Bio identical Hormones

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Before I started taking Bio Identical hormones I was a mess. After a weeks now, I can see and feel a huge difference. I hope it continues to help me.

    Has Anyone else tried them?

    (I had to correct my post, I meant to say "Before" I started the hormones)


    [This Message was Edited on 09/28/2006]
  2. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    I had a hard time adjusting to the progesterone, but after dosage adjustments am doing quite well. Also take testosterone and just discontinued me cortisol.
  3. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    Please tell me all about these Bio Identical Hormones. I have heard of people also loosing a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. Thank you, Tam
  4. smalone

    smalone New Member

    I am trying them now. I see a doc in St. Louis who tested my hormone levels through bloodwork, etc. I have a had a testosterone pellet injection. The first few weeks I couldn't tell much but now I think they are helping my energy levels. I have CFS.
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Bumping to respond later.
  6. nanna4550

    nanna4550 New Member

    Hi PVLady, I take prometruim (projesterone) and I use a biest/test cream which has helped a lot to get me back to normal (I had a hysterectomy years ago). As for energy and weight loss, no luck with that.
  7. mrstyedawg

    mrstyedawg Member

    Just started the cortisol, testosterone and thyroid. This is day three for me. Do not see any difference as of yet.

    Andrea
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Here is a list of hormones that I take. Please consult your doctor and/or do plenty of research before taking them yourself. (Most of these are prescription, and so you'll have to consult your doctor.)

    1) DHEA. This was a "miracle" for me early in my illness. An adrenal hormone that increases stamina and energy. I had mine measured (blood and saliva tests), and the levels were a fraction of what they should have been. At one point I was taking 50 mg a day--a lot for a woman. (My doctor tested me and said this was appropriate.) Now I take about 10 mg every other day. Maybe my adrenals are stronger now, or something else (candida?) has improved. Signs of excess: male-pattern hair growth, acne. Some of this converts to estrogen and testosterone; the DHEA cousin 7-Keto does not. Available over the counter in U.S.

    Oh, I'm too tired to give this much info on all of them. I'll just do the list.

    2) Pregnenelone. This is tested less frequently, but I was shown in the past to be low on it too. Increases cognitive concentration, maybe mood. Made by the adrenal glands. Available over the counter in the U.S.

    3) Prometrium. Bioidentical form of progesterone in softgels. I've used for about a decade for PMS (emotional rather than physical symptoms); now it's paired with my estrogen supplements. Supposedly it helps to build bone, also. (Estrogen merely prevents bone loss rather than buidling it, supposedly.) I take 200 mg (2 capsules) per day for most of the month. Prescription brand. Low-dose natural progesterone cream is available over the counter. High dose natural progesterone cream is available from compounding pharmacies.

    4) Vivelle patch. This is a natural estrogen patch, including just the estrogen estrodiol. Prevents hot flashes, increases female lubrication, supposedly increases mood and sexual interest for those in pre-menopause and beyond. Human estrogen is composed of at least three parts: estrodiol (the most potent), estriol, and estrone. Creams with estriol, estrone and estrodiol are available from compounding pharmacies; so are creams with just estriol (a mild estrogen). Some say that all three estrogens should be supplemented at once. Some say it doesn't matter. Prescription.

    5. Testosterone pills. Increases overall feelings of well-being, motivational drive, self-confidence. Available in pills from compounding pharmacies. Useful in small doses for women as well as larger ones for men.

    6. Testosterone cream. A small amount used on female genitals on a regular basis (or just before sex) increases sexual arousal and satisfaction. Available from compounding pharmacies.

    7. Florinef. This is a drug, but it compensates for adrenals that do not make enough aldosterone. Aldosterone is the hormone that keeps water retained in the body. If you do not have enough, your blood pressure will be very low. Without the Florinef, my blood pressure is often as low as 80/55. This causes faintness and fatigue. Another symptom is if you "drink like a racehorse and pee like a fish." Adding lots of salt (teaspoons per day) also may raise blood pressure; Florinef probably should be used only if salt is insufficient to raise blood pressure.

    8. Oxytocin. A "feel-good" hormone produced by the body in very high dosages at orgasm and during giving birth (apparently to get women through the pain), in lower amounts the rest of the time. If you're low on this, you will feel generally unhappy. Pale skin is a frequent symptom. The first few times I took this, I didn't expect it to do mucch. Then I started realizing that I was feeling good for no reason a few hours after taking it. It definitely makes a difference for me. Available in pills and also in injectable form from compounding pharmacies.

    9. T3. This is the active form of thyroid hormone. Apparently a lot of CFS patients are normal on T4 (the main ingredient in usual thyroid hormones like Synthroid and Armour) but low on T3. Thyroid deficiencies manifest themselves as low energy, weight gain, constipation, cold body temperature (measured early in the morning as well as subjective). Either the body can't do the T4-->T3 conversion, or something else is present stealing the T3 sites (meaning extra T3 is needed to compensate)---scientists aren't sure. It's important to get the right level, although subjective feeling may be better than tests. (Too much thyroid results in feeling of being overheated, headaches and diarrhea.) Available through compounding pharmacies.

