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I want to empower your health with the steps that freed my life of chronic pain and medications.

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40 Comments

  1. This is so good to know! I definitely deal with hormone imbalance and perfectly fit the definition of someone with estrogen dominance. The root cause is a toughie but I’ve been reading your book, and it’s been helping me a ton in taking the right steps to healing my hormones!

  2. I began seeing my holistic counselor as a result of severe anxiety. I showed signs of adrenal fatigue as well. We did a full detox and a 60-day elimination diet. I have eliminated gluten and other allergens, and increased supplements to offset my deficiencies (such as low Vit D).

    I have been using the cream now, not a synthetic, under the watchful eye of my holisitic counselor and a partner RN for 3 months; however before using it I had my labs run (doing a 4-cycle saliva test) which showed I was low progesterone and as a result estrogen dominant. I have a short cycle, so I only use a very small dab daily, the second half of my cycle, as prescribed.

    I agree- it should be done under a medical professional and not simply picked up at a drugstore (which might I add are highly synthetic and are loaded with chemicals and additives).

    I have seen a slight improvement, but I would not go as far as saying it is a miracle. I feel that it is one small spoke on the wheel of my wellness program.

  3. i use bioidentical hormones under the supervision of my really wonderful DO. he is very careful to measure all the hormone levels and keep track of everything. when i first started, some of my deficiencies were pretty pronounced. i am now able to cut back or eliminate some of the things. i feel MUCH better, and would definitely recommend finding someone to test your hormone levels and help you through the process of healing-by way of BHRT, diet and/or herbal means. i had severe fatigue, migraines, and mild depression during cycles, and i have had a huge upsurge in energy and mood with all the changes made with food, vitamins, etc.

  4. After having a hysterectomy I have been using BHRT (including progesterone) for 6 years under the guidance of a doctor. It changed my quality of life so severely that I cannot sing its praises enough! All my hormones as well as vitamin, mineral and other blood levels were checked prior to beginning BHRT. This along with necessary dietary changes and specific supplementation have helped to improve all my measured levels significantly.

    I do have to say that not all BHRT creams are the same though. I found that when changing pharmacies some creams were not properly absorbed into my body and even though I used the creams my levels dropped below what they were when I started. So I have to say that one needs to knpw their body and if they are not getting enough improvement on a specific cream, they may need to get their levels retested and possibly have a different base cream used in the rx.

    If you are looking for a quality professional to help with hormone creams you could check out .a4m.com/directory.html. That is where I went to find someone close to me.

    • i agree with the fact that all BHRT preparations are not the same. finding a dr. to properly test you is important, but so is finding a compounding pharmacy that knows what they are doing!! luckily, where i live there is a choice, and for me, it took 3 tries to find the right place.

  5. I have used BHRT in the past w/ an over the counter progesterone cream. Within a week of starting it, I felt differently. My first period was like none other: no sore breasts, no heavy bleeding, very mild cramping, and less bloating that my normal periods before. I also experienced some weight loss. After using the cream for a few months, I got lazy (because of a move and major home remodel) and stopped using it. Just yesterday, I bought another bottle of it and have started again. My naturopath has trained me to use applied kinesiology on myself, and after testing myself, I determined that the reason for my weight gain in the past 10 months (how long I’ve been off the cream), tender breasts, and cramping during my periods are all because I stopped using the cream.

    I eat a VERY nourishing diet (stopped drinking sodas and eating refined sugars YEARS ago, eat pastured eggs, raw milk, don’t drink coffee, don’t eat gluten), and my hormonal issues HAVE NOT fixed themselves. I am buying the e-book bundle now and am willing to try anything if it means fixing the underlying cause of my hormonal imbalances. I am also hypothyroid and have suffered adrenal exhaustion, constipation, and most recently parasites. All this WHILE eating a NT-type diet. Any ideas on why?

  6. I understand the concerns about using hormones and upsetting the bio-feed back. I appreciate that you mention casual use and advocate a good doctor. I also get nervous reading this that some who DO need replacement hormones might not get the help they need because they read this. So glad that you point out that people need to treat the underlying issues. But for some of us, even on the special diets and supplements, the damage has been done and I sincerely hope no one feels less because they need this treatment or that their doctor is completely uninformed by suggesting it.

    • What a great point. I believe diet/supplements/lifestyle should be the first step, but if there isn’t enough progress (or if too much damage has been done, as you put it) then supervised progesterone cream use is extremely helpful!

  7. Lauren,
    I bought the e-book bundle specifically for your book, Quit PMS, and for the book The Sleep Solution. I made the Salted Cinnamon Ice Cream last night, and it was DIVINE! I’m not even an ice cream person, and I could have eaten 5 bowls! Thankfully, I doubled the recipe so we still have plenty.

