Overdosed On Progesterone

by Dixie
(Grand Rapids, MI)

I did not take time to read all of the posts on this site, because there are many. But ... I did take the time to read through a lot.

I would just like to tell you a bit about my experience with progesterone. I am the type of person that searches out the most "holistic" type of treatments for myself, whenever I might have a health issue. Thus I went to a holistic M.D. that was approximately three hours away. He was pretty well-known ... actually nation wide.

This doctor was very busy though, and I believe he "threw at me" what he probably "threw" at all of his peri-menopausal women patients. He put me on 200 mgs of progesterone cream daily. I followed his exact orders for four years, not realizing that I was losing years my life because of his cookie cutter approach to what he indicated my health issues were. At the time, he indicated that I was estrogen dominant and after I was on progesterone for a while, that would straighten out.

Well .. it never did. I felt worse and worse, but kept thinking that it was something that I was doing wrong. I would keep going back to this doc. He would run more tests and would prescribe more supplements. The brain fog, depression, weight gain, lethargy and on and on with the issues I had while on his protocol ... all of it was almost unbearable. But, because I was constantly in such a fog, I was not able to put two and two together.

One day while emailing back and forth with another women who had similar issues, she mentioned to me that it sounded like I was getting way too much progesterone. And .. "did you know", she said ... "that some women just can't tolerate progesterone?" I did not know that! She said to me that it is touted ... that because progesterone levels are highest when a women is pregnant (supposedly feeling their best during that time?) that progesterone is the "it all" for most women.

Well ... I discovered that myself (and many other women) did not feel good during our pregnancies. Come to find out ... after talking to my doctors that I went to during my "reproductive years" ... my estrogen levels ran very high and progesterone typically pretty low. That is just how my body operated and it worked well for me. I lived a very full and healthy life ... UNTIL I added in 200mgs of progesterone cream daily to my protocol. :(

When you address something "holistically" you typically are trying to recreate what would be considered normal for your natural body processes ... right? Looking back on those very traumatic 4 or so years, I am wondering why anyone would think shooting for "higher than normal" progesterone levels would be considered "normal" or "therapeutic"??

After my email conversation with that women, and after doing tons of my own research and finding many other women that had endured many of my same issues, I went totally off of the progesterone cream that I had been on for so long. I think it took a full year, but I do believe, for the most part, that it is finally out of my system (after applying that cream topically .. it was stored in all my fat areas and took a very long time to lose!)

I am 53 and have been on estrogen and testosterone pellets and I cycle (vaginally) my 100 mg Prometrium capsules (meant to take orally) 12 days a month. I am feeling .. Once again, human again.

I just feel like all women need to know that they are not necessarily the ideal candidate for progesterone therapy. If you begin it and are on progesterone for a couple of months .. and feel worse and worse, you better rethink what you are doing. It is NOT the answer for all.

I typed this quickly and hope that all that I have said here makes sense.

Best,
Dixie Lou

Comments for Overdosed On Progesterone

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Jan 11, 2012
"hormonal rush"
by: Muriel

I followed the 200mg progesterone theory...you can read my version at "hormonal rush" and I still have not lost the weight I gained. I agree that we need to figure out what individually works for us. I think I should have used a small amount of progesterone. It would have taken away my racing heart and I would have felt better. I feel better but I stopped the progesterone after only six weeks. I still cannot lose the water weight I gained and that was nine months ago.

Jan 12, 2012
There is a natural balance ...
by: Dixie Lou

Hi Muriel,

Thanks for your comment/reply ... I appreciate it! I did find your post and read all the way through all comments there.

I would just like to pose a couple of questions for you to think about. I think I remember you saying that you were a nurse, so perhaps what I mention here is all stuff you already thought about? And maybe you won't agree with me .. but, here goes anyways. Take whatever it is you might be able to use, and leave what you don't like. (On my following opinions/thoughts that is.)

