Not sure what to do...

by Lori
(San Jose, CA)

Hi Wray, I wrote to you a couple weeks ago (did the HCG diet, haven't had a period since March 2012, stopped abruptly during diet). The progesterone was going good, the water retention did go away when I upped the dose a little...I'm figuring I was close to 400mg. I've been on the cream for almost 6 weeks now. This past week I've blown up again and anxiety is bad, and I'm going through a stressful time!! I'm also noticing that my stomache area is big, and i'm not having good bowel movements (which i always do), almost like right before a period starts. It's almost like a cycle is trying to start, but with the high dose of cream, that can't happen, correct?? My questions are should I increase to a high amount (like 600-800mg) during stress and if so do I do it all at once, like today jump up? I know you say to dose on "symptoms", but then I read where you told someone that they increased too fast? Also, you said that anytime you increase you get ED symptoms...but I thought if you went high enough, the Progesterone would squelch any negative ED symptoms? Confused! And then say next week I feel better and more calm, would I drop all at once to the lower dose, say 350-400mg, or do you need to ramp down? I'm wondering if I should stop the cream to see if a cycle comes, cause it does seem like a lot is going on within me. I'm scared though of feeling worse since negative symptoms have popped back up again. BTW..I just received the Natpro yesterday, WOW, I love it!! Great cream! I've already used 2 tsp this morning, but still feeling the water retention! Thanks for your advice and for clearing up my confusion!!

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Oct 06, 2012
Not sure what to do...
by: Wray

Hi Lori Bless you for the kind words about the Natpro, so happy you like it. I'm pleased the progesterone helped by upping it, it should have done. Sorry to hear about the stress, it does play havoc with us. Increasing would help it of course, but I'm going to suggest you stop it and see if your period will come. It seems like it's trying to. If it does stay off the progesterone for a day or two, I don't want your symptoms to come back! If it doesn't then start the cream again. Some women find 400mg/day stops bleeding, others don't and need far more to stop it. Although if you have huge stress now, you might prefer to increase the progesterone to help, and ignore trying to start your cycle again, it's a toss up! The added stress could be because your reproductive cycle has started up again. Progesterone peaks mid-luteal phase, or should, but so does oestrogen. This would account for the bloating, all the water is being drawn from your gut, into the tissues. This also explains the bad bowel movements too, and added Anxiety. I can't recall having told someone they had increased too quickly, this is the best route. It's increasing too slowly that oestrogen is always stimulated. And decreasing too fast will also be detrimental, this must be done verrrry slowly! I wish I could advise you on whether you should or shouldn't see if you can get your cycle going again, but I'll have to leave it to you. You're the one who is the best judge of how you'll cope if you do. But please do keep in touch. Take care Wray

Oct 06, 2012
few more questions...
by: Lori

Hi Wray, While waiting for your reply I decided to up the dose to close to 600mg (I just know that the stress I'm under right now would send me over a cliff if I stop abruptly), it has helped a lot, shedding water and calming me! I'm still experiencing a lot of daytime sleepiness on this dose, lack of energy to get things done...is it ok to split the dose by using a lot more at night (say 250 day 350night), or is it best to split it in 1/2 as the day is when I'm stressed? I wish I could remember the comment where you said that the lady increased too fast, that's what really threw me, as I've read sooooo much that if you use a large enough amount ED wont stand a chance to rear it's ugly head!! I'm surprised I "fell" so hard and fast as I did using 400 mg, but I wasn't eating as good as I should have the week prior and then I fell and injured my tailbone (which is just now feeling better), so I'm sure that contributed! So, I'm still confused about the "dosing by symptoms" aspect...here's why; I've read so much that some women just keep rubbing the cream on throughout the day when they feel anxious, or are more stressed than usual; or that some are on say 350mg per day, and that they jumped up to 600mg for a few days to alleviate symptoms, then go back down. Well if you're dosing on symptoms, and you feel good after 3 days of jumping up, I would think you could go right back down to where you were stable before the added stress. But then I read a lot where you say (even just to me) that when you reduce, it needs to be done slooowly??? But then, when I am ready to stop the cream to try to encourage a cycle, you say to stop abruptly, which would mean no ramp down and certainly not slooow? I hope I'm explaing my confusion thoroughly and not just rambling. I do understand that we are all so different and what works for one, doesn't work for the next. While I definitely have ED and my hormones are not balanced, I really am very fortunate that I'm not suffering as much as many others, and I'm very appreciative of that! I've become so incredibly educated on this subject throughout my endless hours of reading your site, your advice, and of course by reading the experiences and struggles of others...it's invaluable information!!! I'm going to start a new comment below...

Oct 06, 2012
few more questions...
by: Lori

hopefully this is continuing from above...

So, for now I think I'm going to use the 600mg for a few days until I feel stable, then go back down to 350-400 for maybe a week, then stop abruptly and see what happens...how does that sound? If when I stop, give it 2-3 days and if I feel worse, start again? But shouldn't I expect to feel somewhat "off" after coming off such a high amount for so long? Last question, I am taking the Inositol, but in the morning with glutamine (which I also take at night), but I just read that it can cause sleepiness, which could be contributing to my sluggishness during the day...should I take the Inositol at night all in 1 dose (I'd like to get up to 8000mg)? And take 5htp away from glutamine, correct? I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with all this...I, as many others, am just trying to get my head wrapped around everything and am looking to feel alive again, which you are helping me achieve! Many many thanks!!

Oct 06, 2012
A few more thoughts...
by: Lori

Hi Wray...I have a few more thoughts after thinking about this alllll day. If I stop abruptly to encourage a cycle, you say to stop for 2 days, does that mean I'm only stopping to drop the level of progesterone quickly to encourage bleeding, and then are you suggesting that I start up again after those 2 days to keep ED at bay? If that's the case, how much would I start to use after the 2 day break, probably significantly less than 400mg to keep the cycle going? Then what? Also, what happens if no cycle starts in 2 days, and I'm ED again? just start up or give it a few days and suffer? BTW...I really feel as though something is happening hormonally within because I'm actually feeling very tender througout my whole lower stomach area, and my stomach is big and bloated. I'm so scared to stop but will probably do so in a few days as I feel like my body is trying to tell me something. I truly hope I haven't overwhelmed you with my thoughts/questions...this is on my mind nonstop and since you have not responded yet, I wanted to see if I could catch you with both queries at the same time. Again, I can't thank you enough for the dedication that you have towards helping women find there way!!!!!

