Hormone Imbalance Can Cause Mental Illness

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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:
*Depression
*Irritability
*Mood Swings
*Crying
*Bloating
*Headaches
*Fatigue
*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, I thought they were only aggravating it, but I was glad to find out 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!

Doris

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

120 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,

    Doris

  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 health and 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 even if you ovulate, you can have luteal insufficiency, which means that progesterone isn’t being produced in numbers as it should.

    I read your comment and you said that 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 get off of your birth control. And I’m just curious did you have any 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,

    Doris

  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?

    Chuck

  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,

    Doris

  9. Karstine Says:

    Thank you for sharing your story..
    godbless..

  10. Doris Says:

    You’re welcome! Thank you! xx~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:

    Hi Mrs. South, first I’d like to say that I’m sorry about the loss of your dear son. My condolences to you and your family. I know you must miss him dearly.

    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:

    Doris,
    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
    ajuma

  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:

    Hi,

    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:

    Hi!
    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!

    Doris

  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,
    Doris

  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,
    Doris

  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,
    Doris

  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:

    Hi

    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! :)

    Linda

  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!
    Sincerely,
    Linda

  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,

    Doris

  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:

    **UPDATE**

    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 for the days you are not on your cycle. Can you obtain a progesterone 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,
    Doris

  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!
    Denise

  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,

    Doris

  90. kendra Says:

    Hello,

    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.
    Kendra

  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!

    -Megan

  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
    Renae.

  115. Doris Says:

    Hello Renae,

    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. So if there are inadequacies in progesterone production during your last trimester, this imbalance can remain even after you have given birth. This happens to lots of women and they are usually told it is 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 even 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.
    Renae.

  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

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