I am confused and frustrated about some saliva test results. Last year I was put on a hormone cream with progesterone, DHEA, and some other good stuff. Initially it had estrogen in it, too, but I did not respond well to it at all so they took it out. I should add that I have had a hyst and only have one ovary but according to FSH and other test results I am not in menopause. I am 42 years old.
The cream helped me lose weight, minimize "PMS", and generally I felt good. However, I had fluid retention three days every week. In January this year I foolishly went off the cream. A few months later I had horrible burn out, no cortisol output, and felt so miserable I quit my job. In June a doctor put me on a cream with 100 to 200 mg of progesterone, 2.5 mg testosterone, and 5 mg DHEA. At first I felt great, lost weight again, had 8 days without fluid retention, etc. AFter about 2.5 months I started going the opposite direction - 14 days of fluid retention, couldn't sleep, irritable, etc. I did some research and realized that 100 to 200 mg of progesterone is way too high a dose in a transdermal. I went off of it for 2.5 weeks and had a saliva test done. At that point I had been dealing with fluid retention, a pregnant looking belly, irritability and more for about 3 1/2 weeks. AFter the saliva test I went back on 30 mg of progesterone a day. I just got my saliva test results which were evaluated by a compounding pharmacist who said we need to bring my progesterone levels up. He said my estrogen is also low but I was hesitant about going on estrogen so he added some testosterone which he said will get converted to estrogen partly.
Anyway, that was Monday and I did not have a copy of the test results in front of me when we were discussing it. I just had a chance to look at the results this morning and according to the lab, my progesterone levels are too high. Here are the results:
Test Result Range
Estradial 0.8 0.5-1.7 Postmenopausal (optimal 1.3 to 1.7)
Progesterone 213 12-100 Postmenopausal
Ratio Pg/E2 266 Optimal 100-500 when E2 1.3-3.3
Testosterone 24 16-55 Age dependent
DHEAS 4.4 2-23 Age dependent
Cortisol AM 6.2 3.7-9.5
Cortisol Noon 2.0 1.2-3.0
Cortisol Evening 0.8 0.6-1.9
Cortisol Night 0.7 0.4-1.0
I don't know what to do. Are they saying the progesterone is high IF I were postmenopausal? I can't keep spending money on tests and doctors and I am tired of feeling the way I do. I spent 29 days with fluid retention and abdominal distention 24/7 and gained some weight. I had two days where my stomach was back to normal until evening and then it started back up 24/7 and I am now on another 8 days of abdominal distention and fluid retention. I am scared about what is happening with my body and don't know where to turn.
Sorry you are feeling so lousy. I have yet to start hormone replacement, however I am praying my doc starts it at my post op appt on Nov 14th. We have a resident expert here though, her name is Mary53. She checks in here often and has such insight into the hormone replacement. Look up her profile and read some of her posts. She is absolutley wonderful. I hope this helps and I really hope you feel better soon. It ***** feeling like this. Good Luck and God Bless you.
my ob/gyn is an expert on hrt he recomends estrogen only I use a patch 2x a week so easy, was still having some hot flashes and started on black Cosch over the counter herbal, it works wonders, I feel so much better, I had two drs recommened it to me and in geneneral drs arent big on herbal supplements, its available at most drug stores, walmarts,etc
Don't get too caught up on test results - the numbers. They are a very good starting point but how you feel needs to be looked at. And maybe you should be dosed on how you feel. We are all so different with this hormone balancing.
I'm no expert and don't know what hormone needs to be balanced better or added or taken away to relieve you of those symptoms - maybe someone else can help with that one.
I'm going on 2 months on my bio identical cream so I'm still balancing out. I didn't react well with the testosterone - I became an angry person. Could have been the dose. I still feel like my estrogen is low too. I'm going to do a saliva test this Sunday and mail it out Monday am. I've done a bunch of blood tests and it showed that everything was low on me. So they just made a good guess on dosages for me. I'm also on 100mg a day of progesterone but I need it right now. My main BAD symptom was anxiety and with the progesterone added, it got so much better. I don't dare go off that or lower the dosage yet. We are all so different.
You are so right, we are all different. My two cents worth. Chuck the progesterone cream. Don't obsess over the test results. After trying lots of different things, getting saliva testing done, using various creams, etc.... I have come to the conclusion that the only thing that helps me is using the Estraderm patch and being diligent about my sleep, diet and exercise. I don't think the saliva testing is of any use, especially when you factor in the terrible cost involved.
I have no ovaries, uterus, cervix. (could add to that list brain). I try to eat a protein with every meal, such as salmon, and avoid salt, processed foods, etc. I eat a lot of veggies and fruits. It's boring as heck. I also suffer if I have too much caffeine or alcohol... and too much is pretty darn small amounts. I work out like a demon (my current job involves teaching fitness though so I am a bit lucky in that regard, I am forced to exercise).
Test results can fluctuate wildly. I believe the most current literature encourages blood testing, not saliva. I take several vitamins and supplements, including D, B, multi, calcium. I snack on hemp hearts (see your local health food store). I agree you could try the Black Cohosh, I have not.
I like books by Dr Elizabeth Vliet and Dr Christianne Northrup (although they contradict each other). Browse your local library or book store, there are lots of books out there. No one really has the definitive answer, but I sure think doctors do hysterectomies too frequently. Best of luck to you all.
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