Anxiety and Chasteberry

by Karen

Hi Wray, I have been using your cream and doing well with it. I started getting my period every two weeks and went to the gynecologist. He wants to do some bloodwork so he told me to stop using the cream temporarily until I get the bloodwork on January 17.

He gave me chasteberry plus by metagenics because he says it will help regulate my periods. After two days I felt a nice calming effects but after that I have noticed edginess and irritibility. I noticed you told someone else that Vitex can be oestrogenic. Now I am wondering if that is the case with this chasteberry plus and if I should stop it.

Since I had been using the cream through my period for the least two times, he said I needed to stop the cream and the chasteberry would help regulate me and help me ovulate. He said I'm not ovulating right now due to using the cream through my period. But I had good reasons as to why I was doing that. I was having anxiety and using it straight through really helped me.

He also told me that depending on what my level is, he might have me take a high dose progesterone pill. I told him I read on your sight that it does not absorb well and that it can also be oestregenic to do that. He said he has a type that does absorb well and I might need it if my progesterone levels are very very low. He said he only believes in the natural type of progesterone like you sell.

Comments for Anxiety and Chasteberry

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Jan 10, 2011
by: Anonymous

I am the one who wrote the comment above. I saw the doctor on December 30 and also happened to get my period. He said to stop the cream until January 17 when he was going to test my blood progesterone, estradiol and testosterone. I had been using the cream straight through my periods for the last two months. I had started getting my period every two weeks while I was on the cream so I would barely have been using it and then have to go off it so I decided to stay on it through the periods but wasnt sure how long I would do that. I figured I would ask you how to know when to make the switch. Well, I stopped the cream like he said on December 30 and have gotten increasing anxiety and terrible insomnia. I dont know if it's jsut coincidental or what but it's been awful. Two days ago, I couldn't take it and started back up on the cream. About 10 minutes after I put it on, I was bubbly and happy but then it went back to the old symptoms. last ngiht I at least fell asleep but have been up since 3 am. I am guessing this is oestregen dominance? Could I get that even though I had been on progesterone before but stopped it? And that the insomnia and anxiety should subside as soon as my body get leveled out again? Can I just keep using it through my periods for now and for how long do you typically recommend that? How do I figure out the right amount? I am going to call the gynecologist's office today and tell them what a big mistake it has been for me to go off the cream and that according to your site, there is no need to have exact measures. I seriously felt like i was going crazy and it shows me how important my progesterone cream is!! I need to buy more so I make sure I never run out!!

Jan 13, 2011
Anxiety and Chasteberry
by: Wray

Hi Karen All the herbs used for 'women's problems' like vitex, dong quai, black cohosh, contain phytoestrogens, so they all have a mild oestrogenic affect. See these papers for vitex here, here, here, here, here and here. It does seem to reduce prolactin levels, which in turn regulates the cycle. But progesterone also reduces prolactin levels, see here. Although progesterone can stop ovulation if enough is used, I feel if symptoms are severe it's best to get rid of them first and then begin following a cycle. I would be interested in hearing what the progesterone pill is that absorbs well, I've not heard of one. It doesn't surprise me your symptoms came back when you stopped it. To prevent this, it's essential to reduce slowly, and not go cold turkey. Otherwise oestrogen will rise and you will get Oestrogen Dominance. Progesterone is excellent for sleep, see here. Without sufficient circulating you would get insomnia. Yes you can use it continuously and for as long as needed, I've generally found about 3 months is fine in most women. But it's an individual thing, so you will have to monitor your symptoms. But when reducing always remember to do it slowly. This was the mistake the study made when using IV progesterone for traumatic brain injury victims, initially they just stopped the progesterone and the patients regressed, it must be done slowly. Exact measures are not necessary, it so depends on symptoms, I use it as and when I need it, sometimes 3-4 times a day. I must tell you a lovely story. I always carry some with me in my bag, as does a friend. She was in a busy shopping mall before Christmas, when a woman with polio was knocked over. She was screaming in agony and shaking uncontrollably. Joy grabbed her tube, and with the help of a bemused bystander, rubbed the cream on all exposed skin. The women stopped shaking within a minute. So use it as and when needed! Take care Wray

Jan 13, 2011
by: Anonymous

Can you explain what slowly means. I don't ever want to have this extreme of estrogen dominance happen again. I literally have not slept for days and there is a pounding in my chest that stays with me and gets worse at different times. In addition, my body is so tight and jittery inside that I have to force myself to eat. That is not good because I am already low weight. However, I have found that if I put a little cream on before I eat or when I feel a strong one coming on, it will calm my body down long enough to get some food in me. Ive also found that if I rub a little on when the pounding gets strong, it will help ease it for a little bit. It seems to get worse as the day goes on with the crescendo hitting right before bed.

I was using 1/2 tsp in the morning and 1/2 at night. But then I started doing 1/4 as soon as I woke up because what wakes me up is that pounding again and if I rub the cream on right then, it helps it somewhat. Then I rub a 1/4 on right before lunch, then I rub a quarter on right before dinner and any other time I'm feeling the pounding coming on stronger. Then I lather it on before bed. I have never felt anything like this before. I am so upset with that gynecologist. He apparently is in to natural and bioidentical hormones so you would think he would have known before he told me to stop it cold turkey.
Last night after using the cream, I tried taking melatonin. It didn't work. I just lied there with pounding. I may try a little tryptophan tonight in case that's stronger. However, I am so sensitive to supplements and medications that I am nervous to try it. I could only find 500 mg pills, so my thought is to split it open and pour a quarter to start in some juice.

