Was it the incorrect dosage for me?

by Paige
(Las Vegas, NV )

I am 40 years old and started natural progesterone cream 50mg per day in April 2014 for estrogen dominant issues like breast tenderness and pms. My Dr. added in testosterone for the low libido. By the next month, the breast tenderness was gone but the testosterone made my pms rage worse and I had acne like I was in high school. The next month, she took out the testosterone and kept me on 50 mg of natural progesterone alone.

Things were good until July. My breast tenderness came back with a vengence, my pms was back and by the end of July, I developed the worst air hunger/shortness of breath I had ever experienced. I could not get a good breath in without yawning. I called my Dr. who said it had nothing to do with the progesterone cream and told me to go to the ER. I quit the progesterone cream and as instructed, went to the ER. I had every test ran (CT, Chest X-ray, blood, Echo, Stress test) Nothing could be found except that I was a tiny bit low on potassium and I had a mild mitral valve prolapse/ regurgitation that should not be causing any problems. I was told I had anxiety and given 2 potassium pills, and a Rx for Xanax and sent on my way. I threw away the Xanax and tried to deal with the air hunger the best I could.

A week later, it went away only to come back in 2 weeks and has been with me ever since August of 2015. Some days are not bad but others are horrible that I go into a panic attack from not getting enough air in. Fast forward to September,I decided to give it a go with the natural progesterone cream again and after a week, noticed the shortness of breath still did not go away, so thinking I didn't need the cream, I stopped using it and within 3 days went into the WORST anxiety, fear, doom, panic attack, nausea,dizziness, and wanting to die I have ever experienced in my life. It went on 24 hours for 5 days straight. I felt like I was in the twilight zone and detached from my body. Ever since then, I have had the anxiety, panic attacks and twilight zone depression off and on. Some days are great and no problems, but others are pure hell and you don't know when it is coming or going.

I am now getting weepy and cry for no reason, and my cycle is starting to drop down to 21 days from 28. I dont have any desire to leave the house (not like me at all) and the shortness of breath has been a nightmare and seems to bring on even more anxiety when it gets bad. I am now waking at 3am every morning (way out of the normal for me). I had enough and I saw a new Dr. who agrees that I am estrogen dominant and advised me that I could take up to 400mg of natural progesterone cream a day as needed to get me back to my old self.

Can someone please tell me what on earth happened earlier? Did I not take enough in the beginning? Did my going off the cream send me into this emotional helish nightmare I am experiencing now? My new doctor wants me to stop the cream on my cycle or days of spotting, is that going to throw me into the hell I am trying to escape? Today has been the 6th day on 100mg of natural progesterone and I am finally feeling a bit better today. The past few days were pure hell. The shortness of breath is almost unnoticable today and I pray it keeps away and just keeps getting better. Any insight on what may have happened would be much appreicated. And Wray, thank you for this website! It has given me so much hope and comfort knowing there are others out there that are going thru or went thru what I am experiencing. You question your sanity at times dealing with this. Having this website is so helpful when you are in the depths of anxiety.

Comments for Was it the incorrect dosage for me?

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Jan 03, 2016
shortness of breath
by: Dawn

I know exactly what you are talking about. I was getting the same thing along with a heart 'flutter'. It went on for three months, I lost 20 pounds and thought I was dying. Worst three months of my life and that's really saying something. It is caused by estrogen dominance.

Turns out its a lack of progesterone. 50mg will only exacerbate the problem, you might need a lot more. There are women on here that are using up to 600mg a day in order to stop the peri menopausal symptoms. Have you read the information here on dosage?

http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/estrogen-dominance.html

I am using 150mg a day and I have found balance on that, but you might need more than that to calm things down. It took me awhile to find the right balance and that was through trial and error, since my dr was not that helpful and he Only wanted to prescribe AD's . So I would take 300mg of progesterone for a few days to see if that made me feel better and if I found relief, then I stuck with it until I felt it was making me too tired then I backed down on dosage.

Keep us posted! You are not alone in this.