First off, when you look at how the human race has evolved, we all know that human life expectancy has (recently) consistently increased. That is great, right? Well, in my opinion, the only problem with that is that it is so early in the "evolution" of that, our human bodies have not yet caught up to that. Our bodies normal functioning begin to shut down at ages 40 and/or 50. I am talking about women in particular here. (Perimenopause/Menopause) Our hormones (and everything else) diminish greatly or totally stop producing like they used to. Our bodies begin to shut down. (My analogy ... shrivel up.) Hormones and many other nutrients, etc ... begin to stop their normal processing. And why not ... the message to all of the systems in our bodies are that we are not going to need that any longer. We are going to expire soon.

As we all know, that is not the case any longer. We are living well beyond the 40 and 50 year ages that (were) a common age that women would pass away.

The big question about all of what I state above is ... what do you do about it? In my opinion ... you try to recreate/reproduce what your body has been used to ... during those times when you felt so good ... when you were "living and vibrant". The key word here is "reproduce". This is a very personal thing and individuals need to address that (imo) based on what their bodies were previously used to.

I believe, that for most women out there, (myself included) progesterone cannot be the only answer. If you look at what women's hormone levels were in their reproductive years, progesterone is/was never as high as a lot of doctors think they need to get women "up to" now. (I take that back ... maybe when they were pregnant?) It's bizarre really. Think about it .. a women's body did not (never did)produce progesterone only. Estrogen and progesterone were/are always processed together. (There are other important hormones involved too, but for simplicity sake, I think we need to just stick to those two for now.)

Jan 12, 2012
continued from above ...
by: Dixie Lou

(continuation of previous comment)

So, where did the idea come from that as we age, we should only supplement with progesterone? That is what my doctor (that I fired years ago) seemed to think. My estrogen level was down to 50 and he did not think a thing about it. Just told me to keep taking the progesterone cream.

I am now feeling like I did when I was in my mid-thirties. I have lost over 50 pounds since going off of my "progesterone" only program. The weight issue was not the only issue. There were many ... MANY. All have improved dramatically since I have begun my very individualized balanced hormone protocol.

Just some things to think about ...

Best,
Dixie


Jan 15, 2012
Overdosed On Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Dixie Lou I do understand what you went through. There are many questions I would have asked you, but I would have suggested to you to increase the amount you were on, it does break through the fog etc. I would have to know if at that point you still had a cycle. You say you used it daily, but did you take a break for the customary two weeks? If so was your cycle 28 days, if not then it was incorrect. All women, irrespective of their cycle length, ovulate 12-14 days before bleeding. The progesterone should only be used during the luteal phase, ie from ovulation. Although if a woman has severe symptoms I do suggest using it for 2-3 months during the follicular phase too. This ensures progesterone becomes dominant, suppressing any excess oestrogen and testosterone. From Saliva Tests a naturopath runs for us, we've found the ratio of P:E2 should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Low progesterone/high oestrogen during pregnancy was the reason you and other women did not feel well. Dr Dalton would give 800mg/day to her patients with nausea, headaches, high blood pressure etc. Going as high as 2400mg/day if her patients developed post natal psychosis. I would like to know why you were given progesterone by the doctor, did he do a saliva test and look at your symptoms? There's no evidence that progesterone builds up in fatty tissue. Although I've only found one paper so far which says it's not, see here. This paper is fascinating, it was published back in 1970, see here. It seems that during the proliferative phase, ie follicular phase, progesterone is concentrated in fatty tissue. But during the secretory or luteal phase, it's found in the skin, uterus, and myomas (fibroids). So the site seems to change with the menstrual cycle. This is understandable when one looks at how important progesterone is for the uterus etc. During the follicular phase, levels are very low as it's only secreted in the luteal phase, and plays no part in the follicular phase. One thing which seems to be overlooked by all, is that progesterone is broken down into metabolites. It is important in it's own right, but it's metabolites are just as important, see here, here and here. Continued below.

