Restless Leg Syndrome
Testing Saliva Progesterone Levels

Testing for Natural Progesterone Levels in the Body used for Restless Leg Syndrome

by Peter Eckhart, MD

IF you feel NO different taking Natural Progesterone, then you need to take a saliva test to see if you are absorbing it. Typically, only 1% or less of people do NOT absorb progesterone well through the skin.

Is The Topical Natural Progesterone Cream for the Restless Leg Syndrome Being Absorbed By The Body?

Topical Natural Progesterone absorption is measured by a saliva test NOT a blood test. Oil and water do NOT mix.  Topical Progesterone for Restless Legy Syndrome will NOT show up in the blood test.The blood Progesterone test will NOT measure Topical Natural Progesterone in the body correctly.

Oil and water do NOT mix. Thus, the topical Natural Progesterone will NOT be found in the blood "water" portion. The topical Natural Progesterone is in the "oil" portion of the blood. The blood hormone test measures hormones in the "water" portion of the blood. Thus, the blood hormone test will NOT measure topical Natural Progesterone correctly.

Saliva Tests are usually NOT very helpful

In general, I have NOT found it very helpful clinically to measure saliva hormones when treating Restless Leg Syndrome. The reason why is that the estrogen dominance that causes Restless Leg Syndrome is largely from xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens and NOT from the patient's own hormones. When you do a saliva hormone test or blood test, you are measuring progesterone, estradiol, estriol, and estrone. The hormone saliva test or blood test does NOT measure the xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens.

For instance, suppose the Restless Leg Syndrome patient is using a lavender soap. Lavender pretends to be estrogen and creates estrogen dominance. However, lavender is NOT estrogen. Lavender is NOT estradiol. Lavender is NOT estrone. Lavender is NOT estriol. So even if the patient is getting a large load of phytoestrogen in the form of lavender, lavender will NOT turn up in the saliva or blood hormone test measuring estriol, estradiol, or estrone.

Thus, the saliva or blood hormone test is largely useless in evaluating the Restless Leg Syndrome patient using a lavender soap.

A Better Test

Lavender acts as a phytoestrogen provoking Restless Leg Syndrome. The better test that includes the synergistic action of the body's natural hormones and xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens is simply to ask the question whether premenstrual bloating and breast tenderness is present, getting better or getting worse.

If the patient's Restless Leg Syndrome is getting better then topical Natural Progesterone is being absorbed and the patient is eliminating xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens. If the patient's Restless Leg Syndrome is NOT getting better, then either they are NOT eliminating xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens OR absorption of topical Natural Progesterone is NOT happening (less than 1% of patients).

These questions are better than any blind hormone saliva testing.

Flower Picture. Take the money you would have used for hormone testing and go out to dinner instead.

The only time saliva progesterone levels should be tested is when the patient is NOT getting better and feels NO different taking topical Natural Progesterone. If the patient feels better or worse taking Natural Progesterone, then NO testing is needed.

Why does a Saliva Test Work?

Topical Natural Progesterone cream/oil is absorbed by the skin. Then Natural Progesterone initially travels through the body on the body's fatty blood components such as the chylomicrons (oil droplets in the blood) and red blood cell membranes. As a result, BLOOD serum level tests for the first 2-3 months will be zero, even though the body is receiving adequate amounts of progesterone.

A saliva test that measures the active component of progesterone will accurately measure progesterone levels in the body. A saliva progesterone test is inexpensive, convenient and accurate. The saliva test is recommended by the World Health Organization or WHO. I have found that it is only clinically useful to measure saliva progesterone levels when absorption through the skin is being questioned. The patient uses Natural Progesterone but feels NO DIFFERENCE (less than 1% of all patients).

How to Measure Natural Progesterone for Restless Leg Syndrome in the Body IF you feel NO Different

Topical Progesterone is stored on the Chylomicrons. The normal way to test for hormone levels is to do a blood test. The test must measure the biologically "free" form of the hormone. Some blood tests do not measure the "free" form of the hormone.

