I wanted to share some excerpts from a book I am reading by Dr. John Lee. He promotes the use of Progesterone Cream. Note: When he uses the phrase estrogen dominant he is saying that the estrogen levels are higher than the progesterone.
A woman is likely to be chronically exhausted, always, "on", never taking time for herself. She is constantly forced to push the limits of her endurance to keep up. In an effort just to maintain her lifestyle, her adrenal glands are constantly pumping out hormones meant to be used sparingly for "fight or flight" situations and they eventually beome tired, sluggish, and depleted. Her body gets the message that survival is at stake. Blood sugar beomes constantly unstable. Digestion goes awry so she isn't absorbing nutrients properly. The ovaries respond by shutting down in favor of survival. When the ovaries shut down, progesterone production occurs only at the adrenals, but they aren't working and she's not getting any progesterone from poor dietary habits, so she becomes progesterone-deficient and estrogen dominat.
The estrogen dominance causes the all-too-familiar signs of fatigue, depression, little or no desire for sex, weight gain, water retention, headaches and mood swings. The estogen dominance interferes with thyroid action, which increases her fatigue, so she's cold all the time and she's gaining more weight. But her Doctor gives her a thyroid function test and it comes out normal; she produces the normal amount of thyroid, but it's not being used effectively. Not realizing the role of estrogen dominance, her doctor often prescribes thyroid supplements. (Estrogen dominance impairs thyroid hormone activity and will simulate hypothyroidism)
Here are some of the symptoms of low progesterone not already discussed:
Water retention, bloating
Fat gain, especially around the abdomen, hips, and thighs
Autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythematosus and thyroiditis and possibly Sjogren's disease
Skin problems such as acne, seborrhea, rosacea, psoriases, and keratoses
The progesterone cream can be bought in most places, I bought mine at Walmart. I have been using it for one week now and I don't know if it is from the cream or not but I felt GREAT yesterday, the first time in about 2 months.
The book I have is entitled, "What your Doctor may not tell you about Menopause" by John Lee, M.D. There is also one entitled, "A Woman's Guide to Using Natural Progesterone", by Catherine Rollins.
This may be something to consider.
Note: Dr. Lee also stated that most Doctors do not check progesterone levels, only estrogen.
[This message has been edited by Golden Girl (edited 09-07-2003).]
My only concern with using progesterone is that there are no long term studies on what effects the long term use of progestrone will have. Look at what has happened with estrogen use. That's pretty scarey. I seriously looked into this but I think I'll try something that is safer such as evening primrose oil which is tried and true and studies have backed that claim.
GoldenGirl, I started progesterone cream a few months ago because of 3 week periods and cramps for the first time in my life(i'm 50, whatever happened to menopause?). I just made sure to get one that wasn't soy based. Worked like a charm. You do have to use it different if you're still having periods. I also started it because it is supposed to help your body make DHEA and help with adrenals. I spent so many years hypo that my adrenal glands were very fatigued. When you do a search for progesterone and contraindications, the only problems are with the synthetic meds. Primrose oil has some pretty serious interactions with a few other drugs and with anesthesia, looks like it's rare though. I have to admit, I am going to use what helps me now and not worry that much about 20 years down the road. I've had too many years that I wasn't living, don't want to go there again, even if I live longer. LOL IWL
I agree, 5 years of my life has gone and I can do nothing to get them back. I am doing as much research as I can because I am bound and determined to find something that will make me feel better. I started taking the Progesterone Cream last Saturday and I was due to start yesterday but haven't yet. I think you're suppose to start taking it after your period and continue for 3 weeks and then off 1 week. It won't bother me if my periods are delayed, they have been coming every 3 weeks for almost 3 years now.
In Dr. Lee's book he states there are no known side effects. I'm willing to take the chance - it is a natural progesterone. I have felt alot better this weekend - better than I have felt in 2 months. I have more energy physical and mentally. I also have been reading about food allergies and have elimated dairy products from my diet this past week- so I don't know the reason but I'm just glad I feel good this weekend.
[This message has been edited by Golden Girl (edited 09-07-2003).]
