Hormone Help Please. (Female)

I’m new. I’m not a bodybuilder (am female). Came here looking for hormone help as i have low oestrogen and testosterone levels and want to increase them.

I’ve been on testosterone and oestrogen implant for about 7 years (for pms) but had to come off the oestrogen one recently as the progesterone affects my stomach too much (gives me IBS). So i’m now looking for natural ways to increase both testosterone and oestrogen, although i could stay on the testosterone implant if i wanted, but they are discontinuing it soon and i don’t fancy my chances of getting my gp to prescribe testosterone gel, although they might.

From my limited reading so far, i figure if i increase the fat levels in my diet, that might increase my hormone levels? I’m semi-vegetarian at the moment but have started eating meat this year because i’m also wheat intolerant and it’s a pain cutting out too much from your diet.

Anyone got any help for me? I can post my hormone levels pre-implants. MY SHBG was mid-range. Thyroid T4, TSH also normal. FSH and LH might have been low, it’s impossible to tell, because for women it depends on where you are in your cycle and i can’t remember for those particular results. I will have them checked again in 6 months time when my oestrogen levels will probably be back to low :frowning: Although i had most of my blood tests taken in the afternoon so perhaps thats why testosterone was low?

Any help much appreciated as doctor didn’t know of any links between hormones and diet…


Post ALL lab results WITH the ranges. I saw KSman say in another thread he was going to help you out but he’s going to need that info. Saying everything was normal doesn’t really give us a lot to work with.

I expect that you were not getting progesterone, something that belongs in your body. Progestins are progesterone like chemicals that have side effects. These are the reason that OBC has warnings about stroke and blood clots.

Any external source of estrogens, progesterone or progestins will act as a negative feedback signal on your Hypothalamus Pituitary Ovarian Axis [HPOA] and then a reduction in LH and FSH is an expected result. When you stop the external hormones, LH and FSH are expected to recover. When LH/FSH are reduced, your ovaries produce less of your own hormones and vice versa.

So when you take progestins, your production of progesterone is reduced. So progestins displace progesterone to some extent. That is the health risk.

Look at the advice for new guys sticky so you can see the type of info that we like to see. Yes, some will not apply :wink:

IBS: Do you have CBC data, ferritin, serum iron or hematocrit data? This might suggest blood loss via the gut.

Are you cycling?

How long on HRT? What problems led you there?

It is helpful to understand if you were a low estrogen or high estrogen type. As one extreme, a women with low estrogen can be tall and small breasted, and high estrogen can be shorter and full breasted. These different types would need different target hormone levels. Weight gain can confound these generalizations.

Oh sorry, i was taking progesterone (natural) pessaries too in luteal phase. Thats good to know about LH and FSH. The reason for taking the oestrogen implant (and testoterone) were for severe PMS/PMDD, it’s an experimental treatment still but my doc is the best in the country for treating severe PMS and they have had success with this treatment in trials. My test and oestrogen levels were both low before i went on implant (7 years ago) but this was not the reason for taking the oestrogen, the oestrogen is supposed to suppress my cycle, so that would tie in with what you said about LH and FSH being reduced, now i understand, thanks!! You are even more of an expert on women’s hormones on this website… :smiley: Do you have medical training?!

Yes i can provide you with iron and hormone data when i get home later…

Are you cycling?
Do you mean aunt flo or am i cycling the hormones ? :S Yes to first question, although they were lighter!

I am low oestrogen and low testosterone, not sure why…my job is stressful at times so possibly that, or possibly i should have been having the blood test in the morning and mid-cycle? I’m tall and small breasted to tie in with your guess on oestrogen levels?!

Here are my hormone results from 2005 (pre-implants but i may have been taking oestrogen patch at this point, although it never worked that effectively, hence why i went on implant):


These are my hormone levels pre-implants (i may have been taking oestrogen patch at this point but it never worked effectively, hence why i moved to implant) :

I’m guessing i was in luteal or follicular range for below, probably luteal but i don’t know.

