Reaction to Progesterone Cream, Is it Normal?

by Autumn
(Canada)

The first month I took progesterone cream I had anxiety. I stopped after 2 days, I really hate having anxiety.

Last month my naturopath gave me an anti-anxiety supplement. I took a total of 20 mg of progesterone cream a day for about 10 days (I stopped early for the reasons I'll mention and I caught the flu). Taking the cream gave me a constant headache, I eventually figured out that the cream dehydrated me (I was very thirsty) to the point that I couldn't keep up with my thirst. I did not experience anxiety (my naturopath gave me an anti-anxiety supplement.). However, I did have some heart palpitations / chest pain a few days after using the cream. Of course, I have no idea if it was caused by the cream. On the plus side, I did not have any post menstrual headaches and my period was light.

So here I am in my third month now. I started off with 20 mg, but had to down it to 10 mg, because i was severely dehydrated by the cream and developed a constant headache. I stopped taking the naturopath prescribed anti-anxiety stuff and so I got anxiety from the cream (I wasn't sure if the supplement was doing something or if I just didn't get anxiety that time - I guess it did something!). Every time something weird happens (I had some bloating and a small skin eruption on one finger) I think it's a reaction to the cream.

I'm so confused, I don't know what to do. Stop using the stuff, because it's not agreeing with me, or continue on. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Reaction to Progesterone Cream, Is it Normal?

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Jan 16, 2015
Reaction to Progesterone Cream, Is it Normal?
by: Wray

Hi Autumn Please read through our page on Oestrogen Dominance, you should have been warned about it by whoever sold you the cream. Please get back to them. We also have a page on How to use Progesterone Cream. Take care Wray

Jan 16, 2015
Anxiety
by: Diane

Please read as advised by Wray...you are using FAR too low a dose... I use 200mg daily, 100mg am 100mg pm... I too had wicked anxiety and now very rarely..
Good luck,
Diane

Jan 17, 2015
Scared
by: Autumn

Thanks for the comments / help. I see how much 20 mg effects me, so simply put I'm scared to try a higher dose. I get so dehydrated, etc, from 20 mg that the idea of taking say 100 mg seems too much for me to handle.

Jan 17, 2015
Anxiety
by: Diane

Autumn~
The best way to overcome your fear is to educate yourself...read the pages on progesterone doses, what is progesterone, Oestrogen dominance....Also, please get the book by Dr Michael Platt Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones. You're better off using NO progesterone then using such a low dose. You are causing estrogen dominance response with such a low dose.. So please read and educate your self with literature here on this site and read Dr Platt's book. I had wicked anxiety on a lower dose and I even started on a higher dose than you...100mg daily 50mg am 50mg pm. It's only when I started 200mg that I got wonderful relief.. I even had to use a 50mg mid day dose for a short time for a total of 250mg per day, and now I'm settled in at 200mg every day of the month. Do not let your fear get the better of you....read, take control and do it right..20mg even twice daily is far too low.
I truly wish you well.

Jan 19, 2015
Thank you
by: Autumn

Hi Diane
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
After reading your post I decided to go ahead and purchase the book you mentioned. It's the ebook, so I should have it soon.
I've looked stuff up on the forum and online about the extreme thirst that progesterone cream causes for me. (It's really that thirst that stops me from upping my dose). Hopefully something is mentioned in the book. If you know anything about the thirst, please let me know. I'll see my naturopath on Friday, she's a great lady but I'm not sure if she will know why I get so dehydrated from the cream - find out on Friday!
Thanks again.

Jan 25, 2015
Thirst and P
by: Diane

Autumn~ Below is the response from Dr Michael Platt who wrote the book The Miracle of Bioidentical hormones. He also just wrote a new book on adrenaline dominance that I'm currently reading titled ADRENALINE DOMINANCE. He is a physician with decades of experience treating patients with progesterone. Anyway, I wrote him about your symptoms and he responded to me below...

