Why do I have many symptoms but my friends all seem fine

by LW

So I've been using natural progesterone cream for many years now. I am currently on a daily total of 220 mg/day (split AM and PM). I also take good quality vitamins and although I feel okay most of the time, I still struggle with symptoms here and there throughout the month. Sometimes I feel swollen (my rings don't want to go on my fingers) and haven't really lost bloat around the stomach area. I eat a keto diet. My overall weight is good. I struggled a lot with hair loss and that has subsided (mostly after I added some of the vitamins suggested on this site). Sometimes I feel very, very fatigued in the evenings. I can't drink wine socially because it seems to affect my progesterone levels negatively. All my labs, including Vit. D and Magnesium are very good and my doctor orders a vitamin panel every six months to check them.

My question is why do some women have to use massive amounts of progesterone and vitamins to feel somewhat "normal" while others don't? None of my friends/sisters (all in menopause) take progesterone or any vitamins and they drink alcohol socially whenever they want, stay up late, don't exercise and their hair is full, they aren't overweight and they are full of energy all the time. I've been on as much as 400 mg of natural progesterone before and even after overcoming the initial ED symptoms, I didn't feel any different than I do on 220 mg. I know I can't live without progesterone but I can't keep up with my friends either while I'm on it. I do have a slight hypothyroid issue from the outset of my journey which is under control with natural thyroid (slow release T3) meds. I really question whether I even need the thyroid support because I feel it was low progesterone that probably caused the thyroid issue but I continue to take it because it's a very low dose. I know my post probably seems minor with what everyone on here struggles with but was wondering if anyone else feels the same. A new symptom just popped up this week--I'm now struggling with my eyebrows falling yet I've been on 220 mg for a long, long time. The fall out is not on the outer edges but rather the inner edges. I don't need more thyroid meds as I've tried that and just a little more sends me into hyperthyroid symptoms. I feel I do everything right but still struggle with weird symptoms. What am I doing wrong?

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Feb 22, 2017
Why do I have symptoms?
by: Anonymous

I am sorry you are struggling with this, but from what you describe in terms of fatigue, eyebrow loss and hair thinning , that is probably related to thyroid. Although you take thyroid hormone, you need Iodine! I know what you mean about other people not taking progesterone and having full hair, etc., but bear in mind that there may be other issues they are not aware of, which if aware of would require progesterone to help them! There are so many issues affecting women in regard to progesterone.

Please read Dr. David Brownstein's book regarding iodine. The lack of it is why we get low thyroid in the first place. My guess is it's not the progesterone causing any problems, it's the lack of enough thyroid support. Progesterone helps thyroid most certainly, but you need iodine! It's also hugely important for breast health because the breasts contain iodine! Also the adrenals need help. The two work together. A good adrenal support such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola and a adrenal supplement such as Premier Research Labs Adrenal Complex and their Adaptogen can help tremendously. A diet that includes more good fats is essential, such as coconut oil , which supports thyroid by the way, avocados, seeds and nuts, organic olive oil, etc. More fats than carbs is crucial. Fats increase energy. I personally take 3tbs of coconut oil sometimes more every day, and I eat a ton of pumpkin sees and sunflower seeds daily, as well as add olive oil to my meals. I am slim and have a lot of energy.

Most people do not realize how important good fats and less carbs are in the daily diet. I too have had low thyroid and take a supplement of thyroid hormone at a low dose, but it is the Lugol's %5 iodine that I would never part with. I do not take prescription thyroid , rather a supplement called ThyroGold. I swear by it. And of course I take progesterone, around 300mg. I would not be without it. I think people need to listen to their body and trust their instincts. Stay calm and know that you are doing the right things.

Feb 22, 2017
Why do I have many symptoms but my friends all seem fine
by: Joy


Your post is certainly not minor, you are concerned about a few things, it is good to ask. As we are all different, we all require different things. The same applies to progesterone, some women need to use more because of their symptoms. Some may be battling PND, Anxiety, Heavy Bleeding etc etc. These all require more. It is symptom related and of course the more excess estrogen one has. More cream is needed when first using progesterone. Once Progesterone has become the dominant hormone and you feel better, then and only then can progesterone be reduced. Stress causes progesterone levels to drop, when stressed more progesterone is needed over the stressful time. You do not state your age, but Peri-Menopause and Menopause affects progesterone levels greatly. There are so many things that cause our levels to drop, whether we are supplementing with progesterone or not.

