My nightmare started over a year ago when I stopped taking the birth control pill. I had been on it since age 18 (aside from 2 pregnancies), I'm now 43. Within 2 weeks of stopping the pill I had tingling and numbness in my extremities and the most unsettling brain fog set in. I went from vibrantly healthy, looking after my husband's business, our home, our kids, working out 3 days a week - to being unable to get out of bed. I was overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness. The thought of making a meal or doing a load of laundry struck me with such overwhelming panic, I did nothing but the bare minimum. I was unable to think clearly. Simple math calculations were beyond me. Reading and comprehending became increasingly difficult - I was devastated since I had always had a sharp mind and loved to read. For months I had test after test, saw dr.'s, specialists, naturopaths - the only things that were discovered were low b12 and vit d levels. These were addressed, but provided me no relief. I researched for hours on the internet, convinced I had MS or Lyme or a brain tumor. Finally, someone my husband worked with mentioned bioidentical hormones and recommended a clinic. It took sometime to get the bloodwork and an appointment, but I was finally seen in April 2014, 10 months after all this began. I was so anxious to feel better, I did exactly as they told me. I was started on a number of supplements along with Prometrium, DHEA, testosterone and progesterone. Well, within days I crashed. Alarmed, I contacted the office - they advised that I start with each of the supplements/hormones that I had been given individually, trying to determine what might have caused my negative reaction. Slowly I worked up to taking everything again, but I continued to feel completely awful. Once again, they advised that I stop everything and concentrate only on the progesterone cream. They increased my dose from 40mg to 160mg per day for 2 weeks. At the end of two weeks, I was still feeling awful and getting more and more discouraged. I now recognize all my symptoms as estrogen dominance. Once again, I was advised to stop the progesterone, which I did, cold turkey. BIG mistake. I was so confused why they kept telling me to stop and start and why they didn't encourage me to stick with things longer when all the reading that I had done indicated that it might take several months to make progesterone the dominant hormone, thus relieving the symptoms that I believed to be estrogen dominance. Finally, I spoke with one of the nurses who seemed to understand. She advised that I take only the progesterone cream and dose based on symptoms. When I told her that I felt so upside down that I had no idea how to dose she advised that I just count the days in my cycle and dose that way. So, days 1-14 two clicks (80mg), days 14-28 up to 5 clicks (200mg). After 14 days of 2 clicks, my estrogen symptoms have really seemed to kick up - my brain is incredibly foggy and the tingling and numbness are back, full force. This time I am determined to tough it out, increase the progesterone and hope for improvement. This is not a quick fix, I realize that now after making the mistake of stopping and starting several times and I'm determined to give the progesterone a chance to work. This site has been a wealth of information to me and I am hoping I'm finally on the right track and that better days are ahead for me.
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