Thyroid disease or high estrone?

by Rebecca
(Atlanta, GA)


I am a 36 year old female and have been suffering with what were thought to be hypothyroid symptoms. I have suffered with horrible heavy periods and very painful cramps during ovulation and menses from 13 years of age until the birth of my first child, after which I suffered from post-partem depression. My thyroid was tested and my ob prescribed anti-depressants and sent me to a shrink. I remained on anti-depressants for the next 6 years- along with birth control until the birth of my second child (5 years ago). About 6 months ago I started noticing my hair was falling out and my nails had deep vertical ridges in them. I felt cold and tired all the time, my hands and feet felt numb, my blood pressure was low and rosacea was starting to spread across my cheeks and chin. I also had extreme constipation and dark circles under my eyes. Mentally I felt completely overwhelmed. I kept experiencing bursts of anger and rage and then deep sadness, a complete emotional roller coaster and I had no idea what was going to happen next. I went to my GP and he tested my thyroid. My T4 was high and my TSH was low but still in range. My B-12 was low (354pg/ml) and my vitamin D was low (27ng/ml). At this time I knew nothing about thyroid function. He explained that maybe it was my depression returning and put me back on anti-depressants and added armour thyroid. For the first 4 weeks I felt great and then things quickly went downhill. I felt like I had a golfball stuck in my throat and I started hallucinating. I couldn't get out of bed- I was completely exhausted and an emotional wreck. I slowly weaned myself off the anti-depressants (NIGHTMARE!!) and slowly began to feel somewhat normal. I started noticing that during the first two weeks of my BC pack I felt pretty good but the 2nd two weeks I felt terrible. I discontinued the yasmin and went back to my GP for more lab work - the only medication I had been on for 3 weeks was armour thyroid.

Here are my labs (luteal phase)

estradiol 296 pg/mL (range 48-440)
estrone 508 pg/mL (range 16-173)
FSH 2.0 mIU/mL (1.5-9.1)
LH 0.9 mIU/mL (0.5-16.9)
progesterone 0.8 ng/mL (2.6-21.5)

TSH .41
T4 14.6
Free T4 1.4
T3 167
Free T3 3.4
Vitamin D 25-OH 29ng/ml (30-100)

My GP upped my armour to 45mg/day and sent me to an endocrinologist. Many of my hypothyroid symptoms had started to go away. Within the first 3 minutes of my appointment the endocrinologist started asking me if I had tried cymbalta and did I know that armour is ground up pig organs and he actually said "Gross!" I should have walked out right then. Needless to say I didn't go back. But I did get a copy of the lab tests he ordered. I tested high for TSI- a grave's disease antibody- my TSH dropped to .02 and my free t4 and free t3 were high but still in range.

I have spent hours researching my condition and lab results- I know I have low stomach acid which has contributed to my vitamin deficiencies. It seems those should have been addressed first and why not a single doctor that I have been to addressed what is a severe Vitamin D deficiency is beyond me. (I have been alchohol and gluten free for 3 years) After discovering this AMAZING website I now know I am definitely estrogen dominant and lacking good progesterone.

I have been slowly weaning myself off of the armour thyroid and have been using progesterone cream for 11 days- 150-200mg a day. I have definitely noticed my estrogen levels rising with some uncomfortable side effects- but I am forging ahead and adding more cream to counter the surge. I have also started taking pro-biotics and betaine hydrochloride after every meal. I am also taking 6,000 iu of vitamin D along with a B complex, omegas, and literally a handful of other supplements. My rosacea is almost gone (thank god!!) - I have energy and feel motivated to actually DO things- yesterday I went to the gym and mopped the floors (baby steps :) )

I still cannot find an explanation as to why a 36 year old woman would have such high estrone levels- (508 pg/mL) it seems these numbers only exist for post-menopausal women. Does high estrone equal estrogen dominance?

Also how long should I stick with the 150-200mg progesterone daily?

Thanks for letting me share my story- I hope it inspires others to take control of their health. Thank you again for creating this website and sharing all of your knowledge and insight. I am forever grateful!!

Comments for Thyroid disease or high estrone?

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Mar 20, 2012
Thyroid disease or high estrone?
by: Wray