Oct 08, 2012
few more questions
by: Wray

Hi Lori Well I think I made sense of it all!! I have answered some of your queries already in my previous reply. The one about increasing too fast. Are you sure you didn't read 'decreasing' too fast? This will cause problems and take you back to where you came from. I see you've gone the high route, well only you know what stress you are under. Maybe a good thing you did it, as you now know progesterone can help. The sleepiness will pass. Use the progesterone as you see fit, hourly if need be. There's no hard and fast rule. And yes, progesterone does need to be stopped prior to a period. But if symptoms are severe I don't recommend following the cycle, not until stable. Now you don't have one, but feel as if it's trying to come. This is good of course, as it's been badly disrupted by the hCG diet. As I advised you, stop with caution, and only when you feel ready for it. I must tell you, as your symptoms are bad, I don't really want you to stop the progesterone, but you do need to get your cycle going again. Maybe you'd consider waiting a bit till you're happy with how you feel? Only if your insides get really insistent should you try stopping it. Inositol is excellent for sleep! So yes it could well be the problem. And I would try doing without the 5HTP. You haven't mentioned libido at all, but as an aside serotonin inhibits it. With all the thinking you've been doing "alllll day" I'm going to suggest you take tyrosine, it helps calm thoughts, and yours have been going flat out, you'll exhaust your mind! So yes stopping the progesterone abruptly normally causes bleeding to occur. There's more info on our Menstruation page. And yes if you chose to stop, start the progesterone again within two days, if not sooner, whether bleeding occurs or not. I'm concerned your symptoms will come back. I feel you will need at least 400mg/day, it wasn't until you went up to 600mg/day that you began to feel better. So you might have to go this high again. I do wish I could give you a definite answer, but as you feel your way through this, I'm also learning. One thing will be to advise women not to go on the hCG diet! Take care Wray

Oct 08, 2012
Think I'm getting it..
by: Lori

Thanks Wray for your reply. I'm sorry if I'm being repetitive, as I'm just not clear about things. I'll continue to read the comments and your replies of others to educate myself more!

Regarding the 5htp, I've suffered on and off for depression for many years, and had a saliva test done 2 years ago and my Serotonin has always been low. But yes, my libido definitely suffers! Maybe I will try not taking it for awhile and see if the progesterone alone stabilizes me. That would be great!

I am going to do as you suggest and keep plugging away on the high dose of cream for now. BTW, since upping it to between 550-600mg these past few days, the ED symptoms are gone again and I'm feeling more balanced. I also think it's because I'm not as stressed right now.

Please correct 1 thing for me though, regarding increasing to high doses during stress (which unfortunately I suffer from a lot), when i feel the stress has passed, is it ok to go back down immediately to the dose I was on prior. So right now I'm up to about 600mg, feeling better and not stressed, so in a few days can I go back down to the 400mg I was on before the added stress?

Also, what are your thoughts on adding a supplement such as the Estrosense. I see Annette takes that and has had success with it. Do you recommend something like that for people with ED? What are your feelings on a supplement such as that as opposed to just the Cal d Gluc?

Thank you Wray for your advice and I will keep you posted on how I do!

Oct 09, 2012
Think I'm getting it
by: Wray

Hi Lori I don't mind the repetition, as I can miss things. Interesting about the libido, do try going without it. You did say you were taking inositol, this also helps depression. It also raises serotonin levels gently, but I haven't found evidence inositol itself lowers libido. That anxiety page I gave you does have several other nutrients which help depression. You didn't mention suffering from depression before, only anxiety. Which I put down to your cycle trying to start. If the depression is long sanding then you are probably short of vitamin D, see here, here, here, here, here. and here. 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. Plus a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. Women have found once their vitamin D level was high, persistent symptoms went, see this thread here. I'm so pleased the symptoms have gone by increasing the progesterone, but do have that vitamin D test done, it could be the missing factor. You can try dropping down quickly from 600mg to 400mg and see how you feel. It might work for you, or not! Only trying it will you know. Estrosense is an excellent supplement. Besides the Cal D Gluc and DIM, it does contain other powerful antioxidants. The sulforaphane in particular, this is hugely costly, but studies have shown it a highly effective antioxidant. My brother formulated it into a sunscreen because of it's protective effects, you can read about it on this page. Take care Wray

Oct 09, 2012
.
by: Lori

Hi Wray..I did have a Vit D test done about 4 weeks ago and it was 42ng. I have since been supplementing with 25,000iu's per day. I plan on having another test done in 6-8 weeks to see where I am after such high supplementation. I do understand the importance of D.

When I initially wrote in to you it was to get guidance on using high amounts of Progesterone and I had just come across your site. Unfortunately I didn't disclose a lot of info that you may like to know. I'm now realizing that I should have listed more about me.

I'm hypothyroid and on 1 1/4 grain of dessicated thyroid. Interestingly, when I started the higher doses of progesterone, sypmtoms that I was still experiencing, and attributing to my thyroid (very dry heels, toe skin cracking, outer eyebrows thin), started to greatly improve!!! I read where low progeterone can mimick low thyroid. It's definitely helped!

I've suffered from depression for many years. I did take BCP for about 6 years or so in my early 20's, but didn't notice anything negative at the time or when I came off it. I used to be a big drinker, unfortunately for a woman I can tolerate a lot! I also did a lot of drugs back in my teens and early 20's, which of course I'm now paying for as I know all that bad stuff negatively affected neurotransmitters!! I suffered very bad, debilitating depression after the birth of both my kids. Went on Prozac and just forced myself to plug along, as I didn't know any better.

I am a type A person, and I am often extremely stressed out. I stay at home, raise 2 kids (6 & 8), take care of my mother in law who had a stroke (do all her shopping, banking, dr's, etc) and all the other things that come with this territory.

I have been on a mission for a few years to get myself well Working with a naturopath. I've been on a lot of supplements. Currently I'm taking high doses of B's, zinc, biotin, liver support, magnesium, vit d, vit c, selenium, dessicated thyroid, inositol, glutamine, of course Progesterone, Taurine, & a crave arrest supplement that has Tyrosine amongst others in it.

Probably the most concerning thing to me right now is that I just don't see the stress letting up, in fact life just seems to keep getting harder. So, I feel like the "rabbit chasing the carrot". I should probably add in a supplment for stress such as Ashwaghanda, and that's helped before. I'm also going to do the Estrosense or Cal d gluc to help rid my body of the estrogen.

Hopefully this info has given you a better picture of me. Sorry for not including it to begin with!


