High Dose Progesterone Increasing My Insulin Resistance?

Discussion in 'Female Issues' started by freyasam, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    I have a question about progesterone seemingly increasing my insulin resistance. But first, some background.

    Recently I did an MRI which found large ovarian cysts. The largest was 7.6 cm, and it may need surgical removal. I have an ultrasound in three weeks to see if the cysts have changed in size. I'm late 30s and still menstruating (although my "periods" are super light and so spaced out I can go months without one).

    For the past two weeks, I have increased my progesterone dose to see if I could shrink the cysts. I'm taking a total of 300 to 400 mg of oral progesterone a day, which is a high dose. 200 mg of that is prescribed progesterone (yes, it's really progesterone and not progestin); the other 100 to 200 mg is Progest-e.

    Before this new regimen, I was taking only 200 mg of progesterone, and not super consistently. Clearly that wasn't enough to prevent the cysts from developing.

    The past few days, my waist measurement has gone up an inch, but my weight has stayed the same. I am already overweight and carry most of that fat in my belly. Also, I've had an increase in Acanthosis nigricans (underarm discoloration). Both of these symptoms suggest an increase in insulin resistance.

    (In other words, the 100 to 200 mg progest-e is what is new. Apparently the progest-e is making me gain fat on my stomach and acanthosis nigricans.)

    Ray Peat says that progesterone will eliminate estrogen, increase sensitivity to insulin, and shrink ovarian cysts. But a look at Google scholar will bring up lots of studies claiming that progesterone DECREASES insulin sensitivity.

    I know people here say that progesterone can increase estrogen in the beginning, but at such a high dose of 300 to 400 mg a day, I would think that it wouldn't have this effect.

    I have been following his ideas for over four years now. Diet is on point. Plenty of protein, plenty of carbs. I've tinkered with diet a lot, there's not much more I can do to improve this area. My vitamin D levels are good, I get anti-inflammatory protein. I take aspirin, vitamin K, vitamin E. I eat liver, get sun and red light. I am on top of all things Peaty.

    Exercise is not possible for me at this time. I have severe CFS, and it's a struggle just to cook for myself.

    Has anyone else had an increase in stomach fat or insulin resistance from taking progesterone? Any ideas? Thank you.

    Edit to add:

    Just to sum up --

    Progest-e is responsible for the inch of fat gained on my stomach, the underarm discoloration indicating insulin problems, and the increased facial flushing. I know because it's the only change I've made.

    Progest-e has caused these issues in the past. Even at doses of up to 400 mg / day. I stopped the PE, problems went away. Other brands of progesterone have no effect.

    Prometrium is not responsible for these issues, because I didn't have them on prometrium only. But yes, I will stop it to see what happens.

    I have 3 weeks before my ultrasound to try to shrink ovarian cysts and avoid surgery.
     
  2. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    (yes, it's really progesterone and not progestin)

    what is the brand name of what you are taking?

    sidenote: its virtually impossible to use Google scholar or any other medical database
    re: progesterone because the studies universally equate progestin/progesterone.
    and even when they don't the progesterone source when drilled down is problematic.
    hence the reason you're seeing that contradiction.
     
  3. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    It's a generic version of Prometrium.
     
  4. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    I can only speak from my experience... I have ONLY seen negative results from women using Prometrium.
    my n sample is about 30 over a 20 year timeline. Certainly not a large sample but I can tell you unequivocally I wouldn't use it
    nor would I recommend it to a friend or family member.

    this may have nothing at all to do with your problem but imho an important consideration
     
  5. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    I appreciate your input. Do you know why it would cause negative results? Isn't it real progesterone?
     
  6. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    What's concerning is that the only change I've made the past two weeks is adding in 100-200 mg progest-e. That's what caused the fat gain and increased insulin resistance.

    Before I was only on prometrium and didn't have this effect. Now I'm on the same does of prometrium, but added in 100-200 mg progest-e. So shouldn't the progest-e help rather than harm?
     
