Palpitations , ectopic beats , weepy , cold. , fatigue and fed up !

Dear wray
After reading your site I have for the very first time felt there may be a ray of hope ! Many of the symptoms of low progesterone / oestrogen's dominance I suffer with and have for years. I have had unexplained palpitations for about 20years which started when I was 25 . This was accompanied with fatigue , foggy head , weakness and depression .All tests proved normal ,thyroid, electrolytes, blood count etc and i was called an enigma by one of the many consultants i saw. I have managed my palpitations with a very small paediatric beta blocker syrup . It's such a low dose the medics almost feel it is an ineffectual amount given the adult conventional dose is 25mg atenolol and I take 5mg. However this has allowed me to function relatively normally and After about 2 years I began to feel more like my old self. Throughout this stressful time my periods were always normal I had been on the contraceptive pill for about 7years and stopped taking it when I became unwell . This episode may not have had anything to do with my hormones but as time has gone on I am now very aware of the effect my monthly cycle is having on my health and in particular my heart.
Although regarded as harmless by the cardiologists I suffer with ventricular ectopic beats and have on and off for about 15 years which are now becoming such a problem I have discussed having them ablated surgically . This is not a proceedure I particularly want to have done but I cannot tolerate the medication which I appear to generally struggle with but life is becoming unbearable with these irregular beats. The one thing which triggers them is my hormones , they start about a week before my period and stop once I start bleeding. My cycle has become shorter at times and the bleeding longer so I know my hormones are changing and given I am now nearly 48 this is not surprising.
I attended a fertility clinic 4 years ago as we were considering IVF given I met my partner late in life and we would have liked a family. All the tests were normal for someone of my age but I now remember the doctor saying my oestrogen's levels were unusually high. I didn't think anything of it at the time and he didn't appear to be concerned . We didn't proceed with the IVF as I was told my chances of success were about 3% and the costs were high.
The regular episodes of fatigue , irregular heart , foggy head, constant cold hands and feet , weepy feelings , low blood sugar , dry skin and irregular periods do make me think I have a hormone imbalance so today I went to my GP . I would really appreciate your advice on how to further investigate this area. She has arranged a full blood test regime including vit D and LH and FSH which need to be done between day 2 and 5 of my cycle. She is also referring me to a specialist gynaecologist to look into this further. I will ask my GP to test for progesterone which I understand needs to be done later in my cycle.
Her initial first line of treatment was antidepressants or HRT and said the testing was pointless given hormonal fluctuations, I then explained I didn't want either but wanted testing and could use my private health if necessary. I mentioned about the possibility of oestrogen's dominance and low progesterone and she agreed to refer me for tests. Now when I see the consultant I fear I may have a further battle ahead to get the right tests done and need to know what to ask for . I don't know if they do saliva testing but would really really appreciate your advice on what I need to have done to find the best way forward.
Many thanks to you in advance of your reply
Laura

Comments for Palpitations , ectopic beats , weepy , cold. , fatigue and fed up !

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Sep 12, 2012
Palpitations , ectopic beats , weepy , cold. , fatigue and fed up !
by: Wray

Hi Laura Bless you for the kind words! An enigma?! If that's the case then every woman is one. The ignorance about hormones and what affect they have on us is appalling. Admittedly more studies are coming out now, but the information takes about 20 years to filter through to where it's needed most, the doctor. As most women resort to one in the end. For a doctor to comment that your oestrogen level was high, but not to ask if you if were feeling ok, is very remiss. All your symptoms scream out high oestrogen, I would be interested in your results when they come out. Did you suffer from some major stress at 25, a house move, loss of family member, job loss? Were the preceding years stressful? Stress plays havoc with our hormones, it can in fact stop ovulation, and consequently progesterone production. To cover a few of your symptoms, the palpitations are easily explained. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. This problem occurs far more in women than men, as they naturally have a short QT interval. Understandably, as they have less oestrogen than we do! I had the fatigue, although I would describe it more as exhaustion, the foggy brain and endless crying, all gone thank heavens. Oestrogen is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, it shuts down GABA receptors, GABA is one of the most calming neurotransmitters, and increases levels of glutamate, itself an excitatory neurotransmitter. So the brain can't calm down, or think straight. Progesterone and it's most important metabolite, allopregnanolone, activate GABA receptors, so it calms us, and of course the brain. The weakness (myopathy) is so interesting, I had that too, also gone. Another enigma, as they don't realise how hormones affect us. Continued below.

Sep 12, 2012
Palpitations , ectopic beats , weepy , cold. , fatigue and fed up ! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Laura Both Progesterone and Vitamin D prevent or reverse myopathy, see here and here. The first link doesn't have an abstract, but I'll copy/paste part of the full paper I bought....."We report about a 41-year old woman who was suffering from a general muscle weakness since her early childhood....From July 1998 until July 1999 the patient was treated with progesterone suppositorium 0.4 g once a day from the 14th to the 25th day of the menstrual cycle. In July 1999 her gait had improved significantly and she could get up from a chair more easily, even her ability to walk up and down stairs had improved....Progesterone dosage was increased from 400 mg to 600 mg. In January 2001 the patient reported enthusiastically about the improvement she had gained from progesterone-therapy. The patient reported a clear increase in strength in all affected muscle groups resulting in dramatic functional improvement." They did use a high amount, which I've found works best for most adverse symptoms. Although I normally recommend 100-200mg/day for less severe. It should be used a minimum of twice a day too to prevent levels dropping over the day. And vitamin D, see here, here and here. Oestrogen lowers body temps, hence your being cold, progesterone is thermogenic, so raises them slightly. Progesterone also helps depression and Anxiety, so too does vitamin D, see here, here, here, here and here. Continued below.