Oct 11, 2012
More info
by: Wray

Hi Lori Thanks for the additional info, it does help me. I'm delighted you're taking so much D, and that you'll have another test done soonish. It's important to keep a handle on the level, at least every 6 months once you've got yours high enough. I'm so interested your 'very dry heels, toe skin cracking, outer eyebrows thin' are improving. I had these too, and they all went once on the progesterone. In fact my heels would crack until they bled on occasion. I wasn't on any other medication at the time. Pity about the depression, I had that too, which also went once I'd started the progesterone. Vitamin D is excellent for that too, so hopefully once your levels are up it will go, see here, here, here, here, here. and here. I also had PND too, but refused drugs, lived with it before it gradually lifted 4 years later. How I wished I'd known about progesterone then. Dr Dalton used it successfully to treat all her patients, using amounts up to 2400mg/day for her patients with post natal psychosis, see here. With all you have to contend with, it would make anyone an A type person! Tyrosine is good for cravings, so too is progesterone, so you should be helped. You're taking some excellent supplements, but they will take time to change things. You could try the ashwaganda again, rhodiola is good too. But maybe you should stick with the ones you are taking and give it some time. Another thing you could look into to cope with the stress is EFT. It's an amazing therapy, with studies behind it proving it does work. Please keep in touch. Take care Wray

Oct 19, 2012
Not sure what to do
by: Still having hot flashes

Hi Wray,
I have been reading your comments for estrogen dominance. I have been off biesterogen and testosterone for 3 months and I am only taking progesterone. I have been taking 200 mg per day and I was still having hotflashes then I bumped it up to 400mg per day and I stayed there for 5 days and I am still having hotflashes, mostly in the morning but anytime during the day it can happen. I am feeling better but the hotflashes are problematic.
What can I do to make them stop and when will the hot flashes stop??

Oct 20, 2012
Not sure what to do
by: Wray

Hi there It does take longer in some women than 5 days to get rid of the Hot Flushes. I have found the 400mg/day you used is needed too, so please continue for a longer period. Another nutrient you could try is GABA, although progesterone activates the GABA receptor sites, if there's not enough GABA it won't have much affect. It appears that possibly GABA is involved in hot flushes. Or it certainly seems to help some women. Although you are off the other two hormones, it's not been long now. The affect of these still has to wear off, so I feel time is all you need, with possibly a little help from GABA. Start off low, i.e. about 100mg/day. Too much GABA and symptoms come back. Take care Wray

Oct 23, 2012
Update
by: Lori

Hi Wray. Thought I'd give you an update on me. I was up to 700-800 mg of the cream for about a week dealing with the added stress and ED symptoms that showed up again. My ovary area was aching and I finally decided to stop the cream abruptly to see if I could finally get a cycle. My last dose of cream was last Thursday night, so I'm on day 5 and would you believe I still have not started to bleed?? My lower stomach area is big, I wouldn't even really call it bloated, and my ovaries are still tender. Not painful at all, I just still feel as though something "wants" to happen but isn't. I thought for sure that stopping all at once from such a high dose would cause a bleed. I have to say though that I haven't suffered at all from stopping like that. I feel ok and stable. Just really wish I could get my body back on track after the HCG and start ovulating and getting a cycle again.

Could you clear something up for me...when you say that ED symptoms can happen when you increase progesterone, why does that happen if you're jumping up to a high dose, say for added stress? For instance you say you use 170 mg a day, and when you use more for added stress you can get the ED symptoms? Why would ED symptoms show up if the dose is high enough? Thanks for your thoughts!!


Oct 24, 2012
Update
by: Wray

Hi Lori Well this has me stumped too! Try staying off the cream for about 14 days, and see what happens. That's if you don't get any adverse symptoms occurring. Then start it again. Maybe if you try to follow a cycle, even if there isn't one, it might occur. I don't know what length your cycle used to be, but using a 28 day one makes it easier to follow. If and when yours starts again, it will settle into it's own rhythm. I'm amazed you haven't felt bad after dropping from such a high amount, I live and learn! All too often women feel quite awful. ED symptoms only occur if you increase slowly, not if you increase to a high amount quickly. Let me know your thoughts about using it following a cycle. Take care Wray

Oct 25, 2012
Update
by: Lori

Hi Wray! Well it's just amazing how things can change in a matter of days! I was feeling ok, but we just left for camping and apparently the stress of getting ready threw me. The water retention is my biggest problem right now, I was helped so much in that area on the progesterone, I loved that! My lower abdomen area is still very achy, almost like continual cramps, not very comfortable. I was definitely thinking of doing 14 days on/off...my cycle used to be about 32 days, but I figure I havent had it in so long to start with 14...is that ok? Although right now I'm considering starting again because of the adverse symptoms. I have 7 more days if I wait until day 14, maybe I should try to follow a cycle. Ugh it;s so stressful trying to make the right decision!!

I bought the Estrosense and took it for about 2 weeks, but just stopped it 2 days ago because the gas and gas bubbles it was causing was ridiculous! I also started the Cal d Gluc, 1 3x day (1500), but 2 days ago I started to notice my urine darkening, smelling a bit, and my kidneys are hurting now. I drink a lot of water, and have never had these issues before. Is this detox symptoms? I've tried to find info on this and I can't find anything that says there'd be adverse reactions, but I seem to be having some! Between my kidney's now and the abdominal cramping, I'm not feeling top of the line! It's actually making me a little nervous. Should I stop the cal d?

The ironic thing is my depression and anxiety are stable right now, which is great! As always, I look forward to your advice!!! Many thanks!

Oct 26, 2012
Update
by: Wray

Hi Lori Yes they can change radically! Especially if subjected to stress. Any Stress, be it good or bad, causes the same reaction in us. Please read this comment here, as Annie reacts in the same way as you do. Although her problem was one of heavy bleeding, which began again as she was preparing things to go on holiday. Don't stress yourself even more by deciding what is best. Your symptoms have come back, so start the progesterone. You certainly don't want to go back to square one again. That's very interesting about the Estrosense, pity, I'd not heard that before. The CaDG is definitely causing a detox, so ease back on it, maybe to one a day. Remember it helps remove a great number of toxins, plus oestrogen and testosterone. So happy the depression and anxiety are so much better. But please start the progesterone now, as you want to keep it that way! Maybe your period will come of it's own, and doesn't need pushing, that's if you can put up with the strange sensations in your gut. Have you tried rubbing the cream on your tummy for the cramps? Please let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Oct 29, 2012
Update
by: Lori

Hi Wray. I did start back on the cream (day 4 right now) and I'm already back up to 700mg/day. I'm not scared of the high doses. I think I had to go so high because as I said we were camping and I was indulging way more than I should with alcohol and camping food. I think I'm on top of it now though and will hopefully be able to back down some maybe in a week.