TSH 1.51 range 0.27-4.2 mU/L
Free T4 18.5 range 12-22 pmol/L
FSH 4.4 Follicular: 3.5 - 12.5
Ovulatory: 4.7 - 21.5
Luteal: 1.7 - 7.7

LH 2.7 Follicular: 2.4 - 12.6
Ovulatory: 14 - 95.6
Luteal: 1 - 11.4

Oestradiol 361 Follicular: 46 - 607
Ovulatory: 315 - 1828
Luteal: 161 - 774

Testosterone 0.7 0.2 - 2.9 nmol/L
SHBG 58 20 - 122 nmol/L
Free Androgen Index 1.2 0.3 - 6.8

Here are my iron results from August 2012 (i’m on iron tablets now):

Serum free T4 level: 16.2 pmol/L
Serum TSH level: 1.97 mU/L

Serum ferritin: 16 uG/L
RBC distribution width 12.8%
Basophil count 0 109/L
Haematocrit 0.368 L/L
Lymphocyte count 1.8 10
Total white cell count 6.4 109/L
RBC count 4 10
Platelet count 254 109/L
Neutrophil count 3.9 10
Monocyte count 0.6 109/L
Mean corposcular volume 92 fL
MCHC 34.2g/dL
MCH 31.5pg
Haemoglobin estimation 12.6g/dL
Eosinophil count 0.1 10
Fasting plasma glucose level 4.4mmol/L

Can you provide temperature data and iodine intake history from iodized salt and vitamins? See the thyroid basics sticky. Your TSH is a concern, but docs will ignore these situations. Docs do not typically have any concern for iodine.

I am a Mech Engineer with a diverse background.

Cycling: I was asking if you were having normal periods.

Please [edit] the above post to add ranges.

Iron loss can also be from blood lost to the gut from gut/digestive problems [IBS]. Have you had an test for occult blood in you poop?

Your low ferritin may have been interfering with thyroid function.

Hematocrit was quite low!

Progesterone cream, OTC in the USA, works well. These are around 2% strength. KAL is a good brand. I have seen others not work in comparison to KAL. You can also get Rx compounded cream at 15%. I have seen relief from PMS, painful breasts, mood problems, painful periods, ovarian cysts and enlarged uterus. In one case, fibroids were expelled and hysterectomy avoided.

Estrogen and Bi-est creams can be made up as well.

Lab results have two uses:

  • determining if levels are really low or high
  • tracking changes in response to HRT

Absolute results are often useless. A women need to experiment with doses to what works for them and how that may vary over her cycle. This makes implants a problem some times, in terms of amounts and variation within a cycle.

Too much estrogen can make some women overly emotional and distressed. That that is also a function of absolute levels as well as estrogen dominance from low progesterone.

We usually nag guys about supplements:

  • fish oil, nuts, flax seed oil or meal - for EFAs’ essential fatty acids
  • 5000iu vit-D3 available in tiny oil bases caps
  • B complex multi vits with trace elements and iodine

How is your blood pressure?
Total cholesterol data?
If DHEA-S is lower than mid range, might be worth supplementing.

I added ranges for the hormones. The doctor did not provide me with ranges for the iron. Yes i am regular and normal in terms of periods. No i have not had that test, used to lose blood that way but i’m ok now i’ve given up wheat.

Yes iron is low, hence on ferrous fumarate tablets now. Saw allergy doc on monday and he said i should have celiac test again although i’m not sure, had it twice before and was always negative. However he says diagnostic procedure has changed. Last time they gave me iron tablets they gave me the cheapest version and it had no effect my iron levels but gp seemed unconcerned and sent me away. So i took Floradix liquid for about two years then iron still went low again :frowning: I also possibly have Gilberts Syndrome which can affect carbohydrate absorption. Low iron has only been a problem since i gave up wheat 3 years ago though, the hormone results were from 2005 and i had my vitamin levels checked back then and they were ok.

