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Old 09-05-2010, 11:53 AM   #1
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Estrogen Dominance "Wake Up" Symptoms

I have read that some women experience an initial phase where they feel worse before they feel better and that this is due to the estrogen receptor sites "waking up" and adjusting to the reintroduction of progesterone.

For those of you taking natural progesterone, could you share your experience when you first started on it and if you did experience these estrogen "wake up" symptoms, how long did it take before you started to feel better?
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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I had no estrogen to 'wake up'. ??? And I don't believe in 'estrogen dominance' anyway. (hmm??) the first thing that happens in perimeno is the drop in progesterone, not estrogen. So it's an imbalance from that point on...the only reason the estrogen is 'dominant' is because the progesterone fell out.

I felt better the second night I used progesterone transdermal compounded (NOT over the counter..the OTC stuff has Wild Yam in it...you'll notice that if you have thyroid disease...cuz it about kills any T4 to T3 conversion!).

Usually, you can look at your progesterone and estradiol testing and know if things are 'right'.

Pam
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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my dr calls it progesterone deficiency, which like pam stated is when the progesterone 'falls out' and is unbalanced to the amt of estrogen.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #4
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This was part of the article I had read and it stated the following (and that is why I was curious if anyone out there had felt like this initially)...

"When we reintroduce progesterone back into our body thereby sensitising and stimulating the estrogen receptor sites, there are immediate, intermediate and long term benefits. This can include a period of discomfort which we term ‘estrogen dominance wake-up crisis’.

So what is estrogen dominance wake-up crisis? Well, it tends to be the ‘opposite’ reaction to that which you would have expected when you first start applying progesterone cream.

Instead of getting relief from symptoms like breast tenderness, heavy bleeding, lethargy, panic attacks, headaches, agitation or depression, fluid retention, insomnia, increased joint and muscle pain, weight gain, etc., you instead find that your situation is going from bad to worse! And you’re frightened.

When a woman is estrogen dominant her estrogen receptor sites will, in time, down-regulate in the absence of progesterone. Introducing progesterone will heighten these receptors (temporarily), thus estrogen dominance symptoms can appear to worsen before you notice a turn-around.

As your body settles down and progesterone begins to oppose estrogen’s action in the body, you start to feel better, particularly if you’re considerably progesterone deficient.

Its this discomfort experienced by some women that gets tagged as ‘side-effects’. Technicially, your body is adjusting to the reintroduction of the hormone progesterone as distinct from responding adversely."
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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my breasts did swell when i started on the progesterone.. but htey also swelled (BIG TIME) when i was pregnant.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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Sounds like something Dr. Lee wrote. Sigh.

Um, you don't have to go through any of that. I'm thinking this: if you TEST a woman's prog and estradiol, then you KNOW how much to give. Why bother going by symptoms (maybe too much, maybe too little, and so forth) when you just test and then have it compounded to completely match what's missing.

Pam
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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So, Pam, if a doctor is well versed in BHRT and knows how to do it properly, they should be able to look at the lab numbers and pretty much get the dose spot on with maybe a little "tweaking" here or there? Or does it take some time and testing to get to the "magic" dose where one feels best?

Once you are on BHRT, is there a standard protocol of when you should be tested (like every three months or every six months or every year)? And from what I have read here, blood testing is the preferable way to go...not saliva for sex hormones, correct?
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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I dont think there is magic in saying bam, this is your dose based on a lab value.... There are times the patient might feel better( or worse) given that specific lab value. Same as with thyroid medication/lab values.. they are guides lines. That and how a patient reacts to said additions is important.

My dr likes to test every 3months. And they use blood though there are some drs that insist saliva is better...
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:09 PM   #9
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I had to dig out my BHRT log. (long time ago, lol).

I was tested, than started on progesterone and estradiol. At first it was oral progesterone and that was NOT good for me. So, two weeks later, we tested again. Had compounded transdermal made. That worked. We tested again six weeks later. Had to up the progesterone, and lower the estradiol (estradiol was oral). Tested eight weeks later. Had to up the estradiol and change it up with adding estriol, still oral. Progesterone bumped from 100mg/ML to 150mg/ML. Big mistake, started with sore breasts, and 'bloat' had to cut back on the transdermal prog.

I'd say it looks like over the course of about a year we tested 14 times and finally hit the sweet spot.

Yeah...takes awhile and is completely individual. Most docs who've been doing it for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS (my doc was a pioneer in BHRT, did men's testosterone about 10 YEARS before anyone thought it was an 'ok' thing) can pretty much go by blood tests, but if you are doing thyroid TOO, there's a LOT more tweaking...a LOT.

Oh, and there are pharmacies springing up all over who do salivary testing and over do the progesterone bigtime (at least five emails a week from women ALL over the USA) as well as the estradiol. But then they can 'hook up' with a doctor to write Rx and since they don't do blood, they're good to go. Only...I hear women everyday tell about the fact that the pharmacies 'overlook' hypothyroidism and don't 'get it' about the BHRT binding the incoming thyroid, so that they get underdosed in thyroid.

Pam
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