Am I applying too LITTLE or too MUCH progesterone? I'M CONFUSED!!! Part 2

by Lori
(North East, Pennsylvania, United States)

I first realized I must be experiencing some Adrenal issues, and was probably dealing with a ton of Cortisol issues from the 8 solid weeks of non-stop physical and emotional stress I had just gone through, which is what probably sent me over the edge into my hypertensive crisis. I started a very regimented eating program back on January 2 2014. I am eating NO preservatives, NO grains, trying to eat as much organic as I can, eating 5-7 servings of vegetables a day and 2 servings of fruit, also seeds, nuts and proteins (mainly chicken and fish). I am averaging around 1250-1500 calories a day. I started exercising again, but worked up to it slowly. I started walking at 3MPH for 30 mins 4-5x a week. I still keep that schedule, but have slowly added sprints in. I can now run 3/4 of a mile non-stop and can sprint up to 6.5 MPH for 1.5 min increments.

After researching I realized I was most likely also suffering from peri-menopause. My many years of suffering from progesterone deficiency came to my memory. I realize now, it was probably the cause of my Adenomyosis and hysterectomy and years of hemorrhaging . So I started on Emerita ProGest.

This is what I've been taking:
CYCLE ONE: I started the Progest on day one of my cycle in February (I still have my cervix, so I have slight staining on the first day of my I can at least tell when I'm supposed to get my period and what day of my cycle I'm on). I took 1/8tsp twice a day the first week. I FELT FANTASTIC!!!! My anxiety attacks diminished greatly and my dizziness all but went away. I even lost four pounds that first week! I then realized I might not be taking enough, so I upped my dose to 1/4 tsp twice a day the following week. By the third week, I started having some relapse symptoms, so I upped my dose to 1/2 tsp twice a day. For the first time in decades, I got my "period" (my cervical staining) exactly 28 days after my previous cycle (it had been coming at day 23-25). I had lost a total of 6 pounds that month.

CYCLE TWO: I dutifully stopped the progesterone cream completely for 6 days for a cycle break. I definitely started to feel the anxiety increase during that time, so I re-started the cream on day 6 instead of day 7 of my cycle. I also re-started with the full 1/2tsp dose 2x a day dosage (I didn't titrate up like the previous cycle). The first night of restarting I had a horrible time with a pounding and racing heartbeat. I also got a bad headache. This resolved a few days later. I felt myself ovulate only a few days later (about a full week early). I definitely didn't feel as good this cycle as I had the last. Started getting dizzy spells on and off again. A little more anxiety than the previous month. I started taking a dime size dose of progesterone in the afternoon trying to boost my levels. My breasts got VERY tender for all of week 2. I also seemed to retain a lot more water and I got a bad headache for a few days before I got my "period" (which came a FULL WEEK EARLY). Plus I only dropped 2 pounds this cycle.

CYCLE THREE: Because I had only been on the progesterone for 16 days when my last period started, I didn't take a cycle break with the progesterone this time, but I did at least bump it down to 1/8 tsp twice daily for first 4 days of this new cycle. I bumped back up to 1/2 tsp twice daily two days ago (which was day 6). When I did, I once again noticed racing, pounding heart beats that night, but it wasn't as bad as last time. I'm still retaining premenstrual water from the last cycle. My BP is also creeping back up the past few days. Thinking that the 80-90 mg of progesterone may not be enough, I'm now taking an additional full dose in the afternoon, but I'm also noticing a headache coming on after I do.

I'm now on day 8 of cycle three and I'm so confused and don't know what to do. The weird thing is, the first month when I started with a small dosage and worked my way up, all seemed perfect. I didn't even get the Estrogen Dominance side-effects that many people get upon starting the cream. Yet the following month when I started strong, everything seemed messed up and I had a ton of premenstrual symptoms that I don't normally have and my "period" came a full week early. Now I'm into my third cycle and really don't know what to do. I seem to be continually upping the dose, but not truly seeing the benefits of doing so, yet I'm terrified to lower it either and go back to no progress at all. I'm so confused. Am I taking too much or too little? I've read so many conflicting reports of saturating your fat and building up the progesterone in your system and becoming progesterone resistant vs not taking enough to overcome the estrogen. So, am I taking too much or too little? I really need some advice here. Can someone please help me figure this out?

