2 1/2 years and still having problems

by Jenna

I have been using 300 mg of progesterone cream (progesterall brand) every day for two-and-a-half years. Some of my original symptoms have gone, some continue and I even have some new ones. Breast tenderness, fatigue and night sweats have all improved remarkably. I continue to have migraines (usually one around mid-month and one just before or after my period) and chin break outs with pms. The new symptoms are EXTREME irritability both at mid month and just before my period (I'm talking the kind where my family might put me in an institution), and nausea, diarrhea, stomach upset with pms (I never, ever had this before). I am also experiencing cramping with ovulation and for several days before my period, which is also a new symptom. My cycles have gone from being every 28 days like clockwork to now alternating between a 28 day cycle and a 33 or 34 day cycle. And my actual flow lasts only about one day and is very light (no complaints there, I just wanted to be thorough). The migraines, irritability and stomach upset are the main symptoms I don't want to experience anymore, but I'm at a loss what to do about it. The following is a list of what I supplement with daily (in addition to the 300 mg of progesterone):
Ashwagandha Root 300 mg
Biotin 750 mcg
Boron 1 mg
Calcium 550 mg
Calcium D-glucarate 500 mg
Chromium 120 mcg
Copper 2.4 mg
Fish oil 1200 mg
Folate 1000 mcg
Inositol 1000 mg
Iodine 600 mcg
Iron 18 mg
L-Tyrosine 1000 mg
Magnesium 202 mg
Molybdenum 75 mcg
Niacin 425 mg
Nickel 15 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 212.5 mg
Phosphorus 360 mg
Riboflavin 32.38 mg
Selenium 270 mcg
Silicon 2 mg Vita Lea
St. John’s Wort 900 mg
Taurine 2000 mg
Thiamin 31.38 mg
Tin 10 mcg
Vanadium 20 mcg
Vitamin A 5000 IU
Vitamin B12 327.5 mcg
Vitamin B6 42.5 mg
Vitamin C 520 mg
Vitamin D3 10,000 IU
Vitamin K 80 mcg
Zinc 35 mg

For the sake of being thorough, I should also mention that I am a vegetarian. I don't eat sugar, very few grains if any, and have recently cut out dairy. I exercise regularly, meditate daily and lead a mostly-happy, fulfilled life.

Any suggestions on what else I can do to eliminate these symptoms?
Thank you!

Comments for 2 1/2 years and still having problems

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Jul 09, 2014
by: Deborah

Hi Jenna

I may not be able to help with everything that you're writing about, but I do have a few suggestions:

First and foremost, your magnesium needs to be applied transdermally (on the skin) rather than taken orally. Oral magnesium is one of the worst ways to get it because most of the magnesium is destroyed by the digestive system, and some people also experience stomach upset and diarrhea.

Google 'migraines magnesium' and you'll find a ton of stuff to read.

Also, if you go the transdermal route, you will want to find magnesium CHLORIDE.

Therapeutic grade lavender oil can also help with the migraines and the irritability.

About the periods being irregular: you're probably in perimenopause. I've had 12 day periods with a five day break and then another 8 day period.....I'm now taking 500 mg of Natpro pretty much every day (maybe don't take breaks with the progesterone - if you're doing that).

And last but not least: my daughter is mostly vegetarian, but whenever she begins to go through bouts of anxiety and restlessness and irritability, I remind her to have some red meat. Which she does, reluctantly - and her symptoms always clear up.

I understand that that may be difficult if you are a vegetarian for moral issues, but it may help if you bless the meat beforehand and express gratitude that it will nourish you.

I wish I could be of more help, but hopefully other people can fill in other pieces.

Jul 09, 2014
a little more info
by: R.

Hi there -

I would recommend that you read up on Ray Peat and his work with progesterone and diet as well. You are on the right track, however, he has a lot of information that just might be able to 'tweak' a few things to see even better results. Check with and for some other details.

It's quite the job getting to the bottom of everything, but it looks like from a lot of what you do you could still have problems with too much estrogen messing you up.

Hopefully this helps -- best wishes to you in getting fully healthy!

Jul 10, 2014
Still having probs
by: Anonymous

Hello I'm sorry you are having not so good a time. I'm sure someone else will chime in as well but A few things you might want to look into are copper, I have high copper and had very similar symptoms and you listed copper, also why are you taking calcium, if the dr hasnt diagnosed low calcium I wouldn't take it, calcium is very easily available in our diet these days and too much can cause problems, you might want to do some googling and see what you come up with :)

Jul 12, 2014
Re: 2 1/2 years and still having problems
by: Jenna

Thank you all for your replies! I got some transdermal magnesium chloride and am looking through ray peat's site...what a storehouse of information! I really have thought about incorporating meat back into my diet, but it's beyond my capabilities at this time. It's not a moral issue, just a disgust factor. I do eat eggs several times a week and try to keep my protein intake at about 100 g a day.

This cycle has been particularly symptomatic and I'm trying to think back on anything I may have done or consumed differently. If I come up with anything, I will update.

Any other suggestions/advice would be much appreciated!

Jul 12, 2014
by: R.

I'm so glad you were able to check some other things out -- it's definitely a maze of info, for sure! As far as your diet goes, be sure to note that for high quality protein, he suggests eggs, raw milk, well cooked baked potato, cheese and gelatin .... you can do very well with your protein content on those things alone, especially while your 'disgust factor' is in play! Keep digging, and be sure to ask questions any time - that's how we all figure things out and get down our roads!
It is also suggested that you drop your progesterone dosage each month along with your cycle to make a change so that your liver doesn't get used to the amount and disgard any extra - what a waste! Only you will know what dosage is best through trial and error, but changing it has helped us with our situation. Keep me posted! blessings-

Jul 13, 2014
by: Deborah

Hi R

I didn't know that your liver can get used to the amount of progesterone and discard it - that was good to know!

Okay, Jenna - I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest one more thing to really research if you're so inclined:

You're trying to figure out what you did or didn't do this month to find out why this cycle is more symptomatic; I used to do the same thing with my stomach problems.

I finally figured out it really had nothing to do with what I was eating or not eating.

But a lot of our symptoms can be caused by our emotions, cellular memories, etc....things that we are completely unaware of. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a stressful afternoon immediately causing a symptom, but it could be something from years ago that you've forgotten.

Particularly since you've tried so many things with some limited success (I know the feeling), I thought I would just throw this out there and suggest you look into The Healing Codes.

You can google it and start reading through their website. I'm not sure that they give a detailed description on the site, but you can get the book at the library and read it in an afternoon - and it won't cost a dime.

It's fascinating stuff and well worth at least a cursory look.

Don't give up!

Jul 15, 2014
2 1/2 years and still having problems
by: Joy

Hi Jenna

I don’t believe that the progesterone cream that you are using is enough, it has 960mg of progesterone, it needs to be 2000mg – see here . Try using more cream and see how you get on. You do not give your age but it sounds to me like you could be in Peri-Menopause hence your irregular cycles. You might also like to read the Estrogen Dominance and Migraine pages.

I also do not believe that you are getting enough protein, we should be eating 200-300mg protein food per day i.e. meat. If you are getting your protein from legumes then this is not enough as they only have 5-8% and you need to cut back on carbs.

Hope this helps you.

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