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Bio-Identical Hormones & Estrogen  This thread currently has 4,548 views. Print Print Thread
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Patty H
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 3:59pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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As I have posted before, I am having some pretty serious symptoms due to peri-menopause.  This has been going on and off for about a year and a half.  The most serious symptom is the night sweats where I wake up several times a night and are up sometimes for two hours at a stretch.  You can imagine the stress this is putting on my body.  I believe it is the reason my blood pressure is high.  I am exhausted, too!  

I have finally decided to try the bio-identical hormones.  However, both my cardiologist and my naturopath have recommended that I only use the progesterone and no estrogen becasue of my family heart disease, which I can totally understand.  

HOWEVER, my OB/GYN has told me that the hormone therapy may not alleviate my symptoms without the estrogen.  I bought a copy of Dr. John R. Lee's book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause which is very informative.  He has a list of the things that estrogen effects and the things that progesterone effects.  Estrogen relieves vaginal dryness, hot flashes and NIGHT SWEATS.  (I have the other two symptoms as well.) However, estrogen dominance can cause hypertension.

Dr. Lee also states that slim women are often estrogen deficient.  Even before I started the BTD/GTD I would have been considered a slim woman.  So far I have lost eight pounds.  I can probably lose 2 - 5 more pounds, but I would say no more than that.  Then I will be a REALLY SLIM woman.  The body can convert progesterone into estrogen, but body fat is important to this conversion process because the androgens needed to convert to estrogen are stored in body fat.  At least that is what I understand from my reading . . .

So you can see the conundrum I find myself in.  Do I follow the advice of my cardiologist and naturopath and get the hormones without the estrogen, only to find that I am still having such bad night sweats that I am not sleeping?  Or do I have a little estrogen added to the hormones only to find that it negatively impacts my blood pressure and potentially exposes me to higher heart disease.

HELP - I need some advice!!!  My blood tests should be back by Monday, so she is going to write my prescription based on the tests.  If they show I am estrogen deficient, which is probably the case due to my symptoms, what should I do?


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jeanb
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 5:11pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Progesterone is not going to help night sweats, they might make them worse.  It sounds like a low dose of bio identical estrogen is needed.  Take a look at Natural Hormone Balance for Women by Dr. Uzzi Reiss.  He explains how estrogen works in slim women, dosages etc.
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Lola
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 5:17pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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have your cardiologist decide, once you expose your dilemma
make him a part of your solution
he has to respond for you....and keep you in check

also a visit to Bridgeport to see Dr Nash.....would that be too crazy?
you do need professional advice, to get you well balanced


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!
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Patty H
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 6:32pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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jeanb and Lola, both great suggestions.  Unfortunately, I am supposed to get my prescription THIS Monday, so I may need to make a decision for Monday and then re-assess.  One option is to try the bio-identical hormones without the estrogen first, for say one to three months and then re-assess.  Certainly that is the more conservative option.  I am concerned, however, about your comment, jeanb, that it could make my night sweats worse.  Do you know how long it will take before I start feeling the effects of the hormones?

My cardiologist is also a friend and neighbor of mine, so I am thinking about calling her and asking her if she would mind having a conversation with the OB/GYN hormone specialist.  After all, she is a cardiologist and not a specialist in women's peri-menopause and the OB/GYN is a specialist in peri-menopause and menopause and not heart disease . . .

I ordered the book you recommended, jeanb.  I am not yet finished with Dr. Lee's book.


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Victoria
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 6:51pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I'm very slim, small bones and past menopause.  I opted for vaginal use of bioidentical estriol cream.  I also used (and still use) progesterone cream by massaging it into smooth skin areas, rotating areas, such as inner arms, inner thighs, belly, chest, etc. Stopping use for a few days a month are important. I use FemBalance and plenty of freshly ground flaxseeds (which are amazingly helpful against hot flashes).  This has been a very effective program for me.  

The Naturopaths that I have worked with use saliva testing instead of blood tests for progesterone levels.  Unlike estrogen, which can easily be accurately tested via blood.

Here is some reading material for you on Estriol:
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/aug2008_Estriol-Its-Weakness-is-its-Strength_01.htm

"Estriol, an estrogen that has virtually been ignored by the mainstream medical community, is one of the three principal estrogens produced by the body. Estriol was originally thought to have little significance due to its weak estrogenic activity when compared with estrone and estradiol. Nonetheless, research has found that its weakness may very well be its strength.

