Worse before better?

by Hilde
(Norway)

Dear Wray,

I am 35 years old from Norway. My doctor has given me progesterone cream for estrogen dominans. I have been taking Novothyral for 8 years for hypothyroidism. Every day I also take vitamin D 10000IE, omega 3 + 6 and vitamin B12.

Before i started with progesterone my symptomes were (most of them i had for years):
- Very bloated etc during PMS
- depressed
- tired
- i was on a diet for 6 months (from my trainer) and training weightlifting 4-5 days a week, but not able to loose weight/bodyfat (163 cm, 60 kg)
- headaches
- very easily stressed
- water retention in my legs
- insomnia
- cry easily
- moodswings

I started using progesteron in February. Until May i used a pea sized amount per day. Each month i used it from day 7-21 per cycle. The end of May I increased the amount til one ts per day (1/2 morning, 1/2 evening). I am also using the cream every day this cycle. My symptomes have become worse the recent months, especially since end of May:
- acne increased fn February, the last couple of months it has been really bad
- very bloated (since May)
- i feel like i have PMS constantly
- water retention in legs worse
- breasts very sore and swollen
- very tired all the time
- problems getting up in the morning
- not able to consentrate at all at work
- at times depressed, but in general my mood has become better

I have read that it is normal to become worse before better, but how long should i feel like this? Would you recoment me to do something differently?

I greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you in advance:)

Comments for Worse before better?

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Jun 13, 2013
Worse before better?
by: Wray

Hi Hilde I'm delighted you're taking so much vitamin D, that should begin to help you. For instance a lack of it reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. Plus it's vital for the thyroid, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Maybe you should have a test done to check your level. I'm very puzzled why you were using the progesterone from day 7-21, do you have a 21 day cycle, as that would make sense. But I'm pleased you're using it daily now, as that will make progesterone dominant. Unfortunately you don't say how much progesterone you're getting. The creams vary in strength, but it sounds from the 'pea-sized' amount it's probably about 1.6% in strength, or contains 16mg/ml of cream. In which case the 1 teaspoon is giving you about 80mg/day progesterone, please confirm if I'm right. Increasing the cream insufficiently can cause Oestrogen Dominance, which is why your symptoms have become worse. I would suggest you increase the progesterone to 200mg/day, you might possibly need more, as you have many symptoms. Progesterone can help Acne, but so do a number of nutrients. It appears your testosterone is high, as that initiates acne, it also causes severe PMS. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone and severe PMS. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, processed milk and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. Continued below

Jun 13, 2013
Worse before better? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Hilde It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Wine and beers contain carbs, so it's best to avoid those too. Plus alcohol affects hormone levels in women, see here and here. It decreases progesterone levels and increases androgen levels, both the total testosterone and free testosterone become higher. Testosterone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, which causes abdominal fat gain, see here and here. Higher testosterone is also associated with an increased risk for Insulin Resistance, which causes fatigue and weight gain. Sugars and large meals also drop progesterone levels, see here. Plus insulin drops levels too, see here. This means SHBG also drops, testosterone rises, another vicious cycle. We do have a few more pages you could look through, Anxiety, Breast Tenderness and Migraines. We are developing an acne cream which we've had some success with, would you be willing to try it? If so please send an email via this form here. You might like to contact our distributor in Norway.
She's a delight, her name is Nita. Take care Wray

Jun 13, 2013
To Wray
by: Hilde

Thank you so much for your reply, Wray. I really appreciate your feedback, and it is helps me a lot:-)

I actually had bloodtests for both thyroide and hormones done today. I will go throuhg them with my doctor in 3 weeks time.

It was my doctor that told me to use the cream day 7-21. My cycles are very irregular, from 28-40 days. But I will continue to use the cream every day. How long would you suggest that I use it every day, and which days of my cycle should I use it afterwards?

I actually thought i was using 200 mg/day progesterone, but you are right the cream I am using is only 1,6% = 80 mg/day. I have now increased the amount til 200 mg/day (100 in the morning, 100 in the evening). But since it is such a large amount of cream, is it ok to apply it to the skin anywhere on legs/arms/chest?

I actually don't eat much of the foods that you mention as I have been dieting the last 9 months and my stomach has never really liked it... So I will continue to stay clear of this food.

Do you have any idea of how long it will take before I feel better? I understand if it is difficult for you to answer this, but I am a bit desperate as I am having a really hard time... And also should it be possible for me to loose some weight when my hormones are in balance?

And again thank you so much for all the links and usefull advice:-) I will carefully read all.

