Hormone Imbalance Can Cause Mental Illness


The late Dr. John Lee was a visionary. He recognized estrogen dominance was condition that millions of men and women had, but one that was rarely being treated or acknowledged by the medical community. But just because something isn’t recognized, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Estrogen dominance is a condition that Dr. Lee coined. It’s a condition where estrogen operates in the body without sufficient amounts of progesterone to balance it. So estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency can be used interchangeably.

It’s a condition that I had and one that I now manage, thanks to the help of Dr. Lee.

I was 19 when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And the only reason I went to the doctor was because I had stopped bathing and brushing my teeth. I went to the doctor for no other reason.

I called my family doctor to discuss my hygiene problems and was told that I was being referred to a specialist. I had no idea the specialist was a psychiatrist and that my life was about to change forever.

I laugh now because it’s clear. I was being referred to a psychiatrist because my doctor knew I was mentally sick, but I didn’t know it.

I eventually made it to my referral appointment and told my psychiatrist how I was having problems bathing and brushing my teeth and sleeping. I told her how depressed I was and how I cried all the time and how I wished I was dead.

She asked me if anything stressful or tragic had happened in my life recently to cause these feelings. I told her “no.” My life wasn’t perfect, but nothing had happened to me to warrant those feelings.

So that was it. We talked and I wanted to die.

After we talked, she left her office and came back with a pamphlet and prescription pad.

She asked me if I had ever heard of bipolar disorder and she said the reason that she had asked was because that’s what I had.

She told me I had bipolar disorder as if I had won a prize. Like I had chosen the right curtain on “Let’s Make a Deal” and a shiny new car was waiting on me.

I was sick. A piece of me died.
I wanted to turn back time. I wished I had never gone to the doctor.
I wanted to go back to being that carefree girl who wasn’t bathing or brushing her teeth, but at least she thought she was healthy.

I would have given anything to be that girl again.

So from that moment on, I became determined to deny my disease. I suppressed every memory of that day whenever it sprang up.

I ran.

The doctor gave me prescription for Zoloft. I swallowed one pill and flushed the rest down the toilet. She told me to make an appointment to see her again in two weeks. I basically told her to kiss me where the sun didn’t shine and skipped out the door.

I was wreck.

I’m not against psychiatry or psychiatrists, I was just afraid to take powerful medicines when no one really knew what was causing my bipolar disorder.

And so I did more running. I had a nervous breakdown.
I was alcohol poisoned twice. Hospitalized once.
I had wild, random sex. I was living on the edge.
My thoughts raced so fast they skipped out of my brain. I was in outer space.
My head ached so bad I thought I was having aneurysms.
I hated my life.

And then there were the ghosts that visited me every night. Howling beside my bed while I tried to sleep.

I would sleep with the lights or television on and I played loud music to drown them out.

This was my nightly routine for over 14 years.

I look back now and I say, I was hallucinating. But at the time, I didn’t know what was going on. I just assumed I was cursed and that God hated me.

Do you know how horrible that feels to think the Creator of the universe hates you so much that He allows demons to torment you?

It’s not fun, but it was the only way I could make sense of it.

It was only after my hormones became balanced that I realized I wasn’t cursed and that I finally experienced relief from all of these symptoms.

So at 28, I was sick and unemployed. I had to face my disease and *cringe* file disability so that I wouldn’t become homeless.

I did not want to be 28 and disabled. I wanted to be sipping margaritas on the beach, not dreaming of ways to kill myself.

I was at my bottom and I decided that I was going to stop running and to talk to my Maker.

One thing that this disease did for me is it made me feel closer to God, because so many days I knew that He was the only One who knew how I felt. The disease isolated me from family and friends and sometimes I felt detached from my own body.

I prayed to God and said, “God, I know You made me and You know everything about me. And You know that I’m sick. If it’s in Your will for me to die sick, I promise I won’t try and kill myself anymore but please give me the grace and strength to bear it. But if I’m not supposed to be sick and there is a way I can be healthy, please show me the way.”

And He did.

Shortly after my prayer I attended a women’s health conference and there was a nurse that presented there. I remember she talked about leading a healthy lifestyle which included a balanced diet and exercise.

After the expo I visited the tables and booths that were set up and filled my bag with the free goodies they had.

When I got home, I dumped my loot on the floor and looked at all the cups, pencils, notepads and pens I had received. And there a pamphlet I had thrown in my bag too. The pamphlet read: “The Signs and Symptoms of PMS.”

The symptoms read:
*Mood Swings
*Concentration Problems

After reading the list I said, “I have all of these symptoms times infinity.”

I knew PMS was hormonal and so I figured that what I was dealing with was hormone related too.

Every time I researched hormones and hormone imbalance Dr. Lee’s name always came up. It was clear he was the authority on the topic and that if I wanted to know about hormone balance, I needed to read his work.

And so I did. I went to my local Border’s bookstore and bought a copy of his book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” and read it in one night.

Reading Dr. Lee’s book was like breathing fresh air. I had long suspected my hormones were linked to my moods but every time I shared my suspicions with my doctor, whether it was my ob-gyn or psychiatrist they all but laughed in my face.

And here was Dr. Lee telling me how hormone imbalance can cause mental and physical sickness and he gave instructions on how to fix it.

Step 1) was to take hormones only if I needed them, Step 2) was to take bioidentical hormones instead of synthetic ones and Step 3) I was to take hormones in physiological amounts only (the amounts the body makes naturally when it’s healthy).

I followed Dr. Lee’s advice and balanced my hormones and my bipolar disorder went away.

At the time, I had no idea my hormones were causing my bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, hallucinations and mania. I thought they were only aggravating it. I was glad to find they were the cause.

Today, I continue to follow Dr. Lee’s steps for hormone balance. I take progesterone 10-14 days a month depending on my symptoms and the rest is history.

I’m glad we live during a time that so much is known about hormones and I’m even more elated that there is something we can do about it.

I know I’ve said a mouthful, but it needed to be said. Estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency can cause bipolar disorder. And if your bipolar disorder is caused by this deficiency, it can be managed and you don’t have to live with the disease anymore.

If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

Best of luck to you!


For more information on the work of Dr. Lee click here.

Please visit my YouTube Channel

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your doctor regarding diagnosis, treatment recommendations or any symptoms you may be experiencing.

265 Responses to “Hormone Imbalance Can Cause Mental Illness”

  1. Grace Says:

    I wrote to you before on youtube about my daughter, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she is 18 now, I think she has a hormonal problem too, but I have to wait to take her to a doctor for a hormonal check, she is at kidspeace cause she was aggressive..she had a nice complexion and now she has a lot of pimples even in her neck and body..she is taking seroquel at the center and therapy..I’m going to buy the book too to get information..thank you Doris for sharing your story with us..may God keep blessing you….Take Care

  2. Doris Says:

    Hi Grechy,

    I remember your YouTube post. How are you and your daughter? Thanks for visiting my blog. Does any part of my story sound familiar to you? Do you think your daughter’s symptoms are caused by a hormone imbalance? I think you should definitely have your daughter’s hormone levels checked and see if hormone balance will be a good treament option for her. Hormones have made all the difference for me. If I had not discovered that my hormones were off, I’m certain I would still be sick today. Please read my post from February 17 for more info on how I balanced my hormones. Click here to read it. Keep me posted on your daughter’s recovery. If your daughter’s mental health symptoms are caused by the same hormone imbalance I had, your daughter’s disease can be managed.

    Best of luck to you and your daughter,


  3. Milagros Says:

    I live in Peru, I’m always interested in new discoveries about mental illness. It happens to me too. I told psychiatrists that I thought it has to be with menopause. But they laughed too. The last approach I had was 8 years ago when a doctor got to the conclusion that my problem was about my thyroid and started with medication for hypo thyroid disease. Since then I never had again any “maniac” episode but I still have depressive feelings and thoughts. I also ask God about my healing and maybe I’m close to the answer. All my family run out from me even my son because I get so angry sometimes too. By the way I think my whole family is sick and we can not hang out together without a fight. I’ve just decided to be away from them but it makes me feel sad because I’m the oldest of 12 siblings and it makes me feel so sad to be getting old now and alone too. By the way I got asthma being a little child and got lots of cortison… I think it has something to be with it too. Thanks for sharing, you are so brave for doing it.

  4. Doris Says:

    Hi Milagros,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think you’re brave.

    I can totally relate to not being able to be around family members who aren’t well. It’s almost like your illnesses can aggravate one another and it becomes too intense. Your family is not the only family going through this, this is a common occurrence in many families with mental illness. I definitely want to put a stop to this disease. Too many hearts and families are broken because of it and too many of us are suffering silently.

    Please look into hormone balance as treatment option. Estrogen dominance can interfere with our thyroid glands. I hope you can find a doctor in your area who is knowledgeable about this. Finding a doctor is the biggest roadblock for most of us, because many of them don’t know this problem exits. But those of us who live with this know something must be done. Keep educating yourself and tells others. I wanted to see mental illness eliminated during our lifetime. Not during some other generation, but right now! Doris

  5. Sarah Says:

    very happy to have found this. Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry for your suffering, and clearly many more have and still suffer greatly. Do doctors do a full hormone test? Blood tests? Is there such a thing? Supposedly I had one 9 years ago when I was losing hair in clumps. They said I’m good, have a nice day. Shortly after I got on the pill to stop the 3 week periods I was having. Never was fully regular before my 2 kids, after the 2nd it was almost non-stop. I thought I was good, but looking back I see signs of what that could have done to me. During that year it became clear I had issues with my sugar dropping way too fast, leading me to eat every 2-3 hours, packed on a good 50 lbs. Then had digestive issues for a good 3 years. Found cinammon in early 09, silly vitamin type thing I thought, but says for glucose help. It did/does seem to be a huge help. Early 09 my blood pressure was found to be always high, over 160 on a good day. Beforehand I blew it off as high when I was sick as I saw docs when sick for the most part and that was quite often to think of it now. In 09 I was put on a lower estrogen pill. Looking back comparing to what’s gone on now, same symptoms, massive emotional breakdown, kept it to myself. No appetite, lost 30 lbs that first month. Got scared I was sick so forced myself to eat and gained it all back in a week. What fun. End of Jan. this year, ‘12, doctor said try the mini pill. No big issues right away, but each month I did notice my head clogging up and nothing but misery creeping in. 7th month on that I had the most massive sex drive, I’ve never had much of one before. Leading me to find a friend to help out, so messed up. From there I felt worse emotionally, no self esteem. Starting drinking more often than here and there, turned into a nightly thing. Alcohol didn’t even make me feel good, but made the nights not as scary. Didn’t even get a normal buzz or drunk feeling. Would make me have Jekyl and Hyde moments. Went back to the lower estrogen pill in October. Felt somewhat better, not perfect, but felt relief. Mid-Nov, a new gyno (hadn’t seen on in 9 years) said Mirena would be perfect. I told her how I believe the progesterone from the mini pill somehow was making me insane. She said Mirena, not being a pill should not affect me much at all. Had it put in, 4 hours later I was a puddle of tears and sadness. All over again the awful feelings that built up over the 8 months I tried to stick it out with the mini-pill (despite the major breast pain, never had continuous pain like that) the awful feelings came rushing back with such a force I had no more control on my emotions. I could not see past the tip of my nose as far as what is out there in the world. Was trapped in my head of misery, dying didn’t even seem like a relief. 4 days later I had the worst breakdown, turned on one of my best friends, over 10 years a friend, paranoia infected my thoughts and made me lose it on him. Accusing of such things as being a fake friend, using me, and told him best we didn’t keep in touch. Having had a few mini episodes somewhat similar to that, but never without such meanness, he gave up and won’t have anymore contact with me. I’m so sick over that. Feels like a knife in my guts. The 5 day of Mirena I went to the gyno’s to get it out. She wasn’t there, but another doctor talked to me. He said he did not want to take it out. All throughout this talk I was a blubbering shaking mess. Completely lost it. He said clearly something is wrong, but it can’t be the Mirena. He did say the Mirena causes a SURGE or progesterone (progesterin, not sure which). I wish I could turn back time and never had this put in. How sad and repentent it has made me. A blubbering mess he sent me off to see my regular doctor in the same office, that lead nowhwere as they said come in a few days, had to leave in a crying fit. Calling later they said to come in the next day. Seeing my doctor she completely agreed I was not well and says 99% sure it’s the Mirena/hormone imbalance. She gave me a estrogin patch, first side effect, CANCER. But being only a month’s worth I’ll talk myself into believing I’ll be ok. 13 days after the Mirena I felt normal for most of the day. Felt like I was on dry land, got off the rocky boat type feeling. Sorry to type so much. Just hope there is a hormone test as I have so many other symptoms, hair loss, but hair growth where it doesn’t belong, that I feel have to be hormone related. I wish we all could get answers from doctors with hearts. Mine will remove the Mirena next time I see her. Fear of 3 week long periods have me trying to get used to it, but if it means estrogen patching after the first month I won’t put up with it. I’ll load up on iron pills to fight off the anemia instead. Bless you all!

  6. Doris Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m not a physician, but after reading the late Dr. John Lee’s work and the work of other physicians (e.g., Dr. James Wilson, Dr. Michael Platt and Dr. Steven Hotze) I’ve learned that hormone balance is essential to our mental and physical health and that imbalances can cause all sorts of diseases and disorders.

    I had a condition called estrogen dominance. This made me completely batty. I was suicidal, heard voices, severe mood swings, migraines, anxiety problems, OCD, panic attacks. I could go on and on.

    I take progesterone to stay healthy and to keep my symptoms at bay.

    I know from research and personal experience that hormone imbalances can be brought on my taking various forms of birth control pills and also from physical conditions, such as ovulatory disorders such as PCOS or luteal insufficiency.

    I read your comment and you said that the progestin in the mirena made you sick? How were you able to determine it was the progestin alone and not the estrogen? I was just curious.

    Keep me posted on how you feel after you stop your birth control. Also, did you have mood problems before you started the birth control?

    Thanks for writing, by you sharing your story, you are helping other women out there who may be going through some of the same things you are going through.

    All the best,


  7. Chuck Says:

    Hello Doris,

    My girlfriend was fine until she was diagnosed with schizophrenia in ‘99 when she was 31.
    It’s been hell every since.

    She had always had problems with her period. Either she couldn’t stop bleeding or she wouldn’t have a period for months.

    Her doctor would give her a double dose
    (2 shots) of Depo-Provera to get the bleeding to stop.

    I have always wondered if it was these double dose shots that pushed my girlfriend over the edge.

    I’ve always wondered if this was all caused by a hormone problem. She had a full and complete hysterectomy in 2007.

    She is on psychiatric meds, and sees a psychiatrist but the meds don’t do nearly enough in our opinion.

    She has some of the same symptoms you mention; She hears voices, she has very severe headaches, depression and sadness, and she has withdrawn from life, and has lost all her friends because of this illness, She doesn’t do the everyday things she use to do; like she use to cook everyday. She doesn’t cook anymore at all. and the list goes on and on.

    She is miserable.

    Do you think it’s possible that all this might be caused by a hormone problem?

    You seem to have a good knowledge about these hormones issues. Can you help her?

    Should she get a blood test?
    What do you think?


  8. Doris Says:

    Hi Chuck,

    Thank you for writing. I wanted you to know that I got your email. I’m going to give you as much detail as I can now and I will add more later.

    After reading over your email, it definitely sounds like your girlfriend has the hormone imbalance called, “estrogen dominance.”

    “Estrogen dominance” basically means that estrogen is at toxic levels in the body because it’s not being properly balanced by the hormone progesterone.

    The late Dr. John Lee is the first physician I know of to recognize and treat this condition.

    High estrogen is treated by taking progesterone. It’s what I take today.

    The reason I think your girlfriend has high estrogen is because some common signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance(high estrogen) are heavy bleeding, depression, irritability, fatigue, excessive belly fat etc. All the symptoms your girlfriend is having.

    To correct this imbalance, one needs to take bioidentical progesterone. “Bioidentical” progesterone is progesterone that is made in a lab, compounded by pharmacists, but it is genetically identical to the progesterone made by the human body in the ovaries and testes.

    If you have high estrogen, taking estrogens, whether they are synthetic or bioidentical, will make one even sicker.

    Synthetic estrogens are found in many birth control pills are and commonly prescribed as a part of hormone replacement therapy after a hysterectomy.

    I will need to research Depo-Provera and see exactly what it is made up of… I know it’s a synthetic but I don’t know it’s chemical make-up.

    I definitely have more to say about this regarding the blood testing and best way to go about treating this. I will get back with you as soon as possible regarding the rest.

    Thanks again for writing.

    Talk to you soon,


  9. Karstine Says:

    Thank you for sharing your story..

  10. Doris Says:

    Hello Karstine,

    You’re welcome! It’s my pleasure. Doris

  11. Lynnee Says:

    I have been thru hell. starting as a teen, pms terribly, horrific periods and pain and mood swings…from 1998-2009 i was treated for various forms of mental illness. a wide variety of drugs that basically took away my life and made me ill and crazy. i begged for hormones because i believed my problems were symptomatic of imbalance and my dr refused telling me how much i needed him and his latest change of meds.
    now finally i am on bioidentical and i am having some problems and worried that my old dr was right. can the bios be causing mania and cycling in me???? please help me

  12. Doris Says:

    Hi Lynnee,

    Your symptoms sound like they are linked to your hormones. Don’t give up on them just yet. What bioidentical hormones are you taking and for how long have you been taking them and in what amount? Once I have that information, I will be able to give you some feedback. You can write me back on the wall so that everyone can read our discussion or if you would like to chat privately, please email me at doris@dorisking.net. Talk to you soon, Doris

  13. Cristy Says:

    what kind of labwork is needed so I can tellmy dr to do it?? what should we check for

  14. Doris Says:

    Hi Cristy,

    Sorry for my late reply. Yes, in terms of lab work, if you are going to have a conventional blood plasma(serum) test, the test we normally take at our doctors, you can have your doctor to measure your FSH and LH levels. If there are imbalances there this is a good indicator that your progesterone/estrogen levels are off. Also, Dr. Lee advised not to have our progesterone and estrogen levels tested through the normal blood tests because they simply don’t provide valid results. So you can go to the doctor and be told that your progesterone levels are fine when they may not been when taking a serum test.

    If you have a doctor who uses saliva tests, take one of those. You will be measuring your progesterone to estradiol ratio. Dr. Lee says a healthy ratio is 200 to 300 to 1. If you are to the point that you have bipolar or schizophrenic symptoms, even these tests may not be enough. In these cases, you may need to be treated based on your symptoms alone. Click here for symptoms associated with low progesterone, which Dr. Lee calls estrogen dominance. The two are the same.

    Keep me posted and please let me know how everything goes for you! Good luck! Doris

  15. Mrs. South Says:

    Ms Doris I am so thankful i found your site I am a 40 yr old female with terrible mood swings, depression, anxiety and crying spells this has been happening for two years i was told that it was due to the loss of my 14 year old son and in time it will stop but it has not and now it is worse i have been having hallucinations and feel out of my head. my husband suggested hormone imbalce and we are now trying to find someone to help me thank you again for you amazing story. Mrs South

  16. Doris Says:

    Hello Mrs. South,

    First I have to say I’m sorry about the loss of your dear son. My condolences to you and your family.

    After reading your comment, it does sound like hormones could be the reason for your symptoms, a horomone imbalance caused my bipolar disorder symptoms. Reading Dr. Lee’s Book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple,” changed my life.

    In short, Dr. Lee said that estrogen not properly balanced by progesterone can make you really sick, mentally and physically. And the quick fix for the imbalance is to take progesterone. I am 35 now. I started taking progesterone at around 28… I have been symptom free from bipolar for nearly 7 years now.

    And I had all the symptoms you had. The severe mood swings, anxiety, uncontrollable crying and I had been hallucinating (hearing what I thought were demons) since I was in the 11th grade. The horrible thing about developing symptoms at such a young age is that you may not be aware that anything is “off.” At that age you are still trying to figure out what it means to be alive and human and for me, I just assumed I was cursed, never once did I think I was hallucinating.

    But thank God for who He is. I am so grateful that He has given us the information that we need to be healthy NOW! God bless you and your family. Thank God for your husband. This problem is so easy to fix and maintain. If you have any specific questions for me, you can post them here on the wall so that others can read our conversation. Or if you prefer to be private, please email me at doris@dorisking.net. All the best to you. Keep me posted! Doris

  17. Carissa Says:

    Thanks for posting. I too had an anxiety disorder since I was a little child. As I got older it became worse and worse and the week before my period I would have to take sick days because I became anxious. I do cried to god one night in prayer asking him to lead me. Well my dentist then referred me to a hormonal specialist who has changed my life. I began using natural progesterone cream and I only have migraines and anxiety if I’m really really really stressed out at work. This has saved me life and I’m so sad that there isn’t more knowledge about this! My progesterone levels were at 5 when thy should not have been under 80!!! I was extremely deficient which was also affecting my thyroid. I’m so grateful for the hormone specialist. I try to tell my friends but they say its too expensive! I would pay anything all over again to save my life from debilitating mental illness! I suggest everyone see one because most if not all mental illness is caused by hormonal imbalances. I refused to pump my body with toxic prescription medicine which only covers up the problem. I knew my body was telling me something was imbalanced and for so many years I tried to figure out what! I hope u guys look into this it is worth the time and money I promise!!!

  18. Jamie Says:

    Just for the past 6 weeks I have been living a nightmare. So many of these symptoms. The worst is that I no longer feel like “me” anymore. As soon as I wake up I am anxious and crying and nothing happened in my life to warrant this. Blood tests came back saying I was low in estrogen and progesterone but all I have now is some estrogen cream and since I started it I feel worse, like my symptoms have gotten magnified. This stuff was given to me to use until my doctor prescribes my personalized amounts of bioidenticals. Could just taking the estrogen alone be causing the worsening symptoms? I am so scared to keep living this way. I really apreciate your website and your story gives me some hope. Can you share your thoughts with me about my situation? Is there hope for me?

  19. Doris Says:

    Hi Carissa, thank you for posting. It always helps the message when someone else out there has been through the same thing. So bravo to you!

    I’m curious, what type of testing did you take initially when you discovered your levels were low? Serum or saliva testing?

    Also, what type of hormone specialist did you go to? An endocrinologist or a doctor of another sort.

    You have a powerful testimony and I agree with you, looking into hormones and taking them is definitely worth the time and money when you have hormone based bipolar disorder. All the best and I will be in touch with you shortly. Doris

  20. Doris Says:

    Hi Jaime,

    In my experience, I had low progesterone in relation to estrogen.

    It’s possible that you can have low estrogen as well as low progesterone.

    I am not a physician, but I will give you my insight based on my experience. Please consult a physician before trying anything that we discuss.

    Based on what you wrote, it seems that yes your estrogen is low, but the progesterone that you have is too low to cover what little estrogen you have.

    So the key to fixing this is to take progesterone to balance out the low estrogen.

    Once that happens, you can see how your hormone levels are.

    More than likely the estrogen you are taking is making your symptoms worse. Estrogen worsened my symptoms, because its excessive estrogen that causes bipolar. Supplementing with estrogen is adding fuel to the fire.

    You can take an over the counter progesterone cream such as Emerita’s Progest Cream or Source Naturals Natural Progesterone Cream. I have used both creams in the past and they work. You can buy them both online at Amazon.com or at local health food stores, such as Whole Foods.

    You can definitely recover. I have been symptom free from bipolar (mood swings, crying spells, hallucinations, clinical depression, racing thoughts etc.) for the last 7 years by only taking progesterone. You can get through this my friend. Keep me posted and if you have any more questions, let me know! I’m excited for you that you are looking for help, this means you can change things… you’re on the right path. Best regards, Doris

  21. Lindsay Says:

    I know I have a hormone imbalance. I have spent over 20k in the past three years to find that out. I was prescribed bio identical progesterone. I have had the prescription changed many times now. The doctor I see requires about 2k more to continue seeing me and I can’t afford it. The meds stopped working. I also have pcos so I spend more than 2 weeks every 6 weeks in my personal hell. I can’t focus, I cry every day, I hit myself during my fits. I any remember names of family members. I have might sweats and acne. I can’t socialize. I can’t handle anything. I used to be a successful, capable, funny and outgoing person. Now I’m a puddle. I think about ending it every day. I stopped eating sugar, I follow a hormonal diet. I take all the expensive pills and supplements. I drink tons of water, I exercise. I do everything I’ve been told to do and I am not better, I am worse. I’m 30 years old. I live in Ontario and there isn’t anyone who thinks they can help. There is no light at the end of this tunnel and I don’t know where to go now.

  22. Doris Says:

    Hi Lindsay, I know your pain. Please don’t give up. Like you, I have PCOS. When we have PCOS this means that we are not ovulating regularly (the cysts are our visible proof). When we don’t ovulate, we don’t produce progesterone and there is the problem. To address this shortage of progesterone we must take the progesterone that our bodies should be making naturally.

    Since you are in Ontario, I’m not sure how prescriptions work. Here in the US, we can get a progesterone prescription from almost any gynecologist as administering progesterone is the standard treatment for amenorrhea (absent menstrual cycles). Hopefully you can get a prescription for progesterone without going to a specialist. You shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to be sane.

    Most general practitioners here in the US will prescribe a synthetic progestin, but if you ask for the bioidentical Prometrium, they will prescribe it for you. Also, we can buy progesterone creams over the counter here in the US without a prescription. Do you have to see a specialist to obtain progesterone in Ontario?

    It sounds like you have the estrogen dominance that I suffered from for many years. To manage it, you must take progesterone. Hoping and wishing that it will go away will not work ( I tried for over a decade). I have to supplement with progesterone monthly, if not, I will return to the same hormonal hell I lived in nearly 7 years ago. Don’t be discouraged. I used to feel just like you. With effective treatment, you can get back to being the woman you used to be. Good luck. Don’t give up. Keep me posted. Doris

  23. Melanie Says:

    Your story has given me hope! I’m also bipolar and i havebeen unwell since November 2011! On antidepressants and seroquel. I’ve had seven children and ihhave had mood swings, pms, irritability, insomnia and my last episode has left me with no emotions and cannot enjoy things. Did you have that problem too?

  24. Doris Says:

    Hi Melanie,

    Yes, I had all of the problems that you listed. I was prescribed Zoloft, but I knew that the Zoloft wasn’t fixing the underlying cause, merely covering up my symptoms. I encourage you to read Dr. John Lee’s book ‘Hormone Balance Made Simple.” Dr. Lee talks about lots of different hormone imbalances in his book, but the specific topic you want to focus on is what he calls “estrogen dominance.” Estrogen dominance means that estrogen in circulating in higher than normal levels in the body because progesterone is low. This excessive estrogen can cause PMS, depression, irritability, and even bipolar disorder. In order to correct the imbalance you must take the progesterone that your body needs. It’s totally doable. I have been doing it (progesterone supplementation) for nearly 7 years now. And I have been symptom free since then. Living with those symptoms was tough. Some days life was unbearable. Thank goodness we now know that hormones can help in this area. Good luck to you. This condition is manageable. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me. Doris

  25. Dr.Varsha Says:

    Dear Doris,

    I loved your blog & was touched by your personal experience & your inner journey to finding a way to deal with the problems you faced. Am also deeply heartened to know that you have been symptom-free for 7 yrs now.
    Is there a way to get a PDF of Dr. John Lee’s book Hormone Balance Made Simple? Is it possible for you to email a PDF ? Can you help?

    Gratefully, Dr. Varsha

  26. Doris Says:

    Hi Dr. Varsha,

    Thank you for contacting me and being so open to learning about Dr. Lee’s approach. You can help so many people.
    Unfortunately, I don’t have a PDF of Dr. Lee’s book as it is copyrighted and is owned by his publisher, Grand Central Life & Style, which is a division through Hachette Book Group.

    What country are you in? Are you able to order books through Amazon UK? If so, his book is available there. Read both his books, Hormone Balance Made Simple and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause and read Dr. James Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue. All of things books give good information on hormones and how they can impact our mental and physical health. Good luck to you and please keep me posted on your work. Kindest regards, Doris

  27. Velizara Says:

    Dear Doris,i am at the edge dealing with anxiety,brain fog and intrusive thoughts .I went to obgyn in january,they took blood test for my hormons,because i insisted,but they said the results were normal.I dont even know what they tesed.the Dr.didnt take me seriously,i felt emberassed.Please,can you give me advise.

  28. Doris Says:

    Hi Velizara, don’t feel embarrassed. Hormones impact our mental health. Unfortunately, all doctors are not aware of this. My hope is that the work done by Dr. John Lee will become common place. Are you in the US? If so you can call your local compounding pharmacy and see if they can refer you to a doctor. Many of them keep an associated list of doctors who use their pharmacy and most doctors who use compounding pharmacies have a holistic approach to medicine. If you have any specific questions, let me know. Look around my blog. Hormone based (low progesterone type) mental illnesses can be managed to the point that you are symptom-free. Good luck. Doris

  29. Velizara Says:

    Thank you very much for the respond,do you know what kind of doctor should i look for?Also,what is your opinion about MRI of the head?does it make any sense for the headaches and brain fog?I live in USA.Thank you so much for your answer.I do have progesteron pills ,but i don’t dare to use them without being sure.

  30. Doris Says:

    Hi Velizara, you should look for a doctor who knows how to balance estrogen and progesterone levels, unfortunately there is not a specific type. It’s based on who has the knowledge. They can be in endocrinologist, internist, family doctor or ob-gyn, do not focus on the specialty, focus on who can help you. At this time, I’m not sure if an MRI will be helpful in terms of determining hormones levels, you will need to talk to your doctor who ordered your test to find out exactly what type of information he or she expects the test to yield. Yes, headaches and brain fog and be linked to this imbalance. When I had this imbalance, I had migraines so severe, I thought I was having an aneurysm. Since you are here in the States, you should be able to find a physician. Lastly, regarding the progesterone pills that you have, what type do you have? Do you have Prometrium? Or a progestin such as Provera? And for what purpose was it prescribed to you? -Doris

  31. Velizara Says:

    Hi,Doris,its me again,the progesterone that I have is not made in USA,it is called duphaston ,10 mg pills. I am not sure how to use it ,because this month I did have period 2 times in 15 days,which never happened to me before.Thank you in advance for the time to answer.

  32. Ajuma Says:

    Hi Sir/Madam,
    Please let me know which testto be conducted to know the deficiencies of Estrogen & Progestron hormones.
    Thank you in advance
    Hope your earliest reply

  33. Dr.Varsha Says:

    Hi Doris, thank you so much for replying to my post. Have sent you a private email. Hoping you will reply there.

    Much Love, V

  34. Aki Says:


    My sister is suffering from terrible bipolar disorder. She cant describe those feelings in words. She is suffering from it since she is 8…Some time she suddenly get attack and start throwing things around. she gets so much much power that even two people are not enough to handle her. she takes lot of sleeping pills but still cant sleep.Doctors are unable to find the reason for this, but they say its due to hormonal dis-balance. Not even sure if its a bipolar disorder. She is in INDIA and we dont know what to do about this….I am ordering Dr lee book just to see if i can get some solution.
    She was on medication from age of 16 but then suddenly she realises that she is fine so she stop taking those now its getting out of hand…she is more worse. She just finished her fashion communication courses. she is most creative girl i ever seen. Read few papers which connects creativity to bipolar disorder

  35. Doris Says:

    Hi Aki,

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister. Please go to an gynecologist in your area and see if they are able to prescribe progesterone for her, she can take a compounded transdermal cream or the oral form Prometrium. I use to have symptoms of rage and high energy like your sister. Progesterone is helping me to balance everything out. No more bipolar disorder.

    Low progesterone put the brain and body out of whack, taking progesterone will help to put everything back in place. Progesterone will only help your sister if low progesterone is the cause of her condition. You can tell if she has low progesterone based on her symptom or based on testing. Recovery is possible. I was on the verge of hospitalization just 7 years ago and now I have my health. I used to hallucinate every single night for over a decade, I don’t hear ghosts anymore and progesterone stopped that for me.

    If you have any additional questions for me you can write them here on this thread or at doris@dorisking.net. Good luck to you and keep me posted. x Doris

  36. Doris Says:

    Hi Velizara, you should talk to your doctor about taking progesterone. How did you obtain progesterone pills? And if you don’t mind me asking, what kind of progesterone have you been prescribed? x Doris

  37. Whitney Says:

    SO glad I found this. Not sure if you’re still on here but it will feel good to get this all out. I have PCOS (polysistic ovarian syndrome) and never really had problems with it other than not having my period. I was put on birth control to solve this problem. I had been on the birth control for about a year and a half when I suddenly started getting frequent, heavy, periods, along with fatigue and hot flashes. I also started to notice my hair was thinning. I decided to get my thyroid tested and thyroid levels were fine, so the doctor said it was hormones and switched me to a new birth control. At this point I was skeptical about any birth control at all, so I stopped taking it for about a week. Just to clarify: I’ve had slight anxiety before, but in normal situations and never had an anxiety attack. I have always been somewhat of a hypochondriac but it NEVER interfered with my life. Always been a very laid back, care free person. One night I suddenly experienced an anxiety attack. I got my period the next day. I went to my gynocologist and explained to him what had happened. He thought it was hormonal and said let’s see how you do after a few months off the birth control. That was two months ago. Since then, I’ve been having horrible anxiety, depression, mood swings, headaches, many symptoms of bipolar and OCD. Scary, racing thoughts, and extremely emotional. I started seeing a counselor trying to find out what was bothering me and neither of us can figure it out. Nothing has changed in my life. Nothing is stressing me out other than what is going on with my body. I have an incredible life and have been blessed beyond belief. I am in college studying elementary education, and have never gotten stressed out or anxiety from school. I’ve always loved school and been very excited about the career path I chose. I have two amazing jobs that I love, an AMAZING supportive family and friends. Not one thing in my life is bothering me. I went to the gynocologist again to get my hormones tested. She said no. You’re too young and I doubt this is hormonal. You must have anxiety and depression and possibly bipolar or ocd. Tried to prescribe me an anti depressant. I refused. This is not me, and after seeing a counselor and really trying to dig deep into the situation, I can’t find any triggers or stressors. I was living life and perfectly happy. Does this sound hormonal? :(

  38. Doris Says:

    Hi Whitney, How are you?

    It sounds like you may have a hormone imbalance. The clear indication is the fact that you have PCOS.

    PCOS is a disorder that causes irregular or infrequent ovulation. When you don’t ovulate, you don’t produce
    progesterone and there lies the problem. That’s where the hormone imbalance comes in to place.

    Imbalances in progesterone can cause you to have anxiety, concentration, autoimmune and thyroid problems.

    The reason you were unable to take birth control pills is because of the estrogen found in the pills. When you have
    low progesterone, your estrogen goes “unopposed” and it causes all the undesirable symptoms. The estrogen
    in the birth control pills can send you over the edge.

    It’s great that you are aware of your body and how it responds to certain treatments.

    If you have an abnormal cycle, try and get a prescription for Prometrium (capsule form progesterone)
    and this should help you A LOT.

    For me, it’s been a God send.

    Good luck!


