Is It Low Estrogen or Estrogen Dominance?

by Lorraine
(New Mexico)


I've been using Natpro for several years now.

I recently came across an article which gave the list of symptoms of low estrogen levels. They are as follows (to name a few):

Hot flashes
Night sweats
Vaginal dryness
Mood swings
Headaches and migraines
Rapid heartbeat
Joint pain
Dry skin
Thinning tissues
Panic attacks
Low self-esteem
Memory lapses
Difficulty concentrating
Urinary incontinence
Thinning hair

Of this list, I had 18 of the symptoms. My question is this:

Are these symptoms of low estrogen, or are they symptoms that women suffer because the low estrogen that they have is STILL THE DOMINANT HORMONE?

I'm taking about 150 to 200 mgs. of Natpro daily. I'm just wondering if a higher dose would make these symptoms disappear, or, if the answer is estrogen replacement as well.


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Jun 15, 2016
follow along
by: letitia

interest in the answers you may receive

Jun 15, 2016
Is It Low Estrogen or Estrogen Dominance?
by: RJ

Hello Lorraine!
Everybody is different and nobody will be able to answer your questions. The best thing you can do is increase your dosage. Go up to 400mg a day and see what happens. Stress, environment, foods, etc. can all make estrogen peak and if you are over 40 you have next to nill progesterone being made. So you have to supplement it to overcome the increase in estrogen. Just cause you have been taking it for several years doesn't mean the body isn't going to require more. You have aged over all those years and that in itself is cause to increase progesterone. Your body will be your best answer. Increase progesterone and listen to what it has to say once it is receiving that increased dosage. It will not hurt you. I'm on 750 mg a day for issues I never had four years ago and am finally seeing improvement after three months. Remember our hormones change hourly...up and down they go until we start getting all these quirky problems that make us say something isn't right inside. God Bless! RJ

Jun 15, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Rachel

There's so much conflicting info out there. I just read a book recommended by this site which says hot flashes, for which I suffer terribly, is a low oestrogen issue. I too have been using a very high dose of Natpro for two years and my flashes are still debilitating and I am still miserable.
I simply can't afford to use a whole tube every two days. I'd be interested to see the replies to your question.

Jun 16, 2016
Is It Low Estrogen or Estrogen Dominance?
by: RJ

Hello Rachel!
I don't know if you are on other supplements, but progesterone cannot work alone. Low magnesium, B vitamins, iodine and potassium can also cause hot flashes. God Bless! RJ

Jun 16, 2016
Can't Afford 400 mg. of Natpro Daily
by: Lorraine

Hi, RJ!

Thanks for getting back to me! While I would love to be able to try jacking my progesterone up to 400 mg. per day, financially, this just isn't possible for me. I would be going through too many tubes of Natpro, and I do have a family to feed. I've been maintaining a balance of $13.81 in my savings account for the past several months, with no signs of future deposits in sight. I can't give what I don't have, and what I don't have is money.

I just purchased a book entitled "The DHEA Breakthrough" by Stephen Cherniske, and I think that this is going to solve a lot of my problems. Cherniske, who is a biochemist, teaches that DHEA, which is something that our bodies produce, peaks at 25, and then, from there, steadily begins to decline. He teaches that if you are over 40 years of age, it's a given that you are deficient in DHEA. Low DHEA is one of the main reasons why so many people are fat, tired, and depressed.

Because I am low in DHEA, my adrenals are shot. Because my adrenals are shot, my thyroid gland has become sluggish. I've been walking 4 miles a day and taking 50 mg. of DHEA. I think that this is going to help me a lot, especially with the depression, fatigue, and inability to concentrate.

Dr. Jesse Hanley, who has written several books, works with countless women in perimenopause. She often treats her patients with 50 mg. of DHEA daily, and the results that she is seeing are miraculous.

I'm in the mood for miracles over here, so I've decided to give DHEA and exercise a shot.

I think that women in their forties, fifties, and beyond, need more than just progesterone.

I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing! Thanks for responding!

Jun 16, 2016
hot flashes
by: Anonymous

I wanted to ask you if you have had your Vitamin D level checked?
Wray has said in many of her replies, that Vitamin D supports proper progesterone absorption/function. It is very important, for many reasons, to have your Vitamin D in optimal range! - above 50ngml, ideally more.
Also, I wanted to ask you if your diet contains enough of the good fats: for example coconut oil, fish oil, avocados? If by any chance your diet is high in carbs or sugar, that can affect hormonal levels, not to mention weight. Good fats are more sustaining for energy than wheat or carbs., etc. I personally have found this to be true. Exercise is also vital, walking every day as one good way. And the vitamin Niacinamide, which is the non flush for of Niacin(vitamin B 3) is crucial for grounding the nerves. Taurine, an amino acid is also superb for the heart and nervous system, as is B 6. And one of the most important minerals: MAGNESIUM !
You may already be doing these things, I don't know. But I hope if not, please look into them.
I wish you all the best for your health and happiness! You will get this right, don't give up!

Jun 17, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Anonymous

Thanks RJ. I have read on this site that large amounts of Natpro usually combats hot flashes in a few days. I take high Vit D3, magnesium and zinc.
Something needs to change because I'm simply not getting any better.

Jun 17, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Anonymous

Lorraine, you sound so much like me. And coincidentally, I was reading about DHEA on the Mercola site last night and I came to the conclusion my adrenals are also fatigued. Yesterday, it took my all afternoon to mow the lawn because I had to keep resting and I was sweating so much it was stinging my eyes. I ended up crying with frustration. That lawn used to take half hour.
I have slept for 12 hours and yet still feel like I have to peel myself from my bed. No energy, miserable and sad. Not how I want to be!
Off to read more about DHEA. I'm in the UK, and hope I can get some if I need to. Like you, my finances are very limited especially since being made redundant last year.
Hope you feel well soon.

Jun 17, 2016
Low Estrogen Or Estrogen Dominance
by: Lorraine

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for all of your responses.

