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Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

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Unread 06-24-2000, 11:09 PM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

Hi Dear Freinds, Have missed spending lots and lots of time with you here on this site...since I've gone back to work seems like there aren't enough hours in a day.

First, don't know if its been mentioned here before, but I found a website this past week that is supportive of progesterone use - and even has a dr. referral service available (unfortunately for me, they don't have anyone in my area but say they have tried to find one). Check out the following web site when you have a few minutes: http://www.progestnet.com.

Now, on to my frustrations. I am feeling very frustrated with my dr. right now. He is unwilling to do hormone testing, and even though I have asked several times about adding progesterone to my treatment, he ignores my questions and seems stuck in the rut of estrogen only.

As some of you know, he made me wait 3 mos to go on a therapeutic dose of estrogen since I also had endometriosis. Halfway thru this 3 months, I was having such horrible migraines 5-6 days wk that he relented and let me use the vivelle dot .25 for the remainder of the 3 mos. I had been given a progesterone shot that was supposed to last me 3 mos while I was in the hospital. The combination of that shot plus the little bit of estrogen did relieve my frequent headaches. However, when the shot wore off, plus he increased the estrogen, the headaches returned. I had been in hopes that since the headaches had returned he would be willing to do a trial with some progesterone. But no, in fact, he even had the nurse tell me that since the headaches had returned he would not increase the estrogen at this point either. His nurse suggested to me that if I wanted to I could buy progesterone cream over the counter (I had already done so the previous weekend). So I am one week into trying the progesterone cream. Most of that week, the headaches were gone, but one developed yesterday so I don't know if its part of my problems hormonally yet or not. I will keep on trying the progesterone cream for a while.

I had also mentioned to him that I have been having troubles with vaginal dryness - so what did he send home to me - samples of PREMARIN Cream...I had specifically told him at the start of this hormone jungle outset that I wanted to use bio-identical hormones and that I had no intention of using pregnant mares urine. ARGHHHHH...I need an understanding doctor.

Does anyone know of one in the Greater Portland, Or area? You would think that there would be someone around here especially since one of the saliva testing labs is located here (ZRT Labs are in one of the Portland suburbs).

Are there any over the counter bio-identical estrogen creams out there so I can avoid the premarin cream?

Anyway friends, I appreciate all of you, the struggles each of us goes thru when shared with others helps all of us to learn and grow, and I thank you for letting me use this forum not only to ask questions, but also as a place to let off steam/frustrations.

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Unread 06-25-2000, 01:06 AM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

Well, I'm not sure but that you win the deaf-doctor-of-the-week award. Poor Barb--your thicket is very dense indeed. Sounds as though you are doing the best you can for the moment with the otc progesterone--I'm glad to hear you're at least getting that much help.

Have you tried the trick of finding a compounding pharmacist and working back from a recommendation by them on who writes good NHRT prescriptions? There's more detail on that in the Archives--click on the link in my signature to get to a clickable index of posts there. I can't believe that Portland doesn't have a more open-minded doctor than that, given that it's otherwise such a neat place.

The vaginal dryness is generally due to low estrogen, although it can be helped a lot by the addition of progesterone to a low estrogen dose. Unfortunately, there is no otc substitute for estrogen that's used as a vaginal cream. Estrace (vaginal cream), which is bioidentical, is available by prescription, as is the estring (estradiol-releasing silicon ring).

Sadly, I do think your best bet is to search for a doctor more open to working with his patients instead of in spite of them. Try the compounding pharmacy referrals (and read your phone book--you may be surprised to find how many advertise that they do indeed compound)--that has been a great route for many sisters and a sympathetic and knowledgeable pharmacist is a great ally in the Jungle.

Here's hoping you make it out of this thicket real soon--and that the progesterone continues to give you some relief. [blue]
Unread 06-25-2000, 07:56 AM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

Why don't you call/email ZRT labs and ask if they can refer you to a physician in the area who has done hormone testing using their lab? Bluevalentine
TAH/BSO 3/6/00
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Unread 06-25-2000, 12:01 PM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

To answer your question quickly, Blue, since Barb hasn't gotten back yet, ZRT labs are associated with the site she references. So she has already in effect asked them.

The site Barb mentions is an interesting effort. I believe it is basically a sales partnership between Sarati, one of the progesterone cream manufacturers, and ZRT Labs. This isn't clearly brought out (or maybe I didn't stumble on that page), which is something that disturbs me about sites that fail to distinguish between information and sales, especially in the health care field. Like Dr. Lee's book, which it draws on and links to, it makes a number of superficially-supported but sweeping claims that would lead you to believe that progesterone cures everything. While we would all like to believe this, and that it is absolutely harmless stuff, I'm afraid the experiences shown here on this board point out the perils in that sweeping generalization. I guess the best way to describe what I read there last night was that while little of it is actually wrong, a whole lot of it isn't quite the full picture. Those of you who have been here awhile have probably picked up on Trish and my preferences: careful deduction based on close reading of the available medical literature; Lauren is a Registered Pharmacist and also deals with "hard" data. We've been doing this long enough to have seen women pick up on this kind of sweeping, simplistic advice...and crash and burn with it.

There's good stuff in this site, Barb, and I really do thank you for finding and posting it. Please don't read this as criticism of you or a slam on the site. I hope you'll let us know how your expereince using their lab goes--we're always interested in another source for testing and interpretation of results. But, as with anything else on the Internet, I hope that those of you who go there will read it carefully and subject its information to close scrutiny in deciding its applicability to your personal situation. If there is something you read there that you think there may be more to or you want more info about how it relates to our situation in surgical menopause, please post your questions and we will all try to shed some light on them. [blue]
Unread 06-25-2000, 07:35 PM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

Thanks for responding to my inquiry. Just shows that you can't always beleive everything you read in a book, newspaper or magazine, you also can't believe everything you read on a website either.

