Clarification

by Ginger
(USA)

Hello,

I don’t have a story you haven’t heard before. I just want to give you some background, so that an appropriate dosage of Natpro can be suggested to overcome the estrogen buildup.

I’ve felt for quite some time that my physicality screams estrogen dominance regardless of what lab work reads. I carry weight in my arms, lower abdomen, hips, and legs.
Due to chronic fatigue, I sought medical help thinking it was my thyroid, as I have a sister with Graves.

When tested, MTHFR (677?);heterozygous, Hashimotos, Epstein Barr, SLE, RNP antibodies were found to be and continue to be high.I have a below range TSH, but take Armour for my thyroid. I don’t know how much of this is relevant, but now you know.

My Dr. was “more concerned with low estrogen and progesterone levels than thyroid.” This is where HRT came into play. Since then, I’ve been on HRT for about six years: .375 estrogen patch, and 50 mg,…then 60 mg of SR oral bioidentical progesterone.

Latest sex hormone blood levels and range:
Estradiol 39.4 pg/mL R: <6.0 -54.7
Progesterone 0.5 ng/mL R: 0.0-0.1
Testosterone was not tested.

This past summer, I was eating well, exercising, and noticing the benefits, but never overcoming fatigue. With shorter days, less sunlight and activity, I noticed more than typical weight gain, more joint and muscle pain than in the past. Getting out of bed in the morning, I felt like I had been drugged. So, appointment was made, blood was drawn and reviewed. Dr. determined I was “progesterone dominant.” Therefore, oral progesterone was dropped to 40 mg.
**Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D were low. (I’ve been mega dosing to bring these levels up for the past thee months.)

The “progesterone dominance” diagnosis just didn’t seem logical. I went back to some Ray Peat articles and started taking things into my own hands. For the past month, I’ve been using a scissors to cut my patch by 1/3, and taking the prescribed 40 mg of progesterone @ night. The plan is to progressively cut more away from the patch.

Recently, I found this forum.
I just received my bottle of Natpro w/ pump and want to get started using this to replace the oral micronized progesterone.

I’ve read recommended: ‘Estrogen Dominance’ page, ‘How to Use Progesterone Cream”, “Coming Off HRT,” along with personal experiences of others like me.

My confusion lies here: The “Coming Off HRT” page indicates a schedule for reducing HRT over time. Is this for both progesterone and estrogen simultaneously, or should I go cold turkey on the estrogen and follow reduction schedule for progesterone, only? Will 200mg of Natpro per day be a good place to start or do you recommend higher to overcome estrogen levels? Thank you!

Comments for Clarification

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Feb 28, 2022
Clarification
by: Joy

​Hi Ginger

It is so difficult to suggest an appropriate dose as we are all different. As mentioned in virtually every post, between 100-200mg is needed, more if symptoms are severe. It really is up to the individual to experiment to see what works for them best. I​f​ I were you, I would start on 200mg per day and adjust accordingly.

If you and your body are coping with Armour then please continue with it. There is an excellent Facebook group called Stop the Thyroid Madness, they give excellent information you might like to look that up. If you use the search bar provided you can look up the rest.

Your doctor should be more concerned about the progesterone:estrogen ratio, when those two are out of whack everything starts to crumble. As you have probably read on this website, we do not believe that any woman needs to take extra estrogen. There are well over 100 estrogen mimics in our Environment as it is, why take more? Oral progesterone is not the best Delivery Method as about 96% gets destroyed by the gut and liver. A good organic cream such as Natpro which is a 3.33% cream is far better. All HRT's have a potential to cause harm.

Your progesterone​:​estrogen ratio is 13:1 it should be 600:1 as explained on the Hormone Testing page.

Weight gain when using progesterone is often caused when not enough progesterone is being used, oral in your case. Ray Peat is excellent with most of his information however, he is a little 'off' when it comes to progesterone.​ It could also be cause by Insulin Resistance.

I am so pleased that you now have Natpro, you will notice a huge difference once progesterone has become the dominant hormone.

Coming off HRT should be as stated. There is no need to follow this instruction ​when it comes to your oral progesterone, just replace it with the cream but use it as mentioned on this website. Many go cold turkey when it comes to stopping HRT, but it is far kinder on the body to reduce it slowly.

​Vitamin D3 is very important. ​A deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone and is connected to every single functioning cell in our bodies including the thyroid.

Mar 01, 2022
Clarification
by: Ginger

Thank you for your advice, Joy.

I decided to start with 250 mg/ 5 pumps per day, eliminating the oral Rx. If I understand the "Coming Off HRT" page, I should hold steady with the estrogen dosage until I’ve been on the cream for about a month. At that time, should I continue to cut more from the patch …would you say every few weeks? My thinking is by reducing the patch sooner than later, I would aid the progesterone in becoming the dominant hormone; less estrogen to overcome. Until then, won’t progesterone continue to stimulate this higher level of estrogen with adverse affects?

