Not much music to go with my menopause

by Jo C
(Florida)

I'm 51 and going through menopause. My memory is somewhat pretty good and I've searched for answers to my health concerns the majority of my adult life. To give you a little background...I was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency before I was 20. I'm currently hypothyroid with hashimoto, with adrenal gland failure, and enough excess weight to build my own clone.
I definitely realized long ago I was progesterone deficient when on a whim my doctor gave me progesterone suppositories and I finally got pregnant after 2 1/2 years.
I've been to so many doctors and heard so many opinions I can only laugh.

Two years ago I sought out a doctor who was willing to hear my cries. He ran blood work and saliva tests and immediately changed multiple medications and added some. We seemed on the right track when I dropped 15 pounds without hardly trying. At the time I was taking sublingual progesterone 100 mg, vivelle patch 2.5, and sublingual testosterone 1 mg. Because different numbers we up or down he tweeked the various medications. Out of nowhere my weight began to climb. He switched my testosterone up to 6 mg and then I was moved to the patch. I kept saying something isn't right. I'm gaining so much weight around my stomach and behind it's out of control. On my own I stopped the estrogen because it was making me miserable. I read much about testosterone and its ability to convert. My frustration took on a new meaning as I recently worked out feverishly for 6 weeks in a high intensity program and lost 5 pounds only to regain it.

After my last appointment I was still on 100 mg of sublingual progesterone and decided to start using Natpro. I was anxious to have my blood work done to see what the results would be. My progesterone rarely registers in my blood work.

My labs in April were Vitamin D 70, testosterone 8 ng/dL, progesterone 0.7 ng/mL, and estradiol 15 pg/mL. My ratio would have been 46:1, I think.

After using Natpro a month (somewhere between 200 and 400 divided between the day)
My labs in late May were testosterone 17 ng/dL, progesterone 4.7 ng/mL, estradiol <15 pg/mL. My ratio...it's hard to say. I don't have a definite number to go by. It could 336:1 or much higher.

My doctor has now bumped my sublingual testosterone up to 20 mg a day. My sublingual progesterone is still 100 mg.

At this point my sleeping brings a whole new meaning to nightmares. I fall asleep, but can only sleep a few hours at a time. I often wake and can't get back to sleep for hours. My migraines come and go. No real triggers but I feel they are hormone related. My breasts are tender and you can mark indentations on my body like a pegboard.

Help!!! My middle section is still expanding. I weigh more now than ever! Is the testosterone causing this! I'm hungry all the time however, I eat a few bites and feel like I've had a Thanksgiving dinner I'm so stuffed. Does the progesterone make me hungry?

Please help. I've gathered so much information from this website. I appreciate the research that goes along to back it. My entry word to submit is cracking me up! Very apropo because I feel like a cow!

Comments for Not much music to go with my menopause

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Jun 17, 2013
Need to add to original
by: Jo C

I failed to mention I take 5,000 for my vitamin d deficiency along with zinc. In addition my doctor prescribed medication to block estrogen which I take only 3 days in a week.

I appreciate any guidance and directions.

Jun 18, 2013
Not much music to go with my menopause
by: Wray

Hi Jo C I love your humour! How ironic your doctor first prescribed the oestrogen patch, and is now giving you oestrogen blockers. I wouldn't advise these at all, there are natural things which reduce oestrogen levels, the best of course is progesterone. But two others are DIM and calcium D-glucarate. DIM is regarded as an anti-oestrogen. Oestrogen is broken down into 2 principle metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 16-alpha hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1). 16alpha-OHE1 is regarded as a potent oestrogen, whereas 2-OHE1 is a weaker oestrogen. In some studies DIM (3,3'-Diindolylmethane) increased levels of 2-OHE1, by doing so it also increases the ratio of 2-OHE1:16alpha-OHE1. This increased ratio is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer in some studies, not in others. It appears to have a positive affect on pancreatic, thyroid, prostate and gastric cancers too, and leukemia. The precursor to DIM is Indole 3 Carbinol (I3C) which also has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. These are a selection of papers here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here Or you could try taking calcium D-glucarate. Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is one of the major detoxification pathways of the liver. It removes carcinogens, toxins, tumour promoters, the sex hormones ie, the androgens and oestrogens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, aromatic and heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, various nitrosamines, drugs, fungi etc. Continued below

