Estrogen Dominance or Adrenaline Dominance?

by Laura

I'm 40 years old, and about 3 years ago I started to get IBS symptoms. I had a lot of stress going on in my life and it lasted for months on end. I went to a G.I specialist, and he said it was IBS, probably from stress. Finally, that disappeared and not long after I started to feel slight flutters in my chest periodically. In addition to that, I would get days where it felt like my heart was pounding or the pulse would increase out of nowhere. I went to my doctor, I did a full cardiac work up (EKG, halter monitor, blood work, etc.), all was normal.

A few months later, we made a big move out of state, lots of STRESS, and sure enough, on the plane I had a panic attack. For the subsequent weeks after that, I had a lot of flutters, palpitations, I felt weak, etc. I realized that my palpitations would coincide with my cycle. I figured it had something to do with hormones since I've always been out of whack. For example. I had a cyst rupture on my ovary when I was 20, they put me on BC pills to manage that since they said I had Polycystic ovaries.

Then after I gave birth to my first daughter I had post pardom problems for months after (insomnia, and a host of other problems) My OBGYN told me I was a "poster child" for PMDD and that I should be taking Prozac for 2 weeks out of the month. I quickly found a new doctor.

After the birth of my second child, I suffered similar problems, insomnia while I was sleep deprived, racing thoughts, etc. With both pregnancies I was pretty even keel the entire time (since I was loaded up with progesterone) It was the time for me, mood wise, etc.
So, after my panic attack I went to a new OBGYN in our new state of CO, and I did a spit test. The results showed that my estrogen/progesterone ratio was high. Not incredibly bad in terms of numbers, but there was definitely an imbalance. She wanted to start me on 100 mg of progesterone. I am nervous to take medications, because I am sensitive to any changes I make. So I decided I would start out low and work my way up. Once I got to 100mg, I was not doing great. She told me that my body probably metabolizes it efficiently and made all my tissues sensitive, since it felt like my palpitations were much worse. so she switched me to a cream . 20mg per day. A month or 2 later, I felt like it was too much again , so she told me to use it every other day. After several more months, it didn't seem to be helping and I noticed an increase of anxiety feelings, like feelings of doom, something is wrong, nervous stomach, fatigue. Again, all related to changes in my cycle. I went back to her and she said lets just to the progesterone only birth control pill. I had already been on the pill for so many years in my 20's, that I didn't want to take any more synthetic hormones. I ended up having my dad (a physician) get me bio-identical progesterone cream from a compounding pharmacy. I thought I was taking 25mg. a day. I took it for a month and seemed okay, until the following cycle . I felt worse, so I gave up and stopped the progesterone cream altogether.

The next cycle was a NIGHTMARE. Around my ovulation time the following cycle I had MAJOR anxiety. Had to talk myself out of a few panic attacks. VERY scary. Turns out the cream I thought was 25 mg, was really only about 5 mg. It was 25 mg per gram, so 4 clicks made it 25 mg. I was only dong 1 per day. So, I was decreasing the progesterone instead of increasing it!!

I really need some advice here. I have been reading on here that I should be doing at least 100-200 mg of the cream per day, and according to Dr. Michael Platt, it looks like that is the same recommendation too. Do they make creams that have that much in it? If I start out with 100 -200 mg will I get severe symptoms with the estrogen dominance? And what makes Adrenaline dominance different?

I've already started the compounding progesterone cream again, and I think it is already helping, but I'm sure I'm not taking enough, and the dominance symptoms will probably occur again. As long as the panic doesn't come back!!!!

Thank you for your help!!!

Comments for Estrogen Dominance or Adrenaline Dominance?

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Nov 13, 2017
Estrogens dominance
by: Anonymous

I have had almost identical symptoms to you. Postpartum I had terrible depression and heart palpitations, (also linked to my cycle) as well as ruptured ovarian cysts. I know how hard the estrogen dominance can be when starting the cream. I am on 200mg right now, and a 200mg pill at night for my insomnia, and it has made the world of difference. But it took me a good 3 weeks at 200 mg for the estrogen wake up to subside.

