by Brenda

I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was in my 20's and started taking glucophage. I was told I had it since puberty. At age 12 I started gaining weight and had irregular periods. At 18 I started with major migraines. Thru out high school and college I struggled with exhaustion. I was constantly falling asleep in class, in spite of full nights of sleep. My first year of college (18 yrs old) I gained 40 pounds. Then I gained another 50 in following years. I played around that weight until I tried the Atkins diet. I was able to lose about 75 pounds. But, I did not stick with it because I kept being told Atkins was so bad for me (lie). I gained the weight back and returned to almost 250lbs. I started feeling sick and through the tests done they found a grapefruit sized cyst on my left ovary. The doctor removed the cyst and left ovary. Years went by and I gained more weight, hitting my highest at 310lbs. I never developed diabetes, but walked a fine line with the PCOS, hypoglycemia, and ultimately what I now know is metabolic syndrome.

Fast forward to 2008 when I was 39 and had to make a major move across the country for a job... all alone. Shortly after beginning my new stressful job I started having more symptoms. Passing out with no apparent reason, migraines, insomnia, and ultimately the worst of all, neuropathy. I had never even heard the word before! It took forever to get the diagnosis of "idiopathic" neuropathy. Since I never had diabetes, the doctors were clueless. The pain was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I had to go on disability. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, among other things. I have been essentially bed-ridden for 3 years now, endlessly seeking the cause of my neuropathy (being the worst of all the diagnosis's.) Changing my diet to organic, gluten free, grass fed meat, cage free, etc, and getting off the 25-30 medications I was on helped my other symptoms considerably. But, I am still working on going low carb. The neuropathy pain, exhaustion, and inability to lose weight (back up to 300 now) being my main complaints at this point.

Finally, about two weeks ago I found Dr Hayes on Facebook who made the connection for me of progesterone deficiency. The main clue was during the first few days of my period (horrible periods), the one good thing was my neuropathy was almost completely relieved. Daily pain was relieved for that couple of days. I had never heard of the progesterone link before. I didn't know that metabolic disorder or progesterone deficiency could cause my symptoms.
That is where I am right now. I had some progesterone left from one of my failed Dr attempts. So, I started using it again. What I have is ProgX. I ordered the NatPro, but have not received it yet. The ProgX has helped me lower my pain meds already and I feel better. My sleep is backwards... for some reason I sleep during the day, but can't at night. But, I am finally sleeping and my pain level is down.

So, my question is, do I increase my dosage until the pain stops? Does it take time to relieve the neuropathy? Can I overdose? What should I do next??

Comments for Brenda

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Mar 02, 2014
Almost Ditto of My Life
by: Patty

Dear Brenda,
Your experience is almost a ditto of my life. I had 2 grapefruit sized cysts next to each ovary!! I would love to talk with you! Can't wait to talk with you!!

Mar 03, 2014
by: Joy

Hi Brenda

Gosh what a torrid time you have had and basically, all so unnecessary too. Those suffering from PCOS and Insulin Resistance (IR) are usually given Glucophage/Metformin as it is a diabetic drug, which also reduces vitamin B12 levels, NOT what you need – see here and here. The Atkins diet is good but not as effective as the Ketogenic Diet, please try it. All your symptoms indicates Estrogen Dominance, look at the symptoms.

Starting a new job causes stress, stress destroys the natural progesterone that out bodies make, supplementing with progesterone is so important, not only for stress, but for general health and balance, we ALL need it. I am dealing with someone who is suffering with neuropathy and Natpro’s Progesterone cream has helped her greatly. Her doctors are trying to tell her that she does not need it, so she carried out an experiment by reducing the amount used …… guess what? Her symptoms returned and she again increased to 200mg/6ml per day, went to her doctor and told them what she thought!! Something else which is vital is Vitamin D, do you know what you level is? My guess is that you are deficient, your fibromyalgia etc is a give away and it surprises me that your doctors have not made the connection. Vitamin D is connected to every single cell and it’s formation in our bodies, including fibromyalgia and those suffering hypothyroidism. How wonderful that you managed to come off 25-30 drugs, what were they thinking??? Not surprised that your symptoms cleared somewhat, drugs normally create more problems, as one fails to work, so another is given and so on it goes. Your idea of a low carb diet is a good one, so please look at the Ketogenic Diet, you will be amazed, not to mention feeling so much better.

