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Avatar universal

Help with Hormone levels

I got my first blood levels back and I am trying to understand what is what.  My estradiol was 8.  Seems pretty low to me!  This is using the estrodial gel.  My progesterone was 2.2.  The thing is that my free t4 was a bit high (1.8) so my doc is telling me to not do anything with my hrt and just reduce my synthroid a bit.  With as lousy as I am feeling I highly doubt that reducing the synthroid a tad is going to fix much.  Also, my face suddenly broke terribly. It seems I have all the symptoms of low estrogen but my doc is just saying to change the synthroid.  Any advice?
12 Responses
106886 tn?1281295172
DebiR,

It sounds very low to me, too. My compounding pharmacist prefers using saliva tests and so that is what he is familiar with, so I had to "study up" on the results of the blood tests. Estrodial should, or could be anywhere from 50 to something like 250. Mine was 50 in October. According to Dr. Uzzi Reiss, "Natural Hormone Therapy" ( I will double check on that title) Progesterone runs in the teens. He even has women on progesterone producing levels as high as 18. Mine was .08 in October and after an increase and a change in the delivery system, it rose only to 1.8. The doctor suspected that perhaps my body was using the progesterone to make cortisol. My stress level was high, so this is possible.

It is my understanding that high thyroid levels can come about from low progesterone levels. As I recall, this is one reason why thyroid problems and menopause go together so often, since progesterone levels plummet. Or there is no more progesterone at all after surgical menopause.

I am so sorry you are having these struggles. Get ahold of Reiss's book and Northrup's (I just typed Nordstrom by mistake...so, I guess if you don't get any answers, well, heck, you could go shopping!) But, seriously, put some doses together based on your symptoms and ask that he allow you to try the doses. I know that sounds radical, but if you check symptoms and dosing suggestions, you might see where you fall. Reiss gives women big-time credit for kind of self-adjusting their hormones based on how they feel and respond. Or, I am wondering if you are at a point where you might call Dr. Erika (Drerika.com) and see what she says. She has been doing this for about 15-20 years.

Let me know how things are going. Mary
Avatar universal
Oh I am so glad that you answered!!!   I am doing the saliva test to - after reading Dr. Northrups website that she prefers blood now I had my doc do blood but I had already bought the salvia so I may as well do that.  It confirms why I am feeling so lousy - I had the same thoughts about self adjusting.  In fact - since I still have the prescription for estradiol in pill format I thought about adding 1/4 of a pill in the am and continue on the cream (if I add more cream then I will run out before it can be refilled!).  Boy this is tough.  I was reading some posts on the hormone jungle thread and getting discouraged because some women on there sound like they still feel awful after a year or more.  I sure don't want to go for a year feeling like that - It is like having the flu (headache stomach ache body aches) but not being able to sleep it off.  Oh well.  You are more hope that it will get better.
I thought the normal estradiol range was 50.  My doc says mine is "in range".  Yes in range for post meno - no HRT.  Duh!
I will get the other book - I have northrups. Have you heard of the book "From hormone hell to hormone well"?  I wonder how that is.  Thanks~
Deb
106886 tn?1281295172
Say, I found the study referenced on the Hysterectomy forum on this Health site and I posted it under---- Hers-Staff-NWC-Email Address - kateno4 04/30/2006 -----

See what you think. Interesting. Hmmm.

I see it has not posted yet. I think I did it right. I will check in a bit.

Til Later, Mary
Avatar universal
Hi Mary, my name is Kasie, and Mary V. told me that you would be a great resource about hormone therapy.  I am 31 and just had my last ovary removed 2 weeks ago ( had partial hysterectomy when I was 25, and other ovary removed last May).  At my post-op appointment last Thuraday, my doctor gave me monthly samples of three different hormones and a prescription for one to try (I am to use each for a month and see which I like best).  They are the Climara patch (which I am using now)that you change weekly, Femring (vaginal ring changed weekly), Cenestin tablets, and Estrotest pills (this is the prescription).  Do you know anything about these hormones?  Any of these that you think are better than the other?  I am not real hip on taking these, but I am only 31 and do want to have a sex drive (my husband is hoping for that also :-)).  Any information you have would be great.  Thanks for helping all of us out.  All of you ladies are heaven sent.  Kasie
Avatar universal
OK, you ladies are giving me pause.  Do I REALLY want to remove both my ovaries if my cyst is benign?  I'm only 43, and what you folks are going thru doesn't sound like fun.  (Although I guess it beats ovca and chemo...)

