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Anyone using Amberen? Anyone using Amberen?

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  #1  
Unread 01-28-2010, 11:02 PM
Anyone using Amberen?

My dr had Rx-ed me some Estriol vaginal cream some months ago..which I never filled. I just assumed it Maybe for you too?

However, for now I am trying Amberen.(tomorrow will be day 3) It is a whole different approach. I will post my progress in the coming days.
  #2  
Unread 01-29-2010, 08:10 AM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Thanks Julie.. I appreciate all your good wishes my way!

I do have some estriol cream (and tabs) . I never experimented much with them, but tried maybe for a week with the cream without much result either way. The tabs I used vaginally a few times. I recall migraine following...and feeling like my blood level wasn't stable (quick absorption).

Anway...I did a bunch of research last week trying to figure out why estrogen seemed like it set my nervous system on fire. My pain levels went through the roof and my head felt like it was going to explode. As it turned out when I hit literature regarding seizure disorder, migraine, and even bipolor - I learned that estradiol stimulates the glutamate receptors in the brain. This is a very "excitatory" neurotransmitter....the one that gets turned on by eating MSG. I have awful reactions to MSG!

One physican/researcher Andrew Herzog (MD) is the head of neuro-endocrinology at Harvard. He's done a lot of research on hormonal cycles and how they impact the nervous system.

here's a clip by him:
"Estrogen enhances neuronal excitability and lowers the seizure threshold, whereas progesterone decreases excitability and raises the seizure threshold. Normally, these effects stabilize one another, balancing neuronal excitability. "In brains that are sensitized due to injury, congenital factors, or epilepsy, however, these responses are heightened. When estrogen surges at midcycle, it can produce highly excitatory, agitated, irritable behaviors. When progesterone declines close to menstruation, its GABAergic effect is rapidly withdrawn and this can also drive excitation."

What you described about your progesterone experience reminded me of this whole issue regarding estrogen being excitatory. I guess for most women that is good - makes them feel alive and awake! I have a hunch though that those of us with sensitive or damaged nervous systems will react negatively - as you and I seem to do. Are you sensitive to a lot of foods, how about MSG?

Could you tell me a bit more about your progesterone experience? I was considering "experimenting" with some prometrium capsules and I'm not sure if its wise or not. At this point I realize I need things that calm the nervous system (not excite it)... my muscles are in overdrive and I wonder if the Progesterone will relax some of that. My dr. said that the NuvaRing was just too high a level of estrogen for my body (even though it's the lowest dose on the market in oc). She thinks I will hate progesterone cause most women say it makes them depressed and lethargic.

Any thoughts??

Not real familiar with Amberen. Please keep me posted on that. It's a natural over-the-counter supplement right? Will have to look it up. I'm taking Promensil right now (otc) at least while I'm at zero hormones since going off the ring last Friday. Seems to help some.

Be well - and keep me posted! Robyn
  #3  
Unread 01-29-2010, 10:11 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Robyn,
Prior to hysto, I had no health problems. I have no food or drug allergies. I am, however, generally sensitive to drugs (including alchohol, nicotine, and apparantly hormones.)...which is to say, I take smaller doses than what is recommended of darn near everything.(example: I take a third of a 10 mg Ambien for sleep--this works just fine). If I have more than 1-1/2oz of gin in my fav gin and tonic, I am full out drunk. You get the idea.

During the 4 weeks of being on the .05 E2 patch, I was doing some research on estrogen dominance and thinking maybe progesterone would mitigate some of my symptoms. I found a dr who was familiar with this concept and Rxed 150 mg compounded progesterone capsules.(this dose was what she herself used, however she has intact uterus, ovaries, etc). First night I took it, I became very dizzy, bad heart palpitations, pounding headache and could not sleep.(despite taking my sleep aid--even upping the dose.) The next morning, I had no physical pain, but I was DEPRESSED. Like, gee, I wish I was dead depressed. It made no sense at all. It did a major number on my head. In the following days, it was not as severe a reaction and for a couple of days, tried to cut the dose.(imagine dumping a capsule, dividing with a razor blade, putting back into the capsule--I was a sight for sore eyes. LOL) I remember during this whole trial having major anxiety attacks during the day. This was likely due to a combination of sleep deprivation and unbeknownst to me, my blood pressure had exploded. (I had a one week follow up visit, my BP was 170/115 just calmly sitting in the dr office.) The dr freaked, took me off of everything. Of course, I had never had BP problems in my life, and it took a full 10 days for it to normalize. It was like taking the amphetimine from hell. So much for the "calming hormone". :-)

In the ensuing weeks, I found a VERY informative website for a clinic that specializes in aging, etc. that have established protocols for HRT. Their basic approach is too start on low doses of estradiol and to Rx progesterone at 50 to 100 times that of E2. Example: if you take 1 mg oral E2, 50-100 mg progesterone.[in hindsight, I should have been on no more than .025 E2 patch which is the rough equivilent to .5 oral E2, thus about 25 to 50 mg progesterone---as you recall, I was on 150mg!!].

