By SUZY COHEN Dear Pharmacist
Published: 3/27/2010 2:23 AM
Last Modified: 3/27/2010 4:28 AM
Dear Pharmacist, I bought a home test kit (saliva test) which measures my hormones. Everything came back normal except my progesterone which was extremely low. Could low progesterone explain my symptoms of weight gain, hot flashes and depression? — T.P., Dallas
Yes, absolutely and there’s an over-the-counter (OTC) fix. The symptoms that could plague a person with low progesterone (also termed estrogen dominance) include weight gain, depression, fatigue, irritability, incontinence, insomnia, heart disease, infertility and osteoporosis.
Home test kits that use saliva are sold online and in progressive weight loss centers, compounding pharmacies and holistic physician offices. The most popular one is made by ZRT Labs and it measures various hormones including estradiol, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol and progesterone. Transdermal testing (versus blood testing) is particularly useful if you already apply hormonal creams to your body. Many people do, especially since natural, bio-identical progesterone cream is sold in the United States at health food stores nationwide and online.
Clearly, you are not applying a natural progesterone cream to your skin, but it sounds like you should because you are deficient and have the symptoms. Ask your physician about it and get a copy of my Breast Cancer E-book at my Web site. Why is doctor approval and supervision such a big deal when applying natural progesterone cream? Because in certain people, the cells have been missing the proper ratio of hormones (especially estrogen) for many years. So you could be super sensitive to the sudden application of progesterone and boom, you get a backlash of side effects (like spotting and hot flashes at 65 years old).