Studies suggest that when the lower-potency estrogen, estriol, is administered topically, it does not increase the risk of hormone-dependent cancers of the breast or endometrium (uterine lining).1-3 However, having weaker estrogenic effects does not mean that estriol has none of the benefits that come with more potent estrogens. Studies suggest that estriol reduces symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, but with a better safety profile compared with more potent estrogens.1,4,5 This makes estriol a better choice for bioidentical hormone-replacement treatment regimes.

That is not all this ‘weak’ hormone is good for! Research suggests that estriol has benefits for bone density, heart health, multiple sclerosis, and postmenopausal urinary tract health."


"The key plus of estriol is its weakness: It appears to offer the benefits of the stronger estrogens with fewer of the risks. Tests have indicated that it relieves menopausal symptoms, and protects against heart disease and osteoporosis, as the other estrogens do, but doesn’t appear to increase the risk of breast cancer or endometrial cancer. In fact, many studies indicate that is has an anti-cancer effect, and actually may work better than tamoxifen for women with breast cancer."





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Patty H
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 7:38pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thank you, Victoria.  This is very helpful.  I also read this in Dr. Lee's book as well.  I will definitely inquire as to the form of estrogen used in the bio-identicals.

I will ask about the saliva test as well.  Dr. Lee also uses that.


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Victoria
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 7:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sun Beh Nim
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Quoted from Patty H
Thank you, Victoria.  This is very helpful.  I also read this in Dr. Lee's book as well.  I will definitely inquire as to the form of estrogen used in the bio-identicals.

I will ask about the saliva test as well.  Dr. Lee also uses that.


I doubt that any of your regular M.D.'s will be supportive of saliva tests for progesterone.  Even my GYN M.D., who considers himself a holistic doctor, is still quite set in the regular allopathic approach to testing hormones.

And I'll be surprised if your GYN is knowledgeable on the use of vaginal use of estriol.  If I'm wrong about this, then I'm happy for you, because usually you have to talk with an N.D. to get any support on this one.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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paul clucas
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 10:13pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The three forms of estrogen in the human body have to be in proportion.

You need to have the individualized advice of someone who will test you throughout the cycle and then decide on a course of action.


My weight loss goal: 220 lbs.  A 6'4" dyslexic oddball: the size of a line-backer, the silhouette of Winnie-the-Pooh.
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Patty H
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 11:12pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Victoria


I doubt that any of your regular M.D.'s will be supportive of saliva tests for progesterone.  Even my GYN M.D., who considers himself a holistic doctor, is still quite set in the regular allopathic approach to testing hormones.

And I'll be surprised if your GYN is knowledgeable on the use of vaginal use of estriol.  If I'm wrong about this, then I'm happy for you, because usually you have to talk with an N.D. to get any support on this one.


We shall see!  They are all women in the practice.  I am hoping they are open minded and understanding.  If you don't mind me asking, in what form was the vaginal estriol?


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Patty H
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 11:13pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from paul clucas
The three forms of estrogen in the human body have to be in proportion.

You need to have the individualized advice of someone who will test you throughout the cycle and then decide on a course of action.


Paul, are you talking blood tests, saliva tests?  I have had one series of tests through one cycle.


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Victoria
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 2:59am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Patty H


We shall see!  They are all women in the practice.  I am hoping they are open minded and understanding.  If you don't mind me asking, in what form was the vaginal estriol?


The estriol is in a creme form.  Just a little dab.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Patty H
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 3:43pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Victoria


The estriol is in a creme form.  Just a little dab.


Victoria, is the a prescription or something you buy over the counter?  What brand and strength is it?  Thanks for your help!


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Victoria
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 7:28pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Patty, it is a prescription, which my gyno. provides for me. It is 0.5 Estriol. I'm not sure, but I think N.D. can write prescriptions now also.  Maybe someone else can confirm if that is true or not.

At least where I live, Estriol creme must be prepared at a Compounding Pharmacy.  There is one in my city, but it's expensive.  I found a good online one called Women's International Pharmacy
http://www.womensinternational.com/

Your doctor's office can call in the prescription or give you a paper copy which you mail to the pharm.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Patty H
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 11:04pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Victoria
Patty, it is a prescription, which my gyno. provides for me. It is 0.5 Estriol. I'm not sure, but I think N.D. can write prescriptions now also.  Maybe someone else can confirm if that is true or not.

At least where I live, Estriol creme must be prepared at a Compounding Pharmacy.  There is one in my city, but it's expensive.  I found a good online one called Women's International Pharmacy
http://www.womensinternational.com/

Your doctor's office can call in the prescription or give you a paper copy which you mail to the pharm.