To answer some of your questions: Yes, I take Vitamin D. (5,000 IU daily). I take 300 mg. of Magnesium Asparte daily as part of a vitamin regimen. I'm not really sure how much Magnesium is recommended, or if that is enough. I'm afraid that if I take too much, I'll be spending too much time on the toilet, if you know what I mean, and who needs that???

As far as good fats go, yes, I'm taking plenty of those as well.

The worse thing for me is the fatigue and continual feelings of low energy. This is the one thing that I just can't get rid of, and it's turning my life to horse crap. It's all I can do to put dinner on the table.

The monthly bleeding stopped months ago, but the fatigue is just hanging in like a bad cough. This is why I decided to give DHEA a try. I truly encourage all of you to pick up a copy of "The DHEA Breakthrough" by Stephen Cherniske. I have learned SO MUCH, that I did not know before, and it's explaining a lot about why I look like I'm 8 months pregnant and feel it as well.

Another thing that is making my life miserable is urinary incontinence. When I was 27 years old, I had to have a C-section. After that C-section, I began to have minor problems with urinary incontinence. Nothing major, but enough to have to wear a light liner. Who knows...maybe they messed something up when they were doing the operation. But now that I am in menopause, the urinary incontinence has gotten to the point where I now have to wear a pad, which is making my life miserable. The pads are causing me to break out in rashes, because I'm allergic to something in them.

So between looking 8 months pregnant at the age of 52, struggling with fatigue, pissing my pants involuntarily, and now having to deal with "diaper rash," I'm ready to contact Bruce Jenner for the name of his physician.

I shall keep all of you posted on the DHEA Therapy. I'm only on day 5.


Jun 17, 2016
Is It Low Estrogen or Estrogen Dominance?
by: RJ

Hello Lorraine!
I fully understand the "cash flow" issue. But when I like to bleed heavily if I am not on a high amount, I rob Peter to pay Paul. It's a matter of oiling the squeak that squeaks the loudest. Without knowing your entire daily activities and what you eat and are subjected to, again, it's hard to say what will help you. What I do know is DHEA can be dangerous. I have looked at it many times to take and always veer away from it because of the dangers it can pose. Yes, your level might be low but if all those symptoms you have listed are a result of estrogen dominance, that DHEA that you are going to take is going to convert to testosterone and estrogen and testosterone in a woman converts to estrogen. Now you are making more estrogen. So do not be surprised if your issues do not get worse with DHEA. And non-functioning adrenals come from high cortisol and the biggest factor of high cortisol is stress. If you do not change the root of your stressed adrenals all the DHEA in the world is not going to help you. Life is hard for all of us and trying to control stressful situations is......stressful. I live it every day, all day. Most days I go into a zombie mode to try and combat the stress so I can function. The other thing that causes low DHEA, stressed adrenals and high cortisol is inflammation within the body. And the best way to combat that is diet. Keto Diet is wonderful for that, Wray has such high regards for it ...high good fats and get rid of all gluten. Candida can be lingering inside your body and you not even know it and it's building inflammation. Get rid of the candida and there goes the inflammation. I wish you the best of luck. It is so very hard to find natural solutions to health issues. Especially when we want the answers...yesterday. Let us know how you fair out. God Bless! RJ

Jun 18, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Anonymous

Of God, life's really crappy sometimes isn't it? I'm sorry you're so miserable. I will get that book though I'm also pretty scared of DHEA. I would like to have my hormones, cortisol and DHEA tested but in the UK it's expensive and my doctor is very conventional and doesn't seem to know much about hormones and bio identical.
There is a 'menopause support group' locally and most of the women there are on HRT.
I feel like I'm really on my own with this and it's a tough one.

Jun 18, 2016
Low energy and more
by: Anonymous

A simple iodine patch test may be helpful, although , as Dr. David Brownstein has said on many occasions, most people are iodine deficient! But just to see, put some iodine on your upper arm and if the patch disappears in a few hours, you most likely are deficient. It isn't the most sophisticated of tests but it is an indication. Of over 6,000 patients Dr. Brownstein tested (through more thorough testing) all were deficient! Iodine is crucial, not only for thyroid, but breast tissue, ovaries, every cell in the body. Please read up on it.
May I suggest that you try taking iodine , perhaps one Iodoral 12.25mg or Lugol's 5% - 2 drops is the equivalent of one Iodoral - and a desiccated thyroid supplement such as ThyroGold. Also, for your adrenal support: Rhodiola . The excellent company Premier Research Labs do a wonderful product I am never without: Adpatogen, and Adrenal Complex. I think if you try these, supplements which support your Adrenals and Thyroid , plus the progesterone and good diet you seem to be consuming, you may feel better. As far as Magneisum, 300mg is not a lot! I take much more than that! One the most important minerals for women! Don't stop taking it! Also when magnesium is at a good level, the energy the next day increases! It is calming at night with the benefits of increased energy the next day.
I wish you all the best!

Jun 18, 2016
by: Lorraine

Hi, RJ!

I, too, was concerned about DHEA until I read what Stephen Cherniske wrote in his book.

In his book (The DHEA Breakthrough), he teaches that men produce approximately 30 percent more DHEA than women do. While a woman's ovaries contribute small amounts of DHEA, she must depend for the most part on adrenal production. When a woman enters into menopause, this accelerates a decline in DHEA production.

Because women must depend on their adrenals for DHEA production, it follows that adrenal stress will affect a woman to a much greater degree than it will a man.

According to Cherniske, the common opinion is that women should not take DHEA because it will be converted to testosterone. Cherniske teaches, however, that this makes absolutely no sense. The conversion of DHEA to testosterone is natural to a woman's physiology. In fact, the levels of both DHEA and testosterone DECLINE steeply with age.

By the time a woman is forty years old, she will only have a testosterone level approximately HALF of what she was producing when she was twenty. This causes problems because testosterone is our power hormone. It increases feelings of competence and strength.