  39. Doris Says:

    Hi how are you? Are you referring to the conclusion in the back of my book? Dr. Lee’s quote was taken from his booklet “Hormone Balance for Men.” And my conclusion, I wrote myself based on my personal experience as a mental health patient, worker and blogger. I have over 2000 hours of direct care experience with people who have bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and many of them displayed symptoms of an untreated hormone imbalance. Something needs to be done. Too many people are suffering needlessly. Thanks for reaching out and keep in touch. Kindest regards, Doris

  40. jennifer Says:

    Hello, I have been dealing with severe hormonal imbalance sincev2009…. I am currently taking progesterone because my levels were way to low (taking these for 4 months now) my symptoms are as follows and getting worse…. (1) severe memory lose short and long (2) mood swings real bad (3) irritable a lot (4) loss of positive emotion (5) severe anxiety (6) crying off and on (7) feeling of going crazy (8) hungry all the time (9) craving auger and salt a lot (10) weight gain (11) Not as intelligent as before as sharp (12) no patience (13) can’t consitraite scattered brain (14) bi polar symptoms only some days (15) get upset I can’t fix this and live happy and enjoy my life with my girls feel love care compassion for them and other family/friends please my doctor is doing his best he has had take 3 hormone panels all come back imbalanced including cortisol levels real high….I’m so scared I will never know who I am again
    Thank u for listening

  41. Doris Says:

    Hi jgorman,

    I can relate to everything you are saying as I have felt the same way due to hormone imbalance. I understand your need to be able to feel good so that you can take care of yourself and your family. If you don’t mind me asking, what type of progesterone are you taking? And how much are you taking? Taking progesterone is really a quick fix, there is something else going on in either your pituitary, hypothalamus or ovaries, was your doctor able to pinpoint where the imbalance is coming from? We still don’t know as much as we would like to know about hormone balance, but I know we are headed in the right direction and we are on the verge of having more preventative care for this generation of people with clinical depression, bipolar disorders, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. Keep me posted.

    Best regards,

  42. ally Says:

    Hi, I’ve been having ‘episodes’ of low mood, fatigue and loss of interest in life for as long as I can remember. I took a birth control pill known as the holiday pill to stop my period for a month in 2012 and it made me so ill. Im usually very outgoing but I couldn’t leave the house, I constantly cried and was the lowest I’ve ever been. I was put on antidepressants which worked for a few months. I’ve never felt as bad as I did in 2012 again, but I still don’t feel right. I’m sick of living my life worrying about when I’ll get ill again. Over the past few weeks I’ve becone very anxious, tired but can’t sleep, feel useless and like I’m letting everyone down, hopeless, I have dry skin, acne, awful period pains and gall bladder problems. These all seem to be signs of a hormone imbalance right? In 2012,I was tested for thyroid problems and diabetes and both were negative. I asked my doctor if it could be to do with hormones then and he just said no, not at my age (I’m 23). What do you think? I’ve done lots of research and it makes sense to be down to hormones. I would LOVE to find out why I’m feeling like this so I can move on with my life. Thanks

  43. Doris Says:

    Hi Ally,

    Thank you for writing. There is a possibility that your hormones are causing your symptoms. Especially since you mentioned that you are having fatigue and mood issues as well as bad menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps are usually a sign that your body is low in progesterone and high in oestrogen. You can have these imbalances even if you are only 23 years old. They can be caused by lots of things. You can be born with a condition where your body doesn’t make enough progesterone. This can be due to inovulation or it can be because you aren’t producing enough progesterone after you ovulate (luteal insufficiency). After ovulation your empty follicle produces progesterone. Progesterone is essential to pregnancy and it’s also needed for our mental and physical health.

    Birth control pills can make you very sick if you have this hormone imbalance, because most birth control pills contain synthetic versions of oestrogens. When you are low in progesterone, oestrogen becomes extremely toxic to the body and brain and when you add additional oestrogens through birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, the additional oestrogen makes a bad situation worse. I would recommend that you read Dr. Shirley Bond’s book “Natural Progesterone” published by Thorson’s in 2002 I believe. This book will give you a good foundation about hormones and how hormone imbalances can cause sickness, it will give you more confidence when you approach your doctor.

    Don’t give up. Listen to your body. I was told my hormones were fine for years and they weren’t. If I had listened to this feedback, I would be living in a mental institution right now. Hopefully this information will trickle down in to clinical practice soon so that we can all get the help that we need. If you have a specific question for me you can ask it here on the blog so others can read or you can email me at doris@dorisking.net. Best of luck to you.

    Kindest regards,

  44. Staci Says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar last year at age 17. The reason was for her extreme mood swings and incredible anger, violent and some depression. I started to notice that she became 100% worse the week before her period. She has been on ortho tri cyclen since about age 12 for bad acne. This past may she was in a mental health facility due to her violence and was given lithium, and lamictal. Recently she has been complaining about lack of concentration and was now given propranolol. So at 18 she is now taking 61/2 pills a day! I keep bringing up the thing about the week before her period but no one is doing anything about it. She has no side effects from all the meds but I’m not convinced they’re working either. So my question is, do you think it’s could be hormonal. I do think it is but I’m very nervous to take her off everything and try something new, especially since she will be leaving for college in 8 months. Help!

  45. Neeters Says:

    You can get progesterone cream in Canada so long as you order it from the USA and only order a max of 2 tubes. I have been ordering it for myself from vitacost.com and Iherb.com.com with success. You mayhave to use way more than just 20mgs twice a day to control estrogen dominance. I have suffered for more than 3 years…and the idiot doctor prescribed estrogen which sent me into deep depression and stopped my thyroid from working. I almost died and my adrenal quit thanks to estrogen poisoning. Progesterone saved my life. I take 2 prometrium at night plus 20 to 30 mgs compounded progesterone cream in the daytime, along with natural thyroid pills and a grain free low carb diet, now that I found a good doctor who knows about estrogen dominance!

  46. Louise Says:

    Hi Doris. I just wanted to say your story is inspirational. I went on depo provera sep 2013 which stops your body producing progesterone and replaces it with synthetic progestrin. I was due another shot dec 17th but decided against it as it had caused moments of anxiety and feeling spaced out and worrying. Done a lot in my life but nothing ever made me feel like that. Was the same for the 3 months.then in jan when my first period would have been due I started getting intrusive thoughts, feelings of doom, irrational fear, nothing felt certain, I was doubling everything and trusting barely anyone. I have spent 9 weeks feeling like I am going insane and I’m going to lose everything. Got bloods done and showed my cortisol at 555, estrogen was low but increased on the next text but my progesterone showed I am not ovulating and said > 3. My doc said it wasnt a figure and gave me norethisterone to mimic the rise and dall of progesterone to simulate a period. Had suicidal thoughts i didnt see myself alive at the end of the day.SO i got a withdrawal bleed last week and have to wait until next month to see if it will kick start my regular cycle and hopefully all my hormones will be balanced again – that’s my doctors theory. Meanwhile the longer it goes on for the worse I am feeling as I’m starting to worry it’s mental and also the damage that’s going to be left with this stress even if the progesterone fixes it. I’ve had anxiety, intrusive thoughts, I hardly get a moments peace in my head with constant thoughts so I cant concentrate etc. Sometimes I get an hour where it all lifts and im completely myself then I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning it all cokws flooding back and all the doom and fearful thoughts come flooding back and I spend all day fighting them off again. Its become groundhog day. I dont know what im meant to do in the meantime while im waiting for my hormones to realign because the stress is taking its toll and I dont want this to become mental but no one can give me a definitive answer. I was a worrier before and I liked planning things but this is not my nature but I feel im letting it depress me

  47. Joline Belanger Says:

    I truly appreciate your allowing the rest of us to recognize we are not crazy!!! I have been dealing w/this for many years. I am 46 yrs old, it has taken my many years to finally recognize my depression/bipolar episodes hit me a week/two weeks before my menstrual cycle. I have spoken to my physician in regards to this issue I am having. They continuously want to put me on antidepressants which they all ready know do not work for me. I need to stop feeling this agony and I am so tired of the fight. Your letter above, IS exactly my same story!!!! I am at wits end and have been using alcohol to lessen the pain. I live in a very remote town in northern ME where help is not listening to me. I want to feel normal again!!!!! Guess I will have to get on my doctors butttttttt to get me some relief. I love my life and love my family but I cannot live this way any longer. TY for giving me hope and allowing me to know that I am truly not an insane person. I sure feel like it more and more this last year that has past. Thanks again

  48. Lena Says:

    Hi Doris!!first of all I just want to thank you so much for sharing your story that has even reached me here in Sweden!!I feel so sorry for what you have been through and I feel you! Since I became 15 (1year after My first menstruation) I fellt depressed and scared all the time!I hade soo many evil thought (ocd) that I couldn’t controll so I also thought I heard demons! I was scared to tell anybody of what I was going through and I just cried myself too sleep everynight!!after 2 years I felt a little better but still depressed and that scared feeling Held me until 5 years later I became pregnant!Without knowing that I was pregnant in 2-3months that was the best time of My life!! Because I was soo happy and not depressed or scared anymore!I thanked God for beeing free and real me!!then I found out that I was pregnant and maybe this have something to do With hormones? On My third trimester I started to feel Like the old me again depressed and anxiety! Now 3years later I’ve been struggling With many scary thoughts and fears! What do you think? Thank you for sharing and helping others!May God bless you//Lena

  49. Doris Says:

    Hi Lena from Sweden,

    Nice to meet you. After hearing your story, there is a good chance that your ocd and mood problems are hormones related. The reason I think they are is because you told me your mental health symptoms went away during pregnancy. During pregnancy your placenta makes tons of progesterone to maintain your pregnancy. If you are low in progesterone, your body loves this, which it sounds like your body does because your symptoms vanished.
    The fact that you started feeling bad again once your pregnancy is over lets me know your body misses the progesterone it receives during pregnancy. There could be a number of reasons why your body isn’t making enough progesterone. Maybe you aren’t ovulating regularly and when you don’t ovulate, you don’t produce progesterone. If you have ovulation problems, there is a strong chance that you have cystic ovaries. Or you may ovulate every month, but your body doesn’t make enough progesterone after ovulation, this is called luteal insufficiency.
    I definitely want to encourage you to find a doctor who understands the importance of hormone balance for mental and physical health. I also want you to read Dr. Lee’s book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple.” Dr. Lee doesn’t focus on the mental health aspect of hormones, but he tells you how to correct the problem. His 3 steps are what I follow today. If you read his book and get a good understanding about what’s happening in your body that will give you the confidence you need to approach your doctor.
    If I had not discovered progesterone nearly 8 years ago I know I would still be very sick today. So it sounds like you are on the right path. Please keep me posted on your recovery.
    Kindest regards,

  50. Doris Says:

    Hi Joline,

    Nice to meet you to. Ever since I got my first cycle I was convinced I was mad. Deep down I knew something was wrong. Like you I approached my doctors and told them I felt my mental health problems were hormonal since I had so many problems around my cycle. Like you, I was pushed away and given prescriptions for psychiatric medications. For years, I hated doctors, but I shouldn’t have. They weren’t withholding treatment from me, they were practicing the way they had been trained. The only thing psychiatrists have been trained to do is give meds. Of course, those of us who are suffering we want answers and we sure as heck don’t want to cover up the pain and agony we feel with bandage medications or alcohol or sex or cigarettes or food or whatever we can get our hands on so that we can forget for just one moment that we are alive.

    It’s a horrible existence. I’m so happy to be off that roller coaster. I’m so happy that finally I have a way to manage. I’m not wandering aimlessly anymore wandering why I’m losing my mind.

    I definitely want to encourage you to read Dr. John Lee’s book “Hormone Balance Made Simple.” His book was a God send. I ready that book along with “What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Menopause.” Both are classics.

    Basically in a nutshell Dr. Lee tells us that if our estrogen (estradiol) is high in respects to progesterone, we can get very sick. Both mentally and physically. He teaches us how to take progesterone to fix it.

    Please find a doctor in your area who has this knowledge. Compounding pharmacies are a great place to start if you don’t know of a doctor in your area. Good luck to you. You can recover. Keep in touch. Best regards, Doris

  51. Doris Says:

    Hi Louise,

    I’m sorry all of this is happening to you. Thank goodness you listened to your body and stopped the Depo immediately. I’ve heard really bad things about depo. Patients have reported mood changes and weight gain problems. The good news is your body can get to a place of balance again. The other good news is that since you aren’t ovulating you can take progesterone that is identical to what your body makes which is called bioidentical or natural progesterone. Your doctor can write a prescription for you. It comes in a transdermal form or a capsule (Prometrium). You can also buy it over the counter without a prescription. My favorite at the moment is Source Natural’s Progesterone Cream. At this time you can buy it off of Amazon for less than $14 for 4 ounces. I love it. Find a formula that works for you.

    You definitely can get through this, I’m not sure what your doctor would give you a synthetic when the real thing is available. I would definitely get with a doctor who has experience with natural hormones if you are looking to explore them as a treatment option. You can feel better again, you just need to get your progesterone levels up again. Keep me posted. All the best, Doris

  52. Doris Says:

    Hi Neeters,

    Nice to meet you. I’m so glad you are still here with us! It’s horrible to take estrogen when you are already dominate in it. I had a similar experience when I started birth control pills. I had some of my worst hallucinations shortly thereafter and nearly killed myself from alcohol poisoning.

    I’m so glad you found a doctor who knows what’s going on. How did you find him or her? I’m always trying to find out what I need to tell other women (and men) so they can get the help they need. You have such a wonderful testimony that so many need to hear. Keep spreading the word. Best regards, Doris

  53. Doris Says:

    Hi Staci,

    I thought I had replied to you months ago. I’m very sorry, it looks as though I didn’t. Please accept my apology. Regarding your daughter, does anyone else on your side of the family or her dad’s side of the family have mental health issues? If so, your daughter’s problems could be genetic. If not, her imbalance may be due solely to the fact that she has been on birth control pills for 5 years. Birth control pills can cause hormone imbalance where there was none previously. And mood and sanity issues can occur because of them. If I were you, I would get with a doctor who can balance her hormones. Is she still on the birth control? If so, I would explore some non-hormonal treatment options to treat her acne. In terms of the psychiatric medications, you would have to talk to her prescribing doctor about weaning her off of those.

    If the imbalance is coming strictly from the pills it may take several cycles for your daughter’s body to find its rhythm again. Definitely I hope that you can get to the root of the problem so that she can have a good start her freshman year. I think you should speak to a doctor who specializes in hormone balance. If you don’t know any off hand your local compounding pharmacy is a good place to start. Most pharmacies keep an associated list of doctors who use their pharmacy. Doctors who use compounding pharmacies are usually aware of everything that I talk about on my blog. You will need to check with them individually to see if one can help you and your daughter with her specific situation. I hope this information has been helpful. Please keep me posted on your daughter’s recovery. Kindest regards, Doris

  54. Lena Says:

    Thank you for reply that fast! I’ve forgot to mention that My period is always late or early With 5-10days and sometimes I feel good and when I do Im like what was I thinking and how stupid of me Im creating this for myself!!but I dont know if it is only My menstruation causing this or if even one of my thyroid hormone not producing enough hormones because besides anxiety I also have tremors,backpain espacially in the mornings,and I’ve become extremly sensitive to coffe causing me cardiovascular disorders. Thanks to you In finally getting some hopes here and I’ve been searching so much facts about this and found so much information ex about imbalance hormones causing menstrual psycos ect. And that the patient between her illness is a 100% healthy! So THANK YOU!! Once again!!I have booked an apointment at My doctor and I hope he knows something about hormonal imbalance becuaseI’ve heard that many doctors dont! Bye take care I stay in touch xoxo/Lena

  55. Doris Says:

    Hello Lena,

    Keep moving forward. When I listen to you I hear myself. I would think the same thing, I would wonder why had I blown things out of proportion before? Why didn’t I try a little harder. But we have to throw away that thinking. We don’t create these problems. They are illnesses. Once we learn what is causing them, it is our responsibility to continue with care.

    Definitely go to your doctor. Also if your have high estrogen/ low progesterone this can offset your thyroid as well (according to the late Dr. John R. Lee). Giving you symptoms of hypothyroidism.

    For more information click this link.

    Scroll half way down where it says “What Causes This.” Good luck and keep in touch. Doris

  56. Lisa Says:

    Hi Doris,
    I am so thankful for your website and all of the information provided. I have a 14 year old daughter that started her first menstrual cycle a month ago. She has always been extreme with her moods since she was a baby and we have been to many counselors & psychiatrists over the past 14 years. No one seemed to understand her or our situation. She was on meds a few times but hasn’t been for years. She was foggy when taking them. Now things have worsened to the point it is tearing our family apart. Over the past month since she started her period she has been even more extreme in her anger and bad moods. She has worse rages, screams at us, yells horrible things and at times throw things. She threw my purse at me yesterday because I wouldn’t take her to get a haircut. She bullies her younger sister. None of this behavior is new for her but it has become more severe. I care for her deeply but it is horrible to be around her and we are desperate. We have an appointment with yet another mental health person tomorrow. We have been living like this for so long, we don’t know what to do. When I started reading your information and all of the posts I could see my daughter in them and how her hormones may be at the root of her mental issues. It would be a miracle if hormones could help her. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for sharing.

  57. Doris Says:

    Hello Lisa,

    I know the turmoil that mental illness can cause. I’m sorry about all of the struggles your daughter and your entire family have been going through. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, especially if her mood changes are caused by a hormone imbalance, because these things can be managed. Because your daughter experienced a worsening of her symptoms around her menstrual cycle this is a good indication that her symptoms may be hormone based. This imbalance can exist far before puberty, which it sounds like this is the case with your daughter.

    To help your daughter, you must go to a physician who has knowledge about hormone imbalance, specifically estrogen dominance. If you do not know of any physicians who do this type of work, contact your local compounding pharmacy. Most compounding pharmacies keep an associated list of doctors who use their pharmacy. These doctors already know the benefits of bioindentical/natural hormones vs. synthetic ones and most of them have a more holistic approach to medicine and some can correct estrogen dominance or mood based hormone issues. You will have to call around to various offices to see who can help you and your daughter.

    If you go to psychiatrist and ask for hormone balance help you may not get the answers you are looking for as psychiatrist and other mental health professionals have not been trained to use hormone balance to treat mental illnesses/mood disorders.

    If your daughter is taking psychiatric medication, she will need to continue to take her medication as prescribed. If you would like for her to be weaned off of them, talk to her prescribing doctor about that and move in the direction of hormone balance at the same time.

    I would also encourage you to read the late Dr. John Lee’s book “Hormone Balance Made Simple.” Dr. Lee doesn’t talk about mood disorders specifically, he talks about the importance of hormone imbalance and how it impacts our health and he gives simple steps on how to correct it. The more you read on this topic, the more confident you will feel getting your daughter the help she needs. I hope all goes well at her appointment tomorrow. Please keep in touch and let me know how everything goes. All the best, Doris

  58. Joanne Says:

    Can this condition occur in males My 18 yr old son was diagnosed with schizophrenia 18 months ago. Prescribed a huge amount of meds which he tried and made things much worse. Med free for the past 7 months and seemingly very normal. Recently he became stressed and concerned something seems to be happening. He is definitely NOT displaying symptoms of schizophrenia, but feels “something” along the lines of depression and stress about himself.

  59. Doris Says:

    Hi Joanne, yes this condition can occur in men. What I have found is that many of these hormone-based mood disorders are genetic. So if there are other people in your son’s lineage with mood problems, it’s a good chance that your son’s mood changes are hormone related. I know men who have taken progesterone and continue to take it today to regulate their mood. Some of them I have met online, others are in my own family. The bottom line is, if your son’s hormone are out of whack he can experience mood problems and no amount of psychiatric medication can never set hormones straight.

    I encourage you to find a physician who can help you. Unfortunately, there are not many physicians who specialize in treatment men with this condition. I know a physician who is knowledgeable, his name is Dr. Platt and he is an internist in California. I know he can give you the guidance you need regarding this if you are unable to find a doctor in your area. Dr. Platt’s website is: http://drplatt.com/natural_hormones/Eval.php.

    Hormones are responsible for regulating the mood of men and women, so when there are mood changes or problems occur, it’s always a good idea to check one’s hormone levels, specifically progesterone. If you need help finding a doctor in your area, please contact your local compounding pharmacy to see if they can give you a list of associated doctors who use their pharmacy. You will need to then call each office to see if any of them have experience in treating men with hormone imbalances. Dr. Platt may also be an option if you are unable to find a doctor in your area. I hope your son gets well soon. If you have additional questions you can post them to this blog or send me an email. Good luck. Doris

  60. Sayle Says:

    Hi Doris! When I reas this post it reminds me of Pmdd is it anything the same?And how do you feel today?hope better// best regards Sayle

  61. Sayle Says:

    Btw have you ever heard about wild yam?Its a natural Cure for most symptoms of PMS and pmdd☺️

  62. Doris Says:

    Hi Sayle!

    Yes, I think PMDD and bipolar disorder are related for sure. There is a continuum…PMS, PMDD, and then bipolar disorder. The reason I stumbled upon hormones in the first place was because bipolar’s symptoms were so close to PMS/PMDD symptoms. I said to myself, “There has to be a relationship.” And after reading the late Dr. John Lee’s work I discovered what the relationship was. Through Dr. Lee, I discovered that estrogen dominance/low progesterone can make us really sick. Once I discovered this I was able to take care of my health. Today I feel great. I have moments when I’m tired or I’m sad but I’m not hallucinating or dreaming up ways to kill myself like I was every day when I was bipolar. I started progesterone in the fall of 2006 and I haven’t looked back. I finally have a handle on things. I can feel when my hormones are off now and now I can do something about it. All of this who have this imbalance can thankfully do something about it. Thanks for the well wishes. Kindest regards, Doris

  63. Doris Says:

    Hi Sayle,

    I have heard about wild yams. I have not heard that it has cleared up PMS and PMDD. I will definitely research that. Thank you. I know that progesterone cream is made from the roots of wild yam. There is a sterol found in wild yam called diosgenin. This plant sterol is then converted into bioidentical hormones such as progesterone. The human body is not able to convert the wild yam diosgenin into progesterone, but it is able to use progesterone and other hormones that have been derived from it. I’m very happy medicine is moving towards a more holistic approach. Doris

  64. Shannon Says:

    Hi Doris! Im so glad that i bumped in to this blog!Ever since My period started I’ve been feeling sad and anxious and always thinking that Im on the edge of become crazy!but then are days that i feel great and that is during My period and few days after!now I am 24 and for 2 months ago something just happened to me My thoughts was just running so fast that I couldn’t catch them And I was thinking mean thoughts about me that Im am discussful and evil.I was trying to ignore those thoughts and went to work but even there My thoughts was just running and I was thinking lesbian thoughts (I am married and hetero)i become soo scared and thinking that Im going crazy!now I feel a bit better I started to take vitamin b6 and magnesium becuasee I’ve read that that could help your body to produce progresteron besides that I have extremly moodswings,weepiness,dry eyes,dry vagina,and so much cramps like Im having My menstruation all the time!please tell me what you think is goin on With me!

  65. Doris Says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am so glad you bumped into my blog too. After reading your story, there is a great possibility that the symptoms you are experiencing may be hormone based. The reason I say this is because you stated that ever since your menstrual cycle started you have been feeling sad and anxious and borderline crazy. More than likely you are feeling this way because your hormones are involved. The late Dr. John Lee was a visionary. He realized that many of us women (and men) were not producing sufficient amounts of the hormone progesterone. When this hormone is low in our body it can cause anxiety, depression, feelings of craziness, evil thoughts, mood swings, crying spells–basically all the symptoms you are experiencing. And yes, our sexual drive and preference can be influenced by a hormone imbalance as well. So how do we fix this? We give the body the progesterone it needs. And then the body is able to place it exactly where it needs to go throughout your body and brain so that you can feel healthy. What country are you in? Here in the US, we can buy progesterone without a prescription. Online retailer Amazon.com sells a wide variety of progesterone creams. I get my over-the-counter cream, Source Naturals from there. I suggest that you connect with a doctor who specializes in correcting hormone imbalances, specifically low progesterone. He or she should be able to diagnose you based on your symptoms and/or testing. I am convinced if I had not discovered progesterone nearly 8 years ago, I would be leaving in a mental institution somewhere dreaming of ways to kill myself. Excessive estrogen not balanced by progesterone can cause extreme sadness and moodiness, it can cause a racing of your thoughts, and it can even cause some cases of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Thank goodness we finally know that our hormones are needed not only for fertility, but also for our mental health. I think you should get your hormones checked out Shannon. Keep me posted on your treatment. I would love for you to follow up with me. All the best, Doris

  66. elizabeth Says:

    My daughtershas all your symptons can you help

  67. Doris Says:

    Hello Elizabeth,

    If your daughter has an irregular menstrual cycle meaning she has heaving bleeding, she skips months without periods or she has horrible PMS, there is a strong possibility that her hormones may be causing her mental health symptoms. There are many things that can cause this. Some people are born with these imbalances like I was. There are others who have unbalanced hormones from taking birth control pills. If you believe birth control pills are causing her imbalance, your daughter should explore non-hormonal birth control options and go off the pills and see how her symptoms clear up. If she truly is deficient in a particular hormone, she will need to supplement her body with the hormones she needs. If your daughter has low progesterone, she can get very sick and she will need to take progesterone to restore her health. I want to encourage you to find a physician who specializes in hormone balance who can help you sort through all of this and to give you some direction in terms of treatment options. If you have a specific question that I haven’t answered on my blog, please let me know. And please know that if your daughter’s symptoms are caused by a hormone imbalance, she can experience relief from her symptoms by supplementing her body with the hormone(s) it needs. Keep in touch, Doris

  68. Lauren Says:


    I’ve had my bloods done (I’m based in the UK) and have a result of very low progesterone and consequent estrogen dominance along with low DHEA. The compounding pharmacist has had a huge delay with my prescription and one month later, I am still waiting for my meds. I know that I will be starting treatment soon, but today (3 days before my period), I haven’t been able to stop crying and thinking about how I no longer want to live. As superficial as it sounds, the icing on the cake was getting weighed this morning and finding out I’ve put on over a stone in the past three months despite training regularly and eating well. I’m so glad I found this thread as I now feel hopeful that I’ll start feeling better when I get my prescription. Has anyone else experienced weight gain with their condition and has natural progesterone help them lose the excess pounds? x

  69. Doris Says:

    Hi Lauren,

    I hope you get your prescription soon! High estrogen is making you feel depressed and weepy because high throw off the delicate balance in our brains which is needed for health nerve cell communication/mental health. And you are not superficial for not wanting to be overweight. I believe your hormone imbalance may be impacting your weight as well because estrogen dominance can cause weight gain because fat isn’t being broken down in your body as it should and high estrogen causes water retention which will cause you to look and feel bloated. If you are estrogen dominant, your body will retain weight, even if you are exercising several hours a day. The good news is, once you start progesterone and your levels get in a healthy range, you should start shedding pounds as you will not be retaining as much water and progesterone helps the body to burn fat. It’s catabolic whereas estrogen is anabolic. I went through the exact same thing you are going through. I would run for miles and play hours of tennis only to look like a puffer fish afterwards. The progesterone slimmed me down. I hope the same for you. Please keep me posted on how things go once you start treatment. x Doris

  70. Barbara Says:

    I have had acne since being 12. I am 43 now. I have suffered with severe pms from the same age.The PMS severity has worsened with age. I was prescribed anti depressants from being 19. After the birth of my children my depression worsened. I have two children a boy and a girl. After my son was born my PMS worsened. However when I had my daughter my mental health became so unstable that the anti depressants didn’t work. I was advised to breast feed which I did with both my children. Son 11 months daughter 18 months. I have been ill for 9.5 years of my daughters life. I was referred to a psychiatrist and put on mood stablisers for 9 years, along with my anti depressants. I started getting facial hair,I had to pluck it out every day. My weight has soared and I retain loads of fluid. I continued to work and look after my father whilst being really ill. I wasn’t coping at work and was breaking down crying most days.I couldn’t concentrate.I suffered lower back pain. The psychiatric nurse picked up on this and informed me to go and see a gynecologist. It turns out I have pcos and severe PMT. I am receiving prostap injections monthly. I go into hospital next month for removal of my ovaries and full hysterectomy. I forgot to say that the depression for the 2 years following my daughter were terrible. I really struggled to function to get up in the morning and go to work. In hindsight I was far too ill to be at work. I have lost my mother and sister to suicide. I am convinced it has all been hormonal.

  71. Doris Says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am sorry to hear about your mother and sister. I believe your suspicions are right, their mental health problems/depression may have been hormonal too. Off balanced hormones can make you so depressed that you want to take your own life. I know and it sounds like you know as well. Like you, I have PCOS. And with PCOS we do not ovulate every month. With ovulation, progesterone is released into our bodies and brains. When we don’t ovulate (with PCOS) our bodies is not releasing the progesterone it needs to be physically and mentally healthy. Have you ever taken progesterone alone? If not, you should try that. It sounds like you are suffering from estrogen dominance which I was for many years. When you body does not make enough progesterone because of conditions such as PCOS, estrogen is left to float around in your body and wreck havoc. In order to get your estrogen in check you must take progesterone. If you can, see if you can start progesterone therapy before you have surgery. When starting progesterone, you must take large amounts, to build your body’s supply to and to alleviate your symptoms. To get the full effect. You can take small amounts and then say, “progesterone doesn’t work for me.” If you have not been producing sufficient progesterone for years (due to the PCOS) it can take several months to correct this. Dr. John Lee saved my life. He told me everything that I am sharing with you. Here are the exact steps I continue to follow today. Click this link: http://update.dorisking.net/?p=126. I am convinced if I had not learned about my hormone imbalance and if I had did nothing about it I would be living in a mental institution today. You can get through this, you have to get your body what it needs and that’s progesterone. Removing your ovaries will not correct your low progesterone problem. And that’s your problem. In my humble opinion, see if you can work with a specialist who will give you high doses of progesterone and see if you can do that without having the surgery. Here is a link to a transcript where Dr. Lee talks about hormone balance, read part one and two if you can. Click here: http://www.keepsmilin.com/transcriptdrlee.htm. Also read Dr. John Lee’s “Hormone Balance Made Simple” if you can. You can get through this. Please write back if you have more questions. Doris

  72. Linda Says:

    Hello Doris,

    Okay, I don’t know where to being with this. This is about my 27 yr. old son. Now, people tend to think automatically that hormones have to do with women,only…not so. So, having stated that,let me begin. About 12 yr.s ago or so, my son,who was then about 15 started becoming very DARK and depressed. He is a VERY sensitive and intelligent person,very deep, very caring giving person. Well,he became very dark and depressed,& began playing rough video games,and watching awful movies, dark movies, depressing things. Okay,so, I tried to talk to him about that,but that got nowhere and he only became more angry…yes, that’s something I should mention here, his ANGER. Some of that is not unfounded, bec. my husband (his father) is a very negative person,very critical and once my boys would reach the age of about 13 yrs. old, my husb. would become very critical of them, all the time, with me running interference, I was NOT about to let that happen! So, my son became very dark and depressed and had suicidal thoughts as well. He began to think that maybe this was not “reality”…he lived in this state for about 5 yrs. and we were nervous wrecks! We never knew from moment to moment, day to day..what to expect. He was unpredictable. Not that he would have harmed US, but he made me nervous about what he MIGHT do to himself! He isolated himself,played these awful dark depressive violent video games and watched dark type of shows and movies, you couldn’t really talk to him either,he would just get mad. Well, this went on for 5 yrs.! Then…I was able to make some headway,and talk him into letting me help him, and so, we began a journey back to some normalacy. We read Gods Word all day, everyday, we memorized it. I knew Gods Word was life to those who find it, and health to all their flesh! This is what it proved to be, because after about a yr. of doing this everyday, he became pretty darn normal again….after those 5 yrs. of HELL.! … okay ,so fast forward to July 4th, 2013, 9 months ago. On the fourth of july, he broke down,plain and simple. Yes, we had noticed him getting ANGRY at things again, it was building up. He was always a very DEFINATE person, things should be a certain way,..a lot of “should be’s” and “shouldn’t be’s”…which I know is insecurity and fear. HE began to become abnormally afraid of the political situation in the world, and the U.S. and became very afraid, and he himself even said to me, that this fear didn’t seem “normal” for him. But, it just grew worse. We didn’t realize what was happening, we just thought he was afraid of things bec. he IS very sensitive, and we thought that what had happened the last time around, 6 yrs. ago, was OVER and gone, bec. he HAD become quite normal again. But, we were wrong. He began to question “reality” again, to be very very moody, VERY touchy, never knowing when he’d get upset or UNSTABLE over something he didn’t like, or couldnt’ handle. But then, finally, on July 4th he had a complete breakdown, he just began to cry during the fireworks, and as I held him in my arms, he sobbed and said this didn’t feel real, he didnt’ think this was reality anymore. Okay, so wow,…well, that began a journey into HELL for the last 9 mos. The first 4 mos. were UNBELIEVEABLE, I have never seen anything like it. He laid in bed, covered up with the quilt, and shivered with fear that this was not reality, and that meant WE were not real and must not really love him..now, this killed me on the inside. I would just lay there with him, everyday and night….for months….just leaving to go to the bathroom, or get food. His older brother, our second born, was my right hand man, I couldn’t have made it thought this without him! Anyway, back to my youngest … he became very paranoid, afraid that we were all in on this,that perhaps there was some other reality that he belonged in etc..he lived in TERROR! COMPLETE TERROR! My heart broke. I would hold him while he just sobbed,and would say over and over that he just wanted his life back! He told us he felt himself slipping away, further and further, day by day…he began to feel afraid to sleep, for fear that he’d wake up in a diff. reality, or that things around him would be diff. He had hallucinations too, well, maybe not REAL hallucinations, more like he sort of “saw things wrong”..his perception of things was off. His memory was off too, he totally forgot about some things, like the palm trees across the street from us,so to him that meant this must not be reality bec. he didnt’ believe anything was wrong with HIM, he believed that HE was fine and that things around him had and were changing. This was horrifying to him, and to us. I knew in my heart that this must be a chemical imbalance, I just knew that. I have read and read, researched EVERYTHING on the internet for 9 mos. now, I could write my own book after this! This has been the DARKEST time in our lives, and the saddest! He also became very weird about details, like having OCD. But I think that was bec. he was so afraid this wasn’t reality, that he had to purposely check and re-check everything, in the beginning it was BAD, it has now gotten better to where it’s maybe once a day now, but he seems to be able to brush it off easier now as well. He doesn’t go out with me in the car to much, for fear he’ll see something that will look diff. than he remembners and then he’ll think this isn’t reality again. He’s been HORRIBLY depressed,and rightly so! I would’ve been too. He’s lived in fear and terror, a darkness that has been unrelenting and indescribable, and this sort of compulsive behavior where he needs to check things out constantly like I described above…bec. he’s afraid things might have changed. He HAS gotten better over the last few months however, but the rest of us are nervous wrecks, bec. in reality we don’t really know when he’ll see something and get all dark and depressed and fearful again. Now, having said all of this, and this really only describes SOME of what it’s been like day to day……I have always felt this was hormonal, a chemical imbalance! If he had gone to a CONVENTIONAL dr. or psych. they would have LABELED him some sort of mental disorder, drugged the hell out of him with anti-psych. drugs, which I would never have let him take, and who knows what! NO THANK YOU! We had been through this hell 6 yrs. ago, for 5 yrs………so, we knew we could get through this again, but this time around it seemed much deeper and darker. It has been scary, and mentally depressing for all of us. But, my point is, do you think this sounds hormonal? Could this be a chemical change? I believe it is. Keep in mind, he had been under SEVERE fear and distress for about a yr. before this happened, bec. he was afraid of what’s happening in the world…but he kept it in, in an attempt to “deal with it” himself. That was bad. He told me he would hear voices in his head, not audible, just within his own head, always condemning him, he also has poor self esteem….which breaks my heart. Every since my babies were born, I’ve hugged and kissed them all day, everyday…but unfortunately, my husband has not, he has always been critical. So, I know where he got the feeling of not being good enough…but, aside from that, this “episode”, and even the last one 6 yr.s ago….seems hormonal. I am going to get Dr. Lee’s book, I’ve read a great deal about him, and I like his work! To bad that most dr.’s and psych.s don’t subscribe to his works….they are still to CONVENTIONAL and stuck in their ways. I’d like your opinion on all of this. Thanks so much! :)


  73. Doris Says:

    Hi Linda,

    My heart goes out to your son and to your entire family for all you have been through. I can relate to only having God and His Word to depend on when your mind and body has abandoned you. I’m happy you are all are still standing in spite of what has happened to you. Also I want to tell you that your “gut instincts” are correct. Men can have hormone imbalances just as women have these imbalances and these imbalances can cause mood, mental and behavioral problems for the men and women who have them. In my humble opinion, you need to connect with a doctor who has experience treating men with this type of imbalance. Unfortunately at this time, there are not may doctors who treat this type of imbalance, but with faith and a lot of searching I believe your son can get the help that he needs. There is a doctor named, Dr. Michael Platt of http://www.drplatt.com. Dr. Platt wrote a book, “The Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones.” In one of his chapters, he specifically talks about low progesterone in men causing bipolar disorder and how he prescribes progesterone to treat it. Dr. Platt practices in Southern California, if you are not in Southern California, you do have the option of having an over-the-phone consultation. And lab work can be sent in as well and discussed over the phone. You also have the option of calling your local compounding pharmacy. Most compounding pharmacies keep a list of associated doctors who use their pharmacies. And doctors who use compounding pharmacies mostly have a holistic/alternative approach to medicine. Call your pharmacy, to find one click here: https://m360.iacprx.org/admin/forms/ViewForm.aspx?id=36109. When you call the doctor tell them you think your son may have a hormone imbalance that is impacting his mental health. You can even be specific, ask if they have ever prescribed progesterone to men. Find the doctor that is able to treat your son the way you want him to be treated.

