The hormonal roller coaster
Dear Wray, Your website and all the contributors' stories are my only ray of hope that I may indeed feel well again as I approach the menopause. (My GP will only give me anti-depressants because I still have my periods and no hot flushes but I intuitively feel that is wrong for me.) So I thought I should add my story so far to help others.
In hindsight I can see that I've been dealing with oestrogen dominance since my early 40s, (currently 48). I've abdomen weight gain, overwhelming carb cravings. water retention, chronic thrush for over 7 years (well permanent actually that no candida diet/probiotics/anti fungals seem to cure - I've tried that so many times!!!) and in later years crashing fatigue and moderate depression. I put this last symptom down to some very trying life circumstances but now I'm not so sure that is the whole story.
I came across bio-identical hormones by fluke surfing the net one night. I decided to try progesterone cream and from looking at Dr Lee's site, decided on Pro-Gest. I used it as directed for 2 months at the end of last year. I noticed my carb cravings became controllable again and my spots disappeared. I felt better but when the cream ran out, I hesitated in buying more as I am having financial difficulties. (It can be more expensive for UK buyers)
In the 3 months that followed without using cream, I felt so bad. Mostly suicidal and badly depressed, unable to eat healthily. My body craved all that was bad for me, in particular wheat and sugar which have always given my problems. In hindsight, I put this down to the progesterone stimulating the oestrogen receptors again. Does that make sense?
I started using the cream again last month (April) following my cycle and in the 2nd week, my depression vanished and my mind felt like I was in my late 20s. My body didn't but then I hadn't exercised it for months. :-) But I felt so excited and strong. I was easily able to give up all the bad foods, in fact I craved good foods. I was able to exercise too.
I dreaded stopping the cream but I did and 5 days later my depression/carb cravings crept back. From reading your site, I started using the Pro-Gest again anyway but it didn't make any noticeable difference. I've now ordered Natpro from Jean in the UK and I have all my fingers and toes crossed for the benefits.
Curious about experimenting with the levels, I stopped using the Pro-Gest a few days ago (maybe I shouldn't have) but what I've noticed is that I'm getting severe PMS cravings and depression as my oestrogen levels rise. I haven't yet hit my mid cycle. I feel like a drug addict needing a fix of wheat, sugar and plain chocolate and I can't stop crying all the time. What is holding me together is that I understand why I feel like this and that it will change in due course.
The small cloud left on my horizon is the concept that my body will become saturated with progesterone, causing the OD symptoms to return.