Jan 15, 2012
Overdosed On Progesterone Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Dixie Lou One in particular is allopregnanolone, it's a potent analgesic, anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory. In fact progesterone is broken down into many metabolites, see here, before it's finally excreted mostly in the urine. Here's another paper on it's metabolites. Finally this paper here explains steroid hormone metabolism. As the body is designed to metabolise progesterone, and other hormones, it seems highly unlikely for it to get shunted into fat cells, and there to stay! Or for the receptors to become insensitive. As one paper puts it " The ephemeral nature of the corpus luteum makes it even more remarkable that this tissue is able to synthesise upwards of 40 mg of progesterone in the human on a daily basis." See here. Even more remarkable, it's also been found that progesterone is capable of stimulating it's own synthesis, see here. The typical negative feedback system seen in other endocrine tissues does not operate in the corpus luteum, and at the end of the luteal phase, in spite of LH secretion, the corpus luteum regresses and progesterone secretion declines. I would have asked you to do a vitamin D test, as a lack of this nutrient reduces the benefits of progesterone. This was found by researchers when giving over 1200mg/day via IV transfusions to TBI victims. Incidentally over 70% of the victims were men. Progesterone is the only substance that has helped in TBI, adding vitamin D enhanced it's benefits, see here, here and here. Continued below.

Jan 15, 2012
Overdosed On Progesterone Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Dixie Lou Please avoid the testosterone, it increases the risk for heart disease and cancer, plus it's notorious for increasing visceral fat, ie middle age spread, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jan 15, 2012
"hormonal rush"
by: Wray

Hi Muriel As I said in my last reply to you in May this year, it's a pity you stopped the progesterone. You never did tell me how much the compounded cream you were using contained, or how much you were using. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic and anti-inflammatory, so good it's now given to TBI victims to prevent the oedema and inflammation that occurs. They found during their studies, that it wasn't the actual injury which caused the damage, but the oedema that follows afterwards. Progesterone reduces this to barely measurable levels, see here, here, here and here. How is your blood pressure now, and the racing heart, have they resolved or are you still having to take beta blockers? I overlooked your family history, which should have made me sit up. Please have a vitamin D test done. The evidence is overwhelming that a lack of vitamin D leads to heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol etc, see here, here, here and here. No one knows why statins reduce cholesterol. But ironically they are now wondering if they reduce levels because they increase vitamin D, see here and here. Continued below.

Jan 15, 2012
"hormonal rush" Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Muriel For more info on vitamin D levels, testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. 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. Take care Wray

Feb 26, 2012
Overdosed On Progesterone
by: Louise

I am having something similar to what Muriel describes . . .
Started on the progesterone cream because my progesterone was low and I was told I had to take it if I was taking estrogen. I thought it would do amazing things from what I read.

I kept complaining that I wasn't feeling any better - was told to take more. Still wasn't feeling any better - take it every day for a while. Was this my progesterone or my thyroid making me feel so bad (thyroid blood test was slightly off)??? I was told to take more and it would improve my Thyroid - it did improve my blood test results and I did feel improved for a month or so then hit a wall - extreme fatigue. Stopped taking it for a month - felt improved. Started again on a lower dose because I was under the impression I had to take it with the estrogen. Started to feel terrible again.

Tried another doctor, was told I didn't have to take it with the estrogen if the estrogen was taken vaginally.

Started to think I had a thyroid problem - maybe I do - thyroid meds (dessicated) and no improvement - still taking small amount of progesterone cream hoping it will help with the fatigue.

Now I am beginning to think it was the progesterone cream all along. The fatigue started shortly after I started taking it and has now become extreme fatigue.

I am weaning myself off the progesterone cream - have to wean because if I stop abruptly I have a bad headache every day - learned that the hard way.

New doctor tells me that (from his experience with other people) some women just don't do well on the progesterone cream and have all kinds of problems while others do well on it.