Why is TSH a concern if it’s in the normal range? :S

Are the progesterone creams on prescription or over the counter. We don’t have those in UK, i don’t think. Dr has never mentioned natural progesterone being available as a cream. But saying that i don’t get on with progesterone at all, thats the reason i came off the oestrogen implant. Dr described me as progesterone intolerant! Its oestrogen that will help the most in PMS, progesterone is an outdated treatment. Unfortunately i can’t take oestrogen without taking progesterone and i’ve had enough of it. It messes up my stomach and is seriously sedating, i can’t wait til i can stop taking it in 7 months time.

The point of the oestrogen implant is to repress my body’s normal cycle, turn off my ovaries. So thats why standard dose is given over time…

I did read that oestrogen can make you stress out more here:

But i have never experienced this. My oestrogen level went too high at one point, 1350 and all i noticed was life got easier, felt happier. Dr says oestrogen and testosterone are both antidepressants on the brain…

I am taking Lamberts multivitamin designed for women but switching to Solgar Female this month as Lamberts use some ingredient DiCalcium Phosphate, i think it was, which some websites says inhibits absorption of vitamins!
I also take Magnesium Citrate 400mg for insomnia currently.

This contains idione and most of the stuff i need i think?
I’m also taking the iron, magnesium and vitamins C tablets on top. Also planning on buying some sort of EFA’s - hadn’t decided which yet. Which do you recomend? Fish or flax seed? (I’ve taken evening primrose in the past for PMS but noticed no difference).
Should i add a ZMA supplement to boost my testosterone levels instead of magnesium? Is Zinc stimulating in any way? On top of the multivit?

I was recomended this product in the past so may get some of that too!It made me feel relaxed, not sure how safe it is tho?:

Blood pressure is always low. I feel faint on standing if i get up too quickly out of bed.
I think i had cholesterol checked once and doc said it was ok. I’ll ask for a retest in 6 months.
Never had DHEA-S tested. will ask.

I have some other results from my kidney function tests, will post them next.

Is Iodine for thyroid? How do i get more iodine in my diet?

Serum total protein 71g 60 -85g/L
Serum gamma glutamyl transferase level 9 IU/L
Corrected serum calcium 2.23 mmol/L 2.2 - 2.6
Serum bilirubin level 29 umol/L (normal less than 20 - so most likely have Gilberts syndrome)
ALT/SGPT serum level 13 IU/L 5-40
Serum albumin 37g/L 6-40
Serum urea level 3.3mmol/L 2.5-6.4
serum sodium = 138 mmol/L 137-145 (on the low side)
Serum potassium = 4.1 mmol/L 3.5-5.5
Serum creatinine = 64 umol/L 45-90

He said these were all normal, except for bilirubin.

Ah we do have Crinone gel here but i seem to remember doc saying it’s more difficult to get the dosage right. Im not a fan of progesterone anyway. And they can’t check the levels of this for some reason.

Was hoping for dietary/supplement advise, rather than hormones.

Some women convert progesterone to cortisol and cannot take at night. Others find that it helps them sleep. So quite a variation in effect. Perhaps you could used to improve sleep.

Many enzymes in the body have metal atoms that are critical for their action. Thyroid hormones incorporate iodine. Without iodine people get goiter, metal retardation and many other effects to varying degrees. 150mcg is the dietary recommended supplement. However that is not sufficient as we consume more prepared foods that are not made with iodized salt. For example, in the USA, comparing 24 hour iodine in urine from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, the iodine excretion dropped by 50%. Use of sea salt is a major factor. Iodine used to be used as a bread dough conditioner and that has stopped. T4 has 4 iodine atoms. T3 has three iodine atoms. Read the thyroid basics sticky.

Still need your body temperatures!

Iron supplements can bind to things in your gut and make them unavailable. You can induce a vit-E deficiency that way as well as other things and other trace elements can be affected.


Tannins in tea can block absorption of iron, while vitamin C enhances iron absorption, as do fermented soy foods such as miso and the lactic acid in both yogurt and sauerkraut. Other foods that interfere with iron absorption include caffeinated beverages, eggs, milk and bran.

