Lybrell, Huge Fibroids, hyperactive thyroid and hair loss

by Jo
(Houston, TX)

Hello Wray, As I am reading through your site, I am realizing that estrogen dominance is likely the cause behind my hair loss and huge fibroids, and I have three questions:

1. Is it safe for me to take progesterone cream while on Lybrell birth control pills? (I just started with Lybrell last month after being on Lupron shots for six months to reduce my fibroids). If so, how much dosage of the cream should I be taking?
2. Will the restoration of progesterone balance in my system cause my fibroids to shrink even more?
3. Could balancing my progesterone and estrogen ratios correctly impact or help my thyroid condition?

I anxiously await your response, as I want to get started on balancing my hormone levels as soon as possible!!

FYI Background info:

I am 43 years old and I have always had very long, luxurious hair. Two years ago my hair started falling out in noticeable amounts every day. At that time, I was diagnosed with hyperactive thyroid and was put on PTU, 4 pills a day. This brought my thyroid into an acceptable range, but didn't really seem to slow down my hair loss.

I have always been thin and fit but have had heavy periods with clotting and bloating my whole life. Last year I started experiencing huge abdomen distention during my periods. I also had excessive bloating in my abdomen and legs... especially my left leg. This wasn't slight water retention, this was like gaining 10 pounds overnight and waking up with cankles and looking five months pregnant! I was diagnosed with a huge uterus and several massive fibroids.

My doctor put me on Lupron shots for six months to suppress my estrogen so that the fibroids would shrink. It did work, and my fibroids (and subsequent distention, bloating and swelling) were reduced by about 70%. Interestingly, my hair loss stopped after the fifth monthly shot. This surprised my doctor, since he said my hair loss would be from my thyroid and not my fibroids/excessive estrogen. I think there is a connection, however.

My doctor put me on Lybrell continuous birth control last month and said that my estrogen would only go back to about one-sixth of what it would be normally and that the progestin would keep my fibroids at their existing shrunken size or even reduce them a bit. He wants to wait to do a surgery to remove my fibroids depending on whether or not I decide to try to become pregnant. I would have to try in vitro around six months after surgery for any chance to get pregnant, so I don't want to have the surgery prematurely.

I am now noticing after just one month on Lybrell birth control, however, that my abdomen is distended again and I am starting to swell and retain a lot of fluids. Is that normal or is it a bad sign that my estrogen is out of control again? I feel so stuck and frustrated!! Thank you so much for such an informative website. I feel there may be an explanation and hope for me!!

God Bless.

Comments for Lybrell, Huge Fibroids, hyperactive thyroid and hair loss

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May 26, 2011
by: Eve

Yikes! I would definitely question the theory behind adding synthetic estrogen back in the form of BCP since you have had obvious excess estrogen for a long time. And then the surgery lingering in the background. Hmm...from what I have read over and over, you can reduce those fibroids using natural progesterone - different than synthetic progestin in the form of BCP. It seems to me, estrogen would be a direct contradiction to what you are looking to achieve...Best wishes Eve

Jun 03, 2011
Lybrell, Huge Fibroids, hyperactive thyroid and hair loss
by: Wray

Hi Jo Lupron is a pretty hectic drug, suppressing all oestrogen. Much as I appear against oestrogen, some is needed. It's the excess which concerns me, whether endogenous or in drug form. Fibroids are an inflammatory disease, caused by excess free radicals. It appears to be a lack of vitamin D behind them, see here, here and here. Most of the modern diseases we suffer from are now being found to be caused by a lack of vitamin D. Oestrogen, being a mitogen and an inflammatory hormone, exacerbates Fibroids. Progesterone does help, as you'll see from the papers on this page. The bloating in abdomen and legs is caused by oestrogen too, it causes water retention. Progesterone on the other hand, is such a good diuretic, it's now being given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent the oedema forming after the injury, see here and here. Pity about the Lybrell, all Contraceptives have the potential to cause adverse side effects. Progestins tend to suppress any progesterone we make, by suppressing ovulation. Evidently the Lybrell is not working, as you are now beginning to retain water again. It doesn't surprise me! HRT causes fibroids to increase initially, you have to wait till the third year before they diminish slightly, see here. Contraceptives are no different from HRT, only the dose. I believe you need vitamin D and progesterone. Please consider having a vitamin D test done, for more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. The recommended daily dose is 5000iu's per day, and the blood level should be 70-100ng/ml. And not the 30ng/ml which is the standard reference that labs use. I'm running out of space, so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Jun 03, 2011
Lybrell, Huge Fibroids, hyperactive thyroid and hair loss
by: Wray

Hi Jo If you should consider using the progesterone, I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. It's a question of experimenting and feeling your way with the amount, no one 'dose' fits all of us. But please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance first, as this can occur, even if you have been on Lupron. It is safe to take concurrently with the BC pill, although you'll probably need more than normal to counter the effect of the pill. Thyroid problems are often a lack of vitamin D, see here, here, here, here and here. One study found the month of birth differed from the general population, but made no link to vitamin D. But did find a possible common etiology with both diabetes and MS, both these are caused by a lack of vitamin D. Another study found that often a second autoimmune disease also occurred, which points to vitamin D again. All autoimmune diseases have a low level of vitamin D. Space doesn't allow me to give you the papers. One day I will do a web page on the autoimmune diseases! A common link with the autoimmune diseases is inflammation, vitamin D is a potent anti-inflammatory, so is progesterone. They work together too, a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. I don't have space to go into hair loss either, obviously another web page is needed! But please consider taking the following nutrients, all helpful for hair growth, 5000iu's/day vitamin D, 2000mg/day N-actyl cysteine, 2000mg/day inositol, 2-3mg biotin and 100mg thiamine (B1). Finally you might like to read our page on Pregnancy, and please watch this video on vitamin D and pregnancy here. Thanks for the kind words and bless you too! Take care Wray

Jul 08, 2011
Vitamin D Test
by: Tracy (UK)

Hi Wray

I note your comments with great interest. I have an underactive thyroid (previously I was over active but have since had radio active treatment), Reynauds and a liver disease. All autoimmune diseases! Both my parents have diabetes and my mum has MS.

I would like to get a Vitimin D test done and wondered if you knew where i could buy a kit from? I live in the UK & would prefer to get one here if possible as the site you receommend is in America and from experience the postal service is not very reliable. I'm not sure if my doctor would do this sort of test and to be honest I have lost all faith in him!

Many thanks for your help.


Jul 08, 2011
by: Wray

Hi Eve It does seem odd to first reduce oestrogen to zero, then increase it by giving the pill! There's no understanding how doctors think. Take care Wray

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