Progesterone Troubleshooting
"It Doesn't Work"
"It Worked at First, But NOT Now"
"Now, I Am Worse"

Progesterone Side Effects are worse (temporarily 1-2 days if you stop Progesterone), IF you do NOT avoid Xenoestrogens or Phytoestrogens

by Peter Eckhart, MD

If You Don't Stop Xenoestrogens, You Get Worse

About 30-40% of patients get temporarily worse (worse only 1-2 days after stopping Progesterone) on Progesterone for Restless Leg Syndrome. These patients did NOT cut out xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens, even though they thought they did. "Health Food Store" expensive healthy products typically contain herbs that are estrogenic. There are 100,000 different chemicals in the USA. The vast majority are untested for hormone disruption. It takes me 3 days to research one chemical out of 20 on the shampoo bottle. At the end of 3 days, I find that no hormone disruption testing has been done on this chemical at all. No one knows. No one has tested it.

So you are putting on a chemical on your skin that is estrogenic, when you thought it was safe.

When you take Progesterone for Restless Leg Syndrome you regain your original sensitivity to estrogen, and it seems that you are getting more estrogen even though you are not.

Many Your body tries to compensate from chronic estrogen intake by becoming less sensitive to estrogen. This is known as down regulation. So you are less sensitive to estrogen.

Regain Your Sensitivity to Estrogen

When you take Progesterone, you become sensitive to estrogen once again back at your normal level. And now the estrogen seems to be more.

For example, when you go to a rock concert, initially it sounds loud. However, after 30 minutes or so, the rock concert does NOT seem so loud. This music is NOT so loud. This is called down regulation. However, after taking progesterone, the rock concert is loud again. The rock concert loudness is like the constant estrogen exposure.

Why "It does NOT Work"

The normalization of a down regulated patient to estrogen is why, "It does NOT work NOW! I am Worse NOW! It used to work, but it is NOT working now."


Restless Leg Syndrome is the result of the balance between estrogen and progesterone. If too much estrogen is present relative to progesterone, deficiencies that cause Restless Leg Syndrome will worsen. A Dartmouth University Study showed plastic wrap heated Typically a woman does not have enough Progesterone and this exacerbates Restless Leg oil in a microwave oven contained 500,000 times the minimum amount of xenoestrogens needed to stimulate breast cancer cells to proliferate. Food and heated with hot plastic is bad for you. Warm food in a ceramic bowl covered with a plate in the microwave oven. Coffee is a known phytoestrogen that exacerbates Restless Leg Syndrome. The caffeine in the coffee ties up the liver to increase your own estradiol. 2 cups of coffee increases your estradiol by 70% according to Bringham Young University. Since coffee itself is a phytoestrogen, decaffeinated coffee still acts as a phytoestrogen and will exacerbate Restless Leg Syndrome. Laundry detergent when added to a tank of baby trout turn male fish into female fish. See here.

Skin Dose is 10 times the Oral Dose

Anything that is put on the skin is absorbed directly into the body. Anything that is eaten is first pass metabolized by the liver. the liver can eliminate 90% of a prescription conjugated estrogen before it gets to the body. In contrast, an estrogen patch goes directly into A topical dose of natural progesterone is 10 times the potency of an oral dose.the body bypassing the liver. Thus, the patch dose is 10 times greater in potency than the oral dose. Most skin creams contain methyl paraben, propyl paraben, or butly paraben. The parabens are known as xenoestrogens, and are now being investigated by the European Union as a contributor to breast cancer. Phenoxyethanol is used as a subsitute for parabens, but is also an estrogen pretender. Cosmetics contain these parabens and phenoxyethanol. Be VERY VERY VERY careful what you put on the skin.

