Progesterone and thyroid

by Donna
(Katy, TX)

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (specifically, Hashimoto's) with a TPO of 1262. In range was 0-35. I was put on synthroid and my TPO (thyroid peroxidase antibody) immediately went down to 70. Shortly thereafter, I was put on armour and then progesterone cream (I was premenopausal and have since had a hysterectomy). My TPO shot back up to greater than 1200 and will not go down. I have been put back on synthroid but it still remains at greater than 1200.

Can you shed any light as to why this number is so high? It has been like this, now for over 2 years. I am presently on 88mcg of synthroid and 25 mcg of compounded T3. I also use 40ml of progesterone cream daily. can you also tell me what the TPO is and what can I do to get it back to, or close to, in range? PLEASE HELP! I have problems sleeping and very low libido. Thank you!!

Comments for Progesterone and thyroid

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Apr 10, 2008
Hashimoto's thyroiditis
by: Wray

Hi Donna Where do I start?! TPO is not an antibody, it's an enzyme found in the thyroid gland and is vital for the production of the two thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). It catalyses the reaction between iodine and tyrosine, an amino acid. It is stimulated by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), so that is probably high too.

Have your tyrosine and iodine levels been checked? If they are low, the thyroid gland will not be able to make the two hormones T3 and T4. Antibodies against TPO are found in diseases such as Hashimoto's. Please get them to check your glutathione levels, if this is low the immune system struggles.

I would suggest you take the precursor's to glutathione, the amino acids N-acetyl cysteine, glutamine and glycine, all readily available in health shops. Take at least 2000mg/day of each. Plus the mineral selenium, preferably an amino acid chelate, 200mcg/day. Glutathione needs selenium and there is also evidence that selenium reduces levels of thyroid peroxidase antibodies.

The progesterone is a good choice, but you say 40ml... I would need to know the strength to help further. All the successful studies done on progesterone use between 100mg to 200mg per day. This equates to 3ml to 6ml of Natpro per day. Some go as high as 400-600mg/day, one going as high as 1200mg/day as it was the oral variety. Hope this helps! Take care Wray

Selenium Supplementation in Patients with Autoimmune Thyroiditis Decreases Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies Concentrations

Aug 21, 2009
Will the injection contraceptive help?
by: Sally

This persons comments are close to my experience.

When the clock struck 40 my beautiful body went into revolt! I gained 15kgs within 2 and a half months, whilst eating right and jogging daily. I am 1.65cm and always weighed between 62 and 64kgs now I am lugging 80kgs.

At 40 I was concerned about pregnancy and had the doc do a blood test. What a relief but I did not know what was wrong. My eyes became extremely dry and I went to an optometrist who simply said that I needed to use ointment.

I took a prescript for specs to use on computer but because the screen is far away the cupboard landed up wearing them. My eyesight has deteriorated to the point that I can't read small print.

Finally, I remembered that people said unnatural weight gain can be due to thyroid malfunction. I asked another doc to run blood tests and Hashimoto's was the diagnosis and the cure was Altroxin for life - I refuse to take chronic meds!

I went to a homoeopath and took L-Tyrosine and some other supplements like chromium for about 6 months.

Then I recalled how that I had tremendous fish cravings and the homoeopath said that it was due to iodine deficiency. I started craving milk a year ago and am now taking Calcium and Magnesium in addition to my usual potent multivitamin and Omega 3 (Nutrilite)

My thyroid started to function okay and then I went on a weight management program lost 10kgs in 90days and maintained for a period and then WHOOSH gained 12kgs! I have just surrendered to the fat for now.

I heard Dr Oz say that men that carry the fat below the naval (metabolic fat) have raised oestrogen levels. DOES THAT APPLY TO WOMEN?

In a life time I never had fat below the naval and now I have this portly belly - cringe not to mention the back fat. I feel as if I have aged 10 years over the last year and look it.

I am now 44 and a half - grin. Noticed a year back that I started suffering from tender breasts, totally foreign experience to me.

My period still runs like clock work the way it always did - 24 day cycle approx 3-4 day menses.

I have never used oral contraception, used day after pill twice in a life time.

Can you advise whether going on the progesterone contraceptive injection will aid me to balance what appears to be peri-menopausal symptoms. Am I on the right track?

Scored 64 on your site questionaire.

Will I get fatter - lol! Which kind of injection would be appropriate at my age? When does one know to come off progesterone?

How do I tell that I am dealing with progesteron production when I use a product and not progestin? What is the benefit of wild yam and where does one access it?


Why don't doctors know to look out or ask questions along these symptoms. I could have got help ages ago then!

I would appreciate your advice.

Nov 30, 2010
by: Anonymous

I reduced mine by going gluten and iodine and caffeine free. Also low cab diet. Just fruits, veg, nuts and seeds and a bit of grass fed meat. Hard to do but my tpo is down from 1,610 tp 358.

Jul 24, 2011
by: Gillian

I cannot understand why someone would not want to take eltroxin. It sorts out the thyroid problem, has no side-effects and is cheap. It makes you better so why not?

