Not sure what to do now

by Mary
(Austin TX)

I'm a mess. I'm 50 years old and I hate living in this body I now possess. I have high cholesterol (treated with statins) that is genetic and a hypothyroid condition that is under control. My perimenopause symptoms continue to get worse and worse.

Three weeks ago I went and had a saliva test done. The clinic wanted me off my statins and on a natural cholesterol lowering regime. I got the results back from the test and it said my hormone levels were normal except for my progesterone which measured at 1300. So it's way too high and I'm back on my statins to lower the cholesterol since progesterone is a product of cholesterol.....so what is my body doing?

I have many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance, but the levels tested ok. I feel like a walking wreck: I cry at the drop of a hat, am moody, energy comes and goes, anxiety is bad, I've finally gotten sleep under control. I'm a very social person who is struggling to go out and sex, forget it.....I'm thinking seriously about having a hysterectomy to get the female parts out of me that are creating this stuff.....HELP!!!!!

Comments for Not sure what to do now

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Jul 14, 2011
Progesteron, Cholesterol
by: Eve

Wow Mary! I feel for you. I too have been in utter despair over my health and the thought of a hysterectomy crossed my mind many times. As for cholesterol, it isn?t just the total cholesterol number that matters and one has to look at the HDL/LDL, triglycerides and other levels in the body. One should specifically look at the ratio between HDL and triglycerides. Having high cholesterol is not necessarily a bad thing. We need it for hormone production. However, having high triglycerides would be an indicator of another problem. For instance, high tris (over 100) in ratio to HDL (less than 50) level will show you most likely insulin resistant or metabolic syndrome type of stuff going on. The mere fact that you are also hypothyroid tells a bigger story as well. I personally would not take a statins as it is not treating the problem and only treats a symptom (that I would not consider bad at the surface level) and the list of potential side effects are horrendous.

As for cholesterol and progesterone, my understanding of basic Biology 101 is that progesterone is made from cholesterol not the other way around. Cholesterol is the building block for sex hormones among several other functions in the body. If we don?t eat foods that contain cholesterol, the body will make it as it is necessary for life. Some people genetically do have higher levels and that is not necessarily a bad thing and could very well be a protective element. There is research to support that women who have what is considered ?elevated? cholesterol in their later years are less often reported with heart disease than women with low cholesterol.


Your symptoms are systematic of estrogen dominance so it is alarming that your progesterone comes back as ?too high?. I am not familiar with the numbers being used on your saliva test. Do you know what the ratios are between estrogen and progesterone? What part of your cycle were you in? At the time of the saliva test, were you using topical progesterone? That will reflect an elevated progesterone level when taking a saliva test ? your doctor/clinic should know these things. If they don?t, that is a huge red flag. There are a lot of variables to your situation and likely there isn?t a magic bullet, but you can start weeding some things out by asking some of these questions (if you haven't already).

(look for continuation)

Jul 14, 2011
continued thoughts
by: Eve

Finding all the answers can be frustrating. I personally am working on high triglycerides and low HDL myself. It's part of having PCOS, insulin resistance, low progesterone - (was) hypothyroid. They are all tied together. Which one came first? The chicken or the egg? I am not sure...wish someone could tell me. I do think there is a direct correlation to the lies we were fed about "low fat" diets being best for optimal health. Our bodies need fat for hormone production and metabolic efficiency. I think that type of nutrition has also led us to the epedimic of vit. D and thyroid deficiencies as well as extreme obesity. All of which has the domino effect and creates more health problems. I wonder if you are someone who has eaten low fat the majority of your life? ~ Wishing you peace Eve

Jul 18, 2011
Not sure what to do now
by: Wray

Hi Mary Whatever you do don't have a hyst. Some woman are fine, but many are worse after having one. You might like to see more info about a Hysterectomy on this excellent website. I find it odd your progesterone was that level, especially as you are not using it. If you read the studies done on high cholesterol, it appears to be not a genetic problem, but a lack of vitamin D. Ironically statins increase vitamin D levels, which makes one suspect this is the reason they work. A lack of vitamin D increases cholesterol, see here. And these studies here and here. A lack also reduces the benefits of progesterone. Your symptoms all point to high oestrogen, low progesterone, in spite of your test results. But how to persuade you to try it? One thing I would ask you to do is have a vitamin D test done, as I'm sure you are deficient in it. For more info please see the Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth websites. You might like to read our pages on Peri-menopause and Menopause. If you do consider trying it, please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance first. You are aware of it, but it can become worse when first using progesterone. I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, but feel you would need more. For encouragement you might like to read these comments from users of high amounts, see here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jul 19, 2011
Progeserone running out
by: Anonymous

If I use one tsp a day for 14 days how long will it take to use up one tube of Natpro? I'd like to know so I know when to re order. Thank you.

Jul 19, 2011
Progesterone levels
by: Anonymous

Can you tell me what a serum and a blood progesterone level should be? Since my periods are not regular each month I may not be able to get it done at the right time of the month. Does that matter? Will the results still be ok?

Jul 20, 2011
Progeserone running out
by: Wray

Hi there 1tsp is 5ml, so assuming you are using a 5ml tsp 1 tube will last 12 days. Each tube contains 60ml of cream. Take care Wray


Jul 20, 2011
Progesterone levels
by: Wray

Hi there These are the levels for serum progesterone....
Female (follicular) < 1 ng/ml or <3.18 nmol/L
Female (luteal) 5 to 20 ng/ml or 15.9 - 63.6 nmol/L
Postmenopausal < 1 ng/l or < 3.18 nmol/L
See Medline Progesterone
And these are saliva progesterone levels....
Female (follicular) 12-100 pg/ml or 38.16 - 318.00 pmol/L
Female (luteal) 75?270 pg/ml or 238.5 - 858.6 pmol/L
Postmenopausal 12?100 pg/ml or 38.16 - 318.00 pmol/L
ZRT Labs
It is necessary to have the test done during the 12-14 day luteal phase. Normally ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding, which is when progesterone peaks. If done at any other time, it will show a low level, which will tell you nothing. It's the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen which is the critical thing to look for. If you know when you ovulate this will help, as all you have to do is count 7 days and have the test done then. Has anyone checked for PCOS? This upsets the cycle, so does a lack of progesterone and vitamin D. Please have a vitamin D test done, for more info see the Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Take care Wray

Jul 20, 2011
HEY EVE
by: Annette Canada

Hello Eve it's Annette. I have question I know it took you a year to be symptom free but how many months before you found your symptoms easing 7 or 8 months... please don't tell me a year.

Aug 01, 2011
Progesteron, Cholesterol
by: Wray

Hi Eve For some reason I missed your comment, and what an excellent one too. I do agree Mary's symptoms are related to excess oestrogen, and she doesn't use progesterone, so how her level could be that high beats me. I agree with you about cholesterol too, you might like to see these sites here and here. Take care Wray

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