    My mental illness was caused by low progesterone. Your son’s mood problems can be because of this imbalance too. I have talked to men who have taken progestrone and it has healed them of their bipolar disorder. They are not flying into rages anymore! Dr. Lee’s book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” is a great introduction to how hormones work. You sound definitely read it to understand dosages. The target audience for this book is a premenopausal/menopausal woman, so you aren’t going to see much information in their specifically for men, but it will give you a great introduction. Dr. Lee also published a 28 page booklet called, “Hormone Balance for Men.” I think this booklet was written for clinicians, but it’s the only thing I have read that gives dosing amounts for progesterone for men. For more information on the booklet, click here: https://www.johnleemd.com/store/more_mens_hormones.html. You can get the PDF verison for about $11. I also did a video for hormone imbalance in men which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsNapU6ADds. Linda, if you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Your son can recover. I was delusional like him. I used to hide in my closet because I thought God was trying to kill me with lightning bolts! Now, I am walking around in my right mind and I finally have a handle on my mental health. My chemical imbalance is regulated thanks to progesterone, your son’s mental health can be regualted with the help of progesterone too! Good luck to you and remember recovery is possible! Doris

  74. Linda Says:

    Hello Doris,

    Thank you for getting back to me! Okay, first let me say I AM a perimenopausal woman! lol …UGH! For the last 7 yrs, it’s been bad, I mean bad! I have every horrible symptom in the book, and more! So, when this hit our son, I was already in BAD shape. But, you have to be strong in life, and I will do anything for my son! My own anxiety (due to peri) is through the roof, and this has just added to it! Oh Doris, I can’t even begin to describe to you the hell this has been! I mean…HELL. He felt he was falling deeper and deeper into a pit, falling away from “reality” as it were … starting to think and feel that maybe WE weren’t even real, which meant that then, we didn’t really love him…then he’d weep so horribly. All I could do, was sit there and hold him and cry myself….I’d assure him we were real, and really did love him, but he’d respond by saying that “well, even THAT could be a lie to Mom,..well, IF you’re really my Mom”…oh my gosh, my heart broke! He had a very hard time sleeping, night after night from outright TERROR! He was afraid he’d wake up in some other reality, the fear was unbelieveable, and all of us have been so very badly affected. They finally gave him xanax to help with the fear and anxiety, which has helped a lot, especially to calm him down so he can at least think! But, even when he’s calm and talking normally, or perhaps playing a video game with his brother or whatever,…..if you were to just come right out and ask him, if he thought this was reality, he’s probably say no…or that he wasn’t sure. So, you see, even though he’s a lot calmer, thank God…..it’s as if this crazy belief that this isn’t reality, is still there..like cemented into him or something. I have always been a big believer in alternative meds and healing, so we gave him Niacinamide everyday, along with other herbs and minerals …thinking that maybe he had been depleted since about a week before this actual FULL BLOWN breakdown occurred, he had horrible diarrhea, no matte what he ate, it went right through him! Now, he had had trouble with IBS for a few yrs. before that as well, swinging from constipation to diarrhea….and he has always been very very sensitive, and seems easily “shaken” by things, whether things going on in this world, or things going on in our house…I would say he is a fearful person, and my heart just breaks! All we have is Gods Word, and Jesus has healed us many times over the years….but this has gone on now for 9 mos…now, like I said, it HAS gotten better, we can SORT OF live a “normal” life…..SORT OF. It really depends on the day, and what kind of sleep he had or dreams he had….bec. that will follow him through the day and his moods and fears area greatly affected by his dreams or lack of good deep sleep. In the beginning of this, he lived in hell, because to be awake was hell since he had to live every moment not knowing if this was even real ( I can’t even imagine this), THEN, he’d be so exhausted from all the fear and crying, that he ‘d want to fall asleep, but was afraid to do that too because then he’d have HORRIBLE dreams about this not being reality! HOLY MOLY! Doris, this has been WORSE than a nightmare! I”ve had so many people tell me he’s got all these mental disorders or sicknesses, or that he should be put on some anti-psych. drug….NO WAY. First of all, in my heart of hearts…..I do not believe he has some mental disorder or sickness, I am NOT living in denial about this, but I don’t feel in my heart or spirit that, that’s the case. Honestly. Also, those anti-psych. drugs are dangerous, and make things worse! So, we’ve been living on prayer, faith, and taking shifts with him…..and like I said, the xanax has really helped. I’ve felt all along this was someting PHYSICAL, causing some kind of mental “shift”…causing him to THINK differently, if you know what I mean. He would NEVER have thought any of this prior….but, as I said in the previous post, for about a year before this really hit (on July 4th) he had felt depressed, dark, and very fearful of the worlds situation right now! Fearing the worst, no knowing what would happen to us…..he’s always been that way, actually. When our dog died, about 2 weeks before this hit (back in June) he took that badly, and felt guilty he wasn’t there when she died…he was upstairs sleeping, and she died in her sleep overnight. She was very old. WEll, when my other son woke him up to tell him, he told us he actually FELT himself sort of “leave” his body, out through his back. Now, to me, that’s a form or shock, you’re mind sort of takes a break and says “ok, that’s quite enough!” and shuts off! I’ve had that happ. to me, so I know. But, about two days after that, he experienced something odd…as he was putting on his jeans, & went to zip them up, he thought the zipper zipped up on the other side….he told us, that it even FELT diff. to his hands, as if his hands were also used to zipping the jeans up,on the left (or right side, geez, I forgot by now, but it was opposite, that’s the point) …….. now, as well, he said he felt very surprised because to HIM, he thought it had ALWAYS been the other way, NOT the way it was at that moment,…in other words, he stood there, and as he tried to zip up his jeans, it felt backwards, as if it had ALWAYS been facing the right (or left…well, whichever side men zip their pants up on..lol) … as if it were opposite! NOt only to his tactile senses, but also in his memory! Okay, now, he said at first he kind of shrugged it off, thinking it was just nothing, and went on with the day….but then, two days later something very similar happ.d He was picking up his dirty clothes from the floor to wash them, and picked up another pair of jeans…he held them up just to check, to see if it was the same as the day before, OR if it was opposite….well, he said, the zipper on the jeans he picked up was “normal”,….meaning, the way all mens jeans zip up ….ok,fine. He goes downstairs and puts his clothes in the washer, and as he is pulling his jeans out of the laundry bag he became very worried and scared that MAYBE he’d see the zipper wrong again, when just 5 mins. before, upstairs…they were normal. Okay, now, he holds up those jeans, and well, you guessed it……the zipper was on the opposite side again!!!!!! yeah, the same thing happ.d as had happd. 2 nights before….the zipper zipped up on the opposite (wrong) side…..he held them there for a moment, opening and closing his eyes thinking maybe it was just his eyes…but it stayed the same. At THIS point he lost it! and to be honest, that would scare the daylights out of ME too!

    Well……….from that moment on, (he kept this to himself, which he shouldn’t have done), the hell began. He began to hear things nobody else heard,when he’d watch movies or You Tube videos he’d say they took out a scene (which none of us here agreed to, we knew darn well that there was no scene missing from the movie, but he’d swear there was…or the other way around, where he’d say…”hey, what happ.d to such and such a scene, it was just here the last time I watched this”…and it never had been!)….he forgot about the palm trees across the street from us (we live in Florida) and thought there had never been palm trees there….one thing after another, day after day….it was horrible and frightening! He began to think that this wasn’t really REALITY, bec. obviously things don’t just change like that in reality……..not like THAT. I mean, he agreed changes do happen in life, grass grows, trees change, the weather changes..etc…yes, normal things………BUT, he didn’t feel it was NORMAL for there to be a whole bunch of palm trees across the street, when just “yesterday” there wasn’t! (but there were!)…they had been there for years, so it ’s as though his memory was affected. Then he began to think maybe WE were all in on this, which was REALLY HEARTBREAKING! I have never felt such inner pain and sorrow….never. I wanted so much to help my poor son, to reach in there and make it better, to comfort him, to take away this crazy insane fear…and that’s what ths was Doris, and still is……FEAR! In my heart,I just couldn’t believe there was something TRULY wrong with him mentally….yes, it DID seem as though there was, and we’d all go back and forth discussing this, not really knowing what had happened to him, was this really a mental illness or not?….yet, in my heart, something just didn’t click, it just didn’t FEEL as though it were…….it felt as though yes, SOMETHING had happened…obviously. Something, somehow had affected him..but to me, it was chemical, hormonal. My best friend and I would talk this over everyday, and she agreed, it seemed chemical.

    Okay,so……….here is another LONG post, I’m sorry….I’m just so glad I found someone out there who knows what hormones can actually do! MOst people I’ve said this to, don’t agree…..but I know full well what they are capeable of doing, I myself am in perimenopause!!!!!! The owner of health food store that we shop at also thought this sounded chemical, componded by our dogs death (when he felt himself sort of “leave” out of his back) which I think was trauma from her dying…so that only added to this feeling he’s always had of VULNERABILITY. He has always felt very vulnerable and afraid of the world, so to speak. So, when he decided this wasn’t reality,(which I think came from outright terror of THIS world and what’s been going on here!), then he naturally had to think of what WOULD be reality then…..which then became whatever….he began to think that maybe there were other realities where he was supposed to be……but see Doris, even though this dark,depression thing built up over about a year, the way this HIT HIM LIKE A MACK TRUCK on July 4th, was crazy! So, yes,in a way it did build up….but, In mid June the dog died…then on July 4th, presto….he just burst into tears and sobbed saying he didn’t think this was reality! He has suffered so much, I cannot begin to tell you. I know physical diseases and sickness are also horrible, but AT LEAST the person has their mind about them, you can talk to them…….THIS, is something altogether diff.!
    Alright, listen…..thank you for all the info…yes, I’m familiar with John Lee, and I’m going to pick up his books, and download that PDF version as well…thank you so much! Thank you for understanding this, for also realizing what hormones can do! I believe so many mental disorders and illness are caused by PHYSICAL things, whether it be hormones, or your intestines!!!!

    Doris, one last quest….did you have any thoughts or feelings that this was not reality, during that time in your life? Or do you know of anyone who may have had that same symptom from hormonal imbalance? If so…please please please, post and let me know….I need all the info. and help I can get right now!!!! THANK YOU DORIS,..SO VERY MUCH!

  75. Doris Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Yes there were times in my life when I thought I wasn’t in reality. What I was living seemed like a dream and it was terrifying. I remember one time specifically when the world seemed as though it was shrinking and I thought the sky was cracking, it looked really jagged as though I was looking through a kaleidoscope. Of course, none of that was real, but when your mind is telling you that what you are experiencing is real it’s really hard to distinguish between the two. So I can 100% relate to what your son is going through as can most of us who have been diagnosed with a mood or mental disorder.

    I have received emails from all over the world, from men and women who have been helped by taking progesterone. When you said, ” I’ve felt all along this was something PHYSICAL, causing some kind of mental “shift”…causing him to THINK differently…” you hit the nail on the head. Hormones are physical, but if they are not being produced in proper amounts, the brain gets very ill as the brain needs hormone in proper balance to be healthy. As women, we have known for centuries that hormones impact our mental health. Take a look at what happens during PMS and after pregnancy and as you are experiencing during perimenopause and menopause. We know all of these mood changes are linked to hormones. The same imbalances that are happening during these times can happen across the life cycle in men and women and as a result mental illnesses can result.

    In my humble opinion, you need to find a doctor who can prescribe your son high amounts of progesterone so that his brain can be brought back to earth and so that his suffering can end. Taking progesterone isn’t like taking a magic pill, you don’t take one dose and then everything is all better. With hormone balance you should notice a gradual improvement over time until your symptoms disappear. Hormones impact mental health and it’s time that everyone recognizes this so all of us with these hormone-based conditions can get the help and relief we need. So many things are impacted by these imbalances, thyroid function, digestion, immunity, bone health, I could go on and on. Your son can be helped. Don’t give up, there is light at the end of the tunnel. All the best to you and your family. Doris

  76. jennifer Says:

    Doris…… I am on 200 mg of progesterone 1 a night days 12-26 of cycle have been for over 8months now….. I still feel horrible…. I just want to feel love, compation, impathy, positive, happy again…. I feel like i have turned into a cold hearted mean uncaring, unloving person. I feel so out of touch touch like floating in space half the time …..
    My last test(Jan 2014) done showed my vit d real low, iron low, progesterone finally just past over normal level by one point so doc wants me to keep taking them, was diagnosed with hashimotos and celiac disease (doc tested for genes and said i have both of them for disease). So I am now takining 5000 mg of bit a day, iron, folic acid, multivitamin, all grain-dairy-soy-peanut free diet…..
    I have tried to make all changes as doctor said i have been taking all supplements and meds as instructed… Not on thyroid meds right now….
    I went from being a sweet loving caring person to this and I dont want to be here. I want me back. I cant constrainte or think properly, anxiety, depression, weight gain then rapid loss, unwanted thoughts and feelings, blurry vision, feeling shaking from inside out, spaced out unattended feeling, tired dragging knuckles, hyper, migraine, and so many more to list . These symptoms come and go through out the month and days…. I’m so scared I am going to loose myself forever…. Thank you for listening.

  77. Doris Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I am sorry that you are not feeling your best. I can relate to you 100%. I am curious, do you have a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? How did you start taking progesterone? Are you following a gluten-free diet because of your celiac disease?

    When I started progesterone my levels were very low. But I took what Dr. Lee called was a loading dose. He explained that when taking progesterone orally, the bulk of it is broken down through your digestive channels, so even though you are taking 200mg, your body is only using a fraction of that. Have you ever tried a progesterone cream? I used progesterone creams, my first cream I used was compounded at my local pharmacy, I was taking about 100mg transdermally a day. It proved to be very effective. When you take progesterone through the skin, you body is able to use the full amount administered. Talk to your doctor about using progesterone cream vs. the pills. Are you taking Prometrium? If not, what type of progesterone are you taking?

    If low progesterone is the cause of your mood and mental issues, taking higher doses in a transdermal form should help you see the improvement in symptoms that you seek. Also, your hashimotos may be linked to low progesterone as well, as progesterone helps to regulate our immune systems. I would take progesterone cream, follow a gluten-free diet, get lots of rest and drink lots of water during this period, also be sure to eat lots of vegetables and salads and take a vitamin supplement especially one that includes the essential amino acids. Talk to you doctor, your mind can come back from the brink of despair once you start giving it what it needs to function properly. Keep me posted. Good luck to you! Doris

  78. jennifer Says:

    Thank you for responding so quickly Doris. I do not know for sure if I have been checked for the P.O.S that you were talking about. I originally started taking the progesterone because of low levels. I seemed out an endocrinologist when I had a couple doctors tell me there was nothing wrong it was all in my head. I knew something was wrong. I was not feeling well and sick. I was not myself no matter how hard I tried. My memory short and long term where just gone. So I found Dr. Hall and he started running test and told me he would find what was going on just bare with him and the tests. So I did blood work and stool test and saliva test. And we found the vitamin imbalances and hormone imbalance. We also found the thyroid imbalance. This was all last year. I tried taking a compound medicine he had me get from the compound pharmacy it made me worse mind u it was a very very low dose.
    As for the progesterone cream yes I have tried that it gives me rashes and makes me itch. That’s why we went to the pill. The cream was also compounded.
    I’m just so lost. I have been following a very strick diet and taking my vitamins. Resting- I haven’t been able to work in a very long time. My parents have been supporting myself and my girls. And you know how bad that makes a mother feel not being able to support your children financially is bad enough but then emotionally also. I just would like to get better. So I can be a happy fun loving healthy mom for my babies again. To show them a strong woman not a weak one. I’m trying so hard to beat this. I seeked out a phychitrist to help emotionally. He said its all medical that nothing else is wrong with me mentally other then what the medical is causing. Again thank you Doris.

  79. Doris Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    The PCOS I was talking about is a disorder where you are not ovulating regularly and it causes cysts on your ovaries. I was wondering if this condition brought on your low progesterone levels. Sorry to hear about your bad reaction to progesterone cream. I wonder what ingredient in it exactly were you reacting to. Also, I want to let you know that when you have very low progesterone levels, its common for your symptoms to get worse when you initially start progesterone. This is due to your body adjusting to receiving the hormone after its been in such low amounts for months or years before. Dr. Lee called this period an “estrogen wake up” period. Estrogen wake up can cause your symptoms to worsen initially or it may cause you to develop new symptoms you’ve never had before. This period should be short lived and once your get through it you should notice an improvement in your symptoms.

    Since you are unable to take the progesterone cream, see if your doctor will allow you to take higher doses of the progesterone pill. Maybe twice a day vs. once. And also instead of taking progesterone through days 12 to 26, see if you can take them for the three weeks you aren’t having a cycle and then take a week off for your cycle. So you would be three weeks on progesterone and one week off. Once your symptoms have improved, then you can scale back to once a day taking it days 12 to 26. You may need to get your progesterone levels in a much healthier range and then start taking the maintenance doses. I hope this makes sense. Talk to your doctor and see what he says. Keep me posted. Doris

  80. jennifer Says:

    Thank you Doris. I will talk to my doctor about all the things you have discussed. Thank you for all the information.

  81. Doris Says:

    You are very welcome. You can make it through this. Please keep me posted. Doris

  82. Tarun Says:

    Many thanks for the post, my wife has similar issues. PCOD in past, mood swing and depression also OCD symptoms have been disturbing her since last one year. All this time we refrained from using any medicine, talking to her to remove negative thinking brings relief for few days. She has particular triggers for worries about thing that may happen being kind of paranoid. She could feel some shadows some times rarely during gestation.

    I want to get a clinical confirmation prior any medication, can you advise test that can best confirm whether such imbalance exist.

  83. Doris Says:

    Hi Tarun,

    You’re welcome. I have learned through the late Dr. John Lee that an imbalance between progesterone and estradiol can cause your wife symptoms. If she rarely experienced symptoms during pregnancy, it is probably because her body was using placental progesterone which is made in high amounts during pregnancy. Improved symptoms during gestation is usually indicative of low progesterone.

    If you would like clinical confirmation you will need to get a estradiol (E2, oestradiol) and progesterone (P) test. When you are looking for a deficiency, you are looking for amounts, yes, but you must also check the ratio that the hormones exist in relation to one another. Dr. Lee said a progesterone to estradiol ratio is 200 to 300 to 1. This ratio is for saliva testing ONLY. If you do not have access to saliva testing you can try traditional blood plasma testing and see what your wife’s levels show. The baseline levels are different and your will need to check with your doctor.

    You must find a practitioner who can identify this imbalance and who knows how to correct. If you go in talking about the above information and they practitioner does not have experience correcting the imbalance, you can feel discouraged. Don’t– keep searching and looking until you find the assistance you need.

    Another indicator of progesterone/estradiol imbalance is an imbalance between FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (Luteinizing hormone). FSH and LH regulate the production of estrogen and progesterone so imbalances between the two usually means imbalances in the hormones they control. Any doctor should be able to measure FSH or LH and measuring them via blood, plasma is fine. If your wife has cysts on her ovaries, this is an indicator of irregular ovulation, which is indicative of low progesterone, since progesterone is made by the corpus luteum after ovulation.

    I suggest that you go over to the late Dr. Lee’s web page for more information, http://www.johnleemd.com and research the topic as much as possible through other blogs and books.

    I hope you find this information helpful. Please keep me posted on your wife’s recovery.

    Best regards,


  84. Missy Says:

    Hello. I’m writing this because my mother refuses to believe my hormones are whacking me inside out. She thinks I’m being obsessive about petty issues like dry skin and my flaky scalp that won’t stop itching and extreme period pain. Last year when I weighed around 55 kg, which is the least i have ever weighed I got blood tests done. After seeing how dismissive my mother was, I never even got my reports translated by a doc and have been facing stronger symptoms after a year where I weight much more, but still sometimes feel I don’t have strength, please help me out a little, I’m honestly at my wits end

    I’m 26, female

    Since around a year and half I’ve been noticing bodily changes, I just pinned them down to hormones even though they worried me at first. That is why i got a hormone test done last year and didn’t insist much on finding out the root problem because I was afraid my mother would get angry and irritated with my nagging. I got my hormone tests done in Pakistan and I was in a healthy BMI at that time, I have gained back weight now so I’m thinking of running another test with the doc. I noticed a bit of chin hair alongside some skin redness which I have never experienced before. I would notice a few spots before or after my period too. But now those symptoms have gone onto an extremely flaky scalp that even itches and feels tight, I try to oil it but I know there is an underlying reason and want to find it out. I also experience flaky eyebrows and facial redness. On top of that two weeks ago I experienced extreme and consistent pain in the left lower stomach even though I wasn’t going to get my period. And I got my period very soon this month. Apart from that I did notice hair thinning too but I thought maybe that’s hormones and testosterone levels being high. I have also experienced some joint pains especially in my knees and I feel tired and lazy easily than before. I do experience a lot of lows and mood change as well (I assumed it was the post-grad sadness or the family problems I was facing, I was even put on bipolar meds which I stopped since I knew that wasn’t the problem).

    I have a feeling it has something to do with an imbalance in my body but before I go for another round of tests, i was hoping someone could help me understand my lab reports from last year (since the doctors in my present community have been very dismissive and rude).

    I don’t know what the reports mean but I shall write down the results that I see in bold letters on the report. Also these tests were taken on my second day of my period cycle I think, and they told me not to eat anything before that. I have also had a PCOS ultrasound and its normal.

    PLEASE CAN SOMEONE READ THESE and help me understand whether it’s worth going for another round of expensive tests? Because the symptoms are ongoing.

    Serum TSH: 1.876 uIU/ml

    {Free Androgen Index Profile}
    Serum Testosterone: 27.39 ng/dl

    Serum FSH: 5.63 mIU/ml

    Serum LH: 3.70 mIU/ml

    Serum Insulin: 8.60 uU/ml

    Serum SHBG: 28.60nmol/L (26.1-110)
    S. Free Androgen Index: 3.33%

    Serum DHEA-SO4: 272.00 ug/dl (35-430)
    Serum 17-OH Progesterone 0.40 ng/ML

    Glucose fasting: 81 mg/dl

    Serum Testosterone: 57.89 ng/dl

    Serum Estradiol: 71.00 pg/ml

    Serum Progesterone: 0.60 ng/ml

  85. Doris Says:


    Hi Missy, I have been doing reserach on why your skin is flaky. If you have severely low progesterone, this can cause blood to leave your skin causing flakes and it can also cause an overactive immune system which can also cause flaky scalp. I hope this helps. 7/1/2014 Doris


    Hello Missy. Continue to listen to your body, it will never steer you wrong.

    I went online to see if I could find a chart that shows healthy ranges for all your levels and I found one. Please click here: http://www.fertilityplus.com/faq/hormonelevels.html. I found that all of your levels were within “normal” serum ranges; however your symptoms of itchy and flaky scalp, PMS, fatigue and weight gain are consistent with hormone imbalance.

    Dr. Lee stated that blood tests should not be used when measuring steroid, fat-based hormones such as Estradiol and Progesterone, because they do not mix well with our watery blood serum. He says for a more accurate view of your hormone health, saliva tests should be used. For more information on that topic, please click here: http://www.johnleemd.com/store/news_bhrt.html. The information on the flaws with serum testing is around the 7th or 8th paragraph.

    I understand how some physicians can be unsupportive. They are doing what they have been trained to do. Most physicians who are offering hormone therapy as a means to regulate mental health are doing something that is unconventional as most are not trained to practice this way.

    What will help you most is reading about your condition. I would read Dr. Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple and Dr. Shirley Bond’s Natural Progesterone. The more you understand how hormones can impact your mental health, the more confident you will be in choosing hormone balance as a treatment option.

    Do you have a menstrual cycle every month? If so, do you have severe PMS? Is your flow heavy or light? Do you get migraines? When were you diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

    In order for you to be physically and mentally healthy, you need ample amounts of progesterone and estrogen. The two balance each other. If your progesterone is low, estrogen becomes toxic and can cause mood, anxiety, fatigue and dry scalp problems.

    If you believe your progesterone is low, you can take about 40 to 60 mg (of the transdermal type) a day for the days you are not on your cycle. Once you have your cycle, see how your symptoms are. Then continue to take higher amounts until you can tapper down to about 20mg a day for the two weeks before our period. With progesterone, you want to take the lowest amount possible that will give you the results you desire. With hormone balance, you should notice a gradual improvement in your symptoms over time until they become undetectable. Here in the States we can buy progesterone without a prescription. Can you obtain progesterone without a prescription as well? If so, I suggest Source Natural’s Natural Progesterone Cream. It’s affordable and effective.

    To sum up all we have talked about, your symptoms are consistent with a hormone imbalance because we are finding the serum results of steroid hormones are not always reliable. Listen to your body, because it is telling you that something is wrong. Good luck to you and please let me know if you have any more questions. Best regards, Doris

  86. claire Says:

    Hi Doris,

    I have been treated for anxiety & depression since my teens,
    I’m now 34.

    Recently I went to my doctor about my heavy periods which were causing anemia.
    She immediately put me on a combination contraceptive and
    sent my body into, what I now know was, total estrogen overdose!

    I’m now of the belief that it was estrogen dominance that was causing
    my problems all along and that the pill sent my levels
    to toxic heights.

    I’ve ordered a product called “Progessence Plus “, known here in Australia as “Progessence Phyto Plus” & am praying it will help put an end to,what feels like, a total nightmare.

  87. Doris Says:

    Hello Claire,

    I can relate to your story 100%. Taking birth control pills can send you over the edge if you are already estrogen dominant. I am glad that you recognized this. I hope Progessence Plus works for you. I read that there is only 15mg of progesterone in the product per ounce. When you have estrogen dominance, you need to take a minimum of 60 mg of progesterone a day when you are starting progesterone therapy. Dr. Lee recommended taking this higher-than-normal dose to “catch your body up” from all the years it was not making adequate progesterone. Can you obtain a product that contains more progesterone?

    Source Natural’s “Natural Progesterone Cream” and Emerita’s “Progest,” are transdermal progesterone creams which contain 500mg and 400mg respectively per ounce. So a 4 ounce jar should last you for a few months once your levels are balanced.

    If you are unable to buy over the counter high concentration Progesterone creams in Australia, I suggest taking the oral progesterone pill Prometrium which is available by prescription only. Please let me know how Progessence works for you. I hope it works, but if it does not, do not be discouraged. More than likely the progesterone concentration is too low and you will need to explore one of the alternatives I listed above.

    Taking progesterone heals estrogen dominance and will restore your energy levels and your mental and physical health. You can recover. Good luck to you and let me know how everything goes.

    Kindest regards,

  88. Denise Says:

    Hi Doris,
    Finding your blog is a godsend to me. Recently I have been crying for no reason, suicidal and I’m sure my hormones are out of wack! I’m going to the doctor today for blood work to see if my hormones are out of sync. I’ve seen several doctors in the past begging them to check them, but they all tell me if my periods are normal, then my hormones should be okay (I’m 50). I finally found a doctor that see’s my problem. Fingers crossed we will get to the bottom of my problem. Otherwise, I feel I’m losing the battle, and I might not be on the Earth much longer. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who suffers with these problems. Thank you Doris from the bottom of my heart! God bless you!

  89. Doris Says:

    Hello Denise,

    Hang in there. You have made it the last 50 years, keep pressing until you get your hormones figured out. Your healing is right around the corner. Please read Dr. John Lee’s book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” where he explains how imbalances between estrogen and progesterone can make us mentally and physically sick. Estrogen by itself is not bad, but when it is not properly balanced by progesterone it is toxic. Your blood results can read “normal” with an imbalance, but Dr. Lee found this is because blood tests are not always the bests tests to use when measuring fat-based hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

    Please check out Dr. Lee’s web page for more information http://www.johnleemd.com. If you do not have access to his books you can find most information online for free. Good luck to you, there is a light at the end of this dark hormonal tunnel. I used to live there, but now I’m free. You can be too! Keep me posted. God bless you as you walk through your healing journey.

    Kindest regards,


  90. kendra Says:


    I came across this article as I was researching the link between bipolar and hormones. I’ve found to be similar to the original article posted and am too wondering if it’s my hormones causing my irrational thoughts. I have been on birth control (tri cyclen low) for 8 1/2 years now. Before I went on them I never really had any suicidal thoughts, jealousy reactions etc. I mean there was a lot going on just prior to being put on birth control. I had an abortion a month or two (honestly don’t remember how many months but it wasn’t too long before) I did switch types I think once or twice in the 8 years to save money as it is expensive without insurance. Unfortunately I got sick from the cheaper ones which they also tried giving me a higher dosage of hormones but like I said I was getting sick so I was put back on what I am currently using. My question is how to tell if it’s hormonal imbalance causing my illness? I should also say that I’ve been mentally and emotionally abused by ex boyfriends and was a victim of bullying my entire life starting at the age of 7. The father of the unborn child I feel did cause the most dramatic pain as far as trust issues and my thought process. People think I’m crazy saying things but it’s only bc it happened to me. I’m confused as far as could it be hormones causing this terrible illness or is it some sort of postpartum depression that I have been diagnosed with since the abortion? I knew what I had to do, and feel like the abortion didn’t affect me as it does some others, but maybe it is and I just don’t recognize it with my own eyes. I do have an appointment set to to see a psychiatrist, but was looking to get other opinions. Thank you so much for this article. I’m sick tired being emotionally drained and tired and causing hell in my relationships.

  91. Doris Says:

    Kendra, you are a brave woman. After reading your comment, I have a few questions for you. Is there a history of mental illness or depression in your family? Do you recall having any mental health issues before you started birth control pills or before you had your abortion?

    Hormone based mental illnesses are genetic. This is why I asked if you have any family members who have mental or mood disorders. If you have an untreated hormone imbalance and then start birth control pills and experience an abortion, those things may not have caused your mood issues, they may simply expose it.

    There are women who have no prior mental health issues and mental illness does not run in their family who develop depression after years of birth control pills. Birth control pills can cause women who are otherwise healthy, become very unhealthy due to the synthetic hormones being placed in the body with these pills. Yes, birth control pills are convenient and somewhat inexpensive, but they can carry step penalties. Birth control pills not only regulate our fertility, but they also influence mental health, because the hormones, estradiol and progesterone, control nerve cell communication in the brain. One concern I have with birth control pills is the hormones in the pills are not identical to the hormones made by our ovaries, so we have to wonder what message are these synthetic hormones sending to our body organs and tissues and what does that mean in terms of symptoms?

    The emotional impact that comes from an abortion traumatizes many women and men for years as they think about their unborn child. I think it would be great if you can talk to a trusted counselor who can help you sort through your feelings to see if your abortion is having an impact on your mood. From a biological standpoint, I’m not sure what the body does after an abortion. I know there are hormonal changes during pregnancy, but I’m not sure what changes occur when the pregnancy ends mid-pregnancy whether through abortion or miscarriage. I will research the topic and if I find anything new I will post it to the blog.

    Lastly, going to a psychiatrist will help you to determine if you have a mental illness; however, many psychiatrists have not been trained to use hormone balance as a treatment option to treat mood disorders. Visit your psychiatrist and see what services they are able to provide. If they do not specialize in hormone balance, you may need to contact an OB/GYN, endocrinologist or family doctor. The specialty is not important, what’s important it that they understand the importance of hormone balance to mental and physical health, they recognize it when they see it and they know how to correct it. For tips on finding a doctor, contact your local compounding pharmacy and read my posts here: update.dorisking.net/?s=finding+a+doctor.

    Keep me posted Kendra. You are on the right path. You can get well and soon! Best regards, Doris

  92. kendra Says:

    I do not have any previous family background….so as far as running in the family I’ll never know. I think I may have had some suicidal thoughts a couple times prior to birth control pills. But from what I can recall they weren’t as dramatic as when I have had those thoughts more recently. But hopefully the psychiatrist on the 19th will be more helpful as far as trying to figure out if it’s a mental illness or possible hormone imbalance.

  93. Doris Says:

    Hello Kendra,

    Since you do not have a family history of mental illness, I would stop taking the birth control pills immediately if you haven’t already. Then I would take transdermal progesterone cream for the two weeks before you menses starts. Please let me know what you find out from your doctor. All the best, Doris

  94. Mindee Says:

    Everything in your post could have been written in first person by me. You may have just saved my life. .. And I don’t say that lightly. Thank you.

  95. Doris Says:

    Hello Mindee,

    You’re welcome! I’m glad you have found someone else you can relate to. Mental illness can feel so lonely. I hope your health will be restored soon. Keep me posted! Doris

  96. Megan Says:

    Hi Doris,

    I am so so glad that I stumbled across your site while doing my own research on hormonal imbalances. What causes them, how you can fix them etc.

    I am CONVINCED i have a hormonal imbalance and that this has been my problem all along.

    So here’s my story.

    Last year march 19 2013 i went to my ob gyn to have the mirena IUD inserted. The very next day all of a sudden I became berry very irritated. I had never felt like this in my life. I couldn’t stand to be around my children so as soon as their dad got home I locked myself in my room and just laid there on my bed with what felt like hallucinations, intrusive thoughts and just plain horrible anxiety. I realize now that what I think was happening was my first panic attack. After a few hours or so I felt okay again. But later that night when my fiancé and I laid in bed he was sound asleep and I could not for the life of me even begin to settle down and sleep. finally after a couple hours I fell asleep and when I awoke in the morning I called my friend to tell her about my horrific experience. As I was talking to her I felt my heart begin to race and felt a little short of breath also. I was so scared. I called 911 and my neighbor watched over my children until a family member came and got them. As soon as I got into the ER things seemed to get worse and the look of worry on the nurses faces totally freaked me out, my heart rate was between 140-150 and I almost passed out. They gave me some oxygen and ativan through my iv and did an EKG just to be safe. All was fine and about an hour and a half later I was released. The doctor told me to lay off the caffeine for he thought I couldn’t handle stimulants…..hmmm thought that was pretty funny because I had always drank soda, and occasionally energy drinks and iced coffee, never had any problems before. Time went on and some days I just thought somethin was truly wrong with my health. I started having memory problems, speech problems (almost like I couldn’t spit out what I was trying to say, anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, nausea, depression, and foggy brain… So one day I randomly woke up and thought maybe my birth control is the cause of all these problems because I had never ever experienced them in my life until then. Occasionally I would get a bit of anxiety (but for good reason) and I’ve had times in my life where I’ve felt down but I’m not so sure if I was really depressed, I never thought about taking my own life just to end all these things I was feeling. So I went back to my ob gyn and demanded it be removed, so she did and wished me luck. After the removal of the mirena I still suffered from the nasty symptoms, I saw doctors about my anxiety and was prescribed ativan for when I felt like I was having horrible anxiety “attacks”..about a month later I went to a new doctor who says I was depressed and had anxiety of course and put me on lexapro for both.. At first I felt like things just got way worse. And then I learned I was pregnant…….but still continued taking lexapro. Finally about three months after finding out I was pregnant I kinda felt better except the brain fog was still there most of the time and I never had any energy at all. Anywho fast forward to march of this year I gave birth to my 5th baby boy and things continued to feel about the same as they had been, had a little case of the baby blues but that passed. Around may when I moved back in with my fiancé into a new place I felt like march 2013 was repeating itself, depression, anxiety, no energy, always tired, craved sweets like crazy like I was still pregnant(sometimes in the middle of the night while making a trip to the kitchen to make a bottle for the baby I would find myself eating a handful of cookies, a donut, or muffin pretty much in my sleep but I felt like I had to have it) and being really nauseous I decided to go see my doctor again he upped my dose of lexapro said I should feel better in a couple weeks, WRONG. one week later I decided to go back in there because I was feeling worse than I did before. So he switched me to effexor 75mg and said see you back in a month, I felt like it started helping a little (with depression not so much anxiety) so at my next visit about a month ago he put me on 150mg effexor. To tell you the truth I really don’t feel much better at all and at that last visit I brought up thinking my hormones may be imbalanced and he said he didn’t really think so but to see my ob gyn to get on the pill to balance them out so I did and now I’ve been taking ortho tricyclen(misspelled probably) for a week but I think I may be even more irritable then before, everything pisses me off so easily even sounds, I can’t stand my fiancé or my kids, I lay in bed all freaking day because I have no energy and am always tired plus the anxiety, I also forgot to mention earlier the night sweats and hot flashes (I can get them from vacuuming) and now I’ve been waking up during the night a few times and can’t fall back to sleep and when I finally do my kids wake me up shortly after and I’m just exhausted all over again no matter what time I go to bed. This really really sucks!! All I want is to feel normal again and be a good mom and spouse and wanna do fun things like we used to, not lay in bed all damn summer. I also feel like I’ve become very distant with friends and family and I hate it but I just can’t stand the anxiety, brain fog and no energy are the things I hate the most. Most days I don’t even really feel like showering anymore. I used to like doing my hair and make up for my man even though all I do is stay home with the kids but now I don’t even wanna get dressed hardly ever, ooh and by the way at my last doctor visit August 6 they did do blood work to check my thyroid and all that and it came back normal. Do you think I have a hormonal imbalance?? What should I do? I’m going crazy here!