I'm really amazed that I didn't start bleeding after being on a high dose for 8 weeks and stopping abruptly from 600-700 mg. Why do you think that is? I do believe I have endometrial build up, since no cycle March 2012, thats 7 months now, and I feel that's 1 reason that my stomach is big. I've been reading about D&C and am wondering if I should look into it. If a drop in progesterone causes a bleed, I just don't understand why I didn't??

The ovary pain has totally diminshed for now, but since starting back on the cream, I'm having a sense of a constant cramp in my uterus.

Oh, another thing that I never thought to tell you, and only realized recently from reading that this could be a problem, I had a tubal after my son was born 6 1/2 years ago. Aside from severe PND, I didn't suffer any adverse hormonal reactions. Do you think this could be starting to cause problems this long after? I would have NEVER done this if I'd known there could be adverse reactions, how disheartening!!

As with all these women, I am soooo looking forward to a time when I feel like "me" again.

Hugs from Lori!

Oct 30, 2012
Update
by: Lori

Hi Wray, I hope this finds you before you advise on my previous post. I'm still on the 700 mg day, and yesterday during the day the cream was making me so warm all day that if I did anything (laundry, cook, dishes, etc) I would start sweating all over. Then last night I was dripping sweat everywhere all night long. It wasn't a "hot flash" but more a constant state of overheating literally all night, soaking. I slept horrible (4000 mg Glutamine, 200 mg Mag, 30mg Zinc, and 3600 mg inositol right before bed). I don't eat or drink anything that would cause a blood glucose drop! My heart was also racing slightly and a little panuc.... All VERY unusual for me. This morning I'm still in a state of feeling like I'm overheating, no sweating right now but a constant internal overheating. Could this be a sign that my Natur-throid needs to be lowered? I also read that temperature can increase due to rapidly rising progesterone levels. Am I using too high a dose? My other symptoms (weight & bloating only) go up right now with a lower dose, but Im not sure I can handle this heat, sweating, and lack of sleep! Please help!!! Thank you!!!

Nov 01, 2012
Update
by: Wray

Hi Lori Well I did answer you, but can't see it on the page. Heaven knows where it's gone! I do save all my answers so will post it again, or maybe I forgot to do it in the first place, I can be absentminded! I'd forgotten you are on desiccated thyroid, this will be causing the extra heat. Progesterone doesn't raise it that much! During the follicular phase, which lasts from the first day of bleeding to ovulation, temperatures range from 36.45 to 36.7 °C (97.6 to 98.1 °F). Once ovulation occurs and progesterone is being secreted from the corpus luteum, temperatures rise by 0.15 - 0.45 °C (0.2 - 0.9 °F). Giving a temperature range of 36.7 - 37.3°C (98.1 - 99.2°F) during the luteal phase. This lasts from ovulation to bleeding, in all women the luteal phase is always 12-14 days long. With dropping levels of progesterone the few days before bleeding, the temperature also drops. The rise in temperature is caused by the increased metabolic rate. This paper here shows the increase with progesterone and the decrease with oestrogen. You'll notice it's not that great an increase. So I do suggest you decrease the desiccated thyroid and see if that helps. It would be wonderful if that high amount of progesterone is helping the thyroid to the point you don't need the meds.

Nov 01, 2012
Update on 29th Oct
by: Wray

Hi Lori Well I did forget to post it! It follows......

Glad the increased amount has helped you get on top of things. A bit dismaying after all your hard work, but at least it shows the progesterone is working. I'm amazed you didn't start bleeding too, but then if there is no lining, there would be nothing to bleed. Very high amounts of progesterone do suppress the lining from building up. Although women do shed most of their lining at the end of the month, some of it is absorbed back into the body too, so this could account for it. Although I've not come across this before. It might be worth having a check up, maybe a scan rather than a D&C to start with. If they want to do a hormone profile, make sure it's a serum test. If they do a saliva test they'll freak at your progesterone levels, and tell you to stop immediately! I had no idea the hCG diet could upset the reproductive system so much. If only progesterone therapy were simple. I was thinking of your emotional side being helped, but your uterus is complaining. It's highly sensitive to hormones as you can appreciate, evidently the progesterone is stimulating the oestrogen receptors. Maybe you can begin to reduce the amount slowly again. I had no idea you had PND, I did too, it lasted 4 yrs, gradually I emerged from the dark cloud. Nothing would make me go through that again, so I only had one child. A Tubal ligation can cause adverse reactions, this probably made your PND so severe. Or it could have been the cause of it. But I've not heard it could flare up again so long after the op. Unless of course the hCG diet triggered something. Have a look through the site I've given you, you might find a clue. A TL can disrupt blood flow to the ovaries, which would understandably reduce the amount of hormones they excreted. Maybe even stop ovulation. It can be reversed if you feel this should be done, see here. I don't blame you for wanting to feel well again, it was a wonderful relief for me. At one point I'd diagnosed myself with early onset senile dementia! Plus a host of other symptoms, now thankfully all gone. Let me know what you decide to do. Take care Wray

Nov 02, 2012
Update
by: Lori

Hi Wray, I got both your replies, thank you! I lowered the Natur-throid by 1/4 grain, and I don't know if it was that or something else but the heat has pretty much gone, thank goodness!!

I know I'm ED because of all the symptoms, so why if there's been so much estrogen occupying my body would I have no uterine lining build up to shed after dropping from a high dose of progesterone? You suggest a scan, which I will book an appt for, do you have any ideas what could be found?

I am "still" not clear about dosing with progesterone. Obviously I'm not scared to go high :)! Numerous pages suggest that using progesterone should be used according to symptoms, not a specified dose. How much do you suggest increasing at a time if the current amount you're on isn't keep ED at bay? So if I'm on 400mg, and experiencing ED, how much of an increase at a time would you suggest? I was reading posts by Marilu today and you were saying to her that she was increasing by too much at a time, and that each time she increased, she'd get ED. That's where I'm confused, because I thought if you increased high enough, you would avoid ED? I'm sorry that I don't get this.

I have read almost all of the pages of the women who have used high amounts (Annette, Eve, Camperkat, & Natasha), and a lot of there comments say that they got up to "such and such amount, and even more on stressful days". So if you find that 400mg is working for you for awhile, then all of a sudden something stressful happens (which in my life is actually quite frequently), I increase the amount, but for how long and by how much?? When they say "more on some days" that leads me to believe the increase is only temporary and through the stressors? Is that correct? But I can't find anywhere if they drop right back down to the previous amount that was working before the incident.

continued below...

