Post Menopause Downhill Slide

by Marci
(Indiana, USA)

I am 61, 11 years post menopause and have tried many brands of progesterone cream over the years but have not noticed any changes good or bad. I began to seek natural health when beginning menopause because I didn't want to 'do the drugs' associated with it. However, after spending thousands of dollars on supplements of every sort I am still feeling very tired, moody, severely depressed, apathetic, easily irritated and upset, gotten more obese 230lbs at last check, can't lose weight, thinning hair on head, more hair on face plus prone to acne used to have it a lot and was on tetracycline for years, insomnia now on xanax to sleep because nothing natural worked and I take the xanax sometimes for anxiety and panic. I don't like taking drugs at all, but I reached the end of my rope. I do eat very healthy tho, clean fresh whole foods most of the time, low sugar/starches, fermented foods, etc. Exercise is about impossible with no energy however. I've recently finally found a M.D. who specializes in alternative medicine who put me on 200mg oral progesterone, which I've taken for about two weeks now with no effects good or bad, not even sedation was hoping it would help with insomnia. Anyhow, I had this doc do a complete thyroid panel beyond what 'regular' docs usually test and it still came back 'normal'. But I think my thyroid and adrenals are sputtering due to chronic stress. I think I am probably Estrogen Dominant too because of having so much fat on me in addition to all the chemical estrogen in the environment. I am hoping that progesterone will help me once I figure out my ideal dosage and delivery method! This site, which I came across only yesterday, has given me HOPE again! Got lots of reading to do here! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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Dec 13, 2012
More questions
by: Marci

I am also confused on dosages. I'm reading through all the testimonies & posts & comments and articles now. I was using Dr. Helen Pensanti's cream [http://www.helenpensanti.com/BIO-IDENTICAL-HORMONES/products/96/], with NO EFFECTS at all, and the product label says "For PMS,Perimenopause, Menopause and Osteoporosis. This product meets the standards recommended by John R. Lee M.D. INGREDIENTS: Progesterone (botanical plant name Diosgenin), Safflower Oil, Wild Yam Extract, Aloe Vera, Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, Lecithin, Chamomile Extract, Rheocare, Uniphen, Purified water, NO PARABENS!!!!! 33mg USP Progesterone per 1/2 tsp daily dose." 33mg per dose? Almost the same as Natpro. Yet my oral progesterone is 200mg per capsule and in many of the posts here you recommend 100-200mg or much more. Please help me understand the big differences in dosages, apart from the cream vs oral differences which I've read about. Thanks so much.

Dec 15, 2012
Post Menopause Downhill Slide
by: Wray

Hi Marci You do eat well, but I feel you have Insulin Resistance, no amount of good food is going to reverse this. But there are several nutrients which do. Your symptoms point to IR, plus they are also those of a progesterone deficiency. As you say excess oestrogen is a major problem for you. There's no question it causes weight gain, it causes fat cells to proliferate, but fat cells secrete it, so a vicious cycle ensues. It also destabilises blood glucose too, see here. Excess testosterone, which you also have, causes facial hair and Hair Loss, Acne, IR, and visceral fat to increase too, see here and here. A lack of vitamin D causes IR and weight gain, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Progesterone and Vitamin D work synergistically, both help the symptoms you have. If you can reverse the IR with nutrients, get your testosterone and oestrogen levels down, your progesterone and vitamin D up, avoid the oestrogen mimics in the environment and in food, I think you should begin to loose weight. A lack of vitamin D also reduces the benefits of progesterone, please have a test done. Continued below

Dec 15, 2012
Post Menopause Downhill Slide Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Marci 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. The cream you mention does contain the parabens, all of them! Uniphen is a combo of phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben. Phenoxyethanol has also been banned by Ecocert for use in natural and organic skin care. If it contains 33mg progesterone per 1/2 tsp, then it's 2.5 times weaker than the Natpro, as this contains 33.3mg/ml. 1/2tsp is 2.5ml, so a half teaspoon of Natpro contains 83mg progesterone. I do recommend 100-200mg/day, but not in oral form. This is the least effective Delivery system, "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues", see here. But I feel you will need at least 200mg/day if not 400mg, you have many adverse symptoms. Low amounts are not going to help, if not make matters worse by causing Oestrogen Dominance. Thanks for the kind words about the site! Take care Wray

Dec 15, 2012
Follow Up
by: Marci

Thanks for the info, Wray. I've been raising my Vit. D level for about three years now and have gotten it from 19 to 48. I take 5-10,000IU daily.

How do I get a therapeutic dose [200-400mg] of progesterone into my system? Can I open the oral caps and put the contents into a cream or oil and use it topically? However, I don't see how it would absorb if it wasn't dissolved thoroughly?

