Progesterone oil to raise DHEA?

by Geraldine

Hi
I have very low DHEAS (1.7 umol/L) and read that using progesterone oil would help raise it.

To my knowledge my progesterone levels are within normal range. I am waiting to get back blood test of my progesterone from Day 21...all other tests in the past several years showed normal progesterone, but I didn't want to start the oil without knowing where I was at now, and was told testing on day 21 is best.

So I have a couple related questions to my situation:
A. Does progesterone oil help raise DHEAS? and B. if my bloods come back normal, should I take it, but what if for some chance I am high in progesterone,would taking it to raise DHEAS be counterproductive?

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Nov 17, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
I just read on another post that keratosis pilaris can be helped by progesterone. I have had KP all my life so I am really interested to know if at the very least I could start on the progesterone oil to help with my KP.Even if for some reason it might not help with DHEA in my personal situation as described above..
Thanks

Nov 18, 2012
Progesterone oil to raise DHEA?
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine I've never heard of progesterone raising DHEA before. It doesn't bind to the progesterone receptors, and it certainly doesn't follow the steroidgenesis pathway, see....

There are three main groups of steroids.... mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and androgens. The three oestrogens are all converted from testosterone by the enzyme aromatase.

Mineralocorticoids…..
Cholesterol → Pregnenolone → Progesterone → Corticosterone → Aldosterone

Glucocorticoids…
Cholesterol → Pregnenolone → Progesterone → 17-OH-Progesterone → 11-Deoxycortisol → Cortisol → Cortisone

Androgens…..
Cholesterol → Pregnenolone → Progesterone → 17-OH-Progesterone → Androstenedione → Adrenosterone → two further hormones
Cholesterol → Pregnenolone → Progesterone → 17-OH-Progesterone → Androstenedione → Testosterone → DHT
Cholesterol → Pregnenolone → 17-OH-Pregnenolone → DHEA → Androstenediol → Testosterone → DHT
Cholesterol → Pregnenolone → Progesterone → 17-OH-Progesterone → Androstenedione → Testosterone → Oestrone ⇄ Oestradiol → Oestriol (also Oestrone → Oestriol)

You'll notice that both progesterone and DHEA are made from pregnenolone, and DHEA is further converted to testosterone and DHT. That DHEA is not made from progesterone. These are two sites showing the pathway graphically.... here and here. Continued below

Nov 18, 2012
Progesterone oil to raise DHEA? part 2
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine This is another on DHEA, and further papers here, here, here and here. You should be relieved to have a low DHEA level, see here. Day 21 is the correct day to have a test for progesterone, but only if you have a 28 day cycle, do you? It's a rare woman who has a high progesterone level outside pregnancy. Testing progesterone alone, without oestrogen is also pointless. It's the ratio between the two which is critical. If this is skewed in favour of oestrogen all manner of unpleasant symptoms can ensue. See our page on Oestrogen Dominance. Do you have any adverse symptoms, if not then there's no need to use progesterone. A study also found that a progesterone in oil is not as effective as an emulsion, see here. Hope this helps. Take care Wray

Nov 18, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Yes progesterone does help KP, mine all went. I do know in some it doesn't, but a lack of omega 3 fish oils could be the cause. Vitamin D is vital for the skin, it does stop cells proliferating, which is basically what KP is. So maybe you could have a vitamin D test done to check your level. 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. Take care Wray

Nov 18, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
thanks for your replies- I'm more confused now! I was lead to believe that healthy levels of DHEA were beneficial to overall health.

I read it in Dr.Normal Shealy's little soft cover book' DHEA The Youth and Health Hormone' about using progesterone oil to raise DHEA.

When my naturopath a few years ago saw my levels (back then it was 1.2) she was so alarmed, at that time I didn't even know what DHEA was. Anyway, fast forward to now, my levels still low and then reading this book about using progesterone I thought it could help raise it as I do not want to take DHEA supplementation.

But your saying biological pathways make it not possible if I understand what you said correctly.
And I should be glad they are low? I read the links, so it appears that DHEA is linked to breast cancer, is that why you think best they are low? even at 1.7 umol/L?

One of the reports said this:

"However, DHEA supplementation may be of benefit in two specific groups of women: those with the lowest circulating levels of DHEA..."