Jan 03, 2016
Was it the incorrect dosage for me?
by: RJ

Hello Paige!
Yes, to all your questions. You are not taking enough progesterone. You are in the beginning of peri-menopause, which will be like walking on burning coals. You cycle is changing because of peri and soon your cycles will be all over the place and the issues will get worse. It's part of this change. Some women, although, few that I know, breeze through this change...most don't though. I am 50 now, but four years ago I thought I was going to die...went to the ER because I couldn't breath and my heart was racing so bad. I knew I was having a heart attack...nope, everything okay...went home and by golly if I didn't start my period the next day. This same pattern went on for the next few months and it was after I saw my gyno, who told me you probably have cancer, that the Lord guided me to Wray, who saved me from an entire meltdown. Since I met Wray four years ago I have taken 300-1,000 mg a day, non-stop, of progesterone only. Right now I am at 500 mg a day, every day. I can say I feel good. Way, way better than four years ago. Do I still have issues, yep and then I increase the progesterone till the issue settles back down. Stress is a killer and I know just recently, Wray was up using 2,000 mg a day for her stress level. It's also not just about progesterone, it's about a whole body change. Progesterone needs other things to make it work efficiently. Research Wray's site, you will find a wealth of information and up in her search bar, type in anxiety and tons of things will come up that she has written about. Give it time, change comes slowly. But most of all listen to your body because it's talking to you. Hang in there! God Bless! RJ

Jan 03, 2016
Anxiety
by: Diane

Paige~
My heart goes out to you...i was there.. The most awful anxiety as well as insomnia, and major irritability. This is what I have found worked for me when I started P in my mid forties...100mg day 1 (1st day of period) through day 5.. 200mg daily to day 13, 300mg till I spot, then reduce again to 200 then 100mg when full bleed starts. Im 49 now and pretty much now use 200 to 300mg daily even through any bleed.

Hang in there... Please keep us posted how you do. Btw.. There is this really cool homeopathic when start to feel anxiety or panic called Rescue Remedy. I like the spray version best.. Three squirts under tongue... It really helps! I find it in Sprouts but you may be able to find in Mothers Market or Whole Foods too.

Jan 04, 2016
God bless all of you!
by: Anonymous

You ladies made my day, despite me feeling so sorry we have all been thru this horrible nightmare, it is so comforting to know that you all can relate and give me hope. None of you think I have just gone mad and lost it. My doctors here just want to push pills and have noted on my medical record I am depressed and have generalized anxiety. Its just frustrating to say the least. I do have positive news though. I upped my dose to 200mg and woke up feeling more like myself today!!! I even got out of the house and went grocery shopping with a smile on my face and breathing normally without a struggle! I love feeling happy and going out to do things. I pray this continues and I can have my life back. Thank you guys so much for the support. It means so much to me :)

Jan 04, 2016
Thank you!
by: Paige

I responded but did not see it made the forum, not sure what happened, so I am reposting.I want to sincerely thank all of you ladies for responding. It validates that I am not going mad or crazy and that there are others out there going thru my misery. This gives me hope that if you have gotten better, I will too! To hear my doctors say that the breathing problems, anxiety and depression were not associated with hormones made me think that I was dying of some deadly disease and I was going to leave my 4 year old motherless. This just made the symptoms even worse. I cant express how grateful I am to all of you for walking with me thru this hormonal journey. All of you that are helping me thru this are angels of mercy.

I do have something positive to report. After increasing my dosage to 200mg, I woke up this morning and the depression/anxiety and shortness of breath lifted! I felt like my normal self and even ventured out to the grocery store today with a smile on my face and happy. Its early evening and I am still feeling wonderful and my breathing is still good. I pray that God keeps placing good people like you guys in my life to show guidance and help and that I keep getting better every day. Im sure that I will have hiccups and bad days in the near future while I try to balance out, but I am so glad I have this forum and everybody to lean on. I am truly blessed and grateful

Jan 05, 2016
Dosage
by: Diane

Hi Paige~
It's so good you have an amazing attitude and are proactive to getting to the root cause of your symptoms instead of being treated for symptoms only with antidepressants etc...
As I mentioned in my other post, I'm on 200 to 300mg daily even through bleed. You will have some hiccup days but for the most part you will feel infinitely better once you are no longer estrogen dominate. I would be on antidepressants and other meds if I went the conventional route.. Luckily, I found a wonderful gynocologist who is integrative medicine and understands how to treat with bioidenticals. She is a gem (a rare doctor who treats root cause) and has saved the quality of my life. but it actually started here on Progesteronetherapy.com
That sent me on the search for a great integrative functional medicine MD.
Please keep us posted. If you have any questions don't heaitate to write:)
Blessings,
Diane