Nov 02, 2012
Update
by: Lori

continued from above...

I mentioned that I just went camping and the stress of packing etc., plus indulging in alcohol and not the healthiest food, I immediately found myself back up at 700mg. I've been on that amount for 5 days. I'm not stressed anymore, but tried to go down to 550mg last night, and apparently my body didn't like that as the water retention today was quite noticable. So is that my body saying "too fast"? But if that's the case, my fear is that slowly but surely I'm going to continue climbing up higher and higher because my life is stressful, and I'll never be able to get back down to the 350mg that worked for quite awhile. That's scary!!! BTW, I am working on calming myself and trying not react negatively to things as I know it causes setbacks....baby steps here :)!

Last question...When you say stopping the cream suddenly could cause a lot of problems, what exactly do you mean? If you stop the progesterone, it's not aggravating the estrogen receptors anymore, and I've read so many women say they feel immediately better because of that. I'm just trying to get a feel for what I'm going to do in the near future...stop abruptly again (6 more days and I'll have used high amount for 14 days, before that 7 day break I was on high amount for 8 weeks) and hope for a bleed, or stop for 2 days and start back up.

While your support is invaluable, it's still scary being out here in cyber world going against the majority and using such high amounts of hormones and feeling worse...trying to stay very positive that I'm on the right path, but it's frightening when there are setbacks!!

As always, many thanks for your advice!!

Nov 03, 2012
Another thought
by: Lori

Wray, Ive been reading more since I just replied and came across something very interesting! I keep saying that the only ED symptoms I'm having when i reduce is the water retention and bloating, which causes of course weight gain. Well what if this is actually caused by aldosterone, and I don't need such high amounts of progesterone?? How would I know this? And how could I correct if aldosterone is the culprit. I just started using 1/2 tsp pure grey salt in lemon water in the morning. I've read your links to Ray Peat on water retention, where he mentions that people are drinking too much, which I think I may have been, but was always thirsty. Plus i run 4 miles every morning and sweat a TON. The salt has helped not drink as much. I'm a little hopeful that I might not need these ridiculously high amounts! What do you think??

Nov 03, 2012
Update etc
by: Wray

Hi Lori I don't think it would be aldosterone, as progesterone inhibits this by occupying the same receptor sites. It could well be you just lack salt. Probably because you drink too much, and you run too and sweat it off. I would be very interested to hear if your drinking some in the morning corrects it. A jump down from 700mg to 550mg would have caused major problems! I'm surprised you didn't feel emotionally wobbly too. When reducing do so with no more than 1ml at a time. That's 1/5 of a tsp, or 33.3mg progesterone. Please look through that page we have on Anxiety, they're several nutrients which can help the stress too. Taurine, glycine and GABA are all calming amino acids. Go easy on the GABA as too much causes the same symptoms you're trying to get rid of. The body can also convert glycine into glucose, but being an amino acid you don't get a sugar shock. When stopping the progesterone suddenly symptoms can come back, it does depend on whether stability has been achieved. I've found women with a regular cycle, but severe symptoms and therefore using it daily, once stable the drop doesn't cause them such a problem, as those in Peri-menopause or Menopause.
Although I would not normally recommend dropping from as high an amount as you're using. The reason I asked you to try that, was to see if your period would come. The women who say they feel better when stopping or reducing the progesterone, are all using very low amounts. This would stimulate oestrogen almost continuously. Please try those calming amino acids, there are other nutrients too, all mentioned on the page. You might consider looking into EFT, it's a remarkable therapy particularly for reducing stress. Or getting a handle on it! Stress is always with us, but it depends so much on our perception of it. It is scary doing this on your own, I wish I could tell you of a doctor or therapist who could advise you too, but can't. I'm so delighted reducing the Natur-throid worked, I knew it couldn't possibly be progesterone. But it does show how it helps the thyroid function. It was a guess on my part that it's possible your uterine lining has not built up. The uterus, the breasts too, have an abundance of oestrogen and progesterone receptors. So it's very sensitive to the affects of these two hormones. I've found on the whole that women with uterine or breast problems usually find relief quite quickly. There are always the exceptions of course! That's why I wanted you to have a scan done, they'll be able to check your lining, and tell you how thick it is. Continued below.

Nov 03, 2012
Update etc Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Lori I think I suggested having blood tests done too. Ah Marilu, this must be the passage you refer to...."I only suggest increasing if oestrogen dominance occurs, and it's best not to do it in the large increases you've used." It was a bit obtuse of me. Marilu was forever altering the amount, suddenly going high, then low, then high again. This would keep her in a state of ED all the time. If she had increased substantially as you've done, she should have stayed on that amount, and reduced it very slowly, but she didn't. It was the see-saw she was on which caused the problems. It's best to increase by about 100mg each time, as this shouldn't stimulate oestrogen too much, if at all. If that doesn't help with symptoms then it should be increased again. As you've discovered, it is trial and error, I wish it weren't. But obviously if there are severe symptoms to begin with, I do recommend starting on about 400mgday, and increasing from there. Thank you for taking the time to read all those pages! I can only speak for myself, as they don't say if they reduced back down again to the amount they were using. I've found I can alter the amount I use without any adverse symptoms occurring. So when stressed I do use more, as progesterone has dropped. It's really only keeping the level where it was, so once the stress has passed, the amount can be reduced again. But I would do this slowly if not yet stable. I occasionally give myself a top up with 2tsp, or 330mg/day. I feel so old when I do! Aches and pains, tired, irritable, bad tempered too. ED, even after using it for over 15 years. I do this for about two weeks, then reduce again. I do know Camperkat has reduced hers down to 120mg/day. But Annette was apparently using 2000mg/day, so a friend of hers said on the site. She was going through major stress, divorce and separation from her kids. She ended up in hospital where they checked everything, including her progesterone. On her Facebook page she said they found her progesterone low! I do know she's recently ordered 50 tubes. I do hope some of this helps clear any confusion. And please think about those aminos and the EFT too. Take care Wray

Nov 08, 2012
Still having hot flashes.
by: Anonymous

Wow. We are such delicate creatures. Effective today I have bumped up again to 400 mg of progesterone per day. I did cut back to 150 mg and it was way way too soon. I agree with what you have said about it taking longer than 5 days to see a difference...won't make that mistake again. Oh yes, I can relate to some others who are strugging with the ups and downs and the weight gain. The one thing I really noticed when I lowered the dose is the difference in my sleep, that is not so great. But I still continued to have hot flashes, especially in the morning, not sure why. Something else I do notice when I am taking a higher amount of progesterone is how much better I feel, even when it is dark and damp outside. I also bumped up amount of Vitamin D that I was taking from 3000 to 5000.
I understand what you said about it taking time for the other hormones to get out of my system so I also need a little patience besides lots of progesterone.
I also want to say that you have a wonderful website with lots of helpful information. I know for myself I have been on this hormone rollercoaster for over 3 years and I have also learned that my body is always changing but I have not given up. I think I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel and can finally get balanced.
Thanks for being there.
Any advise you can give me?

