ohmyaching - about natural progesterone

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ssMarilyn, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    The last 2 years I've had frequent nausea and intense internal nervousness. I've blamed it on everything from my FM to perimenopause to my thyroid. I just recently found a good menopause board where someone said that the nausea can be from a progesterone deficiency aka estrogen dominance. I got the book by John R. Lee, MD, the one you talk about in your profile. I even went to the drugstore and bought some natural progesterone, but I still don't really know how to use it. I do know the dosage, but don't know how long I can use it, and if there's anything else I need to be doing/taking along with it, etc.... Do you have any knowledge about this? I would appreciate any info I can get on this. I used the natural progesterone today for the first time - 1/4 tsp rubbed into the instep of my feet. I also ordered an online progesterone test. They will mail it to me and I mail it back to them completed. My doc doesn't have any answers and just gives me prescriptions for HRT which I refuse to fill. I also have hypthyroidism and learned that progesterone deficiency can actually cause hypothyroidism. Maybe this has been my problem all along, I just don't know. The symptoms I have can be FM, thyroid, menopause and more.It's so frustrating!!

    Marilyn :)
    [This Message was Edited on 09/19/2003]
  2. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    bump for OMA....
  3. reva727

    reva727 New Member

    I've been using this for a couple of years. You have to make sure you get a good brand that has enough in it. Dr. Lee's book lists some of them and will explain how to use it. You are supposed to spread in on your belly, your breasts, your back, your neck, just about anywhere. Just alternate where you use it, don't put it in the same place everytime. Just rub it in like it was lotion. You also are supposed to use it for 25 days then quit for 5, but I haven't been doing that. I've completely stopped using HRT. I use another over the counter product that has black cohosh in it to stop any hot flashes that might happen.
  4. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Marilyn....I don't think OMA is here alot,but I do see posts and replys every so often.So this may need to bumped over the weekend.Hopefully she'll check in soon.She is very knowledgable in this hormonal stuff~ :)
  5. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Thanks for the info and we'll bump For OMA!!
  6. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I was careful to get the right kind of natural progesterone cream. Has this cream improved your life and if so, how?

    Marilyn :)
  7. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    SSMarilyn -- Which Lee book did you get, the menopause one? Or the Premenopause one? A most relevant question is whether or not you are still having periods. I have been using natural progesterone cream off and on for several years. It helped greatly with mood swings and pain both before and during a period (breast tenderness, cramping -- both went away completely). I cannot say if it affected any thyroid situation.

    For other reasons, I take my basal (morning) temperature daily. This way I can chart if I have ovulated or not. This is helpful for progesterone use because if you use it too soon in your cycle (provided you are still having one), you may not ovulate at all -- then your body won't be making its own supply of progesterone, no matter how little, and you may screw up your cycle (I've done it!). So I know that if my cycle is about 25 days long, and I haven't ovulated by the usual time, I go ahead and start progesterone and continue for about 12 days.

    I used to stop when my period started, but what I found this does is make the first days very light, then the last days very heavy. Now I stop after about 12 days, and my period starts after 2 or 3 days and is more like I'm used to. Caveat -- the 'immediate' withdrawal of progesterone can sometimes make some days VERY heavy. So be on guard...if the normal things that make you aware of your period (cramps, etc.) aren't there, your period can catch you unawares. So be prepared!

    Also, using progesterone cream too close to the start of your period can also throw off your next ovulation and cycle. The better you know your body, the easier it will be to adjust your use of the cream to work for you.

    I'm looking forward to the day when bio-identical hormones are more standard treatment than they are now. There is only one MD in my area that specializes in this -- and he has a 6-month wait for appointments. Hopefully the triple-estrogens will become more common for people who need them as well.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/20/2003]
  8. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I have the menopause book. I also had a partial hyst in the early 90's, and still have my ovaries. I still get the monthly bloating and cramping and moodiness, but since I no longer have periods, I wouldn't know when to use the progesterone cream. Sometimes I can be cranky and have sore boobs for a few days before it hits me that I have PMS, and sometimes I don't get those two symptoms at all, but get bloated and out of sorts. Often I will pass it all off as menopause and not relate it to PMS. In a nutshell, I don't have any idea if I'm in menopause or perimenopause. All I can say is that I am almost 52, so should be in menopause, right? I know my ovaries must be working, because of the monthly symptoms I frequently get, plus my MD has found cysts on my ovaries, which cause alot of pain, yet everything I read about partial hysterectomies say that within 1-2 years after the surgery, the ovaries usually cease functioning and atrophy. So I don't know what's going on with me and when to use the cream. It's so frustrating!!

