Progesterone cream has been curing chronic fatigue... now suddenly stopped working

Hi,

I have been bed/housebound with severe chronic fatigue for 15 months, Jan 17 to present.

It started in Jan 2017, I had been taking progesterone only pill for 16 months since the birth of my first child, this had also been a period of intense stress and only 3 hrs sleep a night. 2 weeks after stopping the pill in Jan 17, I suddenly could not walk, barely talk, watch TV, etc.

I first tried Natpro cream last summer for 2 months, Jul & Aug 17, 50-200mg daily, my condition improved steadily each day. I continued to have periods during this time, and kept a note of how I felt depending on time of month. I improved more when estrogen would be low and not much (or slight regression) during the two times of month when estrogen peaks. Overall I experienced a dramatic improvement in my condition. Then I stopped using the cream as my husband wasn't happy me using it without doctor supervision and within 2-3 weeks of discontinuation I was bedbound again.

I have been using Natpro progesterone cream again since Nov 17, generally 250mg per day, from being bedbound in dark room 23/24 hrs a day unable to speak, I got a tiny bit better each day, never worse. The more I took, the better I got. On the odd days that I took 400mg cream I improved twice as fast. From Nov '17 I have not had monthly bleeds so have no idea what my 'cycle' is doing. I still feel I have times when estrogen rises, as significantly less daily improvement is observable.

Now suddenly for the past month the progesterone cream has stopped working completely, absolutely no daily improvement, and in the past month I have had two times when my condition has worsened (each time a step change from which I have not recovered), I presume due to estrogen rising. I've also noticed my hair is greasier.

I have read that after several months of use the cream can stop working, due to downregulated receptors (I've taken no breaks), or your body thinking it has enough and converting to estrogen/testosterone, or dermal fatigue (I've been trying inserting to vagina with syringe for past couple of weeks, but it's not made any difference).

Any ideas? I'm desperate. I know if I go off the cream I will go back to being bedbound, this has happened to me before as I also took cream last summer for 2 months, improved each day, stoppped using it and within weeks was bedbound again. It has taken me so long to get this far with tiny daily improvements, I cannot lose all that ground.

However, I don't want to increase again and mess up all my other hormones. My husband and mother are dead set against me taking more so it's really not an option.

I cut out all estrogens, phyto estrogens, xeno estrogens, etc. in the autumn, could it be that these were actually protecting me against estradiol? See the summary of this research indicating that estradiol inhibits the production of ATP (cellular energy) which is obviously what CFS sufferers lack: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12587531

Please help!

Comments for Progesterone cream has been curing chronic fatigue... now suddenly stopped working

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Mar 19, 2018
Progesterone
by: Anonymous

I’m sorry you have to go through all of this.
I got chronic fatigue/POTS, and some heart problems after the birth of my daughter. I’m now 4 years from the birth of my daughter and I have improved so much! I went through 20ish doctors, numerous ER visits, naturopaths, traditional Chinese medicine doctors... nothing has helped! Except progesterone.

I didn’t start progesterone cream until two years ago. I went into my OBGYN and said I think I’m going through menopause (I had a lot of the symptoms) or I have chronic fatigue. She reluctantly checked my estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. My progesterone levels were lower than a woman who is post menopausal...0.4! (I was 27 at the time) She wasn’t much help in figuring it out, so I have done my own research.

I did first try taking extremely large amounts of progesterone, when I first desperately started reading this site. Right now I am taking 200 mg. It has taken more time I think to get better but it can be a very slow process with one step forward and three steps back. If you’re not already taking calcium-d-glucarate, I would recommend you do. I’ll tell you what I take presently.

In the morning I take 1000 mg of calcium d glucarate. Around 10 AM I start applying my progesterone cream, about 20mg. I apply 20 mg 5 times randomly throughout the day. At night after I shower I apply five more 20mg squirts to my skin and let it soak in before I get dressed and in bed. I also take 1000mg of calcium d glucarate at night.

It has been a long road but I am able to go the store with my children again, and lightly exercise to build up my stamina. I have also gone to a plant based diet which I’m hoping will help.

Another thing that has helped my fatigue, was making sure my iron and ferritin levels were optimal.. and taking methyl b12 injections. I did the shots weekly and it really did make a difference. I still have days where I feel like what I’m doing isn’t working, and I feel like my chronic fatigue symptoms are coming back, but healing is not linear, It takes years to heal the body, and I noticed that if I’m over stressed certain months, I would feel so terrible. I now understand that progesterone drops when we’re under stress.

Sorry for the long winded post, and I apologize if I didn’t make much sense. If you have any questions please write back. I know how lonely and hopeless it can feel.

Good luck.

Mar 19, 2018
Suddenly stopped working
by: Rachel

If you can, get your hormone levels checked. Any other symptoms like acne, hair on face etc? Maybe you can show your concerned relatives some good research information to them to reassure them?
I really think you need to know what your hormones are doing before knowing what to do next. I became progesterone dominant while using the cream. I was using high amounts each day for two years. I think it converts to testosterone which would explain greasy hair.

Keep us updated. X

Mar 20, 2018
Thank you for replies
by: OP

Thank you so much for both of your helpful comments. I am arranging saliva testing over a month, but it will take ages to come back, even after completed. Won't my progesterone just show insanely high at 250mg/day?!

No other acne, etc. Greasy hair could just be that I accidentally used a clarifying shampoo... seems to be getting less greasy now.

To the lady with the CFS:
- so sorry you have had to go through this too, esp with children it is horrendous!
-have you used 200mg/day throughout your entire cycle without a break for the 2 years?
-I have started Calcium d glutarate in the last few days, as it happens! :)

Mar 21, 2018
Chronic fatigue
by: Rachel

What’s your diet like? Are your electrolytes balanced? Magnesium, potassium, sodium. Do you have someone to interpret your test results?

Sorry for all the questions! I think you are taking very high doses of P. If you are on Facebook, I recommend you join the Magnesium Advocacy group on there and ask for advice. I have adrenal fatigue which sounds a lot like your symptoms. In any case, the more knowledgeable folk on the group can probably help you.

Kind regards,
Rachel

Mar 26, 2018
Anyone help?
by: Anonymous

Nutrition, etc. are fine (I think!)... had lots of tests for all sorts including electrolytes and all okay. Cortisol is very high.

Does anyone know why it stopped working? Do I need to take a break to rest receptor sites? If so, how long a break for the receptors to upregulate again?

Many thanks!

Mar 26, 2018
dose
by: Anonymous

Hi
To be clear. Are you taking 250mg of progesterone or 250mg of cream containing progesterone? 250mg a day of progesterone is very high. Except during pregnancy, females naturally produce about 20mg/day when producing during the menstrual cycle. Typical cream doses are around 30mg/day split in two doses morning and night to allow for losses through the skin. Occasionally medics will prescribe an initial higher short term dose to get the progesterone levels up then reduce to around 30mg/daily

Why are you taking so much? Stopping or starting progesterone can make you feel pretty awful. Things need to be gradual and tend to settle after a week or two

Mar 26, 2018
Dose
by: Anonymous

Yes, 250mg progesterone. Instructions on the bottle suggest a minimum of 100-200mg

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