Nov 08, 2012
Still having hot flashes.
by: Wray

Hi there I've generally found it can take about 3-6 months to see any lasting change. Over that time symptoms gradually go. I hope when you cut back to 150mg/day you did it slowly, i.e. about 20mg per reduction, and staying on that a few days before reducing again. Progesterone is good for sleep, see here, here and here, so I'm pleased it helped you. Hot Flushes do need a minimum of 400mg/day, in some women they've gone by about day 5, it took 10 days for me, but in others it takes much longer. This depends on how many other adverse symptoms there are. Often the one we most want to go, is the last. You could try taking GABA, some women have found this helps. Although progesterone activates the GABA receptors, if there is insufficient GABA it's not going to be very effective. The morning hot flush could be due to blood glucose dropping overnight, please don't eat anything sweet or starchy for supper. See if this helps, and instead eat a high protein meal with green veggies. You could also try taking about 4000mg glutamine before bed. This amino acid can be converted into glucose, but the conversion is very slow so doesn't give a sugar shock. There's info about glutamine on our Insulin Resistance page. So interesting you felt better on the higher amount of progesterone, even if damp and dark outside. Dark days, winter too, cause progesterone levels to drop, increasing as you did would have corrected that drop. Glad you've increased the vitamin D too, that should also aid in feeling better. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray

Nov 29, 2012
Another update..long with many details
by: Lori

Hi Wray, Well it's been almost a month since I've updated you, and there's lots to tell!

If you recall I was back up to a high amount after the 7 day break and started back up during our camping trip. I settled in at 665mg, which seemed to be doing the job for almost 2 weeks, but then the bloating increased (that's my #1 sign of ED, water retention & weight gain)and I found myself having to go up. I went up to 750mg (almost a 100mg increase as you suggested), that worked for maybe 2 days, then the water retention started in again. So I upped it again to approx 840 mg!!! I stayed on that amount for over a week, and then it felt like I needed to increase again! I would not say that I had an increase in stress...other than stressing about having to continually keep increasing and the weight. I started to get VERY frustrated. In a panic that I was going to have to keep increasing every few days as nothing seemed to be working, I stopped abruptly again on Thanksgiving. I have NOT started to bleed, and have been very emotionally stable!! I can only attribute that to the heavy doses of neurotransmitter supplements I'm taking. I had 1 bad night of being soaked, and I am suffering from some water retention in my calves, but other than that, I feel ok. Unbelievable, right?

I went to Kaiser to get some blood work done, here is what I feel may be of interest: (of course since I'm not cycling, it was a random day): TSH: 2.84, Free T4 1.1ng(0.8-1.7), Total T3 114ng(50-170), fasting Glucose 88mg, Cholesterol 170mg, Triglyceride 89, HDL 71mg, FSH 8.5mIU/ml, Prolactin 16ng, LH 10.0, Ha1C 4.4%(4.6-6.0%)& ready for this, Vitamin D...129ng, up from 46ng in August!!(obviously the high doses i've been doing worked, going to back down to 10,000 now). I told my Dr. that I was on 400mg progesterone (cause I knew they'd freak if I said more, and I did get her to give me Prometrium 200mg, which i plan on using vaginally when I start back up to help supplement the cost of Natpro). BTW, when I heard back from Kaiser Dr. regarding labs, she said "great news! labs look great, and you're still ovulating...take care!" I asked for a scan and she refused! I said, "if I'm still ovulating then where's my cycle"? UGH, so frustrated, so I'm not even going to bother with them...You can't argue with stupid!!

CONT'D BELOW

Nov 29, 2012
Update Cont'd
by: Lori

cont'd from above,

I finally decided to go see my ND in Los Gatos, who I've worked with for awhile but needed a $$ break last year. She is GREAT! She knows the truth about everything I was taking and the correct amounts. We just did a serum test to see where everything falls. I'm also going to do a 24 hour saliva test next week, so we can compare the blood to the saliva results. Very excited to see what everything says. She did feel thought that my Nature throid needed to be "increased" because for being on a combo med, my TSH shouldn't be that high..so I went back up +some to 1 3/4 grains (115mg).

Here's where it gets interesting..since I've now done 2 progesterone challenges (using very high amounts and stopping abruptly) and both time they failed to give me even a spot of blood, the only possible reason I've come across is "Hypothalamic Amenorrhea", which very well could have been brought on by the "HCG Diet". I lost 30lbs in 30 days and maintained it fairly well. Now, by no means am I underweight...I've put on weight due to hormone imbalance (wont weigh myself), but I'd say I'm about 140lbs & 5'4". With HA, women have very LOW levels of Estrogen, but even lower levels of Progesterone, hence why there will be no bleeding with a large Progesterone challenge, but with the skewed ratio, that's why I'm suffering sypmtoms of ED!!

I've been able to start back on the Estrosense (4 caps per day) and Cal d Glucarate (1000mg) with good success. Do you think that's good to take those even with (I'm assuming) low estrogen? Also have you heard of a supplement called "Myomin", an Aromatase Inhibitor...it supposedly blocks the testosterone from being converted in estrogen at all! What do you think?

If want to try to mymic a cycle, I have 6 more days until day 14. Do you think I should start up again, and if so, how high should I immediately jump to?

Phew, that's the update...I know this is long, but I've been so educated and helped by reading the detailed stories of others who take the time to update so I wanted to give a clear picture.

I will of course update when I get all the blood and saliva results. I'd love to hear your thoughts and advice on everything!

Wishing you a very happy holiday season!!