So do you think then for this issue just forget about using progesterone but I could use it for my KP? Yes my vitamin D levels are really low then! 81 nmol/L...Could progesterone and vitamin D help my KP? Unfortunately I did not get estrogen tested when I got my bloods taken for progesterone this time...so that result will prove meaningless as you say. My doctor didn't know this, incredible!

Anyway, would this give you any insight?
On day 12 I got tested in September:
progesterone <1.0 nmol/L
estrogen was 2260 pmol/L.

Day 5 in May of this year showed this:
Progesterone 2
Estrogen 120
Sometimes I'm on a 28 day cycle other times im a 30 day cycle.

Knowing those figures and my Vitamin D levels, would using progesterone be worth a try for my KP? And I should not worry about my DHEA levels?
Thanks so much.


Nov 19, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray

After I posted the above I received my blood test and estrogen was tested after all.

at 21 days:
oestradiol 606 pmol/L
progesterone 31.8 nmol/L

Nov 19, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine I know people say DHEA is the 'youth' hormone, simply because it is high when we are young. But does drop as we get older. No one seems to know why this occurs, or why we have so much DHEA to begin with. The evidence points to it being impossible for progesterone to increase DHEA levels, but maybe I've missed a paper or two about it! Or maybe the doctors who do study both progesterone and DHEA have found it does rise. It must be some other factor causing this, rather than a direct conversion from one to the other. It could be by using progesterone, the conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone is not required, therefore it leaves more pregnenolone to convert to DHEA, who knows! Your level is on the low side, do you have symptoms because of it? You could experiment and try the progesterone to see if your levels do increase. I would be interested to hear! Your May ratio of P:E2 is 16:1, and your September ratio is 0.4:1. But unfortunately meaningless, as progesterone is at it's lowest level during the follicular phase. Whereas oestrogen begins rising on days 4-5, rising exponentially about 50hours before ovulation. So on day 12 it would be about to start it's exponential rise. Progesterone should rise then too, but evidently it hadn't started. We do have a page on Hormone Testing you could look through. Your vitamin D is very low, although slightly higher than the FDA 'adequate' level of 75nmol/L. Please consider supplementing it, and get your level to between the 175-250nmol/L. Something I forgot to mention, KP does improve in the summer months, worsens in winter. Which all points to a lack of vitamin D. As you don't seem to have any of the symptoms of a progesterone deficiency, except perhaps the KP, why not get your vitamin D level up first, and see if the KP goes. If not then try the progesterone, it's a less costly route too. If you use both together you'll not know which it was that helped. Take care Wray

Nov 21, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
thanks for you reply-not sure if you read my last post but I repeat it here:

at 21 days:
oestradiol 606 pmol/L
progesterone 31.8 nmol/L

Was interested to know what your thoughts were on these figures-you commented on the ones for my day 5 and 12. Do these seem within normal range or does it show something else?

I did your questionnaire and it came to 24-
there were a few questions that I definitely could say yes to.


I do not know what symptoms for DHEAS deficiency are, except low energy levels, and that's hard to tell, as we can all feel tired for many reasons..So when you ask if I have symptoms, I don't think so. I do feel tired, but I wouldn't say its extreme. My iron is improving (15.8 umol/L Saturation 33% and Ferritin 39 ug/L) since taking iron tablets for the last 8 months as it was dismally low. And to be honest after bringing my iron levels up my energy levels don't feel any different!

Maybe having low DHEAS I should just forget about it seeing as I do not have any apparent symptoms. What concerned me was the reaction of that naturopath, and when I could see that it was almost down to zero, naturally one questions such things.

Anyway, if you could let me know your thoughts on my day 21 readings, and scoring 24 on your test. Like I said before I sometimes have 28 day cycles sometimes its up to 32...

I heard also that applying progesterone on your skin is helpful(I have small dark patches on top of cheek bones/sides of face. Is this true and safe to do? Would you apply it during ovulation up to period starts? And does this cure the patches or is it a treatment that requires on going application?

I also wanted to let you know that since taking iron and vitamin A together my KP has improved a lot. I was told KP can be due to vitA deficiency, and since I was also iron deficient (anemic) and both work together or are synergistic I believe is the term, it made total sense to try it for my situation.

