Dr. Richard Hagmeyer, DC – Naperville Institute For Neuro Metabolic Solutions, IL –
Where he answers “Should Natural Progesterone Be Used To Help Restore Thyroid Health for Those Suffering with Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid?
Should Natural Progesterone Be Used To Help Restore Thyroid Health For Those Suffering with Hashimoto’s?
There is a lot of talk these days about Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism and the use of progesterone. Should it be used, what are the risks if I take too much, How do I determine if I have a progesterone deficiency, How can I properly have my hormones tested. All of these questions I want to take the time to address in today’s post.
When used correctly, natural progesterone can help with many different conditions, including thyroid disorders. Many woman who at one time had severe symptoms experienced quick improvements in their symptoms by taking natural progesterone.
In fact, if you read the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: by Dr. John R. Lee, you’ll see many of the different conditions he has helped his patients with by recommending bio-identical progesterone.
Let me say for the record that for as many women who have taken progesterone and they felt better there are just as many who have taken bio-identical progesterone and felt worse. I will also explain why this happens and I believe the number one reason this happens is that these women were not tested properly or not at all.
So you might be wondering how natural progesterone is able to help so many different kinds of problems that may not even be related to female hormones? The reason is simple, many woman have a deficiency in progesterone. And a deficiency in this hormone can lead to many different symptoms, as well as diseases.
If you were to look at a condition called endometriosis, this if often a classical sign of estrogen dominance. I’ve mentioned in the past how estrogen dominance can lead to numerous health issues and endometriosis is just one example. Consequently, giving a woman who has endometriosis natural progesterone can potentially cure this condition. Similarly, if their thyroid condition is also being directly or indirectly caused by a progesterone deficiency, then giving natural progesterone can help with this as well. But their needs to be word of caution.
A Word of Caution about Natural Progesterone
Many people including many of the doctors in my area have a tendency to think natural progesterone doesn’t come with any risks. After all, since it’s natural then it must be okay to take this, right? In fact, there are many books where the author actually recommends that the reader take natural progesterone without being under the supervision of a medical or holistic doctor.
Once again, it is assumed that since it is natural there is very little risk of something going wrong. This is dangerous and If I could only tell you how many women come to my office after self treating themselves or by treatment by a holistic MD.
If you take progesterone AND you also have Hashimoto’s, and you don’t monitor your hormone levels very carefully and regularly you may easily overdose on the progesterone. If you do this you will then begin to create a state of estrogen dominance. One of the things progesterone does is increase the sensitivity of receptor sites to estrogen. Now if you are increasing estrogen levels you will also stimulate your thyroid gland to become more active—this in turn will increase levels of TPO–and fan the flames of that autoimmune attack on TPO.
TPO is Thyroid Peroxidase and is an enzyme that make thyroid hormone.
What are the signs that progesterone is exacerbating your Hashimoto’s, or maybe even triggering it?
You could have more fatigue, more hair loss, more depression, more weight gain, moreheart palpitations.
You could have all of the symptoms that you thought you were treating with the progesterone.
A lot of women go into a doctor’s office, be it a acupuncturist or a medical doctor or naturopath, complaining of symptoms like depression, hair loss, low libido…and the doctor thinks that that person has a hormonal problem such as a progesterone “deficiency”
And the well-meaning practitioner willy-nilly gives the woman a creams or oral progesterone and then—the symptoms get worse.
If your symptoms get worse with progesterone that’s a good sign you probably;
1. Your taking too much progesterone.
2. You just damaged more of your thyroid.
Again this is why you want to test and retest your hormones. If you ever go into a doctor’s office and he or she says take this without testing RUN! RUN as fast as you can away from that doctor.
What You Need To Know If You Have Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is a genetic condition. You could carry and harbor the genes for 20, 30, 40 years. They don’t turn on and start that attack on your thyroid gland until a certain set of circumstances happens. I have said this in past articles but it’s worth repeating here, is that there are three times in a woman’s life where she is most vulnerable to the genes of of Hashimoto’s being turned on. Puberty,Pregnancy and Peri-menopause. What do those three times have in common? These three times are where there are surgesof hormones, particularly progesterone.
How To Determine If One Has A Progesterone Deficiency
In order to determine if someone has a progesterone deficiency, and thus can benefit from taking natural progesterone, I recommend a hormone panel. Some doctors will simply do a one sample blood test for progesterone, but since the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, etc.) interact with one another, it essential to do a complete panel to see if there are problems with any of the other hormones, which is frequently the case.
How To Avoid Overdosing With Natural Progesterone
So how can one avoid overdosing with natural progesterone? Well, the primary way to accomplish this is by not taking natural progesterone in the first place. Even though natural progesterone can benefit many people, many times a progesterone deficiency can be corrected without taking natural progesterone. Just like everything else, the goal is to determine the actual cause of the deficiency. So even though taking natural progesterone can help, the goal is to get to the underlying cause of the problem if at all possible.
However, if someone has a severe deficiency in progesterone they might need to take natural progesterone on a temporary basis. But at the same time it will be necessary to correct the underlying cause of the problem so the person won’t need to continuously take natural progesterone on a permanent basis, which some doctors will actually recommend. While a woman who has had a hysterectomy might need to take natural progesterone continuously, most other women don’t need to take any bio-identical hormones (estrogen, progesterone, etc.) for the rest of their life. This is especially true for cycling women, but also holds true for most menopausal women.
Natural Treatment Methods To The Rescue!
Someone who has a progesterone deficiency usually can have this corrected by following a natural treatment protocol. So once again, even if taking natural progesterone is necessary, this should only be temporary. Changing one’s eating habits, taking certain nutritional supplements and/or herbs, and modifying other lifestyle factors can help to address a hormone imbalance.
In summary, natural progesterone can help many women suffering with many female hormone conditions but remember, there are risks when taking natural progesterone, it’s easy to be overdosed and it’s not always necessary.
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