    Along the lines of my first comment, I’ve been having major hormonal issues ever since a traumatic event occurred in my life a little over two years ago. You can read about what I’ve experienced in my body here: http://todayindietzville.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-ive-been-avoiding.html

    Anyway, I was just wondering if you’d be willing to e-mail me? I’m not asking for medical advice, but I’m at the point where I feel like I’ve done everything, and I’m still having trouble sleeping, gaining belly fat, PMS symptoms, lump in my throat. Maybe you could offer me some insight on something I haven’t yet tried? My e-mail is lindseyryon (at) gmail (.) com. I’d really, really appreciate it!

    Thanks again for that fab book, too! I’ll be eating Salted Cinnamon Ice Cream til the cows come home!

  8. Speaking of progesterone…I think few people on primal/natural/etc. diets realize that dairy products (especially high-fat ones) are the richest food sources of progesterone. I realized this from reading a scientific study on steroid hormones in common foods…the researchers found that dairy products (especially butter) has way more progesterone than all other foods tested…even conventional beef & pork products! This is because pregnant cows naturally have high progesterone in their blood…and it readily passes into milk & is fat-soluble. I’ve read that dairy farmers even test the high progesterone levels in milk to determine whether a cow is pregnant. Butter has 133-300 ug/kg progesterone, as compared to steer fat (from castrated male cows—obviously non-pregnant/lactating) which has only 4.5 ug/kg progesterone. So as part of my paleo diet I’m trying to eat more grass-fed beef suet/tallow instead of butter (even though I love the taste of butter/dairy…I wonder if the bacteria in cultured butter helps to degrade some of the progesterone? I wish there was a study about that.) And on the reverse side, eating lots of veggies (especially leafy & cruciferous) helps balance estrogen levels.

    • Another thing to keep in mind…animals that are consistently milked are consistently impregnated, to keep up milk production (and progesterone is a natural side-effect). Poor conventional dairy cows have a relatively short time between pregnancies. Whereas hunter-gatherers eat a lot of male animals too & non-pregnant female animals…and only occasionally consume pregnant/lactating animals…and some cultures even have taboos against eating pregnant animals! So I think progesterone should optimally be quite low in our diets…as delicious as butter is 😉

  9. I’m not sure if you still look at the comments from this post as it goes back to September 2013, but I’ve been reading through all your blog and learning so much.

    My daughter (19 yo) and I both have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and hers is much more severe than mine. She doesn’t produce any progesterone on her own at all, while I have very low progesterone (as well as other symptoms of PCOS, like high testosterone levels). Anyway, my husband and I scraped together the money to go see a naturopathic doctor and he has put us both on a very low dose of the bio-identical progesterone cream. Also, we are on a pill that has amino acids and other herbs like saw palmetto that our doctor tells us will help our livers process the extra estrogen in our bodies.

    I’m trying to save up the money to buy your ebook–seeing this doctor has pretty much drained us–the saliva test for me was over $200, plus the cost of all the supplements, etc. Back in July I had to quit my job because I was severely exhausted; turns out I have adrenal fatigue; but on top of that, I am also iron deficient, although not anemic.

    Everything you suggest makes so much sense; however, finances being what they are for us, there is no way we could afford to buy organic herbs and spices (don’t know about America, but they cost a fortune here in Ontario, Canada). We can’t even find grass-fed butter anywhere. We can’t even afford to buy an organic chicken to make the bone broth with.

    Clearly, it’s much better to eat completely organic, etc. However, for those of us who can’t, maybe you could do an article on what are the most important things to buy organic, and what we can get away without buying organic. It’s true, everyone says how important health is, and I don’t deny it, but there simply is NO money to get these things with. It’s not like we have a savings account or we go on vacation every year, or whatever. We just don’t have the means right now. I’m sure there are lots of people in the same position as us.

    Is there any way you could suggest what you would feel is most important for my daughter and I? Perhaps we’re better off putting our money into this supplement or food instead of that one, if you know what I mean. Could you give us some guidance? I would appreciate it more than you know. As you can imagine, I’m exhausted most of the time, and don’t even know how to think straight, lately.

    Thanks so much.

    • Look up the “Clean 15″(foods you can buy that are not organic) and the “Dirty Dozen Foods”(foods to always avoid unless they are organic). More important would be to first do an elimination diet to see if particular foods are bothering you. Plus, get your herbs non-organic if you can’t afford organic. Avoid sugar like the plague. Oh, and pray for help, God Bless.

  10. Great post, thank you. I have a question: If one stops using progesterone cream will the feedback loop right itself or is there a chance it will break down all together? I have been on P. cream for a year after having a test that showed I had very low levels of progesterone, Dhea, and high levels of cortisol. Now my levels are better (and my lifestyle is also healthier) but estrogen and testosterone are rising. I want to stop the cream – is this going to be problematic?