Continued .....

Mar 03, 2014
by: Joy

Hi Brenda

I love FACEBOOK and have been able to help so many people because of it. I am so glad you found Dr Hayes' FB page, which led you to progesterone which is what you so desperately need. My guess though, is that the ProgX that you are taking is 20-40mg which is not enough, you also need to look at the progesterone concentration when using a progesterone cream, if it is not correct it leads to terrible estrogen dominance symptoms including weight gain/water retention, not what you need right now. Nothing less than 100mg/3ml per day is needed, but for you and your symptoms, especially neuropathy, need to use more. Progesterone and vitamin D are excellent anti-inflammatories and progesterone helps greatly with mild insomnia.

Yes definitely you need to increase but do be careful when using a compounded cream though, they often come mixed with estrogen and testosterone, not what any women needs! When your Natpro arrives, please use 200mg/6ml per day, more if your symptoms are severe. I suggest that you using it every day, ignore any bleeding/spotting/clotting that may take place in between, this will all settle down as your body adjusts. You are now about 45 and in Peri-Menopause which is not an easy time for women, so it really is best to use the cream every day from now on. Ignore anything that you read and hear about taking a break, your body needs progesterone now. Please read How to use Progesterone Cream. You can try reducing once the pain stops, but based on the lady who I am helping, it did not work for her. I can’t tell you how long it will take as we are all difference, but I can tell you that if not used correctly and if your vitamin D level is low, it will take a long time. No you can’t overdose, those saying that you can, are misinformed. The Late Dr Kittie Dalton used to give her patients 2400mg per day for PND and TBI patients are given 1400mg per day.

Hope this helps.

Mar 25, 2014
Facial hair
by: Brenda

Something that I forgot to mention in my story is that I have struggled with a lot of facial hair (on my chin, under my chin, across my jaw) for many, many years. I did laser treatments in my 20's, and that helped for a number of years, but it is back with a vengeance. How does this fit with low progesterone? I used to think I had too much testosterone....
I've been using NatPro for a few weeks now. Somewhere around 200mg twice a day (it is hard to gauge with the tube). I've also added 10,000IU of D3/day. (I also have psoriasis, so I know I really need D3.)My body has always needed a stronger dose of any medication in order to work and at this point, my doctor believes my cells are not taking in the nutrients I'm trying to use. I haven't lost an ounce of weight yet. I'm still essentially bed ridden. But I'M SLEEPING ALL NIGHT!! I'm actually sleeping about 14-16 hours a day now. It has been so long since I've slept this well, I hardly know what to think!
I want to start the diet you suggested, but, I don't have the strength or energy to cook yet. So, my husband gets food from restaurants. I try to choose well and we don't do fast food, but I know it still isn't good for me (or him). Any suggestions??
I would love any advice at all!!
Thank you!

Mar 28, 2014
Facial Hair
by: Joy

Hi Brenda

Facial hair could be one of two things, or both. PCOS as already discussed and your testosterone level could be high. Your hormones need to be balanced which takes times. Progesterone is very much needed for both.

I understand that you have no energy to cook, but restaurant food is not that healthy. You need to be eating the fattiest meal on the menu with NO carbs. Or perhaps you or your husband can make smoothies with lots of coconut oil. You need to incorporate more fat, if you can do this you will benefit, but it is essential that you avoid ALL sweet, starchy carbs.

