So I got a hormone panel done (saliva) on day 21 of my cycle (I'm not on any hormonal birth control so my menstrual cycle is natural).
Estradiol - 1.6 pg/ml [normal range 1.3 - 3.3]
Progesterone - 88 pg/ml [normal range 75 - 270]
Ratio Pg/E2 - 55 (low) [optimal 100 - 500 when E2 is 1.3 - 3.3]
Testosterone - 24 pg/ml [normal range 16 - 55]
DHEAS - 10.7 ng/ml [normal range 2 - 23]
Cortisol morning - 5.5 ng/ml [normal range 3.7 - 9.5]
This indicates estrogen dominance, which might be contributing to some irritating health conditions I've been dealing with, such as:
1) Rosacea, bane of my existence. It seems to flare up post-ovulation and not subside until my period starts.
2) I've been noticing more facial hair and more hair on my arms lately... it's light-colored so it's probably not noticeable to others but it's noticeable to me, and annoying.
3) PMS -- fatigue, anxiety, heavy bleeding, cramping that improved on paleo but is still painful
4) Depression/anxiety -- though these have improved by 80% after 3-4 months of paleo
I'm considering trying a natural progesterone cream to help alleviate some of these symptoms as my hormones continue to balance. (I know that some paleo folks will say, "Just be patient and give it time" but honestly, my rosacea can be seriously life-disrupting... my face burns and it's too difficult sometimes to go to class or even leave my apartment... I don't want to wait a year to be able to live a normal life.)
My questions are: have any premenopausal women out there used progesterone? Good reactions? Bad reactions? Is this a good idea? What are the potential bad side effects?
I'd also be interested in hearing any theories about why hormone levels might impact rosacea flares. I found some anecdotal evidence online, with women saying that they also had rosacea flares between ovulation and menstruation, but there's not a lot out there to explain the connection.
EDIT: Forget to say my age (28). 5'6" and usually between 120 and 125 pounds. Sleep is good. Diet does not include dairy because it triggers rosacea flares, but I eat beef, lamb, fish, chicken, pork, most vegetables, occasional rice, a little fruit (only a little because it also seems to trigger some rosacea flare-ups but I'm not sure). No more digestion problems after 4 months of paleo.
asked byViolet9 (2063)
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on June 11, 2012
at 08:38 PM
First, I would get your 25(OH)D level checked, if you haven't already.
Vitamin D is a hormone precursor & by getting in the optimal range (50-60 ng/ml for most folk or 60-80 if you have an auto-immune/inflammatory condition) you will give your body what it needs to create its own progesterone.
It may also help your rosacea.
Progesterone rises after ovulation (if indeed you are ovulating!) and so it is a bit confusing to me that you would have a rosacea flare at that time.
Using progesterone cream can be helpful for some of the other symptoms (and I have used it successfully at age 49 for perimenopausal symptoms), but at your age, I would suggest doing more dietary & environmental tweaking.
If you do want to try it, I recommend Pro-gest, which is free of parabens. Use it as directed & don't be surprised if your symptoms flare up for a few weeks. It's normal as shut-down estrogen receptors get activated.
Great resource here: http://www.johnleemd.com/
Personally, I would avoid anything written by Suzanne Somers or T.S Wiley, since they are recommending non-physiological levels of hormones that have caused a lot of problems for many women.
Due to previous digestive problems pre-Paleo you are likely deficient in zinc, magnesium and possibly selenium, so getting replete with oysters, a magnesium supplement and a few Brazil nuts could be really helpful.
Also liver, other organ meats, gelatin & bone broth will fill in the micronutrient gaps.
Krill oil can help with cramping for some women.
Here are a couple of blog posts I wrote on fertility/hormone balance that may be helpful:
on June 11, 2012
at 09:14 PM
plus one for www.johnleemd.com I've used natural progesterone for pmt, perimenopause and post menopause. I don't intend to stop using it. It has transformed my life. Here's another resource www.npis.info the natural progesterone information service.
on June 11, 2012
at 07:52 PM
I absolutely would (and still do for severe pms/pmdd) use bio-identical hormone cream for the symptoms you describe. Of course it should be prescribed by a doctor who knows and uses bio-identical hormones.
My cream is from a compounding pharmacy.
Cramps are very typically caused by low progesterone. Proper dosing is everything. I don't know about for Rosacea but the cream could definitely help with number 3&4 on your list.
This book is very good: Stay Young & Sexy with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: The Science Explained by Jonathan V. Wright, Lane Lenard and Suzanne Somers (Dec 16, 2009)
Best of luck