According to Cherniske, clinical trials with women showed that testosterone increased significantly with a moderately high dose of 50 mg of DHEA per day, BUT THE HORMONE WAS RAISED ONLY TO THE LEVEL NORMALLY SEEN IN A HEALTHY YOUNG WOMAN. It did not exceed that level.

The goal of DHEA supplementation is not to masculinize women but to restore DHEA and testosterone levels to the female prime peak.

In this clinical study, 84 percent of women who supplemented with DHEA (no more than 50 mg.) saw a remarkable increase in perceived physical and psychological well-being.

Cherniske teaches that one of the biggest false alarms circulating today is that DHEA supplements will elevate estrogen levels enough to increase the risk for breast cancer, but this is unfounded. He writes that although there IS clinical evidence that SUPER HIGH DOSES of DHEA may be cause for concern, studies show over and over again that even if a woman took 1600 mg. of DHEA per day, this would only DOUBLE her estrone and estradiol.

The DHEA dose that I am referring to here is only 50 mg. Cherniske recommends that a woman start with a low dose of 10 to 15 mg. of DHEA and then slowly increase to a maximum of 50 mg. At 50 mg. a day, studies show over and over and over again that estrone and estradiol levels remain UNCHANGED.

If a woman is taking a ridiculous amount of DHEA (such as 300 mg.),this WILL raise her testosterone above the female prime peak. It will also produce masculinizing effects such as facial hair and even voice changes. But this is NOT an issue with a small dose of 50 mg. of DHEA daily. At this small dose, our goal is merely to bring the woman's DHEA levels back to what they were when she was in her prime, which is about 25 years of age.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Jesse Hanley, M.D., has been prescribing DHEA for five years with remarkable results. She has seen many of her patients with CFIDS, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, adult onset allergies, average adult fatigue or burnout, and weak digestion (to mention a few ailments) heal deeply with DHEA. On numerous occasions, Dr. Hanley has seen her patients' natural DHEA levels start to rise after one to two years of feeling good. These people began to require less and less DHEA supplementation because their adrenals were healing.

If a person is over 40 years of age, it's a given that he or she is low in DHEA. Each year, we decline in DHEA production more and more. When you throw into this mix tired, weakened adrenals (which so many of us have because of stress), you can begin to imagine the downward spiral as far as our health and energy goes. In fact, by the time a person is in their 70's, they have 0 blood levels of DHEA.

I will keep everyone posted as to my progress as I continue in my DHEA journey.

In The DHEA Breakthrough, Stephen Cherniske, reminds readers that success with DHEA is not just a matter of popping a pill and continuing to live our lives as we always have. We must exercise every day. We must eat and sleep properly. People who pop a DHEA supplement in the morning, while continuing to live sedentary lives, and eating poorly, will see no improvement in their energy levels, weight loss, etc.

I shall keep everyone posted!

Jun 20, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Rachel

Please do Lorraine!
I eat a low carb diet, rich in organic protein, fat and vegetables. I take 10,000 iu vitamin D daily and have done for months.
I feel weak, depressed, very unhappy and scared of how bad I feel. I am active every day. I am soon to be 47, yet I feel ancient. I haven't had a period for months now and each night I get to hot I can't sleep in the same bed as my partner. I feel like I'm losing the plot. My mother's menopause was not like this and she didn't supplement with anything, not even a vitamin.

Jun 20, 2016
I Can't Take Iodine
by: Lorraine

Hello, "Anonymous!"

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I tried taking Iodoral years ago, and I did horribly on it. For reasons which they do not yet understand, iodine has a tendency to lower ferritin levels in some people, and I, sadly, happen to be one of them. While I was on Iodoral, my ferritin levels dropped significantly, making me very anemic. It was an ongoing battle, so I had to stop supplementing with it. I didn't want to stop, because iodine is such an important mineral, but I was left with no choice.

I am currently taking Nutri-Meds for my thyroid gland. I shall look into the adrenal product that you recommended.

Thank you for your response! Have a great day!

Jun 20, 2016
by: Anonymous

This is a very interesting discussion. I'll be following it.

Jun 21, 2016
One More Thing About DHEA...
by: Lorraine


I just wanted to add one more thing about DHEA...

One of the reasons why some people do so poorly on DHEA is because they take too much. The goal of DHEA is to return your body to the DHEA blood levels that you had when you were at the age of 20-25. These levels are perfectly normal to human metabolism. What we are talking about here is a PHYSIOLOGIC dose, and side effects are EXTREMELY RARE at this level. Taking much larger doses (in the range of 150 to 300 mgs. DHEA) exceeds the body's normal metabolism. This is known as PHARMACOLOGIC dose, and it is at THIS DOSE when people start to encounter problems.

When it comes to age, DHEA, and dosage, the general guidelines are as follows:

Women Age 35-40
Start with 5 mg, and observe how you feel for a few weeks. Increase to 10 mg if desired after 2 weeks. Usually a woman at this young age will not require anymore DHEA than this.

Women Age 40-50
Start with 10 mg. Increase to 20 mg if desired.

Women Age 50-60
Start with 20 mg. Increase to 25 mg if desired.

Women After Age 60
Start with 25 mg. Increase to 40-50 mg. if desired.

Men require different dosages of DHEA, since their bodies need more than a woman's. I didn't post men's dosages here, but if you are interested, let me know and I will post them as well.

At first I started out taking 50 mg. of DHEA, but then I decided to pull it back to 25 mg. just to see how I do on that lower dose. I'm 52 years old, so 25 mg. is fine.

I've been taking DHEA for about 8 days now, along with walking 1 hour a day, and eating properly, and I have to say, I'm starting to feel really, really good. I'm not depressed anymore. I'm not ready to crash in the afternoons. I have the joy and enthusiasm that I used to have when I was in my twenties. I really feel like the DHEA Therapy Plan is giving me my life back.

Most people won't notice any results with DHEA until several weeks.