When you start progesterone it initially stimulates your estrogen receptors, and the same goes for estrogen stimulating progesterone initially. I am rather appalled that your obgyn would give you the "progesterone only birth control pill" there is no such thing as a NATURAL progesterone birth control pill. It is a PROGESTIN. It is not bio-identical. You most definitely CAN get a 200mg prescription cream made at a compounding pharmacy. I have done it and they have no problem doing it. You just have to go to your doctor and demand it. Say you want to try a higher dose for at least 6 months. It literally cannot harm you. You make about that much daily, if not more, when pregnant. And if they suggest it in pill form, tell them it will do no good because most of it will just get destroyed in your gut. That’s something they can’t deny. If your obgyn will not prescribe it then google natural path doctors in your area who also have an MD in their name. They are usually more open minded and knowledgeable. I had to go that route when my obgyn would not prescribe the high amounts of cream. This will take a lot of standing up to your doctor but if I can do it so can you!

I am finally rid of my heart palpitations and tachycardia! It can be done. But it will take time. It has taken me a while to get here and I’m still slowly improving. Most of it in part to this website. I would not have had the knowledge to stand up to my doctors if it weren’t for Wray who put this whole thing together. She literally saved my life. Please don’t give up on progesterone yet.

Good luck.

Nov 13, 2017
Estrogen dominance?
by: Rachel

Hi there.

Have you ever done any reading about adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalance? They go hand in hand. Your symptoms are a lot like mine, especially anxiety. I am not a doctor, but I would advise you do some reading about cortisol and how it depletes progesterone.

Your diet, vitamin D3, ashwagandha, magnesium, a good b complex and lots of sleep will make a difference.

Have you ever had your thyroid checked?
Dr Axe, Dr Lam, Dr Mercola, Joel Ronsen all write extensively about adrenal issues, leaky gut and hormones.

Nov 14, 2017
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much ladies for your input!

I completely understand now the estrogen dominance piece. I just recently upped my vitamin D three as well as magnesium, I also take fish oil and have included Taurine as well. I’m going back to my doctor today to get blood work done to see where my D levels are. Last winter they were very low so I started taking 5000 IU’s however I stopped over the summer and now I have a feeling my D levels are probably down again so I’m doubling my dosage per my doctor.

I have had my thyroid checked, even my progesterone levels checked and it all looked "normal"...I spoke with Dr. Platt last night and he also recommended changing certain things about my diet. I realize I have to cut out simple sugars and starches and feed my brain with oil’s like coconut oil and veggies and fruits and a lot of protein. I definitely feel like my sugar levels get really low when I have the anxiety, which leads me to believe that insulin in my body is not reacting well. So I think at some point I need to up my dosage of progesterone. He has a 5% cream that I can get which is 50 mg a pump I want to get to that level. And you’re right, it took me a while to get here and now it’s gonna take me some time to get back to where I need to be.

I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to hear from other women who suffer the way I do and it’s very comforting to know that it does improve and it can get better so I thank you.

Nov 15, 2017
by: Rachel

Hi again. Keeping your blood sugar from dipping will also help support your adrenals. I now eat a low carb, high fat diet. I don’t drink alcohol.

Try using magnesium malate before bed too. Magnesium is often low in us women, but especially if your adrenals are under stress.
There are so many women who share our experiences. There are lots of Facebook pages and groups filled with stories like ours.

You are definitely not alone!

Nov 15, 2017
by: Anonymous

I have another question concerning the anxiety symptoms.

It's not only the nervousness, butterflies in my stomach all day, but it then moves to feelings of impending doom, like something is very wrong, and even obsessive, repetitive thoughts! And it tends to come in waves throughout the day.

One other thing I just noticed: Last night, the waves miraculously stopped and I felt myself again after a full week of torture! It all began a few days into my period and then stopped after ovulation!! ( I ovulate earlier then day 14) This HAS to be related to hormone levels!! I also tend to get some sort of symptoms a few days before my period arrives again.

I think if I increase my progesterone it may reduce the symptoms next month?? I'm thinking since I had mistakenly reduced my progesterone amount in September, and then stopped it altogether in October, that my symptoms were very SEVERE this month. It took 2 months to get to this point, so it may take some time to get back on track??

Nov 17, 2017
more questions
by: Anonymous

I am wondering about the beginning of the menstrual cycle. I've been hearing/ reading that many women take the progesterone either their entire cycle or the second half of their cycle.