Regatds
Hilde




Jun 14, 2013
To Wray
by: Wray

Hi Hilde Has anyone checked for PCOS? You do have acne, but now you say your cycles are all over the place. And you struggle to loose weight. Please have a look through the link I've given you and see the other symptoms, it might give a clue. You are using a weak cream, and it will cost you a fortune. You will have to use 12.5ml per day, plus you will have to rub it over your entire body, which is fine. The vagina is another excellent place to apply it, but at night only as it tends to leak during the day. So I suggest you apply it at least three times a day. Please contact Nita about advice on another cream which will require only 6ml/day. I do hope the new tests include vitamin D, even if you are taking a good dose, it's best to check on the levels every 6 months or so. I wish I could answer your last question, but I suspect PCOS, if so you will need high dose antioxidants to reverse it. Let me know what you think after you've read the page I've given you. Take care Wray

Jun 26, 2013
To Wray
by: Hilde

Dear Wray,

Thank you so much for your reply. i have read the link, but I really dont know if it is pcos that i have. I dont have the feeling that my testosterone levels are high, but i might be wrong. I recieved the results from the bloodtests. Unfortunately my teststerone levels were not checked. But here are the results:

Anti TPO 188 kU/L
FSH 3 kU/L
LH 4 kU/L
Estradiol-17beta 0,65 nmol/L
Progesteron 48 nmol/L
SHBG 71 mnol/L
Vitamin D 169 mnol/L
TSH 0,01 mU/L

Tests were taken day 25 of my cycle.

So it seems like the reason why i am so tired is because of high TPO and low TSH? But what do you think of the estrogen and progesterone?

Also since last i have ordered the Natpro with more progesterone. My acne has become a bit better. I got my period at day 29. Extremly tired and ferling depressed. Water retention still bad.

I will really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Thank you very much, Wray.

Regards Hilde

Jun 28, 2013
To Wray
by: Wray

Hi Hilde I take it you had none of the symptoms on the PCOS page, apart from the acne? This is caused by testosterone. But your LH is slightly higher than your FSH which usually indicates PCOS. It's normally lower than FSH. The low TSH means your thyroid is working, if too high it's an indication of hypothyroidism. Your progesterone to oestrogen ratio is only 74:1 which is low. If you look at our Saliva Tests results you'll see the ratios are over 600:1. I would suggest this is the reason for your tiredness, your oestrogen is too high. Can you tell me how much progesterone you are now using, often much higher amounts are needed to begin with. And it sounds as if you need more with those symptoms. This is to overcome the excess oestrogen you have. Once levels drop the progesterone can be slowly reduced. Take care Wray

Jul 01, 2013
To Wray
by: Hilde

Hi Wray,

again thank you so much for taking the time to answer me. I am very greatfull:-)

I have read a bit about PCOS now, and i don't recognize many of the symptoms:

- I got my last period at day 29 of my cycle, but suddenly I started bleeding again on day 11 of this cycle. It has now continued for a few days.
- I don't know if I have any cysts, but my doctor believed I had a cyst about a year ago when I had bad cramps one time after sex.
- I have no pelvic pains
- I have none of the symptoms of high androgens except from acne, which has become a bit better. I also have problems loosing weight, but i am not overweight, it is just a couple of kilos that is impossible to loose...


Would you suggest that i test my levels of testosterone as well? I have also started taking L-glutamine every morning and I take 200mg progesterone per day. I am going back to my doctor 3rd of July.

Thanks alot:-)

Regards
Hilde

Jul 04, 2013
To Wray
by: Wray

Hi Hilde Thanks for reading the PCOS page, at least that's now ruled out. Acne can occur without PCOS if testosterone is high. And I did mention to you all those foods which can cause it to rise, plus low progesterone of course. You could have your testosterone levels checked, I would be interested to hear what they are. But they normally only check the total testosterone, it's the active level you need. They do this by checking SHBG levels, which should be high as it binds testosterone, which of course reduces it's activity. Take care Wray

Jul 04, 2013
To Wray
by: Hilde

Thanks again for your feedback:-)

I had test for testosterone etc done today, so I should have the results within a week. I will let you know when I receive them.

Would you suggest that I continue with 200mg progesterone per day? And what do you believe is the reason of the bleeding from day 11 to 15 of this cycle?

Thank you in advance:-)

Regards
Hilde

Jul 06, 2013
To Wray
by: Wray

Hi Hilde Progesterone can upset the cycle when first using it, also when increasing it. It does settle in time. Would like to know the testosterone results, I do hope they give you the free testosterone and not just the total. The total will tell us nothing. It's the free which is active. Take care Wray

Jul 06, 2013
Hormone levels
by: Hilde

Dear Wray,

I have now received the results of my last blood tests:

Fs glukose 4,9 mnol/L
Insulin 22 pmnol/L
C peptid 265 pmol/L
FSH 8U/L
LH 15 U/L
Ă˜stradiol 17beta 0,11 nmo/L
Progesteron 13 nmo/L
Testosteron 1,5 nmo/L
SHBG 66 nmo/L

So it seems my progesterone levels have gone up:-) what are your thoughts of my testosterone levels. Do you believe it is PCOS? Should i continue using 200mg progesterone per day?

I look forward to hear from you:-)

Regards
Hilde

Jul 08, 2013
Hormone levels
by: Wray

Hi Hilde I'm puzzled, you say your progesterone has gone up, but in your first test it was 48nmo/L, and in your second it's 13nmol/L. But then I don't know what phase in your cycle the tests were done. It should only be done mid-luteal phase, which is always 12-14 days after ovulation or before bleeding. Ie mid-luteal is round about 7 days. But your LH is almost double your FSH now, which really does indicate PCOS. Unless it was done when LH was peaking. If you feel the 200mg/day is helping you stick with it, otherwise increase it. Bu tif you do have PCOS you will need to take those nutrients mentioned on the page. Take care Wray

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