When you supplement with DHEA, this tricks your DNA into believing that you are back in your twenties again, because you are producing the same amount of DHEA that you produced when you were at that age. The body doesn't know the difference, and this has a tremendous impact on every other area of the body.

Many of us have sluggish, tired, and exhausted adrenals as a result of the stress of modern life, etc. 150 different hormones are produced in the adrenal glands, so when the adrenals are not functioning properly, you can well imagine the downward spiral in one's health. DHEA helps the adrenals immensely.

Many middle-age people experience the frustration of eating right and exercising, but they still feel like crapola, and they aren't able to lose weight. This is because when we get older, our metabolism slows down and we aren't able to burn off calories the way we used to when we were young. DHEA gets our metabolism back to where it was when we were in our twenties. It's the missing link. When you supplement with DHEA, combined with exercise and proper eating, you will not only feel wonderfully energized, but you will see pounds coming off that you haven't been able to shed in years.

The secret is our metabolism. People could eat lettuce leaves all day long, and they still won't lose weight. When we pull back on too many calories, our body goes into "starvation" mode. It's a natural ability that our Creator put into us. What little calories we take in, gets stored as fat in order to prolong our survival.

Your age is obsolete and irrelevant, ladies. With the DHEA Plan, it doesn't matter how many candles are on your birthday cake. Your age will be determined by the strength and vitality of your body, the sharpness of your mind, and the passion in your heart for living. Numbers have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Again, I STRONGLY encourage anyone who may be reading this post to buy the book "The DHEA Breakthrough" by Stephen Cherniske. I read numerous health books, as this is my interest in life. This book is the best book which I have ever read, and it is the one that has changed my life the most. What I have learned as a result of this books is absolutely incredible.

If you put into practice what Cherniske teaches, like me, you will start to feel like a whole new person.

I am 52 going on 20, ladies. I don't know about you, but I refuse to accept decrepitude, fatness, low energy, and depression as part of getting older. Too many people think that this is the norm, when it clearly is not.

I used to say to my husband, "I wish I could be 25 years old again, but with all of the knowledge and wisdom that I've gleaned now that I'm 52." We used to shake our heads and say, "If only...if only."

DHEA has made this possible.

Jun 22, 2016
Is It Low Estrogen or Estrogen Dominance?
by: RJ

Hello Lorraine!
I still feel it is a scary supplement. Too many parameters to stay within and falling out of them could be dangerous. And how do we not know that it isn't' the one hour of exercise or healthy eating that has caused the euphoria you are experiencing? More oxygen to the brain increases well being feelings. It is great that you are feeling wonderful. It is what we all seek when we are searching on sites such as Wray's. We are having issues and ones doctors cannot help with or could care less about and it forces us to visit the world wide web in hopes of solutions. Fortunately, this is why America is great, we are able to follow paths that others might not. Wishing you the best of luck on your path! God Bless! RJ

Jun 29, 2016
low estrogen…
by: Rachel

I'm reading the book, and I wanted to know how you're geting on, Lorraine?

Jul 03, 2016
by: Lorraine

Hi, RJ! Hi, Rachel!

I've decided to respond to both of your posts with one single post!


Because many people share the same concerns that you do concerning DHEA, they take 7-Keto, which is the same thing, EXCEPT THAT IT DOES NOT CONVERT TO ESTROGEN OR TESTOSTERONE.

I am now reading another book by Stephen Cherniske (The Metabolic Plan: Stay Younger Longer) in which he even highly recommends 7 Keto because of the remarkable results that people are experiencing on it. So, for people who are worried about their estrogen or testosterone levels increasing, 7-Keto solves the problem because it does not convert to these hormones.

I still have two bottles of regular DHEA that I have to finish. After that, I will switch to 7 Keto to find out for myself how it works. If I find that it works as well as regular DHEA (as everybody testifies it does), then I will stay on the 7-Keto and never have to worry about estrogen or testosterone increase.

So far, however, I am not experiencing any problems with regular DHEA.


I have finished reading The DHEA Breakthrough, and now I am reading Cherniske's other book, The Metabolic Plan: Stay Younger Longer. This second book is EVEN BETTER than The DHEA Breakthrough. If you are enjoying The DHEA Breakthrough, you've just got to buy his second book; it's even better, because he shares with you even more things that he has learned since the writing of his first book. The things that I am learning are absolutely life-changing.

I take 25 mg. of DHEA every morning. It has completely eliminated all depression. The only thing that I'm struggling with right now are unpleasant caffeine withdrawal symptoms. I suffer from adrenal exhaustion. Drinking caffeine was only making this worse. In fact, for years I was spending a fortune on Dr. Wilson's overpriced product, Adrenal Rebuilder, and I simply could not understand why my adrenals were not recovering. It's because I was drinking caffeine all throughout the day.

I'm in Week Two of Caffeine Withdrawal. The headaches have gone away, but the fatigue is still there. Fatigue and brain fog related to caffeine withdrawal can last up to several months, depending on how much coffee you drank in a given day.

Once the unpleasant caffeine withdrawal symptoms get out of the way, I will be feeling much, much better.

But so far, so good! I am not experiencing any problems on DHEA.

One of the things that Cherniske warns in his other book (The Metabolic Plan: Stay Younger Longer) is that when people first start taking DHEA, they expect it to work like a caffeine pill. If they don't feel "20 years younger" within a month, they feel that they aren't taking enough, and they increase the dose. It takes many months for the tissues in our bodies to adjust to optimal amounts of DHEA, so we have to give it time.

I am now on Day 21 of my DHEA Therapy. When 60 days have passed, my husband and I are going to have our DHEA levels tested to see where we are.

For years I had taken melatonin in order to help me to sleep, but it never did anything for me. Stephen Cherniske recommended simply taking 400 mg. of Magnesium before going to bed. I did it, and I slept like a rock. Yay!

I shall keep you posted!