Lori

Dec 01, 2012
Another update..long with many details
by: Wray

Hi Lori It is long! But I'm so grateful for it, the more info I get the better. I'm going to start at the top and work down. I'm glad you stopped again, and still no joy. I don't want to slam the neurotransmitter supps you're taking, as I recommend those too. In fact they go into all the complexes we make. But I feel it's probably more because your vitamin D has risen so high. A lack of this does lead to depression, anxiety etc. I'm delighted it has of course, and now you can begin reducing the dose. Then every 6 months or so have another test done. And of course with that amount of progesterone, it would also have helped. As there does come a point where we become more stable, and a sudden reduction doesn't send us into a tail spin! How did the Kaiser Dr know you were still ovulating, it doesn't appear they did either an oestrogen, testosterone or progesterone test, well it's not in the list you gave. If they did do progesterone, it's probably because of the high level you've been using is making her think it's endogenous progesterone. But it is so frustrating, it comes down to the fact 'they know better' than we do! The LH to FSH ratio should be 1:1, yours is slightly high at 1.2:1. FSH is needed to stimulate a follicle to grow, which then produces oestrogen. This could explain your low oestrogen. It would also explain why you're not ovulating, if no follicle grows there's nothing to 'ovulate'. A higher ratio of LH to FSH can suppress FSH. Don't forget to empty the prometrium caps into a small amount of skin cream and rub that on. Unless you're happy using it as they recommend. The vagina does have a good supply of blood vessels, but I would use it at night only, as it tends to leak out during the day. I would be interested to hear if the increase in the thyroid meds help, or sends you into overdrive. The high vitamin D should start to help it too. Very fascinated by your research, as it does fit what's happened to you. Although somewhere along the line I might have told you stress stops the reproductive system working, I didn't expanded on that or do more research, so thank you! This paper here here says "Stressors such as weight loss, excessive exercise, eating disorders, and psychological distress suppress the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis by inhibiting hypothalamic pulsatile secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone". So the hCG diet would definitely have caused it, 30lbs in 30 days is far too drastic a loss. The Estrosense is good, so too the CDG, if you found they helped, continue with them. Continued below

Dec 01, 2012
Another update..long with many details Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Lori But it's an added cost and with all the supps you've been taking, the neurotransmitter boosters, your higher vitamin D levels, the high amounts of progesterone, maintaining your weight which seems about right to me for your height, it seems things are turning a corner for you, so I'm not sure if they are needed. Particularly as you say you are not emotional after stopping the progesterone. I don't think you should worry too much about not menstruating, I feel that your body will begin when it's ready to. There is a big advantage to not having too many periods anyway, it does mean less oestrogen, which lessens the risk for any oestrogen driven disease. These have definitely increased over the past 50 to 100 years. Prior to 1830 we only started bleeding at age 17, plus we were mostly pregnant or breast feeding. During breast feeding we don't ovulate, it acts as a form of contraception. So in the past we only bled about 100 times in a lifetime, whereas now it's up to 400 times! I found this fascinating article here, it's very long, so read only chapter 2. Chapter 3 becomes rather muddled, as they confuse progestins with progesterone, leading one to assume the culprit is progesterone! Progesterone is a mild aromatase inhibitor, so I see no point in taking the Myomin. Not only that but it increases SHBG. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Wine and beers contain carbs, so it's best to avoid those too. Sugars and large meals also drop progesterone levels, which means SHBG also drops, another vicious cycle. As you seem quite stable now, why not try starting again on 200mg/day? Only time will tell if this is too low, you can then increase it. Using the progesterone following a 'cycle' might encourage it to begin again naturally. I would be so interested to hear what your ND has to say when you get your results. She seems so clued up about what's going on. By the way I've given the link to this page of yours to other women saying they are thinking of starting the hCG diet, in the hopes it puts them off! Take care Wray

Jul 16, 2013
thoughts needed
by: Lori

Hi Wray! I'm checking back in with some advice/thoughts needed. I'm still riding the "hormonal roller coaster" here. I stopped using the progesterone cream for a little bit as the high amounts were frustrating me. My cycles are still very erratic. One thing I found interesting was that I was off the cream for about 6 weeks, and I actually ovulated, but when I did, I had a huge flood of symptoms come back. Major bloating and water retention. I've never had that happen before starting progesterone therapy around ovulation. It was almost like I had residual progesterone "built up" that "angered" the ovulatory rise in estrogen. I know that your belief is that progesterone does not build up, but that's never happened at that time in my cycle before. What are your thoughts on it? Also, I did have a blood test done while I was on my period, not sure why my ND chose that day, but it was day 4. Here are the following levels that I was at, all for follicular phase: Estradiol 23.5pg (12.5-166.0), Progesterone 1.2ng(.2-1.5), Free testosterone 2.1pg(1.0-8.5), Total Test 26.2ng(8.4-48.1), SHBG 93.5nmol(24.6-122.0), FSH 6.5mIU (3.5-12.5), LH 5.9mIU (2.4-12.6), DHEA-S 251.5 (60.9-337.0). How do these numbers look to you? My last cycle was this last April. Any time I lose weight it seems to wreak havoc with my hormones, which is odd. I did a 30 cleanse and felt great, but here I am without a cycle again. UGH! I've since started back on the cream cause I know if i'm not cycling, I'm not making any progesterone! I'm back up to 600mg and not sure if it's enough. I switched from my hour long runs to more of interval training for 30 minutes only, but am wondering if exercise burns through progesterone? I have that annoying achy/tender feeling again in my ovary area, and my stomach is getting distended again, like last time!! I've added some maca to my list of supplements to use as an adaptogen to help supply what's missing, and I'm using Vitex as well. I don't think you like the latter (?) but I used it a couple years ago on it's own and it seemed to help. The stomach distention (NOT bloating) and overall ache that I get when I go to high doses of cream is so frustrating cause it helps with all other aspects! Do you have any thoughts on it. I do rub the cream there as well. My vitamin D is great, at 98!!!! I'd love your thoughts on all this Wray! as always, many thx!!!!