GoldenGirl, All the info I read said to use it on day 12-26, so that's what I've been doing. Some of it stores in your bodyfat so you're getting it longer than the two weeks. Make sure to alternate where you use it. I also take pregnenolone(sp). Those 2 help your body make dhea I think. I'm following Dr. Lam's protocol for Adrenal Fatigue(it's on the web), except I don't take dhea and I'm not on any rx for adrenals. I believe it's helped alot. I started that about a month before I started taking Armour. IWL
I'm glad to see someone address the progesterone use. I recently had my estrogen and progesterone levels checked through saliva testing. Even though I am menopausal I have high estrogen levels (estrogen dominance) and progesterone is a bit low. I use Happy PMS cream twice a day and notice that I don't feel as well the week of the month I'm NOT using it. I showed my saliva results to my new doctor and he basically said "why are you showing me this?". I think most drs. don't believe there is a connection between estrogen and thyroid hormones. I'm thinking my estrogen dominance is affecting how my Synthyroid works and is the reason I feel so hypo. Any ideas on what to do in this case? Would adding ft3 (Cytomel) help?
Hi everyone. I have a couple of questions here. IWL, I've never heard of pregnenolone. What is it and what does it do? I am just starting to do research on hypo-t and ways to treat it. I'm wet behind the ears on this stuff. Also, I think I saw you mentioned DHEA before on another thread. I had never heard that term before. What is that and how does it affect the thyroid? GOLDEN GIRL,that book sounds very interesting. I'm going to have to put that on my book list. Have a great day everyone!
[This message has been edited by Bosmom (edited 09-07-2003).]
Goldengirl- I actually had the saliva testing done by Dr. Zava (his lab is mentioned in Dr. Lee's book). My local clinic doesn't do saliva testing, hence my doctor's reaction of "why are you showing me this".
TooTired, I would definitely add T3 if you can get your hands on it or switch to armour!!!
Bosmom, Go on the web and search adrenal fatigue. Dr. Lam had a really good explanation. The progesterone and the pregnenolone help your body make dhea, which is vital for your adrenals. I can't take Dhea because it makes me have my period everytime I've tried it and it breaks out my skin. I would rather take the stuff that helps my body make dhea than fool with my body chemistry quite that much. There is a chance if you are pre-menopause that dhea can put you into menopause. I don't know why I'm not there yet, but don't want to rush mother nature. I spent about 8 hours a day for 2 months reading everything I could find on the web about hypo and adrenals. Some of it was repeated by enough drs. that it didn't scare me to try it. I have no constant adrenalin rushes and anxiety anymore so I know that the combination of the vitamins, minerals, adrenal boost, progesterone cream and Armour have helped. I think I take about 20 pills a day, but gladly since now I feel so much better. I still rattle like a pill bottle though. LOL IWL
Can just a Free T3 test be done? I had my thyroid checked and apparently that was the one thing they didn't check. Since I am going to have blood drawn anyway Thursday-thought I might go ahead and have that checked.
Originally posted by Golden Girl: Iwannalife or anyone else
Can just a Free T3 test be done?
Yes just this can be done. The doctor can order any combination of tests, but it's always best to have FT3, FT4, and TSH to get a full picture of what is going on. If the FT3 test is performed in close enough proximity to an FT4 and TSH then you should be fine.
Actually too, this is the main test I'd consider - if I had to pick one test to order that would tell the most, FT3 would be it. It's sad most doctors are too stupid to recognize that T4 measurements tell a part of the story, but nowhere near all of it.
Thanks-I've had all the other tests done for Thyroid except for the most important one the Free T3. I will ask for that also. My Doctor's office is pretty good about doing what I ask but it's the thought that I have to do the research and find out what I need. Oh well, at least I'm not just sitting back and thinking I'm crazy.
I'm very pleased to see that there is someone who seems happy with their doctor. Consider yourself lucky, Golden Girl. My doc's not open to ANYTHING! Of course, that may have a lot to do with my HMO. That will change at the end of the year. I'm changing my doc AND my insurance. From now on, I'm being PROactive instead of REactive. At least I'm giving it my best shot. One day at a time.