Jan 07, 2016
Hiccup days
by: Paige

Hi Diane, I am wondering about the "hiccup days". I had one yesterday that lasted about an hour but I put more cream on and it subsided in about 20 minutes. Roughly, what is the average that most women feel more balanced after starting the cream? I have read that for some women, it takes months to finally feel the full effects and stop having the anxiety, depression and foggy thinking. Also, from what I understand, I should not feel alarmed if I still am feeling "off" and not myself only after just starting the cream. (Its only been a week and a half) I do know I am feeling a bit better and haven't had a complete meltdown like I did recently, and I hope those stay away. I guess I just need a little reassurance in this early phase right now :)

Jan 08, 2016
E dominance
by: Diane

Hi Paige~
All good questions. The hard part is the answer... Every women is different.. I think you said that you are still having cycles. Are you planning pregnancy? If not, you might want to consider using a minimum of 200mg daily (you may need higher) even through any bleed just to overcome E dominance. Unfortunately, our 40's can be a VERY volatile time hormonally. Our own production of progesterone starts to really drop and eventually we stop making it all together.. but we still make estrogen forever through our adrenal glands. Initially before P, I was an anxious, irritable mess atleast 2 weeks out of every cycle! UGH! But since on P I have atleast 80% improvement if not 100% some days:):) There are some not so great days..where irritablity or anxiety can still slam me,. Usually the week before my period. But the severity and duration is far less. So, have your arsenal... I happen to love Rescue Remedy, the spray variety.. Three sprays under the tongue, few times aday, extra dose P, a good hard run or workout, etc.. Also, make sure Vit D is optimized 80 to 100 on labs is best. Also, take a very good source of Omega 3 fish oil. It has shown to reduce depression.
So, be gentle with yourself.. Fasten your seatblet for the perimenopause ride. You are already further ahead than most just by educating yourself and learning about what goes on in our body. It is so reassuring to understand that there is a physiological reason for the symptoms and that we are not just going nuts. How are you using your P?
Keep us posted.
Blessings,
Diane

Jan 09, 2016
Using Progesterone
by: Paige

Hi Diane,

Good way of putting it... Im definitely strapping on my seatbelt for this wild ride. LOL. I took your advice and got some Bach Rescue Remedy. They were out of the spray but I got the little chews and I did notice a bit of a calm. How nice that feeling was in this storm that comes over me. I have noticed that today was a great day, of course I am on my 3rd day of my cycle and maybe that has to do with things settling down. As you mentioned, the week before is horrible. The anxiety is thru the roof. I am doing 200mg of P still even thru my cycle just to keep me stable. I'm so scared of backtracking right now. I do add more if I still don't feel well. I have added in 6000 iu's of vit D, 600mg of magnesium, 1000mg of omega 3 fish oil, 200mg DIM, 1000mg of Maca, a good multivitamin with lots of folic acid and iron and 170mg of Selenium. I even noticed that the addition of Pharmagaba 100mg up to 6 times a day has helped to calm my anxiety if it gets really bad. I have noticed that my cycle is much less painful this time around. Maybe things are looking up and going into a positive direction with the addition of the P. Before the P, my cycles were so painful I could not walk and just sat home with a heating pad and popping 800mg of Motrin every 8 hours. I only took 400 mg one time since I started, I am in shock. I can only hope and pray that it just gets better and better now that I have P on my side :)

Jan 10, 2016
Dosage
by: Diane

Yes, Paige!
I too am just passed having a period and it's definitely my calmer more peaceful time. I always have anxiety about what the next cycle will hold, but I have to say being on P has definitely helped with all the PMS trappings. My periods like yours are also lighter with way less menstrual pain. See if you can find the spray of Rescue Remedy.. I find it more effective than the Lozengers. You seem to be on pretty much all the same supplemrnts I am..
I look forward to hearing how you continue to do so keep posting😊
Blessings,
Diane

Jan 13, 2016
Period is not ending well
by: Paige

Hi, Well my cycle has come to an end and it is not ending well. My 3rd day was great, as it was last cycle but by the end, the symptoms are raging. I posted another blog about it asking if anybody knew what would bring this on. Usually the end of the cycle brings relief. Not with these past few cycles though. Ugh. I was a total mess yesterday. The depression and weepiness came from out of nowhere and hit me like a brick wall. The nausea and upset stomach made me feel like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy all day yesterday :( Hormone challenges are not for the weak, this is for sure. I thank you for continuing to hold my hand and talking me thru this extremly difficult time, I don't know what I would do without you guys. This site has been so comforting and helpful not only to me, but so many. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jan 14, 2016
Dosage
by: Diane