I read your exchange with Autumn.
You are correct in stating that she is using too low a dose of progesterone.
The only thing that creates anxiety is adrenaline.
The dry mouth, I suspect, is because the adrenaline is constricting the circulation to her salivary glands causing a decrease in the production of saliva.
In the same way, adrenaline cuts off circulation to the hands and feet causing them to be cold,
and cuts off circulation to the intestines causing IBS, and can also cause tinnitus. As part of the fight-or-flight response, adrenaline cuts off circulation to areas of the body not needed
for survival.

You were also correct that too low a dose of progesterone can increase estrogen dominance, but in Autumn's case it is more of a problem with adrenaline dominance.

The amount of progesterone required to block adrenaline is 50 mg, taken 3-4 times per day.
This particular website actually recommends my book.

The Doc

Jan 29, 2015
Thirst and P
by: Wray

Hi Diane Thanks for contacting Dr Platt, excellent idea! He did tell me he was writing a book on Adrenaline but I didn't know it was out yet. I must get hold of a copy as his other book was excellent. He's right too, I do recommend his book on this website. What he had to say to you was spot on too, too many are stressed out, and so have too high an adrenaline level. I go into adrenaline and what it does on our page about Anxiety Interesting his take on the adrenaline causing constriction of the saliva glands. I hadn't thought of this aspect. I do know oestrogen causes dryness of the mouth, eyes too. In extreme cases it's called Sjogren's syndrome, see here, here, here and here. So it's hardly surprising when starting progesterone that thirst can be one symptom of Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray


Jan 30, 2015
Dr Platt
by: Diane

Hi Wray:)
I am currently reading his new book on Arenaline Dominance. It is so interesting! I'm a classic type A, driven, physically active, crash and burn personality. I've worked really hard to change my ways since being thrown into perimenopause and to learn to relax. This website and his books have SAVED the quality of my life.
One sx that I still combat is freezer burn headaches on occasion. I have just in the last few days changed up a couple of things. Number one, I am spreading the 200mg P dose through out the day 50mg 4 x d. and putting it on my ankles and number two, I have started adding heaping Tsp of coconut oil (unrefined, cold pressed) into my hot buckwheat cereal, and believe it or not into my coffee 2 x d, I'm hoping to prevent those freezer burn headaches. I've also started to take 400mg magnesium orally and I also spray mag oil on my neck and forehead daily. I hope this does the trick. These headaches are truly the only sx left that were awful prior to starting p and still remain, just not as bad. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
Wray, is there a way I may privately message you? I would like to share a couple of things with you.
Blessings,
Diane

Feb 02, 2015
Dr Platt
by: Wray

Hi Diane I would probably fit into that category too. In fact after I'd read a list of ADHD symptoms some years back, I said to my brother I think I have it. He laughed and said he could have told me that years ago! I must add that progesterone really did calm me down, although my daughter still has a phrase she uses to tease me. "Ma you can calm down to a panic"! I also have the AD part of ADHD, as another phrase she uses is "Earth to mother, come in mother"! But freezer burn headache, I've never heard of it before, and had to look it up. Unpleasant! I don't know if you've read our page on Migraines yet? There might be something on it which could help or explain why they occur. I'm glad you're taking that much magnesium, it does help pain and calm us down. A lack of magnesium causes substance P to rise, see here and here. Substance P is a nociceptive, neuropeptide involved in causing pain and nausea. Substance P inhibits progesterone, see here, but if enough is used, progesterone suppresses substance P, see here. "Accumulating evidence indicates that the neuropeptide substance P is predominantly involved in neurogenic inflammation and pain perception...... Intriguingly, decreased pain sensitivity is found to be associated with high plasma progesterone levels. We hypothesize that progesterone may attenuate nociception and associated inflammatory response." Oestrogen stimulates substance P, see here. So it's essential to use enough progesterone to inhibit oestrogen. And take magnesium too. Incidentally buy yourself some Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) and make up a 10% solution in water and spray that on your skin. It's much cheaper than the so called 'oil', which isn't it's only water. Magnesium does not dissolve in oil. Epsom Salts is absorbed very readily via the skin and the advantage is the sulphur is also absorbed, see here. Natural sulphur is one of the most healing minerals there is, and one you cannot buy in a health shop. Unless you get flowers of sulphur. I also add the salts to my bath every night, something you could think about too. In fact I get mine in bulk from a farm supply shop as it's so much cheaper! And to get hold of me please fill in the contact us form you'll find at the bottom of every page. Take care Wray