Thank you, Victoria.  The OB/GYN practice I go to is actually in the same building as the Compounding Pharmacy!  I am certainly lucky in that manner!  I will talk to my OB/GYN tomorrow to run through some of these options.  I appreciate your help!!!


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Victoria
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 11:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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You're welcome, Patty.    My insurance wouldn't cover it, so even though there was a compounding pharm in the building as my GYN also, I chose the less expensive pharmacy.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Patty H
Monday, March 7, 2011, 1:20am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Very good to know, Victoria!  My insurance company is not covering any of my blood tests with the OB/GYN.  May be that way for the prescirptions, too.


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Victoria
Monday, March 7, 2011, 4:11am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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My insurance company covers annual tests and nearly all prescriptions, just not things of a women's hormonal nature made in a compounding pharmacy.  



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Patty H
Monday, March 7, 2011, 2:27pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Victoria
My insurance company covers annual tests and nearly all prescriptions, just not things of a women's hormonal nature made in a compounding pharmacy.  


Well, why doesn't that surprise me???   However, I am SURE they would cover that little blue pill for men . . .  


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Victoria
Monday, March 7, 2011, 4:56pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Patty H


Well, why doesn't that surprise me???   However, I am SURE they would cover that little blue pill for men . . .  


I think you're correct.  



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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eva b.
Monday, March 7, 2011, 5:42pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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all I would add is that I used Dr John Lee's protocol - progesterone cream - very successfully for several years and avoided HRT (which just made things worse)and had very few problems during my menopause.  

It;s not the actual quantities of progesterone/estrogen which count...it's the balance, and since we stop making proggest. altogether later in life, replacing some of that brings things back into balance.  

Anyway, finish reading the book, and see what you think.  

Nagural progest. also helps to rebuild bones if you're prone to osteporosis.

He does advocate bio-identical estrogen - but it's not usually necessary if you have the progest thing right.
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Patty H
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 4:39am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from eva b.
all I would add is that I used Dr John Lee's protocol - progesterone cream - very successfully for several years and avoided HRT (which just made things worse)and had very few problems during my menopause.  

It;s not the actual quantities of progesterone/estrogen which count...it's the balance, and since we stop making proggest. altogether later in life, replacing some of that brings things back into balance.  

Anyway, finish reading the book, and see what you think.  

Nagural progest. also helps to rebuild bones if you're prone to osteporosis.

He does advocate bio-identical estrogen - but it's not usually necessary if you have the progest thing right.


Thanks, Eva.  I am reading the book and using his cream.  It has made some difference, but I am still having night sweats and hot flashes.  The vaginal dryness is starting to get worse as well.  I am only going to use the bio-identical hormones, which my OB/GYN's office is known for.  They are in the same building as the compounding pharmacy.  I know that my hormones are still out of whack, despite Dr. Lee's cream, as my blood pressure is still up.  I believe that my hormonal imbalance is causing a system wide imbalance and I need to get it taken care of soon.  High blood pressure is very bad, particularly given my family history of heart disease.  I should know tomorrow whether they decide to add estrogen to the mix or go with straight progesterone.  My three main symptoms, according to Dr. Lee, indicate a lack of estrogen.  I am very slim so I would have trouble converting progesterone to estrogen.  My doctors are taking all of this into consideration and will ONLY prescribe the bio-identicals for me.  However, they will be in a stronger dose than what I can buy otc from Dr. Lee's website or any other otc product. That's me having a hot flash   and another . . .


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Lizzie
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Hi Eva,

Where did you get your progesterone cream from? There are 3 of us over here who where just talking about it the other day but hadn't looked into a supplier from Ireland/UK yet. Thanks.


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eva b.
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Quoted from Lizzie
Hi Eva,

Where did you get your progesterone cream from? There are 3 of us over here who where just talking about it the other day but hadn't looked into a supplier from Ireland/UK yet. Thanks.


www,nhm.net - or at least it used to be.

otherwise try googling PROGEST cream (it's made in the US) and see if that helps

hope you find it
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paul clucas
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 3:59am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Patty H


Paul, are you talking blood tests, saliva tests?  I have had one series of tests through one cycle.
My wife had blood tests, but those were to confirm what the practitioner suspected from her charting.  If you are doing blood test without charting, you have less information for the decision making progress.  Most MDs are ill-informed, or un-informed about this possibility.


My weight loss goal: 220 lbs.  A 6'4" dyslexic oddball: the size of a line-backer, the silhouette of Winnie-the-Pooh.
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Lizzie
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Thanks Eva


Giving Your Health A Helping Hand
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