Once again, this forum provides insight from women who are walking the walk!
106886 tn?1281295172
Hi Kasie, Yes, Yes, Yes...this is the beginning of a great journey for you. Boy, though, where do I start. Let me just say that you will be fine. Stay proactive, research, research, and ask questions and yes...research. That is what saved me six years ago.

We will be talking more than once. I will start you off with a chart I just found and then I will go and find the post that AnotherKatie put together that includes the titles of posts that several of us started....I suggest you copy them to your hard drive, or an email and then print them so that you don't get so overwhelmed. THERE IS A TON OF STUFF. We mention great books, resources, controversy regarding this stuff and also encourage women to just keep trying until they feel better. You will see information as to when some of the menopausal symptoms start (usually big time about month three afterwards) and why a surgical menopause, such as you had, is something that needs to be dealt with. And, yes....and, good for you, by the way....you and your husband need not worry. Just don't give up. At 52 and six years post radical hyster for ovarian cancer, I am the one after my husband...(and he's thinking like..."gee, where were you when I was 20!!!")

Ok, I am going to paste the chart. It shows which hormones are bioidentical and which are not. I use only bioidentical. Vivelle patch is one. I have used that. I am using the creams now and they are listed at the bottom. Just please note that when you use estrogen you need to have progesterone (the bioidentical kind .....only that!!!!) and I get VERY VERY adamant about this....if a medical professional tells you that you don't need progesterone (NOT PROGESTIN) because you don't have a uterus, run the other way or beg or beg and show him/her the research and then run the other way....Seriously, we have receptors for this in our lungs and brains and it is a critical hormone and if you don't balance it even if you are on a bio estrogen, you will not feel your best.

Okay, I am getting carried away. Must go and work out....I will come back in a sec with the posts, though...you will have to go into the Ovarian Cancer Archieves for some of these. Best Luck and we will stay in touch!!!

Mary...Oh, here is the chart:

Say, this chart did not copy well. I will try to send the link. Sorry about this......


:This is G o o g l e's cache of http://www.ourgyn.com/bioidenticalchart.html as retrieved on Apr 21, 2006 18:06:02 GMT.
G o o g l e's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.
The page may have changed since that time. Click here for the current page without highlighting.
This cached page may reference images which are no longer available. Click here for the cached text only.
To link to or bookmark this page, use the following url: http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:RUmiNEkejL4J:www.ourgyn.com/bioidenticalchart.html+estratest,+climara,+bioidentical+synthetic&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=10&ie=UTF-8


Google is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.
These search terms have been highlighted:  estratest  climara  bioidentical  synthetic  