Apr 23, 2014
by: Brenda

I've been doing approx 400mg a day... split between night and day. I'm completely tanked. When I wake up, all I can think about is going back to sleep. I feel hung over when I wake up and can easily sleep 14 hours or more each day.

I am committed to continuing progesterone because it is the only hope I have for possibly curing my neuropathy.

What o you suggest? Should I stay at this dosage? How should I split it up so I'm not perpetually exhausted?

Thank you so much for your help!!

Apr 24, 2014
by: Brenda

I mean no disrespect in any way, but am wondering if there is an "introduction" page here on you, Joy? I'm fairly new to this page and don't know anything about you...I would like to get to know you better.
Thank you for your help!!

Apr 25, 2014
by: Wray

Hi Brenda Joy is a dear friend who has been helping me for the last few months, as I needed a break. She's very knowledgeable on progesterone, but like all things, our own research is essential. There are over 5000 pages on this site with many links to studies for enquirers to read, PubMed has many thousands more. The site is not intended to be prescriptive, but an introduction to progesterone. Joy has a progesterone info website you might like to visit. Take care Wray

Apr 25, 2014
Thank you both!
by: Brenda

Thank you SO much for your time and attention to my concerns! I know you know how scary this all can be and I truly appreciate every bit of knowledge from Joy and from Wray. Trying to figure out the right level and trying to explain to doctors what I'm doing hs been frustrating. I believe in this, I need more help, I believe. I do think, as Joy suggested that I am estrogen deficient. I'm hoping that Dr Hayes can help me with that because I don't know what else to do.
Again, thank you very much, you have been great help to me! I will continue to look for answers as you suggested Wray.

Apr 28, 2014
Thank you both
by: Joy

HI Brenda

I see that Wray has replied to your question about who I am. You can also read about my journey with progesterone and how I met Wray here.

Just a note on your comment about me suggesting that you are estrogen deficient. I think that you may have mis-understood me, you are estrogen dominant, not deficient. I did however, say that my guess is that you are Vitamin D deficient.

Take care.

May 19, 2014
Brenda again....
by: Anonymous

I hope you know I meant no disrespect in asking about you. It is hard when I've chosen a path seldom followed to explain to others. But, all that I care about it getting better.
So, my update. I've continued daily with NatPro at about 300mg/day. I have also been taking 5000-10000iu's of Vit D daily for 2 months. 5000 now because I thought 10000 might be too much.
My first period after NatPro was the normal horribly painful one. The next one I thought I skipped (was scared I was pregnant), but I did spot a little. This month (last week) was there, but barely noticeable. No cramps, and hardly any bleeding. That has been wonderful!!
I have continued to sleep mostly at night, only getting turned around when I'm sick or overly stressed.
I am having quite a bit of depression... especially the last few days.
Regarding the neuropathy pain, not much has changed yet.
I've had a couple phone sessions with Dr Hayes... so far his main suggestion is diet (I do have metabolic disorder). I have not been able to change that yet. I've made so many changes, but letting crabs go has been overwhelming.
Physical therapy is helping me to start walking again. There is definitely progress.
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Should I stay at 200-300??

Jun 01, 2014
Brenda again ...
by: Joy

HI Brenda

Well it’s been over a month since you last wrote in, apologies for the late reply. I do hope that things have improved even more for you. The thing to remember about progesterone therapy is that it is not an overnight fix, it can take anything from 2-6 months, possibly longer before positive effects are felt. You must also expect all sorts of strange things to take place when using progesterone for the first time. One’s cycle often become erratic before it settles down again.

You seem to be showing some positive signs of improvement, so I would continue with what you are doing. Do not reduce the amount of cream used just yet, you are not ready to do this. Only once you feel stable enough, should this be done. It will take a long time for the Neuropathy pain to ease, lots of people are using progesterone with great success.

I would not be too concerned about taking 10 000iu’s of vitamin D, in fact I would have suggested you take that amount for longer. It all depends on how deficient you are.

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