  11. I was interested in using BHRT but find that the cost (without health insurance help) is much too high for me to afford. I’ve read Dr. Lee’s books, along with Dr. Christina Northrups books, which give information about the right kind of progesterone and estridol creams to buy, so could I administer these products myself without the help of a BHRT doctor?
    I live in southern California and found a few local BHRT doctors who charge $250 for the first 1 hour consultation, $75 for every additional appointments, which would be every 3 and/or 6 months after initial appointment. They take the blood and/or saliva tests, and distribute the creams, etc. (not sure how much these will cost yet) that I’ll need to purchase with them.
    Is there any other options for me?

  12. Hey Lauren,

    I’m curious about your thoughts on wild yam cream. I used diet, lifestyle change and lunaception to correct my hormone imbalance from coming off of the BCP and it worked! I started tracking my cycle using the Fertility Awareness method and recognized signs still of progesterone deficiency (40 day long cycles, short luteal phase, zig zagging temperatures around ovulation. I read Alissa Vitti’s book Women Code and she recommends it but I want to know what you think.

  13. I bought this cream for my mom who is suffering very bad with menopause insomnia. Never in her life has she had insomnia until menopause hit. She sleeps for 2-3 hours and wakes up and can’t fall asleep again. I am desperately trying to help her find a solution. Because it is related totally to the menopause I figured progesterone was the answer. Then I read it could lead to cancer, stroke, etc 🙁
    Does anyone else have ideas?

    • Heather, has your mom tried generic ambien? Ambien is great for when you wake up at 3am, because it is quick acting and doesn’t stay in the system by about 4 hours, so no hangover. I have had great success with it for meno insomnia for over 10 years. It hasn’t caused addiction or tolerance, I can use it for a month straight, then go a month without it, depending on how my hormones are doing. Menopause insomnia is one of the worst, I hope this helps.

  14. I’m a 37 year old female that has thyroid issues for the past 8 years. I’m on thyroid meds and now my thyroid levels are normal and I feel ok but still a bit off. I have heart palpitations, red palms, hair loss, and weight gain and no libido. I’m a vegetarian so I’m definitely a healthy eater. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The heart palpitations are scary and if I keep losing the hair I’m losing I won’t have much left. Now I’m wondering if I’m having other hormone issues besides my thyroid but my doc doesn’t seem concerned. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Tina, I personally know how bad the Thyroid level can rock your world and turn it upside down and inside out. It took me 6 years to be correctly diagnosed. I’ve been through it all. The hair loss means your Thyroid or Progesterone levels are off, no matter what the test are showing. If the Doctor is checking the Free t3, Free T4 and T7 they need to check the regular T3, T4, T7 and the PTH Levels.

      Mine were showing normal levels and I kept getting sicker and sicker until I felt deathly ill. Then they checked my PTO Antibodies and my numbers were off the chart meaning I had too much medicine.. No all Medical Doctors check the correct levels. That’s when I demanded they send me to an Endocrinologist and she took one look at my test results and told me not to take anything for 5 days. After that she tried me on every Thyroid med there is and I kept getting worse. Then I asked to be put on Armour Thyroid it its been smooth sailing ever since with very few adjustments.

      Good luck, but make sure you have Doctors who listen to you and run the test you really need, not just the ones they do. I researched everything and took it to the Doctor with me and that’s how I got leveled out. .Also have them check your Vitamin D Levels. Mine was low and that made me feel like crap too. I now take 1,000 IU’s of Vitamin D every and 4,000 IU’s during Flu Season. I know all the test can be expensive even with Insurance, but to feel good and live life again to the fullest is worth every penny!

  15. I just started a progesterone cream for hot flashes/night sweats, mood swings etc… I am trying to quit smoking. Is it harmful to smoke while administering this cream? I use o.2 ml twice a day.

    Thanks

    • Kim, My hormone cream is compounded especially for me and I have been a smoker for 40 plus years. If you think its bad for you, don’t do it.

      The mind is very powerful and it can create anything you want and do not want in the body.

  16. I am a 59 year old woman who used the Puritin Pride Meno-Ease Cream back in 2014. It was not authorized by a doctor but I found it in a store and decided that I would try it. After using serveral times, I stopped, and a couple of months later, I started bleeding. I had not had a cycle for about 10 years, but I used the cream without notifying my doctor… In May 2014, I went to see my doctor because I was bleeding and was told a day later, I had carcinosarcoma (uterine cancer). I was scared and shocked. I read the notes on the Meno-Ease Cream, later, and it said it could cause uterine cancer. In June 2014, I had surgery followed by chemotherapy which ended November 2014. I sometimes confused and distraught about what caused my cancer, but do believe it was from using the cream, without notifying my doctor. I advise anyone, never use any store bought progesterone/estrogen creams. Seek doctor’s advice first.