Feb 04, 2015
Thank you everyone
by: Autumn

Wow! I really want to say thank you for the time you've all taken to reply to this post. I purchased Dr. Platt's book (The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones), I will get this one too. I looked it up, and just reading the cover it seems to describe me! Things here have always been pretty stressful, but about 2 years ago they really got a lot worse. Actually, right now I am off of work due to stress - just trying to recuperate from the events of 2 years ago and everything that followed.
I have an appointment with a hormone doctor in mid February, I plan to bring in this information.
Thank you.

Feb 12, 2015
BHRT Dr visit
by: Anonymous

Hi Autumn~
It's good you are seeing a dr...my concern is there are too many doctors who claim to be experts at BHRT...PLEASE read in Dr Platts book about his approach to hormone perscriptions. Too many doctors RX Estrogen and the most aggressive form of estrogen called Estrodial, and in turn do not RX enough progesterone and in the least effective form in Orals and sublinguals. Creams have the best absorption where the other forms are destroyed in the gut. This website and Dr Platt recommend nothing less than 100mg daily, I'm on 200 to 250 daily. In conclusion, go in to your dr visit educated through what you have learned here and in his book before you start any hormone therapy. Have your Vit D levels checked as well as iodine. I wish you luck and look forward to hearing how your visit goes.
Diane

Mar 04, 2015
Update
by: Autumn

Well that hormone doctor I saw was terrible.
I canNOT lose weight, she told me that has nothing to do with progesterone ...

Anyhow, the thirst problem I had stopped! AND ... I just ordered some Natpro, think I'll try 100 mg a day. In all my research I really find this website to be the most useful.

The arguments for a higher dose progesterone cream (100 mg vs say the 20 mg I was on) actually mirror the arguements for higher dose iodine, it's interesting. (I'm a big fan of iodine supplementation). (It takes a while to increase body iodine stores b/c it pushes out other halides - namely floride and bromide).

I wish my body didn't need this cream, but the really of this crazy stressful world is that it does.

Hope to lose some weight. Can't wait to get the cream. Thanks for all the help.

Mar 07, 2015
Progesterone Dosage
by: Diane

Hi Autumn~
I am NOT Surprised that you had a bad experience with your hormone doctor visit, hence the reason a vast number of women all over the world have taken their health in their own hands and self dose with P through education from this website and reading books by doctors like Michael Platt who actually understand estrogen dominance, P levels, Vit D and iodine, amongst other nutrients necessary.
For me, it was only when I started 200-250mg dose of P that I actually got tremendous relief from my symptoms. Interestingly enough, it was when I incorporated iodine supplement I-Throid 6.25-12.5mg daily that I got even better. My level was 32.6 far too low. My hairloss has completely resolved and growing in again, my energy is amazing and I know that when I run, I feel like I have greater lung capacity! It's awesome! I also bumped my D levels from 22 to around 80 by taking 10,000ius daily for a few months and now have settled on 5,000ius daily.
Have I had complete resolution of symptoms at all times? No. I still on occasion get freezer burn headaches, and irritability. But it is very cyclical with my very irregular cycle. after all I am in perimenopause, a very volatile time. I need to ride this wave through the best I can and am doing all I can.
I have almost completely omitted wheat, dairy, sugar from my diet. Sugary foods are a treat only. I use Stevia for my coffee with coconut creamer. My diet is 80% protein (lean meats, fish, nuts, healthy fat- olive oil, UNREFINED coconut oil), vegetables, and 20% pseudo grains such as qimua, and buckwheat (not a wheat despite the name). Stay away from yeast products such as breads and other simple carbs.
Many years ago, I watched my mother suffer tremendously from E dominance. I am determined to not suffer the same fate.
Keep us all posted. Wish you well.
Vlessings, Diane




Mar 16, 2015
A Question
by: Autumn

I started Natpro a few days ago. I do 1/2 teaspoon in the morning and 1/2 at night, so a bit less than 200 mg a day. So far, all is good with the cream - nothing weird happening :)

I know that prior to using the cream I had water retention. At times, I had swollen fingers (I only ever had this before when I was pregnant).