  97. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have a hormone imbalance and this is why you are experiencing so many undesirable symptoms. The Mirena that you are taking is a progestin, which means that it is a synthetic progesterone. Synthetic progesterones are NOT identical to the progesterone that are bodies make. Anytime we introduce synthetic hormones to our body, there are ALWAYS side effects, because these chemicals are not natural to our bodies. Many of them are toxic. My question for you is, did you have mental health issues before the Mirena? If so, the Mirena could have worsened an underlying hormone imbalance and by taking the Mirena you crossed a threshold where your symptoms appeared. If you have no history of mental health problems prior to the Mirena, this means the Mirena, caused the hormone imbalance. Regardless of the cause, hormone imbalances can be fixed.

    If your hormone imbalance is between estrogen and progesterone, meaning your progesterone is low in relation to your estrogen, taking progesterone will correct this imbalance! Taking birth control pills, like orthotricylcin, worsens this imbalance, because it adds estrogen to already toxic levels caused by the low progesterone. When progesterone is low, you are left feeling the full effects of estrogen which causes foggy thinking, depression, weight gain, uncontrollable crying, anxiety, panic attacks, painful joints etc. So how do you fix this???

    You should stop taing the birth control pills and you will have to explore a non-hormonal contraceptive option, i.e., the rhythm method/condoms or another method that your doctor may be aware of that does not involve hormones. Eat a plant based diet, meaning eat lots of vegetables, beans, whole grains, protein, eat a variety so that you are getting all of your essential vitamins. And then you need to take the hormone that your body is deficient in. If you need progesterone, be sure to take the bioidentical-natural version of the hormone. Bioidentical/natural means its identical to the progesterone made by our body in our ovaries.

    Bioidentical natural progesterone is available over the counter and by prescription. By prescription, you can only get it in the pill form and its called Prometrium. If you need high amounts of progesterone the pill form may not be adequate and you may find better relief using a transdermal progesterone cream which can be purchased over the counter at stores like Amazon.com: Click Here for Source Naturals Progesterone Cream or you can get a prescription from your doctor and take it to a compounding pharmacy and get your progesterone that way. Progesterone creams bypass the digestive channels so you get higher amounts than the pill which is digested.

    DO NOT listen to your body when it tells you that you are a loser or that you should kill yourself, these symptoms are the result of the chemical imbalance that is in your brain that was brought on by the Mirena. Once your hormone levels are back to healthy, physiological levels, you should experience stable moods and emotions again. The medical community is starting to realize that our hormones have roles that extend far beyond fertility. As a result, the way we treat contraception has to change, because our mental and physical health depends on it! You can make it through this. Hormone balance works!

    Keep me posted! Doris

  98. Megan Says:

    Also I saw you mention before once you start taking pills or using progesterone cream that you will feel worse before you feel better. What exactly did you mean by that? Will the anxiety, fatigue, irritability get worse? (that would be scary!) And how long will you feel”worse”…sorry this has been a living Hell and I’ve been so anxiously awaiting your reply. Again I am so glad I came across this site. can’t wait to hear back from you!


  99. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    I apologize for my late reply! When you have a severe hormone imbalance, such as low progesterone, once your body is introduced to progesterone (through supplementation), your body has to “adjust” to receiving adequate amounts. Unfortunately this adjustment comes in the form of symptoms. It’s short lived. For me, it was less than two weeks. Anytime there is a hormonal shift, we feel it. It’s nothing to be terrified of, but something to be aware of, so that if it happens you will not give up hope and you will continue with treatment. I hope this helps! Doris

  100. Megan Says:

    Thank you so much for your reply. And to answer your question, no, I didn’t really have any mental health issues before the mirena. I would have times where I felt down as everyone does from time to time and also get “the winter blues” but that’s about it. And only experienced anxiety in my life just a handful of times before it. The day after I got the mirena I experienced my first.panic attack. I stopped taking the pill last week. I think my fiancé thinks I’m crazy for it but I’m trying to explain to him how I feel. We’ve been having a lot of relationship issues lately because of it I think and him being stressed for a couple other different reasons. So you have to purchase the cream online? Thanks again I was so happy to see you replied back. I checked every day lol

  101. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    It sounds like the Mirena caused your hormone imbalance so now, your body needs to get back to where it was before you started that particular birth control. Progesterone can be purchased over the counter at Amazon.com, Emerita’s Pro-Gest and Source Natural’s Natural Progesterone Creams are good ones. Birth control pills make hormone imbalances worse. You can give the progesterone a try. Its affordable. If you notice an improvement in your symptoms on the cream, continue to use it until you reach optimal health. Please let me know how everything works out for you. Once you are healthy, things will get better with your relationships. Its very difficult to explain mental symptoms to others because they have no way to relate. Once you are back to your “healthy” self again, your husband may be able to better understand or empathize with you! Hang in there! Things are going to get better. Good luck to you!! Doris

  102. Megan Says:

    Little bit of an update…saw my ob gyn today for my annual and thought I was going to get my hormones checked but he said since my periods aren’t irregular my hormones aren’t imbalanced. And says I’m just stressed and to take vitamin b6, exercise, and try to get a break from my kids whenever I can. Idk what to so anymore :( he also wrote me a prescription for another birth control pill …ugh…didn’t seem like he really wanted to listen to me and rushed out the door.. Idk if I should trust my gut and just get the progesterone cream to try…what’s the worst that could happen? Blah the worst symptom I have that bothers me the most us brain fog…anyone else have this??

  103. Doris Says:

    Hi Megan,

    You can have a ‘regular period’ and still have hormone imbalance. Research the term ‘luteal phase defect’ (LPD) or ‘luteal insufficiency.’ During LPD, one can ovulate, have a ‘regular period’ every month and still produce inadequate amounts of progesterone every month and therefore have an imbalance. If you have low progesterone and you take birth control pills, you will only feel worse. Please read Dr. John Lee’s books, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” and “What Your Doctor Did Not Tell You About Menopause.” If you read these books, I believe you will have the confidence you need to take progesterone and seek out those physicians who are able to treat this specific and easily managed condition. You can do this, you can feel better!

    Keep me posted. Doris

  104. Sue Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. And what a ride you’ve had! You must have so much empathy and sympathy for people with mental illness now. So glad to hear you are out the other side.

    Though I don’t have bipolar I can relate a lot to what you say. I’m approaching menopause so my symptoms, which have been in evidence depending on which ones you look at for 30 years or 10, hehe, have really ramped up. So it’s back on the progesterone cream for me in a few days. I’m looking forward to it.

  105. Doris Says:

    Hello Sue,

    Thanks for writing! Yes, progesterone helps during menopause as levels usually decline during that time. Drinking extra water helps because progesterone is catabolic, meaning it is used to break down things in the body. The body uses water to break down larger molecules, so drinking water while on progesterone definitely helps! Good luck to you! Keep me posted! Doris

  106. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Doris – I was just diagnosed with PCOS even though I have a regular period, and I start progesterone cream in a week (thankfully I have a holistic doctor who also has PCOS – she costs a fortune but it’s worth it). How long does the cream take to take effect? I am still managing my depression/anxiety with Lexapro but I hate the side effects and hope to give it up for good. Also, I am very sensitive to medicine and wonder if I will be overly sensitive to the progesterone as well. Thanks for this website – it gives me hope!

  107. Doris Says:

    Hello Jennifer,

    You are very fortunate to have a holistic doctor. Having access to this information when I was first diagnosed with PCOS would have saved me a lot of heartache. Looking back, I’m glad I suffered because now I care so much about those who are sick, enough to want to do something about it. When I first starting progesterone therapy, I could feel the effects within days. All of my symptoms did not go away immediately; instead, I noticed a gradual improvement in my symptoms over time until they disappeared. The transdermal progesterone cream is absorbed in through the skin and carried by our capillaries to wherever it is needed in the body and you can feel its effect is almost instantly.

    Be sure to drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet and get adequate rest on this medication, in order to get the maximum benefit. In regards to you being sensitive to medicine. I am also, I am not sure if this is linked to my hormones. What has helped me is taking an aspirin with the cream, ask your doctor if this will work for you. Please keep me posted on how everything works out.

    I wish you the very best! Doris

  108. Jennifer Says:

    Thank you Doris! I appreciate the information. How long have you been using the cream? I’ve read it can build up in your fatty tissue and have side effects that are just as bad so that has made me a little nervous.

  109. Doris Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I heard progesterone cream can build up in the skin with gross overdose. If you take it as needed you should be fine. I stopped taking progesterone for a while because of this concern and my symptoms returned. I will look more into this topic and then create a post regarding it. Thanks for bringing this topic back to my attention. Doris

  110. Sue Says:

    Hi Doris

    I wrote back there ^ in October about returning to progesterone cream. It’s been about three weeks and many of my symptoms have diminished. No more hot flushes, night sweats, my anxiety and depression are lessening (though still there but hey, not feeling suicidal anymore and my paranoia is less too). I have experienced estrogen dominance symptoms like bloating, eyes which watered constantly for a week, etc but these seem to be starting to diminish. I made the decision to dose according to symptoms which for me has worked out at 500mg a day. I’m going to go through a cycle and then see how I feel about beginning to slowly taper the dose back.

    I feel like I have myself back. Lots of symptoms still, and still have chronic farther syndrome but have seen a lessening of fatigue as well (not as much as I’d like but I guess we will wait and see. It hasn’t been long, and my body has been in this pattern for years and years).

    Will never stop taking progesterone now :)

  111. Doris Says:

    Hello Sue!

    Thank you for giving us an update. It is good for others to hear that I’m not the only person who is getting great results with progesterone. Like you, I took a break from progesterone once and my symptoms returned. I do not want to go through that again. It sounds like you have a good handle on things and that you are on the mend. Good for you! What country are you in? How were you able to find a doctor to help you?

    Keep in touch, Doris

  112. Jessica Says:

    Hi Doris,

    My name is Jessica and I am reaching out to you for help, advice, anything you are willing to offer. Here is my story:
    I used to be a happy, energetic, smart young woman. I am married, my husband and we have 2 children. I had my son in July of 2011, my daughter came in December 2012. I never had any issues getting pregnant. After I had my daughter I started packing on weight. I had no idea why, especially considering the fact I was eating healthy and breastfeeding. I noticed after 3 months of having a newborn, I still felt drained. I was sleeping fine, why did I feel exhausted? My mood stated to become horrible, I noticed that even the littlest things would irritate me. I went to the Obgyn and she referred my to an endocrinologist. I remember asking the endocrinologist if I could have a hormone imbalance and she tired to make me feel like I was silly for asking. My problems were because I’m a mom to 2 young children and I just need to exercise more. She put me on metformin abd told me I have become insulin resistance, which is pre diabetes. I was shocked, why is all of this happening to me? So I tried following her recommendation to exercise more. Do you know how hard it is to try and exercise when you feel like you should be sleeping all day? My grandparents are in their mid 80’s and they take naps a few times a day in front of the tv. I am 26 and I feel like I could be their age because I want to take naps like them! I have no energy. I am always irritable so now I have been referred to a nurse at a psychiatrist office. First she told me I was depressed, because depression causes those symptoms. I tried 3 different drugs, Zoloft, paxil, and viibryd. None of them helped but actually made my irritability worse. Now she is trying to tell me that I have a bipolar disorder and she wore out a prescription for lamictal which can help stabilize moods. I was hurt when she said bipolar abdI was upset. I feel like no one wants to find out why all of this happened after I had children, but they will happily write prescriptions to try and help me cope with symptoms. I don’t want to take pills forever, I just want my old self back. I want to enjoy my life, my marriage, and my babies, and instead I’m moody and miserable. I also have difficulty concentrating, some days I feel like I have brain fog. I sadly have also gotten to the point where I know something is wrong with me and I think I’m dying of cancer or something horrible because of all these wacky things that are happening to me. Help

  113. Doris Says:

    Hello Jessica,

    Nice to meet you. Thank you for writing. Based on what you have told me it sounds that your hormones may be involved in your mental health symptoms because your symptoms appeared after childbirth. During pregnancy, there is an increase in the amount of estradiol and progesterone that your body makes. These hormones are necessary for childbirth, but they also have an influence on our mood, energy levels, anxiety regulation, metabolism–basically every system in our body. After pregnancy, some women’s hormones return to healthy levels and then there are some that experience an imbalance and their levels do not return to pre-pregnancy levels. When this happens horrible postpartum symptoms can appear. Estradiol in and of itself it not dangerous; however, when it is not properly balanced by progesterone, it becomes downright toxic. High estrogen in relation to progesterone can cause depression, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, anxiety problems, even blood sugar irregularities such as insulin resistance. If you want to know more of the physiology behind these conditions please let me know.

    Taking metformin and lamictal will only address the symptoms caused by the hormone imbalance, but they do not fix the imbalance. Taking those medications are like putting on a bandage and it sounds like you are interested in the underlying cause. Taking progesterone should hep you. Healthy premenopausal women typically make about 20 mg of progesterone a day for the two weeks following ovulation. So your supplementation should be similar to that. You can buy progesterone creams over the counter at stores like Amazon.com or at your local Whole Foods or health food store. I have only tried Source Natural’s Natural Progesterone Cream and Emerita’s ProGest. I prefer Source Natural’s Cream, but they are both effective. Find one that works for you. Hormones can be delivered through the skin. Do you remember when birth control pills came in the form of patches? Progesterone cream works in the same way as these patches by being absorbed through the skin. The cream is very effective. If you are taking birth control pills now, there is a chance that the estrogen in the pill may be making your symptoms worse. It’s not a good idea to take traditional birth control pills with this imbalance, you will need to explore non-hormonal birth control options until you get your hormones straightened out.

    The key to understanding this condition is knowing that estrogen and progesterone must exist within a certain ratio to one another and by taking progesterone you are restoring this healthy balance. I know what it feels like to feel like you are losing your mind because of your hormones and it is not fun. Please read Dr. Lee’s book “Hormone Balance Made Simple” (Grand Central Publishing, 2006). It will give you the confidence you need to take progesterone. You will need this confidence when you visit doctors who look at you like you are losing your mind when you mention hormone balance as a treatment option. You are not going to convince your doctor to change their approach to how they deal with these issues; they have to come to this conclusion on their own. What you need to do is find a physician who is aware of this condition and knows how to treat it and then move forward with them. You can recover from a hormone imbalance. Progesterone cream helps a lot. You can get through this. Let me know if you need more information and please keep in touch.

    Good luck to you! Doris

  114. Renae Says:

    Hello Doris,
    What a wonderful woman you are helping so many desperate people out there! I have experienced the last three years from hell. It began in late 2011 when I started feeling an inner fear and anxiety which I couldn’t shake- just to give you some background, I was 32 at the time, married with two children and ran a very large company, I head never experienced a moment of panic or anxiety previously except throughout my whole pregnancy with my youngest (born 2005) the pregnancy was horrific, I didn’t sleep, eat and was terrified constantly, my doc told me it was depression and tried putting me on anti depressants to which I refused as I knew in my heart once my baby was born I would return to normal as I did. Then in 2011 all these strange feelings of fear came back- it wasn’t anxiety to go out rather a pure internal fear like I was being internally tortured by something evil 24/7. I was told I had severe anxiety which I vehemently denied to which doctors continued referring me to phycs with no progress. Over a five month period I lost 20 kilos (which I didn’t need to loose) as the permanent fear sitting in my chest didn’t allow me to eat, I would spend days not speaking as words just couldn’t come out of my mouth, my mind raced with strange stories and images all the time doctors telling me I had severe anxiety. I was put on anti-dep, sleeping meds (as I didn’t sleep for that five months) and anti physcotics all of which made me worse. I was not suicidal but obsessed about killing myself constantly (I know that is contradictory but I believe you know what I mean) I couldn’t live with this inner agony and I also began hallucinating demonic images in my periphial vision which I would then stare at to define the correct image- in short I was going insane which destroyed the perfect life I had been living previously. One particular day I had been detained in the physc ward in hospital due to my admission out of desperation when I had an EEG result read out to me telling me I had been having constant ongoing seizures into the “fear region” of my brain and I was to start taking epileptic meds. That was the first huge step in my on going recovery but my issue lies with the moment I get well again, I believe my hormones throw me straight back. I am estrogen dominant/ progestrogen low but my hormone specialist put me on DIM to rectify this- it has thrown me horrifically backwards and I’m an emotional wreck. He said he has used this for 15 years to counter est dom with great effects. Have you heard of DIM and what is your opinion of it? I also tried a marina which didn’t help but my confusion also lays with the fact that I first had these symptoms during pregnancy which is when your body is producing the most progesterone? I have horribly heavy painful periods with huge dark blood clots the size of eggs, I can feel them travelling down and have to rush to the toilet. I feel if I can get a grip on my estrogen, I can control my seizure effects greater as I’m sure you know, estrogen is a seizure provoker.
    Thanks so much for your time Doris

  115. Doris Says:

    Hello Renae,

    Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy that you have reached out to me. It sounds like you have a good understanding of hormones and how sick they can make you. If you are estrogen dominant which it sounds like you are, the most effective treatment for that is taking progesterone. Here in the United States we are able to obtain progesterone cream without prescription, do you have the same access to over the counter progesterone? I know the last time I checked progesterone was a prescription-only item in Australia. Are you close to this compounding pharmacy? MJ Health & Beauty, 103 Isabella St, Wingham, NSW, 2429, Australia, Ph: 1300 66 90 45, for pharmacy information, click here. If you are not close to them, hopefully they can refer you to a pharmacy near you.

    Now, in regards to the DIM you are taking. I have never taken DIM, but I read that it increases estrogen metabolism, which will definitely make you feel worse if you are already estrogen dominant. I’m not sure if DIM will improve the efficacy of progesterone, but it is not something I would take alone, because taking this supplement can never replace progesterone, because it’s not progesterone. Are you supplementing with any progesterone right now?

    When you said that you tried “Marina” are you talking about the intrauterine birth control system called “Mirena?” If you are, Mirena is made up of levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic form of progesterone also called a progestin. Talking a progestin such as levonorgestrel is not the same as taking progesterone. That is why your results from your Mirena were dismal. If you have not had this device removed already, now would be a good time and you should definitely give progesterone supplementation a try.

    Painful periods, blood clots, hallucinations, and thoughts of death and/or suicide are all indicative of a progesterone deficiency. You have all the classic symptoms. It sounds like your imbalance happened around pregnancy. During childbirth the placenta makes between 300 to 400 mg of progesterone a day in the last term. After childbirth placental progesterone production drops drastically and most women are left with a hormone imbalance. This is the cause of most postpartum depression. Most women with postpartum are usually told their symptoms are all in their head and given a prescription for an antidepressant, when progesterone would help them. Renae, it sounds like progesterone would help you. Find a practitioner in your area who can prescribe it for you and watch your symptoms. Your body will tell you if you need progesterone or not. If your body needs it, your symptoms will improve and disappear over time. Keep me posted and remember you can regain everything that has been lost once your health is restored!

    Good luck to you! Doris

  116. Kari Says:

    I’m wondering if I have that problem as well I’ve been dignosed with OCD intrusive thoughts I have bad anxiety has well my hair on my legs and armpit grow back so fast I’m always tired depressed don’t do anything can’t concentrate stressed out over little things get irritated so easily my hair falls out in the shower I get bad headaches and neck pain and back pain I wish I could know what cause these
    Horrible thoughts I’m terrified
    Of becoming a murder

  117. Doris Says:

    Hello Kari,

    Our hormones regulate how we experience anxiety; therefore, a hormone imbalance can lead to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder and other anxiety disorders. Your hirsutism or excessive hair growth may be caused by a hormone imbalance, genetics or a combination of both. I have hirsutism caused by a hormone imbalance. Hirsutism in women is often linked to high levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH). Elevated levels of LH are common in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Luteal Phase Defect (LDP). High LH causes an increase in the hormone androstenedione which leads to higher levels of testosterone and therefore excessive hair growth.

    Your headaches, back pains and terrible thoughts can be linked to a hormone imbalance, because our hormones influence all of these processes. If your symptoms are caused by low progesterone, taking progesterone will help you. Do you have access to a physician who can help you determine if your hormones are off balanced? Hormone imbalances can be corrected and your mental health can be restored, this will only come after you receive the proper care. Please let me know if you need assistance with finding a doctor in your area and do not try to handle the negative thoughts on your own. Hormone imbalances disrupt the nerve cell communication in our brains and causes insanity, which can lead us to do things that in our healthy states we would not do. You will not become a murderer because you are going to take care of your health. In case of an emergency call 911 or your local mental health crisis center, we don’t want you acting out on your thoughts leading you to do something that you regret.

    Please get treated as soon as possible and please follow up with me after you receive care! Doris

  118. Renae Says:

    Hello Doris,
    Thank you for your reply- yes I did start using bio-identical progesterone cream four days ago that I purchased from a compound chemist via prescription. The first day I used it, I felt amazing- tons of energy, happy, content, I even did an hours workout in the gym after work which is normally something I could never do. I felt as though I’d found a miracle cream but on day two my fatigue and uneasiness crept back in slightly and each day thereafter has only got worse. Have you heard of or experienced this yourself? I’m unsure whether to stop using it as I’m concerned it may be triggering of my seizures due to the disruption of hormones.
    Thank you so much for you time again.

  119. Doris Says:

    Hello Renea,

    Yes I have experienced ups and downs with progesterone supplementation. This is common. Taking progesterone is not a one-time quick fix. Most people who take progesterone actually feel worse, before they start feeling better because the body has to go through and “adjustment” phase where it is getting used to receiving the hormones in places where it may have been deficient in months or years even. The late Dr. John Lee gave a more scientific explanation for this phenomenon. He explained that progesterone increases the sensitivity of estrogen receptors. Since we know high estrogen causes undesirable symptoms, their increased sensitivity caused by your initial progesterone supplementation can cause estrogen dominance symptoms. You can lower your dose, but you should continue with therapy. Your body will work through the turbulence. Our diet, stress levels and so many other factors influence the efficacy of this hormone. I understand your concern about seizures being triggered, but your undesirable symptoms should be short lived.

    Keep me posted! Doris

  120. Kari Says:

    Hi Doris
    I do have a doctor and asked him to check my hormone and he said that there is no way to check? I’m on cipralex/lexapro which is easier for me to brush off the thoughts also I have sever generalized anxiety disorder but I’m not always worrying so I’m seeing another doctor Wednesday

  121. Doris Says:

    Hello Kari,

    I apologize for my late reply. Hormones are best checked through a blood spot test or saliva testing. I prefer blood spot testing because it is easier to administer. In blood spot testing, your finger is pricked and the technician is able to draw your capillary blood. Capillary blood carries biologically active levels of progesterone and estrogen (the amounts available to your tissues) and therefore is very useful. Saliva testing can take a while to collect if you are dehydrated and then there are neater ways to get the information so I think blood spot testing is the way to go. Blood plasma testing is not usually effective when measuring progesterone and estrogen, but it is very useful when measuring your follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. Imbalances in FSH and LH are usually good indicators that your hormones levels are off and this is a test that any physician can do. Unfortunately finding a doctor to prescribe progesterone to treat mood disorders is not that simple, because this type of treatment is still considered alternative and has not made its way into conventional practice just yet, but I assure you, it will soon be the standard. How did you other doctor’s appointment go? Doris

  122. Sam Says:

    Hi Doris
    I have just come across your blog. I have been dealing with Anxiety mostly bringing on depression over the last nearly 20 years I have been on AD for almost 15 years. I also have PCO, but have been told I don’t have the syndromd although I am not so sure. Since having 2 children my PMS is getting worse I went off AD 4 mths ago and did ok for nearly 40 days, then had a nervous breakdown and am now back trying to adjust to the medication and having lots of ups and downs.Today I went and had the blood test for the tests you have suggested. I’d like to have a saliva test too but need to research where I can get that done. My results for the blood tests will be ready in 5 days. Im having a low couple of days right now as my period is due in a couple of days, Im so tired of this. What are your thoughts, your story is amazing and I have always thought I have had hormonal issues but the only thing a Doc suggested was contraceptive pill, I started it but go more anxiety so decided to quit it. Look forward to hearing from you.

  123. Doris Says:

    Hello Sam,

    Having PCOS is a clear indicator that your hormones are off balanced. It is after ovulation that progesterone is made. Progesterone is made for the potential pregnancy, but it is also made for our mental health. So inadequate progesterone can not only cause fertility issues, but also mental health issues. PMS is also indicative of hormone imbalance. PMS usually occurs the two weeks before the period which is the time that progesterone levels are supposed to increase, but if you have not ovulated, you are left to feel the full effects of estrogen which is very painful emotionally and can also lead anxiety/nervousness issues. So how do you fix this? You take progesterone. Taking birth control pills will only make your symptoms worse. Birth control pills contain synthetic versions of estrogen (which you do not need more of) and synthetic versions of progesterone called progestins. When you need progesterone its best to take the kind that is identical to the progesterone made by the body. What type of blood tests did you take? Blood tests are good for measuring luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. Blood plasma tests do not also give us the full picture of what our hormone levels actually are. If you had a plasma test, do not worry about it. Wait and see what your results say. When I started progesterone I did not take any tests. I went off of the number of symptoms I had which included PMDD, cystic breasts and ovaries, migraines, anxiety, digestive problems and on and on. It was obvious that I had a progesterone deficiency because of all the months of failed ovulation brought on by my PCOS. Dr. Micheal Platt told me that tests do not always pick up the most severe deficiencies at that symptoms based treatment is usually best and most effective for severe cases. For more information about symptoms associated with low progesterone levels please click here to go to Dr. Lee’s web page. This was the same list I used. Please keep me posted. I know it may seem that your life is spiraling out of control especially after a nervous breakdown. I have had several of them and it is not fun. The best you can do is relax, breathe deeply and try to do things you enjoy as your body heals. Keep me posted. Doris

  124. Vanessa Says:

    Hello there,

    I am so happy that I found your blog. For a long time I have always been a happy person but after conceiving, carry and giving birth to my son my life suddenly hit a wall. Many people were convinced I had postpartum, but when I got treated and still had the same symptoms it suddenly changed to I have depression. However, after being treated for that others began to think I had bipolar. I am the type of person who has had to suffer more than any one person should in one lifetime but still I have always been able to overcome everything with a smile on my face. Now, not so much. All of the symptoms you describe I empathize with because I am feeling them too. I’ve done research on hormone imbalance and believe that may be the issue (I’ve been thinking this since my son son was born). Again I am glad I found your blog because now I think I can begin helping myself the right way this time. I will check out this book to see how it can possibly help me. Keep up the great work and keep inspiring people :)

  125. Doris Says:

    Hello Vanessa,

    I am glad you found my blog too. Postpartum depression, clinical depression, PMS, PMDD, bipolar disorder and other mood and anxiety problems can all stem from a hormone imbalance. During your last trimester, Dr. Lee says that the placenta can make up to 300 to 400 mg of progesterone a day, estrogen levels also increase during this time. It would be great if our hormone levels magically went back into place after childbirth, but that is not always the case. Often times, the body continues to produce higher amounts of estrogen when progesterone levels decrease drastically. Many women who experience postpartum depression feel better after taking progesterone cream. There is no antidepressant that can take progesterone’s place, when a deficient hormone is the source of the undesirable symptoms. Thank you so much for stopping by. I am elated that we live during a time where so much is known about hormone imbalances that previous generations did not know about. Our poor mothers and grandmothers had to suffer through these feelings and they had no idea what was going on. Keep me posted on your treatment so that I can share with the blog.

    Kindest regards, Doris

  126. Kimberly Says:

    I don’t have the energy today to write my story, buthave dr appt and will demand my gp check my hormone. I’ve asked him to many times. I came across your story and the ghosts was me as I read more your story was my life except suffered severe whiplash and had neck surgery and have been in worse shape ever since. Im bathing maybe twice month going through nervous breakdown, main reason for Dr appt.I have go but will return with life story as soon as I can. Thank you and God for finding your story.

  127. Doris Says:

    Hello Kimberly,

    God bless you! Your doctor’s unwillingness to test your hormones may stem from the fact that he may not know what to do if your levels come back deficient. I had doctors who I thought were being unhelpful, when in reality they had no idea what I was talking about. They didn’t learn in medical school that hormones could make you so sick. Is there any way that you can be referred to a specialist who specializes in progesterone deficiencies? Because if you go to anyone else, you may leave the doctor’s office feeling discouraged. Listen to your body, if your body is telling you that your hormones are off balanced, there is a good chance that they are. Keep me posted.

    Best regards, Doris

  128. Sam Says:

    Hi Doris
    I went and saw a naturopath yesterday and she confirmed I had low progesterone I mentioned the cream but she insisted I take Progestalift, and some other hormonal mixture, some neuro calm, magnesium stuff and couple of other things. I just got my period today and am still feeling very low despite the fact that I am also on an antidepressant but it doesn’t seem to have fully taken effect. Im really scared I have been up and down the last 3 mths. I have ordered a bio identical cream online, which is the best you suggest. I just want to get back to myself and enjoy living again. Thanks for your support

  129. Doris Says:

    Hello Sam,

    This is great news. I’m happy your naturopath was able to confirm that your progesterone levels are low. This means that you can move forward with getting your levels higher and experience relief. I have never used Progestalift before, but I read an information pamphlet found here that says Progestalift is made up of extracts and herbs such as chaste tree and parsley and they work to restore progesterone levels by preventing prolactin excess. Are you going to take the Progestalift with progesterone? What is in the hormonal mixture? If you are able to restore your progesterone levels by other natural means, that is wonderful. Please keep me posted on your treatment goes. I wish you the very best! Doris

  130. Sam Says:

    Hi Doris
    I mentioned the bio identical cream to her but she shrugged her shoulders and said the cream can cause all sorts of problems. Im not sure what to do or think.I have ordered a cream on line

  131. Doris Says:

    Hello Sam,

    You should follow the advice of your doctor. See how you feel in a few months and then go from there. The bottom line is you want your progesterone restored. If your supplement can do that, that’s all you need. Please let me know how everything works out. Doris

  132. Sam Says:

    I ordered from biovera .com

  133. Doris Says:

    Hello Sam,

    Your progesterone cream should contain 450-500 mg of progesterone per ounce. When your cream contains this amount, each dose delivered will be between 20-25 mg of progesterone which is equal to the amount made by the ovaries after ovulation. For more information click here. Keep me posted on how everything goes. Doris

  134. Amee Says:

    Hey Doris,
    I am “bipolar”…it has been mentioned to me that I could just have a hormone imbalance. How do you know how much and which hormone to take and is it safe to take while on bipolar meds? I would love to ween off all these crazy meds…..

  135. Doris Says:

    Hello Amee,

    A hormone imbalance between estradiol (a type of estrogen) and progesterone can cause bipolar disorder symptoms. There are many things that can cause this imbalance. You will have to look at your medical history and/or take tests to determine if your hormones are the source of your bipolar disorder.

    High estrogen, also called estrogen dominance can cause bipolar symptoms, postpartum depression, clinical depression, PMS, PMDD, chronic fatigue, headaches, autoimmune problems, thyroid dysfunction, OCD and several other disorders.

    What causes this high estrogen? High estrogen can be caused by: 1. Taking more estrogen than your body needs (such as through birth control pills). 2. Failing to produce adequate progesterone after ovulation (aka Luteal Phase Defect or LPD). 3. Not ovulating regularly (which can be caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome also called PCOS). 4. After childbirth, your hormones do not stabilize. 5. Or finally being subjected to so much stress that your menstrual cycle is interrupted and you fail to ovulate for several months and therefore produce inadequate progesterone for several months, because progesterone is made after ovulation.
    How do you fix this? If you are taking estrogen, through birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, chances are the estrogen is making your symptoms worse. See if you can talk to your doctor about non-hormonal birth control options or if you are taking estrogen by itself, see if you are able to get off the estrogen and take progesterone only.

    The final answer to fixing low progesterone is to supplement with progesterone. The healthy woman makes 20 to 25 mg of progesterone a day after ovulation. So your supplementation will look like this—20 to 25 mg a day for the two weeks before your period, a health physiological amount. If your progesterone levels are very low, your doctor may prescribe higher amounts than this to “catch your body up,” but once your levels are restored, 20 to 25 mg should be sufficient.

    Unfortunately, if you go to your psychiatrist to have them test your hormones, most will not know what you are talking about. You can visit your ob-gyn and see if they are able to detect the imbalance. Sometimes the standard blood plasma tests are unable to pick up estradiol/progesterone imbalances, if this is the case, you can measure you luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels which are effectively measured through blood plasma. Imbalances between LH and FSH are usually indicative of an imbalance between progesterone and estradiol and every obgyn knows how to measure these levels and tell you whether or not there is an imbalance.

    It is safe take progesterone with bipolar medications. Taking progesterone should reduce your need for medication. As you feel better, ask your prescribing doctor to lower your bipolar medications. Hormone-based bipolar disorders can be managed by correcting the underlying hormone imbalance, which is usually low progesterone. I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, please let me know. Doris

  136. Ellie Says:

    Hi, Doris.

    First of all I want to say big big thank you for your help from all of us. I think you are doing awesome job by helping people with your advice and I admire your strength. All the things you’ve been through and stayed strong and survived.

    I’ve been reading your blog over and over and relating to a lot of stories but as we all are different, I would like to tell you my story. Maybe it can help somebody else.

    It’s December of 2014 now. So in January of 2014 I stopped taking my TB medicine ( they found a dorment bacteria). I was taking it for 9 months. Its pretty much antibiotics I was taking for 9 months, they gave me extra vitamin B6 because my medicine supposely was draining a lot of vitamin B6.