Jul 07, 2016
loe estrogen or estrogen dominance
by: Rachel

Thanks for posting! I'm so glad you're doing ok. Long may it continue.
Rachel x

Jul 10, 2016
by: Anonymous

My testosterone level is low, around 16, and women feel best when it is around 60. If you use DHEA can you skip testosterone cream, and rebuild your levels if needed testosterone with DHEA?


Jul 12, 2016
by: Lorraine

Hi, Anne!

Quite a few people have been able to get off of their testosterone prescriptions after taking DHEA. I recommend that if you begin to take DHEA, start at a dose of about 15 -25 mg. Hold that dose for about 60 days. See how your testosterone levels go. If you see that your testosterone levels start to go up, you want to lower the dosage on the TESTOSTERONE CREAM, not the DHEA dose. DHEA is wonderful because of its anabolic activity all throughout the body, whereas testosterone simply focuses on one area of the body.

Keep us all posted and let us know how things go!

Have a great day!


Jul 13, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Rachel

Sorry to pester you Lorraine but you said you are in the UK I think. Where do you get your hormones tested if you don't mind me asking. I'm in the UK too.

Jul 14, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Wray

Hi Rachel I'm sure Lorraine will come back to you, but in the meantime you could look at these websites……..

Websites for hormone testing….
Direct Healthcare Access II Laboratory USA offer a comprehensive panel of tests, plus advice.
ZRT Labs USA offer a comprehensive panel using saliva, blood or urine tests.
Genova Diagnostics UK offer blood or saliva testing.
Genova Diagnostics USA offer blood or saliva testing.
Trace Elements offer hair analysis USA.
Analytical Research Labs USA offer hair analysis.
Request A Test USA offer a full testing panel from A to Z. No need for a doctor's script……

For information on vitamin D tests see the following websites….
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth USA
Birmingham Hospital UK

Take care Wray

Jul 14, 2016
Hormone Testing
by: Lorraine

Hi, Rachel!

I live in the United States (New Mexico). I wish that I did live in the UK, as I am fascinated with Europe and the European people!

Here in the states, we have independent labs all over the place that we can get tests at. I go to HealthCheck USA and order my tests through LabCorp.

You can ask me questions any time! Please do not think that you are pestering me!

So far, I am feeling magnificent!


Jul 14, 2016
Cream or pill
by: letitia

when talking about dosage for DHEA is this in cream form or pill form

Jul 15, 2016
by: Lorraine

Hi, Letitia!

I'm referring to pill form, since that is the form that most people use.

Have a great day!


Jul 22, 2016
low estrogen or…
by: Rachel

Hi again Lorraine, and Wray!
Thanks so much for your input Wray, that's very helpful.
Lorraine, I have always wanted to visit New Mexico! maybe we should do a house swap?
And I've been meaning to say so for a while, but your writing's very funny. I know you've been feeling rubbish, but you certainly haven't lost your sense of humour, and thanks for making me laugh. Your posts are very refreshing.

Jul 25, 2016
Just Living Moment By Moment
by: Lorraine

Hi, Rachel!

I have found that maintaining a sense of humor is absolutely necessary when one is going through perimenopause. If I had read 1,000 books on perimenopause before actually entering into it, I STILL would not have been adequately prepared for everything that I have had to endure.

My mother and my twin sister literally breezed through menopause. My mother just stopped bleeding when she turned 50, and that was the end of that. When I was 50, I was passing placentas in the shower and struggling with depression, fatigue, anemia, and homicidal tendencies. On my worst days, I would just pour myself a glass of wine, stare at a wall, and be about as useless as a teat on a male hog for the rest of the day. If I made the mistake of venturing into a supermarket on the really bad days, I would find myself mowing down little old ladies with my shopping cart. It got so bad that eventually my husband took over the grocery shopping.

All of this started for me when I was about 42 years old. I will be 53 years old this October, and I think that the worst is over. I really and truly am finally beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. I now have, for the first time in a long time, a sense that a new chapter in my life is beginning to unfold, and I feel enthusiastic and hopeful. But back then, if I thought two positive thoughts in a row, my brain got a cramp.

Since I've been exercising, eating a whole foods diet, and taking DHEA, I feel so much better, and I don't struggle with the depression and fatigue like I used to. For me, the DHEA has made a tremendous difference.

I'm learning how to simply live in the moment these days. I just want to focus on the moment that is before me. When I focus beyond that, I become overwhelmed and stressed out. I can handle perimenopause moment by moment. I can handle life moment by moment.

I have learned to just let things go, such as the house cleaning. When I was in my twenties, thirties, and forties, I cleaned my entire house from top to bottom once a week. I was obsessed with a clean house. Now, I'm lucky if I tackle the housecleaning once a month. I just don't care about the dust anymore. I have books that I want to read, thoughts that I want to meditate on, music by Bach and Mozart that I want to listen to, new recipes that I want to try, journal entries that I want to write, and new discoveries that I want to make about myself and life, and I refuse to let the dust on my furniture or the water spots on my mirrors or the grease in my oven get in my way.

So....I'm just taking perimenopause one moment at a time over here, re-prioritizing my life, and holding on to my sense of humor as I go along! If I can make others see the humor of perimenopause along the way, then for me, it was all worth it.



Jul 26, 2016
Just Living Moment By Moment
by: Wray

Hi Lorraine Please keep making comments on our site, I love reading them! This last really made me laugh, love your turn of phrase. And what you say couldn't be more true, I was obsessive in keeping things 'tidy', but realised it really wasn't needed, there are far more interesting things to do! Take care Wray

Jul 26, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Rachel

Yes, I second Wray, please continue to write! It's wholeheartedly refreshing and reassuring to read another woman's account of the horrors and the humour of perimenopause. No ego at all, just down-to-earth honesty, and it helps to make me feel 'normal' when most days I feel quite bonkers.
Now I don't feel quite so guilty about throwing a bunch of celery at the kitchen wall last week.
Thank you Lorraine. X

Jul 26, 2016
Just Living Moment By Moment
by: Lorraine

Hi, Wray!