Jun 18, 2013
Not much music to go with my menopause Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jo C It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase reverses the glucuronidation process. It breaks the glucoronide bond between a toxin and glucuronic acid, and releases carcinogens, toxins and excess steroid hormones back into circulation. There's evidence beta-glucuronidase activity is increased in breast and prostate cancer. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here, here, here and here. Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Silymarin from milk thistle also inhibits beta-glucuronidase, plus it helps the liver detox. Some women have found the DIM causes them problems. You've worked out the ratios correctly, so they are improving. I'm not sure if you've seen our Saliva Tests page, but the ratios were all 600:1 and greater. And now the testosterone, it's the worst thing you could be using. Excess testosterone will ensure a middle aged woman will get a middle aged spread! It's notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Not only that but it increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also causes Insulin Resistance which you undoubtedly have, as you say you're overweight. The cells are starved of fuel, hence the hunger, although oestrogen also causes this, see here. You are obviously retaining a great deal of water, see here. Caused by the oestrogen you were getting. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, now given to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to reduce oedema, inflammation too. Continued below

Jun 18, 2013
Not much music to go with my menopause Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Jo C You might like to see the page we have on Breast Tenderness and Migraines too. Thanks for the kind words about the site, and for trying the Natpro. I suggest you use the sublingual drops topically, as often much of the progesterone is swallowed, see our page on Delivery systems. And try to stick to one amount each day and not go up and down as you appear to be doing. Although 200mg/day is a good amount, you might need the 400mg/day due to the excess testosterone you have. You are either in Peri-menopause or Menopause, you don't mention having periods. But these pages will give you more clues to your symptoms. You say you're taking 5000iu for your vitamin D deficiency. Please could you confirm your vitamin D was done in ng/ml or nmol/L? If in ng/ml the level is good, specialists believe it should be between 70-100ng/ml, although the FDA has their 'adequate' levels at 30ng/ml. If in nmol/L it's very low. It's essential for the thyroid, see here, here, here, here, here and here. This could be why you are hypothyroid. Take care Wray

Jun 18, 2013
Great information
by: Jo C

Thank you for your quick response and your wealth of supporting data. I suspected testosterone was not helping my situation. It does add to my libido issues all while adding to my midsection. I had started the new 20mg last week and Im already up 5+ pounds. Very frustrating.

I still have periods but they are very sporadic. I had one 3 months ago and then 8 months prior. Looking at my lower stomach and hips it should be 9 months prior.

My vitamin D level was 70 ng/mL. It tends to fluctuate. At best it was 85 and this too was when the weight was falling off.

I did forget to mention as you pointed out I'm definitely insulin resistant. In addition, I have leaky gut. My doctor had initially prescribed byetta to help my insulin but I found my migraines were worse.

I am going to request saliva testing again so I can see what my levels are through that comparison.

My doctor is good about hearing me but It confuses me too why I go one direction only then to revers the recommendation.

I will definitely head to my health food store. DIM may have been what they suggested at one time and I will also check the calcium D-glucarate.

My sublingual progesterone is in pill form. Should I ask about using the drops instead? Of course, my doctor may disagree but in my opninion I think the Natpro is what brought my levels up. In looking back at my original post I put 200 - 400 of Natpro. I'm using 200 twice a day (morning and night).

Thank you again for your wealth of information and your dedication to providing for us this valuable resource.

Jun 27, 2013
Great information
by: Wray

Hi Jo C Interesting you mention testosterone adding to your Libido issues. Please take a look through this page, as it appears testosterone has a very small role to play, in men too. That's an alarming increase! Why oh why don't they read the studies, before putting women on the stuff? So you are in the final stages of P-menopause, and judging by your comment look 9 months pregnant, not what's needed. This is another study you might like to see here. Vitamin D does help weight loss, a lack of it leading to weight gain, plus insulin resistance, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It seems Byetta raises insulin levels quickly, not what's needed! Insulin drops levels of progesterone, see here. When progesterone drops, levels of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) drops too. Testosterone becomes inactive when bound to SHBG. Progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here. I see one of the side affects is headaches, so it doesn't surprise me your Migraines became worse. Continued below

Jun 27, 2013
Great information Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jo C You could try glutamine for your leaky gut, about 4000mg/day. It's the only fuel the enterocytes lining the gut wall can use for energy and repair. Probiotics are another excellent supplement to take. If you can get the progesterone from your doctor, I would suggest oral capsules. You can then open these and apply directly your skin, or add the contents to a small amount of skin cream, and then apply it. The drops do not contain much progesterone, whereas the oral has 100mg. Definitely the Natpro brought your level up, only because of the amount you used which I'm delighted about. Any topical application would have increased it. Let me know how you get on. Sorry about the delay in replying, but we've been having server site problems, which now seemed to be fixed. Take care Wray



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