  7. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    I honestly 100% have no real factual answer for you.
    My random guess is its manufactured by people who publicly can't tell the difference between a progestin and progesterone
    hence their ability to produce a clean/safe/effective product is flawed.
    I have no facts to base that on but that's the only reasonable conclusion I have been able to reach
    Those fond of conspiracy will imply they do it on purpose to force movement toward progestin usage.
    Those not fond of conspiracy are simply stumped and steer clear for lack of success with it.
     
  8. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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  9. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    I can add increased facial flushing/burning to the symptoms that Progest E has caused.

    So the Prometrium, despite its apparent problems, caused no increase in symptoms and helps me to sleep.

    Yet Progest E makes me gain stomach fat and decrease insulin sensitivity.

    It's so frustrating when it seems that everything Peat says to be true has the opposite effect on you. It leaves me feeling that I have to do things that actually make me feel worse, just because of some theory.
     
  10. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    If I were in your shoes (obviously I'm not so its a bit cavalier of me to say that)
    I would stop both of them for a week... note the changes
    and re-introduce just Progest-e and see what happens.
    With Prometrium's track record, until you stop using it you are just guessing.
    Additionally there are lots of people who report doing well with Progest-e
    I've much better experiences with Progestene from IdeaLabs and Progesterone from Health Natura.

    Additionally I would contact Ray directly and ask him his thoughts
     
  11. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    @jitsmonkey thanks again

    Unfortunately, I have done multiple trials of Progest E, Health Natura progesterone, and Ona's progesterone. The latter two have no effect. Progest-e always creates these symptoms for me.

    I just saw this thread from 2015. I was worried back then that Progest-e was contributing to my weight gain and making me feel worse. And I was taking 400 mg of it back then!
    Determining "estrogen dominance?" Maybe PE is making me worse!

    I have written Peat a few times over the years. He always tells me to take thyroid. My body does not tolerate any type of thyroid whatsoever, no matter how many times and how many ways or how small of a crumb I take when I try it. Horrible, horrible anxiety response that increases the longer I take it.

    Most of Peat's ideas just don't work for me. But nothing else does either. I guess I just go through cycles where I have exhausted every other option and try to make his stuff work for me again. Then I ran run into this brick wall again.
     
  12. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    what has he said in response to this?

    Its crystal clear from your previous referenced post you don't mobilize fuel well.
     
  13. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    the consistent poor response to metabolic optimizers ie. progesterone, thyroid, caffeine, etc...
    is often (not always) due to a lack of a rate limiting substance. ie. mineral, vitamin, etc...
    That often requires a fair amount of detective work. This forum is littered with people who struggle with ray's general recommendations
    in a broad sense as you're describing.
     
  14. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    He has suggested to take magnesium, calcium, pregnenalone, and to take the medication in smaller amounts. None of these things have worked any of the multiple times I've tried them in conjunction with thyroid.
     
  15. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    What has he said to this response?
     
  16. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    He usually stops replying, or I just stop asking questions once I see the conversation going down the same route it has in the past.
     
  17. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

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    well here you are at your dead end.
    I'd suggest you put this story into a 2 or 3 brief sentences terminating with your last comments regarding mag,cal, etc
    (especially if its been a while since you last communicated)
    If not I'd suggest you stop trying to follow his model because you obviously require a next step for it to succeed
    and if he doesn't know or want to say then its prolly safest to abandon otherwise you're just repeating the same
    experiment over and over with the same result. You already know the results up to this point, you either need additional variables
    or you should move on.

    I still think its a safe bet you're missing a/multiple rate limiters
    and that literally could be ANY required micro nutrient from iodine to A or D and or and or and or and or and or
     
  18. OP
    freyasam

    freyasam Member

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    Yeah but move on to what? The past four + years I've moved on multiple times to various other approaches. Nothing works, so in desperation I return to Peat.
     
  19. Kartoffel

    Kartoffel Member

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    I don't have any study right now, but it would make sense for very large doses of progesterone to cause insulin "resistance". Women have very high levels of progesterone during pregnancy, and Ray has talked about this as an effect that spares glucose for the baby. I don't think that this is a bad effect, and you would probably want to get an OGT before jumping to any conclusions. Do you know you blood levels of estrogen, progesterone, etc?
     
  20. baccheion

    baccheion Member

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    Iodine protocol is said to shrink cysts. It may also be indirectly increasing progesterone.
     
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