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BTD Forums  /  Nonnie Clubhouse  /  A nonnie with some issues....
Posted by: mariO+, Friday, December 23, 2011, 7:47pm
I'm going through menopause and having major issues with hormonal imbalance.  I consulted with a NP who put me on Bio Identical hormones. However, I have severed my tides with the NP due to her incompetence and greed.  Now, I'm left to my own intuition and research to heal and get through this passage without major complications.  I have gained roughly 40 lbs, 20 of those pounds in the past 2 years.  I know I'm fighting with symptoms of severe menopause and weight issues. It's a vicious cycle that keeps me hostage.  I know I'm not unique to this subject...It feels like I'm INSANE!   I need to hear from women who have gotten over and are thriving today.  Please tell me how you did it.  Thank you and Happy Holidays everyone. ??)   :o
Below are some of my symptoms that make me so uncomfortable:
Weight gain:  http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/hormones-and-weight-gain
Depression:  http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/hormones-and-depression
Foggy memory: http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/foggy-memory
Bloating: http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/bioidentical-hormones-and-bloating
Best of all is the video: A regular MD getting on board with Preventive Medicine...There is HOPE for regular MD's.  :-)
http://www.bodylogicmd.com/local-seminars/online-seminar-video
Posted by: O in Virginia, Friday, December 23, 2011, 9:02pm; Reply: 1
I've been going through similar things with perimenopause/menopause.  I have been using bio-identical progesterone cream, and that has relieved my almost constant PMS symptoms (sore breasts, bloating, moody weepiness) due to low progesterone.  Progesterone is not the only hormone involved in perimenopause/menopause, but it seems that addressing that one in my case offered almost instant relief.  I had PMS whether or not my period actually came.  Very odd.  ??)  The cream seems to help me feel calmer, too, and I sleep very well at night.  

I've also had to explore on my own, as my ob/gyn doesn't seem to be very up on all of this for some reason.   ::)  He's very, very nice, but I do feel like Dr. Google is my best diagnostician in this matter.  :-/  My hot flashes are much better lately, I think because the weather is cooler, but those seem to come and go.  I am carrying extra weight around my mid-section where I've never had a weight problem before, and it seems almost impossible to shed it.  I have not yet "gotten over" it yet, so I'll be watching this thread with interest.  Just wanted to offer you some support by saying "you're not alone!"  :)

p.s.  My MD has told me on two separate occasions that my estrogen levels are "normal", so I don't know why I have so many of the symptoms of lowered estrogen (weight gain, foggy-brain, etc.).  I think I need to keep checking it periodically, wish there were a way I could do that myself.
Posted by: Victoria, Saturday, December 24, 2011, 12:20am; Reply: 2
I don't have the book with me right now so I can't check, but I'd suggest to look into Dr. D's Menopause book and see what supplements he suggests.
Posted by: Patty H, Saturday, December 24, 2011, 6:31pm; Reply: 3
Can you find someone else who will prescribe the bio-identical hormones?  I don't think trying to do this on your own is advisable.

I am currently on bio-identical hormones but will be switching to DHEA.  My problems stem more upline from the progesterone/estrogen.  However, progesterone did nothing for me and estrogen did relieve my symptoms.

Did you former ND do either saliva testing or blood testing before prescribing the bio-identical hormones?
Posted by: akolley, Monday, December 26, 2011, 4:29pm; Reply: 4
I have a friend who is a bio-identical nurse-practitioner who says that rarely it is low estrogen, but more so lack of progesterone. Typically estrogen dominant. Perhaps googling "high estrogen symptoms" might give you some info. Hope that might help.  Cheers ;D
Posted by: Patty H, Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 11:13pm; Reply: 5
Quoted from akolley
I have a friend who is a bio-identical nurse-practitioner who says that rarely it is low estrogen, but more so lack of progesterone. Typically estrogen dominant. Perhaps googling "high estrogen symptoms" might give you some info. Hope that might help.  Cheers ;D


True, except for thin women with little body fat, who tend to be estrogen deficient, like me.  Dr. D's colleague, Dr. Nash, took one look at me and knew that it was an issue with estrogen, not progesterone, so that is why I recommend getting tested.  I spent a lot of money on progesterone creams and they did nothing.  Come to find out, my problem is upline of the hormone needed to produce estrogen.  I am deficient in DHEA, which was determined with further testing.
Posted by: O in Virginia, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 1:08am; Reply: 6
Yes, it is different for individual women.  Best to be tested to see what's going on.  My hormones were tested by blood testing, not saliva, so I'm not sure it was of any use anyway.  Taking a blood sample on a particular day at a particular time does not tell you what is going on the rest of the time, as our hormones fluctuate.  I am trouble shooting on my own for now, but progesterone cream seems to help.  It is not the whole answer, but I'm getting there.  :)
Posted by: maukik, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 1:28am; Reply: 7
Quoted from O in Virginia
p.s.  My MD has told me on two separate occasions that my estrogen levels are "normal", so I don't know why I have so many of the symptoms of lowered estrogen (weight gain, foggy-brain, etc.).  I think I need to keep checking it periodically, wish there were a way I could do that myself.