Thanks once again. I really appreciate your time.

Nov 23, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine For some reason I did miss it! I'm glad you have it though. This makes your P:E2 ratio only 52:1, very low. Hence the 24 questions you could answer. We've found from Saliva Tests we run periodically, that it's best if the ratio is 600:1 and over. So all in all I feel you would benefit from progesterone, but please don't use the oil, as per that study I gave you. Creams really are effective, but if you should consider trying it, please use enough. I recommend 100-200mg/day, which should be fine for you, as your symptoms aren't very severe. We have many women who have to use much more to overcome the oestrogen. Lack of energy could be due to low progesterone or low vitamin D. Unfortunately taking vitamin A as you are, blocks the action of vitamin D, see here, here and here. Vitamin D is the single most important nutrient there is, without it cells malfunction. If you feel you need vitamin A rather take beta-carotene. As I said in my previous reply, KP does improve in summer, indicative of a vitamin D action. The dark patches are melasma, it's caused by excess oestrogen stimulating melanocytes, these make melanin, the pigmentation in all skin types, see here and here. It's often a sign of adrenal stress too. Progesterone can usually resolve the problem, as it suppresses the excess oestrogen and it takes the strain off the adrenals. These make progesterone before they can convert it into cortisol, one of our stress hormones. Stress drops progesterone levels, thereby allowing oestrogen to dominate. And it does help the skin too, see here. You are correct, progesterone should be used from ovulation to bleeding. There's more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Nov 23, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
thanks for this reply-I am learning a lot!

So with a ratio of 52:1 of P:E, that doesn't make me estrogen dominant does it? Just says my progesterone is too low...am I understanding this right?

Also, I looked at that page on how to use the cream, so a dosage of 100-200 mg would mean 0.6 to 1.2 teaspoons, is that right?

I know you have stated not to use the oil- I really don't want to throw my money away...do you think I could start using it on my skin where I have the melasma? If the melasma fades or starts to go away, would that mean the progesterone is increasing and thereby working?

My final question-ovulation. When it starts is confusing, I do not have a 28 day cycle. I could have a 32 day cycle, it varies. So I have no idea when I ovulate, so when should I apply the progesterone then?

I'm going to stop taking Vit A then and start on Vit D,I feel that needs more importance for now. I take iron during my period due to my low iron, does that interfere with Vit D?
thanks again
Geraldine



Nov 26, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Most labs give a range of 100-500:1 for the ratios, anything below would be regarded as being oestrogen dominant. But I see little point in having such a big range, I feel it's misleading. For instance someone could have a ratio of 100:1 and feel awful, and yet she's within range. I prefer to say above a certain figure, in our case we've found 600:1 to be optimal. So as far as I'm concerned your oestrogen is dominant. I see you understand maths! You are correct in your calculations. That's for our cream of course, the oil you would have to calculate on 800mg/oz and how much you decided you needed. If you already have the oil please don't throw it away! I thought you were only considering using progesterone, not that you had already bought it. I only said it's not as effective as a cream, not that it won't work. By applying it only to your face you won't be getting enough progesterone, but you could try. Melasma is difficult to treat too, so don't expect miracles overnight. It can take weeks to months. Essential to get your vitamin D levels up too. If your cycle varies between 28 and 32, this makes 30 the average, so you would start using it on day 15. If you only intend putting it on your face, you could use it daily as you'll be getting so little. I'm relieved you're stopping the vitamin A, and I haven't heard of iron interfering with vitamin D. Take care Wray

Nov 27, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
thanks for your reply. I just ordered some tubes. I am going to use the oil on my face daily, I started yesterday..no I wouldn't throw it away! Its a 10% strength. Seeing as I'm only rubbing it on my melasma areas which is not a very big surface area, I used about half a teaspoon. Do you think I could continue this daily regime once I start on the Natpro?


Also wanted to know, where do I rub the cream on and do I just use it once a day for my 100my dosage? or should I go for the 200 mg? Anyway, is it just once daily regardless and can I rub it anywhere of my choosing? I imagine there would be areas of the body were the cream would be more absorbed? maybe not.