In addition to the Progesterone Cream. I am also taking:

Live Probiotics twice daily
600mg Magnesium Citrate
1,000 Taurine
400 E
B&C Complex
Chromium Picolonate
50 Zinc
Grape Seed Extract

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I just want to be healthy and whole again.

Comments for Am I applying too LITTLE or too MUCH progesterone? I'M CONFUSED!!! Part 2

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Apr 11, 2014
Progeserone dosing
by: Anonymous

Hi Lori -

I'm so sorry to hear about all the frustration that you are having - believe me, I understand!

I would encourage you to continue looking at this website, as it covers a whole host of topics/issues that are amazing, with people who are truly amazing and care about others.

I have been walking blind, trying everything for a situation I have been going through on behalf of my daughter --- very strange and unconventional things happening that not many even believe are related ... this website has shed soooo much light on things and have literally saved our lives.

As an added suggestion, you may want to check out any information regarding your symptoms and progesterone/thyroid at I would highly recommend reading all of his articles, checking out his dietary guidelines and getting your hands on anything you can regarding his research. Between this site and his information, we have learned a ton about progesterone as well as the biochemical reactions of the body based on food choices and food combinations that are different from what we've all been told/thought over the years (your mention of racing/pounding heartbeat could be addressed by this info)

I will be praying for you and your journey for answers.


Apr 11, 2014
Progesterone nightmare
by: Anonymous

So I was advised by this website to use 200-400 for pcos from days 12-28 I did not ovulate and it was increasing hair growth and my androgens even more, I have both low progesterone, low estrogen, testosterone dominant. so I was told I should incorporate pregnenolone with the progesterone cream that I must have some sort of adrenal issues if the pregnenolone is turning into testosterone, is this safe?

Thank you

Apr 11, 2014
Thank you for the Prayers!
by: Lori

I will definitely check into everything that you suggested!!!
I feel like a sponge right now trying to absorb information at a rapid rate. I just wish there wasn't such conflicting pieces of information out there and I had peace about what to do. I upped my progesterone dosage today to about 150mg... interested to see what kind of results I get with doing that. I am posting the first part of my original post below. I didn't know how to do a continuation, so I posted two entirely different posts. To avoid confusion and to tell the whole story, I figured it wouldn't hurt to let you in on the first part of the background to my story. Thanks again for your feedback. I greatly appreciate it.

Apr 11, 2014
My Story part 1
by: Lori

I'm a 45 year old women struggling with a plethora of symptoms that has lead me to think peri-menopause is the main problem. Although I have not had my estrogen or progesterone levels checked, I'm most almost 100% certain I have a progesterone deficiency, possibly even a severe deficiency. Going all the way back to my early teens, I had extremely heavy periods (7-10 days) with tons of clotting & cramps. Then in my early twenties I ran into fertility issues with no pregnancy after three solid years of trying. A specialist diagnosed me with a Luteal Phase Defect and told me I was progesterone deficient. I went on to have four children over the next 10 years, but had to take progesterone shots daily during my pregnancies in order to keep from miscarrying (the vaginal suppositories did not do enough to raise my levels). I also had 4 early stage miscarriages due to my progesterone deficiency, which supplementation did not help in time for these pregnancies.