I exercise and eat a very clean ketogenic diet, but I look like I'm pregnant and that I eat fast food everyday. It's frustrating.

So here's my question, if my body is ok with the dose I'm taking is it ok for me to increase my dose to accelerate the process or is that not recommended?


Mar 17, 2015
My weight
by: Autumn

Hi Diane
Thanks for your reply. I'm so frustrated by my inability to lose weight. No one, including myself, can seem to help me.
I eat a ketogenic diet, mostly organic. Yet, I look pregnant. Thin arms and legs, but a huge belly. I've had people ask me if I'm pregnant. Just makes me feel terrible.
I exercise, I even hired a personal trainer. At one point I was working out 3 times a week and yet, no change to my stomach. I still eat well, but I have a difficult time sticking with the exercise when I don't see results.
I take Vitamin D, 5000 IUs a day. I probably need more, will do a test in a few months. I take 12 mg of iodine a day too.
I think it is my progesterone. I did a saliva test, my ratio was 450 p to e. However, according to the test cream is not to be applied to the face 3 days prior. I didn't know this at the time and didn't apply the cream only 1 day prior. (I was only doing 20 mg at the time).
I had a baby in January of 2014, since then I had a few anxiety attacks, a small panic attack, and lots of headaches.
My anxiety and headaches are all better now since I've started the cream. I just can't lose weight and I am so embarassed by how I look.

Mar 21, 2015
A Question
by: Wray

Hi Autumn I'm pleased nothing weird is happening! Please don't be harsh on yourself, it takes time to recover from having a child. If you're responding to the amount of progesterone you're using, I wouldn't increase it. Progesterone is not a weight loss solution. Although you're eating a keto diet, are you in fat burning mode? Because if not you won't loose weight. The only accurate way to tell if you are is to use an electronic device that gives you not only blood glucose levels, but ketones too. Urine keto strips are not accurate. The best is The Precision Xtra Blood Glucose & Ketone Monitoring System. A lack of vitamin D causes weight gain, please don't wait for months before having a test, have one as soon as you can, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Mar 22, 2015
Weight gain
by: Diane

Hi Autumn:)
You are much too hard on your self... Though I'm one to talk haha...you and I are opposites in the sense that if I gain weight, it usually goes to my butt and thighs with virtually no weight gain at my chest and stomach. I jokingly say God put my breasts in my thighs­čś│... Anyway, back to you... Are you in the healthy range for weight? Our society is overly concerned with skinny. Skinny is not healthy... I see many patients who are skinny but are not healthy.. No muscle tone, poor nutrition... As far as being concerned about your stomach, it could be that you have separation of the abdominal muscles that gives you an appearance of extra weight there. It happens as a result of pregnancy. The muscle becomes separated from the expansion of the uterus. My sister since having her babies, is at a healthy weight but has a small "pregnancy" belly which she says frustrates her too. Only a tummy tuck can fully correct the separation of those muscles. Abdominal exercises can certainly help define those muscles and tone them too. She has decided to accept her body the way it is. After all, our bodies housed our beautiful children:)
We are very active and run our dogs a 5k 4-5 days per week, eat very healthy, make green smoothies (limited fruit and more veggies, like kale,spinach, Apple a bit of banana)
The key is truly limiting simple carbs, doing a super cardio workout at least 4 days a week and weight lifting light weights. Remember muscle weighs twice as much as fat and burns more calories than fat does. Also drink atleast 8 glasses of water per day. My motto is 80-20. 80% lean protein veggies, healthy fats and 20% complex carbs such as quima and beans. Very little bread and sugar treats. Have you considered the South Beach Diet? Several of the patients I see state that they have lost good weight on it and have kept it off because it is very doable and realistic.
Autumn, at the end of the day, its a matter of not being so hard on ourselves. We are doing all we can to be healthy. Our families love us for who we are, not what size our stomach, breasts and thighs are. You sound like a beautiful person inside and out! Please stay in touch. It's good for us women to help each other through our struggles as well as joys. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Blessings..
Diane


Apr 11, 2015
Vitamin D
by: Autumn

Hi Wray, I took your advice and did my Vitamin D test. My result was 89 nmol/L. What do you recommend I take on a daily basis? I'm indoors a lot, but this should change soon with the nicer weather on the way. Thanks.