I'm getting my blood tested for estrogen on Day 4 or 5 as instructed my by naturopath, which is very soon. Is it worth sending you that result? I wasn't sure if it made any difference, as I have told you already what my readings were for day 21. I know now I'm estrogen dominant, just wondering if knowing what it was around day 4 or 5 was of any significance?

Does blocked ears, ringing sound, or pressure in the ears have anything to do with progesterone deficiency? I get this a lot, most annoying.
regards
Geraldine

Nov 28, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine You are right, the melasma areas are not large. But if the oil is 10%, half a tsp (2.5ml) will be giving you 250mg progesterone, which is a very good amount. I'm amazed they have managed to do a 10% oil, as we've tried before and find the progesterone crystallises out. When you say 'could continue this daily regime once I start on the Natpro', do you mean applying it to your face? If so then yes, I apply it there every morning and night. Progesterone should always be used a minimum of twice a day, as levels begin dropping after about 13 hours. It can be rubbed anywhere, the skin comprises 95% kerotinocytes, which have ample progesterone receptors. There's more info on our page about Progesterone Misconceptions. I see no point in checking oestrogen levels on day 4 or 5, or anytime during the follicular phase. It's the ratio of the two hormones that's critical, not the level. Your oestrogen will be low, as it only begins rising then, see the Graph we have. Tinnitus has baffled researchers for years, many theories put forward, but none of significance. If it's pressure it could be caused by excess oestrogen. The ear has a plentiful supply of oestrogen and progesterone receptors. Excess oestrogen would cause water retention which would affect the ears. You could try rubbing the oil/cream under your ears and see if that helps. Take care Wray

Dec 02, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray

You say I can use progesterone cream daily-I'm a bit confused. Isn't it meant to be used from when ovulation starts and stopped when you get your period? In saying that Ive started using the oil daily on my melasma, was going to continue with this when the cream arrives. Wasn't sure if I should use the cream 2 weeks of cycle (day 15 onwards until period) with the daily use of oil. (the oil will probably last me for a month I suspect) Or can I use the oil and cream daily?

Also, I started on 5000iu daily of Vitamin D drops few days ago. Is there anyway to tell when I would reach the level of around 175 as you suggested? I'm currently at 81nmol/L.Trying to avoid going to the doctor to ask for a blood test. I got Vit D tested in Sept, according to her it was fine, they are very hesitant to re test when they see there is no need for it. I think I would get some resistance if I told her I wanted my levels of Vit D higher, especially as according to the ranges given I'm considered "healthy". I could wait until next June/July which would make it 10 months since last tested, but not sure if it is safe to be taking Vitamin D for this long? It is summer here, so I am also getting a lot of sunshine, of course come March it will be going into autumn.

My instincts tell me that it will take at least 3 moths for my levels to double (160 more or less) but then when they reach that level, do they stay there and for how long? or should I just be ok taking vitamin d daily but lowering the does?
Thanks
Geraldine


Dec 03, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine It was a bit obtuse of me. It was in reply to your 'could continue this daily regime once I start on the Natpro', which confused me. I then said I did, but then I don't have a cycle anymore. I only suggest using it daily, through any bleeding, if symptoms are severe. You then repeat the 'daily' thing, I take it you don't mean daily. That you mean to use it only during the luteal phase until bleeding starts? You can use both together if you wish. The only way you can tell what your vitamin D level is, is by having a test, these should be done every 6 months anyway. I take it you live in the southern hemisphere, maybe Australia? If so then ask Birmingham Hospital to send you a test kit, it's cheaper than the American kits too, £30 for overseas customers. 5000iu's per day vitamin D is only a maintenance dose, it will take you many months to get to the 175nmol/L. When you say you're getting a lot of sun, do you spend about 20mins each day semi naked between the hours of 10am and 2pm? Without sunscreen too. We don't make vitamin D unless our shadow is shorter than us. Take care Wray

Dec 18, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
I've just started taking my first round of the cream- I'm on the 10day day of taking it (not day 10 of cycle just to be clear)

So far I have not had much in the way of unusual happenings,I understand some women go through symptom flare ups-I take it down to my symptoms being so subtle or low to begin with, could this be the reason? But two things have occurred.