How wonderful to hear from you! I'm glad to know that I am able to make people laugh as I navigate my way through the insanity of perimenopause! It's been one heck of a ride so far!

Hope all is well at your end!

I love seeing your name appear on the posts. It's comforting... like seeing a candle in the window!


Jul 27, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Wray

Hi Rachel thank you for making me laugh with your 'throwing celery at the kitchen wall', I know how you feel, and thank god I'm over that phase! Take care Wray

Jul 27, 2016
Just Living Moment By Moment
by: Wray

Hi Lorraine Bless you for the kind words, brought tears to my eyes. Take care Wray

Sep 02, 2016
Is it low...
by: Rachel

Hi Lorraine, how are you?

Sep 05, 2016
7-Keto DHEA Test Results
by: Lorraine

Hi, Rachel!

I'm doing wonderful!

Allow me to give you an update on my experiment with DHEA, etc. If you will recall, there is some controversy concerning DHEA, as, if it is taken in high enough doses, it can convert to estrogen and testosterone. After I ran out of DHEA, I decided to just start supplementing with Life Extension 7-Keto DHEA, since the 7-Keto DHEA does NOT convert to estrogen and testosterone. I took 100 mg. of 7-Keto DHEA at about 7:00 A.M. and another 25 mg. of 7-Keto DHEA at about 3:00 P.M. each day. (Total: 125 mg. daily) Again, keep in mind that with 7-Keto, you can go MUCH HIGHER than you can with just straight DHEA because there is no conversion crapola that you have to worry about. Many menopausal women actually take 200 mg. of 7-Keto DHEA daily.

On August 12th, I then went to a lab in order to see what the DHEA levels were in my body after being on this dose for about 60 days. The test results came back within two days, showing that I am in the "Very Good" category. There are 4 categories: Prime Peak, Good, Deficient, and Worrisome. So, at 125 mg. of 7-Keto DHEA, I was catapaulted into the "Very Good" section. I may increase my dose a little more just to move myself into the Prime Peak category.

Interestingly, my husband, who is 60 years old, and was not taking as high of a dose as I was, also got his blood tested. He ended up in the "Deficient" category. Men need more DHEA, but he was afraid to take the high dose that I had been taking. I was taking 125 mg. of 7-Keto DHEA daily, and he was only taking 50 mg. I kept telling him that he was not taking enough, especially when men require more DHEA than women, but since when do men listen to women???? When his results showed that he was in the "Deficient" zone, I said to him, "I hate to say, 'I told you, but....' I admit to feeling quite superior in his presence for the next few days afterwards. Now he is taking a much higher dose. We both plan to get retested in another 60 days.

Besides the 7-Keto DHEA, one of the BIGGEST and most REMARKABLE changes that have occurred in my life is a result of taking Niacin (Vitamin B3) daily. I study orthomolecular medicine; it's my hobby, so I constantly have my nose in a book pertaining to this field of medicine. Recently, I came across a book on Niacin written by Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD. For me, this was another life-changing book, as it took whatever was left of my adrenal problems, which I had been struggling with for 10 years, and made it a thing of the past.

Dr. Hoffer teaches that most people are deficient in Niacin, and that this deficiency manifests itself in many, many different illnesses. In Dr. Hoffer's book, he related the story of a man named Bill, who eventually became one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill had been struggling with alcoholism for many, many years. He found that by taking 3,000 mg. of Niacin daily (in three divided doses), the fatigue and depression that he had suffered from for decades completely vanished. Once the fatigue and depression went away, so did his need for alcohol, because it was the alcohol that he was relying on to combat the fatigue and depression.

When I read this testimony in the book, I said to myself, "Hmmm. Fatigue and depression..... I wonder....." So, fearless as always in the face of new exploits and adventures, I dashed off to the store and purchased several bottles of NOW Foods Niacin (500 mg. capsules). I took 1,000 mg. in the morning, another 1,000 mg. 5 hours later, and another 1,000 mg. 5 hours after that, totaling 3,000 mg. daily.

Dr. Hoffer warned that when you first take Niacin, you get the infamous Niacin Flush, which I was fully prepared for. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. Niacin almost always causes a flush when it is first taken. It's nothing to be frightened of, and when you know to expect it, it's no big deal. The flush usually starts in the forehead and face and works its way down. Sometimes the whole body can turn red and feel somewhat itchy. But then the flush slowly disappears. It feels like a major hot flash.

Niacin, which is currently being used to treat both children and adults with psychological or behavioral disorders is a remarkable anti-stress factor. Simply put, it kills stress because it causes you to relax all over.

For me, the most stressful time of the day is when I have to go into the kitchen and make dinner. I call that the Witching Hour. I hate it. When I go into the kitchen, it seems like at that very moment, everyone else in the family needs to be in the kitchen at that same time, and we all end up stepping over one another. Usually, after I've banged into someone for the second or third time, I lose my cool, and all sorts of colorful and descriptive adjectives come flying out of my mouth (I say this to my shame, but after all, I am human). Now, I just pop 1,000 mg. of Niacin into my mouth about 15 minutes before the Witching Hour is scheduled to begin, and viola! No more descriptive adjectives!

Niacin is a nutrient, not a drug, so it is perfectly safe. It is usually given in three divided doses, for it is water-soluble and quickly eliminated from the body.

I have found that the Niacin has eliminated whatever was left any fatigue issues that I was struggling with. Many people with adrenal problems take Niacin, especially before going to bed at night. If they wake up at 2:00 A.M. and can't get back to sleep, they'll just pop another 500 mg. of Niacin into their mouths and go back to sleep.

Because of the Niacin, my stress levels have been almost completely eliminated. No more stress. No more fatigue. This has actually enabled me to lower the amount of progesterone that I had been taking in order to deal with stress. Because of the Niacin, I now only require about 75 mg. to 100 mg. of progesterone daily, as opposed to the much higher dose that I had been taking because I didn't know how to cope with the stress.

