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Guest BERNESES

Extremely High Estrogen And Early Menopause?

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Guest BERNESES

I'm trying to figure out what is going on with my hormones. my last blood test revealed that I have extremely high estrogen levels (with 80 being borderline high, I was over 200). The doctor said that that may make my eggs harder to fertilize.

But here's what's weird- if I didn't know better I'd think I was going through early menopause. I've had night sweats for about 1 1/2 years (which have pretty much gone away with the gluten-free diet so I thought it was celiac related). I stopped getting my period back in January and if I didn't know better, I'd swear I was having hot flashes.

But here's what's confusing- I thought that at menopause, your estrogen dropped?

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Berneses,

I'm honestly not sure. I think you are right that estrogen drops at menopause but I think at least in some women it may rise first, or rise and fall around the time menopause is occurring.

High estrogen can also be a sign of ovarian cysts, which should show up on a vaginal ultrasound if you have them. Is this something your doctor has mentioned? Cysts are sort of a "normal dysfunction" (oxymoron!) -- they occur to most women at some point and usually resolve on their own. But they interfere with normal cycles until they do resolve, and they can be surgically aspirated if they refuse to leave.

-- Alexandra

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B:

I started early peri-med when I was 35 and that lasted about 10 years and then every thing stoppped.

Hot flasheds, breast tenderness, -itchness and then my period slowed down to nothing and eventually stopped. Now at 51, I cant remember a period in six years or so. I have always heard that if you started late, you will stop early. I don't know any medical reasoning for that. Yeah for me.

Also, if you have been on the pill for a while, it will reduce you cycle down to almost nothing. I don't know if Celiac has anything to do with the hormone cycle. I you have not already done so.. and if you do.. try going off b-controll and maybe you both can make a baby. :):)

Love ya, Lisa

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I'm trying to figure out what is going on with my hormones. my last blood test revealed that I have extremely high estrogen levels (with 80 being borderline high, I was over 200). The doctor said that that may make my eggs harder to fertilize.

But here's what's weird- if I didn't know better I'd think I was going through early menopause. I've had night sweats for about 1 1/2 years (which have pretty much gone away with the gluten-free diet so I thought it was celiac related). I stopped getting my period back in January and if I didn't know better, I'd swear I was having hot flashes.

But here's what's confusing- I thought that at menopause, your estrogen dropped?

I have a similar situation. My hormones are out of control, I was the picture of pre-menopause/menopause at age 17. I have been trying to figure it out all these years. I don't really do main stream, or western medicine anymore so I don't know the technical terminology, but I heard things in those circles like Polycystic Ovaries, not enough testosterone in balance with estrogen, and so on. They just wanted to put me on birth control and I have always been an alternative health kind of gal.

I used to go 52-60 days between peiods, they said it was because the eggs were having a hard time releasing or shedding or something, and like in your case it would be difficult for the eggs to fertilize. I've since changed my diet drastically over the last 16 years and did acupuncture, homeopathy, took supplements, progest creams and drops, and etc.. Within a short time my periods normalized and ever since I have been like clockwork every 28 days (plus or minus a day).

As far as celiac playing a role I don't know. I have really been investigating the relationship between estrogen and the liver and interestingly enough there are several articles about celiac disease and consequences to the liver so that made me go hmmmmmmm.

That really didn't answer your question, but I am on the same path to figure this all out.

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Tell me more about progesterone cream- I'm interested.

You can buy a natural Progesterone cream with the brand name Emerita at WholeFoods and online. I don't know if its gluten-free or not, though. It can be applied topically during the luteal phase of your natural cycle and may help reduce menopausal symptoms.

If you use this stuff and are ttc it is important to make sure you use natural Progesterone and not synthetic. Although these are the same molecule, for whatever reason our bodies recognize the synthetic as something different and it is not safe to use while ttc. Natural is OK though.

-- Alexandra

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You can buy a natural Progesterone cream with the brand name Emerita at WholeFoods and online. I don't know if its gluten-free or not, though. It can be applied topically during the luteal phase of your natural cycle and may help reduce menopausal symptoms.

