Help! Been taking Emerita Progest Cream for years. Been having horrific heart palpitations now and not sure what to do.
Little bit of a background.
I am about 90 pounds overweight, I'm 48 and had a hysterectomy back in 2011 due to adenomyosis and severe haemorrhaging (I still have my ovaries though). I had four miscarriages in my twenties all due to a lack of progesterone. I was diagnosed then with a luteal phase defect.
Four years ago, I went into a hypertensive crisis (BP 245/145) and developed a panic disorder all within weeks of each other. I've also had an impossible time losing weight. At that time, I found this site and started taking progesterone cream. All has been going well since then (other than it's still very hard to lose weight, despite great dietary structure and my thyroid being in normal ranges... if not getting close to being HYPER). My cholesterol is perfect...135 (LDL 70, HDL 52 and TRI 83).
Here's where it gets tricky. I have suffered from ectopic (skipped) heart beats since my twenties. They are cyclical (meaning they can come on suddenly, last for weeks to months, then disappear for months, even years). In the past, these cycles of palpitations would consist of maybe 100 skipped beats in a day at worst. I also NEVER take the one week monthly break from the progesterone cream because if I do, then I would wake up at night with my heart racing terribly as soon as I started it up again at the end of the week.
When I first started four years ago, I was taking a half teaspoon 2x a day, but titrated down to about a 1/4tsp 2x a day for the last 2 years. I'm not sure if I'm in full menopause yet, or still just peri since I have no uterus. But I did start weaning myself off of the progesterone cream beginning this summer using a little less each month. I was still on it, but probably using about an 1/8tsp twice a day.
We have been under an EXTRAORDINARY amount of stress since the summer as we are renovating our old house, building a new house cross country and preparing to move. We didn't even take a single day off for 3 months straight and worked late into the night and all day weekends. We also had horrible nutrition during that time (lots of take out due to not having a functional kitchen). Four weeks ago, I started with the worst heart palps of my life. I skip beats 4-8 times per minute and now I also get episodes (usually after activity or eating) where my heart will race at 150bpm until a use a vagal maneuver to stop it (bear down hard, or blow hard into a pinched nose). Sometimes it will start back up minutes later and repeat for hours.
I've been to my GP and all my blood work is completely normal (he didn't test estrogen or progesterone though and I didn't think to ask him to). Also my EKG was normal. He is referring me to a cardiologist because he thinks I might have developed AFib, but that appointment is a month away. I definitely have some sort of electrical issue going on with my heart, but I have read that the number one causes of that is stress (got lots of that) and hormonal imbalances (history of that).
As soon as these heart palps started, I immediately upped my progesterone back up to 1/2tsp 2x a day and it hasn't made any difference at all. If I'm in menopause, I don't know if my estrogen has suddenly dropped (which I've read can cause palps). I will say I don't seem to have many of the dominance symptoms I used to have any longer. Pretty much, just can't lose weight, have anxiety issues, can't handle any stress right now without melting and then there's these awful, awful palps.
I did start taking 5,000 IU of D3 about 6 weeks before the palps started. (at that time I was also living on Tums...about 20 a day due to the take out, so I initially wondered if calcium was the culprit, but since fixing my diet last month haven't had a single Tum and my calcium level was completely normal). I also take 400mg of Magnesium Citrate a day (have now upped it to 600) and I also started adding in 400mg of Potassium (which I shouldn't take due to my BP meds, but my potassium level is normal at 4.1 so I'm going to continue for now). I take a B-Complex, Cod Liver Oil, 1,000mg of Taurine and 50mg of zinc. I have ZERO caffeine, I cut all wheat and most forms of sugar out. I only have cultured dairy, I eats lots of nuts, fruits, veggies and legumes, and I'm eating tons and tons of fish for protein (salmon and tuna mostly). I due take Xanax as needed for anxiety (which lately has been A LOT).
I'm at my wits end! I know sometimes heart palps are un-explainable and you just have to deal with them or go on meds that have serious side effects or have an ablation done to your heart. If there is a NATURAL cause for my issues and it's related to menopause and my hormones, then I want to FIX IT. I'm just afraid to add any more progesterone in right now in fear of it making my heart palps worse since the last time I super-dosed (when first starting years ago) my heart raced for days and I'm afraid if it did again it would put me in the ER.
Any insight into late perimenopause, early menopause and bad heart palpitations and racing (possibly AFib) would greatly be appreciated! I read everywhere that this is common during menopause... well knowing that doesn't help much, LOL. I should add I have no night sweats, no hot flashes, no breast tenderness, etc...typical signs of menopause I hear women mention. Just the dang palps, the weight, the high BP and the anxiety.
Can you help?