Progest e and excessive bleeding.

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Aug 4, 2013
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Okay, so I'm not getting the benefits so many people here are having with progest e. I don't discount the positive experience of many people on here and this is the main reason I keep trying to make it work, but something is not right with what I've been experiencing and I'm starting to think I may be doing more harm on continuing taking it, never mind it's costing me an arm and a leg with the amount I'm using just to feel worse as time goes on.

I've eaten a high fruit diet with pastured eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat(small amounts, good amount of salt, plenty of coconut oil and PUFA avoidance for at least 6 years. I take Carlson's D3, nutrisorb A and a B12 supplement.

I started on NDT based on labs as my TSH was around 3.9. I get labs done every two months(trying to find what's wrong) and my doctor is very knowledgable of alternative therapies and diet. She even knows about Ray Peat and his theories and is very open to doing whatever tests I want in order to nail down what's going wrong in me. I was on thyroid for about 4 months and since I started it, I had the worse migraines and subsequent vomiting on a weekly basis something I never dealt with before. I switched to WP Thyroid due to the fact that it has only chicory root, lactose and medium chain triglyceride from coconut oil as it's excipients so I figured it would be less allergenic, just in case that was the problem. The migraines and vomiting continued. I was started on a low dose of 32.5 taking nibbles throughout the day and slowly worked my way up adding more each month till I was at 81.25mg dose based on blood work. Had to stop it as even high doses of progest e wasn't stopping the migraines.

I started progest e a month ago doing the high dose of 3 drops, 5 times a day for ten days on day 14 through 28 and then stopped to induce a period. It worked and I bled for over 9 days and then it stopped and I started taking even higher amounts of the progest e in order to prevent bleeding for healing purposes based on Peatarian's posts and I went through over a bottle in one week and I still bled a week and a half later. So I started adding even more progest e in an attempt to stop the bleeding and the major estrogen dominance symptoms such as breast tenderness(something I've never dealt with before) and MAJOR anger and crying/depression which again is very unlike me. I'm usually a positive and happy person and one of the most easy going people you'll meet.

In the past two days I've gone through 1 1/2 bottles of the progest and last night I actually started to feel like I was floating and dizzy and almost fell and I walked into a wall on my way to my bed because I had to sleep immediately. I made it to my bed and that's all I remember. I woke up about an hour and a half later feeling out of it. Sure enough the same thing happened today after a large dose.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to what could possibly be going on or has anyone else had this reaction to the progest e. I know others are doing well with it, but I think it would be foolish of me to keep taking the progest e with such obvious ill effects.

I really appreciate any advice you guys can give.
 

jaguar43

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Northernlights2281 said:
Okay, so I'm not getting the benefits so many people here are having with progest e. I don't discount the positive experience of many people on here and this is the main reason I keep trying to make it work, but something is not right with what I've been experiencing and I'm starting to think I may be doing more harm on continuing taking it, never mind it's costing me an arm and a leg with the amount I'm using just to feel worse as time goes on. Please bear with me as this post is long and I won't blame you if you choose not to read it. LOL

Background info. Started first menses at age 14 and bled about once per year and sometimes didn't bleed at all in a year so maybe had under 10 periods in my entire life(I'm 32) till I started the progest e. At the age of 28 I suffered 12 spinal fractures due to SEVERE osteoporosis. I had a DEXA Z-score of -6 and incase people aren't familiar with DEXA scores an extremely osteoporatic elderly woman with a Z-score of -3 is a major fracture risk so I was even worse by another 3 points. Because of this, I subsequently lost 4 inches of height due to many of the fractures compressing. My spine basically crumbled under me.

I've eaten a high fruit diet with pastured eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat(small amounts, good amount of salt, plenty of coconut oil and PUFA avoidance for at least 6 years. I take Carlson's D3, nutrisorb A and a B12 supplement.

I started on NDT based on labs as my TSH was around 3.6. I get labs done every two months(trying to find what's wrong) and my doctor is very knowledgable of alternative therapies and diet. She even knows about Ray Peat and his theories and is very open to doing whatever tests I want in order to nail down what's going wrong in me. I was on thyroid for about 4 months and since I started it, I had the worse migraines and subsequent vomiting on a weekly basis something I never dealt with before. I switched to WP Thyroid due to the fact that it has only chicory root, lactose and medium chain triglyceride from coconut oil as it's excipients so I figured it would be less allergenic, just in case that was the problem. The migraines and vomiting continued. I was started on a low dose of 32.5 taking nibbles throughout the day and slowly worked my way up adding more each month till I was at 81.25mg dose based on blood work. Had to stop it as even high doses of progest e wasn't stopping the migraines.