Feb 26, 2012
Overdosed On Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Louise You don't say how much progesterone you were given. But to give both progesterone and oestrogen together would cause problems. Progesterone and oestrogen stimulate each other, this is explained on our Oestrogen Dominance page. I would never give extra oestrogen to a women, we have too much as it is, with all the oestrogen mimics in the environment, see Our Stolen Future. There are now over 100, something we never had to contend with in the past. One reason I believe progesterone is now needed. You might like to read our page on Progesterone Misconceptions. It's very difficult to overdoes on progesterone. Dr Dalton gave 2400mg/day to her patients with post natal psychosis. Over 1200mg/day is given via IV transfusion to Traumatic Brain Injury victims. No signs of toxicity were observed, but more to the point the patients become well. Take care Wray

Mar 08, 2012
progesterone weight gain
by: Debbie

hi everyone I realy am believing the statement
...some women just don't do well on the progesterone cream and have all kinds of problems while others do well on it....
can any one tell me how long before they lost the weight everuthing else I will wade through but the rapid weight gains each month are crippling
can I suppliment with vitamins or anythin to speed the detox
thank you all


Oct 13, 2014
Overdosed on peogesterone
by: Anonymous

Hi there, I totally concer with these ladies on progesterone overdose. Please read Wiley Proticol ! These women are still suffering with a whole list of symptoms . The dr. Who wrote the article states after a year of no progesterone his patient stil suffers with varies ailments ! He claims it could take up to 2 years for it to wash out of your fat cells ! Pretty scary ! A point is like to make is the reason for bio identical hormones was to be able to customize a specific dosage for each woman based on her specific symptoms . All I'm reading here is MORE MORE MORE . We're all different & when you speak about progesterone & pregnancy ! The first 2 months I was fatigued & depressed increased heart rate , very teary all do to the increase of progesterone ! I do not want to feel like that again . My experience with progesterone cream was the same as the other women . I looked bloated blurred vision slurred speech at times . My compounded cream came with a list of possible side effects which I had 1/2 . This cream is formulated in a lab like all other drugs this isn't the progesterone Mother Nature gave us ! It's not a magical cream that cures all . If you google "progesterone side effects" there are many pages to read . My endo. said if you think about this logically MOST women feel the best in their cycle around day 9-10 when estrogen is starting to climb & progesterone is still relatively low ! I now use a low dose estrogen patch & progesterone every three days ! Brain fog is gone no water retention my energy has climbed & my sex drive is back ! Lastly for all of you ladies that want truly natural hormonal balance research Adaptogens .. Maca & reishi mushroom ! The research is fascinating & will balance your hormones naturally . Also research melatonin & the anti aging benefits , hormone balancing & cancer benefits ! Very astounding research ! There's more out there than just 2400mgs of progesterone to cure it ALL !

Oct 13, 2014
Overdosed on peogesterone
by: Anonymous

Hi there, I totally concer with these ladies on progesterone overdose. Please read Wiley Proticol ! These women are still suffering with a whole list of symptoms . The dr. Who wrote the article states after a year of no progesterone his patient stil suffers with varies ailments ! He claims it could take up to 2 years for it to wash out of your fat cells ! Pretty scary ! A point is like to make is the reason for bio identical hormones was to be able to customize a specific dosage for each woman based on her specific symptoms . All I'm reading here is MORE MORE MORE . We're all different & when you speak about progesterone & pregnancy ! The first 2 months I was fatigued & depressed increased heart rate , very teary all do to the increase of progesterone ! I do not want to feel like that again . My experience with progesterone cream was the same as the other women . I looked bloated blurred vision slurred speech at times . My compounded cream came with a list of possible side effects which I had 1/2 . This cream is formulated in a lab like all other drugs this isn't the progesterone Mother Nature gave us ! It's not a magical cream that cures all . If you google "progesterone side effects" there are many pages to read . My endo. said if you think about this logically MOST women feel the best in their cycle around day 9-10 when estrogen is starting to climb & progesterone is still relatively low ! I now use a low dose estrogen patch & progesterone every three days ! Brain fog is gone no water retention my energy has climbed & my sex drive is back ! Lastly for all of you ladies that want truly natural hormonal balance research Adaptogens .. Maca & reishi mushroom ! The research is fascinating & will balance your hormones naturally . Also research melatonin & the anti aging benefits , hormone balancing & cancer benefits ! Very astounding research ! There's more out there than just 2400mgs of progesterone to cure it ALL !

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