    Meantime I’ve been taking birthcontrol pills for 6 years. They are called Cilest with ethinylestradiol 250 microgram and norgestimate 35 micrograms. Used it for years and never had any problems. They stopped making them in April of 2014 so I had to switch. Talked to my dactor and she gave me pills names Jeanine with Dienogest 2000 micrograms and ethinylestradiol 30 micrograms ( just copied what it said on the boxes). Everything seemed fine but then in June of 2014 I missed my first period. I was excersising very hard then and figured that must be the reason. No big deal. Next month ( july ) missed it again and right after I had my first panic attack. It scared me to death and I didn’t understand what was happening to me because it never happened to me before but then it kind of got better ( but I still wasn’t 100% me) and then till Septemeber everything was more or less fine ( still was feeling like something wasn’t right) and then one day just from nowhere I had another panick attack. My mind was spinning 200 miles an hour my body was skaking from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. I felt like I was loosing my mind. I cried every few hours. I felt like I was going insane. My husband got very scared. We’ ve been together for 8 years and usually I’m very stable and strong and there I was falling apart in front of his eyes. And ofcourse I was scared to death because we have a six year old and I’m loosing it. He called holistic doctor. Went there in end of September, did my analysis. Results came back. He sat down looked at me and said – I dont know how you even walk and talk and look ok. ( I felt like I was far away from being ok). I have been doing this job for 30 years and I have never seen so severe magnesium defficiency. He put me on bunch of pills. So I have been on Magnesium for 2 months. A lot of my physical bad feelings are gone. Even afer six months of missing my period it came back in Novemember ( But I have to tell you and that in October I stopped birth control all together because I started to think that switching pills caused me miss my periods)..but there comes my biggest issue. My mind still is spinning 200 miles an hour. Anxiety comes from nowhere. I know that something is not right. Its not me in my body. When I had my period in November I was fine for about one week and I thougt to myself. Thats it, I am back to normal, no bad thoughts, no bad feelings, life is wondefull again. Yeah right… About ten days after end of my period, here I am again. Miserable as can be. Some days are better, some are worse. Body tension, emotional mess. I mean the variety of emotions I am going through..you name it and they are there plus my memory is harly there ( I think I forgot to mension that i am 29 years old), I am getting annoyed abot thing that never used to bother me. I still have my crying spelles out of nowhere and for no reason. Some days I feel like I am just watching things from side, like its not me being there and doing things. The only thing that help me survive these insane mood swings are my husband and my son. I know that I have to be strong and at some point this will stop and I have been doing a lot of yoga but I still hate the way I feel and deep inside I strongly believe that my hormones are gone insane. Between switching my pills, magnesium defiecency and the stopping the birthcontrol pills.. I guess my body and mind are in shock. Doris, plesase, if you have any idea what could be happening with me, I would appreciate it so so much. I just want to get my life back.

  137. Doris Says:

    Hello Ellie,

    Thank you for your kind words. It is my pleasure to help.

    Based on what you have told me, it appears that you have a hormone imbalance and that your hormones are causing your emotional, anxiety and memory problems. It is not healthy to go six months without having a period. The number one cause of absent periods is failed ovulation or inadequate progesterone production after ovulation. So how do you fix this? You take the progesterone that your body should have produced after ovulation. Healthy, premenopausal women normally produce 20 to 25 milligrams (20,000 to 25,000 mcg) of progesterone a day for the two weeks after ovulation. When I say progesterone, I am talking about the actual hormone that the ovaries produce, not the synthetic versions found in most birth control pills.

    When you said, “Between switching my pills, magnesium deficiency and the stopping the birth control pills. I guess my body and mind are in shock,” you are correct. I noticed that your Cilest contained nearly ten times more ethinylestradiol than the Jeanine. Cilest has 250 mcg of ethinylestradiol and Jeanine contains 30 mcg of ethinylestradiol. Also the pills contain very different amounts of synthetic progestins. Cilest has 35 mcg of norgestimate and Jeanine has 2000 mcg of Dienogest, which means Jeanine has nearly 60 times more progestin the than your previous pill. I’m certain your body and hormone receptors were confused and it sounds like all of this interfered with your menstrual cycle and your hormone levels.

    Memory problems, panic attacks, crying spells and spinning thoughts are indicative of hormone imbalance. Progesterone does all sorts of wonderful things in our brain, it regulates the powerful neurotransmitter GABA which acts as an anxiolytic, which means that progesterone naturally suppresses anxiety. It helps our brain to calm down and to process emotions as it should. If your body is low on progesterone, your thoughts can spin uncontrollably. I know how it feels. Its painful. The good news is, progesterone can slow spinning thoughts down once you start supplementation.

    Do you have a physician who will prescribe progesterone for you? The best kind of progesterone to take is the transdermal cream that you can apply directly to your skin. Before starting progesterone, you will need to be sure to discontinue your birth control pills all together and use a non-hormonal birth control method while you restore your health.

    You can get your life back and you can start to feel better, once you give your body what it needs. Symptoms are our bodies’ way of telling us that something is out of order. Thankfully, we now know what symptoms of low progesterone look like: foggy thinking, fatigue, headache, infertility, cystic breasts and ovaries, panic attacks, autoimmune disease, eating disorders… I could go on and on. Please talk to your holistic doctor and see if he or she is familiar with low progesterone, how to detect it and more importantly how to correct it. If you have any additional questions for me. Please let me know. Keep in touch. Doris

  138. james Says:

    Hi Doris,
    Glad to hear that your disorder is no more. I think I am having the same problem and in my dream I am feeling like my head has been hitting on rocks which makes me awake in mid night.
    I always wanted to be diffrent in my life and sometimes I also feel like I am nothing but a body which got live heart , blood is flowing nothing else. Out here in my country if someone knows that if you are going to psychiatric then you are considered among mad so I never gone to solve my problems. I learned to stay against my problems by my own and I succeeded in much extend. I would like to have your opinion on that.

  139. Doris Says:

    Hello James,

    I know how it feels to be detached from your body and emotions and to feel like an empty shell. This is how I felt before discovering progesterone. A severe hormone imbalance can cause feelings of ‘nothingness.’ Hormones influence how we feel, what we do and say and how our personalities are expressed. I know it can be difficult to get help when you live in a country where the people judge mentally ill people. I want to encourage you and remind you that they have no right to judge. Mental illness is not something that we chose. It is something that we are born with. Thankfully, we live during a time where we now that our hormones are important to our mental health and now we know that there are things that we can do about it. I want to encourage you to find a doctor in your country who can check your hormone levels, specifically progesterone, estradiol, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels. Hormone balance is important for the mental, physical and emotional health of men and women. If you need help finding a physician in your area, please email the city and country that you live in to doris@dorisking.net and I will do my best to help you. We were not created to be sick, we created to be healthy. I will do whatever I can to help you. Keep me posted. Doris

  140. Ellie Says:

    Thank you Doris. Thank you so much. I think about changing my holistic doctor to another one because he seems really greedy and his main concern seems to be money. I have found another holistic doctor, she is awesome ( my husband has some health issues as well and he is going to her). I will talk to her about it and will see what her suggestion is. I just would like to ask you one more thing. Is there any chance that my progesterone can level out by itself? I am asking this because I have been doing sports all my life and have been really healthy before all this happened. I just cant really understand if ones the hormones are so badly out of balance can they ever come back on their on? Or from now on they need some stimulation or replacement ( I don’t even know how to explain it better but i think you understand what I mean) – like the cream you suggested? I will let you know how everything goes with me. It will take some time to figure everything out and talk to doctors. I just hope that all our stories here can help other people realize that they are not alone and that there is hope out there. Keep inspiring people Doris. I think you are giving people hope they desperately need.

  141. Doris Says:

    Hello Ellie,

    I am sorry to hear about your doctor. It’s difficult to work with someone when money seems to be their main focus; I hope you are able to find a doctor who you feel comfortable with. Now, to answer your question… Yes, there is a possibility that your body can heal itself, but whether or not your body can heal itself depends on the severity of the imbalance.

    For instance, those with severe imbalances, such as in my case caused by genetic factors, that cause low levels regardless of our behaviors, these cases need supplementation.
    If the imbalance is caused by childbirth and there are no underlying genetic factors, it would be best to start supplementation and once health is restored to stop therapy and see if the body is able to take over from there.
    If the imbalance is caused by high stress (i.e., through extreme exercise, sports, life…) then one should remove the stress and see if the body can heal itself. If the body is not able to heal itself after three months, supplementation should be considered.

    Lastly, if the imbalance is caused by birth control pills, one would need to stop the birth control pills and search for a non-hormonal birth control option so that the body can heal. See if the body can heal itself in this instance, if not, hormone therapy should be considered.

    There are no perfect answers; however, if we listen to our bodies, we will know the direction to go. I hope this helps and yes, I hope our conversations are helping others. Hormone imbalances are real and they can cause real health problems, but once they are corrected, health can be restored. Good luck to you and please let me know how things turn out for you! Doris

  142. Sarah Says:


    I’m 25 years old and for a long time now (years and years) I’ve felt like I am going insane and it only seems to get worse. I’m sorry to bombard you I just have a feeling you may be able to relate and help. I guess I will give you a list of what I’ve been dealing with and hope that you might reply.

    I’ve been overweight since I was a child and its developed into morbid obesity. Mainly on the stomach area. I’ve been diagnosed with both insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome. I have severe anxiety to the point where I’m in a constant state of anxiety and panic. severe mood swings and irritability. Severe fatigue to the point where I literally feel dead like I never fully wake up no matter how much or little sleep I get. Brain fog. Shakiness. I cannot concentrate. I cannot handle a single ounce of stress. Having conversations with people is hard. Going out is hard. Even standing up and walking around is hard. I could sleep all day and then have insomnia all night and my brain is never fully awake. All the doctors do is say.. “Manage your stress and anxiety” “Talk to a counselor” “Take some pills” “Lose some weight” and give me very vague responses and a foot out the door. I cannot even put into words how this fatigue and anxiety is more than just your usual tiredness and usual anxiety.

    I like to read and educate myself alot and I just have this voice in my head that says to keep going and to keep searching until I find my solution. And that some anxiety pills isn’t the answer. I know with my insulin and PCOS problems I have hormonal imbalances and I have been put on metformin for the insulin but its still so very vague like clearly I need more help and clearly this isn’t just something that needs a vague response.

    I saw a youtube video lately of a guy that dealt with severe depression, anxiety and depersonolization issues (all of which I deal with). He was low on testosterone and was adamant people should get their hormone levels tested. I’ve also read about people with severe fatigue who have had adrenal problems and hormone imbalances. They went on hormone replacement therapy and they are feeling SO much better. Just like your story.

    I just wanted to know what you thought about what I’ve said. And also if you have any info and advice on how I can go about getting testing done.. keeping in mind that doctors can be quite dismissive and not very properly trained in this area. And how I can possibly go about treatment? I need help. I feel so lost and scared. And I cant continue on like this. I need to find the answers and start getting better. At least clear up the fatigue and level out the anxiety and stress levels. Right now these are things that are messing me up majorly. m also seeing a naturopath to get on the right minerals and supplements and work on my diet to help me lose weight but this other stuff is ruining my life.

    If you do read and reply to this then I thank you for taking some time out to help me <3

  143. Doris Says:

    Hello Sarah,

    I want to commend you for pushing through each day. I know how tough it is to give 110% everyday only to have your body not cooperate. You are also very smart. It sounds like you understand that the approach conventional medicine is taking to treat problems like yours is not very effective.

    Based on what you have said, I think you will be helped by progesterone therapy. Progesterone is made after ovulation. Because you have PCOS, just as I do, this means that you are not ovulating regularly and therefore, you are not getting the progesterone you need. This is a big deal. Progesterone is not only needed for pregnancy but it is also needed for our energy levels, concentration, metabolism, digestion, anxiety and blood sugar regulation and mental health. The symptoms you are having are more than likely the result of your body not having adequate progesterone for several years because of your PCOS. Inadequate progesterone caused by your ovaries can also adversely affect your adrenal glands and it sounds like you are feeling the symptoms caused by all of these things happening. The good news is your body can heal itself once it is given the progesterone it needs.

    If you are interested in knowing why progesterone works and you want to better understand the physiology behind your condition, please read “Hormone Balance Made Simple” and “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” by Dr. John Lee and “Adrenal Fatigue” by Dr. James Wilson.

    The most difficult thing you will have to do is find a doctor who knows what we are talking about, because most physicians are trained to prescribe psychiatric medications, Metformin and anti-anxiety medications to treat conditions caused by low progesterone. If you need help finding a doctor in your area, please contact your local compounding pharmacy, most keep an associated list of doctors who use their pharmacy, ask them if they can give you the names of doctors who have experience prescribing progesterone. Word of mouth helps too. Once you start progesterone therapy, you will start feeling and looking like the young woman that you are. If your levels are severely low, it can take several months before you experience a full recovery, but restoring your health is very possible. I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance and please keep me posted on your treatment. Doris

  144. Rachael Says:

    I have an issue but I dont know where to look or start. Ive been told I am bipolar by family and friends but I know that is not the case. I get anxiety, depression, worried, like there is no hope, feel like I dont know who I am anymore, OCD tendencies, detached, isolated, alone, and plain crazy. Mostly, I can control thes feelings, however, approximately every 2 weeks it all comes crashing down. I will feel unloved, unworthy, that I deserve to feel like such and Icannot control my emotions. I get extremely agitated to the point everything pisses me off, my mind spins a million miles a minute, usually repeating the same ideas in my head. When I have these manic moments I feel 120% justified.Honestly, I question if I am being dramatic and overly exaggerating afterwards.I feel regretful and horrible once its over. I do feel some of the emotion is true but I aalso know that I blow up. Part of my problem is communicating my point or view.I feel althoug my relationships are jeopardized with this behavior but wonder if i do it subconscious to protect myself from getting hurt.Also, I have bad skin problems with acne and issues with my teeth. My issues seem to flare up right before my period and ovulation, so it seems there is a pattern. Im not sure what is wrong but I know something is wrong and just want to be normal again.Ive began researching hormone imbalance, neurological looping, etc but any input, advice, or suggestions on where to look would be greatly appreciated.

  145. Doris Says:

    Hello Rachael,

    Because your symptoms appear around your menstrual cycle, there is a good chance that your symptoms are hormone based. After ovulation, your body is supposed to produce a higher amount of progesterone. If your body does NOT produce adequate progesterone after ovulation, you can experience moodiness, depression, anxiety and other undesirable symptoms. When your body does not produce sufficient progesterone, you are left to feel the effects of estrogen. Estrogen not balanced by progesterone is a painful condition. In order to get a handle on your symptoms, you will need to take progesterone to help buffer the effects of estrogen. These types of hormone imbalances can not be controlled by willpower alone, it’s best to help your body out by supplementing your body with the hormone it needs.

    For more information, research the terms ‘estrogen dominance.’ Also, read Dr. Lee’s book “Hormone Balance Made Simple.” It sounds like you have a severe case of PMS or PMDD which are both usually caused by estrogen dominance. Bipolar disorder can be caused by estrogen dominance too. If you would like information on how to find a doctor in your area, please click here. Once your moods are stable, this should help your relationships and every other area of your life, as we need stable moods to navigate through life properly. Progesterone deficiencies can be managed. You can feel better. Good luck to you! Doris

  146. Jeff Says:

    Thank you for your article.
    It is a revaluation that other people have suffered from this relatively unknown and misunderstood disorder.
    A year ago I turned 50 and started to feel like my life was started to leave me. I could not understand what was going wrong. And most put it to a midlife crisis. I started to just behaving and feeling different. Gained and lost weight, spending large amounts of money. Feeling as if I was having a sexuality crisis. Lucky for me my HMO allowed me to go to this clinic where I explained I needed a prescription for Viagra lol. I wish it was funny. So degrading for a loyal husband to do this with out consulting with his wife first.
    The young amazing doctor there suggested a series of blood tests. He determined a hormone imbalance as you described but told me I was in the lower range of the normal. He asked me so how do you feel I said OK. He said again how do you really feel. Realizing I was in denial I began to tell him my loss feeling and depression. So he gave me a prescription to suppress estrogen. I had it filled and got home took the pill and started to do some reading. Then exactly 1.5 hours later I started to feel something change like my eyes saw different or more everything. Happy everything.
    I began to understand how important hormones are.
    It saved my life.
    I feel I am so lucky but how many people out there aren’t as lucky as I was, Thank you again.

  147. Doris Says:

    Hello Jeff, You’re welcome. I am happy that you discovered what was wrong with you. So many other men and women are not as fortunate. Your doctor was very perceptive to measure your hormones and then to prescribe an estrogen suppressing medicine for you. Unbalanced hormones can make you feel as though you are losing your mind. I am happy that you have your life back. Thanks for sharing your story; I’m sure it will inspire others to explore hormone balance as a treatment option. Keep in touch. Doris

  148. yashwanth Says:

    Hello, my mom she is 40 years old. She has hormonal imbalances (thyroid), but I would like to know if she has any mental problems or not because she behaves normally when she is happy but she also behaves like mad. Okay I think this may be crazy but it is true. She bites her lips constantly, even if I call her she doesn’t respond, she gets angry for smaller reasons, shouts very loud, she does not get satisfied, without me saying anything she catches me and scratches my hands, face and neck and she beats me. While she is doing all this, she doesn’t know that I am her son after me shouting she becomes normal and leaves me and I ask her why did you do these? She says a silly reason such as I am not studying. I am a student who scores above 85% in my exams. Still she is not satisfied. She talks to herself all the time doing crazy actions. These things not only I observe but my dad too. He says she is mental and should be treated. My mom and dad always fight with each other because of my mom for silly reasons. If there are people nearby or not it doesn’t matter she talks to herself doing crazy actions behaves like she is talking to someone but there is no one there. Once I asked her mom, “Why do you bite your lips constantly?” she said she has a grudge on my uncle. She also said that why she hits or scratches me. She told me to say that I am her son and to scold whomever she has a grudge with whenever she behaves like that. Later she started hitting me badly, I said what she told me to say, and she became normal. She said my son, hugged me, and said sorry for hitting me. Everyone hates her including my dad, everyone scolds her in her office, in our family by relatives and by neighbours and by my dad and me. However, she does not change. I would like to know what the problem with her is. I would be a great help to me

  149. Doris Says:

    Hello Yashwanth,

    Thank you for writing. Your mom may have a hormone imbalance problem. Based on the symptoms she is having. In order to know for sure, she will need to visit a doctor who specializes in hormone imbalances. You are very brave. Your mom being mean to you is not your fault. She is doing this because of an illness that she cannot control. The best way for your mom to get better is for her to receive treatment just as your dad stated. Hormone imbalances cannot be controlled by our willpower. Ask your dad to read my blog and then contact me if he would like me to help your mom get treatment. If your mom’s mental health, mood and behavior problems are caused by low progesterone, this problem can be fixed. Please tell your dad to write back. Be encouraged! Doris

  150. Dedtra Says:

    Hello Doris,
    I have been diagnosed with bipolar for over 20 years and I’ve had pcos since my first period at age 12.I’m 43 now and I have been doing unrelentless research trying to figure out why if I’m bipolar how come none of the psych meds ever worked. I have been very hormomonal my whole life. I will now try the progesterone route as I have recently been diagnosed as insulin resistant with abdominal weight obesity and high blood pressure. So I’m taking metformin and blood pressure meds and spirolactone. Do you think low progesterone has been my problem all along? And would low progesterone also cause pcos complications? I’m so tired of my mania and depression it has ruined my life. Also I was wondering since you’ve said you have pcos has the progesterone helped with that also? I came to the conclusion that my pcos as well as bipolar symptoms resulted from insulin resistance which I think I was probably born with but now maybe because of what your saying about progesterone maybe I’m wrong? Any insight would be helpful thanks Dedtra

  151. Doris Says:

    Hello Dedtra,

    Yes, I think low progesterone has been your problem all along. When you have PCOS that means you are not ovulating regularly. When you do not ovulate, your body does not produce progesterone. This is a MAJOR problem as you have found. This is a problem because progesterone has roles far beyond fertility. Progesterone also regulates our mental health through its influence on GABA. It also regulates our blood sugar and pressure through the adrenal hormones, cortisol and aldosterone respectively. When we were diagnosed with PCOS over twenty years ago, we were told the biggest concern we may have was infertility, hirsutism and blood sugar problems. No one talked about the mental health component of hormone imbalance at that time, because honestly what we know about hormones was not known twenty years ago. I think your insulin resistance may also be linked to low progesterone as progesterone regulates insulin release through the hormone cortisol. When your sex organs are not able to produce the progesterone it needs, because of conditions such as PCOS, the body begins to rely on adrenal progesterone to overcome this deficiency. When this happens, the adrenal glands burn out and adrenal fatigue sets in.

    I think you should research the topic “estrogen dominance.” You should also read Dr. John Lee’s Book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” and “What Your Doctor Did Not Tell You About Menopause.” You should also read Dr. James Wilson’s “Adrenal Fatigue.” The bottom line is, when your body is not able to produce adequate ovarian progesterone this has disastrous consequences for the brain and body. The reason is ovarian progesterone has vital roles in the body that regulate thyroid functioning, blood sugar regulation, immunity, anxiety and stress adaptability, our behavior and mental health. Progesterone balances estrogen. When estrogen operates in the brain and body without the buffering effects of progesterone the results are toxic, which I am sure you are aware of because it sounds like what you have been living with for the past two decades.

    The metformin, blood pressure medication and Spironolactone are merely addressing the symptoms caused by the underlying progesterone deficiency. Taking progesterone should reduce your need for them. Good luck to you Dedtra! Hormone imbalances of this type can be managed; you need to find the right physician who can assist you. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I hope this helps! Doris

  152. Dedtra Says:

    Hi Doris,
    I also prayed to God to help fix me and my life and I found you! You are an Angel Doris keep doing what you are doing! I will definitly take all of your advice and report back in a few months. Thank you so much for your time and concern. Dedtra

  153. Doris Says:

    Hello Dedtra,

    Please keep me posted. Also, I want to encourage you and let you know that recovery is a process. It can take months for you to experience a full recovery, but if you keep at it, your healing will come. Also, be aware that because progesterone regulates brain function you may notice an aggravation in your symptoms initially— do not be alarmed. This is normal and is usually short-lived. If you continue with your therapy, your symptoms and moods should even out. God bless you! Doris

  154. Laura Marsh Says:

    After showing my 22 year old daughter your story Doris she burst into tears. She related to EVERYTHING you went through almost to a T. My daughter has been through very turbulent and emotional times leading her to no longer care about her own life or how or when it would end. I am sure we almost lost her due to her bad choices by not dealing with her problems and clearly not understudying what was causing the chaos in her life. I have long suspected she suffers a hormonal imbalance as it runs in my family of females. I have two sisters, one who has been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and is on anti depressants which are of little help. The other has suffered anxiety and depression, has thyroid dysfunction and has been on medication for these also which have helped a little. I know as a 50 year old who has always suffered badly with emotional side of PMT and almost feeling immediate relief with onset of period that something has not been right with me but I have managed to get by in life on no medication and always felt exercise helped me a lot. I have two daughters however who have both been diagnosed with possible bipolar disorder but I am beginning to believe it is the same story you have told. Neither of them are on medication for this as it didn’t really help and strangely both of my daughters noticed things changed for them from a particular age. One was about 11 ( when her period started) and the other in early high school (when her period started). This is way to coincidental for me to overlook. My 22 year old started getting acne at around age 13 and it progressed slowly worse until she went on Diane 35 contraceptive pill which cured her pimples but we are now wondering if it aided to her imbalance. She just recently was told by a endocrinologist to change her pill as that one can be responsible for depression but within 2 months of going off it the acne returned with full force. She became so unhappy she went straight back on it. So far its still there. Acne as a teenager maybe not an adult. Hormonal imbalance? It seriously scares me no end to think there are women or people in general that could be being treated for mental health conditions and put on medication that won’t help when it could be their hormones. My daughter has had blood tests before but not found anything to support this. I believe these can be inaccurate so what is her best option for diagnosis. She needs help desperately as her cycle continues to send her into moods that make her avoid us in case her anger issues upset us as they have in the past. Just want to help her as my fear is she will revert back to a year ago when she no longer cared about her life and was giving up.

  155. Doris Says:

    Hello Laura,

    It sounds like your daughters’ problems are hormone based. Every month, after ovulation, a woman is supposed to produce progesterone. If a woman ovulates and progesterone production is inadequate (luteal phase defect) OR a woman fails to ovulate because of a condition such as PCOS and her body does not produce progesterone problems will occur. The reason is progesterone has important roles in our brain such as regulating our mood, anxiety and depression. Low or inadequate progesterone can lead to PMS, PMDD, postpartum depression, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, thyroid dysfunction and bipolar and other mood and mental disorders. Every month that progesterone levels are inadequate, the hormone imbalance worsens as does the symptoms. If you have attempted to take a blood test and have received unreliable results, this is typical. The reason for this is hormones such as progesterone are fatty and in traditional blood tests, the watery part of the blood, the blood plasma is measured. Progesterone is bound to protein in our blood serum so this type of test is not reliable when trying to detect this particular imbalance. A saliva or blood spot test would be a better option. If you do not have access to those, have your doctor give you a test for LH or FSH, which can be taken via blood serum. Imbalances in LH and FSH are usually indicative of progesterone/estradiol imbalances. They key to recover is to “catch your body up” on the progesterone it is missing by taking a higher than normal dose that Dr. Lee called a “loading dose.” Once your symptoms are undetectable, supplementation can be taken the mimics the ovaries natural production which is about 20 to 25 mg transdermally for the two weeks after ovulation. I hope this helps! Doris

  156. Cherie Says:

    I’m happy I have found this site. I’ve suffered anxiety my whole life since I was a little girl. It got worse after each pregnancy, but was at my worse while pregnant with my 4 child. I got better mentally months after having her in 2005 , then in 2011 started with many medical that escalated over the next 4 years from issues , chest pain , fatty liver , blood clots , problems with my gall bladder , to bloating , heavy periods , hypothyroidism weight gain bloating , sore legs , swollen disks in my neck, to constipation , stomach pain , lost interest, ion problems, heart burn , then unbeknown to me in August 2014 my anxiety started up and the strange scary thoughts paranoia. I had no idea why, after seeing natrapaths and normal doctors to nearly being locked up in a mental home , doctors trying to put me on antidepressants , I had gone through 6 doctors before one pointed out in August my test showed hyperthyroidism. I had gone from 80 kilo down to 53 kilo , now my normal gp run hormone test in the end of September and told me I was fine he seen no problem it must be me and tried to put me on antidepressants. I started taking hyper thyroid medication in November , I feel a little better but still think there’s more going on hormonally that I need to fix , as my mind is still not right Back in 2011 I had an ultra sound done and was told I have fibroids , and the fluid in my uterus was that of a women starting to going through menopause, but my doctor ran bloods and said no your fine , I seen a Natrapath who done the looking at my retinal test and picked up on my pituitary gland problem in my mind and thyroid problem and hormone problem and said I’ve a problem with my ovaries . So I’m working in with him and my thyroid specialist and now will be looking for a hormones specialist , my periods are way out of whack never on time , spotting in between and bleeding. Its normal sort of then not normal. I’m very frustrated and just want to be the happy normal mum I use to be .

  157. Doris Says:

    Hello Cherie,

    I believe you can be the happy mum you used to be once you get your hormones straightened out. After hearing your symptoms, it sounds like you have an imbalance between progesterone and oestradiol. It sounds like your progesterone levels are low. When progesterone is low in relation to oestradiol, it can cause horrible mental and physical symptoms. A woman’s body is not designed to operate with these two hormones out of balance. Progesterone affects every organ and tissue in our bodies, from our brains, white blood cells, digestive organs, thyroid glands and even ion balance. Progesterone influences our potassium and sodium levels. Sodium and potassium are essential for blood pressure and healthy heart function. I am happy you have found a naturopath who has linked your mental health symptoms with your ovaries. It sounds like you are on the right path. Please read Dr. John Lee’s blog for more information. His webpage can be found at http://www.johnleemd.com. Good luck to you. Please keep me posted on your treatment. Doris

  158. Anne Says:

    Hi Doris
    I have been suffering from anxiety and depression the last 5 months. I am using emerita pro-gest. I have used for only 4 days. I started to notice a difference after one day. Do you use the cream everyday even during menestration? I have been using the cream vaginally. I am currently taking zoloft but I noticed a big difference in my mood and my anxiety has began to calm down. I am hoping my driving phobia will improve also. I want my confidence back. I do not have my results from my hormone test yet, but I will let you know the results and my improvement. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you Doris for telling us your story.

  159. Doris Says:

    Hello Anne,

    Great question! When I started progesterone just over eight years ago I used it every day EXCEPT when I was on my period. There were a few exceptions though. A few times I took progesterone while my menstrual cycle was still on. I would take progesterone while my cycle was on whenever I was having horrific estrogen dominance symptoms. This usually occurred at the end of my cycle when my cycle was going off. It is best to give your body a break and not to take progesterone every single day because it’s the stopping of progesterone that allows for your menstrual cycle to begin and if you have estrogen dominance problems, it’s important to have your cycle.

    If you find that you are having horrible symptoms towards the end of your cycle, it’s okay to start the progesterone back up, but if you can go without supplementing with the progesterone throughout the duration of your cycle, do that. I hope this helps. I am so happy to hear that you are getting your confidence back and that your body is responding positively to the progesterone. It’s great that you found out what was going on within five months. Good for you. Please keep me posted on your results and symptoms over the next few weeks. All the best! Doris

  160. Alison Says:

    Hi Doris.

    I have suffered with anxiety most of my life. I am 36 now and have always had problems with my periods which are just getting worse! I have last year been diagnosed with pcos aswell as small fibroids. Apparently the lining of my womb is thick too.
    I was told the mirena coil would help with these problems so had it fitted last year….. I only lasted about 6 /7weeks and had to have it removed. I bled everyday and had horrendous headaches and hot flushes galore. I had that removed last June.
    Now my periods have never been regular but over the last year my cycle has varied from 39 days to 51 days, I have terrible pms and my breasts get so hard it feels like im breast feeding and need to rempty them! . I went to my gp and said this isnt normal so he sent me for the usual blood tests and he said they came bck normal.
    Anyway I have also been refferred to a psychiatrist who said anxiety and depression and has tried me on several antidepressants and they have made everything so much worse :-( I seem to be quite sensitive to meds too. I seem to get withdrawal from them which is horrendous too. I have now been put on a low dose 20 mg amitriptyline to help me sleep as I just cant sleep. I have also experienced intrusive thoughts and urges, voices, hallucinations etc they wre unsure as to whether I have ocd. I juts feel like im losing my mind…my head is all foggy and I cant seem to ever think straight. I also get alot os dissociation around family members and derealisation……. Am I losing my mind or could hormones be contributing to how im feeling? Im thinking losing my mind as the doctor reassurred me my bloods are all normal. I have Appt with the psychiatrist tomorrow and scared about what is going to happen next!
    Thankyou for reading x

  161. Doris Says:

    Hello Alison,

    It sounds like your symptoms are hormones based. PCOS, fibroids and a thick uterine lining are all indicative of hormone imbalance. The specific imbalance is low progesterone and high estradiol. Why is your progesterone low and your oestradiol high? It can be because any number of factors. The most common factor is PCOS. PCOS means that you have irregular ovulation. When you do NOT ovulate regularly, your body is not getting the progesterone it needs on a regular basis, which leads to a progesterone deficiency. Not ovulating every month is a BIG deal, not only for fertility reasons, but also for our mental and physical health, as the same hormones that are produced after ovulation are also used by the brain for important brain activity. So, if you are not ovulating regularly you will hallucinate, have brain fog, severe PMS, digestive issues, sleep disorders, anxiety problems, thyroid conditions, migraines, fibroids, cystic breasts, mood swings and so much more. How do you fix this? You need to take the progesterone that your body has been missing all of these years because of failed ovulation.

    Now, regarding your tests. Blood tests are not the best instruments to use when trying to detect hormone imbalances. The reason is because blood plasma is a watery substance and hormones such as progesterone and oestradiol are fatty substances. When you take a blood test, your hormones are bound tightly to a hormone in the plasma, so when you take a blood test you are not always able to get a clear picture of what your TRUE hormone levels are. What is the best way to detect this type of imbalance? The best way is based on your symptoms. For Dr. John Lee’s low progesterone (high oestrogen/oestradiol) list click here OR you have the option of taking a blood spot test, where your finger is pricked and your capillary blood is measured. Capillary blood contains progesterone and oestradiol not bound to protein and you are able to get an accurate measure. Saliva testing is also an option. It is very reliable but some people find salivating in a tube undesirable. Find what works for you.

    Lastly, Mirena is not something to take. Mirena is a synthetic progesterone known as a progestin. A progestin is NOT the same as the progesterone that is made by the ovaries. If your ovaries are not making progesterone do not supplement with synthetic progestins, supplement with bioidentical, natural progesterone that is available over the counter in the US and by prescription at your local compounding pharmacy.

    If your body is not ovulating regularly, you need to help your body out by taking the progesterone that it is missing every month. Once you do that, you will find that most of your undesirable symptoms will go away and that your condition can be managed. Recovery is possible. I have been where you are; thankfully, I made it to the other side because of bioidentical progesterone supplementation. It sounds like taking progesterone will help you too. Keep me posted. Doris

  162. Cherie Says:

    Hi Doris if I need to buy natural progesterone cream were do I buy it from as I’m in Melbourne , Victoria , Australia and have no idea , and what would be the best one to buy ? My doctor / hormone specialist is going to do hormone test but only after my period as he said that’s the best time to get a proper reading on them , he spoke to me about a marina but I told him the bleeding is not my issue it’s my mental health , fixing my anxiety thought process and health issues . So I’m hoping my inbalance is picked up so I can start treatment ASAP I will keep you posted on how I go

  163. Doris Says:

    Hello Cherie,

    If you would like to buy natural progesterone cream in Australia, I recommend that you contact the Melbourne Compounding Centre found here: http://www.compounding.com.au/doctors. If you need help finding a practitioner, please visit ACNEM’s page at http://www.acnem.org/find-a-practitioner/victoria. Both organizations should be able to assist you in obtaining natural progesterone.

    In terms of there being a “best” progesterone cream to buy, there is not a particular brand when it comes to progesterone obtained through prescription. The pharmacy prepares the prescription according to the GP’s specifications. So be certain that your prescription contains enough progesterone to deliver a therapeutic effect. Dr. Lee says a dose of 20 to 25 mg of progesterone every day for the two weeks after ovulation is therapeutic and effective as this mimics the ovaries natural production. A 20 to 25 mg 1/4 teaspoon dose can be obtained when your progesterone cream contains 450 to 500 mg per ounce.

    If you are able to obtain progesterone without a prescription, Source Natural’s Progesterone Cream is fantastic, as is Emerita’s Progest.

    Good for you for staying away from the Mirena. The progestin (synthetic progesterone) that makes up Mirena is very toxic to those with hormone imbalances. When the body is low in progesterone, only a natural, bioidentical replacement will do. Please let me know how your testing goes and if you are able to obtain natural progesterone. Kindest regards, Doris

  164. aj Says:

    Hi Doris,

    I was also diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 2007 having experienced pschiatric symptoms for years. Its only in the last few years, I am now 35, that I recognise the cyclical nature of my symptoms related to pms. The more severe symptoms of a ‘psychotic’ appearnace have mostly gone away but I still get so weepy, angry, paranoid and have panic attacks when I’m 10days before menstruating. The doctors soloutions have always been the birth control pills but I gave them up for a long time as they were not helping… until i went to see a specialist who deals with people who have severe pms. Im not very educated with hormones but he prescribed me a birth control pill, telling me it would be the right one for my symptoms and it really messed me up. I have been off of it for 2 months and still am feeling so bad around my cycle that I almost break up with my boyfriend on a monthly basis, convinced he is cheating on me (which is I guess always possible but mostly unlikely) I suspect the hormone imbalance is provoking my paranoid thoughts and also driving me to feel so low in self worth. I remember the first time I tried to hurt myself was the year I started my periods which was age 11. It seems very related to my cycle and hormones in this respect.

    I wonder if you could offer any advice as I am due to go back to see the specialist at the hospital and would really like to discuss a proper solution or deeper investigation to this problem… before it creates further destruction and causes damage to my relationship.