Hi Rebecca What an amazing journey, but so typical of so many of us. Thrown a handful of drugs in the hopes something will work. Why oh why the antidepressants, as if they are a cure all. You'd think we are still living in the dark ages, when women had the 'vapours' and had to get on with it. No one realising then it was caused by a severe hormonal imbalance. Nothing has changed, we still have those imbalances, and the attitude is still the same. Throw her some AD's, in the past it was laudanum, made from poppies, I think probably preferable! Everything points to a lack of progesterone, your level now is very low. It prevents period cramping, it raises the basal metabolic rate, in doing so it increases temps, hence your feeling cold, tiredness goes, so does depression. Excess oestrogen causes water retention, it removes water from the gut to do so, hence the constipation. Progesterone is the best diuretic there is, now given via IV transfusion to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to prevent any oedema forming. You should find the constipation eases, see here. I'm delighted you have begun 6000iu's of vitamin D, although I feel you could safely use 20,000iu's for a month, then reduce to 10,000iu's for 2 months, then have another test done. My level is now 92ng/ml, a friend has hers up to 139ng/ml, we both feel so well, and never get sick. A lack of vitamin D impacts us hugely, all cells need it to function correctly. Plus a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone. Vitamin D is vital for the thyroid too, see here, here and here. I'm relieved you're off the pill, all drug based Contraceptives have the potential to harm. We do have a page on Hormone Testing, and your results are as you say, in range or lightly low. But your oestrone has me baffled, totally baffled. It's made in the ovary and the fat cells, and is primarily a menopausal oestrogen. Did they check your androstenedione levels and your aromatase levels? Oestrone is converted from androstenedione by the enzyme aromatase, possibly one or both are too high. Your progesterone to oestradiol ratio is very low at 2.7:1, we've found from Saliva Tests it should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Continued below.

Mar 20, 2012
Thyroid disease or high estrone? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Rebecca If we take into account your oestrone level, which is as potent an oestrogen as oestradiol, it would be off the chart. I'm delighted you seem to be turning it around, but would suggest you use more progesterone. Not as some comments suggest because I want to make money out of you, I don't even know what cream you are using, but because I feel it would help far more than the amount you are using. I suggest 400mg/day, you might like to see these comments here, here, here and here. Bless you for the kind words about the site! Take care Wray

Jul 09, 2014
Estrone and B Vitamins and CYP2C19*17 mutation
by: Anonymous

Two quotes from my search for things that affect estrone levels:
"CYP2C19 participates in the conversion of 17b-estradiol (E2) to estrone (E1) (12) and in the production of 2a-hydroxy estrogen (2a-OHE) (12, 13)". You can easily be tested for a mutation in CYP2C19 and other mutations.

"IN A PRELIMINARY NOTE (i) we have reported that deficiency of the vitamin B complex in female rats markedly diminishes the inactivation of estrone in the liver. Further study of this phenomenon, which is the subject of the present communication, shows that the inactivation mechanism, impaired by vitamin B deficiency, may be restored by addition of brewers yeast to the diet. Subsequent depletion of the diet is again capable of interfering with the destruction of estrone in the liver. The flow of estrogen through this organ can thus be controlled at will, by withholding the vitamin B complex or by restoring it to the diet." I think this latter quote may have some import in your situation. Do you notice any other B vitamin deficiency symptoms? For example, glossy tongue.

Feb 07, 2015
DIM for high estrone levels
by: Sara

My doctors have recommended DIM for high estrone levels, which helps a lot. You want to get the high estrone down ASAP. High estrone is often a result of exposure to xenoestrogens, like in plastic, etc. So try to reduce your exposure to plastics, never heat foot in plastic, don't drink water from plastic bottles as they have been in the sun, etc. Eat organic if you can.

Apr 25, 2016
Poly cystic ovarian sysndrome
by: Anonymous

Look into and have test done for Poly Cystic ovarian Syndrome. A lot of your symptoms sounds like.

Jan 03, 2017
Desperate for relief
by: Anonymous

I am 52 and have the same problems. Low vit d low b12 normal thyroid supposedly. Depression medicated same thing I looked up iodine deficiency and wala! I start applying on the inner part of my arm j crows iodine 2% . My anxiety and depression ceased. Sometime when these Drs do thyroid test a lot of them will show normal numbers but in reality the test cannot really test your pituitary. Our bodies are exposed to bromine chlorine and other chemicals that effect the thyroid no one tells you that. So the iodine is working for me applied in the skin. Some people reccomended nascent iodine. Selenium should be taken along with the iodine. It's working for me. You can check with your dr about this but I didn't tell my cookoo clock dr because I'm the one that solved my problem not her.

Apr 14, 2017
reverse T3
by: G. A. Harry

you should have your reverse T3 checked.

You will need to convert your T3 result into the same units that the reverse T3 is reported in, then divide the T3 number by the reverse T3.***

If the result you get is >20, your thyroid function is okay. If it is not, you have what is called functional hypothyroidism and your problem is too much reverse T3 and not enough Normal T3.

The solution is to take pure T3, not desiccated thyroid (because desiccated thyroid contain 70 – 80% T4 and the T4 in the pills is converted by your stressed-out body into reverse T3, making your situation worse.

***For example in Canada, T3 is reported in picomoles per litre and reverse T3 is reported in nanograms per decilitre: you need to divide the T3 number by 0.0154, which gives T3 in nanograms per decilitre and then to divide that result by the reverse T3 result: I suspect that this ratio will in your case be considerably <20 and what you need is pure T3.

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