Progesterone and Depression and Anxiety
by Tuline Baykal
I'm a 37 year female with a long history of depression and anxiety issues...for about the last 12 years I've been on a variety of antidepressants. None of which i feel have really solved the problem. I've always had terrible PMS- since a teen and it only seemed to get worse with age. It was recently recommended by my therapist to go see a Naturopath Endocrinologist. After doing saliva testing, it was found that my progesterone levels were in the low 50's, whereas, i'm told, they should be closer to 180. These results were mirrored by some blood work that my OBGYN had me do one week post ovulation for 3 cycles. My progesterone levels were a 5, where they need to be a 10. So, it is abundantly clear that I am deficient in progesterone indeed. With that diagnosis, my naturopath and the compounding pharmacy she works with developed a special cream with about 19% bio identical progesterone. After a couple of months, we tested again and much to my dismay, but not surprise, my levels had dropped a point. I was not feeling ANY of the promised beneficial effects of the cream. So with that, they went back in and changed the cream a bit and now it has 36% bio identical progesterone plus some additional amino acids to help my body absorb it better. After about 10 days on the new cream, i start to feel less depression, less anxious, clear thinking etc..and i thought i has hit the jack pot! however, I only supposed to take it on days 7-28. Problem is, that when I stop taking it, the benefits seem to disappear.
I'm torn on what to do.
The cream is VERY expensive and I'm wondering if I switched to NatPro, would i see the same benefits at a much much lower level of progesterone in your cream?
Honestly, I'm feeling a bit hopeless about it and am seeking some works of wisdom and light to help me get through this. I'm working on increasing prog levels mainly for depression and anxiety treatment, but secondarily because I would like to get pregnant in the next few months. Right now, as my levels are so low, I am told by the Reproductive Specialist that I will have to take fertility drugs to ensure a pregnancy that will not end in miscarriage b/c my prog is too low to hold the ovum.
Essentially, I just don't know what to do.
I can't afford to continue to buy this cream if I'm not going to see lasting results (it's nearly $100 per tub).
Can you please share any insight, similar stories, solutions, suggestions?
Many thanks, TB