The alt. doc who gave me the oral progesterone said the creams don't work as well with 'older' women. I don't know if I should keep taking the oral caps or try something else?

I agree that I am most likely IR and ED!

Still thoroughly reading through this wonderful site!

Dec 17, 2012
Follow Up
by: Wray

Hi Marci No wonder you are overweight! With a level of vitamin D at 19ng/ml, and it's taken 3 years to get it to only 48ng/ml. I suggest you increase your dose to at least 20,000iu per day for 3 months, then have a test done. It's essential you get it up high and fast too. I would aim for a level close to 100ng/ml and keep it there for several months, it not always. That level is very safe too, it only becomes toxic at levels of 200ng/ml. Mine is currently 92ng/ml. You are correct about opening the caps and emptying the contents into some cream. I forgot to mention this to you, I usually always do. I'm not sure what you mean when you say it "wasn't dissolved thoroughly". Are you saying there are crystals in the caps? As this can be the case. If not it will mix well with the cream, don't use an oil, as it's been found to be not as affective as a cream, see here. I can assure you a cream works as well in older women, I'm 4 years older than you. Many of my friends use it, plus many, many others I've advised. These are studies on post-menopausal women, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. And you might like to read these comments from other women here, here and here. There's no point in 'taking' the caps.... "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. There are only two other effective ways of using progesterone, one are injections which are only 50mg/vial, so you would need 4 to 8 injections a day. Or suppositories. I feel it's a pity to use it this way, as progesterone is so beneficial to the skin. There's more info on the delivery systems page I gave you. Thanks for reading the site still further! Take care Wray

Dec 21, 2012
Update
by: Marci

Thanks for all your insight and information and help, Wray! You are such a blessing! I'll be busy checking out all those additional links you gave me, too!

When I was speaking of 'not dissolving', well, the powder in the progesterone caps probably would not dissolve in any kind of oil so I didn't think I could use it topically. I could be wrong.

Which gets me back to the question of how to get my progesterone levels up if the creams only have about 33mg in them? If that is enough, why do you also recommend 'taking' 100-200 or more mg, esp. for ED? How would I get that amount in me without the oral caps? I guess the injections or suppositories is what you're meaning for that dosage?

Ok, time to jack up the D! Thanks again!


Dec 22, 2012
Update
by: Wray

Hi Marci Bless you for the kind words! It's very interesting you say the 'powder' in the caps. As the information I have say it's in oil, within the cap. If it is only a powder then it will not dissolve in a cream. Moreover it won't dissolve in the stomach either, even if eating a fatty meal with it, as the oil needs to be heated to far higher temps than that found in the gut. Creams vary in the amount of progesterone they contain. Some as low as 15mg/ml, going up to 100mg/ml. The one you tried has only 13mg/ml. I always avoid using the word 'take' or 'taking' as that implies an oral medication. So I stick with the word 'use' I also never use the word 'dose' as that also implies an oral med. I use the word 'amount' as I'm advising on using a cream. I think you can't have got round to reading those papers I gave you, on how transdermal progesterone is absorbed through the skin, i.e. it does get into the body. Plus it avoids the gut and liver where it gets destroyed. The amount of progesterone I recommend is based on the three efficient systems, i.e. creams, plus injections and suppositories. Not the oral, that would have to be 10 to 20 times the dose to overcome the destruction in the gut. It would make you feel ill doing so! Take care Wray

Dec 22, 2012
Me Again
by: Marci

Hey Wray. Yes I am trying to get through all the articles and links and I believe I understand what you're saying and the differences between the delivery systems. Quite a task with brain fog!

With such a low amount of progesterone in the cream, how would I be able to use/get enough progesterone into my system to make a difference? Would I have to use it several times a day then? I will gladly give up the oral progesterone if I can find relief with the cream.

Thanks for being so kind and patient with me!


Dec 22, 2012
Me Again
by: Wray

Hi Marci I know all about brain fog! I could read a page ten times and not understand a word, or not remember it. The creams do appear to be low, but if you used the Natpro, you'd only need 3ml to get 100mg. I did suggest you use 400mg/day as I feel you will need that much, if not more, but it's a start point. If you follow this suggestion you'd need 12ml of cream or 2 4/5th tsp. It's easy enough to get that on to your body in one go, just by putting it all over several times! But twice a day would do it, although it's best spread over several times a day, especially if symptoms are bad. For instance women with Hot Flushes apply it as soon as one starts up. Which in some women can be 12 times a day. I have a tube by me as I work, in my bag so I always have some with me, by the stove as it's wonderful for burns, in my bathroom as I apply it after my bath at night, and before dressing in the morning, and I have a tube by my bed! You might like to see these comments for encouragement, here, here, here, here, here and here. It is confusing, especially with all the conflicting advice given on the web. And here's me saying the normal recommended amounts are far too low, which is from experience. With brain fog it's almost impossible to sort out the tangle, so I don't mind how many questions you ask me! Take care Wray

Dec 23, 2012
Update
by: Marci

I think the confusion for me is in the amounts in the creams verses the amounts in the oral progesterone.