Sep 12, 2012
Palpitations , ectopic beats , weepy , cold. , fatigue and fed up ! Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Laura To be quite honest, I don't believe you need the specialist, it will only mean more drugs, and a stressful interview! Your own doctor seems happy enough to run the tests. Oestrogen and progesterone are needed, and should be done mid-luteal phase. This is always ±7 days after ovulation and before bleeding. A normal luteal phase is 12-14 days long, so if you know the length of your cycle, you can work out when to have the test. Unless by chance you ovulate the month you have the test, I suspect oestrogen will be normal and progesterone low. You are in Peri-menopause now when ovulation rarely occurs. LH and FSH will show if you are in P-M. Testosterone should be checked too, and of course vitamin D. I don't think it's necessary to have any others done. In fact you don't have to have any done, as your symptoms are all too obvious. The most important to my mind is the vitamin D, I suspect you are short of that. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. 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 the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. If you want to get saliva tests done yourself, then ZRT Labs are the best. Take care Wray

Oct 08, 2012
Palpitations, ectopic beats, weepy, cold and fed up !
by: Laura

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply , yes in answer to your question I suppose I was going through a stressful time at 25 although I didn't see it that way at the time! I don't recall people acknowledged the effects of stress then quite like we do now and I felt I was coping at the time. I had moved and bought my first home, new job which I felt rather anxious about , problem relationship and too many late nights and hangovers ! It took a long time before I felt well and no doubt this created it's own anxiety which became all self perpetuating .
I have my blood test result back which I would really appreciate you looking over . My vit D is low which is no surprise and reads 45 ( Sorry I can't read the units ) and my GP has put me on 1000 iu per day. My hormone test I had done on day 24 of my cycle which may not tell you much as I had a 35 day cycle this time! and it started with a 9 day period which is all a bit irregular.I tried to have this done as you suggest mid luteal but it may have been a bit too soon now my cycle has been 35days. The oestrogen reads 491.0 pmol/ L ( or 804pg/mil if correct I divide by 0.611 to convert)
The progesterone was 2.6 mols/L ( or 0.82ng/mil I divide by 3.18 to convert ) Im sure I have converted these figure correctly as I took them from a medical table but you may wish to check ! It seems my ratio when calculated is 1:1 .
the oestrogen figure my GP agrees is a bit high on it's own and as the progesterone fluctuates so much I don't know if this helps. I have not had a testosterone level done . I am going to see a gynaecologist privately on Wednesday to discuss the results and see if she suggests investigating any further. This last week has been hell , my heart has been terribly irregular and I have felt really agitated and emotional however since my period started this morning much of this has gone ( but not completely.)
I am going to discuss the Natpro with the specialist and hope she is open to treatment other than HRT.
My main concern Wray is the oestrogen dominance which occurs when first using the cream. I fear my heart problem
worsening I wonder if it's too much for me how long it takes for the cream to wear off ? And I had a very bad experience with Prozac years ago when a doctor thought it would help my symptoms ! Took me months to get over the heightened anxiety. I'm sure I am worrying unnecessarily but a little reassurance would help!
I look forward to your reply and will let you know what the outcome is re my specialist.
Many thanks Laura


Oct 09, 2012
Palpitations, ectopic beats, weepy, cold and fed up !
by: Wray

Hi Laura Am I correct in thinking you live in the UK, or some country that uses the SI system (metric system) for measuring? As you've given your figures as pmol/L. Thanks so much for doing the conversions, but I'm so used to working in both now! Incidentally to convert oestradiol from pmol/L to pg/ml you divide by 3.671, see here. We also have a page on Hormone Testing you could use. I've done all the conversions, as most sites I found give the American system. Although Wiki does now give both. Your oestradiol does lie within the normal range of 110.13 - 1468.4 pmol/L, but your progesterone is low. To find the ratio the oestradiol has to be converted to nmol/L, which is how progesterone is measured. So this comes to 0.491nmol/L, divide this figure into progesterone and you get 5.3:1, which is extremely low. We've found from Saliva Tests we run that the ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. If this has been going on for some time, it doesn't surprise me you don't feel right. The Oestrogen Dominance generally only occurs if too low an amount of progesterone is used. I feel you'd need about 400-500mg/day to prevent it, it is trial and error. You might like to read these pages here and here for encouragement. Progesterone levels begin dropping after about 13 hours, which is why it should be applied a minimum of twice a day. Many use it hourly for severe symptoms. I would be interested in hearing what the specialist says about progesterone! Most think it's quite useless, particularly if applied topically. And yet there are so many papers on it, from every medical discipline. Hasn't filtered through yet. If you do live in the UK, then your vitamin D would have been done in nmol/L, which does make it low. You'll notice on one of the links I've given above, that women are finding by increasing their vitamin D levels persistent symptoms resolve. Take care Wray

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