    Thanks Doris

  165. Doris Says:

    Hello AJ,

    Based on what you have said, it sounds like your hormones are involved with your mood. Because you are angry and weepy the ten days before your cycle starts, that is indicative of a hormone imbalance. As is having an intolerance to birth control pills and having thoughts of self-harm at the start of your menses at age 11. I am going to try my best to help you understand what is happening in your body, so that you can get the help you need.

    Estrogen and Progesterone are hormones that not only regulate fertility, but they also control our mental health. Any imbalances between estrogen and progesterone can cause mood, anxiety and behavioral disorders. Progesterone buffers the effects of estrogen (estradiol) throughout the brain and body. If your progesterone levels are low, you will become very sick, because estrogen not properly balanced by progesterone is extremely toxic.

    What causes low progesterone? A common cause is irregular ovulation OR inadequate progesterone production after ovulation. Failed ovulation is usually diagnosed as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS and inadequate progesterone production after ovulation is called Luteal Phase Defect (LPD).

    More than likely low progesterone is causing your symptoms because you are having your mood symptoms ten days before you menstruate. The period that your body is supposed to produce progesterone is the two weeks before your period is scheduled to begin. We know this because ovulation is always two weeks before the first day of your period and we know that progesterone is made after ovulation. So the period in which our ovaries are to make high levels of progesterone are for these two weeks. If the body is not able to make sufficient progesterone, because of PCOS or LPD, the person is left to feel the full effects of estrogen OR PMS, PMDD, bipolar disorder, depression, aggression, anxiety, weepiness, brain fog, fatigue and other undesirable symptoms. For a complete list of low progesterone/high estrogen symptoms click here.

    So how do you fix this imbalance? Well it is quite simple; you need to take the progesterone your body should be producing after ovulation. When supplementing with progesterone, its best to take the natural, bioidentical progesterone. This kind is an exact replica of the hormone by the ovaries only it was made in a lab. Provera and other progestins are NOT progesterone, they are synthetic compounds that are similar to progesterone, but they have different structures so progestins do not offer the full benefits that bioidentical progesterone does.

    You were unable to take birth control pills because birth control pills contain synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone. The synthetic estrogen was pushing you over the edge. When your estrogen levels are high, the last thing you need is to take more estrogen in the form of birth control pills.

    When you talk to your specialist, see if they are able to prescribe a bioidentical progesterone cream for you. If you are unable to get a prescription for a transdermal cream, see if you can obtain a prescription for the bioidentical progesterone pill Prometrium.

    The key to overcoming this condition is to read as much as you can on the topic. Dr. Lee’s book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” is a great book to start with. Reading Dr. James Wilson’s book “Adrenal Fatigue” helps too. You should also look at images of the menstrual cycle like this:

    Menstrual Cycle

    Seeing the cycle may help you to visual your hormones in action.

    Your hormones can be balanced and your mental health restored. Once your health is intact, your relationships should improve as well. Keep me posted on your appointment and let me know if you have any more questions. Kindest regards, Doris

  166. Megan Says:

    Hi Doris

    I’ve wrote to you on here before, somewhere up there^ anyways got my hormones tested.. went in to see my new doctor to go over the results today and he said my estrogen is high and progesterone low, prescribed me some progesterone cream and gave me a list of a few over the counter things I could try. He also said my cortisol starts off very low in the morning and progressively gets Lower like off the charts low but my dhea is sky high. Do you know what that means or what could be the cause of it? Should I be worried.. I’m ready to feel like me again

  167. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    I remember speaking to you earlier. Thanks for giving us an update on everything that’s going on with you. I’m glad you found a doctor to confirm that your progesterone is low and that he prescribed progesterone cream for you. Once your progesterone levels are stabilized, your cortisol levels should improve too. Low (ovarian) progesterone levels can interfere with the adrenal production of cortisol. Once your progesterone levels are back to normal, your adrenal glands should resume healthy cortisol production and your levels should become higher. In regards to DHEA, we are still learning about this steroid hormone. DHEA is a precursor for the estrogens and testosterone, which means the body uses DHEA to make the estrogens and testosterone. I believe a higher DHEA level is an indicator that higher than normal testosterone and/or estrogens are being produced. I will research the topic more and get back with you if I find additional information.

    Lastly, do not worry. Now that you are giving your body the hormone it needs your body will heal itself and you should notice an improvement in your symptoms. Taking progesterone should stabilize the levels of your adrenal hormones. Please keep me posted on how your treatment goes! Doris

  168. Megan Says:

    Thank you for such a quick reply and all of your advice/help! It really means a lot to me. He said my testosterone was on the high side of normal. I thought maybe the high dhea had something to with stress because my body does not know how to deal with stress AT ALL anymore and I get very stressed over little things. On the prescription he wrote progesterone cream 20mg does that sound right

  169. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    You’re welcome, I’m happy the things we are discussing are a great help to you. Twenty mg of progesterone cream is a good amount to have. Dr. Lee said in his book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple,” that a progesterone cream should contain 20 to 20 mg per 1/4 teaspoon application. Twenty to 25 mg is a good amount, because this is how much healthy ovaries make every month and when it comes to hormone balance, we are trying to mimic healthy ovarian function as much as possible. Once your hormones are balanced, it should be easier for you to process stress.

    Also, be sure to drink lots of water if you don’t already, progesterone is catabolic which means it breaks down larger molecules into smaller ones and water is required for this process, which means you can become dehydrated if you are not aware of this. So water, water, water! Please keep me posted on how your treatment goes. Doris

  170. Dina Says:

    Please help me! I have a 14 year old daughter who was a straight A student all with national honor society from kindergarten to 9 grade never had no problems with her she was a great kid. She started 9 grade and all hell broke loose. She now she is not my daughter we had to put her in a mental hospital for one week due to delusional and hallucinations. She has insomnia, she tells me her sub concession talks to her, she stares at u with no emotion, I had to take her out of school due to her not doing any work at all, she can’t even read a book, where before she read all the time. I’ve had all her hormones tested and the only one that came back abnormal was her progesterone it was very low! They told me she has a mental illness called schizoaffective. I don’t want to accept this and I am having a hard time no one will help me. Dina, her mother

  171. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    I will be happy to help you and your daughter. Low progesterone levels can cause mental illnesses such as schizoaffective disorder. The brain needs progesterone to function properly, so when progesterone levels are low, the brain does not function as it should and mental health symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions can occur. Because your daughter’s symptoms started after she started puberty, it sound like your daughter’s symptoms are hormone based.

    Taking progesterone for hormone-based mental and mood conditions is highly effective and safe. Is it possible for you to obtain a progesterone prescription from the doctor who found your daughter’s levels to be low? What did the doctor offer you in terms of treatment once you received your lab results? Your daughter can get her life back with proper supplementation. She needs progesterone for her mental and physical health. Dr. Lee says the ovaries make 20 to 25 mg of progesterone a day for the two weeks after ovulation, so that will be a good dose for your daughter to start with. Ovulation is always the two weeks before the first day of the menstrual cycle, so progesterone supplementation can take place during that two-week period. Because your daughter’s levels are so low, she may need to take higher than normal doses initially to get her body “caught up.” Once her health is restored, she can take the physiological doses of 20 to 25 mg to maintain her health. I hope this helps. Doris

  172. Dina Says:

    Doris thank u for your responses, u are my last hope as nobody has help me all doctors want to do is put her on antipsychotic, what happen to the doctors who care about our children!!! I have lost all hope, till I read your blog, her levels are 9 and the doctor told me that she wanted to retest her just to make sure, she then said if it came back again low because of her age 15 that she can only put her on birth control. Will that help her because when I read in Dr. Lee book it has to be synethic and not bio….. I have to look at what I read again. I beg you please help me, I feel you are my last hope for my daughter. I feel so hopeless that I have been thinking about giving her what the Psychists has recommend for her, due to her not getting better it kills me everyday to see her like this! Hope to hear from u soon.

  173. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    You’re welcome. The common response of conventional medicine is to prescribe birth control pills, but the problem with that is birth control pills typically contain synthetic estrogens and progestins (synthetic progesterone). Taking the synthetic hormones will only make your daughter’s symptoms worse.

    Natural bioidentical progesterone can be obtained three ways in the US. 1) You can buy it over the counter at health food stores and online from retailers like Amazon.com (Source Natural’s Progesterone Cream and Emerita’s Progest are great creams). 2) You can obtain it by prescription at your local compounding pharmacy. Compounding pharmacies can make creams that contain natural, bioidentical progesterone. 3) You can also get progesterone from any commercial drug retailer such as Rite-Aid, Walgreens or CVS etc. These pharmacies do not compound progesterone creams, but they can prescribe bioidentical progesterone pills with a doctor’s prescription. Bioidentical progesterone in the pill form is called Prometrium. Prometrium is typically prescribed for the treatment of amenorrhea (absent menstrual cycles). Your daughter’s doctor may be comfortable prescribing Prometrium for your daughter if she has irregular cycles (one that does not come every month) OR he may prescribe it based on your daughter’s low levels alone. When taking progesterone in the pill form, you have to take higher amounts than when you are taking the transdermal cream (applied through the skin) because oral progesterone must pass through the liver/digestive channels and most of it is broken down there. Higher amounts must be taken orally to compensate for what will be lost through digestion.

    The key is to find a physician who is aware of this problem and who knows how to treat it. Unfortunately, this treatment is not a standard treatment; however, I believe it will soon be.

    The bottom line is your daughter’s progesterone levels are low and you need to get them higher in order for her to feel better. Progesterone levels can only get higher through hormone supplementation of real, bioidentical progesterone. Once your daughter’s body is given what it needs, it will be able to heal itself.

    If you need help finding a doctor in your area to prescribe progesterone for your daughter, you will need to contact your local compounding pharmacy. Most compounding pharmacies keep an associated list on physicians who use their pharmacy. You will need to call the doctors on that list and see who has experience correcting progesterone deficiencies. Doctors, who use compounding pharmacies, already understand the benefits of bioidentical hormones, they know the dangers of the synthetic ones, and you do not have to spend time trying to convince them that hormone imbalances are real conditions that can make people ill. To find a pharmacy in your area, contact the PCCA at http://www.pccarx.com/contact-us/find-a-compounder or the ACHC at http://www.pcab.org/accredited-pharmacies. I hope this helps. Doris

  174. Dedtra Says:

    Hello Doris,
    I wrote a few weeks ago and recently started progesterone cream. The first few days were great! Now as you warned, my mental symptoms are worsening. But I won’t stop the treatment. Because I have suffered with Bipolar and PCOS for over 20 years I’m on Social Security and can’t afford to see the hormone specialist just yet so I’m trying to heal myself! My question is do I use very large doses for awhile? Currently I’m using about 100mg or so a day? Also my son who is 24 is scitzophrenic and I wanted to inquire about him taking it also. I stumbled across a condition called pyroluria which both my sons and I seem to fit as well so just wondering if you have heard of it? Any insight you have is greatly appreciated. I am in awe of how most of the mental illnesses are tied to some sort of defiency of one kind or another. I am a nurse or was before all of my mental issues started and in complete shock of how we are being bamboozled by Big pharma and the Medical profession in general.Our health is being determined by profit margins! It makes me sick literally lol gotta laugh sometimes to stop from crying huh. When I’m healed of this awful mental affliction I’m definitely going to do what your doing an advocate for others the best that I can! Thank you so much for all that your doing! You have definitely planted a seed. Dedtra

  175. Doris Says:

    Hello Dedtra,

    I am happy to hear you have started therapy. You sound a lot like myself. When I started progesterone therapy nearly nine years ago, I was unemployed and in the process of filing for disability. I could not afford conventional treatment, which turned out to be a good thing because this led me to Dr. Lee’s work. I did not have medical insurance at the time, but I was living in Atlanta and they offered free medical services to uninsured persons like myself and I received treatment through the Grady Memorial Hospital Indigent Persons program, which was staffed by Morehouse Medical College and Emory University School of Medicine student physicians.

    I started with large doses like yourself. I used roughly 100 to 80 mg of progesterone cream initially. After each menstrual cycle, I would lower my dose by 20 mg or so. As you feel better, lower your dose. If you are taking 100 mg now, see if you can take 80 mg next month and then 60 mg the following month. Continue to reduce your dose until you are able to feel healthy at 20 mg. I wish had the perfect timeline to tell you, but I do not. We all have different bodies. Let your symptoms guide you. Also, remember to drink lots of water. Progesterone is catabolic and needs water to perform its various roles throughout the body.

    Progesterone works for men. If a mother is progesterone deficient, she can pass the condition on to her male and female children. The children can develop hormone-based mood, mental and behavioral disorders. I know men who use progesterone to manage their bipolar disorder and it works. Men need progesterone for their mental health, just as much as women do. Progesterone regulates GABA in the male and female brain and it builds the myelin sheath in both. Men can have estrogen dominance in their brains and bodies if they do not have adequate progesterone to balance it. Most women with estrogen dominance experience weepiness and mood swings, whereas men with the same condition experience extremes ranging from abnormal docility and anxiety to being overly aggressive and having explosive anger. Dr. Lee says men make about 8 to 10 mg of progesterone a day. The male body makes progesterone because it serves a purpose. Men in my family use progesterone with great results. Men who are deficient in progesterone can have loading doses too, but should start on the lower end of around 30 mg a day and then decrease the amounts from there based on symptoms.

    Pyroluria is not a condition I had heard of until you mentioned it. I see that it effects hemoglobin. I think the underlying hormone imbalance is involved in this condition. Low progesterone can cause zinc toxicity. The higher than normal zinc levels can be caused by the overproduction of adrenaline brought on by hormone imbalance. High zinc yields low copper which can lead to anemia or a lowered ability for the body to carry oxygen in the blood. Continue with your progesterone therapy and as you feel better have your pyrrole levels measured again to see if your progesterone deficiency was causing the condition.

    You are still a nurse and you will be an even greater nurse once your health is restored. I agree with you, I hope future medical education will rely less on Big Pharma on more on current research. I cried a lot when I found out I had suffered for years because conventional medicine did not know how to treat hormone imbalances. It seemed as though I had lost a lot of time. Eventually I stopped feeling sorry for myself and said that in spite of how dim and grim things may seem, God is working everything together for my good. Therefore, I choose to be content. No regrets.

    I hope you start your advocacy work—it’s needed. If I can help in any way, let me know. Please keep me posted on your treatment. Doris

  176. Randi Says:

    I’ve been reading your website today, and I’m convinced my years of struggling are connected with out of balance hormones.

    My periods were never regular as a teenager. I’d have terrible cramping, and often gushes of blood and clots.

    In my mid 40s (about 11 or so years ago) I had to have a total hysterectomy/oopherectomy, so no ovaries or uterus.

    I could never get regulated on HRT. I have many sensitivities to drugs/meds/supplements, etc.

    Biggest concerns now are achy/no energy/mental confusion (severe)/and crying easily. I will cry at a TV commercial or seeing a loving little act by someone at the grocery store. The mental fog/confusion is also severe. Some days I couldn’t find my way out of a wet paper bag.

    I have no insurance/no doctor/no job/no money. I sound and feel like a loser, but I’m really not. I’m a great person, college educated.

    Please point me in a direction where I might get some help.

    Holding out hope. Thanks in advance.

  177. Doris Says:

    Hello Randi,

    The cramping and blood clotting you experienced as a teenager was more than likely caused by estrogen dominance/low progesterone. This is probably why you elected to have your ovaries and uterus removed to hopefully experience some relief. The reason you could not get regulated on HRT was because the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) found that conventional HRT caused an increase breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. HRT consisted of PremPro which was a cocktail of Premarin and Provera. Both are synthetic hormones, meaning they are not identical to the hormones made naturally by the ovaries and synthetic hormones have proven to be very toxic.

    You are having aches, fatigue, brain fog and weepiness because your progesterone and estrogen levels are not balanced. So how do you fix this? Your progesterone and estrogen are more than likely both low. Even if you have low estrogen levels you can still experience “estrogen dominance” symptoms if you do not have adequate progesterone to cover it.

    You can try over-the-counter progesterone cream. Source Naturals Progesterone Cream is excellent. Take as directed, which is 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon twice daily, ¼ teaspoon, is 22mg of progesterone. I would start with the progesterone first and see how your symptoms are with just the progesterone alone. As your symptoms improve, you can add an estrogen cream. Source Naturals makes a phytoestrogen cream called “Source Naturals Phyto-Estrogen Cream.” Use as directed, which is 1/2 teaspoon twice a day.

    By taking these supplements you will be doing what HRT attempted to do. HRT attempted to replace hormones lost through your oophorectomy, but HRT was not effective because the hormones in HRT are synthetic and toxic. By taking bioidentical progesterone, such as the one made by Source Naturals, you will be giving your body something that it will accept as though it had produced the hormones itself.

    Source Natural Progesterone Cream retails for around $13 for a 4 oz. jar. Source Naturals Phytoestrogen cream retails for approximately $9 for a 2 oz. jar and $16 for a 4. oz jar. So you can get everything you need for less than $30 bucks. Both jars should last several months.

    Have you ever purchased anything on Amazon.com? If so, you can ask questions to other people who have purchased these products. Some of them have had their ovaries removed too and are finding great relief with these products.

    Source Naturals Progesterone Cream can be found here. Their Phytoestrogen Cream can be found here.

    I do not think you sound like a loser. You sound like a strong woman who is a survivor.

    I think progesterone and a phytoestrogen will give you relief if you are able to find the proper amounts needed for your body. The key is to take the lowest amount needed to maintain your health. Too much of a particular hormone is not good. Too little is not good. You are trying to find that happy medium. Also, you do not have to use Source Naturals products, find the brand that works for you. I recommended Source Natural because it is the brand I use and trust. I hope this helps. Please keep in touch. Doris

  178. Anne Says:

    Hi Doris
    I received my results from my blood test and my progesterone is low. I am going to try to rebalance it with the the natural progesterone cream. I hope this will help. My brain is burning as I type this. I will keep you posted. When this is all over and I am better. I’m going to make sure people know about this. Thank you thank you. Thank you Doris. I want my life back and now I get the chance.

    Thank you so much!!!!!

  179. Doris Says:

    Hello Anne!

    You’re welcome! I’m so happy for you. It feels great when you finally have the answers to what is happening in your body. Please keep me posted on your treatment. Remember, hormone balance is a process, you should notice a gradual improvement in your symptoms over time until your health is restored. If you don’t feel great one day, don’t get discouraged. It’s all a part of the process. I’m very excited for you. Please keep in touch! Doris

  180. Nicole Says:

    Hi Doris,
    I had severe postpartum depression after the birth of my daughter. She just turned 4. I’ve gotten better over the years but I have horrible OCD unwanted thoughts (still) about my daughter, loved ones, and anything in general. I have extreme anxiety and depression. I just had bloodwork done and my progesterone is low and my estrogen is high; also my testosterone is slightly high. He endocronologist said the solution is to lose the weight. Through these years I’ve seen 3 different therapist and psychiatrist. I have tried so many medicines. Now I see a psychiatric nurse and I have a therapist I see. I just feel so hopeless and extremely upset. Getting through the days are hard. I feel empty inside (it’s a real physical sensation), and I always cry when I get unwanted thoughts that happen all day.

  181. Doris Says:

    Hello Nicole,

    Your low progesterone and high estrogen levels are causing your OCD, depression, anxiety, crying spells, feelings of hopelessness and anger. Estrogen, not properly balanced by progesterone, will make you feel awful. How do you fix this? You take the progesterone your body needs.

    Bioidentical progesterone is the best progesterone to take when you have low progesterone. Bioidentical progesterone is made in a lab, but is identical to the progesterone made naturally by the body. Bioidentical progesterone can be purchased over the counter at health food stores and from online retailers such as Amazon.com OR from a compounding pharmacy when you have a prescription from your doctor. If you purchase over the counter progesterone, Source Naturals Progesterone Cream is excellent as it Emerita’s Progest. The Source Naturals retails for about $13 for 4 ounces and the Progest retails for about $25 for a 4-ounce tube.

    Ask your endocrinologist if he will write a progesterone prescription for you since he is the one who detected your low levels. If he offers you a synthetic progesterone also called a progestin, ask him if he is able to write you a prescription for a bioidentical progesterone instead. The most commonly prescribed progestin is Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate). Synthetic hormones are not as effective as bioidentical ones.

    Our bodies can produce estrogen from our body fat, so extra weight can produce extra-unwanted estrogen. This is probably why your doctor suggested dieting. Losing weight may reduce your estrogen production, but this still will do nothing to address the fact that your progesterone is low. Dieting alone will not fix low progesterone.

    Our ovaries and adrenal glands make testosterone. Did you have your LH (luteinizing hormone) or ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) levels measuring with your lab work? Elevated LH and ACTH can lead to high testosterone. Progesterone can suppress these signals, so taking progesterone may lower your testosterone by lowering your LH and/or ACTH levels.

    I have given you a lot of information, the main thing to understand is that taking progesterone will help your symptoms because it will buffer your high estrogen. Taking progesterone should improve your symptoms and over time, they will eventually disappear if you do not have some other underlying condition. You can feel better. This condition CAN be corrected. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions. Doris

  182. Nicole Says:

    Thank you very much for this valuable information. I will do exactly as you suggested! The endocronologist didn’t give me progesterone script because she said they only give progesterone to women trying to get pregnant (I don’t want to get pregnant right now). I don’t think I had LH measured. I will ask about that. Are bioidential hormones safe? Will they cause cancer? I’m frustrated because my family has been saying my brain needs to be retrained and my counselor doesn’t think it’s the progesterone causing all my problems. I know it’s the hormones and that causes my frustration as well.

  183. Doris Says:

    Hello Nicole,

    You brought up a very important point. Progesterone is essential to pregnancy, but here is the rub—it is also vital to mental health. If you want your mental symptoms to go away, which are caused by your low progesterone and high estrogen levels, you must take progesterone. There is no way around it. Taking progesterone does not protect against pregnancy, so if you decide to use progesterone you will have to explore non-hormonal birth control options such as condoms and/or the rhythm method.

    If you did not have your LH levels measured, don’t worry about it. I was just curious what they were. Yes, bioidentical hormones are safe if you take only the amount you need. Premenopausal women produce about 20 to 25 mg of progesterone a day for the two weeks after ovulation. So staying in this range is good.

    High estrogen is linked to cancer and synthetic progestins, not bioidentical progesterone. Bioidentical progesterone protects against cancer.

    Sometimes easier to see the differences between natural, bioidentical progesterone and synthetic progestins if you see an image. On the left is a natural progesterone molecule, the same hormone made by the ovaries. On the right a synthetic progestin.

    progesterone vs progestin

    The difference between the two molecules may not seem like a big deal, but they are on a chemical level. Because progestins have extra groups on them, they are not able to operate in the body the same as bioidentical progesterone. Doctors know this. When women receive fertility treatments, they are given bioidentical progesterone, NOT Provera. Women are given bioidentical progesterone for fertility treatments because bioidentical progesterone is safe and effective, synthetic progestins are not.

    I know it is frustrating when people are telling you to retrain your brain. It’s not the simple; progesterone regulates our mental health through its influence on GABA and ACTH via cortisol. In other words, it keeps our brains chemically balanced. It does not matter how many retraining sessions you go through if your brain does not have the progesterone it needs, it will not function as it should.

    Since you know your progesterone levels are low, it is up to you to decide how you plan to address this imbalance. I hope this information helps. Doris

  184. Megan Says:

    Hi again Doris.

    I just started the progesterone cream Tuesday night. It came from the pharmacy in three skinny syrenges and says to take .02ml a day so I’ve been using .01 in the morning and .01 at night before bed. Today I’m feeling really down for some reason. I know it takes time I’m just getting so discouraged because for the past two years almost I’ve had no answers or solutions to anything. I feel like I’ll never feel “normal”again. It’s so hard feeling this way and taking care of three kids ages 5, 2 1/2 and 10 months. Sorry I keep writing to you on here I just have no one else i can talk to that van even begin to understand what I’m going through. I just keep trying to tell myself these are just bad days and to get through them and hopefully it will all be over soon.

  185. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    You are never a bother. Balancing your hormones is a process. It does not happen overnight. With progesterone you should notice a gradual improvement in your symptoms over time until they disappear. For me, I felt noticeably better after each menstrual cycle and that is the case for a lot of women. Some days I didn’t feel anything. Other days I felt worse. Deep down I wondered if I had made the right decision. These feelings are normal and all a part of the process.

    To make sure that you are getting the most out of your progesterone cream, you have to make sure that you are taking adequate amounts. Do you need to take a loading dose? A loading dose is a higher than normal dose used to get your levels “caught up” to normal. Once you start feeling better you can reduce your intake to normal physiological amounts which is another way of saying how much health ovaries make. For premenopausal women, that’s 20 to 25 mg of progesterone for the two weeks after ovulation. You said that you are taking .02 ml a day. Did your doctor tell you how much progesterone was being delivered with each .01 dose? If not, do you know the concentration of your cream? If so, I may be able to help you figure out how much progesterone you are taking. If you are not getting adequate amounts of progesterone it may take longer for you to get the results you want. You are going to get through this. Be encouraged. Doris

  186. Megan Says:


    All it says on the prescription label is “PROGESTERONE 10% CR” I’m really considering buying some from Amazon because just for these three tiny syrenges that are full of the cream, which is only enough for one month it was $27. Which kind do you think works best? Thanks again so much.. I’m glad I found your site when I did because it has given me some hope in this mess. God bless

  187. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    You do not have to purchase a new cream from Amazon. A 10% progesterone cream typically contains 100 mg of progesterone per 1 ml, which is more than enough. My concern is with your dosing size. You said that you are taking a total of .02 ml a day, did you mean 0.2 ml? .02 ml is 2 mg of progesterone. Two mg of progesterone is not enough to experience relief from your symptoms. If you are taking 0.2 ml, you are getting about 20 mg of progesterone a day, which is closer to a physiological amount.

    Call the pharmacy who filled your prescription and ask them how much progesterone you are receiving with each dose, preferably in milligrams. This will give you an idea of whether or not you are taking enough. Twenty to 25 mg is a good place to start, if you continue to have estrogen dominance symptoms after your first cycle ask your physician if you can take a loading dose of about 60 mg a day. Taking larger doses initially are necessary if your levels are very low. Once you give your body what it needs, it has an amazing way of healing itself. Keep me posted. Doris

  188. Nicole Says:

    Doris, thank you so much. I will definitely take care of this. By the way, my level for progesterone was <0.5 … I take that that is very low for someone who is 26 years old?

  189. Doris Says:

    Hello Nicole,

    You’re welcome. I found some information on WebMD regarding progesterone serum levels. Below are normal progesterone values. These numbers are just a guide. Ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what’s normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab used. If it doesn’t, your doctor should be able to interpret your results. Below are “normal” progesterone levels from days 1-28.

    Progesterone Levels during Days 1–14 of the Menstrual Cycle:
    Less than 1 nanogram per milliliter (ng/mL) or 0.5–2.3 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)

    Progesterone Levels during Days 15–28:
    2–25 ng/mL or 6.4–79.5 nmol/L

    Do you know what day of your cycle you had your test on? Regardless of the day, based on this scale your levels are very low. Check your lab report, your ranges should be listed there.

    Keep me posted! Doris

  190. Nicole Says:

    I had my blood taken 12/4 and progesterone was <0.5. I had my blood taken again on 12/26 when I started my period/cycle and it was still <0.5. By the way, thank you for helping me. Sorry I am asking you so many questions. These past 4 years have and continue to be very painful to me.

  191. Doris Says:

    Hello Nicole,

    Yes, a level of < 0.5 is very low. The good news is you know that you need progesterone and you have access to it. There is no need to apologize. I know how you feel. It is very painful, but you are on the right path. Keep moving forward with your treatment. Recovery is possible. Keep me posted. Doris

  192. Megan Says:

    Yes that’s what I meant was 0.2 ml lol sorry I just figured you knew what I meant I didn’t notice my mistake until after I submitted that comment. So that means I’m getting 20mg a day.. the only reason I said anything about buying some cram on Amazon is because just the tiny amount I got for this one cycle is kind of expensive. I’d rather get the small jar for $13 than $27 for 3ml of cream

  193. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    I’m so glad you meant 20 mg! I was mortified when you said 2 mg, lol. So glad that was a typo. Yes, there can be big savings when you buy over the counter. I have used both and I’m very happy with Source Naturals. I have been unable to tell a difference between over the counter and prescription-grade creams. Please keep me up to date on your treatment. Have a great weekend! Doris

  194. vibha Says:

    Hi Doris,
    I am a 32 yrs woman with delusion disorder and paranoid schizophrenia.I want to get rid off my anti psychotic drugs.I want to know if my symptoms are related to harmonal imbalance.I have thyroid since 2yrs but under control with 50 mcg T3 everyday.Below are my blood test results done one day before starting my period-
    LH- 0.58
    FSH- 2.25
    Testosterone free- 0.38
    Progesterone- 0.99
    Testosterone Total- 0.27
    Esteridol- 23.49
    TSH- 1.65

    Sorry for the long story.
    Please let me know your view and treatment. Your help is highly appreciated.


  195. Doris Says:

    Hello Vibha,

    Do you have the ranges for your lab results? It will be easier to interpret your results if I know what scale your lab used. For now, I used the blood serum ranges provided by the National Institute of Health. I have provided links for reference. I have only listed the ranges for progesterone, estradiol, LH and FSH. I will update this comment and add the TSH, testosterone and DHEA ranges as soon as I can.

    Typically healthy progesterone levels are less than 1 ng/ml before ovulation and 5 to 20 ng/ml mid cycle.

    Serum estradiol levels are 30 to 400 pg/ml.

    LH levels are 5 to 25 IU/L.

    FSH levels are 4.7- 21.5 mlU/ml.

    It appears that your progesterone, LH and FSH are on the lower end based on this scale. Remember to check with your doctor about the scale he or she used.

    Low progesterone levels can cause mental symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and depression. This hormone imbalance can also interfere with the thyroid. LH and FSH regulate progesterone and estradiol synthesis so imbalances here, usually mean that your hormone levels are not what they should be. With hormone imbalance, it is also important for you to look at your symptoms along with lab results. Is your menstrual cycle regular, do you have a cycle every month? Is your menstrual flow heavy or light? Do you have PMS? Do you have fertility issues? Do you have any cysts in your breasts or ovaries? Does mental illness run in your family? If so, do the women on your affected side have any of these symptoms?

    If you and/or the women on your affected side are having these physical symptoms, progesterone supplementation may help your symptoms. Progesterone is needed for our mental and physical health. When we do not have adequate amounts of progesterone, our brains, digestive symptoms, immune systems, thyroid gland and other systems are unable to function, as they should. Talk to your doctor about taking progesterone as a possible treatment option. Please tell me what he or she says. I hope this helps. Kindest regards, Doris

  196. Vibha Says:

    Thanks a lot Doris for your reply.
    Below are the ranges given by lab-

    LH- 0.58 Refrence Range- Day 3 <7 mlu/ml
    Follicular Phase- 5.0- 30.0 mlu/ml
    Luteal- 3.0 – 40.0 mlu/ml
    Mid cycle- 75.0 – 150.0 mlu/ml

    FSH- 2.25 Refrence Range- Day 3 03-20 mlu/ml
    Follicular Phase- 3.5-12.5 mlu/ml
    Luteal- 1.7 – 7.7 mlu/ml
    Mid cycle- 4.7 – 21.5 mlu/ml

    Testosterone Free- 0.38 Adult- 0.29-3.18 pg/ml
    Follicular phase- 0.45-3.17 pg/ml
    Luteal phase- 0.46- 2.48 pg/ml

    Progesterone – 0.99 Follicular phase- 0.2-1.5 ng/ml
    Luteal phase- 1.7-27 ng/ml
    Mid cycle- 0.8-3.0 ng/ml
    Day 3 < 1.5 ng/ml

    Esteridol – 23.49 Follicular Phase- 20 – 150 pg/ml
    Luteal phase – 30 – 450 pg/ml
    Mid cycle- 150 – 750 pg/ml

    Testosterone Total – 0.27 Adult- 0.06 – 0.82 ng/ml

    DHEA – 190 Adult – 99 – 340 ug/dl

    I have done these test one day before I got my periods(30th Jan) and my last period date was 19th of last month.
    My periods are irregular with heavy flow.
    In my family my grandmother and aunt had some mental illness.
    I got cyst in ovaries last year which got ruptured by its own.After that I have not checked recently.
    I do feel more prone to irritation,crying and anger few days before my period and beginning 2-3 days of periods.

    I am not finding any local doctor who can help me with these issues.
    I would request you to please help me for proper treatment.
    I am highly obliged to you for your help.


  197. Doris Says:

    Hello Vibha,

    Since your test was done a day before your period, you were in the luteal phase. Therefore, the luteal ranges are the ones you should focus on.

    I also think it will help you to see a visual of what is going on in your body. Below is an image of the menstrual cycle.

    Menstrual Cycle LH FSH Progesterone Estradiol Corpus Lutem

    Below are your test results:

    LH- 0.58 Luteal- 3.0 – 40.0 mlu/ml

    FSH- 2.25 Luteal- 1.7 – 7.7 mlu/ml

    Testosterone Free- 0.38 Luteal phase- 0.46- 2.48 pg/ml

    Progesterone – 0.99 Luteal phase- 1.7-27 ng/ml

    Esteridol – 23.49 Luteal phase – 30 – 450 pg/ml

    Testosterone Total – 0.27 Adult- 0.06 – 0.82 ng/ml

    DHEA – 190 Adult – 99 – 340 ug/dl

    According to your results, your LH, progesterone and estradiol are low.

    Heavy menstrual flows are linked to high estrogen. Even though your results of estradiol are on the low side, if you do not have adequate progesterone to balance what estrogen you are producing, you can still have estrogen dominance symptoms. Cysts on your ovaries are also visible proof that your body is not getting the progesterone it needs. Cysts on the ovaries mean that your ovulation is irregular. It is after ovulation that progesterone is produced. Because you are prone to crying, irritation and anger just before your period starts, that is also indicative of low progesterone/ high estrogen levels. As you can see from the menstrual cycle image progesterone should be high during the luteal phase. When progesterone is low, you are left to feel the effects of estrogen. Estrogen not properly balanced by progesterone causes PMS.

    Because your grandmother and aunt had some mental illness, this points to a genetic condition. Hormone imbalances such as these are passed from parent to child. The same imbalance can have many different manifestations. One person can develop bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or depression. Another could develop a thyroid condition, autoimmune disease or an anxiety or attention deficit disorder.

    So how do you fix this? You take the progesterone your body needs. Healthy premenopausal women make 20 to 25 mg of progesterone per day for the two weeks following ovulation. You should take this amount. Progesterone cream can be purchased over the counter and by prescription in the US. Regarding your low estrogen levels, most premenopausal women make adequate estrogen. If you test again and find that your estrogen levels are lower than what they should be, you may be helped by taking a phytoestrogen cream. Once your progesterone and estrogen levels are corrected, your LH levels may be corrected as they all influence each other.

    What city and country do you live in? I will see what I can do to help you find a physician in your area. Doris

  198. Megan Says:

    Hey Doris sorry just had another question for ya. The past few days I’ve been feeling pretty down (I also have some stressful things going on in my life) but I was wondering if this is one of those things I’ve seen you mention before about “feeling worse before you can feel better” ? I sure hope so. And that it doesn’t last long. I woke up this morning in such a depressed mood over what happened last night I guess (incident Wyeth my ex and also my kids’ dad) I was basically saying I don’t know how I can go on anymore and thinking about going to the 8th floor and getting help our something its just so hard taking care of these three little ones all by myself when I already feel so bad. Still keep hoping this will be over soon.

  199. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    I’m sorry you are having relationship problems. Parenting alone and having disagreements with your ex is stressful for anyone, but especially for those of us with hormone balance issues. Our hormones help us to process stress so when there is an imbalance, the smallest amount of stress can send us over the edge. The good news is, once your progesterone levels are healthy, you should be able to handle stress better. It takes several months for hormone levels to get low, so it will take time to get them back where they need to be. It is a process.