For example, I found this:

How much Natpro Progesterone Cream should you use?

A 60gm (2oz) tube contains 2000 mg of progesterone. For the first three months use a full tube per month, thereafter the amount may be reduced subject to the reappearance of symptoms.

So there is 2000mg in an entire tube.

The site said post menopausal women should use 1/2 teaspoon a day. Wow, that's a lot of math! Haha. And using cream isn't very exact compared to a capsules on the amount used. Now sure how I would know how much I'm taking when I use the cream, i.e., 100mg, 200mg, less?, more?

From the 'how to use' page, it seems 1/2 tsp is equal to 33.3mg so I guess I'd be using it several time a day, maybe six times a day, 1/2 tsp at a time to get just 200mg range [33 x 6 = 198mg] OR use larger doses each time.

Am I getting it now or confusing myself more?

Thanks again, Wray.


Dec 23, 2012
Update
by: Wray

Hi Marci I think our posts are crossing, I can't reply as soon as I would wish. I've addressed this query yesterday on the 22nd Dec. And I think your brain fog is getting in the way and you're confusing yourself more! I have already explained that 1/2tsp of Natpro doesn't contain 33mg progesterone. It was on the 15 Dec and I said "If it contains 33mg progesterone per 1/2 tsp, then it's 2.5 times weaker than the Natpro, as this contains 33.3mg/ml. 1/2tsp is 2.5ml, so a half teaspoon of Natpro contains 83mg progesterone." So 1/2tsp of Natpro contains 83mg progesterone. 1ml of Natpro contains 33.3mg progesterone. There are 5ml to a teaspoon. We have a chart showing ml and tsp measurements at the bottom of our page on How to use progesterone cream. Using a cream is not exact, but it doesn't have to be. There's no hard and fast rule about progesterone, the only thing of importance is to use enough. And I said you needed 400mg/day to help, this is 12 ml of Natpro, or 2 and 4/5th tsp. There are measuring spoons available, the best is one sold for medications, as these come with gradations. Or a kitchen teaspoon measuring set. I cannot find anywhere on the site where we say "post menopausal women should use 1/2 teaspoon a day". I give a rough guide for all problems by saying use '100-200mg/day'. For instance on the Menopause page I say "Depending on the severity of the symptoms, women should use between 100-200mg/day of progesterone." And on the How to use page under menopause I say "100-200mg/day progesterone should be used, more if symptoms are severe." It's very easy to measure using a measuring spoon, I don't even bother now, haven't for years. And as I said in yesterday's reply, you can easily get the whole 2 and 4/5th tsp on with one application, just apply all over the body, going over it twice or three times if necessary. But that would be a waste, and progesterone levels drop after about 13 hours, so would be pointless too. Just as taking oral progesterone is pointless as you're not getting enough. Hope this is clear, but I see you've made the same query on this page here! Take care Wray

Mar 01, 2013
One Last Time ... I Hope
by: Marci

Thanks for your patience, Wray.

Basically, when first using Natpro, I should use a HIGH DOSE to overcome or override the estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency, is that right?

Then at a later time, I can slowly lower the amount until symptoms return...THEN I'll know what dose 'works for me' and I'll continue with that dose from then on, right?

I've about used up my other brand and want to try Natpro but I just want to be sure what I'm doing.

Thanks again for your continued patience and help.

Mar 03, 2013
One Last Time ... I Hope
by: Wray

Hi Marci That's right, high to begin with then reduce till the optimum is found. Although it's never as simple as that. Some find they do well on 200mg/day to start with, others need 400mg/day. Then Stress drops levels and all of us are very stressed at the moment with the economy as it is, not to mention daily toxins from the environment. So it's essential to bear this in mind, and if symptoms should return increase until they go. I occasionally top myself up too, using about 330mg/day for about 2 weeks, then reducing again. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Mar 12, 2013
Where to Buy?
by: Marci

Been trying to find a reliable source to buy Natpro here in the states and many who sell it seem to be out of stock lately. I'd prefer buying from a US seller and one I can reasonably trust. Any suggestions, Wray?

Mar 14, 2013
FDA Shut Down Natpro in US?
by: Marci

Hi Wray...