Despite this miscalculation and near lethal experience...I am intrigued at what progesterone could possibly do for me in proper proportion. Needless to say, this will take heavy lobbying on my part to convince my dr to give it another go, given the BP fiasco, but at least it is a future possibility. BTW, I have no experience with Prometrium, other than it is in doses of 100 or 200 mg and is in a peanut oil(I think) suspension.--so no easy way to divide. With compounded capsules, you can make in any dose.

Fast forward to now. I am trying Amberen. You can check out their website. The basic premise is that it supposed to boost your own endocrine system(mainly adrenals) to achieve hormonal balance.--no xenoestrogens. If this works, it will be a Godsend. So far I am very encouraged...but I want to give it a couple of weeks, since my feeling pretty good right now could easily be high point in my own cycle.

I hope you are feeling better this evening.

Julie
  #4  
Unread 01-31-2010, 04:19 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Hi Julie, I just started 3rd day of Amberen and although I haven't gotten as clinical in my research as you and Robyn...I am looking for a God send too. I noticed that two other ingredients were Zinc and Magnesium which Hyster Sister has in their intro to hormones....the magnesium I think totally brought my high BP down because it had been introduced as one of my fistfuls of vitamin regimmen that I am taking....the vit B's make a difference too but I am not happy about all of these unknowns and experiments that we all seem to be on and that I am still suffering...but it's just the 3rd day and I am keeping the log as well given in the box to track my progress.EE TVH kept ovaries going down depression street.
  #5  
Unread 01-31-2010, 05:59 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Thanks for sharing all that Julie....and hi Elephantears!

Wow Julie your progesterone experiences was really incredible. To think it resolved your pain, but made you so severely depressed?! You had such awful side effects too...it just seems like it was way too high a dose for you.
Interesting that you could not sleep and had anxiety...these are just the things progesterone is touted to resolve! And yes - I've opened many a capsule in trying to dilute meds. I've even turned powder to water in this regard. echhh! Frustrating.

I did look at the Amberen website. It looks very interesting. I do like the idea of supporting the adrenals. I run very high cortisol and low DHEA - not good. One Naturopath I saw put me on a supplement called Cortisol Manager for this. I didn't really keep up with it due to all the chaos that was taking place with me physically at the time. In any case... would like to learn more about ammonium succinate so feel free to email or pm me the link to that article. One ingredient that got my attention though on the Amberen site was Monosodium Glutamate. I have awful reactions to the stuff. Are you ok with it? Interesting that it's in there though, because in doing my research after reacting so badly to estrogen - I learned that estrogen stimulates the glutamate receptors in the brain!! This must be the link as to why it's in there. Let me know if you know more on that.

In any case...I am glad so far so good for you. I'm doing the Red Clover experiment over here...and have lots of professional journal articles if you are interested. It is a considered a phytoestrogen, but what is interesting is that it stimulates the Beta Receptor much more so than the Alpha one (who knew there were 2 varieties estrogen receptors????) Lots of Beta Receptors in the Brain. Gut, Bones Heart. Less in the breast and utero/genital. The other interesting thing I learned is that Red Clover strongly stimulates the Opiate receptors in the brain?! That may be another way it helps menopausal symptoms.

Keep doing well...hang in there and let's keep eachother posted on progress with our "experiments"! Robyn
  #6  
Unread 01-31-2010, 06:50 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Hi Robyn, Keep up the great work in research your dialogue is helping a lot of us not so far along....I thought we were supposed to feel like 12 again....it is amazing how much is tied together...so sorry you are so sentsitive to so much....EE
  #7  
Unread 01-31-2010, 07:10 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Thanks Elephantears!
Yes - I hoped this surgery was going to bring me the sense of well-being I've been longing for. When my surgeon asked if I wanted to keep my ovaries, I thought I was making the right decision for "quality of life" by keeping them.
I realize now that my own hormone surges cause very similar reactions to the ones the exogenous estrogen products have caused!! Amazing. I think it's something about my nervous system though...and most will find they can tolerate replacement or their own cycles just fine.