So, that is where I have been these days! I am glad that you wrote! I had been meaning to post in order to give everyone an update on my progress, and your email was a reminder for me to do this!

Check out Dr. Hoffer's book on Niacin!

Hope all is well at your end!



Sep 06, 2016
Hi Lorraine
by: Anne

Thanks for the update!
Perimenopause sucks!! I hate this stage in life. i have been following the DHEA thread. I stopped taking it and my testosterone cream as I discovered there were two forms of estrogen in it. I have put on 15 pounds in the last two years, I was always 120-123 forever. Then after my last son my weight problems began. I was always able to take it off, but the last two years I can not and I am retaining fluid, cant even wear my wedding riing. I am a mess and depression runs heavy in my family so I am fighting this. I eat clean, work out 5-6 days a week, etc.. I am intrigued by your info on DHEA, but I read Wray said to avoid it. I take a ton of supplements, feel like I need a part time job to pay for it all! LOL

I am 48, if I try the DHEA, the keto one, what dose should I try, I really want to get this weight off, ask it really, really depresses me.
Thanks!! Anne

Sep 06, 2016
by: Anonymous

Does the flush continue the entire time you take niacin or does the reaction dissipate after awhile? I'm intrigued with this but the flush deters me.

Sep 08, 2016
7-Keto Dose
by: Lorraine

Hi, Anne!

When it comes to weight issues....I hear you! I was always a size 10, but once I got into my forties, it shot up to a 12 and just kept going higher even though I was eating sensibly.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, many women exercise religiously and diet religiously, yet they cannot lose weight, but cannot figure out why. If they are over 40 years of age, it is because their metabolism has declined. This is why supplementing with 7-Keto DHEA is so vital. It restores the body's metabolism to what it was when one was in his or her twenties.

If that metabolism isn't functioning properly, it doesn't matter how much one diets, or how much one exercises; weight is still going to be an issue. Again, this is because the issue pertains to metabolism.

Since the 7-Keto DHEA does not convert to estrogen or testosterone, you can take a much higher dose of it than you can with ordinary DHEA.

At your age (48) I would start taking 75 mg. of 7-Keto DHEA. Take it in a divided dose, say: 50 mg. in the morning and 25 mg. eight hours later. (I take LifeExtension 7-Keto DHEA. I found this to be an excellent brand). My test results prove this.

Hold the dose for 60 days. If you can, get your DHEA Sulfate levels tested after the 60 days have expired. It's a very simple test that is performed, and one that is becoming more and more common as the public is being made aware of the importance of maintaining one's DHEA levels.

I'm going to provide you with guidelines so that, if you get tested, and you see that your numbers fall into a certain category, this will give you an indication as to whether you need to increase or decrease your dose. (These are measurements for FEMALES, so if any MALES are reading this post, these numbers do not apply to you).

PRIME PEAK: 280-380 mcg/dL
GOOD: 150-280 mcg/dL
DEFICIENT: 45-150 mcg/dL
WORRISOME: Less than 45 mcg/dL

The unit of measure mcg/dL is the same as mcg/100 mL and pg/dL. If your results are reported in ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), simply divide your result by 10 and use the above chart to see where you fit in.

The reason why testing is so important (even if you just get tested once a year) is because it will show you if you need to increase your dose, as it did in the case of my husband, who was taking much too small of a dose for a male. Sometimes, the test can actually save money because many people have found that they did not need to be taking as much 7-Keto DHEA as they had been taking, and they drop the dose.

Many women make the mistake of believing that two weeks after they begin ingesting 7-Keto DHEA, the pounds will magically disintegrate overnight. If you come across such testimonials, try not to take them too seriously. Usually, it can take up to 6 months for people to begin to see results. Some may see results sooner, but most have to wait until a certain amount of time transpires.

Also, exercise is very important. You mentioned that you work out 5-6 days a week, which is excellent. If we don't exercise, but all we do is take 7-Keto DHEA, it won't work as quickly. Stephen Cherniske (whose many books I have read) is a fanatic when explaining this to people. 7-Keto DHEA works best when it is combined with exercise.

Stephen Cherniske has found that when a person is taking the appropriate dosage of either DHEA or 7-Keto DHEA, it is not necessary to work out 6 days a week. One can actually just pull it back to 4 days a week and get the same results.

I hope this was able to help! Keep us posted!


Sep 08, 2016
Niacin Flush
by: Lorraine

Hi, Shelli!

Niacin almost always causes a pronounced flush when it is first taken. This is probably due to the sudden release of histamine. The flush starts in the forehead and face and works its way down. Sometimes the whole body - down to the toes - turns red, but this is extremely rare.

When one takes Niacin, this dilates the blood vessels and creates a sensation of warmth.

During the flush, the person's face and body may turn pink, feel itchy, and hot. After an hour, the flush slowly disappears. (My flushes only last about 20 minutes). The first flush is usually the worst. With each dose thereafter, there is less and less flush, and in most cases it is almost gone after a few weeks. If the dose is too low, flushing may remain a problem. Each person has a minimum dose that must be exceeded before flushing ceases, usually 1,000 mg. taken three times a day.

To minimize the flush, it is recommended that one take the Niacin AFTER a meal so that it will be diluted by food. When Niacin is taken after a meal, the flush may be delayed. In fact, the flush may occur long enough afterward that you forget about it! So don't let the flush surprise you. Niacin taken on an empty stomach can result in a flush within minutes.

It is not recommended that you take sustained-release Niacin, as too many people have reported negative side effects with it. Dr. Abram Hoffer and Andrew Saul recommend that people avoid sustained-release Niacin.

The flush is not harmful at all, but people are warned to expect it so they will not become fearful when it occurs. Many people (myself included) love the flush. Once you've been taking Niacin for a certain amount of time, your body no longer will flush. But because so many people rather enjoy the flush, in order to regain it, they will stop their Niacin for a few days so that when they resume taking it, the flushing returns.