Jul 18, 2013
thoughts needed
by: Wray

Hi Lori Good heavens, things seemed to be going so well the last time you wrote in. It's always been believed, and still is by everyone including the medical profession, that progesterone is only produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. But as far back as 1930 it was thought there must be another source. This was confirmed in the 1960's, and re-confirmed in the 1980's, that there is an exponential rise of progesterone about 50 hours prior to ovulation. This surge comes from the brain, see here, here, here and here. Oestrogen also rises exponentially about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Unless there is the progesterone surge too, there is nothing to counter the oestrogen effect. This explains why many women get migraines, seizures, palpitations, panic attacks and asthma attacks around ovulation. It appears you didn't have the surge of progesterone, hence your symptoms. The test results are all fine, except it was a pointless time to do the test! It should only be done ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding, i.e. mid-luteal phase. Progesterone rises then, so does oestrogen. Any other time and progesterone will test low. Do you feel you need 600mg/day progesterone, is a lower amount no help? If you don't have major symptoms anymore, and you're only using it to get some progesterone, then why not try a lower amount. I've not heard of exercise 'burning' progesterone, but excessive exercise does reduce cholesterol levels, and with it all the steroid hormones. Have you considered doing High Intensity Training instead? I'm not convinced by maca, apparently it has no affect on oestrogen or testosterone levels according to this one paper, see here. And yet this paper said it increased oestradiol levels, see here. It does appear to increase diastolic blood pressure slightly too, see here. Continued below

Jul 18, 2013
thoughts needed Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Lori These are two more papers here and here. Agnus castus can reduce prolactin levels, prolactin is an inflammatory hormone which 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. If Prolactin levels are high both progesterone and the amino acid tyrosine are very affective at suppressing it. But if you find they help continue taking them. The stomach distension is difficult! It could be food, or bad bacteria or a number of other things, but which? I'm wondering if the high amount of progesterone, with your high vitamin D (wonderful news!) is reflecting a magnesium deficiency. Rather convoluted thinking, but high vitamin D and low magnesium causes pain. Could it be the high progesterone is causing an imbalance here. You were taking magnesium, are you still and is it enough? If you think this might be the problem, please increase the amount and see if it helps. Take care Wray

Jul 18, 2013
re: thoughts needed
by: Lori

Thanks for your thoughts Wray! I'm confused when you say that not getting the Progesterone surge during the 50 hours prior to ovulation would've left estrogen unopposed, hence my symptoms, but "if" I ovulated, then doesn't that mean that progesterone would be present? Or is it just that it wasn't enough to counter estrogen? My cycle has been mainly absent for a little over a year, maybe 4 cycles since HCG diet last March2012, so obviously I haven't been making any progesterone. Also, if you remember me talking about Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, it seems as though any time I lose weight, this is what might be happening. Which also explains why I don't bleed stopping suddenly from such high amounts.HA is associated with low levels of estrogen, so is taking this much progesterone hurting me? I'm back up that high because I was having the bloating and water retention which tells me it's not countering the estrogen. But if my estrogen is low, why do I need to go to such high amounts of cream to stop the ED? ugh so confusing! I stopped the long continual running and have been doing interval (fast walking/running) but keeping it to 30 minutes. I wasn't sure if exercise was causing me to need to raise the progesterone amount as that's when I was having to go up. I don't know why my ND chose that day, and now that I'm not cycling again, I can't test. You say the tests look good, what was the ratio at that time of my estrogen to progesterone? Does the ratio even count at that time? Regarding the stomach area (uterus/ovary) aching and getting big, it happens when I go up to the high doses, like its stimulating something to happen, but then nothing does. I do take magnesium (800-1000mg per day) so I wouldn't think it could be that. It's so weird though, and it makes that area hard too. Looking forward to your reply!!

Jul 19, 2013
re: thoughts needed
by: Wray

Hi Lori The 50 hour surge of oestrogen comes prior to ovulation. So if you had ovulated it would have made no difference to the oestrogen affect, as it comes after ovulation. And the progesterone is not high to begin with, it only reaches a peak mid-luteal phase, which is ±7 days after ovulation. Your P:E2 ratio is 51:1, which is meaningless, as the test was done at the wrong time. It makes no difference what the level of the hormones are, but the ratio does. If this is skewed, all hell breaks loose. So your oestrogen could be rock bottom, but so could progesterone. Or both could be very high, the same would occur. Have a look at the Saliva Tests we run, the ratios were all over 600:1. The magnesium dose is good, so it could be all you need is more time. The HCG diet has really messed you up. Although you don't have PCOS, please look through this page. There a number of nutrients which initiate ovulation, it might just be these could help you, as I don't know what else to suggest. Take care Wray

Aug 19, 2013
Still Having Hot flashes
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray,
Well I have been on this ride of being up and down with regards to the progesterone dosage for a while now. I have finally upped the dose from 200mg up to 600mg. I decided to try this after reading one of your forum comments from someone who is taking 600mg per day and they are feeling good on that dosage, I thought what do I have to loose I will give it a try. Well, when you jump your dose you have a battle and I do mean battle between the hormones. Headaches, nausea, jitters, dopey to name a few. I started the major increase the first of August and I am now starting to feel a bit normal and the hot flashes are gone. I have not gained weight and I am trying to stay hydrated.
Thanks for your posts Wray.
They have been such a great help!

Aug 21, 2013
Still Having Hot flashes
by: Wray

Hi there I've just looked through your other comments and see I haven't mentioned magnesium. Are you taking it? It's such an important co-factor for vitamin D, that the vitamin D actually becomes more effective. Not only that, but once vitamin D is working well, it means the progesterone will too. What this generally means is you don't have to use so much progesterone, thus making it cheaper. Please have a vitamin D test done, it could be your level is still too low, you won't know until you have the test. You are taking 5000iu per day which is a good dose, but it doesn't raise levels very quickly, if at all if there's any inflammation present. I'm so pleased you persisted through all those awful symptoms, and things are coming right, it is a major battle. So delighted the hot flushes have finally gone, they were my worst! We do have a page on headaches and Migraines you could look through. Bless you for the kind words! Take care Wray

Aug 21, 2013
Still having hot flashes
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray,
I will give the magnesium a try. How much would you recommend per day?
During the summer months I have not taken any D vitamin but I did have my levels checked and it was in a healthy range but I will soon bump that back to 5000IU per day as the days are getting shorter. Would it be better to take the 5000IU D vitamin all year around?? I am going to have all my hormone levels checked the end of October. I can't believe how much better I am feeling, but it has been a long road. Don't give up!!!
Thanks Wray.

Aug 22, 2013
Still having hot flashes
by: Wray

Hi there I usually suggest about 800mg/day magnesium for a month or two to get levels up, then reduce to about 250mg/day. Try that and see it it helps you. Do you know what your vitamin D levels are? Often we're told they are fine, but what is fine! Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L, and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. I take 5000iu/day year round now, sometimes an extra large dose if feeling I need it. I never get ill now. So pleased you're feeling better, it is a long road. And the more symptoms we have and the longer we've had them and the worse they are, the longer it takes! It was 6 months before all mine went, although I wasn't using the amounts I recommend to people now. I only had books to go on back then, no internet. That's the hardest part....don't give up. So many do when symptoms become worse when using progesterone. Take care Wray

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