I just got a response from the ONE company I found in the US that was selling Natpro asking why it was out of stock and when they expected to have it back in stock. They said:

"Natpro has been closed by the FDA."

Then they tried to sell me some other product. DRAT!! I just hate the FDA!!


Mar 16, 2013
Where to Buy?
by: Wray

Hi Marci Well I do agree with you about the FDA, but luckily we are still going! I think it was a ploy to get you to buy some other cream. Bless you for your support though, and for telling me this. I'll pass it on to our department who handles such things, to see if they can find out who it is. If you do want to get it, and don't mind getting it off the web, then please see this link to our order page here. If you don't like the web, let me know and I'll see if I can find out a seller for you. Take care Wray

Jun 25, 2013
Ready to Roll!
by: Marci

Ok, I got two tubes of Natpro now and am ready to start it. I'm not sure if I should start high and feel like hell for awhile or start low and increase dosage. I already feel icky most of the time already and the thought of feeling ickier doesn't appeal to me. Well, guess I'll just start slathering twice a day and see how it goes!

Jun 26, 2013
Rough!
by: Marci

I used some Natpro twice yesterday, about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon [about a nice dollop on my finger!] and last night I was MISERABLE!!! I haven't felt that awful in years. I even dreamed I went to the hospital! I don't know if I can tough out that horrible experience for the amount of time it might take to do this. Wow. I thought I felt bad before but this was really bad. I must be VERY estrogen dominant! I am almost afraid to start again today. But you say MORE is better. Time to reread the info and see if there's another way to do this. Just wanted to update you Wray.

Jun 26, 2013
Ready to Roll!
by: Wray

Hi Marci If you start off on 200mg/day, which is high compared to all other sites, but low compared to what some women use, then one tube will last you 10days. You might like to read this comment here for encouragement. This is another here on high amounts. Have you had a vitamin D test done? It's so important to get it up high, the progesterone does not work well if it's too low. Let me know how you get on. Please don't forget Oestrogen Dominance! Take care Wray

Jun 27, 2013
Rough!
by: Wray

Hi Marci I had a feeling this would happen, which is why I reminded you about the oestrogen dominance. And gave you those other comments to read too, they all had to go very high for the progesterone to help. Please try to stick to the same amount each day, and not 'about 1/4 to 1/2tsp'. It should be either one or the other. 1/4tsp would give you only 41mg and the 1/2tsp about 80mg. So if you used two 1/4 tsp you would only have had 80mg during the day, even the 1/2tsp doubled would give you 160mg/day, I feel you'll need at least 200mg/day. This is 6ml of cream per day, there is a chart at the bottom of our page on How to use progesterone cream. It gives the various tsp sizes needed. 6ml is nearly 1 1/2tsp. Take care Wray

Aug 10, 2014
Update!
by: Marci

Well, my new health care provider talked me into trying 'low dose' estradiol & progestin and after about 18 days of it I decided to stop. My boobs were sore & I had no good effects at all. However, a few days later I am having a light period! Hopefully when the estrodial levels drop back down to where they were, the bleeding will stop. UGH. So I increased my Natpro big time hoping to stop the bleeding but I found I'm running low and that every place I try to buy it, it's out of stock! This time I want to really stock up so I don't run out again. I think I wasn't using enough of it before as I was having anxiety, depression, anger, brain fog, the whole bit but at a much more severe level. I was desperate, hence got talked into the Rx. Are you back from your sabbatical, Wray? Anyhow hoping to get re-balanced without the Rx, but I'll say to women NOT to mess with your hormones with Rx! I read the side effects of that stuff & that is why I STOPPED immediately. Thanks!

Sep 24, 2014
Post Menopause Downhill Slide
by: Anonymous

Marci, have you heard anything Wray has been telling you?
Don't touch synthetic hormones....they r only going to make you worse. Use natpro or close to it all the time and as much as you need to relieve symptoms....the worse u feel, the more you need. It can do no harm.
Seems to me you are not staying with the simple solution. I know it's hard when u r feeling like crap...everything is more difficult but believe me good quality bio identical progesterone is the answer to just about everything lol ! I'm almost 61 and have had hormone imbalance (low progesterone) since early 30's....didn't know about progesterone until peri menopause and did loads of research so I could live some sort of quality life. Back then I hadn't found this website but high profile US female doctors were writing books on it. I learned how important it is to tune in to yourself and feel what your body needs, this works with the dosage amount. If u understand there is no danger in natural progesterone you can use it with more confidence.
When estrogen starts to feel threatened, it rears its head and gives worse symptoms...for me the pacifier is progesterone so i up the dose....even in the middle of the night.
Don't fear it and don't listen to the majority of health practitioners....that's what i've learnt. good luck

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