    10) Cortisol. My cortisol levels are very low normal in general. They're also reversed, meaning they're very low in the morning and very high at night. (This seems to be a symptom that goes along with bipolar tendencies; I don't know if it's related to CFS.) If I take a small amount (5-20 mg) of cortisol in the morning, I have more energy. Sort of like drinking coffee, except mellower. I've tried Seriphos on and off for 10 years for this; it seems not to help a lot. My doctor assures me that it's okay to take a small amount of cortisol every morning. I'm a little wary of this. What I generally do is just take it on stressful days. It gives me some extra energy. More importantly, I think it keeps my adrenals from having to work as hard to pump out extra cortisol in order to handle the stress. If I take the cortisol, I usually feel better the next day and into the future....apparently giving my adrenals a break is helpful. (On the other hand, if I wait until the day after I'm stressed to take the cortisol, it does me no good whatsoever.) I tend to take extra DHEA on stressful days, too.

    11. Human growth hormone. Many CFS patients are low in HGH (I am). However (and this is reported by Cheney), this seems to be too strong for CFS patients. It knocks me flat on my back, even at a low dose. My feeling is that it channels the small amount of available energy that I have toward body repair, which is all well and good if you don't want to do anything else. About a year ago, I sprained my ankle very badly. Weeks went by and I still couldn't walk on it. After three days of HGH, it was almost totally healed. This stuff is expensive....I happen to have half a refrigerator (exaggeration) filled with it from back when my insurance gave better reimbursements. I would use it again for "wound repair" if necessary, but probably not for other things. It wouldn't be expensive at all for this purpose, if you could persuade your doctor to give it to you.

    12. Adrenal Glandulars. These are from the adrenal glands of cows, and so they're not exactly bioidentical to humans. There's some controversy about these. Some people say that they support the adrenal glands. Others say that the cortisone in them (varies depending on the kind) is bad in itself, or that there could be hormones that don't match the ones in our bodies. Others say they're helpful in supporting weak adrenal gland function. My CFS doctor highly recommends them to me. I don't know how helpful they are, but I take them a lot of the time. Theoretically you could get mad cow disease or something from them, but there have been no reports of this happening. Still, products from more reputable companies are preferable.

    13. ProBoost. This is thymic hormone, which is designed to help the immune system. This comes from cows too.....although in this case, a select group of cows (maybe just one cow) that was optimally raised and thoroughly checked or something. There's controversy about this amongst CFS doctors/patients too. Some say that it can help kill viruses, bacteria and other icky things that people with CFS seem to not be able to ditch on their own. Others say that increasing the immune system in CFS is bad because it can increase autoimmune disease. I use it just when I feel like my immune system needs to be ramped up---e.g. when I have the feelings (mostly scratchy throat) that a cold or flu is trying to push its way in. I rarely actually get full-blown colds or flus, but my body spends an awfully lot of energy and time fighting them off (so much so that I think that I'm more affected by them than people who are actively sick with them). The ProBoost seems to chase them away very quickly. Many of my friends and acquaintances who don't have CFS swear by ProBoost to chase away colds and flus, too.

    14. Melatonin. This helps regulate the sleep cycle, allowing you to go to sleep when otherwise your body would still be in "wake" mode. This is especially helpful when traveling to different time zones. I have practically no jet lag when I use it. i'm not sure how I weigh in on using it on a regular basis. It's been a long time since I've used it every night, but I've been experimenting with doing so recently. I tend to think I'll stick with it just for the jet lag, though. Available over the counter in the u.S. THe new sleeping medication Rozerem seems to work similarly to Melatonin.

    **

    I may be forgetting something; I'll write again if I recall.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/29/2006]
  9. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I added a couple of items to my list (above).
  10. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I was not tested before starting them but I am using the bio identical hormone cream by Biest. One is Estriol I believe the container says 2 mg/0.6ML HRT P. I am to use two pumps a day.

    The other container is Progesterone 100 mg/1.2ML HRT P - Four pumps a day.

    Does anyone know what this is???
  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I added one more hormone to my list.
  12. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Those are measures of strengths, but since a) don't happen to have progesterone or estrogen in prescription cream form at present and b) don't know how large the pumps are, it's hard to know how much they're having you take.

    I kind of think it's better not to overdo it on the Estrogen. I tend to prefer just enough to get my symptoms to subside (although especially at times that has been quite a lot).

    It's hard to overdo it with progesterone, especially the cream. I can't remember any bad things that are supposed to result from taking too much progesterone, but maybe I'll look it up.

    I would be inclined to follow the doctor's instructions for a while and see how you feel. They maybe try going up on one (if you think it would help) and see what the changes are.

    The more that you know about the effects of each of the hormones, the better you'll be able to figure out if you're taking the right amount. I'm going to have to find the names of the some hormone books and post them here.....I havve some in the house but haven't read them for a while.
  13. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    WOW! What a list! Thank you so very much for posting it! I kept looking to see, since you bumped to respond later. You have really educated yourself. Did your MD educate you, or did you educate him? I am going to look into all that you have mentioned. Is it okay with you if I copy and paste it?