    In the meantime, try to avoid stressful situations when you can. When you can’t, try to focus your attention on what’s good. Do things that bring you happiness and peace. Whether it’s drinking your favorite beverage or listening to a song you like. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Also, do not go through this process alone. Reach out to family and friends who care about you. We all need support. I had the support of family and friends when I started supplementation. I was stressed out and having crying spells, but eventually I got stronger, you will too.

    Be sure to help your body out by drinking lots of water, eating a healthy diet and getting lots of rest. You will get through this, even though your brain may be telling you otherwise. Don’t listen to it. Keep moving forward with your treatment. Better days are ahead. Doris

  200. Vibha Says:

    Thanks a lot Doris for your reply.
    You have given me good hope.Thanks a lot again.
    I live in Bangalore,India.Do you have any pointers for physician here or any other city in India?

    Also, can you please confirm that I need to start using progesterone cream 2 weeks before my periods and stop it once I get it and again start it after 2 weeks?So total I need to use it for 15 days only?


  201. Doris Says:

    Hello Vibha,

    You’re welcome. To find a physician in or near Bangalore, you will need to contact your local compounding pharmacy. There is a pharmacy in Bangalore called Belle Santé. Their web site is http://bellesante.in/compounding-pharmacy/. To reach Customer Service call +91 80 41680063 or email at info@bellesante.in. Most compounding pharmacies keep an associated list of doctors who use their pharmacy and they may be able to refer you to a physician who can help you. I like to use compounding pharmacies to find physicians, because most physicians who use compounding pharmacies understand the benefits of bioidentical hormones and most are interested in preventative medicine.

    Regarding the progesterone supplementation, you will need to take a loading dose when you start. A loading dose is a larger than normal dose used to raise very low levels. Initially you will take larger amounts of progesterone for three weeks and then take one week off to allow for your cycle. Some people take as much as 100 mg a day others take 60 mg. Talk to your doctor about the amount you will need to take. Even though you are starting at a higher dose, your goal is to be able to reduce your dose over time, so that you are able to take a physiological dose (the two weeks before your period) and remain symptom free.

    If you are unable to obtain progesterone via prescription, you may be able to purchase it without one. Source Naturals Progesterone Cream is available for purchase without prescription through Amazon India. It appears to be overpriced though. The price is 2650 Indian Rupee. The same product in the US costs 865 Rupee.

    Lastly, I want to leave you with a few tips when taking progesterone.

    1. Do not expect instantaneous results. It takes time to correct hormone imbalances.
    2. Your symptoms may get worse before they get better. The reason for this is progesterone adjusts things in our brains. This may cause you to develop new symptoms or an aggravation of your current ones. Nothing to be alarmed about, but something to be aware of so you will not be discouraged once you start treatment.
    3. You should feel better after each menstrual cycle.
    4. Drink lots of water once you start supplementing, eat healthy foods and get lots of rest to help your body heal.
    5. Progesterone does not protect against pregnancy.

    I think these are the most important. I hope this helps.

    Kindest regards,


  202. Vibha Says:

    Thank you so much Doris.
    I will contact the pharmacy you provided in Bangalore.

    Thanks a lot.


  203. Nicole Says:

    Hi Doris,
    I am working on getting a progesterone cream and my psychiatrist is going to work alongside a herbist. I will also ask him about bioidentical hormones.
    Hormone imbalance is such a silent epidemic and the OCD- sexual & violent thoughts come out of nowhere. I always have heart palpitations, I feel empty inside and I feel all of these things for these past 4 years even when I know I don’t have a clear reason to be depressed or anxious, but then again my bloodwork showed that my hormones are to blame.

    Below I researched OCD and hormones and in fact, hormone imbalance has much to do with OCD & the symptoms below. I find myself researching a lot to reassure myself.
    Symptoms of anxiety include upset stomach, hot flashes and/or chills, sweating, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and severe headaches. These physical symptoms are also indicative of hormonal imbalances due to menopause, thyroid disorders or early ovarian failure. Along with these symptoms, however, comes a sense of fear or dread with no apparent cause. The mind fills with unwanted thoughts, thoughts of terrible things that will befall you or your loved ones, thoughts that something terrible is about to happen, or thoughts that you are being ridiculed behind your back.

    I just hope soon I can start to feel better. I feel lost and alienated from everyone else.


  204. Doris Says:

    Hello Nicole,

    Yes, hormone imbalance is a silent epidemic. There are so many women and men suffering in silence and their hormones are to blame. Now that we know hormones are involved in OCD and other anxiety, mental and physical disorders. This information can be used to offer hormone-based treatment options for people suffering with these conditions. It is terrible how imbalanced hormones make us feel; thankfully, we know how to correct them. Continue to do research; you will be able to use this information to reassure yourself and to help others. Keep moving forward with your treatment, better days are ahead. Doris

  205. Janet Says:

    Hi Doris,

    Thank you for your wonderful Web site. I’m curious as to how you found a doctor to help you treat the hormonal imbalance?


  206. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    You’re welcome! I’m happy you enjoy the page.

    I found a doctor by contacting my local compounding pharmacy. Most compounding pharmacies keep an associated list of doctors who use their pharmacy and are often happy to make referrals.

    After reading Dr. Lee’s book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple,” I knew my progesterone levels were low and that I needed to supplement with progesterone. So when it came time to search for a physician, I was very specific. I only made an appointment with a doctor who would be comfortable prescribing progesterone. When I went to the doctor, I did not lead with my mental health in terms of why I needed progesterone. Taking progesterone for mental health was virtually unheard of nearly a decade ago. Instead, I lead with my PCOS and irregular menstrual cycles as my reason for needing progesterone and I found several doctors willing to prescribe progesterone for that.

    To find a compounding pharmacy near you, you can do a Google search or you can contact The Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) at http://www.pccarx.com/contact-us/find-a-compounder. Once you contact your local compounding pharmacy, they should be able to connect you to a physician in your area and you will need to ask the doctor specifically if they can heal progesterone deficiencies. Do not waste your time trying to convince a doctor that this condition exists; link up with one who is already knows it does.

    I hope this helps. Doris

  207. Janet Says:

    if I may ask – do you take oral progesterone or a cream?
    And you do not take any form of compounded estrogen?

    The reason I ask if you might take any form of estrogen… from what I read our bodies can make 3 forms of estrogen – but one is bad – Estrone – the other two are not bad – at least I think the Estriol (made during pregnancy)- the other Estradiol. When I initially took prempro – it helped with depression but after being on it a while the depression came back as did other emotional issues and physical ones. When my blood work was done recently as I had a thickened Uterus lining – found through a sonogram. So blood work was done – on my estradiol and progesterone levels – both low and on par with menopause. However, I insisted estrone levels be checked and my dr went back and checked not that but total estrogen and that was 168 – high for a menopausal women. That is when I started to read more online and found out about the xenoestrogens – product of soy, plastics or other things we take in that replicate estrogen in our bodies. So my total was 161 but my estradiol was 9.7 and my progesterone .3
    So, I guess what I’m wondering is if certain forms of estrogen are good for you but others not so good. You mentioned copper – but also I read where estrogen depletes your melatonin levels (but read that we only need small amounts not the large amounts given in supplements) and I think also magnesium is depleted. I was having issues where I’d feel like I had a current running through my body and couldn’t figure out what caused that feeling – I think your site mentions racing thoughts -had that as well as many other issues. Methyl compounds help to break down the estrogen so I’ve been taking MSM and a methyl form of B12 and foliate helps as well as eating beets and cruciferous veggies which you probably talk about all of this on your site. I may have read it from people reposting Dr Lee’s information. I did not know that vitamin C will help to oppose the copper and will increase my Vitamin C. Thanks!

    Thank you again and keep up your wonderful work!

  208. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    I take an over-the-counter progesterone cream called Source Natural’s Progesterone Cream. I have used pharmacy compounded creams and pills before, but prefer over-the-counter creams because they are easy to obtain, they work and they’re cost effective.

    I have not taken any form of estrogen, as I do not have an estrogen deficiency. Many women with estrogen deficiencies are helped by taking a bioidentical estrogen cream, patch or pill. Some women with estrogen deficiencies are able to keep their symptoms at bay with phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) such as soy and red clover.

    Yes, our bodies make three types of estrogen–estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3). None of the estrogens are “good” or “bad” per se. The human body makes each of them because they serve a purpose. Estrogens become toxic “bad” when levels are too high and/or when there is not adequate progesterone to balance them.

    Prempro is a cocktail of the synthetic estrogen Premarin and the synthetic progestin Provera. The Provera more than likely eased your depression as it has some properties of endogenous progesterone. Your relief was short lived because you were taking Premarin, which has estrogenic activity, and your body was rejecting it.

    A thick uterine lining is indicative of estrogen dominance. One of estrogen’s jobs is to tell cells to grow. Therefore, when levels are high or not properly balanced by progesterone this causes an overgrowth of uterine cells causing a thick uterine lining. Premarin is a mixture of estrone (E1) and equilin (horse estrogen). Your excess estrogen could be caused by xenoestrogens, but more than likely the Premarin caused your higher levels.

    Now regarding your lab results, I will need to know your ranges to make sense of your results. If you want you can email me if you do not feel comfortable posting your results on the blog.

    I will have to look into estrogen’s effect on melatonin and magnesium. I thought that high copper levels caused higher levels of methyl. Does your MSM help? Have you ever taken your MSM alone to see what impact the MSM is having on you? I am currently researching this topic. If I discover anything worthwhile, I will get back with you.

    In closing, I would like to see your lab ranges. Are you taking any progesterone or estrogen? How long did you take Premarin (number of months) and when did you stop taking it? Thanks for stopping by and bringing these topics to my attention. Talk to you soon!


  209. Raelene Says:

    Hi Doris,
    I don’t really know where to start but I’m hoping you can give me some direction.
    About 12 years ago at the age of 38 I started to have periods of anxiety/depression. It was very foreign to me and very scary. I would have these dips than come out of them and be okay for a while and then it would hit again with no rhyme or reason. I’m now 50 and at the moment I’m in the longest dip I’ve ever had. (close to 3 months) My periods have spaced out to every two/three months so I believe I’m truly in the rocky path leading to menopause.
    The last 3 years have been really hard with symptoms and they seem to be around a lot more. I went down with blood poisoning 3 years ago and I believe the stress that was put on my body probably threw me deeper into hormonal balance.
    I have tried so many things over the years and just when I think its all settled and I’ve found something to help it hits me again. If I took everything that doctors have thrown at me I would hate to think how I would be now. I am on 75mg of Efexor and I know its not helping but I’m to scared to come off it at the moment due to the withdrawls and also feeling so unwell. I also have valium for really bad days. I’m very very sensible with them as I know they can become addictive. My doctor trusts me with them.
    My results from the doctors a couple of weeks ago showed that my progesterone levels were low compared to my estrogen. My ratio was 1:48. From what I’ve read the ratio for good balanced health has to be at least a ration of 1:500/600. My levels were progesterone 19.2, estrogen 397 iron 9 and DHEA 0.9.
    My doctor has put me on iron, DHEA and natural progesterone capsules at night 200mg.(mainly to get my sleep happening) I go back and see her this week and she said she will be increasing the progesterone.
    I’m a little confused as I don’t know whether to continue with the capsules or go for the cream. I’m taking the capsules every night at the moment and she didn’t say anything about having a break from them. Would this be because my cycles are slowing down and their not regular anymore.
    I’m just so overwhelmed with it all at the moment and I’m just waiting for a day of freedom from all these horrible symptoms. I can handle a week or two of a drop but not this long.
    I spend all day on the computer reading and reading. I couldn’t believe it when I found your page and it just made so much sense.
    I really want to live again and enjoy the beauty of my family and friends. I have a very beautiful and supportive husband, a girl 22, and boys 19 and 16. I so need to be well for them all. I am a primary teacher and I love my work so much. At the moment I don’t feel well enough to do days. I also tutor and I find that is okay one on one at my house.
    I suppose my main questions are do you think I’ve suffered with low progesterone for years and how do I supplement with it when my periods are starting to do their own thing? I truly pray this is the answer because if it isn’t I don’t know what I will do. I have wanted to die so many times due to the horrific symptoms but I just couldn’t do that to my kids, husband and family. I live in hope that there will be an answer to all this misery and one day it will all be history.
    My sister was very similar to me and when her periods finished she was a new woman. I suppose once her estrogen levels dropped they were more in sync with her progesterone. I don’t really think I can hang in much longer so I would like to pump this progesterone into me as quick as I can. My only concern is what happens when my estrogen levels drop after menopause and my progesterone levels are to high from supplementing. Would this cause another set of problems. It’s just all so scary.
    Sorry that I have rambled on but I hope I have given you a clear picture of what has been going on. After reading through all your emails I wonder if my children are low in progesterone. I am going to have them tested as well. I may have found the answers to every ones health problems.
    Thanks for all your wonderful information.
    I feel finding this page was maybe a blessing.
    Please give me the strength to keep going and get on top of this nasty roller coaster.

    Kind regards
    Raelene xxx :) :)

  210. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    You sound like a lovely woman, with a loving heart and family. I am happy to help in any way I can.

    When estrogen is not properly balanced by progesterone, this is called “estrogen dominance.” This phrase was coined by the late Dr. John Lee. Dr. Lee explained that when progesterone is low in relation to estrogen this causes depression, mood swings, fatigue, migraines, brain fog, PMS, cystic ovaries, etc. In order to fix this condition, you will need to give your body the progesterone that needs.

    The great news is you have been diagnosed with low progesterone and you have a physician who is willing to prescribe it for you. So now, you know why you have been having these symptoms for the last 12 years.

    Regarding progesterone pills, only 10 to 15 % of progesterone taken orally survives digestion, so your prescription of 200 mg is giving you anywhere from 20 to 30 mg of progesterone to use. Dr. Lee says that menopausal women should take 10 to 20 mg of progesterone for 24 to 26 days a month. So your 200 mg oral dose is putting you in this range. But when levels are very low, it is important to take a loading dose. A loading dose is a larger than normal dose to quickly raise progesterone levels back to normal. Once your progesterone levels are in a healthy range, you can start taking physiological amounts of 10 to 20 mg for 24 to 26 days a month. Taking progesterone may cause you to cycle more often than every three months, DO NOT be alarmed if this happens, this should be short lived. Cycles occur when progesterone flushes excess estrogen out of your body. I’m happy to hear your doctor will be increasing your progesterone prescription.

    If you prefer to take a progesterone cream, your doctor should be able to write a prescription for you.Cream application is the one that most resembles how progesterone is released in the body.

    You should not have build up of progesterone if you only take what you need. If you take more than what you need then progesterone will be high in relation to estrogen and I’m sure that condition has its own set of problems. This will not happen to you because you are going to take your loading dose, once your symptoms are under control, you will only to 10 to 20 mg or so for 24 to 26 days out of the month.

    It sounds like you do not need any estrogen. If you find that you need estrogen after you correct your progesterone levels you can talk to your doctor about possibly taking a phytoestrogen (plant estrogen) or an estrogen patch, but for now focus on progesterone.

    Lastly, estrogen dominance can cause vitamins and minerals imbalance so be sure to take a good multivitamin. I am currently researching which are the best ones to take. As I get more information, I will update the blog and let everyone know. You should also drink lots of water when taking progesterone. Progesterone is catabolic so it’s important to stay hydrated in order to get the most out of your treatment.

    Hormone imbalances tend to be genetic. Once you become healthy, you will be able to help your family and friends who have hormone balance issues.

    Hormone balance is a process. It takes time, but recovery is possible. Your thoughts of suicide and depression are a result of the estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Once your imbalance is corrected, you should start feeling like your old self again. You can get through this. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

    Kindest regards,


  211. Candice Says:

    For the past few months I have been having so many symptoms to the point I think I’m dying or have brain cancer. So relieved that I found this site. My whole life my period has been extremely heavy to the point I have to wear a super plus tampon and a panty liner. This last year both of my sisters found out they were infertile. Our mother had ovarian cancer when she was pregnant with my little brother and had to have parts of her cervix taken out. Afterwards she had a full blown hysterectomy. I have two children one is four and my son is 20 months old. When I was pregnant with my son I started to feel very down and I had never felt like that so I went to the dr and found out I was anemic so I was given iron pills. I don’t know if they helped or the hormones from my pregnancy finally balanced out but my symptoms seemed to disappear. A few months ago my boyfriend and I had unprotected sex and I thought I was pregnant because out of nowhere I felt very nauseous and even occasionally threw up for no apparent reason. Then one night while trying to sleep in my daughters bed with her I felt tired but could not sleep at all. I felt crazy because my eyes were absolutely tired and I could not get comfortable. I then started getting hot and then cold I felt that I was either pregnant or losing my mind. I finally was able to sleep but only for about an hour and when I woke up I was covered in blood. I thought maybe it was a miscarriage or something weird because I wasn’t supposed to start my period for another week even though my period has never been spot on so it was very strange. During my period I didn’t feel like myself and felt very foggy headed, unable to concentrate and bouts of mood swings and depression. A few days to a week after my period ended I actually started feeling really good and I didn’t feel I had any symptoms. We once again tried for a baby in mid January and I was feeling really good. Feeling like I wanted another baby to complete our family. It is now two days past my period and I have not started. All day yesterday and today I have been really nauseous and throwing up. My head feels very foggy and I’m extremely tired to the point I don’t feel like getting up at all. I am going to take a pregnancy test just to rule that out but with my family history I somehow keep feeling like its my hormones. I just wake up not feeling good and some days I have huge headaches. I’m having a hard time just functioning throughout the day and doing small tasks are super difficult. Please offer some advice to help me in the right direction.

  212. Doris Says:

    Hello Candice,

    Heavy menstrual bleeding, infertility and certain types of cancer have been linked to low progesterone/ estrogen dominance. This type of imbalance is genetic and it sounds as though your mom and sisters may have hormone imbalance issues as well. Healthy women make 20 to 30 mg of progesterone a day for the week weeks before our period starts. If you do not make enough progesterone during this time because of genetic issues such as PCOS or Luteal Phase Defect, the body is left to feel the full effects of estrogen. Estrogen dominates in the body and when not properly balanced by progesterone it is extremely toxic. This unbalanced estrogen can cause PMS, PMDD, mood swings, depression, hallucinations, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, infertility, blood sugar abnormalities, headaches, autoimmune disease and even anemia. The way to correct this imbalance is to supplement your body with the progesterone it should be making after ovulation. You can obtain bioidentical progesterone by prescription or you can purchase it over the counter at your local health food store.

    Regarding your anemia, low progesterone has been linked to hemolytic anemia. Hemolytic anemia is when red blood cells die prematurely. Early death of red blood cells leads to low iron and this is why the iron helped you so much.

    When you were pregnant, you were more than likely helped by your iron supplementation and by placental progesterone. When you are pregnant, the placenta produces up to 400 mg of progesterone a day during the last trimester. When ovarian production is inadequate, placental progesterone can help.

    You need to continue to check and see if you are pregnant, if you find that you are not, progesterone supplementation might be something you want to explore.

    To find a doctor in your area who prescribes progesterone, it is best to contact your local compounding pharmacy and ask them if they can refer you to a physician who can correct progesterone deficiencies. Once you give your body the progesterone it needs, your body is buffered against estrogen and you should feel a lot better. Progesterone is key.

    I hope this helps. Doris

  213. Raelene Says:

    Hi Doris,
    Thank for your quick reply and kind words. I’m just wondering how long it took for your health to be good again once you started the progesterone? Also what’s a good loading dose for me to start on and do I stay on that until things are more evened out?
    I’m hoping that once I hit menopause that this will all settle down like it did for my sister. I’m sure with the progesterone on board things will get easier for me.
    It’s been a long 12 years of ups and downs but at the moment I’m at my worst because it has stayed around so long.
    I’m just waiting to wake and feel the freedom again. Life is so much easier when you can walk around without the sickly hold of doom and gloom. I’m very lucky that my life isn’t fast paced but that’s probably because I’ve made it that way because of the past 12 years. It’s so frustrating when you can feel okay for a while than it hits you again. The hormones just have a mind of their own!!!!!
    I’m so happy it all worked out for you and you found the answer to your health problems. May you continue to have good health.

    Raelene xx :) :)

  214. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    I experienced an improvement in my symptoms after each menstrual cycle. I was taking very large amounts of progesterone for three weeks on and one week off. So I really felt “good” after a few months. I was not at 100% but I felt like I was getting a handle on things. Everyone will have a different recovery time because every body is different.

    Dr. Lee says in his book “Hormone Balance Made Simple” that loading doses can be as high as 50 mg a day. I spoke with a physician in California who gives his patients loading doses of 100 to 80 mg a day. Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all number. The best thing to do is pay attention to your symptoms. Are your fatigue and moods improving at 50 mg a day? If so, you may be able to continue at this dose. As your symptoms improve, you will lower your dose until you are able to stay within the physiological ranges of 10 to 20 mg of progesterone a day and still feel good.

    Yes, hormones have a mind of their own and when they are out of sync, they wreak havoc on our lives. Thankfully, we now know how to manage them. Thank you for the well wishes. Please keep me posted on how everything works out for you.

    Best regards,


  215. Janet Says:

    Hi Doris – thank you so much for your reply!
    I took prempro for about 2 years. Stopped taking it about 7 months ago. I had the sonogram, then hysteroscopy about 3 months ago. I am menopausal – my estradiol was 9.7 – the range for me is 6-54.7 my total estrogen is 161 – range for menopausal is <40 – my progesterone is .3 range for menopausal is .1 to .8
    Also, to note – I had a genetics test a few years ago which noted I don't metabolize estrogen well. So that further complicates things for me. Trying to remove the estrogen is more difficult possibly. Interesting – I didn't see where methyl compounds are related to the copper issue. I have tried to increase fiber which can help some.

    It's a shame that they don't request women to get a sonogram after menopause as a matter of course.

    I am curious to know too as the lady above asked – how long it took you to feel results and are all your emotional symptoms gone?

    Thanks Doris! I really appreciate your time.

  216. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    Why did you have the sonogram and hysteroscopy? Were these routine procedures? Or did you have them in response to symptoms you were having?

    Based on your lab results and ranges, your estradiol and progesterone are within “normal” ranges but on the lower end. Your total estrogen is high. If your doctor is unable to tell you which estrogens are included within your total contact the lab who provided your results and see if they can help you.

    Since you don’t metabolize estrogen well, did your geneticist give you any options to correct this? Are your metabolic problems linked to your liver?

    Regarding my recovery, I saw noticeable results within two weeks. My hallucinations were one of my first symptoms to go. After six months, most of my mental health/bipolar disorder symptoms were undetectable.

    I hope you are able to find a way to lower your estrogen, if not at least buffer it with progesterone. High estrogen not balanced by progesterone causes symptoms of estrogen dominance. Work with your doctor to see what they can do to help you.

    I hope you have a great day. Doris

  217. Raelene Says:

    Hi Doris.
    I’m only on 200mg of natural progesterone at night and I haven’t noticed much of a change. I still feel very unwell. You mentioned that its only equivalent to 20mg of cream so the dose is probably way to low. Just waiting for the hormones to shift again so I can have some manageable days.

    Doris did you find in your years of unwellness that you could swing from going along not to bad and then you would be hit with symptoms again. If I went to a new doctor and explained my symptoms from the past 12 years I reckon they could label me as bipolar as well. The ups and downs have been so horrible. I can be going along rather well for a couple of months and then wham it hits you in the face. When I’m well I just feel normal and love life. I don’t race around and go over the top I just love feeling freedom.

    My main symptom is horrible anxiety in the chest and it just puts such a horrible hold on me that stops me from living. It makes me feel so sick in the body. As I said this drop is going on to long and it’s so hard to live with this horrible anxiety in the body.

    Doris I was just wondering if sore breasts are a symptom of starting progesterone? I have noticed that mine have become extremely sensitive and sore. I have also noticed some headaches or I should say an annoying tight head. Did you have these symptoms when you started the cream or did the higher dose help ease things? Also can natural progesterone make you put on weight?
    I was reading that you can take natural progesterone in a lozenger as well. It just dissolves in your mouth. Do you know if this is a good way to dose with progesterone.

    Sorry for all the questions but it’s great to talk to someone who has been through it and made it to the other side.

    Raelene xxx :) :)

  218. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    Your dose is low. You are not going to experience much relief if your body is only receiving 20 mg of progesterone a day. You will need higher amounts to overcome your deficiency.

    Yes, I had severe mood swings before I started progesterone. I was diagnosed bipolar disorder. I was relieved to find Dr. Lee’s work after so many years of suffering. If you were to describe your symptoms to a new physician, more than likely you would be diagnosed bipolar and given an antidepressant or mood stabilizer for your symptoms. Progesterone regulates anxiety, so it’s common to have anxiety problems when progesterone levels are inadequate.

    Once you start therapy, it is common to experience an aggravation of your symptoms or you may develop new ones. This should be short lived. Dr. Lee explained that after the body has gone months and years without sufficient progesterone you could experience “estrogen dominance” symptoms once you start therapy because the body is being acclimated to receiving the hormone again. I did not have sore breasts; however, I was very weepy and had crying spells. Just because I had crying spells does not mean that you will have them. Estrogen and progesterone have special roles in every area of the brain and body, so there are a wide variety of symptoms that can pop up once therapy starts. As your levels are stabilized, your unwanted symptoms from this “adjustment” period should go away. A loading dose is essential when starting therapy.

    Progesterone caused me to lose weight. Progesterone is a diuretic and it burns fat. Some people start feeling better on therapy and as a result, they eat more food and gain weight. They may think the progesterone caused their weight gain, but it was their increase in calories.

    Lozenges are available. I believe they have to be given in larger doses to offset what is broken down during digestion. 600 mg orally yields about 60 mg usable progesterone. 60 mg of the cream yields 60 mg of usable progesterone. I prefer the cream. The method you decide to use will come down to personal preference.

    I hope this helps,


  219. Raelene Says:

    Hi Doris.

    Thanks so much for your quick reply and words of wisdom.

    I will get the higher amount this week and get started on it. I will keep you posted on how I’m travelling.

    I know in perimenopause your levels of progesterone and estrogen can be very erratic. I would say mine at the moment are at extreme ends and that’s why I’m suffering so much. Would it be fair to say that my estrogen levels could be sky high at the moment and I don’t have adequate amounts of progesterone to balance it.

    Once my levels of estrogen start to decline as I get closer to menopause is it still okay to supplement with a low dose of progesterone. Once my estrogen lowers I know I will feel better but the thing is I don’t know when that is going to happen. These hormones have a mind of their own.

    It sure is a journey and a half.

    Your guidance is much appreciated.
    I pray I’m on the right path and can live again soon with a smile on my face.

    Raelene xxx :) :) :)

  220. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    You’re welcome. I think the higher amounts will help you.

    Last week you mentioned your lab results showed your progesterone is low in relation to your estrogen. This imbalance is causing your undesirable symptoms. To fix your imbalance and eliminate your symptoms, you must take the progesterone your body needs.

    As your estrogen declines, your progesterone supplementation should decline too. Estrogen does not go to zero at menopause, so you will still need progesterone during this time.

    You do not have to wait until your estrogen lowers to feel better. If you take the progesterone your body needs now, you can feel better now.

    Since you are starting supplementation, you need to take higher levels of progesterone until your symptoms are undetectable. Once your symptoms are gone, you will take physiological doses of 10 to 20 mg a day for 24 to 26 days each month to maintain your health. Pay attention to your symptoms. Your body will always let you know if you are on the right path.

    I hope this helps. Have a great weekend.


  221. Dina Says:

    Hello Doris,

    I am not sure if you remember me I am Dina I talk to you about my daughter, I told you that her progesterone came back low, the first time but her doctor wanted to do a second lab work to make sure. In the mean time I am losing my mind seeing my daughter go thru this. At first they told me she had schizoaffective, but I look at the psychologist as if he diagnosed her after 5 minutes of talking to her, furthermore I then took her to a psychiatrist who said no she has bi polar, all this time I have been waiting for the second time lab results!! I feel that NO doctors have help me thru this difficult time, right now she is not in school because she has lost her concentration, she has insomnia all the time, I am just waiting for the lab results, but I forgot to mention my daughter as so many cysts in her breast we thought they were cancer but it turns out their not. I also wanted to ask you did you take any med, before you figure it was your hormones? How did you feel or should I ask what system did you have? And how long did it take you to get back to normal after you corrected your progesterone? Will my daughter ever live a normal life? I have been so sad because these doctors are taking their time, while I feel she is slowly losing her life. Please give me some hope Doris, as I have none right now. Hope to hear from you soon.

  222. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    I remember you. The good news is you know your daughter’s progesterone is low so you should feel confident with her taking progesterone. Your daughter’s low progesterone is causing her mental health symptoms. Because your daughter’s progesterone is low, she is feeling the full effects of estrogen. Estrogen not properly balanced by progesterone causes insanity.

    The way to fix this is to give your daughter the progesterone she needs. Dr. Lee explained that healthy premenopausal women make 20 to 30 mg of progesterone for the two weeks before the period starts. Your daughter’s levels are very low, so she will need to take more than 30mg initially to overcome her current deficiency. Once her symptoms are under control, she can take 20 to 30 mg to maintain her health.

    Progesterone cream does not cause cancer. Synthetic estrogen, progestins and excessive estrogen cause cancer, progesterone protects against it.

    If your doctor does not understand the benefits of progesterone cream, they are not going to prescribe it and they may even discourage you from using it. If you want your doctor to encourage you to use this approach, you will have to work with a doctor who believes in it.

    The cysts in your daughter’s breasts are more than likely caused by her low progesterone and high estrogen. Taking progesterone should help them atrophy.

    Before I found out progesterone was the answer, I was prescribed psychiatric medication, Zoloft, metformin/Glucophage and birth control pills. None of them worked. They made me crazier than I already was. These things are being prescribed to treat the symptoms caused by low progesterone. When the body needs progesterone, only progesterone will work.

    I noticed an improvement in my symptoms within two weeks and felt better after every menstrual cycle. I was taking very high amounts of progesterone cream initially; I lowered my dose after every cycle. I felt good after three months and excellent after six.

    I think your daughter will be helped by progesterone therapy, she has the results that show her levels are low and she has cysts, which are indicative of the imbalance as well.

    I hope this helps. Doris

  223. Dina Says:

    I forgot to mention, when I do get her second lab work what do u recommend her taking? I told the doctor about the cream but she said that it causes cancer? Then I told her about the pills you had mentioned to me before prometrium,and she said lets wait for results then will will discuss it. So I want to be ready so when I do talk to her that my daughter gets the best treatment. Thank you Dina a concern mom.

  224. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    Based off your daughter’s low initial lab, mental health symptoms and cystic breasts, it’s clear she needs progesterone. It does not matter what her second lab says, these three things alone are enough to start treatment.

    The progesterone contained in progesterone cream is identical to the progesterone made by the ovaries. Endogenous progesterone does not cause cancer, nor does bioidentical progesterone. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta makes up to 400 mg of progesterone a day. If progesterone caused cancer, every pregnant woman and child born into this world would get cancer. Progesterone is also used in fertility clinics because it’s safe and effective.

    The misinformation about progesterone cream causing cancer more than likely comes from California’s Proposition 65, stemming from research performed in 1988. During that time synthetic progestins were tested and found to be carcinogenic–not progesterone. Progestins and progesterone are not the same thing. Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone produced by all humans. Progestins are not.

    If your doctor truly believes the progesterone cream causes cancer, she is not going to prescribe it and she shouldn’t. If you want your daughter to explore progesterone as a treatment option, you will need to work with a physician who is comfortable using it.

    Prometrium and progesterone cream are the same molecule—progesterone. The only difference is the delivery method. With Prometrium, the progesterone is swallowed, with the cream progesterone is delivered through the skin.

    Whenever you talk to your daughter’s doctor, ask her what she suggests your daughter take to increase her progesterone levels. I am curious to hear what she recommends.

    Progesterone is safe and effective when given in its bioidentical form, only to people who need it and in the amounts they need. Keep me posted.


  225. Dina Says:

    Hello Doris

    It’s me again Dina, I just got the second lab results and it came back at 3 even lower than her first results, my doctor said she would work with me and put her on the cream, but in the future once it corrects itself she wants to put her on the birth control patch? I am scare because I don’t know much about this horomones, but will that help her or make her worse? The only reason she is putting her on the cream is because I am telling her this is what I want, but I feel as her being a doctor she should tell me this is what she needs instead of me telling her! The only reason I know about this is due to you and what u have been helping me with. She now is going to do research she said to figure out how much cream my daughter will have to take? Shouldn’t she already know this since she is a horomone doctor? It scares me because she is asking me what I think instead of her telling me what the next step is. She also told me her estrogen was extremely low as well she made a comment that she has never seen this in such a young women, that she is puzzle, that she usually see this in older women. Please help me as she is looking to me for answer when she should be giving me answers!

  226. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    I’m happy your second lab confirmed your daughter’s low progesterone, now you should feel more comfortable when she starts treatment. It’s also great that your doctor is open and willing to work with you. More than likely your daughter’s doctor did not learn this approach in medical school, so she is offering you what she has been trained to offer. She is not against you; once she does her research, she will probably use this approach with other patients.

    Since she is open to prescribing bioidentical progesterone cream, she can call your local compounding pharmacy and speak with the pharmacist who can assist her in writing a prescription. Most prescriptions are written for 6 to 10 % creams which mean they contain 60 to 100 mg of progesterone per gram. Therefore, a 1/4 of the 6% cream will yield a dose of 15 mg progesterone and 1/4 of a 10% cream will give you 25 mg. The pharmacy will be able to explain dosages as well.

    Now, in terms of your daughter’s estrogen being low, she is still having “estrogen dominance” symptoms because her low progesterone does not properly balance what little estrogen she has. In this case, she will start with the progesterone cream to buffer what estrogen she is making. As she feels better, she will add bioidentical estrogen.

    There are three types of estrogen, estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3). Estradiol is the dominant circulating estrogen in premenopausal women, more than likely your daughter will be prescribed estradiol. Estrone is dominant during menopause and estriol during pregnancy.

    Bioidentical estradiol is available in patches, gels, creams, pills and spray. Bioidentical Estradiol cream is sold under the trade name Estrace. Bioidentical Estradiol patches are sold under the trade names Estraderm and Vivelle. You will need to decide which method you want her to use. Bioidentical estradiol is identical (chemically) to the estradiol made by the ovaries.

    They come in different amounts. You will need to talk to your doctor about the amount your daughter will need to take. As a rule, you want to take the lowest amount possible that will allow your daughter to maintain her health.

    Your doctor is suggesting birth control pills because they contain synthetic versions of progesterone and estrogen. We now know there is no need to take these synthetics when the bioidentical forms are readily available.

    So to get your daughter’s levels up, you have two choices–synthetic or bioidentical. It’s all based on the approach you want to follow.

    I don’t want you to get overwhelmed by the information. Simply put, healthy women make a certain amount of estrogen and progesterone every month. There is a range. When women are deficient in one or both of these hormones, they need to supplement their bodies with the deficient hormones. This is not a new concept; the same approach is used when insulin is given to treat diabetes.

    In addition to hormones, your daughter may be helped by vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamin B-12 helps brain fog and increases energy. Magnesium (chelated), zinc and vitamin C are excellent for hormone imbalances too.

    Since your daughter’s doctor is open to using bioidentical progesterone, maybe you could present her with Dr. Lee’s book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple.” After she reads his book, she should be more comfortable using this approach.

    I hope this helps. Doris

  227. Dina floissac Says:


    Thank you for your quick responses, I can not give my daughter Vitamin B because the doctor said her doses where way to high higher than normal but they are slowly getting better. I thank you so much and will keep you inform. Now that i have the information that i need. If this was your daughter what would u give her, u told me i had two choices synthetic or bioidentical? what would u do? thank you doris

  228. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    High B-12 can mean there are underlying problems, so it’s great your daughter’s levels are going down.

    Regarding bioidentical and synthetic hormones, I prefer bioidentical hormones. Please read Dr. Lee’s preference for bioidentical hormones by clicking here. Once you click on the page, read “Rule 2: Use bioidentical hormones rather than synthetic hormones.”

