by pippa

Hello Everyone,
I hope I am writing this question in the right place. I am in early menopause and have decided to double up on my progesterone cream usage to see if I can eradicate my night sweats and insomnia. Just want to know if I can continue to take phytoestrogenic foods through my diet. I have always worked on the premise that these foods would supplement my low estrogen but can clearly see it might negate my progesterone usage. If anything can I still take my 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds daily or do I have to eradicate all phytoestrogenic foods to benefit from the progesterone?
It is all a bit complicated as my herbalist gave me a formula (shatavari, red clover, pulsatilla, rose etc.) which works fabulously for 10 days (cures all aliments including insomnia) but then I get, what I assume is, estrogen dominance (bloating, headache, insomnia returns). Would it make any sense to be able to balance taking progesterone and this formula? I gather you are going to say that I do not need any extra estrogen but I have had had horrible hot flashes/ night sweats and insomnia for 2 years and have been using progesterone cream as well (albeit not at the levels I see you recommending on this site). Thanks for your input.

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Jun 11, 2013
by: Wray

Hi Pippa You are right about my views on oestrogen! Thanks for taking the time to read the site. It's a question of balance really, flax is good, but does have some oestrogenic properties. If you find it doesn't affect you, then continue eating it. But the formula also has oestrogenic properties, and seemed to send you over the edge after 10 days. You could try it with the progesterone, I have no idea if it will counter the affect, but some of the herbs are oestrogens, so my guess it will. Phytoestrogens are impossible to avoid. The following papers list the phytoestrogen content of foods, with seeds, legumes and grains having the highest content, see here. Even foods of animal origin contain them, see here. All oilseeds contain phytoestrogens too. There are studies showing a benefit, but equally there are those which show none and some show an adverse affect. We have to pick our way through the maze as you've found. I have found Hot Flushes need about 400mg/day progesterone to stop them. I'm not sure if this is the amount you're using? Some women find adding antioxidants helps too. Please check your vitamin D levels, as a lack of this causes insomnia, see here and here. Progesterone also helps sleep, see here, here and here. We do have two pages you could look through, Peri-menopause and Menopause. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

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