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table -- Hormone Replacement Therapies  
Brand Name  Type/Generic Name  Route of Administration  Strength (mg)  Source of Active Ingredients  Dosing  Bioidentical ?  
Premarin  Conjugated estrogens  Oral
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vaginal cream  0.3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.625  Pregnant mares' urine  Continuous  NO  
Cenestin  Conjugated estrogens  Oral  0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25  Synthesized from soy and yams  Continuous  NO  
EstraTab  Esterified estrogens (estrone, equilin)  Oral  0.625  Both estrone and equilin are synthesized from soy and yams  Continous  NO  
Menest  Esterified estrogens (estrone, equilin)  Oral  0.3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5  Both estrone and equilin are synthesized from soy and yams  Continuous  NO  
Estrace  Micronized estradiol  Oral
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vaginal cream  0.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.01%  Synthesized from soy and yams  Continuous  YES  
Ogen  Estropipate  Oral
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vaginal cream  0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.5  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Continuous  NO  
Ortho-Est  Estropipate  Oral  0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5  Synthesized from yams  Continuous  NO  
Estinyl  Ethinyl estradiol  Oral  0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Continuous  NO  
Alora  Estradiol  Transdermal Patch  0.05
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.075
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.1  Synthetic  Continuous  YES  
Climara  Estradiol  Transdermal Patch  0.05
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthesized from soybeans  Continuous  YES  
Estraderm  Estradiol  Transdermal Patch  0.05
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.1  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Continuous  YES  
FemPatch  Estradiol  Transdermal Patch  0.25  Synthetic  Continuous  YES  
Vivelle/Vivelle-Dot  Estradiol  Transdermal Patch  0.0375
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.05
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.075
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.1  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Continuous  YES  
Activella  Estradiol/Norethindrone acetate  Oral  1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.5  Synthetic
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthetic  Continuous  NO  
Estring  Estradiol  Vaginal ring  2  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Continuous  YES  
Depo-Estradiol  Estradiol cypionate  Intramuscular  5  Synthetic  Monthly    
Delestrogen  Estradiol valerate  Intramuscular  10
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
20
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
40  Synthetic  Monthly  NO  
PremPro  Conjugated estrogens / Medroxyprogesterone acetate  Oral (One pack has two tablets w/ different strengths)  0.625 (Strength 1)
0.625 (Strength 2)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 (Strength 1)
2.5 (Strength 2)  Pregnant mares' urine
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthetic  Continuous  NO  
Premphase  Conjugated estrogens / Medroxyprogesterone acetate  Oral (One pack has two tablets w/ different strengths)  0.625 (Tablet 1)
0.625 (Tablet 2)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 (Tablet 1)
5 (Tablet 2)  Pregnant mares' urine
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthetic  Cyclic  NO  
EstraTest HS  Esterified estrogens / Methyltestosterone acetate  Oral  0.625
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25  Synthesized from soy and yams
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthetic  Continuous  NO  
EstraTest  Esterified estrogens / Methyltestosterone acetate  Oral  1.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5  Synthesized from soy and yams
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthetic  Continuous  NO  
Femhrt  Ethinyl estradiol/Norethindrone acetate  Oral  0.005
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  NO  
OrthoPrefest  Estradiol / Norgestimate  Oral (One pack has two tablets w/ different strengths)  1 (Tablet 1)
1 (Tablet 2)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 (Tablet 1)
0.09 (Tablet 2)  Synthesized from soy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthetic  Pulsed  NO  
Combipatch  Estradiol / Norethindrone acetate  Transdermal Patch  0.05 (Strength 1)
0.05 (Strength 2)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.14 (Strength 1)
0.25 (Strength 2)  Synthesized from soy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Synthesized from yams  Continuous  NO  
Prometrium  Micronized progesterone  Oral  100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
200  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Cyclic
Continuous  YES  
Crinone  Micronized progesterone  Vaginal Gel  4%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8%  Synthesized from Mexican yams  Cyclic
Continuous  YES  
Provera  Medroxyprogesterone acetate  Oral  2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10  Synthetic  Cyclic
Continuous  NO  
Cycrin  Medroxyprogesterone acetate  Oral  2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10  Synthetic  Cyclic
Continuous  NO  
Amen  Medroxyprogesterone acetate  Oral  2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10  Synthetic  Cyclic
Continuous  NO  
Aygestin  Norethindrone acetate  Oral  5  Synthetic  Cyclic  NO  
Testoderm  Testosterone  Transdermal Patch  4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6  Synthetic  Continuous  YES  
Androderm  Testosterone  Transdermal Patch  2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Androgel  Testosterone  Transdermal Gel  2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
50  Synthesized from yams or soy  Continuous  YES  
Testim  Testosterone  Transdermal Gel  50  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Striant  Testosterone  Oral Gel  30  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Depo-testosterone  Testosterone cypionate  Intramuscular  100 mg/mL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
200 mg/mL  Synthetic  Monthly or Twice/month  NO  
Delatestryl  Testosterone enanthate  Intramuscular  100 mg/mL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
200 mg/mL  Synthetic  Monthly or Twice/month  NO  
Compound Pharmacy  Estrone / Estradiol / Estriol (Triple estrogen)  Oral / Transdermal / Sublingual / Vaginal  Customized  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Compound Pharmacy  Estradiol / Estriol (Bi-estrogen)  Oral / Transdermal / Sublingual / Vaginal  Customized  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Compound Pharmacy  Estriol  Oral / Transdermal / Sublingual / Vaginal  Customized  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Compound Pharmacy  Progesterone  Oral / Transdermal / Sublingual / Vaginal  Customized  Synthesized from yams or soy  Cyclic
Continuous  YES  
Compound Pharmacy  Testosterone  Oral / Transdermal / Sublingual / Vaginal  Customized  Synthesized from soy  Continuous  YES  
Compound Pharmacy  Testosterone propionate  Intramuscular  Customized  Synthetic  Monthly or Twice/month  NO  