    Marilyn :)
  9. tandy

    tandy New Member

    To keep this on page one a bit longer~ Yes...it is frustrating marilyn!in my case...I would like to try the cream also,but I have endometriosis.I'm not sure if the progesterone will stimulate any bleeding.(something I don't want)???? Hope you find some answers :)
  10. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Dr. Lee says in his book that endometriosis can usually be effectively helped with some natural progesterone cream. He says:

    I have treated a number of endometriosis patients, some after failed surgery, with natural progesterone and have observed considerable success. Since we know that estrogen initiates endometrial cell proliferation and the formation of blood vessel accumulation in teh endometrium, the aim of treatment is to block this monthly estrogen stimulus to the aberrant endometrial islets. Progesterone stops further proliferation of endometrial cells. I advise such women to use natural progesterone cream from day six of the cycle to day 26 each month, using one ounce of cream per week for three weeks, stopping just before their expected period. This treatment requires patience. Over time (four to six months), however, the monthly pains gradually subside as monthly bleeding in these islets becomes less and healing of the inflammatory site occurs. The monthly discomfort might not disappear entirely, but becomes more tolerable. Endometriosis is cured by menopause.

    Tandy, have you read the above in his book?

    Marilyn :)
  11. tandy

    tandy New Member

    ssMarilyn~ I know I read something like that.My memory stinks today!!!The thing is...is I would be on my own with this because like I said,my gyno is the one who said I'm too young to be in peri-meno,basically I don't think she knows a heck of alot about FM,etc.... I think I asked her about the progesterone cream for endo(last yr???)and AGAIN she nodded that stupid head of hers no,and said it probably would'nt help in my case~ I really don't care what drs. think anymore....they've been almost useless to me with my medical problems!!! So....If I do a bit more researching on this progesterone.I may just give it a try on my own. Heres the question: For the last 3-4 years I've been getting depo shots to end my cycles.(part of the Endo.treatment) would'nt I have to stop those shots....start to menstruate again....then start the prog. cream into my period? I just wonder if I could handle the periods untill the cream started working...if it works at all. Any spotting or period i've experienced over the yrs has been pure hell!!! I pass out from the pain!!no joking~ I have been found on the bathroom floor a few times by my kids!! its very scary. I cramp so bad that I break into a cold sweat...and the room fades out on me.
    So...I'd really have to sorta know what i'm doing ya know? tough call~ So please....If you have any luck with this progesterone,let me know. I'm determined to try this I'm tellin ya~ Best of luck :)
  12. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I wish I could help you out with some answers, but I don't have a clue about depo shots. It sounds to me like your doctor is alot like my doctor and really doesn't know as much as I would hope. My first clue that your doctor isn't real up on "female" stuff is that she thinks you're too young for perimenopause. It starts in our 30's, believe it or not. I've seen this fact in too many books written by MD's, so tend to believe they are correct....plus heard Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD speak about it on Oprah last year. I have her book and it's great.

    Marilyn :)
  13. hope-floats

    hope-floats New Member

    My naturopath's instructions are to use 1/4 teaspoon twice a day. I apply it (in sequence) to the insides of the arm joints, wrists, groin and behind the knees. I gently rub it in just like a lotion.

    I had blood work done to determine where my hormones were...estrogen, progesterone, and testostorone. The results determined that I was in menopause (my numbers were so low, they were almost non-existant). After using the Bezwecken Ostaderm cream for 3 months, those hormone numbers have gone up.

    The lab testing for menopause is pretty standard. My naturopath is excellent at knowing how to read test results.

    By the way, my menopause symptoms are now very tolorable.
  14. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    Marilyn,
    I haven’t been ignoring you, just trying to get
    my brain together enough to produce a
    thoughtful answer to your question.
    I haven’t used progesterone long enough to
    determine what the long term effects might be
    for me. I’m not even sure if you are supposed
    to use it long term. I did buy some and I tried
    it. I felt pretty good after using it, but I have
    endometriosis and I’ve read that progesterone
    supplementation could cause menstrual
    bleeding to resume after menopause. It
    doesn’t seem like my hormone levels would
    be high enough for that to happen, but I
    wouldn’t want my endometriosis to start
    bleeding so I decided to stop taking the
    progesterone, for now. I have an appointment
    with an endocrinologist and I’ll ask him about
    taking progesterone. Most people I talked to
    on this board who tried progesterone said it
    didn’t help them and many said they felt
    worse. You can read more about this in my
    profile which I just changed.( I stuck it in my
    profile because it’s lengthy.)