    • I truly believe that stopping the hormone cream caused you to bleed. Anyone who takes hormones and stops will get a period. I have been menopausal for two years on bioidenticals…they have improved my life greatly. If I stopped them now, I would bleed..it’s a normal response. It’s probably a blessing you started taking those hormones, it led to them finding your cancer instead of finding out too late! I am under a specialized hormone doctor as I also have hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. I felt like I was dying before taking them. Hair loss, teeth pain, skin sagging, severe joint and body pain. I went into early menopause at age 38 and didn’t start taking bioidenticals till 41. Find a doc that does saliva testing and tests all your hormone levels, low vitamins, etc. It’s expensive but worth every penny. You should be taking high doses of vitamin c to help with the cancer treatment also. I take 10 grams of vitamin c a day, vitamin d, glutathione, plus a lot of others…I won’t listen them all….very important to take enzymes for digestion and a good quality probiotic at least 25 billion per day.

  17. I have been on my Compounded Bio-identical Hormones for 10 years and have had to have adjustment periodically. Now it seems my body is saying enough and I have to use less and less. My Endocrinologist monitors my levels anytime I call her and report I’m feeling weird.

    I loved my Hormone Cream (Progesterone) and my Compounding Pharmacist works close with my Endocrinologist. The two of them have kept me in balance most of the time.

    I think after ten years Menopause has run its course, then we have to go through a few uncomfortable times weening off the hormones. So far its a little insomnia, anxiety and I get chills from the inside out and can’t seem to get warm no matter what. I wake up hot in the middle of the night which makes you appreciate the cold and snow outside for sure! 🙂

    Frankly I would be happy staying on the hormone cream for the rest of my life!! Another bonus is my bone density at age 59 is the most awesome the Endocrinologist said she has ever seen in anyone who is a smoker.

  18. Hi,

    I’m so confused! The information regarding Progesterone creams online is all over the place! Some women claim after using just 1/4 tsp per day, it actually became toxic in their bodies because of it’s concentration over time in fat tissue, while others claim they use 200mg a day and feel great! Ugh,
    It really sounds like even if your Progesterone deficient that it can build in the body and become too much!
    Thanks for a reply,
    Tiff

  19. I’m in my mid-sixties. Had pmdd all my life. Continue to have some anxiety and insomnia issues. I find that for occasional insomnia a liberal amt. of progesterone cream ( from yam extract), helps me sleep all night. It is very relaxing. I don’t take it more than once or twice a week as needed. Is this unsafe?

  20. I’ve found that using less is better. I just use a a slight smear (not like directions say) of estrodial cream every morning and the same amount of progesterone cream twice a week at night. Too much of anything is bad for you, so if hormones levels are too high they can cause cancer. I feel much better using these hormones creams than without. Otherwise, my quality of life felt hopeless. Now I am going to try taking Melatonin at night, because I have post menopausal insomia and I’ve read that Melatonin helps or even cures Hypothyroidism, balances hormones and prevents cancer.

    • I’ve had to adjust how often I’ve been using the estriodial and progesterone cream. I am now using the estriodial cream every other day and the progesterone cream to maybe just once a month. Not sure yet, still experimenting with the progesterone cream. Too much was making my feet hurt. When I used none at all, I had pain in back of thighs after sitting. Just had to pay attention to my symptoms to make adjustments. Too much estradiol cream and I had heavy vaginal secretions. Too little and I was depressed.

  21. Gerd and interstitial cystitis My gynecologist put me on estradiol also was taking Premarin cream until I had a weird reaction too much ballooning outside my vagina and went to a functional medicine doctor he took me off estrogen cream and me on a compounding pharmacy’s bio identical progesterone cream neither Dr. Ordered a saliva test or blood test to check my hormone levels very confused and I worried all I’m trying to do is to control the i,c. And Gerd symptoms are ruining my life I am bedridden lost 35 pounds have muscle fatigue and chronic pain.I have also around again seen several gynecologist heart doctors samurai blood test trying to figure out the correlation of my symptoms

  22. I have primary biliary cirrhosis and my hormone specialist/MD wants me to go on bioidentical hormone (yam) with addition of Chrysin to the cream to prevent the progesterone from converting to estrogen. I think it logical to think my liver is not able to clear excess estrogen from my body and wonder if it’s going to have a difficult time with Progesterone? Is it safe for me to take? I need to get my (unaccountable) high estrogen down. I assume it’s high because of the bile problem inherent in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. I have talked to my doctor and read online and can’t seem to get or find a straight answer on this. Do you know if progesterone is safe to take for someone with a problem with bile flow (PBC)?

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

Lauren’s Books