Adapted from D Reed-Kane: International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding. Vol. 5 No. 5 September/October 2001
Avatar universal
Suzsen, I can understand you pause when it comes to removing both of your ovaries, but I have to say that it has been the best thing for me.  Although I have only had the last ovary out for 2 weeks, I feel so much better.  The menopausal(sp) symptoms have not been bad (some hot flashes), but I have only been on the hormones since Friday.  I believe this was the best thing for me.  I will be praying that the answer of what you should do comes to you soon.  Kaise
106886 tn?1281295172
http://www.ourgyn.com/bioidenticalchart.html

Okay, now that I have made this post impossibly long, here is the link for the chart.

Mary
106886 tn?1281295172
Hey Debi, Sorry I kind of messed up the configuration of this thread.

Mary :)
106886 tn?1281295172
**Hormone Questions (Debi R) 04/03/2006
**Hot Flashes (terrin2) 03/16/06
**AnotherKatie "Go to Hot Flashes 3/15" 03/25/06
**DebiR, Just Posted an answer 03/25/2006
and of course, the terrifyingly long and bizarre
**hormone question for Mary53 04/11/06 (may that string RIP!)

Avatar universal
Hey Mary,
         Thank you for all of the great information.  I have to admit that I am very confused!!  What does bioidentical mean?  As you can tell, everything happened so fast that I was not able to do much research.  The doctor was hoping to save the ovary, but that was not meant to be.  I appreicate all of the info.  I am not very smart when it comes to internet research, so I am so greatful for the info you have to share.  It is women like you who help the rest of us get through these tough times.  I pray that God blesses you for all of the help you give so lovingly.  Kasie
106886 tn?1281295172
Thank you for the kind words. I do feel I am on a mission to get the information out...information that I was not given and had to figure out myself, since three months after my surgery I thought I was losing my mind....(can you say "brain fog") and I was bloated, gaining wt at a rapid rate, I was so irritable that I couldn't stand myself when I felt edgy....I was spared hot flashes and sweats, but finally learned about the progesterone which I needed to add to get balanced. What a difference. It took about a month and a half for me to feel the effects and then WHAM....what relief! I am still on it....progesterone along with estrogen. I use testosterone and DHEA, too. And, Vitamin D...and I work out...for bone health and other reasons....on and on and on....

You will learn about the bioidenticals when you read the posts and I also encourage you to pick up a few books...they are mentioned, too. You will feel empowered and informed as you read. Of course, with a full time job working with preschoolers, I know you have tons of time to read:)  By the way, I am licensed in Preschool, too...(parent ed, too).

And, it is confusing. But it will all come together.

Let me know if you have problems finding the information in the archives. I checked and some of the posts,....one for sure...are still on this page way down...April 4th or something.

Take care and I will talk with you later. Mary
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