Because it is not necessarily your estrogen level, per se.  It is the ratio of your estrogen to your progesterone.  If you have an elevated progesterone and a normal estrogen, you do not have a "normal" estrogen sufficient to relieve symptoms.  You would be progesterone dominant.  That would make you feel estrogen deficient, have symptoms of estrogen deficiency, all the while measuring "normal" for estrogen.  

Hormone balance is all about just that, balance.  It is regulated by symptoms and levels.  Every woman has different issues, levels, needs.  Going to your gyn, GP and having your levels measured is not always a reliable indicator of your needs.  It really helps to find a doctor that specializes in HRT, working closely with them by phone/visit until you find the balance that relieves your symptoms.  They understand the necessity of that approach and will not brush you off after a complaint or two that things do not seem right yet and "your levels are normal".  

Assuming symptoms are hormone related.



Posted by: mariO+, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 8:35am; Reply: 8
Thank you all for your feedback... was tested 4 months ago, both Blood and Urine and I'm low on Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. I have been using the creams ( 3 )  but I think the dosage needs some adjustment. In about 2 months, I'll   moving from California back to the DC area and will be looking for an OBG-YN that will prescribe Bio-Identical Hormones. Also, I have Adrenal Fatigue and there is a lot of controversy about safe treatment with DHEA...would much rather treat it with beneficial foods not with more supplements.
   http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/hormones/a/isdheaforyou.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dhea/NS_patient-dhea

Happy, Healthy New Year to everyone !  
Posted by: O in Virginia, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 1:44pm; Reply: 9
Quoted from maukik


Because it is not necessarily your estrogen level, per se.  It is the ratio of your estrogen to your progesterone.  If you have an elevated progesterone and a normal estrogen, you do not have a "normal" estrogen sufficient to relieve symptoms.  You would be progesterone dominant.  That would make you feel estrogen deficient, have symptoms of estrogen deficiency, all the while measuring "normal" for estrogen.  

Hormone balance is all about just that, balance.  It is regulated by symptoms and levels.  Every woman has different issues, levels, needs.  Going to your gyn, GP and having your levels measured is not always a reliable indicator of your needs.  It really helps to find a doctor that specializes in HRT, working closely with them by phone/visit until you find the balance that relieves your symptoms.  They understand the necessity of that approach and will not brush you off after a complaint or two that things do not seem right yet and "your levels are normal".  

Assuming symptoms are hormone related.


Thanks.  Yes, I understand that.  In my case, however, the estrogen level was "normal" and the progesterone was "low" (not ovulating), which made me progesterone deficient, and therefore estrogen dominant (comparatively).  That explains the constant PMS symptoms.  But I don't think estrogen stays at the same level all month?  So getting a one time reading may not be telling the whole story.

MariO+, I'm glad you've got an idea of what is going on.  Now, you'll be able to address those issues. Good luck with the move, and good luck and good health in 2012.  :)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 7:18pm; Reply: 10
I did a lot of studying about this issue a few months ago. I took a few books out of the library (whose titles now escape me) and did a lot of research online. I self-diagnosed hormonal imbalance based on symptoms alone, no lab tests.

I finally came to the conclusion that I was high in testosterone, low in estrogen, and possibly a little low in progesterone too. But i couldn't seem to figure out if I was having symptoms of low or high progesterone. It was very hard to put the information together.

Sore breasts in PMS are supposed to indicate low progesterone, but one book said something to the effect of "high progesterone may cause sore breasts, but we know that's not the case, because progesterone is even higher during pregnancy and women don't get sore breasts then, therefore it must be low progesterone causing this symptom." Um, really? My breasts were in agony in early pregnancy! And there was no information on what a long luteal phase (time from ovulation to menstruation) means. Just random information about "long or short LPs can impact fertility" and lots of information about how low progesterone can cause short LPs (which can cause infertility.) Low progesterone = short LP, so long LP might mean high progesterone?

I figured I'd use herbs to try and increase my estrogen, and consider doing something to increase progesterone as well if necessary. I found out that lavendar flowers increase estrogen, but no information on dosing- just warnings not to use it if you're using progesterone supplements.

I started drinking a lot of lavendar tea- I bought dried lavendar flowers in bulk at my local HFS and just started using a lot in the teas I was already drinking. I probably use about 2-3 teaspoonsful a week. After a few months of use, my luteal phase went from 16 days to 15 days back to a normal 14 days. From age 35 on, I've had spotting for 2 days  before my period. That's stopped too. I also find that PMS isn't quite as severe as it had been. I also added black currant seed oil (to help with breast tenderness) and 5-HTP (to help with generalized depression/rage) to my supplement routine.

In my particular case, there's no need to try and boost progesterone (not yet anyway- we'll see what happens in a few years.). I'm glad I didn't try progesterone creams without researching first, because it would have been reasonable to assume "I'm overweight, I must be estrogen-dominant" but that wasn't the case.
Posted by: O in Virginia, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 7:50pm; Reply: 11
Ruthie, that's interesting. I like reading everybody's details because we really are all different, and it's good to pool our information, since we have to ferret it out for some reason.  I'm glad you're doing better on the lavender.  I bought some lavender tea (Stash brand), but I've been leary of using it, as I don't want to increase estrogen.  I don't think.   :-/  But I have a cup now and then.  I like the flavor, a bit anise-like.
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