I have read posts regarding increased weight gain in abdomen, hips, butt, and breasts using high doses of vitamin D. I made this connection also, but Dr. convinced me otherwise. She insisted progesterone was to blame for my food cravings and weight gain. From reading here, it seems more likely low progesterone may be stimulating estrogen. Possibly vitamin D could also play a role.


Mar 01, 2022
Clarification
by: Joy

​Hi Ginger

It is always a good idea to use Natpro for a while before one starts to reduce HRT. I agree with cutting back on the patch too. Reduce as you see fit. The sooner you are off it the better. Please be aware of some Estrogen Dominance symptoms that you may experience while you are doing this. Progesterone will stimulate things which is why you may experience ED symptoms. As soon as progesterone becomes dominant, things will start to settle down.​ If too little progesterone is used, it will cause weight again as already explained. ​

Please send me the research papers regarding D3 causing weight gain. I totally disagree with this, but I would like to read what you found. Sadly most medical professionals have no idea or do not want to know how progesterone works​ and it's benefits ​ because it is natural. They do not make money out of natural products which is so very sad. ​​

Mar 03, 2022
Clarification
by: Ginger

Joy,

This was something I read on this site. It may have been comments in a conversation. I’ve tried to locate but I cannot. So, no scientific papers to share. Isn’t vitamin D a pro hormone? It seems plausible to me that it could have an effect on hormones that can have an impact weight fluctuation.
The funny thing I find about scientific papers, is they are considered gospel until another scientific paper invalidates them.
I always try to keep an open mind because it’s usually just a matter of time.

I took your advice and read a few things on the STTM pages. I feel fairly certain I am being under treated and have been since diagnosis in 2015. Recently at my request, I asked my Dr. to increase my thyroid dosage. I’m not sure this is working out. My treatment has always been in conjunction with HRT. So, I’m not really sure how to decipher my hypo symptoms from sex hormone imbalance. Also having just started Progesterone therapy to overcome estrogen, I can’t tell if I feel lousy due to estrogen dominance or thyroid complications. How do the symptoms differ?


Mar 04, 2022
Clarification
by: Joy

Hi Ginger

Vitamin D3 is indeed a hormone as mentioned on the page given to you.  There are a number of references mentioned too.  It does have an affect on hormones in that if deficient it reduces the benefits of progesterone. I am yet to read that it causes weight gain. If it did, I should be huge.

Progesterone is not a sex hormone.  It is essential to all vertebrates - fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals, including humans.  It has countless functions in both sexes and all ages by regulating blood sugar, developing intelligence, building bones, brain activity and many more.  Our bodies make it all the time.  In the higher animals it is involved in reproduction but, not being exclusively a sex hormone, it does not impart any secondary sexual characteristics.

You haven't been using progesterone long, you will soon find out what is working for you and what isn't.  As soon a progesterone becomes the dominant hormone you will feel it's benefits. 

Good luck on your progesterone journey.

Mar 16, 2022
Clarification
by: Ginger

It’s been just over two weeks since staring progesterone. I’m using 6 pumps per day (300 mg). I have not noticed any improvement, and realize it is too soon to expect any.

One of my big issues concerns extreme fatigue. At some point in the day, I find I find the need to lie down and sleep. This isn’t a power nap, but a 1 1/2 - 2 hour sleep. I’ve found in the last nine months this need for sleep occurs after I have eaten, by maybe 30 - 45 minutes. What I eat or time of day doesn’t matter. A sense of weakness with a desire to lie down and sleep follows. I sleep a lot.

A similar experience happens after exercise. I feel great while exercising, but if I fix a protein shake to replenish, I experience the same reaction. I’ve wondered about my adrenals. I was under tremendous stress in my 30’s and 40’s. I’m now 58 without so much stress. Throughout my life I’ve needed a power nap after school or work when others didn’t. Obviously there is some kind of stress occurring where my body feels the need to shut down.

The "Insulin Resistance" page discusses relevant symptoms and leads into "Progesterone." Hypoglycemia is mentioned. Therefore, I’m wondering if my problem could relate to high estrogen to low progesterone ratio, and if continued use of Natpro could correct.

Drs. have tested for insulin resistance, and are surprised fasting blood glucose comes back within range…although creeping higher. Cholesterol is high with high LDL, but good HDL. Insulin looks good. Iodine is low normal. Where should it be?

I’m interested in your take on this. What you think might be happening? Thank you.

Mar 17, 2022
Clarification
by: Joy

​Hi Ginger

First of all your body is still adjusting, as mentioned it can take 2-6 months, possibly longer. It all depends on how severe your adverse symptoms are. Your body will adjust when it's ready to. I can't give an exact timeframe as we are all different.

You haven't provided your test results but read the Hormone Testing page, I have already given you the link to that. It gives results for all hormones and what levels should be, including iodine levels which is extremely important.

Stress destroys so much, if you are stressed all nutrients and progesterone needs to be increased while you are going through your stressful time. I firming believe in the Adrenal Fatigue Cocktail. Our kidneys are always under strain. Google the recipe it really is good and I take it almost every day.

I encourage you to use the search bar to look up anything that may​​ be of interest to you.

Take care.

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