How much is too much

by Kay Vermeulen
(Durban South Africa)

Dear Wray, I get terrible headaches sometimes just before ovulation and then just before or just after a period. Are they hormone related? My gynaecologist, an expert in menopause suggests very strongly otherwise, that they are brought on by me after "feeding" them with too much sugary stuff.

Anything can set them off - pork, bananas, citrus fruit, the weather even. So I bought a tube of Natpro to try and alleviate the headaches. I put cream onto my forhead when the last headache started but it didn't have any effect. I also had very tender breasts but again nothing happened after applying the cream. I am actually in the peri-menopausal stage - my periods have become erratic, and heavier and I get period pain now - something I have never suffered with. My headaches are more intense. How much cream would be effective? Would using too much have an adverse effect and in fact how much is too much? What would you suggest I do to start off with? I think a measuring spoon in each box would be helpful. Thank you.

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Sep 29, 2010
How much is too much
by: Wray

Hi Kay It seems they are very much related to hormones. Oestrogen rises sharply just before ovulation, please see this graph. Oestrogen is a known initiator of inflammation and water retention, both can causes migraines/headaches. Progesterone only rises after ovulation and then falls just prior to our period. It's this drop which can cause headaches again, as the ratio between the progesterone and oestrogen becomes skewed. Please see these, here and here. Increasing the progesterone level via supplementing does relieve them, but for headaches it's best to rub it all over your neck, specially under your ears. For sore breasts/tummy rubbing the cream directly on the spot helps. A kitchen measuring spoon is a good way to measure the amount, a 1ml spoon contains 33.3mg progesterone. A quarter teaspoon contains about 42mg. I've found between 100-200mg/day progesterone is a good start point, the more severe the symptoms the more is needed. Dr Dalton would use up to 2400mg/day in her psychotic patients, as they needed it. It's easy enough to reduce once symptoms have gone. As your cycle is erratic now, it's best to ignore it as it's impossible to follow. For more info please see this page on Peri-menopause. Take care Wray

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