It also depends on what progesterone cream is being used as they are all different. When you were using 400mg per day, I take it that you felt better hence the reason for your to reduce down to 220mg? Did you reduce slowly? Your adverse symptoms clearly indicate that you are still battling with Estrogen Dominance and progesterone has not yet become the dominant hormone. This tells me that you are not using enough Natpro progesterone cream, or you need to adjust the cream that you are using. Many people do not realise just how alcohol affects progesterone levels, but again, it affects some women more than others.

What exactly is your Vitamin D3 level? 'Good' or 'normal' means nothing to me, please read up on the correct levels. As you know a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone and is connected to every single functioning, healthy cells in body including the thyroid.

Have you been tested for Insulin Resistance as that also causes fatigue. Apart from your thyroid meds did you or are you taking iodine drops? I do not have thyroid issues, I am 61 and I put is down to the correct use of progesterone, vitamin D3, magnesium and iodine drops. Please do not ignore your thyroid. The fact that your eyebrows are falling out usually means thyroid issues.

Please read the following pages and references if you have not so already:

How to use Progesterone Cream
Estrogen Dominance
Hair Loss
Insulin Resistance
Vitamin D3

Feb 23, 2017
Why do I have many symptoms but my friends all seem fine
by: LW

To Joy and Anon--I REALLY appreciate your replies. I am 55 yo. I was so sick a few years ago and when I got better with progesterone cream and vitamins, I think I just settled for feeling "better" because I finally felt good after all that suffering but my "good" is obviously not my best (if that makes any sense!) It is so amazing that both of you suggest iodine. I just had my labs done two weeks ago and just got the results. I've never had my hormones checked because my doc just said to go by my symptoms but this time she checked because of my eyebrow problem. It's so ironic you mention iodine. She actually checked for that too this time and guess what? You are both right! The lab flagged it as low.

progesterone 1.1 ng/ML
estradiol 67.9 pg/mL
estrone, serum 82 pg/mL
testosterone, serum 18 ng/dL
testosterone, free 1.2 pg/mL
magnesium,RBC 5.2 mg/dL (taking 250mg/day)
vit. d 79.7 ng/mL (taking 5000iu/day)
iodine 30.7 ug/L

I did reduce progesterone cream slowly but maybe I didn't hold the higher dose long enough. And,I don't think I'm on enough by my labs, correct? By the way, my hair had been falling out for years until I read on this site to add inositol (thank you Wray--God bless her soul). It stopped falling out almost immediately.

Thank you both and Anon--I am looking into the adaptogens you mention. I am determined to get to feeling my "best" and I can't say enough about how the solid information on this website has helped me through these past few years.

Feb 24, 2017
why do I have symptoms, one other thing..
by: Anonymous

I am so happy to hear this! You are doing good things because you are taking charge of your health, and you have a sympathetic doctor to help when you need it. Iodine deficiency is everywhere! Everyone should be taking it. There are many silly theories about iodine, some suggesting it causes low thyroid! That is the first myth on Dr. Brownstein's list! Also adding the supplements to support you adrenals will help a lot. Joy will be able to help with the ratio between the progesterone and estridiol better than I can, but from what I see, you are estrogen dominant, surprise surprise! I wish you all the very best as you go forward. You are on the right path! We are all here to help each other. Onwards and upwards!

Feb 24, 2017
why do I have symptoms, one other thing..
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to say something else, which is that your vitamin D level is great but your magnesium is too low. 250mg a day is not much at all. Magnesium Glycinate is the best form. I personally take 120mg x 5 at night, spread out. Also in my bone supplement contains 400mg., plus I take 200mg during the day - a supplement that contains different forms of magnesium including malate which is good for energy. I take that before I go for my daily walk or bike ride! We need a lot of Mag!

Feb 25, 2017
Why do I have many symptoms but my friends all seem fine
by: Joy


I do not think that we realise just how important iodine is. I truly believe that we should all be taking it, male and female, whether we are deficient or not. As Anonymous said, Dr. David Brownstein's book is excellent. Your iodine is low, please read the Hormone Testing page. Your progesterone:estradiol (E2) ratio concerns me, it is low at 16:1, it should be around 600:1. This explains why your friends feel find and you don't. You had a long way to go before you should have reduced.

Inositol, also known as the alopecia vitamin is excellent, it is also a calming vitamin. I actually prefer it to Tryptophan.

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