If you use this stuff and are ttc it is important to make sure you use natural Progesterone and not synthetic. Although these are the same molecule, for whatever reason our bodies recognize the synthetic as something different and it is not safe to use while ttc. Natural is OK though.

-- Alexandra

Berneses, yeah, exactly what Alexandra said! I don't quite remember how it all works but if one hormone is low or high it throws the whole balance off. So in my case the theory was to take supplemental progest in an attempt to level everything off. Sorry for the third grade explanation.

I have to say though I was under strict supervision of my naturopath (and other health care professionals) and dosages for the cream, as well as oral progest, was calculated based on my specific hormone panel tests. And then I had more hormone panels taken during treatment and after to monitor the levels.

I don't know if alternative medicine interests you, but they do work with hormone issues and fertility/infertility issues- I know this is a very personal choice, but there are options.

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Guest BERNESES

I am definitely interested in alternative medicine. i was actually talking to my chiropractor today and she said that adjustments can help with fertility as well. Thanks for all your responses and support I think I'll hold off on the progesterone cream until after I have my levels retested and it is something i would want professinal guidance with (homeopathic or otherwise).

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I am definitely interested in alternative medicine. i was actually talking to my chiropractor today and she said that adjustments can help with fertility as well. Thanks for all your responses and support I think I'll hold off on the progesterone cream until after I have my levels retested and it is something i would want professinal guidance with (homeopathic or otherwise).

I think it's good to investigate all of the options that are available to you in health care, and I agree with having some kind of professional guidance whatever you do. I wish you the best of luck Berneses!!

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I do believe that there is a strong correlation between Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity and female hormones. In a nutshell, I have experienced hormonal imbalance since I was a teenager and found great doctors to get me into balance for my late twenties and most of my thirities using Pro-Gest Cream.

Yet turning 40 has not been so easy...my doctor did say that I had the potential to turn back my early menopause IF I would cut down on my stress... ;)

I agree that there is a critical connection between a healthy liver and its role on the hormones. With that said, I use Milk Thistle to help support my liver but it is not as powerful as a medication. I will seek out a doctor for more support.

Good Luck to you.. I hope you find the answers that you need.

Here is a sight that might be helpful:

www.drrind.com

www.majidali.com

www.womentowomen.com

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I use progesterone cream and it really helps. I chart my temperatures and start using it when my temp. shifts upward. That would be about halfway through the cycle, during the luteal phase. Stop using it the day before your period starts (or the day of if you didn't already!).

I think going gluten-free has changed my hormones. I have also stopped having night sweats and hot flashes, well, mostly, I had one the other night. My temps are more normal.

Most people who have hormones out of balance will have too much estrogen because of all the environmental sources of it. I read a good book called something like What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About Premenopause. Even though it's written by a doc, it's mostly natural remedies. It's this book that actually helped me to discover my gluten intolerance.

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This is so strange that this post popped up again. I am post medipep. for at least six years and within the last five days, I have breast tenderness and have been very snappy. I have know idea why at this point in my life. I am taking no hormones at all for six years. Just me and my bod.

B., try taking a fertility test., or perhaps you may have done so.

Lisa

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Guest BERNESES

Well- here's an interesting development. My OB/GYN gave me provera to induce a period (I haven't had a "real" one since january). I think it's working- I'm starting to have some spotting but I also had no night sweats last night. I haad stopped taking Evening Primrose oil because of the high estrogen and my dr said EPO could raise estrogen and have been having horrific night sweats since I stopped. I HATE THEM!!!!!!! But last night, nary a drop.

Last week when I saw her she said all my other hormones like FSH were normal but estrogen was through the roof. Trying to figure out if there's some dietary connection.

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Last week when I saw her she said all my other hormones like FSH were normal but estrogen was through the roof. Trying to figure out if there's some dietary connection.