As you can see I am using a lot of cream right now. Will using it the way I am help the estrogen dominance to go away sooner or is it pointless and I just have to ride it out (It's been 6 long days so far and it hasnt eased up)? When I do back down, how exactly do I do that? Do you have any other thoughts or suggestions for me? I never want to experience this again. It is so scarey not to sleep and to feel so jittery inside. Twice I thought about going to the emergency room but know that there is nothing they could do for me and what they would probably do for me (pump me with IV Ativan) will not help my situation. Thank you Wray. I'm so glad there are people like you out there. Your Progesterone was changing my life.

Jan 15, 2011
by: Wray

Hi Karen I hope it's you again! Firstly you have to stabilise your symptoms, so don't even think of reducing now. Maybe in 2-3 months if all is going well. When you do, monitor symptoms closely, you know exactly what happens if you reduce too fast. Once stable I suggest you reduce by no more than 1/2 to 1ml which is about 1/8tsp or less. If no symptoms come back, stay on this amount until you feel ready to reduce again. There is no hard and fast rule to using progesterone, the amount depends on many factors. Dark winter days reduce progesterone, a large meal reduces levels, stress drops levels sharply, a lack of vitamin D reduces it's benefits. Vitamin D also drops during winter, this has a bearing on the effectiveness of progesterone, excess circulating sugar affects it, excess adrenaline prevents it entering cells, and more. If at any time you feel you need it, use it, exactly as you are doing in fact. The amount I use varies day to day, some days I need more, some less. In fact 6 months ago I found my nails becoming very weak, almost as bad as they were before I discovered progesterone. It took me 3 months to realise my progesterone was too low, and that's after using and advising about it for 15 years! I put it down to additional stress, so I covered myself with cream, using 2tsp per day for 2 weeks. I suffered horrible oestrogen dominance symptoms, pain in all joints and muscles. But by the end of the two weeks I had no more pain and strong nails again! The racing heart you are getting is caused in part by oestrogen, in part by adrenaline. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. It's common in women, rare in men. Progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here and here. Please avoid all sugars and any starchy carb foods, this will help stabilise your blood glucose, which in turn will prevent your adrenals making excess adrenaline. I'm interested to hear the melatonin didn't help, I've not found it very effective. Please give the tryp time to work, it won't be an overnight fix. Tryp plays a huge role in the body, not least the gut, which converts it to serotonin too, in fact the gut makes 90% of the serotonin found in the body, the brain only 10%. So there could be other areas it's needed, unknown to you, and those are helped before sleep is helped. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray

Sep 21, 2012
Stopped Progesterone Cream -- Major Anxiety
by: Denise

Hi Wray -
This is an interesting thread. I am 35 years and have a low progesterone to estrogen ratio. My doctor wanted me to use compounded progesterone cream (1 pump a night, which appears to be about 1/4 tsp).

I used it for one cycle from Days 14-28 (I normally have a 30 day cycle). Since, stopping, I have noticed MAJOR anxiety. Feel very jittery in the morning and feel like I am jumping out of my skin. I am also dealing with thyroid and adrenals issues for the last 9 months, so maybe the progesterone effected these things as well... (?) . It's Day 35, and I haven't had a period yet either since stopping.

Should I have stopped so suddenly at Day 28? I'm thinking I'm going to stop the progesterone cream for now since it had such a profound negative affect after I stopped it.


Sep 22, 2012
Stopped Progesterone Cream -- Major Anxiety
by: Wray

Hi Denise It is customary to stop the progesterone at the end of the cycle. It's mimicking the natural cycle when progesterone does drop, due to the demise of the corpus luteum. It's this drop which allows the MMPs which break down the lining to do so. Progesterone inhibits this enzyme preventing the lining from breaking down during the luteal phase. There's more info on our Menstruation page. When starting progesterone it can upset the cycle, making it either earlier or later than normal. The 'negative' affect you believe is due to progesterone, is actually caused by the drop in progesterone, this allows oestrogen to rise again. It's the same cause behind PMS when levels of progesterone drop naturally, but oestrogen less so. Please look through our Oestrogen Dominance page for more info. It never fails to amaze me how even doctors believe all women have cycles of 28 days. They range from 21 days to 35 days, making 28 the average only, see here. You should have started the progesterone ± day 16, i.e. when you ovulate. A normal luteal phase in all women, is always 12-14 days before bleeding. Supplemental progesterone should mimic this cycle. We have more info on our page about How to use progesterone cream. Only when women have severe symptoms, do I suggest using it daily, through any bleeding to suppress excess oestrogen. You also appear to be using a tiny amount. If the 1/4tsp is one of the standard creams, you are probably only getting 20mg/day. I suggest 100-200mg/day or more. Too little merely exacerbates symptoms and brings on new ones. Progesterone should always be used a minimum of twice a day too, as levels drop after about 13 hours. If you had no symptoms prior to starting it, I see no reason for you to use it. If you did, then I would suggest increasing it substantially. Take care Wray

Aug 06, 2015
Does Chasteberry supplement cause insomnia?
by: lulu

Hi there,

I would like to find out if there is any side effect on Chasteberry supplement like insomnia?

I have mild-moderate PMS and I have breakouts during menses. I read a book regarding acne and it mentioned that people can try Chasteberry when they experience breakouts during menstruation, so I got it from iherb and the brand name is Nature's Plus, Herbal Actives, Chasteberry, 150 mg, 60 Veggie Caps. After I take it regularly everyday for one week, I began to feel difficulty to fall asleep at night. I am taking 1 tablet a day which is 150mg. Please help me with this.

Hope to hear some professional advice.

Thanks alot!!!

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