My blood levels of estrogen are extremely low, about as low as it gets for a menopausal women (again, I'm only 32) though I know this doesn't account for estrogen stored in cells and tomorrow I go to the doctors to see the results of my current progesterone levels though those have always been almost non existent so it should be interesting to see what effect all this progest e has had on my levels.

I started progest e a month ago doing the high dose of 3 drops, 5 times a day for ten days on day 14 through 28 and then stopped to induce a period. It worked and I bled for over 9 days and then it stopped and I started taking even higher amounts of the progest e in order to prevent bleeding for healing purposes based on Peatarian's posts and I went through over a bottle in one week and I still bled a week and a half later. So I started adding even more progest e in an attempt to stop the bleeding and the major estrogen dominance symptoms such as breast tenderness(something I've never dealt with before) and MAJOR anger and crying/depression which again is very unlike me. I'm usually a positive and happy person and one of the most easy going people you'll meet.

In the past two days I've gone through 1 1/2 bottles of the progest and last night I actually started to feel like I was floating and dizzy and almost fell and I walked into a wall on my way to my bed because I had to sleep immediately. I made it to my bed and that's all I remember. I woke up about an hour and a half later feeling out of it. Sure enough the same thing happened today after a large dose.

I have been bleeding for eight days now so far and so now I'm up to 2 1/2 weeks of bleeding out of a month and no amount of progest e stops the bleeding and I actually knock myself out with the stuff. I should mention that I always take the progest with plenty of fruit sugars, salt, protein and a small amount of sat. fat.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to what could possibly be going on or has anyone else had this reaction to the progest e. I know others are doing well with it, but I think it would be foolish of me to keep taking the progest e with such obvious ill effects.

I really appreciate any advice you guys can give.

Love and Blessings,
Jennifer

Migraines on thyroid. I get those if I don't eat enough food. When people are on thyroid they need to eat more since the metabolism is higher than usual. Vomiting is caused by low food.

If the amount of menstruating is correlated with the amount of progest-e(in your experience) than why did you continue to increase your dosage ? Why fix something that isn't broken. You can try recommendations but it was clearly that you shouldn't have take 1.5 bottles in two days.

Ray Peat has said he once mistaken progest with preg and he couldn't feel his legs after 30 minutes.
My suggestion is take 3 drops twice a day.
 

fabiomln

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The dose of progesterone is clearly too high.
Some women experience a worsening of symptoms when they start taking progesterone because of 'estrogen receptors' that become sensitized. It may take a few months to equilibrate.
But I think you can have high cortisol levels (... two spinal fractures due to SEVERE osteoporosis ).
Perhaps you could try to introduce the pregnenolone to counter cortisol.
I also think that vitamin E and magnesium can really help you.
 

Northernlights2281

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@jag-I upped my calories even more when I was on thyroid because I knew that the demand for nutrition goes up the better the thyroid works so I upped my calories to more than 3000 cals a day. It didn't help and I could barely keep food down due to the vomiting. I kept upping the dose of progest e because I wasn't seeing any relief in my symptoms and Ray Peat has said that one should keep taking it every ten minutes till the estrogen dominant symptoms disappear. Clearly blood work has shown that I'm extremely deficient in progesterone so I wasn't surprised that I would need a lot, but you are right, I should go by my experience with it so I'll try the maintenance dose for a while to see if things improve. Thank you for your response.

@fabio- I did a 24 hour cortisol urine test a few years back when I suffered the twelve back fractures and my levels were normal. I've also had my magnesium levels checked and my level was on the high end of the normal range so I'm good there and with all the vitamin E I'm getting in the progest e, I imagine that's plenty? I'll reduce the amount of progest e and give it a few months like you suggest. Thank you for your help!
 

Peata

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From things I've read, progesterone can make things worse before better, since it first up regulates estrogen from receptors but then will down regulate it. So more estrogen symptoms for a while, such as the bleeding, breast tenderness, etc.
 

Northernlights2281

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Phew! Thank you for the explanation, Peata. I was a bit confused as I know progesterone is suppose to prevent bleeding and I kept taking more till the bleeding stopped, but clearly it wasn't working. I was trying to prevent my period for a few months in order to facilitate the healing of my bones, but I'll just do the maintenance dose and give my body the chance to balance out. Thanks again, Peata!
 