Then in my mid-thirties, I had a tubal ligation after my fourth child, so stopped even thinking about my progesterone levels from that point on. I gained a quite a bit of weight through out my twenties and thirties, so I chalked a lot of symptoms up to poor health choices. In my mid-thirties I began to struggle with skipped heart beats and some high blood pressure. I went to the doctor who did an echocardiogram, a halter monitor and a bunch of other tests... all of which came back fine. I eventually came across some information that Adrenal Deficiency can be a culprit to many of the symptoms I was having and to supplement with Magnesium & Potassium. I did and that seemed to do the trick for my heart flutters, but didn't help my heavy periods.

By the end of my thirties, I decided to take my health back. I lost 70 of the 100 pounds of extra weight I was carrying around and was exercising almost 2 hours a night. After 11 months I hit a brick wall. I completely stopped loosing weight. After 4 months of no weight loss, despite the regimented exercise and diet (no refined carbs, low fat proteins and dairy, and loaded with fruits & veggies), to try and re-start the weight loss, I went on an extreme diet of 2 liquid shakes a day and one meal at night, no snacks. I did this for 90 days without losing one single pound. I then just gave up completely. I gained 20 pounds back over the next 4 months even though I was in no way binging....

Through all of this my periods were still extremely heavy, though I had very little premenstrual symptoms. I would bleed for 7-8 days with tons of clotting. I would have to wear 2 extra-heavy tampons at one time and still would bleed through in less than 45 minutes (often in less than 15 minutes).

Apr 11, 2014
my story continued....
by: Lori

Then in July of 2012 I started having extreme vertigo. I researched my symptoms and realized I was anemic. Off to my OB/GYN I went (who I hadn't seen in three years). I needed 2 pints of blood immediately and was found to have Adenomyosis (where your uterine lining grows into the walls of your uterus) and was given an emergency hysterectomy because my dr. didn't want me to have even one more cycle. He felt that all of my struggles with weight would clear after the surgery when my body recovered from the years of hemorrhaging . He felt the anemia was causing all of the problems. At this time, my blood pressure also became more erratic (bouncing between 130s/90s up to 160s/100s). I resisted going on medication, feeling diet and weight loss would do the trick.

Fast forward a year and a half. My weight struggles did NOT resolve. If anything they had gotten worse. I would yo-yo back and forth between trying with all my heart for 6-8 weeks without losing a pound, then back to giving up and not caring at all and gaining weight. By Thanksgiving of this past year, I had gained back 50 of the 70 pounds I had originally lost. I ended up falling on Thanksgiving day and broke my tail bone which ensued with 8 weeks of excruciating pain and swelling. During December I suffered a week long stomach virus, followed by 2 long colds, plus this constant pain in my spine (accompanied with tons of swelling) and an extremely hellacious schedule at work causing me to work 80 hour weeks. All of this brought me to a breakdown in my body on Christmas Day.

I woke up that morning with extreme vertigo again. This followed with 2 weeks of dizziness. I also seemed to be having a lot of underlying anxiety. I went to a walk in clinic and found my Blood Pressure was 190/110! They gave me something for light anxiety, but within an hour my BP was 245/145 and my HR at 165. We went straight to the ER. I spent a night with them trying everything to regulate it. Finally it was a Nitro drip that brought me back to normal. My doctor immediately put me on 2 BP meds (10MG of Norvasc & 40MG of Benicar). This regulated my BP immediately, but didn't help with the anxiety or the on and off again dizziness, plus my fluttering heart beats were back. I also had now began having panic attacks multiple times a week (never had them before). He prescribed my some Xanax and offered to put me on Zoloft. I told him I wanted to find the underlying problems (especially with my inability to budge my weight), but he felt it was just "part of aging". So, I hit the internet hard.

May 05, 2014
Am I applying too LITTLE or too MUCH progesterone? I'M CONFUSED!
by: Joy

Hi Lori

Let me discuss with your diet first of all as our diets play a major role in our well-being. You are starving your body of calories which is causing your body to shut down metabolism, conserving all energy. Things then go pear shaped when diets such as yours are stopped. The Ketogenic Diet is far better for you, in fact we should all be on it. Professor Tim Noakes has an excellent cook book out called The Real Meal Revolution which seems to have made a huge difference to those who are following his advice, he promotes the Ketogenic Diet 100%. Another good book is Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. She covers all aspects of health, but food in particular.