My intense anxiety symptoms began 3 days into my period, and then stopped around ovulation. Literally stopped a week later. I felt the cloud lift, and I've had 3 wonderful days. I'm terrified of that happening again next cycle. Am I right in thinking that progesterone and estrogen are both low when the cycle begins, and then it gradually increases closer to ovulation?

I'm wondering if I should increase my progesterone next cycle in the very beginning to 25mg in the morning and 25 before bed (cream) and should I be using it straight through even when i get my period?

Thank you for your help!!!

Nov 20, 2017
Estrogen Dominance or Adrenaline Dominance? 1
by: Joy

Hi Laura

Stress is a terrible thing, it destroys so much. You have suffered from Estrogen Dominance for a long time. Excess estrogen can cause heart palpitations. Progesterone, if used correctly, can help these palpitations. Estrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval - see info below. You were so correct in connecting the dots as this is most definitely related to hormones. Ovarian cysts are also caused from excess estrogen.

You also suffered from PND and I am so pleased that you refused the Prozac. Why do they always suggest anti-depressants when all it takes is the balancing of ones hormones and the correct nutrients? As you were not treated correctly with your first baby, you would have certainly suffered from the same symptoms with your second. The body also produces high amounts of progesterone while pregnant, it's after birth when things can go crazy for some women. Please read the Pregnancy page below especially the info by the late Dr Kittie Dalton. Please also read the Anxiety page.

Sadly you have not been advised on how to use progesterone correctly. Any form on oral progesterone is not the best delivery method and 96% gets destroyed by the gut and liver. You would have been taking just enough to aggravate your estrogen receptors. You then switch to a cream, but again incorrect advice was given. Between 100-200mg is needed per day, often more is needed and I would say that you would benefit from using more than 200mg until your body adjusts. Often more is needed to get one over those estrogen dominance symptoms, especially if one is experience heart palpitations which can be very scary. I am not in favour of compounded creams as many come mixed with parabens, chemicals, estrogen and or testosterone NOT what any women needs. You are also in Peri-Menopause which brings on it's own challenges. Please consider using a good organic progesterone cream such as Natpro.

(running out of space ..continued below)

Nov 20, 2017
Estrogen Dominance or Adrenaline Dominance? 2
by: Joy

Hi Laura (continued)..

Do you know what your Vitamin D3 level is? If not, please consider having a test as a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone and is connected to every single functioning cell in our bodies making it vital. Important co-factors are needed when taking vitamin D3.

Please read the following pages and the references as they will explain exactly how progesterone works and what is needed.

How to use Progesterone Cream

Estrogen Dominance


Vitamin D3

Nov 20, 2017
Estrogen Dominance or Adrenaline Dominance? 3
by: Joy

Hi Laura, and these pages....



Heart Palpitations




Delivery Method

Nov 20, 2017
thank you
by: Anonymous

Hi Joy!

Thank you so much for responding. I can't tell you what a relief is it to hear I'm not going crazy! I had my vitamin D levels checked last winter and I believe my level was something like 22. Very low, so she put me on 5,000 IU's. Over the summer, I stopped taking the supplement because I figured the sun would be enough. I went back a couple weeks ago, and since I was feeling so awful she (a new doctor) put me on 10,000 IU's, and I will be getting my levels checked again soon. I got the bio-identical cream from a compounding pharmacy. But you think Natpro would be better? Dr. Platt also sells a 5% cream, so I'm thinking I should get something that is a higher concentration.

The feelings of anxiety and depression are the dominant symptom lately. It seems to switch from that to palpitations off and on. Not sure why. Right now the palpitations are better, and I'm praying that the severe anxiety subsides with me taking more progesterone.

I was thinking I should also take some L-Theanine or 5- HTP as well. I have also upped my magnesium per my doctors request, so I hope I am on the right track!

Thank you again for your input, I so appreciate it, and I will read all of those articles you posted.

Nov 20, 2017
estrogen dominance
by: Anonymous

As Joy mentioned, compounded hormones may have additives. I use to have my progesterone formulated this way but was never happy with it. And you need a doctor to get in the first place! Natpro is excellent. Listen to Joy's advice.

Hope all goes well for you!

Mar 08, 2023
How are you today
by: Anonymous

I read your post and was stunned. I was like you were describing me. I started utrogestan yesterday and my palpitations are through the roof. I just Wonder Laura, how are you today? Did you find your way through this? Would you like to share?

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