Dewitt

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@Northernlights:

The last thing you should be doing now is to continue the use of progest-E and just wait everything out.
You said you are having very low levels of estrogens and this is a likely the reason for your problems. The uterine bleedings you are experiencing are very likely caused by progesterone's opposition towards estrogen and vitamin E's opposition towards vitamin K. Both estrogen and vitamin K1 are needed for healthy blood clotting and to prevent excessive bleedings. And both these factors (estrogen & vitamin K1) are directly released into wounds to facilitate healthy blood clotting. In a person that is already very low in estrogen, progest-E can prevent this clotting and cause excessive bleeding. This is absolutely not a sign of healing and progest-E is not the solution for every health problem. What you should do now, is to discontinue the use progest-E immediately and take vitamin K1 as soon as possible. Every doctor should be able to give you a vitamin K1 injection to treat your symptoms right away. In addition to that, you should visit a gynecologist and have blood tests for progesterone, estrogen and clotting factors done. Also, you should have your blood count checked, so that the degree of blood loss can be evaluated.
 
J

j.

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You take vitamins A, D, and E, the only fat soluble that's missing there is K. They work together. Once you recover from this, maybe consider adding K2 regularly.
 

LucyL

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Are you getting enough protein? Peat recommends up to 150 g per day (http://www.litalee.com/shopexd.asp?id=402) of the highest quality. This can include gelatin, milk, probably even the potato concoction he suggests. Eggs are high in PUFA. Grass fed ruminents are good, as long as you eat meat with gelatin and coffee...

Without adequate protein, the liver will never efficiently get rid of extra estrogen, and even thyroid supplementation won't be as effective.
 
J

j.

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LucyL said:
Eggs are high in PUFA.

Peat recommends and consumes eggs, they have 0.7g of PUFA per egg, you can still stay below 5 grams of PUFA if you eat eggs.
 

lindsay

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RP's protein recommendations vary. In an email, he told me 70 to 100 grams (not 130 to 150 grams). His progesterone info. article also states this:

"With a diet high in protein (e.g., at least 70-100 grams per day, including eggs) and vitamin A (not carotene), I have found that the dose of progesterone can be reduced each month. Using thyroid will usually reduce the amount of progesterone needed. Occasionally, a woman won't feel any effect even from 100 mg. of progesterone; I think this indicates that they need to use thyroid and diet, to normalize their estrogen, prolactin, and cortisol."

Reference: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/progesterone-summaries.shtml
 

leo

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Girl I would stop looking here for advice and get yourself to a gynecologist asap. I cannot beleive some of the suggestions for you.

Dewitt seems to be the only sensible one here...get to a doctor to stop that bleeding and then do some testing to figure it out. And for Christ's sake please do not consume 150 grms of protein.

Geez. I had already stopped Peating due to my own circumstances but had thought I would check in now and then to keep abreast of things and continue learning.

This makes my blood boil.
 

lindsay

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^ agreed. but I think any good gyno would send someone to a "female" endocrinologist in this situation.
 

Wilfrid

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leo said:
Girl I would stop looking here for advice and get yourself to a gynecologist asap. I cannot beleive some of the suggestions for you.

Dewitt seems to be the only sensible one here...get to a doctor to stop that bleeding and then do some testing to figure it out.


:bravo
 

Northernlights2281

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I'm really sorry for letting you guys worry, though I really appreciate the help and concern. I had written a reply to you all yesterday after I returned home from my doctors appointment, but for some reason it didn't post and I thought it had.

I get blood work done every 6-8 weeks to keep track of my blood levels and yesterday was my latest visit. So after a month of taking the progest-e, my estrogen levels are good, my testosterone lowered(formerly it was a bit high), my FSH and LH have improved greatly, my prolactin is normal just like it has been, my TSH is still high for my doctors liking because she prefers a TSH of 1 or lower and mine is at a 3, but about 3 months ago, I stopped taking NDT after four months of using it because of the horrible symptoms I was getting so I expected my TSH to be a bit higher. My T4 went up and my T3 is nice and high, but I haven't done the reverse T3 test to distinguish if my T3 is actually falsely elevated from that so I can't really say much about the accuracy of my T3 levels. My progesterone level has gone up and I'm finally at the level of a post menopausal women's level so at least I finally have some progesterone running through me. All my other blood levels such as blood count, magnesium, protein, calcium, vit D, B12, bone breakdown test ect. are excellent and my doctor is thrilled that I'm finally improving.

I told her about the 9 days of bleeding and only two weeks of no bleeding and the another 9 days of bleeding after that and she said all my numbers look good, but we will keep track to make sure this doesn't continue, obviously. She said it's common for someone in my position who hasn't bled for 8 or 9 years to experience this kind of irregularity initially. So I'm going to do a maintenance dose of the progest on days 14-28 of my cycle till my progesterone levels come up to normal than I'll think about stopping it all together as I hadn't planned on taking it long term.