I have access to medical literature so do my best to research and validate anything I try or speak about here. Hormones are ultra-complex and their is still a lot of unknowns even among the best experts.

All we can do is our best - right?! Keep in touch - and good luck with the Amberen trial!
  #8  
Unread 01-31-2010, 08:00 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

Egads, Robyn...you are way over my head with this alpha and beta receptor thing. I just found out where the adrenal glands are!;-) But seriously, that is interesting.

In my own trials, in addition to all the different E2 based HRT I have tried, I also tried an over the counter Soy Isoflaven/black cohash supplement.(at the time I was dealing with just joint pain) but it also caused the leg pain. It also happens when I drink alcohol too(beer is the worst).

I have not tried Red Clover...it was one of those things I was going to get around to trying once I had the nerve to set myself on fire again. If it works differently, ie beta vs alpha receptors...that maybe something to consider. Let us know how the RC goes for you and please do send me your report on it.

Regarding the MSG, I had asked the phone rep for Amberen about that, they assured me it was in minute doses and that it was "medical grade" not food grade. They had another explanation of why it was in there, but for the life of me, cannot recall. They also said that gals with MSG issues had no problems with it at all and I have had no bad side effects either.

Hopefully I will have a full (and positive) report regarding the Amberen trial in a couple of weeks. Please fill free to chime in, EE. :-)
  #9  
Unread 02-01-2010, 09:24 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

I found this explanation of why MSG in Amberen in case anyone is interested:

"MS(L)G, a form of glutamate, is used in Amberen for one specific reason - it is an effective neurotransmitter and it helps “deliver” the rest of the compound. The reason why Amberen scientists chose to use MS(L)G and not glutamate in its pure form is because glutamate is highly bioactive and becomes unstable when mixed with other ingredients. MS(L)G is less acidic than pure glutamate, it is of high pharmaceutical grade, it is more stable than glutamate and it is used in miniscule amounts (40 mg per dose).

Using tiny amounts of this pharmaceutical grade within the context of a clinically tested formulation is very different from the unregulated use of MSG as a flavor enhancer (which requires much larger amounts). Because Amberen uses it in such small amounts, even those allergic to MSG cannot detect it. The miniscule amounts of MS(L)G used in Amberen have never been linked to any side effects."
  #10  
Unread 02-01-2010, 09:36 PM
Re: NuvaRing anyone?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by msjules View Post
Egads, Robyn...you are way over my head with this alpha and beta receptor thing. I just found out where the adrenal glands are!;-) But seriously, that is interesting.

In my own trials, in addition to all the different E2 based HRT I have tried, I also tried an over the counter Soy Isoflaven/black cohash supplement.(at the time I was dealing with just joint pain) but it also caused the leg pain. It also happens when I drink alcohol too(beer is the worst).

I have not tried Red Clover...it was one of those things I was going to get around to trying once I had the nerve to set myself on fire again. If it works differently, ie beta vs alpha receptors...that maybe something to consider. Let us know how the RC goes for you and please do send me your report on it.

Regarding the MSG, I had asked the phone rep for Amberen about that, they assured me it was in minute doses and that it was "medical grade" not food grade. They had another explanation of why it was in there, but for the life of me, cannot recall. They also said that gals with MSG issues had no problems with it at all and I have had no bad side effects either.

Hopefully I will have a full (and positive) report regarding the Amberen trial in a couple of weeks. Please fill free to chime in, EE. :-)
Dear Jules and Robyn, This is my forth day on Amberen and I actually noticed some differences....no crying today yeh! I have had two days in a row with wake up in the morning dreams that were a tip off that my libido was waking up and I actually acted upon it today with DH...woo who! I'm producing my own KY jelly so to speak which was not there before.Sorry if this is TMI ...these are all noticeable positive changes for me....I've slept through the night....but for that part I have to say I've had help with some Melatonin drops and another product called Tranquinol from the local homeopathy Pharmacy. These two products did not get me through the night until the Amberen was added..I've also had fist fulls of vitamins...adding zinc,folic acid, b's ,and magnesium but I had been taking them for awhile....maybe this Amberen is helping my body to absorb better. I read the study which was very dry however it was encouraging and I did notice that they did the study on ladies that did not have hysterectomies so we may be the first pioneers to start on this. Last thing I noticed that I was less anxious and moody which between the crying and nerves would be my first day of relief since things started going bad 5 weeks ago when I was 3 weeks post op. So I know it's too early to tell but something was surely different physically and emotionally....Thanks for including me...EE:-) PS I am filling in the log to track my results will stay tuned to what you two are up to....very interesting
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