etc. You only need progesterone in small amounts to keep your uterus from getting too thick from the estrogen--that's all! I was using 400-500 mg of progesterone cream per Wray's recommendations before this and falling deeper and deeper into a pit of imbalance. I have since made a turn-around by supplementing with estradiol and a smidge of progesterone, not by taking all the supplements and progesterone recommended on this site. I wasted so much time, money, hope, and physical health by doing so. Sorry Wray, but I feel a moral obligation to post this. Please people, do your homework!

Jul 15, 2014
Update
by: Alyce

Hello Sue

I for one am glad I followed Wray's advice. I made a choice to try progesterone and it worked for me and for countless other women, you only have to read their positive posts on this website. Could it be that you did not use progesterone correctly?

I will never stop using progesterone. Thank you Wray!!

Jul 15, 2014
Update
by: Joy

Hi Sue

I am going to back Wray 100% here, no women needs to take extra estrogen, you seem to have used bi gest and estradiol over the years which would have caused adverse symptoms. It is vital that progesterone becomes the dominant hormone before positive results are achieved. At one stage you were feeling so much better, what happened to have caused your progesterone level to drop? Any form of stress destroys both progesterone and vitamin D and both need to be increased during stressful times. Perhaps you have overlooked the dangers of excess estrogen, please look at the HRT page to see the adverse effects of having excess estrogen.

Of the 6000 pages on this website, nowhere does Wray mention that there are no studies on estrogen, there are so many on them! Wray is extremely thorough when doing research and she certainly does not rely on Google as so many of the sites are extremely mis-informed. If you want more accurate information, try using PubMed.

Aug 02, 2014
Thank you Sue
by: Ann

Hi Sue,

Thank you for your post. I'm very grateful that you took the time to follow up.
The reason I was following along was because I'm having all the same symptoms as you were. I was originally on Estrace 1mg daily but had depression on it. I went the bio identical route and had my saliva test done and have been following the recommendations of my local compounding pharmacy. I have been on bi est with progesterone cream combo for the last few months along with a Progesterone 100mg pill at night. I can not explain how horrible I have felt. I have called my pharmacist about the anxiety, joint pain, hot flashes and night sweats etc, only to be told that I am estrogen dominant and to keep increasing my progesterone. (I have no ovaries) I finally convinced her (pharmacist) to separate the cream so I could figure out what is going on. I feel like I need more estrogen but am being pushed more progesterone.
I need to get off this stuff. I'm not sure what to try but if you are reading this can you post what you switched to. Again thank you for the post, I felt like it was written for me to see and it was such a relief to find out I'm not the only one that this progesterone therapy is not working for.
I am happy for the ones it does work for but we are all different and I don't think I am being listened to with my symptoms.

Aug 04, 2014
Thank you Sue
by: Joy

Hi Ann

Progesterone therapy will not work if it is not used correctly. If you read Wray's website carefully you will see that no women needs to take extra estrogen and any form of oral progesterone is not the best delivery method as 96% gets destroyed by the gut and liver. Please read How to use Progesterone Cream and Oestrogen Dominance as well as the information mentioned on this post as it will help you.

Aug 04, 2014
update
by: Sue

You're welcome, Ann. I feel for you and know what you are going through. Your symptoms are TYPICAL low estrogen symptoms. I went for years using too much progesterone when it was estradiol my body needed. My former doctor (a very well-known hormone "guru") was a progesterone advocate and I was completely brainwashed into thinking estrogen dominance caused all my symptoms too. And since I read all of Dr. John Lee's books and writings by similar-thinking doctors, I was convinced of it. It took me quite a while to have a paradigm shift in my thinking. Reading a book called Screaming to be Heard by Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet helped me make the shift. Like I said in my other post, I got by OK while in my 30s and 40s, but once I hit my early 50s the ___ hit the fan! That's when your ovaries start to poop out and produce less estradiol, some women hit it sooner than that, but I'm a late-comer I guess (57 now).
As far as testing goes, don't waste your time and money with saliva tests. They are so unreliable. Go with blood testing. I spent so much money on saliva tests through my compounding pharmacy only to discover after finally having my blood checked that I had almost no estradiol! As soon as I started supplementing with it, I turned the corner. Your gynecologist can prescribe estradiol for you (which by the way IS bio-identical) in the form of pills, patches, gels, or creams. You can get them at your regular pharmacy (boy was I shocked to find all this out) and don't have to have them compounded. What I currently use is 2 mg Estrace (generic version at $5 a month) pills every day which IS bio-identical estradiol, and Prometrium (generic version at $5 a month and also IS bio-identical)for 12 days a month (I use a 100 mg capsule vaginally). This makes me have a period every month, but it's the safest way to use it. The only reason you really need progesterone is if you haven't had your uterus removed -- it prevents your uterine lining from building up from the estrogen.
But here's the most important thing regarding anxiety (most articles use the term depression, but depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand so consider them the same thing). I started using a low dose of Prozac because I was still symptomatic on the estradiol and after a long stretch of feeling really well on the hormones plus Prozac, I stopped the Prozac and wouldn't you know it, a couple of months later my anxiety started to come back. I have done a bunch of reading on PubMed, etc. and see that for some women, the combination of estradiol therapy PLUS an anti-depressant that boosts the effects of serotonin is needed and works much better than estradiol alone. So I am back on the 15 mg Prozac (also generic version for $5 a month). I have learned so much during the past 3 years of suffering with this. Read the menopausematters website from the UK. They have tons of posts from women like us. Also helpful is the surmeno blogspot. Also the International Menopause Society. Also womens mental health dot org. Anxiety stinks! And so does peri-/menopause! Good luck to you and anyone else reading this with similar struggles!

Sep 29, 2014
Estrodial
by: Diane

I personally have greatly benefited from bio P. My sx prior to P were awful.. Leutal phase to period, I was angry, impatient, anxious, had severe insomnia. I have been a new person since being only on P for last 1.5 yrs. I have been on btwn 150mg and 250mg. I did my research, read multiple books and was not brain washed into anything by anyone on this website nor any particular author, but made an educated decision to follow a protocol. The key is once a dose is ramped up, is to not reduce for many months and then only reduce very slowly. My sister had PMDD, prior to bio P cream.. She is now sx free and so grateful that she is better.
To use Estrodial orals in particular without the protective benefits of bio P cream is very risky. If one is going to take estrogen, ATLEAST use transdermal. E is an inflammatory hormone and needs P to keep it in balance and we just don't make it when we no longer ovulate. So to purposefully use or take E without P is very risky. Read Dr Michael Platt's book, the Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones. He has 40 years treating pts vey successfully with bio P and very sparingly T and E.
I wish the ladies on this page good health and wellness.
Diane

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