Progesterone, dhea, melatonin and estroil/testosterone

by Deb

Hi Wray, I was hoping if you could help me make a decision. My progestorone level in blood came back 0.8 in saliva 20. My bio identical docter wants to start me off with 200 mg of progesterone.

My free testostorone in blood is 1.5 in saliva 35 she wants me to take estroil .5mg and testosterone .4mg combined taken vaginaly for the dryness. My dhea blood is 49 and saliva is 2.4 she wants me to take dhea .5mg time released and .5mg melatonin time released because I don't sleep well trying to get off prescribed Xanax which I've been taking since 1988.

My estradoil is 50 in blood and 2.2 in saliva which ZRT says is high for a women in full menopause but according to my doctor she wants my levels to be optimal as a 25 year old to avoid the aches and pains, fatigue, insomminia etc. Also according to ZRT my dhea is low even for my age. I need to do something but am very scared. I would love to just take vitamins and herbs but I don't think that will be sufficient. Do you like the regime of what this Doctor wants me to take? Please help. Thanks.

Comments for Progesterone, dhea, melatonin and estroil/testosterone

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Jul 25, 2010
Progesterone, dhea, melatonin and estroil/testosterone
by: Wray

Hi Deb I agree with the 200mg/day progesterone, I usually recommend between 100-200mg/day. Please make sure it's a cream, as this is absorbed well, and not oral which is not, for more info please see our page on Progesterone application methods ZRT give the reference ranges for post-menopausal women as oestradiol 0.5-1.7pg/ml; oestrone as 1.6-5; oestriol as <7 and progesterone as 12-100. To find the ratio of the two hormones, which is far more indicative of how you feel, divide the progesterone result by the oestradiol. In your case 20 by 2.2, which gives you a 9:1 ratio. I've found to feel really well the ratio should be well over 300:1, better still if it's 600:1. Taking ZRT's top range for post-menopause the ratio is 59:1, higher than your ratio of 9:1. In a pre-menopause woman the ratio varies between 58:1 to 82:1, even that's too low I think! To give you oestriol, albeit a mild oestrogen, plus testosterone, these will suppress your already low progesterone. It will only mean the supplemental progesterone will have to work harder to suppress these two. Many women have found progesterone used in the vagina helps greatly with dryness or inflammation. After all it is an anti-inflammatory hormone, whereas oestrogen is pro-inflammatory. One concern, oestrogen in the vagina exacerbates candida, progesterone inhibits it. For more info please see our page on Candida Please read the research papers too. And testosterone, the jury is still out as to whether this increases libido, there is more evidence to suggest progesterone is the hormone for this. Please see here. As for the 'aches and pains, fatigue, insomnia etc', these are all caused by excess oestrogen. And avoid taking DHEA, there is evidence it increases cysts and cancer, please see here, here, and here. There are various amino acids, vitamins etc which can help you come off the Xanax, please see our page on Anxiety. Melatonin is good, although I feel tryptophan is better, this amino acid is the precursor to serotonin, so helping with depression. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, so the tryp plays two roles, it's also helpful for pain. Take care Wray

Oct 23, 2010
I have a question
by: Sarah

I've been reading a lot on your website. I'm really new at this. I am 51, and have been having menopausal symptoms for probably 5 years or more. I had a late in life baby born when I was 42, and I was experiencing missed periods then. I started out with night sweats a couple of years ago, and then hot flashes only in the evening. Now it can be anytime of day, and I can't tolerate them. I have found relief in taking herbal remedies daily, but if I miss a day, look out! I haven't had a period in over a year and a half. I recently saw a doctor who gave me a saliva test. He does this bioidentical thing. Anyway, my results were that my progesterone was low...24; my estrogen was 6 I think; my testosterone was normal. I am also having adrenal issues. Our family has been under a lot of stress, and this doctor said that I have adrenal fatigue. He is recommending that I take a prescription cortisol, and 200mg of progesterone a day. These prescriptions are being made at a pharmacy that specializes in compounding (I guess it is). I don't really understand it. When I asked the doctor about possible weight gain taking progesterone, he said that it should help me to drop some weight. I've gained about 20 lbs in the last couple of years and it doesn't want to leave. I'm still concerned about gaining more once I start taking the progesterone because of what I've read from other woman posting on your website. I also am wondering about a comment I read saying to use a progesterone cream rather than oral progesterone. The doctor I saw is saying I should take oral progesterone rather than creams. What say you?

Oct 26, 2010
I have a question
by: Wray

Hi Sarah Stress can cause adrenal fatigue and make menopausal symptoms worse. I'm neither for nor against cortisol, as supplementing with it can relieve the adrenals until they have recovered. Progesterone can too, as the adrenals make progesterone before they convert it into cortisol. So supplementing with it relieves the adrenals from making progesterone. I've found that progesterone alone can help stressed adrenals. Your progesterone is on the low side (range 12?100 pg/ml) whereas your oestrogen is very high (range 0.5?1.7 pg/ml). This is assuming pg/ml was used to measure the levels, which is normally the case with saliva tests. Your doctor is right about progesterone helping to loose weight, it's thermogenic, which means it speeds metabolism slightly. Weight gain can occur if insufficient is used, as this merely stimulates oestrogen. And will continue stimulating it unless the amount is increased to a high level. I recommend between 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. As you have hot flushes you might need to use up to 400mg/day for 4-5 days for any relief. Oral progesterone is not a good delivery system, please see our page on Progesterone application methods for more info. If you read the papers on the page, you'll see what I mean. A study published in June 2010 found 300mg/day of oral progesterone was needed to decrease hot flushes. But this only reduced them by 56% and it took 12 weeks to do so, please see here. Your weight gain has probably been caused by excess oestrogen. This hormone is a mitogen, stimulating cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. Fat cells are a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. Oestrogen also causes insulin resistance, which causes weight gain, for more info please see our page on Insulin Resistance. You could have a vitamin D deficiency, please have a test done. A lack of this also causes weight gain, and reduces the benefits of progesterone. Please see the Vitamin D council website. Take care Wray

Aug 14, 2013
by: Anonymous


Progesterone cream has sky rocketed my already high cortisol.(adrenal issues) I also have low melatonin and DHEA, could this play a role? It does not make sense to me why it has made me so much worse.

Please advise as soon as possible!

Thank you

Aug 15, 2013
by: Wray

Hi there I would have to know more info. What do you mean when you say it's sky rocketed your cortisol, has it gone up? The morning level, midday, nighttime? And when you say made you worse, I don't know what that is, worse than what? And you don't say how much progesterone you're using, or how old you are. You might like to look through our Oestrogen Dominance page. Take care Wray

Aug 15, 2013
by: Anonymous

It made it worse because yes it increased my cortisol even being off of it now, it also increased body hair ect. I have adrenal fatigue and now feel much worse. It is not oestrogen because I used a high dose for a long period of time and the higher I went the worse it got. Now I am stuck with elevated cortisol levels, and am not able to sleep.

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