I also suspect they have more monetarily based motives on that website, but I thought that the dr. referral aspect was an interesting one as every other site I've looked at that had referral info involved writing off to some association for that referral. Someone from that site did contact me the very next day.

I haven't arranged yet to have the hormone testing done, but am contemplating just getting in touch with ZRT labs directly (plus I'm trying to decide on am only or both am/pm cortisol readings). The makers of Pro-gest are also located in Portland area - but appear to be naturopathic dr's and I need to find someone who will be covered by my insurance...as usual naturopathic dr's aren't on that list. I have also thought about contacting ZRT Labs and Transitions for Health for dr. recommendations as was suggested above. I have also thought about checking with a compounding pharmacy for referals too, but until this past week, really wasn't sure my dr. was totally stuck in the estrogen only route. So now is the time for me to take action and make a few phone calls and or visit the pharmacies (There is a chain in the area which has about 4 locations that are compounding pharmacies - plus I know of one small pharmacy near the hospital that I can check with).

Wish me success with some of these phone calls. At least I can get the hormone testing done without having to have a Dr. order it. With my past hormone imbalance history (at one time I was overproducing DHEA and got put on dexamethasone to suppress it(during infertility treatment), and at another time I almost got put on cortisol for rest of my life)I want to have a thorough test done - from rates I saw quoted at one site I went to, I'm looking at the $200-300 range to have the tests done. But I think it will be well worth it.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Unread 06-27-2000, 12:19 AM
UPDATE: Persistence Can Pay Off!

Today was a very interesting and promising day.

First off, my employer was holding a health fair today and I spoke for about 15 minutes with a lady naturopath who seemed very understanding. If I don't work something else out, I may try to set up a visit with her...but I'd like to try to find someone within my health insurance first.

Secondly, I contacted ZRT Labs and ordered the saliva tests. I talked with one of the techs there for about 15 minutes and because of my previous hormone imbalance history, I am going to have the usual estrogen, progesterone and testosterone plus dhea and a more extensive cortisol test(levels checked at 4 different points thruout a day)(which the lady naturopath had also recommended to me).

Then, since I forgot to talk to the nurse at the old ob/gyn's office Friday about refilling the vivelle patches, I called her back - low and behold, I not only got some more samples, but I also got them to switch the premarin cream to estrace and convinced the Dr. to prescribe some progesterone for me to see if it affects the migraines!!!!(I had asked about progesterone at least 4 times previously)

And, I now have a phone number and name of a compounding pharmacist who I am going to call tomorrow - his assistant seemed to think he should be able to recommend some open minded dr's with out the "estrogen only" mindset.

I feel very positive about today and that maybe, just maybe, things are going to improve in the near future!
Unread 06-27-2000, 07:48 AM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

Not to start something here, but did anyone
ever stop to think that Dr Lee might not be correct
about everything. Why would our Doctors want to harm
us, they have nothing to gain by not giving progestrone.
Just my thoughts, its like one day coffee is good for you, the next day its bad. They do all these studies, then change
their minds and say eggs are bad, then eggs are good.
Go figure!!!!!
Unread 06-27-2000, 03:05 PM
progesterone topic

Boy, have I missed hystersisters since my computer went down!!!!!!!! Glad to be back.
All I can share is my path...
I got terrible headaches when my patches were too high; lowered dose eliminated them. I have had insomnia problems since my surgury 4 yrs. ago. When I changed doctors, because mine sounds alot like yours,I received depo-provera shots for a time, which helped quite a bit, but I was still far from "right" & they were out of my system between 2 and 2 & 1/2 months. So I found Pro-gest cream at my health food store. Tried it, ok'd with with the doctor & have been on it ever since. I helps with many of my complaints. Premarin vaginal cream takes care of the dryness. But I still struggle with cognitive impairment & memory at times with bouts of insomnia (very light restless sleep). This past spring I tried DHEA. At first I felt like a million bucks, better than I've felt my entire life, but just like Dr. Collins states in his "Your Menopause Book" (thank you very much hystersisters!!!!I got VERY irritable & had to slowly wean myself way down. His quiz indicates a low progesterone, low testosterone thing for me but I haven't got the $ to do saliva testing yet. An insurance change unfortunately precipitated changing doctors & I just met the new one - she is not familiar with saliva testing. So for the time being, I'm on 5mg of DHEA 3 times a week like Dr. Collins suggests. I'm also incorporating more & more of his suggestions into my life. I'm hopeful that eventually I'll get it right. It's so hard to be in the jungle, especially when I know dozens of women with hysterectomies who state they are just fine on their Premarin or PremPro.
Good luck.
Unread 06-27-2000, 05:24 PM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

I agree, Nancy, that no one source has all the answers. Unfortunately, that does include a number of doctors who are not specialists in the exploding field of HRT. The new understanding and new alternatives literally arrive every week. So, of course one should work with one's doctor, but that can include bringing in information and asking questions that they may not have had time to research before.

One thing that's clear here is that to achieve balance different women need very different combinations and delivery systems, so there is no one size fits all.

And it's really the way the media presents the results of studies, not the flaws of science itself, that produces the phenomenon that you mention of coffee good one day bad the next. The media does not dsicriminate between a poorly designed study of 10 people and a well-designed study of thousands when they make their announcements.

Unread 06-28-2000, 07:48 AM
Web Site to Check Out/ My hormone frustrations

This is true about the studies, remember when cranberries
were suppossed to cause cancer? No their good for the urinary tract, I guess we all respond differently to
the different HRT, I notice some of the women that
were on the compouned creams are off them and back on
the more traditional forms. Go figure!

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