Too Much Xenoestrogens on the Skin

Too much exposure to estrogen causes estrogen receptors that are desensitized or down regulated to estrogen. Her body tries to compensate for the large estrogen load by becoming less sensitive to estrogen - down regulation. Then she tries to use Natural Progesterone without first getting rid of estrogen on the skin. Natural Progesterone returns her estrogen receptors back to normal. It seems to her like she is getting more estrogen when she is really not. She begins to get worse temporarily (worse stops after 1-2 days after stopping Progesterone). Sore Breast become worse. Bloating is worse.

You are guaranteed to fail if you do not cut out xenoestrogens out of the environment.

The Patient Cannot absorb Progesterone through the skin

Less than 1% of patients do NOT absorb topical progesterone through Progesterone is not absorbed well through the skin in less than 1% of patients.the skin. No one knows why. In this case, the patient taking topical Natural Progesterone notices nothing at all. There is no difference in sleep, bloating or breast tenderness. The patient complains, "I don't feel any difference at all." Absorption through the skin can be tested easily with a $30 progesterone saliva test.

Use a Saliva Test

Call ZRT labs. Always use a saliva test. A blood test is useless since progesterone is being absorbed through the skin (oil and water do NOT mix). Order the kit, after taking Progesterone for the required amount of days and simply spit in the plastic tube. Send the plastic tube back through the mail. Lab results are mailed back. New York State and California State require a prescription to get a saliva test by mail.

ZRT Laboratories
1815 NW 169th Pl Ste 3090
Bearverton, OR 97006
(503) 466-2445

If you are absorbing Natural Progesterone well, after 2 months your saliva levels should be at least 500-1000. If you are not absorbing Natural Progesterone well then your saliva levels will be less than 100. If you are premenopausal, make sure to take into account your period.

Saliva testing for Progesterone is usually not needed unless you suspect you do not absorb it well. If you are one of those patients that do not absorb Natural Progesterone well through the skin, you may take 100-400 mg/day of Natural Progesterone sublingually (under the tongue), or orally in a pill form. The pills at this dose are a prescription drug and must be prescribed by a doctor.

Don't Skin Absorb Well? - Use Maca

Maca, a cruciferous Peruvian Herb, also seems to have a progesterone effect and is used by Peruvian M.D.'s. I feel very safe about the herb because it has been used for centuries, or even thousands of years for female problems, and male erection problems. We like Maca from because they use organic Maca without preservatives.

Maca from

Maca has been anecdotally been successfully used to treat Natural Progesterone failures.

Improperly Formulated Progesterone Cream

You should take anywhere from 20-60 mg/day of Natural Progesterone in an oil or cream Improperly formulated Natural Progesterone does NOT work.depending on the condition you are treating. Many progesterone creams do NOT contain enough progesterone. Some only have "Yam Extract". "Yam Extract" is NOT progesterone and will not have the same effects as progesterone. Natural Progesterone is made most commonly from yams or soy. Other creams may contain mineral oil which blocks the absorption of progesterone. Still others use herbs that have estrogen effects. The most common preservative used in these creams is methyl paraben or propyl paraben. The parabens are xenoestrogens. The parabens are being questioned by the European Union for estrogen activity and a role in causing breast cancer. Phenoxyethanol (an alkylphenol) is a common preservative used to replace the parabens is also estrogenic.

Do NOT Underestimate Emotional Cofactors

I have found that many patients with Restless Leg Syndrome, but not all, have difficulty in getting rid of chemicals out of their body. There are two factors

1) Increased garbage coming into the body in the form of xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens.

2) Decreased garbage going out the the body in the form of all chemicals, drugs, xenoestrogens, and phytoestrogens.

Impaired Excretion Patients - "Clogged Toilet"

These patients patients with impaired excretion have one or more of 4 characteristics

1) Hypersensitivity to smell.Chemically Sensitive Patients with clogged toilet syndrome have the following characteristics.
2) Sensitive to small amounts of drugs.
3) Abnormal Rhomburg test.
4) Possible multiple allergies.