Apr 13, 2015
Vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Autumn Well I'm certainly pleased you did that as it is too low as I suspected. It should be a minimum of 175nmol/L up to 250nmol/L I suggest you take 10,000iu/day until your next test in 6 months. Living in Canada you won't get much vitamin D as you are so far north of the equator. Only in the height of summer will the sun be effective. And then only when semi naked! Take care Wray

Apr 13, 2015
My diet
by: Autumn

Thanks you both for all the advice.

I am definitely over weight by about 20 lbs. It's hard for me to do a good job explaining what I eat, but I'll try. For sweeteners, usually stevia or xylitol sometimes coconut nectar. No junk - no fast food and no processed food. As well, predominately organic foods (we spend a lot of money on food). About 5 days a week we juice (sunflower sprouts, pea sprouts, cucumber and celery). Here's what I ate today: For breakfast, a shake ( almond milk, 6 tbsp hemp seed, maca root powder - great for hormones!, marine phytoplankton, cocoa powder, and sweetened with a few drops of stevia). Lunch, a salad with some nuts and seeds on it. Before dinner, a glass of green juice. For dinner, half a burger (homemade) - no bun, on a romaine leaf instead, and some lentils with more salad. I've been eating this way for the past few months, really strictly cutting out the junk carbs. I can't lose a pound. BUT when I caught the flu a few months ago I lost 6 lbs and didn't regain them - makes no sense to me.
As for the diastasis recti (split in the abdominal wall) there are two exercise programs (that I know of) for that, mutu system and tupler technique. Not sure how effective either is, but they both have the intention of closing the split. (If you do a google and youtube search on diastasis recti, mutu system, and tupler technique you'll get a good idea of each).
My naturopath can't figure me out, she is now telling me that my lymphatic system needs a detox so that I can lose weight. I'm not buying it. It's so frustrating.

Apr 15, 2015
My diet
by: Wray

Hi Autumn You say you're doing a keto diet, but not when you look at what you eat. Your food choices all sound very good, but for one thing, they lack fat. All the foods you eat have a high carb content, in spite of being 'good' carbs. Check out the USDA food database for more info, you'll find it revealing how much in the way of carbs you are eating. Take your breakfast for instance. If you make your own almond milk as I do, i.e. with 1 cup almonds and 2 cups water, which gives you approx 1 cup almond milk, then you are eating 30.82g carbs, see almonds. To loose weight you need to go into fat burning mode, so should limit carbs to between 10-30g per day, the lower the better. Not have 30g in one meal, and that only from the almonds, never mind the other ingredients in your drink. The hemp is approx 4g carbs, maca is 24% carbs, you don't say how much you use, cocoa powder is 58.30% carbs, or 1 tbsp 3.15g carbs. So roughly adding these all up you are eating about 45-50g carbs for breakfast. As for maca, I remain to be convinced! According to this one paper maca apparently has no affect on oestrogen or testosterone levels, see here. And yet this paper said it increased oestradiol levels which none of us need, see here. It does appear to increase diastolic blood pressure slightly too, see here. These are two more papers here and here. Take care Wray

Jun 29, 2015
T-Tapp
by: Anonymous

Autumn,
Look into an exercise called T-Tapp! It is great for the lymph system, diastisis recti, belly fat, hormone balancing, anxiety, and overall health. You can try before you buy some exercises online. There is a website with tons of testimonials and a forum with a wonderful community that you will help you with all kinds of questions about the exercise and health in general. T-Tapp.com
Good luck!

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