Iron in food or pills interferes with zinc absorption and supplemental iron can aggravate zinc deficiency. The recommended daily allowance for zinc (RDA) is based on the assumption that forty per cent of the zinc that is swallowed is absorbed into the body. Actually, zinc absorption is only seventeen to thirty-five per cent and depends upon what is eaten along with zinc. Starch and fiber interfere with zinc absorption, as do calcium and iron. Lack of stomach acid, which may be caused by infection or acid-lowering drugs, also interferes with zinc absorption. Zinc deficiency is common in Africa and Asia, where people consume large quantities of milk, which is high in calcium and low in zinc, and of starches and fibres which inter-fere with zinc absorption. Zinc deficiency profoundly depresses immunity and administering iron to a zinc-deficient person is extremely risky. Not only does iron stimulate bacterial growth, but, by aggravat-ing zinc deficiency, it weakens the immune system of the person being supplemented.

Iron should not be taken as part of a multivitamin or multimineral preparation. Iron interferes with the absorption of the essen-tial minerals zinc, manganese and molybdenum; it destroys vitamin E; its own absorption is blocked by calcium and magnesium. Iron is best absorbed after a meal, with a small quantity of vitamin C (between one hundred and five hundred milligrams).



And vice versa

My friend just told me that vegetarian women do have lower levels of oestrogen because meat contains a lot of hormones. So guess thats why i’m low… i’ve been veggie since before i started periods. That settles it for me, i’m going to start eating meat regularly. Although i’m bit worried whether the oestrogen in meat is from the coz or from growth hormones? Although i guess it doesn’t matter… and to think i’ve been eating organic cheese all this time in an effort to avoid growth hormones DOH!!!


On the other hand, my doctor said it wasn’t the low hormone levels that caused my PMS, it is actually the fluctuations in hormone levels. But he did say oestrogen is a tonic for the mind (antidepressant) and i do feel better on higher levels :frowning: Do you guys think the phytooestrogens in soya are bad for you? Because i guess thats another way i could get more oestrogen in my diet and more protein (if that would help my hormone levels?).


In 1996, researchers at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) presented new evidence on how fat affects cancer. Dr Laurence Kolonel from the University of Hawaii Cancer Research Centre and his team believe that fats (mainly of animal origin) in the diet produce bile acids in the intestinal tract that seem to promote colon cancer. Apparently eating high-fibre foods like fruits, cereals and vegetables can reduce the concentration of these bile acids and help prevent colon cancer (72).

High-fat diets also increase the amount of oestrogens (female sex hormones) in the blood. It is known that many breast tumours are fuelled by an excess of oestrogen. When women begin a low-fat diet, their oestrogen levels drop sharply and vegetarians have significantly lower oestrogen levels than omnivores (63,73,74).

Researchers in New York tested the effect of low-fat diets on immunity and found that people with a low-fat diet had more ‘natural killer’ cells than those on a high-fat diet. These cells seek out and destroy any abnormal cells that may turn cancerous. The authors of this paper state: ?The enhanced natural cytotoxicity may be one of the factors contributing to the lower cancer risk shown by vegetarians.? (75).

Body temp is 37.14 degrees today.

Yes the progesterone does help me sleep but it also makes my stomach do backflips and strong nausea and effects on digestion. It’s not very nice. If i got depressed again tho, i would go back on the oestrogen and put up with the progesterone. They need to invent a progesterone that doesn’t go into the rest of the body, just stays in the uterus but there’s no money in it so it won’t happen :frowning: And the mirena coil makes me moody coz it’s artificial hormones.

You didn’t say why i should be concerned about my thyroid when TSH level was within the normal range?