For people who do not want to deal with the flushing, Niacinamide is the non-flushing version of Vitamin B3. There is nothing wrong with Niacinamide. This form of Vitamin B3 is frequently found in multivitamins and B-complex preparations. It is the opinion of Drs. Hoffer and Saul, however, that Niacinamide is less effective in inducing relaxation and calming effects. I have found this to be true as well. It just doesn't work as well as Niacin.

Although it is true that the B vitamins work best as a team (hence the B-Complex preparations), the body seems to need proportionally more niacin than the other B vitamins. Even the RDA for niacin is much more than for any other B vitamin. Many physicians consider the current RDA for niacin of only 20 mg. to be WAY TOO LOW FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH.

The usual starting dose for adults is 1,000 mg. three times per day after meals. This may be increased if the therapeutic response is too slow. If at 6,000 mg. per day there is nausea, the dose should be reduced to 5,000 mg. or 4,000 mg. per day.

Vitamin B3 is a remarkably safe therapeutic substance, even when taken without medical supervision. Vitamin B3 is considered to be nontoxic by orthomolecular therapists.

Not only does Niacin have a tremendous ability to help us naturally relax and get to sleep more rapidly at night, but it is also well-established that Niacin helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

The important thing to remember is that Niacin is a vitamin. It's a nutrient, not a drug. It is not habit forming, nor does it require a prescription since it is that safe. It is a nutrient that everyone needs every day.

I highly recommend that you read NIACIN: THE REAL STORY, by Dr. Abram Hoffer. This book was released in 2012, and it is packed with all sorts of useful information concerning the safety and benefits of Niacin.

Also, there is an excellent website, that is filled with all sorts of information, not only on Niacin, but on anything and everything you ever wanted to know about orthomolecular therapy. It is a site that I visit frequently. Dr. Andrew Saul is the owner of this particular site. What you will learn at this particular website is life-changing.

If you are afraid of the flush, just start with a low dose. If you get a 500 mg. tablet and cut it in half, then just start with 250 mg. three times a day. Next day, try 500 mg. three times a day, until you are up to 1,000 mg. three times a day, which is the usual adult dose. Usually, the only time you will get the flush is when you take your first dose of the day. When you take the other two doses, the flush becomes less and less. Eventually, when you've been taking Niacin long enough, you won't even feel the flush anymore.

It is recommended that with each 1,000 mg. of Niacin, you take at least 1,000 to 2,000 mg. of Vitamin C. Niacin releases histamine in the body; the Vitamin C counters this. I take Vitamin C in powdered form. I usually take it 15 minutes before I'm about to take Niacin so that it will be in my bloodstream.

The only frustration that I sometimes experience with Niacin is that it tends to make my dry eyes worse. When women are going through menopause, many tend to experience dry eyes. On certain days, the Niacin can actually make this worse, so I will go off the Niacin for a few days and then go back on it. If you have dry eyes, and you notice them getting worse, go off the niacin for a few days. Afterward, take it at a smaller dose. Dry eyes induced by Niacin are always dose-related. When people take too high of a dose, the dry eyes can become worse. If that doesn't work, then just switch to Niacinamide. Just keep in mind, however, that although Niacinamide DOES help with moods, depression, and anxiety, it doesn't work as well as Niacin, nor does it have the same cholesterol-reducing ability as Niacin.

When I'm feeling homicidal because of stress and hormonal fluctuations, I just pop a 500 mg. capsule of Niacin in my mouth. I cannot emphasize enough what Niacin has done for me as far as eliminating depression, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. When you read the testimony of so many others, you will see that they, too, have had their lives changed by this all-important nutrient.

I hope that this was able to help! Keep us posted!

Sep 13, 2016
Low estrogen or dominance
by: Rachel

Niacinamide doesn't cause you to flush.
I have a problem taking b vits it turns out. I have discovered more information to blow my mind, and may interest you Lorraine.
Niacin makes me feel absolutely dreadful. I can't absorb it. I discovered this info, and now want to get tested.

And this explains methylation better than I ever could!

Oct 10, 2016
by: Lorraine

Hi, Rachel!

Please forgive me for responding so late!

This subject - methylation - sounds intriguing. I have ordered some books on it, as I would like to learn more about it. I never heard of methylation before.

If you get tested, let me know how you make out. I am very interested in this.


Nov 28, 2018
Revisiting the Original Post
by: Kelly

I am so confused about which road to take. I've been focusing on my obvious symptoms of estrogen dominance by using progesterone cream for more than 15 years. I know for a fact it has helped me tremendously as it lengthened my increasingly short cycles, and brought me back from a terrible period of crushing anxiety. There is no doubt it has truly been a lifesaver for me. I have avoided estrogen like the plague and use DIM to try to decrease it.

I am now 53 and have been experiencing a steady increase in my symptoms, plus many more. As if my hair falling out isn't bad enough, I am now unable to sleep more than 3 hours without waking up. It has become extremely bad in the past 3 months and is greatly affecting my quality of life.

I struggle to understand how I could need so much more progesterone than my body would ever make on its own. Yes I am stressed!! I have major stressors in my life and have had for many years. My cortisol does not follow a normal pattern and is slightly high in the late afternoon/early evening. But still that does not explain to me why I would need so much progesterone.

I have my hormones tested every year and see that the big difference now is that my estrogen levels are fluctuating wildly, where in the past they were consistently in the normal range for my age. I think my symptoms now are more related to the loss of estrogen.

I went to a seminar a couple of weeks ago, by a Dr who favors bio identical estrogen patch, along with progesterone (she prefers oral because of the sleep benefits). She presented information from a new book titled; "Estrogen Matters" by Avrum Bluming. This book addresses the flawed Women's Health Initiative studies which have had all of us fearing estrogen since its release. I am still very confused but now that I know what my menopause is going to be like, I am taking a closer look at the benefits of bio identical estrogen in a low dose patch. There is no way I am going to tough this out and keep bumping up my progesterone cream when I don't fully understand why I need to. If there is something that can help to get "Me" back, I am going that way.

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