Hypersensitivity to Smell

Many patients complain of a "sharp" smell. They may be able to sense smells from far away. Perfume may give them a headache. Smoking bothers them from far away.

Sensitive to Small Amounts of Drugs

Many of the patients will be "sensitive" to drugs compared to their friends. A small dose of these drugs will affect them greatly. This means that their body cannot get rid of these drugs. This means that they cannot get rid of chemicals. These chemicals that they cannot get rid of include xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens. In fact, I can give them a 500 mg caffeine dose and test them for caffeine by a blood test 24 hours later. Their caffeine levels will be elevated. This means that they cannot excrete caffeine. I have named this a "clogged toilet" syndrome.

Abnormal Rhomburg Test

Put your feet together, stand on tip toes, Allergies accompany the and close your eyes. If you wobble, then this is abnormal. Find a young healthy teen ager and compare yourself to him.

Possible Multiple Allergies

Many of these chemically sensitive patients have multiple allergies. Theron Randolf, MD, professor of Medicine at University of Chicago, coined the phrase Chemically Sensitive patients.

The Cause of Chemically Sensitive Patients - "Clogged Toilet"

The cause of the "clogged toilet" syndrome is low level fear, stress, anxiety. I find this very common in immigrants. For instance, if you are 1 foot away from a rattle snake, your anxiety level would be a level 10. The next day when you are away from the rattle snake, your anxiety should be a level 0. This is normal.

However, the "clogged toilet" syndrome patients usually always have an anxiety level of 4 or 5 all the time. Increased histamine levels due to low level fear/stress/anxiety causes allergies to be easily triggered. Low level anxiety causes increased cell membrane rigidity. The increased cell membrane rigidity causes decreased garbage output or a "clogged toillet".

Typically, the reason for their low level anxiety/fear/stress is Striving is stressful and will increase histamines. A leading cause of past physical abuse, past sexual abuse, jumping through hoops to perform to be loved and accepted, perfectionism, a long term fight with your parents or siblings, broken heart, and broken dream issues.

Not being able to forgive and still being angry and upset about the other person is found in many but not all of the patients. This is why some women can get away with xenoestrogen intake and some women cannot. Some women have healthy garbage excretion and some women have a "clogged toilet" syndrome.

Restless Leg Syndrome is a real physiologic disease, NOT psychological. However, the way your brain thinks affects your brain chemistry and this in turn affects your body chemistry. In other words, if your "stomach is flip flopping", it is not good for you.

The Solution to - "Clogged Toilet"

The experts on unclogging the "clogged toilet" are at Pleasant Valley Church. A one week seminar on forgiveness, getting rid of resentment and bitterness (then the last thing to go is fear) in Thomaston, GA goes for $400 (706) 646-2074.

The Bottom Line

Summary - Progesterone Suppositories Side Effects & Topical Natural Progesterone Side Effects

Bad Natural Progesterone Side Effects only occur, if the patient does NOT cut out xenoestrogens (foreign chemical estrogens) and phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) from her life. This is the most common cause of failure for the patient taking progesterone.

If Fertility Medical Doctors (test tube babies) routinely use Natural Progesterone to prevent 1st Trimester Miscarriage, then Natural Progesterone should be relatively safe for use in patients for Restless Leg Syndrome. Natural Progesterone is safe to use in pregnant women and unborn babies. Make sure to consult your health care practitioner if you use progesterone if you are pregnant or think you are pregnant

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Restless Leg Syndrom No More

Dear Sir,

I don't know if you remember me - but I called you several years ago complaining of Restless Leg Syndrome. You listened and responded that you thought it was caused by the toiletries that I put on the skin. So I simplified my lifestyle getting rid of the "junk" that I put on my skin, AND my Restless Leg Syndrome was gone! Now, I bike cross country.

Thank you.


I used some of your product just because I thought that Natural Progesterone would be good for me and my Restless Leg Syndrom disappeared!


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