Berneses,

Hate to have to say this, but at least two problems with the above. (1) To provide meaningful information about your fertility, an FSH reading needs to be taken on day 3 of your menstrual cycle (i.e. 3 days after your period starts), or therabouts, say day 2-4. So taking such a reading when you haven't had your period since January probably provides very little useful information. (2) When estrogen is high, FSH will be low, even if your ovaries are running out of eggs (which is what high FSH is thought to indicate). Thus, again, that FSH data you got, probably doesn't mean much. Third "bonus" problem (hardly a bonus if these are problems :o ) is your OB/GYN should know these things and if she's not telling you them, seems like she's either not up-to-date or she's not a very good communicator.

Maybe worth checking back with her to discuss these issues and whether you can get another reading done after your period starts, which I hope it will soon?

-- Alexandra

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I have low estrogen and have not had a period since getting pregnant 2 1/2 years ago (and only then did I have 1 period since going off BC 14 months before!). I also have extreme night sweats (wake up drenched every hour) - have had these for about 3-4 years now - and before being dxed with celiac, I was an extremely hot natured person. I am on Loestrin that helped the nightsweats for a couple months, but then they came back (thinking of getting off of this to see what happens now that I am gluten-free). However, since being dxed 3 weeks ago and going (I think) gluten-free, I have been extremely cold all of the time. Has anyone else experienced this coldness when they went off gluten?

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Guest BERNESES
Berneses,

Hate to have to say this, but at least two problems with the above. (1) To provide meaningful information about your fertility, an FSH reading needs to be taken on day 3 of your menstrual cycle (i.e. 3 days after your period starts), or therabouts, say day 2-4. So taking such a reading when you haven't had your period since January probably provides very little useful information. (2) When estrogen is high, FSH will be low, even if your ovaries are running out of eggs (which is what high FSH is thought to indicate). Thus, again, that FSH data you got, probably doesn't mean much. Third "bonus" problem (hardly a bonus if these are problems :o ) is your OB/GYN should know these things and if she's not telling you them, seems like she's either not up-to-date or she's not a very good communicator.

Maybe worth checking back with her to discuss these issues and whether you can get another reading done after your period starts, which I hope it will soon?

-- Alexandra

Oh- woops- forgot to mention that the test was done before January when I still had a period and it was done on Day 4 of my cycle. So everything was normal except estrogen.

if I get a period she is going to order a round of tests but she did say that testing my hormones without a cycle would be useless.

I have low estrogen and have not had a period since getting pregnant 2 1/2 years ago (and only then did I have 1 period since going off BC 14 months before!). I also have extreme night sweats (wake up drenched every hour) - have had these for about 3-4 years now - and before being dxed with celiac, I was an extremely hot natured person. I am on Loestrin that helped the nightsweats for a couple months, but then they came back (thinking of getting off of this to see what happens now that I am gluten-free). However, since being dxed 3 weeks ago and going (I think) gluten-free, I have been extremely cold all of the time. Has anyone else experienced this coldness when they went off gluten?

I got night sweats when my Celiac symptoms started to show up too. I've been gluten-free for over a year and they have gotten better- but I still have them. I HATE THEM! I took Evening Primrose oil for awhile and it worked great- night sweats GONE. But i had to stop because EPO can increase estrogen. ask your doctor if you could try that instead.

I too used to be hot all the time...even in winter... I spent the first year gluten-free really cold too (and my thyroid was tested at least 6 times). It has gotten much, much better. I am not as warm as I used to be, but I'm at least 90% better. Have you had your thyroid checked? I think our bodies really undergo a lot of stress when our Celiac symptoms develop and we go gluten-free. I feel like I am finally starting to really make some progress, but the first year was toughy. hang in there! B

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Well- here's an interesting development. My OB/GYN gave me provera to induce a period (I haven't had a "real" one since january). I think it's working- I'm starting to have some spotting but I also had no night sweats last night. I haad stopped taking Evening Primrose oil because of the high estrogen and my dr said EPO could raise estrogen and have been having horrific night sweats since I stopped. I HATE THEM!!!!!!! But last night, nary a drop.

Last week when I saw her she said all my other hormones like FSH were normal but estrogen was through the roof. Trying to figure out if there's some dietary connection.