    I went to a naturopath dr and he wants be to do a 5 day saliva test for hormones. I think I will give this a try. I have thought for some time that my hormones are off. I have a discoloring of my skin, kinda like Addison's Disease, which I believe is due to hormones.

    I had a full and exhausting day at work, but I wanted to take the time to tell you that I appreciate the time and effort that you put into your response. Thank you! May God bless you! Hugs, Tam
  14. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Of course you can copy the post.

    How I found these, hmmm. A doctor early on tested my DHEA and got me started on that. Then for a while I was being treated by a hormone doctor in California, who got me started on the progesterone, testosterone, estrogen and T3. I think most of the others were originally prescribed over time by my CFS doctor. But I did a lot of reading on the subject matter, once I realized hormones seemed to be an issue for me. So we kind of worked on it together. Sometimes I would suggest something or sometimes he would, and we would discuss.

    I tend to think that my lack of digestive enzymes and my lack of stomach acid are sort of in the category of hormonal deficiencies, even though those things are not made by endocrine glands. Supplementing with betaine hcl acid and digestive enzymes helps too. I should be sure to do it more regularly, actually. (The digestive enzymes are from animals, btw. Someone on this board is really into bromelain,, which is a digestive enzyme made of pineapples. Bromelain only helps to digest some foods though. Plus it's made from pineapples, and I'm allergic to pineapples. I don't know if I'm allergic to the bromelaine part, but it seems easier just to avoid.)
    [This Message was Edited on 09/30/2006]
  15. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    Hi again! I think the naturopath dr is the way for me to go since we do not have very informed MDs here. Although my PAC did just start me on an Antiviral yesterday. I guess I will see what happens with that for a while before I introduce anything else.

    I tried digestive enzymes, and I had blood in my stool. I later found out that I had a bleeding ulcer. I have that pretty much healed, so I might try it again a little later.

    I hope you don't get kicked off this board. You are very informed and sound like a very interesting person. I am pretty ignorant of the problems that go on here. My time is very limited here due to lack of energy. I spend most of my limited time on the worship board. This board (both of them) has been a life saver for me, and I am so thankful for it and all the wonderful people I have met here.

    I tried to google you. Are you the one who has written the books (can't remember what they were...I think marketing. sorry, my brain is in lala land). I hope that I do not get you into trouble here. I do know that we can exchange e-mail addresses on the chat room, which I have never been to.

    It has been good talking to you! Hugs, Tam
  16. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Which antiviral are you on? How did you and your doctor decide that you would try one, and which one to pick? I'm going to be discussing this at my doctor's appointment on Wednesday, and so I'd like to collect all the information i can in advance.

    BTW, switchboard is a very good site, if you've never been there. Give it a try.

    I'm looking forward to hearing from you again. It would be good to keep up a conversation.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/30/2006]
  17. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    I am on Acyclovir 800mg. For 5 days I am taking 800mg 5 times a day, Then I start taking 400mg two times a day. My PAC started me on this at my request. Another person on this board has been on Valtrex, and she is doing wonderfully! Valtrex is very expensive and I felt could not afford this drug, as I do not have insurance at this time. Acyclovir is much cheaper, much. The Pharmacist told me that it was just as good.

    I was prepared to feel sicker for a while, but today I have more energy than I have had in months. I am giving more credit to the new sleep aide that I also started last night. Only time will tell, but am I hopeing for the "cure". At this point and time I am happy with the improvment of energy that I have today. But at the same time I don't want to get my hopes up too far.

    Please let me know how your MD appt. goes for you. I have to admitt that I am lost on the google and switch thing. I tried and tried, but I am not getting anywhere. It is good talking to you. Please keep in touch. When I have been on this antiviral for a month or so I am going to try the hormones. I would want to try them slowly, and most likely one at a time. Hugs, Tam
  18. I don't know that much about them, but asked my gyn about them and she shook her head no, she said they aren't FDA approved. So what type of dr. do you get these from and do they run tests?
  19. cherylsue

    cherylsue Member

    Was it Dr. Papernik that tested you for DHEA? He doesn't seem to experiment with things like that unless they are RX? Are you referring to Dr. Guyer?

    I'm also interested where you found info on ProBoost and autoimmune disease? I've been on it for over a year off and on. My concern is that it may suppress the thymus gland just like thyroid meds suppress the thyroid if you really don't need them.

    I'm so confused. I suffer from the relapse/remitting kind of CFS. Right now I have a lot of malaise, although the cognitive function is improving.

    Thanks for your input.

    CherylSue
  20. FM58

    FM58 New Member

    Nanna,

    You mentioned you had a hysterectomy years ago - I did also, my uterus only. However, my gyn informed me, I can NOT take progesterone- estrogen only. He is not fond of Bio-identical hormones since they ae not FDA approved & haven't been on the market long enough. Is it really true that if you had a hysterectomy you must avoid progesterone?

    However, my doc that treats me for my CFS is considering using them for me. She recently took blood - when I spoke to her about my menopausal symptoms. I am most definetely interested in bio-identical hormones. So perhaps I will stick w/ her & skip my gyn all together!