Hi Paige~
Im so sorry your not feeling well... It took me many months to get settled. Remind me of how you are using P... Are you applying daily even through any bleed? Are you having any symptoms of hot flashing? You may consider increasing to 300 daily... 100am, 100 mid afternoon, 100 before bed... And do that consistently without altering the dose for a few cycles. There are different ways to do this... You are only 40.. But definitely a drop in P production can happen even younger than 40..
Hang in there..
Diane

Jan 15, 2016
Bad days
by: Paige

Diane,
Thank you so much, I saw your comment on my other post. I will for sure increase to 300mg starting today. I have been reading that it does take some months for folks to start getting some relief. Its silly how this estrogen dominance keeps causing different symptoms and things to change and pop up. It keeps you on your toes and scratching your head wondering what on earth is going on. I am having surgery in 2 weeks to remove a suspicious cyst which will result in them taking 1 ovary for sure and if it turns out to be malignant, I am told that I will have to choice but to have a complete hysterectomy. Im sure this pending surgery is taking its toll on me in the form of stress, as I am not going to lie, I am terrified out of my mind of the unknown. But my chin is up and I am going to do my best to overcome this hiccup :)

Jan 16, 2016
Dosage
by: Diane

Paige, my sister has a long history of ovarian cysts and has had numerous surgeries to remove them. She lost one ovary to a very large cyst.. No cancer though. That all happen PRIOR to starting Progesterone cream. She has for the last year been on P cream and for the first time NO cysts have grown back. Progeterone cream is very effective at shrinking them and preventing them if using high enough dose. Her original dr wanted to do a hysterectomy. I begged her to switch to my gyno who is cuttung edge and very open to progesterone therapy. Since being on cream her remaining overy is cysyt free:):)
Paige, do you live in southern California? I have a wonderful gyno... She would be a great doctor to give you a second opinion before any hysterectomy. If you don't live in Ca, then please search an integrative/functional medicine gyno in your area, Conventional doctors are so quick to treat with synthetic hormones and do surgeries, If the biopsy is benign, then lets see if the other ovary can be saved With bio P cream.

Blessings
Diane

Jan 19, 2016
Ovarian cyst
by: Paige

Hi Diane, I sure wish I could see your doctor. I'm here in Vegas and finding a doc that doesn't want to use surgery as the first option is so hard. I had another ultrasound yesterday on that ovary and the cyst is continuing to grow and more cysts have formed on that same ovary :( I'm scheduled to have it yanked out next Friday. Please keep me in your thoughts that everything goes well and they can keep my other lady bits where they are. I'm so hopeful that the P will continue to help me after the surgery. I've upped to 300 mg like you suggested and no depression or severe anxiety has hit me since the increase. Im praying it continues to stay away. Question for you though, Did your shortness of breath still come and go while adjusting your dose and still new to introducing the P? It went away for almost 2 weeks, only to creep back in a few days ago starting my 10th day of my cycle. I'm thinking it's because this is the time of the cycle estrogen rises? Correct me if I'm wrong on that. And again, thanks for all of your time you are taking with me on this :)

Jan 19, 2016
Anxiety and Estrogem
by: Diane

Hi there Paige:)
Yes.. You are right... My anxiety/ shortness of breath symptoms tend to hit around day 10 until my period starts.. Certainly not every day, but does hit because of the E rise around the 10th day... hence why I am now on 300mg daily.. Since the P increase I have fewer days with the E dominant symptoms.. So hang in there.. And know that nothing is 100%. Also, did you find the spray version of Rescue Remedy? I spray on bad days through out the day and it really helps. Spray under the tongue so it goes sublingually. Perimenopause is a rollercoaster I wish I could get off of but since on progesterone, I am so improved!:):) Give yourself a few months atleast to get progesterone to be dominate and symptoms will be far less.
Hang in there, friend! We will get through this together☺️
Diane

Jan 20, 2016
Hanging in there
by: Paige

Hi Diane,
Thanks for validating that. I went to my local market for the Bach spray and they were out agian. Im convinced this must be a very good item if they can't keep it in stock. They are supposed to call me when they get their next shipment in though, so I am awaiting their call. I look forward to getting better and I am so happy to have you to communicate with thru this. A million thanks for saving my sanity on this roller coaster ride :)

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