One is, and I'm wondering if it is just coincidence, is that I was using the cream on my decolletage area (as well as on my melasma) and the day after I developed these bumps, they are small and hardly noticeable but you can certainly feel them. I stopped using the cream on that area after 3 days, but the bumps are still there. So maybe it has nothing to do with the cream? What do you think? Its not like a rash, there is no redness just bumpy skin, which came up almost over night and after the first day I used the cream.

The second thing, is by 9-.,30 pm I am so tired and ready for bed. I normally stay up till 10-11. But I have found that I am just so tired.I'm fine during the day.

I can gauge from what is left in the tube, that I have about 10 more days left of usage until the tube finishes. So whatever the entire tube gives you divide by approximately 20 is what I am taking per day. I don't have a measurement spoon that gives exact measurement of 1/2 tspn, so I'm guessing that I'm taking .5nl-.6ml teaspoon twice per day.I'm using a little ornamental teaspoon I own which has worked out well because I worked out that twice of this little one, equals one teaspoon. By using the little spoon, I can be assured I am giving myself the exact same dose each time rather than guess; if that makes sense.




Dec 20, 2012
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Many women do get a flare up, particularly if they are not using enough. You are using about 100mg/day, the minimum I suggest. There are 2000mg progesterone in one tube. 100mg is 3ml of cream, so your little ornamental spoon is only 1.5ml making it just over a third of a teaspoon. So you're using half of what you thought. Tiredness can occur, and usually passes in time. The bumps could be KP, although this doesn't normally occur in that area. It could also be an oestrogen reaction, they should also go given time. You might consider increasing the progesterone and see if that helps the tiredness and bumps, it should. Take care Wray

Feb 09, 2013
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray

I do not have a regular cycle, its in between 28-32. I read somewhere you should use it for 14 days; last month I miscalculated so I ended up using it more than 14 days, as I started on day 14 but didn't end up getting my period until day 32. Does this matter much?


Feb 11, 2013
Progest Oil-KP-DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine No it doesn't matter at all. You might find it easier to use it daily for 2-3 months, through any bleeding. This would ensure progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, and suppresses any excess oestrogen. WE do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Apr 04, 2013
Period two weeks early using it daily
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray

Ive been using the progest cream daily since middle of Feb, as you suggested I do so, to make sure progesterone becomes dominant. I got my period this month two weeks early, was only about a week early in March.
I read your info page, says its ok if spotting or period gets disrupted. But two weeks early? I suppose there's no reason to be concern with that either?
I was going to use it daily for a total of 3 months following your suggestion to do so. At the 6 month mark I was going to re-test to see where my levels were at. Do you think this sounds like an appropriate plan?




Apr 06, 2013
Period two weeks early using it daily
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine The info page also says.... "When first starting progesterone it can disrupt the cycle. Periods can be either earlier or later than normal. This is nothing to be concerned about, the normal cycle length will assert itself within a few cycles." I do find using it daily helps many women, it's up to you when you start following your cycle again You might find 2 months is fine, or you might find you need to do it for 6 months, there are many women who use it for far longer than 2-3 months on a daily basis. There's no harm in it. If you feel like having your levels tested again then please do so. The results will only tell you the levels of the hormones, they can't tell you how you're feeling. Only you can tell this, so I often think testing is a waste of time, although of interest. Take care Wray

Apr 06, 2013
Period two weeks early using it daily
by: JL

Hi Geraldine

Progesterone always disrupts the cycle when using it for the first time, it can also cause estrogen dominance symptoms but as soon as progesterone becomes the dominant hormone things do settle down. Using too little progesterone can also disrupt things and cause adverse symptoms.

From what I have read here, your symptoms are not too severe so I think you should be using 200mg/6ml of progesterone per day. It is best to use the cream a minimum of twice a day as progesterone levels start to drop after 13 hours.

I think that you are using Natpro from what I read, so you will be getting the correct amount of progesterone provided you use the amounts that Wray suggests, in your case 200mg per day. It's best to use the cream for 2-3 months ignoring any irregular bleeding or spotting. You need to give your body time to adjust and regulate. Once you feel ready, you can start to follow your cycle again.

Wray's page on How to use Progesterone is very informative and will help clear things up for you.

All the best.

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