Ok i’ll get an EFA with vitamin E added. I am taking fizzy vitamin C with the zinc, 500mg. And i have another 500mg later on with a meal because i love the taste of the vitamin C drink now :slight_smile:

I have a book called A-z of nutritional healing and it did mention minerals interfere with each other’s absorption so i was trying to find a multi that didn’t have iron in it, unfortunately this is impossible, but i thought the calcium and iron might just cancel each other out! I might write to the vitamin manufacturer’s and complain about this. Originally i was going to buy these two products instead of female multi:


However if zinc is inhibited by calcium too, there is no point taking multimineral… So perhaps i should take ZMA instead? I do eat a lot of carbohydrates and cheese (they’re comfort food when i feel down and i can’t help it!). Plus i’ve probably needed the cheese for protein and fat when i was veggie. I think i probably need to eat more soya instead of cheese now. I did read vegetarians are at risk of zinc deficiency the other day so that would make sense. I’m definately not short of calcium, and i’m taking iron already…

I used this site to analyse my diet, is it good?:

And i was low on A (some days), D, E K. Zinc a little and Copper a little. So should i take ZMA with copper?
I also read that A, E, and K can build up to toxic levels in liver if you take supplements, as the body stores them forever so i’m reluctant to take a supplement for those. EFA’s come with E in them anyway.

So you recomended:

  • fish oil, nuts, flax seed oil or meal - for EFAs’ essential fatty acids
  • 5000iu vit-D3 available in tiny oil bases caps
  • B complex multi vits with trace elements and iodine

Which trace elements and can i buy iodine separately?

So here’s what i think i should take now:

So just need to now what you meant by trace elements?

Do you reckon i should stop eating cheese, given it’s the only fat&animal protein in my diet? Or should it be good for my hormones? I’ve started eating an egg a day this week, and some yhogurt when my stomach can handle it.

What i really need is something natural that suppresses my hormone cycle…or gives me more oestrogen, but would have to be equivalent to dose of 100mg oestradiol implants! Any ideas??! :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks so much for your help, i was about to order the vitamins and would have wasted my money on multimineral!

ps my immune system is strong, i rarely get ill and have allergies which is an over-active immune system i think?

Those vitamins are not quite what you want, still need the trace elements etc. The issue with not taking this with that is when one takes a large amount of one item. There are trace elements in foods that are absorbed OK without cancelling each other out.

TSH ranges are typically 0.5<–>4.5 or sometimes 0.5<–>5.5
So you think that your body can function properly with a 10:1 range of TSH? That range captures 95% of the sample group from which the lab data was collected. That sample group also contains many people who do not feel very good.

What time of day was your 37.14? Can you get your temperature when you first wake up?

Yes you can get iodine supplements. If your AM temperatures are OK, you can find kelp tablets that contain 1mg iodine. I have not noticed that you have stated if you are using iodized salt. Are you using any kelp or seaweed products as a food?

With a low fat diet or other reasons that lead to low cholesterol, hormone levels can fall. We need more that your doctor telling you that your cholesterol is OK. Low fat diets can be dangerous. Your cell walls are made from fat and proteins. Most of the dry weight of your brain is fats. EFAs are very important for the function of these fat structures. There is a link between the EFA intake of moms and the IQ of their children.

Fats from cheese will not be substantially different from fats from meats.

Sounds like you need to be able to try smaller amounts of progesterone. It does belong in your body. My opinion is that many female cancers, CV disease and other issues are caused by estrogen dominance, which is really from low progesterone. In women and men, DHEA levels start to fall after age 30. Women have progesterone levels fall in a similar fashion to there loss of DHEA levels. You can test DHEA-S. Do not test DHEA. DHEA is the raw material for the production of sex hormones.

[quote]Wileykit wrote:

What i really need is something natural that suppresses my hormone cycle…or gives me more oestrogen, but would have to be equivalent to dose of 100mg oestradiol implants! Any ideas??! :stuck_out_tongue:

Can you get Micronized estradiol on prescription in the UK?

My pills are 1 mg orally and this is a bio-identical estradiol.

Normally, women take 2 mg a day.

I can also get micronized progesterone on prescription here - also bio-identical.

100 mg tablets and I am have experimented with 100 to 300 mg a day so far.

You can also put the pill in a blender and drink it slowly during the day, if you find it affects you too much.

I got used to the higher doses, pretty quickly though.