I have battled with night sweats too, the are definitely no fun :( Great news that you didn't have any last nigth Berneses, that's progress. I hope you get to the bottom of your hormonal imbalances. It sounds like your Dr. is really working with you on this. I have a really good feeling for you :) Continued luck!

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Oh- woops- forgot to mention that the test was done before January when I still had a period and it was done on Day 4 of my cycle. So everything was normal except estrogen.

Oh phew -- that's good! Good luck to you!

-- Alexandra

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Guest BERNESES

OK- hormones retested about two weeks ago after a Provera induced menstrual cycle. I was tested on Day 4 of my cycle.

My FSH was 17.1 with a range of 2.5 to 10.2

Estriadol was 240 which is very high

Thyroid was 1.973 (don't know the range but supposedly normal)

Prolactin was 12. 1 (again, no range but supposedly normal)

So i'm being referred to a reproductive endocrinologist and have started taking my basal temp every morning.

It's been quite a two weeks! all that on top of a big exam and an infected salivary gland. Ouch!!!!! The interesting thing though is that I started taking Keflex for 7 days for the infection and my night sweats have decreased significantly. I'm wondering if I had an infection all along too as I have not been on an antibiotic for any reason since September 2004. Weird.

Anyway, just wanted to give an update. I'll give you posted after I see the endocrinologist. Hugs to all, Beverly

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OK- hormones retested about two weeks ago after a Provera induced menstrual cycle. I was tested on Day 4 of my cycle.

My FSH was 17.1 with a range of 2.5 to 10.2

Estriadol was 240 which is very high

Thyroid was 1.973 (don't know the range but supposedly normal)

Prolactin was 12. 1 (again, no range but supposedly normal)

So i'm being referred to a reproductive endocrinologist and have started taking my basal temp every morning.

Berneses,

I don't understand really the test results, but maybe it is promising some things were in range and just the estrogen needs to be tinkered with? I'm excited for you that you have been referred to a reproductive endocrinologist, I feel very hopeful that she/he will help you :)

Please keep us posted!

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Guest BERNESES

FSH is your follicle stimulating hormone and if it's high, that means your body is working overtime to produce estrogen. Yet, my estrogen is already high so someone in there is clearly not communicating! Generally, from what I've read, if your FSH is high, it's your body's last push to get that estrogen stimulated before menopause when your estrogen drops off. But, I've also read that that's a misconception and that menopause is actually a time of increased estrogen :blink:

Anyway, prolactin is what helps you produce milk (I think).

She just said that my eggs will be harder to fertilize but she didn't say they couldn't get fertilized :D

Tomorrow is Summer Solstice so I'll do a dance for the fertility gods and goddesses (i'm also doing ovulation predictor tests every morning and basal temp). Time to be a fertile creature!!!!!!!!!!!!

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FSH is your follicle stimulating hormone and if it's high, that means your body is working overtime to produce estrogen. Yet, my estrogen is already high so someone in there is clearly not communicating! Generally, from what I've read, if your FSH is high, it's your body's last push to get that estrogen stimulated before menopause when your estrogen drops off. But, I've also read that that's a misconception and that menopause is actually a time of increased estrogen :blink:

Anyway, prolactin is what helps you produce milk (I think).

She just said that my eggs will be harder to fertilize but she didn't say they couldn't get fertilized :D

Tomorrow is Summer Solstice so I'll do a dance for the fertility gods and goddesses (i'm also doing ovulation predictor tests every morning and basal temp). Time to be a fertile creature!!!!!!!!!!!!

Berneses,

Here's the deal...

At the start of each menstrual cycle, the body releases FSH to start the antral follicles in the ovaries ripening eggs. Antral follicles are follicles that are ready to ripen. They are distinct from primordal follicles, which are our "latent" follicles -- the ones stored in our ovaries, waiting around to be used. Primordal follicles are not doing anything and wait around until they are needed, whereas antral follicles are ready to be ripened, and will either do so or dissolve/disappear. This is how we go from having millions of eggs to zero, at menopause.