    I hope this helps. Doris

  229. Raelene Says:

    Hi Doris,

    I have been back to the doctors today and I have come away a little confused and lost.
    She has upped the progesterone capsule to 300mg to be taken at night and said it was equivalent to about 60mg of cream. She wants me still on the capsule to get my sleep under control.

    I go back in a month and she said we may swap to cream then. She suggested we take it slow and steady with the progesterone as I asked her for a 10% (100mg) of cream. She also mentioned that my testosterone is very very low. She recommended that I start on natural testosterone cream twice daily. (1mg a day)

    I’m just so unsure of where to go or what to do. Do you think the progesterone is high enough in the capsules to do anything for my symptoms and do you think the testosterone could help?

    Did you suffer with anxiety and body exhaustion when you were unwell Doris. I’m just so fatigued its sickening.

    I just need to see some brighter days, its getting so scary.

    Raelene xxx :) :) :)

  230. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    Trust your physician; she knows what she’s doing. Oral progesterone causes drowsiness. Therefore, if you are having difficulty falling asleep, Prometrium is a great option. As your sleep is regulated, you can switch over to the cream.

    Natural testosterone is also helpful when testosterone levels are low. Low testosterone can cause loss of energy, bone loss, depression, memory lapses and loss of libido. Testosterone cream is normally given in doses of 0.15 to 1 mg day, so your doctor has prescribed an amount for you within this range. Many women feel better once they start supplementation.

    I suffered from anxiety and chronic fatigue in the past because my hormones were off. Once I balanced my hormones, my severe anxiety and excessive fatigue went away. Our hormones regulate anxiety and our energy levels, so hormone imbalances will cause us to have symptoms in these areas. Your doctor is giving you great medical treatment/advice. Follow her regimen and be patient as your body heals.

    Kindest regards,


  231. Megan Says:


    Can using the natural progesterone cream delay your period at all??

  232. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    Yes, taking natural progesterone can delay your period. So when supplementing with progesterone it is best to stop a couple of days before your expected period to allow menstruation to begin. It is the stopping of progesterone that causes the menstrual cycle.

    Look at the picture below.


    The red line is progesterone. Progesterone maintains the uterine lining for a potential pregnancy. If the follicle is not fertilized, progesterone levels go down, the lining is shed (menstruation begins) and the process starts all over again.

    If you do not take a break during progesterone supplementation, if your timing is off or if you take more than you need, the lining will stay in place. You must take a break from supplementation to allow your body to have a cycle. It is quite normal for the days of your period to change until you figure out your dosage/timing.

    I hope this helps.


  233. Megan Says:

    I stopped the cream on Feb 8th and was expecting my pperiod around the 15th or so. Now I’m freaking out so bad because I had intercourse. I’m already so depressed and stressed out, pregnancy is the LAST thing I need right now. Thank you for the reply.

  234. Megan Says:

    I experienced what I thought were my normal pms symptoms at the end of last week so I thought for sure I would start

  235. Doris Says:

    Hello Megan,

    Getting your timing and doses down can be tricky. With progesterone it’s best to stop a day or two before your cycle normally beings. It can take awhile to find your rhythm. Also, taking progesterone alone does NOT protect against pregnancy. In fact, taking progesterone improves fertility. Since you are taking progesterone, you will need to explore non-hormonal birth control options in order to prevent pregnancy.

    Because you are not having a cycle, you may want to try taking progesterone for three weeks on and then taking a one week off to see if your cycle starts. If your cycle does not start, you may want to use Prometrium (the progesterone pill). You will need to find what method works best for you and your body. I hope this helps.


  236. Raelene Says:

    Thanks Doris for your positive reply. It gives me so much confidence to keep going with treatment.

    I was interested to read the above email from Megan with regards to progesterone delaying your periods.

    My doc hasn’t told me to take a break with the 300mg capsules at night. I have been on them a month. My periods for the last 6 months have extended out to every 2-3 months so I don’t really know when a period is going to come. For all I know I may have already had my last period.

    Are you able to guide me on what I should do here? Wasn’t sure to keep taking them or have a break. At the age of 50 I can understand periods slowing down and I’m closer to menopause. I don’t really want a monthly period again now that I’m in the home straight.

    I’m a little confused about this one after reading the above emails.


    p.s just had two manageable days after 70 days of hell. Feels nice :)

  237. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    I’m happy you are finally experiencing some relief. Regarding taking a break with progesterone, Dr. Lee says menopausal women should take a 5 day break from progesterone supplementation every month. Dr. Lee gave this information as a general guideline and not as a rule. Your doctor may have a purpose for you not taking a break. You should feel comfortable talking to her about it. At some point I would think she would tell you to stop taking progesterone so that you can have a cycle. It is the stopping of progesterone that causes the uterine lining to shed. You should follow up with your doctor about when you should take a break from supplementation. I hope this helps.

    Have a great weekend,

  238. Amanda Says:

    I would like to thank you for what you have written! I’ve suspected for a long time that I may have bipolar, but kept pushing it aside thinking I’m being silly & paranoid. I have a 6.5 month girl & since I’ve had her I’ve been crying a lot, moody, been really horrible to my husband & family, can’t sleep properly, tired & so on… BUT I’m not like that all the time. I spoke to my mum & she thinks it may be a hormonal imbalance rather than bipolar. It’s scary, but I think it’ll be for the best if I get a check up to see what’s going on, or if I just need more sleep ;-)

  239. Janet Says:

    Thank you Doris!
    I was having cramping and back pain. Dr recommended a sonogram. The sonogram showed a thickening of my uterine lining. One of my options was hysteroscopy – the other was a biopsy but seemed that this was not as good of an option as with the hysteroscopy they could also remove the problem – not just sample. But the labs came out negative for any type of cancer. So not sure what was causing the back pain and cramping. But they are gone now. I stopped taking the prempro when these symptoms started happening. So not sure if it was related to that or not. The genetic issue is liver related – yes. I need to have that followed up. I talked to a gastroenterologist about it but never had my tests sent to him to follow up so – guess I need to do that.
    Thank you! I hope the progesterone helps to balance things out at least. I have tried to cease eating any soy products – that helps to lessen the total estrogen – I hope.

    You are wonderful – thank you so much !

  240. Doris Says:

    Hello Amanda,

    You’re welcome! It sounds like you are dealing with some postpartum mental health issues. Postpartum depression and postpartum bipolar disorder are usually caused by a hormone imbalance. During pregnancy, there is an increase in estrogen and progesterone production. After childbirth, hormone levels decrease, but they do not always decrease at the same rate causing an imbalance.

    preganancy hormone levels

    The most common imbalance is one called “estrogen dominance.” Estrogen dominance means there is not adequate progesterone to balance the estrogen in your body. It was a condition first identified by the late Dr. John R. Lee. To see a list of estrogen dominance symptoms click here.

    Estrogen dominance can be corrected by supplementing with progesterone. When you visit your doctor, have your hormone levels checked. Your mum is right. Once your hormone levels are brought back to healthy levels, you should start feeling like your best self again. Keep me posted.


  241. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    You’re welcome. I am happy you are no longer taking Prempro. The synthetic hormones in Prempro were more than likely contributing to your back pain and cramping. A thick uterine lining is indicative of estrogen dominance so taking progesterone should remove the extra lining. Regarding your liver, I read that Milk Thistle helps the liver to work more efficiently; however, I am not sure if it will help with estrogen metabolism. Please let me know what your gastroenterologist says and keep me posted on how your hormone therapy goes. You are wonderful.

    Best regards,


  242. Raelene Says:

    Hi Doris,
    Just wondering what loading dose you started with and how long before you started reducing to a lower amount?

    You mentioned in one of your emails that you suffered with adrenal fatigue. Did you take anything along side the progesterone to support your adrenals or did the progesterone kick them back to life?

    I am finding exhaustion the biggest problem at the moment. It’s with me as soon as I wake and sticks with me all day. Did you find your exhaustion took a while to lift?

    I just hope I’m taking enough in the capsules (300mg) to get my levels to increase. I’ve read that a lot of women get stuck with estrogen dominance symptoms if the progesterone isn’t high enough. I hope that won’t be my issue.

    I’ve only been on the progesterone a month so I suppose it’s only early days yet!!!!

    Thanks for all your support
    I truly appreciate it.

    Raelene xx :) :)

  243. Doris Says:

    Hello Raelene,

    In the beginning, I used 100 to 80 mg of progesterone cream. Just because I used higher amounts does not mean these amounts will be good for everyone. This amount was good for me because I was hallucinating and had a severe deficiency.

    When I discovered my progesterone deficiency nearly nine years ago, I did not understand the importance of vitamin and mineral balance, so I only took progesterone. I drank lots of water, exercised and maintained a healthy vegetable/lean protein based diet. I recently learned that vitamin/mineral supplementation would have helped me to heal as well.

    Copper toxicity is very common with estrogen dominance. So in regards to supplementation, you may find it helpful to take supplements that lower copper. In the book, “Why Am I Always So Tired?” Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman suggests that people with high copper take a copper-free multivitamin, 10- 25 mg of zinc, 5- 15 mg manganese, 50- 200 mg B-6 and 500- 3,000 mg Vitamin C a day to lower their levels. She also says a B-Complex that contains at least 50 mg of the B vitamins and 100 mg of pantothenic acid can give a boost to sluggish adrenal glands.

    You will not be stuck with your estrogen dominance symptoms, because if find your progesterone intake is inadequate you will increase your dose. Don’t think other women’s struggles will be your own. Be patient. This process takes time.

    Keep me posted,


  244. Janet Says:

    I will try milk thistle and will let you know how things go. I have noticed I feel so much more calm now that I’m using the Progesterone cream. I am anxious to see if it helps the lining issue – hope so. Thanks so much Doris!

  245. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    I am happy to hear you are getting great results from your progesterone cream. Please keep in touch.

    Best regards,


  246. Dina Says:

    Hi Doris

    It’s me Dina I spoke to you about my daughter jade they want to start her off on 15 mg, and on the wrist and rub in but I told my doctor that I want to give it thru her private area she said ok but she wants to start her off on a low dose first to see how her body will react to it first, but I remember u had said to start of high doses first and get her back to normal levels and then start to wing her off, please response quickly I need your help as her doctor has stated she is new to all of this her progesterone is a 2.0 r now, thank u Doris

  247. Doris Says:

    Hello Dina,

    Follow your doctor’s orders. Once it’s found Jade will not have a negative reaction to progesterone her doctor may feel more comfortable increasing her dose. Regarding vaginal application, be sure the cream you are using is formulated for vaginal use, as some transdermal creams contain ingredients that may be irritating to the vaginal area. When progesterone is very low, higher doses are needed to overcome this overall deficiency. Once levels are stabilized, smaller physiological doses can be used. Because your physician is new to hormone balance, she may not feel comfortable prescribing higher doses. If this is the case, follow her doctor’s regimen and see if Jade is able to find relief with the lower doses. If the lower amounts are not effective, you can increase her dose on your own and let her doctor provide follow up care or you can look for another physician who is comfortable prescribing higher amounts. The choice is yours. I hope this helps.


  248. carla Says:

    hello again doris. I am going a lot better after some prayer.my husband and I have been using condoms since I have been on the progesterone cream. I am thinking of going on the mini pill. do you know if it is safe to use the cream with birth control?

  249. Doris Says:

    Hello Carla,

    I am happy you are feeling better. As far as using the mini pill with the cream, you will need to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can use the two together. The mini pill works by suppressing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus so that sperm cannot pass, preventing pregnancy. The progestin found in the mini pill is a synthetic version of the progesterone found in your cream, so it seems they would be safe together, maybe even progesterone alone with proper timing and dosages will work, but I don’t know this for sure. I have not found any research in this area to advise you. This topic definitely needs further exploration. I would ask my doctor about this one and ask if there are any non-hormonal, non-copper birth control options for you to use. Please keep me posted.

    Kindest regards,


  250. Janet Says:

    Hi Doris –
    Hope you are doing well. I wanted to ask you – and it may be here but I couldn’t find it when I searched, sorry if I’m duplicating. But, do you take progesterone every day or do you only take it for 20 days or whatever the recommended time is? I was on it for almost 4 weeks then stopped it for a few days – they recommend stopping for 7-10 days. But I noticed my mood changed and so thought I need to go back to it and maybe just do smaller amounts for 7-10 days. But wondering what you do or what you recommend? Thanks!!

  251. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    I am doing well, thank you! How are you? Because your mood changed once you stopped the cream, that is a sign that you are still progesterone deficient. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that your progesterone levels are still inadequate and that you need to continue with supplementation. The recommended dosage guidelines are just–guidelines and not the rule. Do what is best for your body, which may be taking progesterone every day and only taking a 4 to 5 day break versus 7 to 10 days. As your symptoms improve, you should be able to stop for seven to ten days without symptoms. When this happens, you will know your progesterone levels are stable.

    When I started progesterone therapy, I took progesterone for three weeks on and I tried to take a week off (following the chart/guidelines), but sometimes I couldn’t because my symptoms were so bad. So instead of taking a week off, I only took 3 to 4 days off depending on how I felt. As the months went by and my progesterone levels were restored, I was able to cut back my supplementation to 7 to 10 days off and eventually I was able to get to a point where I only take it for the two weeks after ovulation. Continue to listen to your body and let your symptoms guide you. If your body is telling you it needs progesterone, it does.

    I hope this helps and I hope you have a great weekend. Doris

  252. Shannon Says:

    Hi Doris- you are quite wonderful for helping those struggling- like myself. My story is ugly. My doctor tried me on many anti-anxiety and antidepressants since last May. Each one made me progressively worse to where I truly developed severe anxiety and depression. The last one he pulled me off of threw me into insomnia and I did not sleep for 9 straight days. I was a complete wreck, lost my job (I was only income), we lost our home and I checked myself into the osych ward in October of 2014. I was hoping they could help me. They out me on Remeron, which made me suicidal. They said just stick with it and it will help me. I got home and stayed on it for 8 weeks. It did not help me. I was not myself, depressed and still a mess. I realized that these drugs were really not going to work for me and started slowly titrating off of it.
    I found a holistic dr that thought there might be some hormonal issues (I am 42-heavy clotty periods, severe mood issues, etc) I got my results back. I have somewhat low T3free (2.8), low free testosterone (.2 pg), high estradiol (387.1 pg) and low progesterone (.3 ng)
    I have a compounded 50mg progesterone being mailed to me. I am wondering if my numbers seem “off” enough to be causing such havoc in my mental state. My days are very difficult to get through. I don’t feel like myself and don’t want to live like this. I have so much to live for and don’t feel it at all :(

  253. Janet Says:

    Thank you so much Doris – your response was very helpful! I’ll try just going off for 3-4 days and see how that feels.

    Thank you! Hope you are having a great weekend as well!

  254. Doris Says:

    Hello Shannon,

    You are wonderful for living with an untreated hormone imbalance for so long and surviving. Based on what you have said, it sounds like your doctors prescribed antidepressants and antianxiety medications to treat symptoms caused by low progesterone. Low progesterone/ high estrogen can cause severe mood swings, mania, depression, anxiety, crying spells and hallucinations. This same imbalance can also cause clot-heavy menstrual cycles, autoimmune disease, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction and cystic breasts and ovaries.

    To fix this imbalance, you will need to supplement your body with the progesterone it needs to be healthy. Healthy premenopausal women generally make 20 to 30 mg of progesterone a day for the two weeks following ovulation. Ovulation is always the two weeks before the first day of your period. Before you start taking this physiological amount, it is best to take a loading dose. A loading dose is a larger-than-normal dose of progesterone used to restore depleted levels quickly. Loading doses can range from as high as 100 mg a day to as low as 50 mg a day. Your dose will depend on your symptoms and your overall deficiency. When starting progesterone therapy, you will need to take it for three weeks on and then allow one week off allowing for your cycle. As your health and levels are restored, you will take 20 to 30 mg a day for the two weeks following ovulation.

    High estrogen can also cause copper levels to become too high. High copper may also be contributing to your symptoms. In her book, “Why Am I So Tired?” Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman suggests taking vitamin C, zinc, manganese, Vitamin B6 and a copper-free multivitamin to rid the body of excess copper.

    Regarding your levels seeming “off,” I will need to see the ranges used for your test results. Typically high estrogen/low progesterone imbalances can be corrected by using progesterone alone. Low testosterone can be corrected through bioidentical testosterone supplementation. High estrogen can interfere with your T3 levels, so taking progesterone may improve these numbers as well. I know how tough it is to live with symptoms like this, once your start giving your body what it needs, your symptoms should improve.

    Please keep me posted on how your treatment goes. Doris

  255. Doris Says:

    Hello Janet,

    You’re welcome. I am happy that what I said helped. Please continue to keep me posted on your treatment.


  256. Chanel Says:

    Dear Doris,

    I am absolutely desperate. I have known for 32 years that my depression is caused by hormonal imbalance, but trying to get my doctors to believe it instead of giving me anti-depressants, has not been met with open arms.

    I had postpartum depression with at least two out of four pregnancies. My periods were always regular but heavy. The GYN found uterine fibroids and I was having problems for years in my late 30s into late 40s with depression and wanting to die, but too scared to do anything to off myself.

    I had a total hysterectomy in 2011, I was 49. Thus, I have no reproductive organs, resulting in a bam, surgical menopause. I am worse off than ever. I have documented my moods and the hormones I have taken ever since my hysterectomy.

    I have taken 40mg 1ml of Delestrogen/Estradiol Valerate, once a month, I have used the estrogen patches, I have used BIHRT in Estrogen Troches, BIEst cream-vaginally, 1ml, 5mg, progesterone cream 50 mg, 1ml, 2x daily. I have Testosterone 4mg/DHEA 10mg, 1x daily.
    I have tried BI progesterone capsules, but I feel like I’m tired and drugged. Sort of the way Xanax makes you feel.

    I am at my end. I cannot function anymore. I go up and down and just when I think I’m OK, then I turn. The only thing that may cause this is what I call, bottoming out of my estrogen, because the Delestrogen injection will start to wear off and that’s when my body odor comes out foul and I start to feel crazy. It’s meant to last for four weeks, it’s an intramuscular injection.

    In 2001, my doctor asked me why I was on such a high level of birth control pill since I was celibate, I was on Demulen. I felt so suicidal on it and I lost 10 lbs. I was skinny and couldn’t afford to lose weight. He prescribed Yasmin and it was like a light switch, I felt good the next day. (I have a very quick reaction to meds, going on and off of them.) I waited a month before I told anyone. I felt confident, good, strong, no longer anxious, OCD, depressed or crying. I could never put a pound on to save my life. I had gone down to 87 lbs when I was in my late 30s, mind you I had four children by the time I was 27. After I went on Yasmin, I gained 20 lbs. in one year. I never gained that much weight when I was pregnant, but I felt good.

    Since my hyster, I have continued with the 20 lbs, which I hate, I need to lose 10. My breasts are big and they are hurting my neck and back. I was already very top heavy and now it’s worse. My stomach is bloated and mushy.

    My adult kids and friends don’t get me. I have ruined my relationship with my boyfriend, as he just doesn’t get it. I feel so down and trapped. My life has been really challenging as an adult and I’m going through a very stressful time. I have read Dr. Lee’s books, Suzanne Sommers, and Dr. Helen Pensanti, all very knowledgeable people on BIHRT.

    I came across your post because I entered in the search engine, “Hormonal imbalance and depression/suicidal” When I read what you wrote, it sounded like me. I have had PMDD for years and now that I had the surgical meno and been even more whacked out, I don’t know what to do.

    I am afraid of myself. I do not drink, smoke or do drugs. I hate to do anything that will cause my body to go crazy. I don’t eat or sleep well at all.

    I have prayed to the Lord to help deliver me and heal me before I do something that is irreversible. I don’t want to do anything to end my life, but I can’t stand this constant state of OCD, anxiety and depression/suicidal feelings. No one seems to get me.

    I am a dislocated former stay at home single mom, who returned to school to get a new career because I got carpal tunnel and osteoarthritis as a hairdresser. I don’t know what to do.

    Can you help me or steer me someplace? Please pray for me.

    Thank you Doris.

  257. Shannon Says:

    Thank you so much Doris for your reply. I have been using 40mg of cream in the morning and 40 at night. I didn’t sleep well for 2 nights but did better last night. This morning after I used my cream I felt really overcharged. My yoga seemed to help. I read that this means estrogen is still dominant and to correct it, I need to increase by dose again. I will try 100 mg. I can tell a difference in my depression and suiciidal thoughts I think.

  258. Debra Says:

    Dear Doris,
    I am 47and married and going through perimenopause and it has been very difficult to say the least. I have been getting symptoms for years and didn’t realize it. I was also on the birth control pill for at least 20 years off and on. I had previously been on the pill from 2002 to 2012. I wanted to stop the pill because I was starting to get side effects and that never happened before. I also thought that some of the symptoms of perimenopause where masked by the birth control pill and as soon as I got off the pill I started seeing more and more perimenopause symptoms. They have increasingly got worse. Now I also believe I have all the symptoms of estrogen dominance. In September of 2013 I got laid off from my job. I was on unemployment. In January 2014, I got nervous that my unemployment was going to run out and started panicking but it was not too bad. Then I broke out in acne all over my face, jaw and neck. I was very upset because I also had a left ovary problem with cramping and had cysts in the past and I thought my ovary was producing the acne and it probably was but so does perimenopause. It got worse with all my anxiety and panic over finding a job and dealing with the changes. My facial skin also got very dry after having 35 years of oily skin and I was not sure what was happening. I also had my hair falling out, my hair was changing texture and graying, I had lost a lot of weight in 2013 because of depression and anxiety and now I am trying to gain it back and have but now my body has changed and I am bloated, my stomach hurts, my feet swell and my feet tingle. I now know it is perimenopause but at the time this happened I was not sure what was happening. I started to get very angry that I had bad cystic acne now at age 47 and I also had it in puberty (but it subsided when I started birth control at age 16). In May 2014 my acne got so bad on my face, back, neck and chest that I decided to go back on the birth control pill. At first I felt very calm but as time went on it didn’t last. I was on the pill for 4 months and it didn’t cure my acne and I got very angry. I was also experiencing depression, mood swings, very bad anxiety and got a pull blown panic attack 3 months into me being on the pill (August 2014) and they have not gone away. I also switched 3 times to different bc pills within those months and the last one had more estrogen than progesterone. I got off the bc pill in September 2014 and believe those pills gave me all my depression and anxiety and panic attacks so I visited my doctor because of the panic, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts. He put my on buspar for anxiety but it was not working and I didn’t want to take it anymore. I am sad to say that I attempted suicide and ending up going to the hospital. They gave me celexa to help with depression and anxiety. I am still on the celexa and now buspar again but those pills are still not helping me and I still have severe suicidal thoughts, very bad depression and horrible panic and anxiety attacks. I am afraid of going outside without my husband and don’t like to go out because my of my appearance with the acne, now dry skin and thinning and graying hair and the severe panic. I panic so much now when I had to get ready to go out because I can’t get ready as I did years ago. My appearance had changed and when I look in the mirror I am horrified at what I see and my heart breaks so the panic is very severe. I now know I am in perimenopause because I took a blood test and the hormone levels were way off. That broke my heart becaseu I am not ready for this. My husband is younger than me and I feel we didn’t have enough time together to be myself. I feel like someone else now. Along with this I have a tremendous amount of stress because I can’t keep a job (tried to work for 2 months but could not), we are running out of money (my husband works and he is doing the best he can but we can’t live on his salary), we are barley living which is making me more depressed and suicidal, and I hate the way I now look, old and worn out with so much panic. My hair is thinning, my face is dry and thin skinned, my hair is gray and to top it off, my hairdresser moved which forced me to go to someone else to cut my hair and they ruined my hair. I just think my hormones and stress are to blame for my panic and accelerating my changes. Summer is coming and I am afraid. Last year I went on the bc pill because the summer heat and humidity cause my acne to to into overdrive with my oil glands going crazy because of my anxiety. I was also this way when I was a child and had oily hair, very bad cystic acne and I was very over weight ( I lost about 80 pounds when I was 13) and I feel like I am repeating this all over again except for the weight gain but it may happen by menopause. Can you please help because I am at my wits end. I am constantly thinking about suicide. I love my husband and don’t want to do anything ever again and want to be able to live this life. I am so afraid and confused. I know I need to fix my hormones and I want to but I worried about the cost also. I am so desperate. I found a doctor in my neighborhood for bioidentical hormones and I want to go but I am worried about the cost. I need to get a job and work to help support us and god forbid if I had to live on my own, I could not provide for myself. That part scares me as I need my husband and he needs me.
    Thank you,

  259. Doris Says:

    Hello Chanel,

    Please forgive me for my late reply.

    I understand your frustration and I know how tough it can be when family members and friends don’t understand you. I hope that you will feel better soon.

    I’m glad you have read Dr. Lee’s books because based on what you have said, it sounds like you have a condition that Dr. Lee called “estrogen dominance.” Estrogen dominance means estrogen is wreaking havoc in the body because there is not enough progesterone to balance it. High estrogen/ low progesterone can cause heavy periods, postpartum depression, uterine fibroids and depression. Whenever you visit most physicians and tell them of your condition/symptoms, most will put you on antidepressants, birth control pills or they will suggest a hysterectomy or oophorectomy. Unfortunately, hormone balance is not a common treatment option for this condition, but I hope it will soon be.

    Regarding your current symptoms, it sounds like your estrogen is high and your progesterone is low. Having a hysterectomy does not correct this type of hormone imbalance; it only stops the bleeding because the uterus has been removed. Did you have your ovaries removed during your hysterectomy? Or only your uterus and cervix? Even if you had your ovaries removed, your body can continue to produce estrogen through your body fat, hypothalamus and adrenal glands. It sounds like the estrogen you were taking interfered with your progesterone.

    If you are still taking estrogen, you will need to stop taking it. You cannot stop estrogen cold turkey, as you will have severe withdrawal symptoms like the ones you felt when your estrogen shot wore off. If you are still taking an estrogen shot, you will need switch to an estrogen pill and wean yourself off by taking a pill every other day and then every two days until you can successfully not take any without symptoms.

    As you are stopping your estrogen, you will need to start or continue with your progesterone. You do not have to take the progesterone capsules since they make you drowsy, instead, take the progesterone cream. Take 50 mg twice a day and continue to reduce your dose until you are able to take 10 to 20 mg a day and feel good. Continue to take your testosterone and DHEA as prescribed.

    Your excess belly fat is caused by your high estrogen levels, once you start progesterone-only hormone therapy, your body should burn your excess fat.

    High estrogen also causes copper to accumulate in the brain causing undesirable symptoms. High copper could also be contributing to your symptoms an taking supplements can help rid your body of excess copper. Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman suggests taking a copper-free multivitamin, 10- 25 mg of zinc, 5- 15 mg manganese, 50- 200 mg B-6 and 500- 3,000 mg Vitamin C a day to lower copper levels.

    Once you feel better, you will need to determine if you need to add estrogen back by looking at your symptoms. Low estrogen symptoms include vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, night sweats, memory problems, hot flashes, lethargic depression and bladder infections. If your testosterone and DHEA levels are low, you can continue with those.

    Once you correct your underlying estrogen dominance condition, you should experience relief from your symptoms. If you have any additional questions, please let me know. I am praying for you.

    Kindest regards,


  260. Doris Says:

    Hello Shannon,

    I am happy to hear you are feeling better. Are you still having a menstrual cycle? If so, you should also notice an improvement in your symptoms after each cycle. It’s great that you are doing yoga; anything you can do to assist your body in healing is great.

    Also, excess copper is a problem that normally accompanies high estrogen/ low progesterone so excess copper could be contributing to your symptoms as well and you may find it helpful to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman suggests taking a copper-free multivitamin, 10- 25 mg of zinc, 5- 15 mg manganese, 50- 200 mg B-6 and 500- 3,000 mg Vitamin C a day to lower excess copper levels.

    I hope things continue to get better for you. Please continue to keep me posted.


  261. Shannon Says:

    Thank you Doris. I do still have a cycle- it is horribly heavy and clotty so that would be great it progesterone helps. I am experiencing depression today, which is just not my normal self at all. I am not sure if it is the antidepressant taper I am doing or what. I just want to feel happiness!
    I will look into the cooper thing. Thank you so much for helping me!!

  262. Doris Says:

    Hello Debra,

    I am happy that you are still here with us. I know it’s tough, but don’t be so hard on yourself about your appearance and your inability to work, all of these symptoms are caused by your hormone imbalance.

    Birth control pills and copper IUDs cause hormone imbalance. They cause copper levels to be high and can deplete iron and zinc levels. All of these things lead to madness. Do you know if hormone imbalances or mental illnesses run in your family? If so, you may have always had an underlying hormone imbalance and the birth control pills could have masked it some or the birth control pills alone may be the cause. So how do you fix this?

    First, can you tell me what you meant when you said you had a blood test and your levels were way off? What did your test measure?

    I think you would be helped by taking a bioidentical progesterone cream and taking vitamin supplements to rid your body of the excess copper. You can buy a progesterone over the counter without a prescription from your local health food store or online from most major retailers. Progesterone cream is the same consistency as many body lotions, you take the cream and rub it in your inner arms and the hormone will travel to all the places in your body where it is needed. Good brands to use are Source Natural’s Progesterone Cream, Emerita’s Progest and Progestacare. There are other reputable brands, I have personally used these and the all have adequate amounts of progesterone. Are you still having menstrual cycles? If so, you can take about 60 mg of progesterone every day for three weeks and then take one week of to allow for your cycle. As your symptoms improve, lower your dose until you are able to take 10 to 20 mg and remain symptom free.

    Regarding the excess copper, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman who wrote, “Why Am I So Tired?,” suggests taking a copper-free multivitamin, 10- 25 mg of zinc, 5- 15 mg manganese, 50- 200 mg B-6 and 500- 3,000 mg Vitamin C a day to lower copper levels. Zinc and vitamin C are especially helpful because they directly oppose copper. Eating foods high and zinc will help too.

    So in a nutshell, taking progesterone rids your body of excess estrogen and the vitamin supplements Dr. Gittleman suggested will rid your body of excess copper. As your hormones and mineral levels are in balance, your depression, anxiety, acne, dry skin and panic attacks should become undetectable. If you cannot afford all of the vitamins, at least take vitamin C and zinc.

    Your husband loves you, don’t listen to the negative committee in your head. Try your best to ignore it. As your become healthier, it will be a lot easier to do. I hope this helps.


  263. Doris Says:

    Hello Shannon,

    There are ups and downs with hormone balance–results are not instant. However, if you keep with it and continually give your body what it needs you will feel better. Continue to read as much as you can about hormone imbalance and be confident about your treatment. It works.


  264. Debra Says:

    Hello Doris,

    Thank you for your reply and all the great information you provided.

    I am not sure if hormone imbalances or mental illnesses runs in my family. I know my mother and my aunt, who are twins, have hypothyroid problems (my mother is deceased now from pancreatic cancer) and I also have thyroid nodules and cysts but my levels are ok. As for mental illnesses, there is one of cousins who has depression and tried to kill herself when she was young but other than that I am not sure about anyone else. My mother may have had depression because of the hard times she had with my father but she was very religious. I am not sure about my biological father. I was very young when my parents separated and don’t know a lot because I would not want to bring up the past to my mother because she would get very upset and I didn’t want to upset her. I do know that my father might have killed himself when my mother remarried and we moved away in 1982 (he died 2 weeks later). He may have had mental illness but not sure.

    To answer your question about my blood test, I went to an endocrinologist in December 2014 and she tested my hormone levels and all are within range: TSH: 2.84 (0.34-6.60), Testosterone Total: 18 (10-76), FSH: 82.80 (16.74-113.59 pre-menopausal), LH: 50.80 (10.87-58.64 pre-menopausal), Estradiol: 21(20-48 pre-menopausal), Prolactin: 9.97 (<50 years of age – pre-menopausal). I only got tested once so far because it is very expensive and my husband’s coverage is ok but not great and we have 80% coverage and we pay 20% after a huge deductible and co deductible. I really think I am in pre menopause now but not sure. Do you think I should go to a bio identical hormone doctor? I am not sure.

    I still have a menstrual cycle but it is getting very erratic. When I got off the bc pill in 2012, I didn’t get my period for 3 months, then I got it and it was on time every month with very very heavy bleeding and cramps and horrible pms. Then in the later part of 2013, it started to get erratic with less than 28 days, like 21 to 23 days and bleeding for 6 or 7 days. IT the end of 201, November and December, I didn’t get my period for about 2 months (I think also because I was extremely stressed after I went to the hospital for my attempt) and then I got my period in January of 2015, then in February for a 28 day cycle and then 14 days later I got it again and I spotted for 9 days and then on the 10th day I got heavy bleeding and I still have it today.

    I am trying not to be so hard on myself about my appearance but it does bother me a lot because I am not used to what I see in the mirror. I panic so much when I have to get ready because my skin and hair have changed. I even developed a phobia of going into the shower because I don’t like the way my facial skin feels, I can’t use my favorite soap anymore to wash my face (my face was oily for 35 years and now it is very dry) and I don’t like washing my hair because it is very dry and gray with all the changes and using semi permanent coloring made it dry and it falls out. I have very bad acne now all the time (sometimes it calms down but not for long) and I have very facial skin and increasing hair on my face (but not dark hairs). I can’t wear makeup anymore because of my dry skin (used to wear foundation and blush and concealer) and that made me very upset. I also have almost no eyebrow hair from over plucking for years and now the hairs don’t grow anymore and when I draw them they don’t come right because of my skin texture and a little sagging. I was thinking about getting permanent make up put on. I used to be so happy, smiling and wanting to go out. Now all I do is cry and I cry very intensely. I don't like going outside anymore. I am afraid of going outside. I don't feel the same because my life, face and body are all different. It is as if I have stepped into a new life I know nothing about and have to learn it all over. Like a baby has to learn to walk and talk and eat. I feel like I am afraid of my own shadow. I never had panic and anxiety like this about my appearance until this happened. These hormonal changes made me afraid of my life now and in the future. I keep asking God and my mother for help because I can’t do on like this. I want to be who I was before these changes. I met my husband in 2002 and we lived together and married in 2010. I had so much fun and than in 2014 all these changes happened and it all changed. I miss my life so much.

    Thank you,

  265. Doris Says:

    Hello Debra,

    Thank you for sharing so much of your family history with me. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your mother and father. My condolences to you. Regarding your family history with progesterone, nothing screams out hormone imbalance. The imbalance may be on your father’s side as suicides and suicide attempts are common with the imbalance.

    At any rate, regardless of your family history, you are having physical symptoms consistent with low progesterone. Even though your estradiol levels are within a normal range, if you do not have adequate progesterone to cover the estrogen you are making you can experience estrogen dominance symptoms. Heavy bleeding, cramps and PMS are all caused by this condition. I read your test results and noticed that your progesterone levels were missing. Was your progesterone measured during this test? If not, not measuring your progesterone was an oversight or your physician does not understand how progesterone or the lack of it, is contributing to your symptoms.

    Before you make any permanent changes with tattooing, I would explore hormone balance and see what effect correcting your imbalance will have on your skin. You need to take progesterone to balance the estrogen you are making. Taking progesterone will reduce your heavy bleeding and should eliminate your heavy cramping and PMS. Your physical appearance should return to normal once levels are restored as well. You should be taking about 60 mg or so of bioidentical progesterone every day, stopping a day or two before your expected cycle. Continue with progesterone every day you are on your cycle, lowering your dose by 10 mg a month, until you can take 10 to 20 mg a month and not feel any of the symptoms we talked about.

    My response is based on the work of the late Dr. John Lee. I suggest you read his book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple.” It will explain the principals of hormone balance and it will give you the insight you need to take charge of your health.

    Hormone imbalances can change our physical appearance and therefore affect our self-esteem. Please consider hormone balance as a treatment option so that you can start feeling and looking like your former self again. Recovery is possible. Hang in there. Keep me posted.


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