    Dr. Lee does use progesterone for
    endometriosis, but it appears that he
    administers it in such large doses that it fools
    the body into thinking it is pregnant so that
    there isn’t the estrogen buildup of
    endometrial tissue which you normally get
    during your period and therefore nothing to
    breakdown and bleed. His directions are
    designed to work with a women’s menstrual
    cycle. I would try it but I don’t know if this
    would work for surgical menopausal women
    who may still harbor some endometrioisis.
    His directions are for women who still have
    their period.

    I don’t know if progesterone would help your
    nausea. I suppose it would depend on what is
    causing the nausea. I have nausea. I think my
    nausea is due to gallbladder problems. Dr.
    Lee says that progesterone helps prevent
    gallbladder problems, yet when I looked up
    progesterone and gallbladder on the internet
    the reports said just the opposite. They said
    that progesterone inhibits the gallbladder’s
    ability to contract. The gallbladder doesn’t fill
    and therefore doesn’t flush small early stone
    formations and crystals which are apt to lead
    to larger gallstone formations and trouble. So
    here is a contradiction to what Dr. Lee says.

    Do you startle easily? If so your nervousness
    may be a magnesium deficiency. A
    magnesium deficiency can make you feel
    nervous and jumpy (also angry like you want
    to bite somebody’s head off). CFS patients
    often benefit from taking magnesium.

    Dr. Poesnecker’s book, “Chronic Fatigue
    Unmasked”, discusses adrenal exhaustion.
    The patients he used to see found the stress
    of ordinary everyday living to be extremely
    difficult to deal with. They had a kind of
    persistent nervousness in that they constantly
    suffered from unexplained anxiety. These
    people couldn’t deal with normal life. Here
    are some of the attributes that he found with
    their condition:
    They might have agoraphobia because going
    outside and putting themselves in a strange
    environment and associating with strange
    people was more than they felt they could
    handle.
    Because they have a hard time dealing with
    things they might frequently become angry.
    The anger actually helped to build up the
    energy they needed to deal with a situation.

    Their frequently have unexplained feelings of
    anxiety which earn them the label of being a
    “mental case” when in fact they are not
    mental cases , but suffer from physical
    problems caused by improper adrenal gland
    and hormone functioning.
    They try to do things but become anxious and
    often back down from doing them.
    They are chronically fatigued and lassitude.
    They often hate to wait and become agitated
    by it.
    They may have a glassy-eyed look.
    They may have low blood pressure upon
    standing.
    Even in happy circumstances they tend to
    react adversely because even a happy surprise
    is too much to handle.
    When trying to handle situations they
    frequently lean too far to one side or the
    other. For example, they may worry
    unnecessarily over a simple uncomplicated
    problem and make decisions not necessarily
    even related to the problem or they may
    completely ignore an important project which
    needs to be completed by a certain deadline.

    Dr. Poesnecker’s above psychological profile
    of an adrenal patient fits me perfectly. Does
    any of this relate to your feelings of
    nervousness? If so you might want to read his
    book.

    Did you read the article on the front page of
    this website entitled, “Chronic Fatigue
    Syndrome and Thyroid Function: Seeking
    Appropriate Treatment”. They strongly
    recommend in that article that if you are
    having thyroid problems you should speak to
    an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist’s
    specialized field of study is hormones. I’ve
    read that the ovaries may shut down after a
    hysterectomy, but it may be that in your case
    they didn’t. An endocrinologist may be able
    to help you determine if the bloating,
    cramping and moodiness is due to the fact
    that your ovaries are still functioning. These
    symptoms don’t sound like menopausal
    symptoms. I wonder if the cyst could cause
    hormone irregularities.

    Off hand I can’t recall ever reading where
    progesterone causes hypothyroidism. Maybe
    someone else here may be able to answer
    that. Dr. Lee seems to feel that taking
    progesterone is safe and you should just try it
    and see if it helps. I think it is probably best to
    approach hormone replacement very carefully
    because a tiny amount of hormones can cause
    some big changes. It is important that your
    hormones are properly balanced.
    Progesterone may not be the best way to deal
    with estrogen dominance. Be sure to
    thoroughly investigate everything and check
    with a knowledgeable doctor.
    I agree with you, these things are frustrating to
    deal with.