During our fertile years, the ovaries constantly prepare antral follicles throughout our cycles and even when we are pregnant or on birth control pills. That is, unlike much of the rest of women's reproductive cycles, they are not cyclical but are constantly showing up and either ripening (if they show up at the right time, i.e. the start of a menstrual cycle) or disappearing (if they show up at the wrong time).

It takes about 3 months to turn a primordal follicle into an antral follicle. Generally at the start of our menstrual cycles (as well as at other times) there are several antral follicles available to ripen. And when the FSH shows up, they all start ripening.

As they ripen, they release estrogen. The bigger they grow, the more estrogen. What the estrogen does is tell the body to quit making so much FSH. So it does, and then generally there is not enough to ripen all the follicles. Instead, the "lead" follicle -- the biggest, ripest one -- keeps growing, and all the other ones quit growing and disappear. This is why (in nature) humans only very rarely have fraternal twins.

When the estrogen reaches a high enough level (200-600, not sure what the units are), it triggers the body to make luteinizing hormone (LH). Once LH reaches a particularly high level, it causes the follicle to finish ripening and ovulation to occur. LH is the stuff that the ovulation predictor kits you can buy in drugstores (pee sticks) detect.

After ovulation, what's left of the follicle that released the egg turns into something known as the corpus luteum. This releases progesterone, which tells the body to maintain the uterine lining in case there is an embryo waiting to implant in it. Progesterone is what causes our basal body temperatures to rise during the luteal phase part of our cycles (last two weeks) The corpus luteum lasts about two weeks, and then it dissolves. If there is no embryo there, we get our periods. If an embryo has implanted, it releases its own chemical signal telling the body not to shed the uterine lining.

So, one question I have is why your FSH is high when your estrogen is also high.

FSH is used as a way to measure "ovarian reserve," or how many eggs (primordal follicles) are left in our ovaries. The idea is that once fewer eggs remain, it is hard to get them to respond to FSH, and FSH will rise -- the body is "turning up" the signal. During menopause FSH goes up and stays up.

FSH is not a perfect way to measure ovarian reserve, though, and it is not exactly clear what ovarian reserve means to our prospects for pregnancy, either, since of course it only takes one egg to make a baby (some doctors will tell you that dimished QUANTITY of eggs also means that what remains is of lower QUALITY but this has not been proven and many studies suggest, actually that it is not true).

Another way to try to measure ovarian reserve is by counting the antral follicles sitting in the ovaries at any given time. This is possible because antrals are large enough to be seen on a vaginal ultrasound, and unlike the FSH test, an antral count can be done at any time in your cycle. You may want to ask the reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to do one if he/she doesn't offer.

Unfortunately you may find (as many women with high FSH do, and I speak here from experience because I am one) that the RE you see will tell you that your high FSH means there is nothing he/she can do for you. It is true that women with high FSH respond less well (on average) to the treatments currently available, but many of us "high FSHers" believe that REs intentionally refuse us treatment because their clinics are required to report their success rates to the CDC. Because of this they (many of us believe) turn difficult-to-treat patients away and prefer to focus on the easy ones. That is the easiest way for them to get good success rates.

You may be told you should pursue donor egg. Donor eggs (eggs from another woman, usually a women in her early-to-mid 20s) are a great way for women who want to use them to become pregnant, and they work in women quite "advanced" in reproductive age, even into our mid-40s or 50s. However, not all of us are comfortable with giving up a genetic link to our children, or even if we may become comfortable with this we may not want to be rushed into it, which many REs seem to want to do. Please realize that this isn't a very time-sensitive option (you have years and years to pursue it if you want to), so don't let anyone tell you to rush into it if you're not ready.

Please feel free to PM me if you want more info. or want other useful web resources.

Also, while your TSH of 1.9 is in the normal range (0.3 to 3.0, or maybe 0.5 to 3.0), it's creeping up a bit. Out of curiosity, have you been tested for anti-thyroid antibodies (which are more common in people with celiac disease than they are in the general population)?

(Oh -- and, I'm not a doctor, though I do play one on the internet :lol: )

-- Alexandra

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