Jun 06, 2013
also Hashimoto's...Armour may increase antibodies
by: Erin

Hi Donna & Wray,

Have Hashimoto's myself, as well as estro dominance and have had poor experiences with progesterone in the past as well (causing weight gain, water, breast swelling). I also take the generic version of Armour. I am 31 and have been on this med for exactly 1 year.

HOWEVER, I have not yet tried Natpro...I'm curious and am in the process of reading through these posts to see if it's safe for me.

A few things, with respect to your post, Kathy:

1) There are some holistic, well-respected physicians here in the States who suggest that taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid (i.e., Armour) actually INCREASES antibodies...because the medication is comprised of the desiccated thyroid gland of another animal, usually pigs, when we ingest it, our bodies recognize the hormone and glandular particles coming in as "foreign" (they are) and goes into attack mode.
Hence, triggering what we call an "autoimmune" response. This is just one theory. I'm interested in it because while i was always sub-clinically hypothyroid, I never was "autoimmune thyroid" until I began taking the Armour.
I far prefer Armour to synthetic crap like Synthroid, which rarely works for most Hashimoto's patients, but still...Something to consider.

2) IF you have an autoimmune disease, chances are you are either Th1 dominant or Th2 dominant. This refers to the two broadly categorized "sides" of the immune system, based on types of cytokines in the blood. Google it if curious. It's a popular theory, though not without its holes, but worth considering.
Thing is, IF you are Th2 dominant (meaning the Th2 side of the immune system is being overstimulated) like I am, then there is alleged evidence to suggest that Progesterone actually AGGRAVATES the condition, by additionally stimulating the Th2 side...when what you really want, is to calm the Th2 down and increase the Th1 side response and get back in balance.

I'm interested in hearing what Wray has to say about this. It's just a theory, but I have had horrible responses to progesterone as well as anything which stimulates progesterone such as bee pollen, etc.
(Meanwhile, it is clear that I do actually have a progesterone deficiency as relative to estrogen levels, given my symptoms)

3) check out ...fantastic, informative patient-advocate site for all things thyroid related...will explain a lot.

Hope to hear from you on #2, Wray!! thanks!


Jun 06, 2013
by: Erin

I meant Donna (not Kathy)!!

Jun 07, 2013
also Hashimoto's...Armour may increase antibodies
by: Wray

Hi Erin It appears you must have been using a very low amount of progesterone, possibly the standard 20-40mg/day? This would certainly account for your bad experience, I don't know one woman who hasn't reacted badly to it. Not that Oestrogen Dominance doesn't affect those on much higher amounts, but the effect is lessened and usually over quickly. You might like to see these comments here, here and here from users of high amounts. If you have Hashi's the chances are you are low in vitamin D, see here, here, here, here, here and here. And if low in vitamin D, then progesterone barely works, see here, here and here. I'm puzzled you say that the autoimmune disease could be due to either Th1 or Th2. Th1 yes, as it stimulates the inflammatory cytokines, whereas Th2 stimulates the anti-inflammatory cytokines. Both Progesterone and Vitamin D activate the Th2 cytokines. A lack of vitamin D is found in all autoimmune diseases, see here, here and here. Dendritic cells are implicated in the initiation of autoimmune diseases, vitamin D inhibits their production, see here.
Continued below

Jun 07, 2013
also Hashimoto's...Armour may increase antibodies Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Erin Progesterone also inhibits dendritic cells, whereas oestradiol increases them, see here. In all the autoimmune diseases I've looked at, a high level of oestrogen is observed and low progesterone. Or the ratio of the two hormones is skewed. Women suffer from them to a far greater extent than men, with the ratio as high as 9:1 in some. It makes one wonder if such a thing really exists, that it's not merely a response to high oestrogen levels, and low vitamin D/progesterone. Oxidative stress is prevalent in autoimmune diseases too, usually as a result of low vitamin D. High prolactin is implicated too, see here. Oestrogen stimulates prolactin production too, see here. Excess prolactin suppresses dopamine, the converse is true. The precursor to dopamine is the amino acid tyrosine, if there is a lack of this amino or protein in the diet, dopamine drops and prolactin rises. Tyrosine is also the precursor to the two thyroid hormones T3 and T4. It's also the precursor to the two stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, so demands on tyrosine are very high. Stop the Thyroid Madness is an excellent site. Take care Wray

Nov 09, 2014
25 years of treating the symptom
by: Dolores

Hi wray,

Twenty-five years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have been on bouncing amounts of synthroid ever since. I put myself on progesterone (Prometrium), six years ago. Lately, I had been having symptoms of hyperthyroidism and went to the doctor to check. It came back at 0.1 which he said was definitely hyperthyroidism now. It got so bad that I stopped taking the synthroid altogether and I feel a little better, but I think that it will probably take more time to normalize. I understand that it can take as long as six weeks. What I am wondering is - is it possible that I was misdiagnosed in the first place. Low thyroid is a symptom of low progesterone. I also had infertility which was treated with fertility drugs and I truly believe that those drugs made my body produce more progesterone which is probably the only reason I gave birth to three children. I also was quite overweight and consistently fatigued. Is it possible that all these symptoms were low progesterone and should have been dealt with as such instead of each symptom being treated individually? Now, is it possible that since I have been on progesterone so long, that the synthroid has forced my thyroid into a hyper state?

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