I was seeing a doc for 4 years who was treating me with bio-identical hormones. Everything he said was making sense... but i was seeing him every 4-6 weeks and he was never able to get my progesterone and thyroid levels adjusted. So 6 months ago I consulted with a bio-identical hormone specialist (found through my pharmacy)who trains doctors and pharmacists about treatment. She was horrified to find I was way on more pregesterone than is recommended for a pregnant woman. The doctor had been blaming my thyroid for making my treatment tricky, but he was using blood instead of saliva to test my levels. Sadly, when the specialist had my saliva tested, my progesterone level actually cam back LOW. My body was deregulating... sending the progesterone somewhere else... adrenal pathways?? I was a wreck when I came to see her. Horrible anxiety, mood swings, memory lapses (thought I was literally losing my mind).. not to mention physical issues like migraines, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness/burning. Thankfully she was able to refer me to a new doc who has spent the past 6 months stepping down the treatment and getting me to a healthier place.
Despite the fact the hormone guru told me progesterone is the one hormone we can take way too much of and suffer no ill effects, I'm honestly worried. At one point the old doc had even thrown some bi-est and estradiol into my bio-identical cream. Thankfully he had not added this to my pills as I understand that poses more of a risk.
Beth, please tell me if I have anything to really be concerned about based on your extensive knowledge of the subject. I'm wondering if 10 or 20 years down the road I'll have issues as a result of this ordeal. Also, how long can I safely use the progesterone therapy at healthy dosages?? (A little more about me: I turned 40 yrs old this year. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism due to Hoshimoto's at age 18.) Thank you in advance for taking time to answer!
Posted by janedoe4
I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.
The symptoms you describe are from multiple hormone deficiencies, not just one. A holistic approach would need to be able to restore the function of each of the missing hormones without using hormones.
There are medications that you can take, such as anti-anxiety pills to reduce anxiety and sleeping pills to get some sleep, to reduce some of the symptoms. The type of tachycardia that is associated with profound hypogonadism (menopause) is not treated. There are no effective medications for nocturnal diaphoresis (night sweats). Some women have some success with anti-depressants but not much. Unfortunately, if any of these medications are taken over a long period of time the side effects will cause other illnesses to appear and will only be added to your symptoms of profound hypogonadism.
Your body was designed with chemical pathways that work their best with adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and hormones. Unfortunately, you cannot stimulate these pathways with anything but the vitamins, minerals and hormones they were designed to work with. Each hormone in our bodies, and we have hundreds, has a special receptor, which, when stimulated, is a link in the metabolic pathway that keeps us healthy. Too much of a hormone and the pathway is over stimulated and too little of a hormone and the pathway is under stimulated.
We live in a modern age and hormones can be purified to the point that the body cannot distinguish them from the hormones that it makes itself (bio-identical). We live in a time when the amounts of replaced hormone can be carefully measured for the healthiest amount. It is a black mark on humanity that this technology isn’t used and available to those who wish to maintain their health.
In all honesty, you cannot treat any hormone deficiency holistically. What you can do is recognize when you have one, know the limitations of using drugs to control each symptom separately, and decide what is best for you. Don’t forget that you always have the option of appropriate hormone replacement with bio-identical hormones in healthy amounts.
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
I just discovered you and your blog today and it is the proverbial breath of fresh air. I'm 59 and have been seeking treatment for menopausal problems for 6 years. One doctor told me that insomnia was part of aging. I tried to stress to him that I needed to stay alert and perform well in my job to stay employed as I was and am my sole support. None of the doctors I've encountered seem to recognize that many women like me will have to continue working well into their 60's if not beyond to support themselves. I'm in information technology which requires constantly learning new technologies to stay employed. That's difficult to do when you're only sleeping 4 hours a night.
Fortunately, through my own research and sorting through a lot of good and bad information, I'm now on estradiol, 4mg 2x daily, progesterone, 100mg 2xdaily (alternating 2 weeks on and off) but I don't tolerate testosterone well, I get acne even on 1 mg. I'm sleeping better now but my sex drive is still way below what it was pre-menopause, and I don't think as clearly. I think that if I could restore those areas to normalcy, I'd feel like I did before, which was great - I ran marathons all through my 40's. I've read that the Wiley Protocol is too extreme, but I'm interested in the concept of restoring a menstrual cycle as a way of restoring other components of health. What do you think of Wiley and/or the restoration of menstruation for post menopausal women?
Posted by kmvc
After reading your article, I must concer. I chose to eliminate the product you refered to from my regiment over
7 years ago. I am comfortable with my decision, however, I suffer every day with tachycardia, panic, and insomnia secondary to profuse nocturnal diaphorisis. Are there any suggestions to help manage these holistically?
Posted by blcarlos
There seems to be some confusion. The NAMS that I am referring to is the North American Menopause Society and the NAMS that you are referring to is the National Academy of Mortuary Science. For more information on the National Academy of Mortuary Science please visit their website at <url removed>/
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
Will a funeral home in Maine hire you if you become a "CMT" through "NAMS" located in Arkansas?
It is a take home course which is called Certified Mortiuary Technichian. It's offered by "The National Academy of Mortiuary Science in Arkansas. I'm just wondering if anybody in Maine has ever taken this course and got a job working for a funeral home in Maine, or any other state that has the same funeral home regulations as Maine?
Posted by bethkathelesher