I am not surprised you are confused! Please read How to use Progesterone Cream as you have not been using progesterone correctly which is why you are battling so much. The progesterone cream that you are using does not contain the correct amount of progesterone concentration for a start, which is resulting in your Estrogen Dominance symptoms. Things do appear to get easier when first using progesterone of any kind and any amount, but once it starts to aggravates the estrogen receptors, that is when all hell breaks loose. Nothing less than 100mg/3ml possibly more, depending on symptoms, of the correct progesterone concentration is needed. Progesterone also regulates BP if used correctly.

There are so many progesterone mis-conceptions going around. Progesterone does not store in our fat cells, but estrogen certainly does. Estrogen is a mitogen, stimulating cells to divide and grow, including fat cells. Estrogen also causes Insulin Resistance, this slows everything down, including the thyroid. IR can occur during our peri-menopause years, as progesterone levels drop.

I am so glad that you declined to take Zoloft, that on top of Xanax, what on earth is your doctor thinking? Please read the side effects of Xanax as well as the Anxiety page. Xanax is highly addictive.

Do you know what your Vitamin D level is as a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone, it is also connected to every single cell and its formation in our bodies, making it vital?

Hope this helps you.

May 06, 2014
Thank you!
by: Lori

I do not know my D levels, but I am taking 1,000 mg daily (is that enough?). I also ordered the Natpro and am taking a 1/2 tsp morning and night. This seemed to have helped with most of the estrogen dominance symptoms, but I'm still not losing any weight. I definitely can tell the my anxiety is tied to my progesterone levels, because I seem to be able to control it by "upping" my dose (a mid afternoon application) on days I am feeling anxiety come on.

I'm not sure if I'm taking the right dosage yet? As I said, my ED symptoms have greatly diminished/disappeared, so I don't know if I am supposed to up it more until my metabolism kicks back in or wait for my metabolism to respond to the increased dose.

A typical day of eating and exercise looks like:

30 mins of exercise on the treadmill alternating walking at 3 mph for a 1/4 mile then jogging at 4.3 mph for 1/4 mile (2 miles total)

Breakfast: vegetable scramble (broccoli, spinach, mushrooms) with one cage free brown egg and 1 ounce of French Feta and 1 tsp of cultured butter

Snack: handfull of almonds and 1 ounce of sharp cheddar

Lunch: olive oil and garlic sauteed vegetable slaw with tomato sauce and chicken

Dinner: 6 oz Grilled lean meat and 2 sauteed vegetables (cauliflower or brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc.)

I will look into the Ketogenic diet as you suggested. Thanks again for your advice!

May 16, 2014
Thank You
by: Joy

Hi Lori

Nothing less than 5000iu’s per day of Vitamin D3 is needed, you will have to ask your pharmacist to assist you. If the teaspoon that you are using is a metric one, then you are using 5ml per day which is not enough for your symptoms, you need 200mg/6ml, possibly more, you will have to experiment with the amount. Increase until you find an amount that suits you. Once you feel stable, you can slowly reduce the amount down to a level that suits you. Reducing must be done gradually, 16mg at a time otherwise symptoms will return. Stay on the reduced amount for a few days before you reduce again. Remember that it does take time and is not an overnight fix. It can take 2-6 months before positive signs are felt. All this is explained in How to Use Progesterone Cream. The same applies to your weight, it takes time. Provided you are using enough progesterone, it will not affect your weight however, progesterone alone will not help with your weight even though it is an excellent diuretic, you need to look at your diet as already explained.

Based on your diet mentioned, you are not getting enough protein and fat, you need to eat more as explained in the Ketogenic Diet. Please don't forget to look into Insulin Resistance.

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