    Hope this information helps.
  15. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    A lack of progesterone can cause estrogen dominance which can produce hypothyroid-like symptoms. It can throw your cortisol levels all off. It has more to do with adrenal slow down rather than with your thyroid. Although I did read that if your adrenals slow down your thyroid will often slow down too. There is a test you can do at home to help give you an idea of whether you may have hypthroidism, adrenal-like hypthyroidism or normal thyroid levels. I'll try to print it out and post it.
  16. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    You are right. Hormone imbalance can lead to cancer.
    I put some information about that in my profile because it was too much info to include it all here. You do need to be very careful.
  17. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I'll get that book that you talked about... and now I have another question for you. You said: "surgical menopausal women
    who may still harbor some endometrioisis". If a person goes through surgical menopause, doesn't that mean they had a hysterectomy? And if they did have a hysterectomy, they wouldn't have a uterus, so couldn't have endometriosis? Or maybe I missed something here? Check my post titled: Tandy.

    Marilyn :)
  18. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I scanned your profile re:hormone imbalance. I am concerned that your doctor is hugely mistaken in her facts -- the HRT tested which lately has given many doctors pause is NOT progesterone, it is a non-bio-identical creation...progestin...Premarin...whatever.

    One of the latest Scientific Americans had a short column about the study and added that a growing number of researchers support a similar study with estrogen (estrogens) and better choices of progestins, if not progesterone itself. One of the comments made was that the progestin used in the study actually bound not only to the body's natural progesterone receptors, making them unavailable to the body's own (real) progesterone, but also bound to and stimulated some of the estrogen receptors. The hypothesis made from this is that the fake progesterone is stimulating not one, but TWO areas in our body that encourage cell division -- thus perhaps encouraging cancer.

    Unfortunately, I threw the article away, but I believe it was the September or October '03 issue.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/22/2003]
  19. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    Juloo
    Don't know if I can fault the doctor because hormones are very confusing and they just follow the recommended procedures.

    Marilyn
    I’ll talk rather openly about endometriosis
    because I think women need to hear about this
    disease. I suspect that natural progesterone, when used to maintain proper hormone balance, might help
    prevent endometriosis.
    The endometrium is the lining to the uterus.
    These cells are very sensitive to estrogen. When
    estrogen levels rise the cells start to build up
    within the endometrial lining preparing it to
    accept a fertilized egg. If there is no fertilized
    egg this lining sheds and you have menstruation.
    Sometimes the cells of the endometrium will
    grow in places in the body other than in the
    uterus lining, this is referred to as endometriosis.
    One theory is that these cells get back flushed up
    through the fallopian tubes and implant
    themselves in the pelvic cavity and on other
    organs. Because they are endometrial tissue they
    tend to build up and then bleed with the normal
    monthly hormonal changes the same way the
    cells in the uterine lining does. Unfortunately this
    blood has no where to go. Adhesions and
    scarring may form and pain may result. They
    may also spread. The extent of the disease is
    determined by stages.
    In my case I had end stage endometriosis. The
    damage was so extensive that the adhesions had
    wrapped themselves around my uterus and
    ovaries and tied them into one gigantic knot. I
    got so that I couldn't sit comfortably. I had to
    have the operation to remove my uterus and
    ovaries. The doctor said the endometriosis was
    plastered all over my insides. Normally a doctor
    will surgically remove as much of the
    endometriosis as he can find during the
    operation, but because there was so much I
    wonder if he was able to get it all. I am in
    surgical menopause because my ovaries were
    removed and my hormone levels dropped down
    to those of someone who is in menopause (or
    lower). The doctor prescribed premarin. If there is
    any endometriosis left, it may respond to
    hormone supplements that I take. I've read that
    endometriosis cells will atrophy and dry up if
    you wait a little while after surgery for this
    to happen before administering estrogen. I don't
    know if the endometrial cells completely go away
    or if they just act like most other cells because
    they are deprived of large hormone fluctuations.



    [This Message was Edited on 09/22/2003]
  20. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I've been doing some heavy research on natural progesterone and have yet to find any negative info on it, yet I find nothing really positive about the synthetic stuff. Again, I guess I will trust mother nature more than men. It's tough to have alot of trust in our doctors, because they DON'T know everthing, and many fail to keep up on the latest news and tests, etc....

    OMA - This is the first time I have heard of endometriosis spreading to places other than the uterus. What a person doesn't learn by coming to these boards!

    P.S. Natural progesterene actually helps reduce endometriosis.

    Marilyn :)
    [This Message was Edited on 09/22/2003]