Serious Hormone Imbalance - At Wits End!

by DML
(NE)

I have had some severe symptoms since teen years and the only time I felt really good was during pregnancy and while nursing. I nursed full-time for one year, then as soon as I started weaning and weaned fully by two years, I was a wreck again, with all kinds of nervous breakdown symptoms.

It's been another year since then and I gained weight and became so anxious and agoraphobic that I can't drive and barely leave the house. Infertility is an issue. We've only had one in 5 years of trying. He's 3 years old now and still no second child in sight. While charting I've noticed a strange phenomenon that during the luteal phase I feel great. My blood sugar is higher but at least I can eat healthy lower carb and lose weight. I have no anxiety, I have stamina to go out of the house without having a nervous breakdown, I sleep well etc...Then as soon as my period hits, I have severe hypoglycemia, anxiety, nightmares for a week after it's over. Then I have a week of relative peace until ovulation and all those symptoms come back. Once ovulation is passed, I'm good to go again until my period.

I've talked to my doctor who would rather prescribe anti-anxiety pills. But it is so connected to hormonal shifts that I know that isn't the right route. I suspect PCOS, estrogen dominance, insulin resistance and hypothyroid. What kills me is when estrogen lowers my blood sugar then insulin resistance pumps so much extra insulin on top of that that I HAVE to eat carbs every hour just to keep from passing out. That puts me in a very anxious state and uses the sugar that much faster, making the situation that much worse. I don't even know what to do anymore. I bought some Natpro, but don't know if I should use it or how much and when.

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Jul 18, 2011
Serious Hormone Imbalance - At Wits End!
by: Wray

Hi DML Well you've described excellently what a roller coaster we can encounter when oestrogen rises and blood glucose drops. You don't need anti-anxiety pills, you do need help in controlling the blood glucose and oestrogen levels. I had agoraphobia too, it seems to be a relatively rare phenomenon, as not many women mention it. It would take me a few days to psyche myself up to go out and shop. Shopping malls were the worst for me, all those crowds, and as I had short term memory loss too, I often had difficulty finding my car in the parking lot. On one occasion I walked up and down the cars pressing my alarm, until my car 'spoke' to me! Progesterone rises during the luteal phase, hence your symptoms abating. It drops to it's lowest level when our period starts, and stays low until ovulation. Oestrogen also drops, but not at such a fast rate. It then begins rising again on about days 4 or 5, peaking just before ovulation. Progesterone levels are high in pregnancy, rising to over 400ng/ml per day during the last trimester. Progesterone helped me, as all my adverse symptoms have gone, it's helped many other women too. I don't see why it shouldn't help you too. Especially as you have no adverse symptoms during your luteal phase, and none during pregnancy. I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, but feel you will need more for 2-3 months. You could possibly have PCOS, as this does disturb blood glucose, and as you point out can cause infertility issues. Please read through this page, as it will give you more pointers. It's an inflammatory disorder, often caused by a lack of vitamin D. Not only is this an anti-inflammatory, but it's essential for normal ovarian function and ovulation too. Please have a test done, for more info see the Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth websites. If you should be low in it, please take a minimum of 5000iu's per day. The blood level should be 70-100ng/ml, and not the 30ng/ml the labs and doctors use as a 'normal' level. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, plus it disturbs blood glucose. It's also behind Insulin Resistance. I'm running out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Jul 18, 2011
Serious Hormone Imbalance - At Wits End!
by: Wray

Hi DML Vitamin D is essential for a successful pregnancy, and for the growing foetus, see here, here, here, here and here. This is an excellent video to watch too, see here.We do have a page on Pregnancy, which you might like to look through. And you might like to read these comments from users of high amounts of progesterone, see here, here, here and here. Take care Wray




Aug 06, 2011
Another Question...
by: Anonymous

Thank you for all the information above! I'm on CD2 and used the cream during this past luteal phase. I noticed differences but will update on that once I'm through with this period. I'm wondering, is there a small amount of cream that I can use everyday during AF and the follicular phase to ward off hypoglycemia and anxiety but still not impede ovulation and fertility? I'm thinking 1/8 or 1/16 of a tsp?

Aug 12, 2011
Update
by: DML

Hi Wray! I'm sorry I forgot to mention the above comment was mine as well. I had a different period this time, rather than hypoglycemia and anxiety I had a fever with flu symptoms on CD 1 and CD 3. Other than that I felt good. Calmer anyway. I had used only an 1/8 tsp of Natpro am and pm during the luteal phase. I know it isn't much but I want to start slowly and not shock my body into P4 symptoms. Already as it was I felt the regular "pregnancy" symptoms of constipation and nightmares, so any more might have been too much to start with. I want to ease my body into the switch from estrogen to progesterone dominance. The anxiety, jitteriness and severe hypoglycemia came back as soon as I quit using the Natpro after the luteal phase, so I have decided to do a 3 month shut down. I am TTC but it's something I have considered many times before as a last ditch effort to reset my hormonal balance. I am using 1/8 of a tsp of Natpro am and pm for now but my BBT hasn't increased much so I'm not sure if it's really enough. I'm on CD 8 and I usually ovulate around CD 20-24. Normally with a shut down ladies are supposed to use progesterone CD 5 - CD 26, then allow for a period but I'm not sure if I should do that since my periods usually come around CD 34-ish. Do you know what I should do in this case? Thank you!