I'll make sure to get more kale broth in my diet as it can never hurt me to add more vitamins and minerals to my diet along with the specific benefit of the K so thank you for the suggestion, Dewitt. I really appreciate the concern. :) I should mention that I don't take aspirin unless I have a really bad migraine which have stopped since stopping the NDT, I never bruise and any wounds I may get, heal up extremely fast so I would think these are good signs that my clotting and healing abilities are good?

I follow my cravings when it comes to dietary needs and quite honestly, I feel 130 -150 grams of protein would be way to much for my needs, but I appreciate the suggestion. I know Peat has mentioned limiting eggs that come from birds fed soy or other high PUFA foods, but honestly, I love eggs and I feel good eating plenty of them so I use that as my guide. Milk gives me a skin rash so I try to limit that and get eggshell calcium instead, but other than that, I try not to get dogmatic and go by how my body responds to different foods so I also do well on grains, legumes, lentils, veggies, lots of fruit, plenty of salt and so far my blood tests are improving so I don't feel any of those foods contribute to my hormonal balance. I'm a much more relaxed person when I relax about my diet. In the past, I know I've created more stress and subsequently done more harm just by worrying too much and trying to be perfect with my food choices. It was self defeating.

Thanks again for all the advice!
 

Northernlights2281

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Well, I just figured out why my last reply never got posted. I just had to hit the submit button twice for this last reply to be posted. I must of only hit the submit button once last time, assuming that it had posted. Again, I apologize.
 

leo

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Massive amount of protein for a young girl with frail health (spinal fractures, lack of menses) and more protein will just add to stress load, unless she combines it with massive amounts of carbs. I do not think this will stop the bleeding, which is the original issue she was asking for help with. And as far as eating massive amount of protein in order for liver to clear estrogen...maybe therein lies her problem? Something is definitely not right....and estrogen is not always a monster.

I would never dream of telling a person with these issues what to do other than seek professional help. Don't get me wrong, I loathe doctors....but there are many other things which can cause bleeding...cysts, tumors etc. Not everything on earth can be fixed with diet, and certainly not a Peat diet.

When I read this post I was livid because I envisioned a young woman like my daughter....and then thought of all the things that could go terribly wrong my listening to "experts" on the internet. Because let's face it....most here think they are.

And that got me to thinking how stupid I have been too.....almost falling for this hook line and sinker.

These forums take on a cult like quality and I feel it is dangerous. One has to maintain an open mind....not every question can be answered by Peat. And we must remember that even the most renown, respected and well versed scientists have all been refuted by other renown, respected and well versed scientists at one time or another. For every x theory there is a y theory and there is no guarantee that anything we do will work, every time all the time. I've read several posts where people make fun of the paleo's or low carbers or other theories and it makes me think how sad that people always have to be righteous. Their god is bigger than my god, type of mentality. Yet no one seems to be healthy anymore?

Sorry for the rant, but it is my exit speech. I do not wish to participate here anymore. Northernlights I wish you the best.

And to all you young people who are so unusually unhealthy at your ages....try to keep an open mind and not be so dogmatic and sure about what you're doing. You may have to do a complete 180 someday and eat your words. Look for healthy people and healthy elders especially and emanate
what they do. You do not know it all, nor does Peat.
 

Peata

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Northernlights2281 said:
My progesterone level has gone up and I'm finally at the level of a post menopausal women's level so at least I finally have some progesterone running through me. All my other blood levels such as blood count, magnesium, protein, calcium, vit D, B12, bone breakdown test ect. are excellent and my doctor is thrilled that I'm finally improving.

I follow my cravings when it comes to dietary needs and quite honestly, I feel 130 -150 grams of protein would be way to much for my needs, but I appreciate the suggestion. I know Peat has mentioned limiting eggs that come from birds fed soy or other high PUFA foods, but honestly, I love eggs and I feel good eating plenty of them so I use that as my guide. Milk gives me a skin rash so I try to limit that and get eggshell calcium instead, but other than that, I try not to get dogmatic and go by how my body responds to different foods so I also do well on grains, legumes, lentils, veggies, lots of fruit, plenty of salt and so far my blood tests are improving so I don't feel any of those foods contribute to my hormonal balance. I'm a much more relaxed person when I relax about my diet. In the past, I know I've created more stress and subsequently done more harm just by worrying too much and trying to be perfect with my food choices. It was self defeating.

Thanks again for all the advice!

Glad things are improving.

I also can't do real high protein. Lately I'm just making sure to get a minimum of 70 g. I also have to be somewhat relaxed about what I eat. I try to build with the Peat framework of foods but I also enjoy and do well with many "nonPeat" foods and plan to keep them. Avoiding stress is a key thing, after all. Keep us updated.
 
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