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ask: I had a bad experience with bioidentical hormones. What information can you give me on this topic?

By Anonymous December 2, 2008 - 9:03am
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I ended up in the hospital with severe panic attacks and delusional thoughts after being given too little estrogen and way too much progesterone by an N. D. here in the valley. I have had a full hysterectomy and was told by three other doctors that I never should have been given the progesterone. This episode caused a chain reaction in which I was then put on too high of a dose of Lexapro and many other anti-anxiety drugs for the next two years. All of the side effects made me feel horribly worse and I ended up being weened off of everything except some Adivan. I feel better now, but still not right.

I need some help with my hormones, but don't know who to get it from or who to trust. Any info that you have would be helpful.

Thanks, Debbie O'Donnell

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EmpowHER Guest

Anyone have slight bleeding after getting off progesterone? I went off in May and had the bleeding in July. The doctor said he was not surprised. However, I had a very slight bleeding at the end of September and then the end of October. The doctor says this is worrisome but can't find anything. I am thinking it is the progesterone. Had some cramping in September but took some Chinese herbs and did an acupuncture session and it seemed to alleviate it. My pap smear has come back unsatisfactory, meaning there is something interfering with a reading of it one way or the other.

November 5, 2015 - 9:36pm

I was wondering if anyone of you ladies out there have experienced bad leg (and sometimes arm) pain. Been on 1ml Biest (20% Estradiol and 80% Estriol) as well as 1 100mg Progesterone capsules at night. The pain in my thighs started about 1-2 months in and has gotten progressively worse. My calf and thighs muscles are painful now. It is really only on exertion, but my arms can pain on and off for no reason . Dr's seem puzzled and yet I see muscle cramps being mentioned on the net as a possible side effect of hormone replacement .... Mine just seems worse. I have been on the treatment for about 9 months. I had quite severe menopausal symptoms so I am not keen on weaning myself off of the BHRT, but I cannot live with this pain any longer. Thanks and good luck to all you ladies on this hormone roller-coaster!

September 17, 2015 - 12:03am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Disillusioned)

Dear Disillusioned!

The description of what you are going through describes me to a T! My legs are especially painful (also 90% on walking) and my arms also out of the blue will have this weird cramping going on (especially my upper arms). It started after about 2 months on Biest and when I changed to another combination cream... (with even stronger estrogens), the exact same feeling. For some reason some days are slightly better but it is extremely annoying and I find myself not being able to do a lot of what I did before. I don't even want to exercise. The Dr's do seem stunned, but I know it's the estrogen in the cream because it starts exactly 1 to 2 hours after I apply the cream....

I just wanted to say I feel for you and you are definitely not alone. I am really starting to wonder if I was better off without the hormones. So much time and money wasted.

Good luck and I would love to hear how you are doing now!

Warm regards
Finette (South Africa)

November 5, 2015 - 8:13am
EmpowHER Guest

My problem wasn't with progesterone like I think most of your's was but with testosterone. My testosterone was twice as high as a man's should be. It made me terribly ill and the same happened to a friend of mine. Actually, I have been n this thread for a long time. In fac I started one similar one but perhaps my problem has nothing to do with hormones. My organs were failing, all of them. Prayers from every church in our town I credit for my recovery because I truly don't know what was wrong with me. I was at mayo for a month and they treated all my symptoms but didn't know why. I no longer have any of these things but for six months I was incontinent, diabetic, had NASH, extremely low thyroid, high iron, high copper. Not just a little high but very high. I had/have a kidney tumor and colon polyps. I am fine now with none of those problems except the kidney tumor but it s very small and not growing. This all happened after starting the bio- identical hormones but I'm thinking it was something besides the hormone now because my symptoms were so different than any of yours. I had no panic attack problems. I just couldn't sit up. Couldn't eat, sleep was not good and was so sick I couldn't speak. I know. Should just thank God I'm fine now and move n and do thank God but I still have to wonder what was wrong. Guess I will never know.

August 28, 2015 - 2:04pm
EmpowHER Guest

I went on these natural hormones almost 1 year ago. I had a hysterectomy when I was 34 and had my ovaries removed when I had Colon cancer and they removed part of my Colon. That was 4 years ago. I am 57. My doctor told me I had very low hormone levels when I had the blood work done. My question is, can I get along with not taking any hormones? I have a severe sleep problem, but the hormones have not fixed that. I was thinking the hormones were going to be my shining light, but I'm not sure they have helped at all. Anyone else with the same question?

July 30, 2015 - 1:25pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I'm beginning to think the problem isnt with the hormones but with the doctors. I have friends that have been n these for years and swear by them. However, their doctors check their hormone before each pellet is inserted. My doctor did not. They just kept giving me more testosterone which really played havoc with my body.

November 6, 2015 - 11:35am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for reaching out to us!

I know several women who, due to a history of reproductive cancer, had no hormones at all and while they had uncomfortable symptoms, they were HRT-free all the way.

There is no medical need for hormones. Women take them because their menopausal symptoms were so severe.

From talking with many women, I think insomnia is the symptom they find most unbearable and understandably so. If you can work with your doctor on this issue, then you might be just fine without hormones.

Please stay in touch with us!


July 30, 2015 - 3:43pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

It is insomnia but also energy level I think. We want to feel like we did before menopause and maybe that just isn't possible.

August 28, 2015 - 2:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

Well. I have been off progesterone since the beginning of May. I did it in 10 days. I was on progesterone all the time and no other hormones. I was ok for about a week. The heaviness in my chest that felt like I was having a panic attach went away and I have not had it since. However, I started having terrible symptoms of anxiety. I had read on this forum that someone had to go on xanax for 2 - 3 months till the progesterone was out of her system. So I went to the doctor (not the one who prescribed progesterone) and told him what I thought as my bp was hard to control. He said I needed to take a anti-anxiety which I didn't really want to do. He didn't want to prescribe xanaz so he suggested a SSRI and let me pick. Since my daughter had been on Effecor, I went on a low dose. He told me not to read the side effects so I thought ok. I have to get this anxiety under control. I went on the Effexor on June 6. On June 20 I was to leave for a month long visit to Peru. I was supposed to go back just before I left but didn't because I didn't want a higher dose. So I started taking it but it supposedly doesn't work for 2 - weeks. I still had anxiety including the first week in Peru. But I was putting pressure on myself to get things done around the house and was nervous about my trip as I was going alone. By the second week in Peru, the anxiety was gone. I actually felt myself relax and handled everything quite well. So I didn't want to stay on it too long and started reducing the dosage (the doc said take a month to get off it). I did great. I had NO anxiety with taking it every other day. Last week I went to every 3 days which was the same week I returned to the US. Well, I thought I had a parasite. I have not felt good at all (nauseous, dizzy, headaches, can't sleep). So I looked up Effexor and the same effects. However, NO anxiety. So I guess I will try to deal with this and continue to decrease the dosage of Effexor! I am going back to Peru. I don't think western doctors know what they are doing! Very frustrated.

July 27, 2015 - 12:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

I was on 3 ssri's over the course of 3 months along with 5-htp and was on many supplements that did not work I then started taking natural hormone replacement progesterone and when coming off the two weeks you do not take it I have experienced crazy moods anxiety horrible intrusive thoughts of my family of myself the SSRIs I believe contributed to many things that I already have affected me I was taking the progesterone to help with anxiety because they thought maybe that was causing my anxiety however it is actually made my anxiety worse I've just stumbled upon this forum because I'm just lost and don't understand why all the stuff is suddenly making me so ill and is taking my body a long time to bounce back does anyone else have the same situation going on with them

July 27, 2015 - 11:06am
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