Aug 14, 2011
Me Again
by: DML

I'm on CD 10 and still experiencing estrogen symptoms. My BBT is still well below coverline so the estrogen still has the upper hand. I have been using 40 mg for a few days but upped it to 60 today and will continue to up it by 20 mg until I get to 100. My hot flashes are much less frequent and less severe btw. I noticed a change in those with the first or second applications a few weeks ago. I started having hot flashes within the past few months and didn't even know what they were at first. I'm only 32 and wasn't thinking along the lines of hot flashes at all. But I finally realized what they were and they are nearly gone with the cream, even though I'm still using a lower dose. My skin looks great too, it has a glow. I've still had a couple of bouts of severe, stubborn hypoglycemia and high anxiety but I'm being patient and hoping getting to a higher dose will put an end to that. You don't even want to know how severely that has debilitated me since the age of 13 (when I first started menstruation, fancy that!) and the only time I was free of it and feeling good and energetic was during the second trimester of pregnancy through two years of nursing. It's too bad it has taken so long to put these puzzle pieces together, I feel like half my life was senselessly stolen from me. For this three month shutdown I'm also taking kelp to boost my thyroid and ordered Candex which will be in this week. I'm hoping that 3 months of progesterone, thyroid boosting and yeast busting will bring about much needed change in my well-being or lack thereof.

Aug 15, 2011
Update
by: Wray

Hi DML I would strongly suggest you do use the progesterone continuously for 2-3 months. It will probably upset your cycle, but it's easy enough to get it back again. In some cases the period stops, but often it continues. There's more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. I don't believe you are using enough. I understand wanting to ease yourself in, but generally this takes much longer and can often exacerbate symptoms. If you do increase substantially, please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance as this can occur. It's best to increase the amount of cream if it does occur, rather than decrease it, for the reason given above. Oestrogen can cause constipation, as it removes water from the intestines, drawing it into the cells causing water retention. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, so good it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent oedema forming. Interesting you should mention nightmares, this is often caused by a lack of tryptophan. Progesterone acts as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, so raising the monoamines, of which tryp is one. The initial stage in pregnancy, with it's rise in progesterone levels, causes oestrogen dominance. But once the corpus luteum is producing more progesterone, it becomes the dominant hormone and symptoms abate. Please consider using more progesterone, and please have a vitamin D test and start taking it. Your cycle length is almost at the maximum for normal, they range from 21 to 35 days, making 28 days the average. What concerns me is during the follicular phase you will not be getting progesterone for 3 weeks. So I suggest when you start using the progesterone you follow the average to begin with, ie 28 days. So you would start the progesterone round about day 14, and use it for the next 14 days. Although a normal luteal phase is 12-14 days long, I prefer using the full 14 days to ensure sufficient progesterone. I've found the normal cycle length usually reasserts itself, but it might shorten your length. When you do start following your cycle again, but find adverse symptoms occurring in the follicular phase, you can use a little progesterone to help. 50mg/day won't stop ovulation. Please watch for any adverse symptoms the few days before your period. If these should occur increase the amount of progesterone. The same applies during your period, as it seems you have bad symptoms then. I suggest using the progesterone throughout your period if this is the case, then ease back to the 50mg if need be. Please have a vitamin D test done! Take care Wray

Aug 17, 2011
Me Again
by: Wray

Hi DML I wish I had encouraging things to tell you, but it can take time before things settle down. You've only been using it for 10 days now, which is not long. And you are using a very low amount too, I've found it really has to be 100-200mg/day and more if symptoms are bad. Low amounts merely keep stimulating oestrogen. You're doing it the hard way by increasing slowly. I'm amazed and very pleased you're already finding some benefit. I know how you feel, as I had depression while going through puberty. Luckily drugs and counselling were unheard of then, I'd probably still be having them! Then I had bad post natal depression for 4 years, I refused drugs, and crawled out of it. Then Peri-menopause hit, and I was back at square one again. It wasn't until near the end of this that I discovered progesterone, like you, I wonder at all the senseless waste. Please check the iodine content of the kelp you are taking, often it's very high. And if you'd like more info on Candida, please read through this page we have. Take care Wray

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