Hormones made in the body's ovary, fat, and adrenals are "bound" or wrapped in a protein. These proteins are called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or cortisol-binding globulin (CBG). The portion of the hormone that is bound to the protein does not appreciably affect the body. 1% - 10% of the hormone is NOT bound to the protein. It is the unbound form of the hormone that affects the body and is the important value to pay attention to.

When progesterone is applied to the body on the skin, it is not coated with protein. Skin cream administered progesterone travels on the red blood cells and incorporated Passion the chylomicrons (microscopic balls of oil that float in your blood) and on the membranes of the red blood cells. It is not bound with protein. It is quickly found in the saliva within hours of applying the cream to the skin. However, a blood test will measure the bound portion in the water portion of the blood. When progesterone is applied to the skin, it dissolves into the oily portion of the blood. Oil and water do not mix. Thus, a blood test will show no progesterone in the blood after the progesterone skin cream is applied. It will take 2-3 months of progesterone skin cream use for the progesterone to show up in the blood test. Many physicians who depend on the blood test for progesterone levels will WRONGLY conclude that progesterone skin cream does not work.

A saliva progesterone lab test is quick, convenient, inexpensive, and accurate. The progesterone measured in the saliva is the active form, not bound. It is the recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). It can be done at home through a mail order kit for $30. You do not need a prescription except in New York and California. The saliva sample is sent back to the lab through regular mail. The level can usually be done in 7-10 working days. It can test for hormone deficiencies. It will confirm that the hormones that you are taking are being absorbed.

Oral Progesterone versus Skin Cream/oil Topical Natural Progesterone

Progesterone taken orally is absorbed by the intestines. Blood flows from the intestines and directly goes to the liver through the portal vein system. It does not go directly to the Saliva test accurately measures progesterone used for breast cysts body. The liver breaks down 85% to 90% of the oral hormone before it reaches the body.

In contrast, progesterone applied topically to the skin goes directly into the body,Close up of a flower. and resides in the oily portion of the blood, the chylomicrons and the red blood cell membranes. Little is metabolized by the liver.

The pharmaceutical companies use both methods of administration. You can look in any PDR, Physician's Desk Reference, and find estrogen pills and estrogen skin patches. Since 85% to 90% of oral estrogen is metabolized by the liver, the oral dose is about 10 times greater than that of the estrogen patch.

Likewise the oral dose of progesterone must be 10 times greater than the skin cream dose.

Topical Natural Progesterone Superior to Oral Natural Progesterone

Dr. Lee believes that skin cream administration is superior to oral dosing of progesterone because

1) After the oral ingestion, the liver breaks down the progesterone, the breakdown products are floating around in your body. We do not know the effect of the breakdown products on the body. But, these break down metabolites can make you very sleepy.

Orange Daisy 2) Skin cream progesterone travels in the oily portion of the blood and eventually is incorporated into the body fat. Because it is incorporated into the body fat, progesterone is released to the body in level sustained amounts, but also has highs and lows.

Some doctors believe that the oral route may be better precisely because you can create highs and lows that match the menstrual cycle. However, topical natural progesterone skin cream/oil can also be varied with the menstrual cycle in amount and timing.

The Bottom Line

Summary - Progesterone levels for Restless Leg Syndrome need to be tested only IF you do NOT feel any different

  • Usually hormone testing is not needed, IF the patient feels a difference (Good or Bad) taking topical Natural Progesterone
  • Avoid xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens.
  • Use a saliva test to measure the "active" form of the progesterone in body.
  • For the first 2-3 months of progesterone skin cream use, the plasma or blood levels of progesterone may appear to be zero even though the body is receiving adequate amounts of progesterone.

ZRT Laboratories will do the test for $30.
1815 NW 169th Pl. Ste 3090
Beaverton, OR 97006
(503) 466-2445

Buy Natural Progesterone!


PMS Improving

I have to go to work but wanted to send a quick email to tell you what a difference this has made in my life.

The first month I had to stop taking and eliminate some more products from my life. The second month though has been going great! I only drink water and some juices now and have purchased both olive oil soap from Elysian Dream and the laundry detergent from Nature it! I am having somewhat tender breasts now (this week) and think that it may be due to the oncoming menstrual cycle. Anyway....the other differences I have experienced are incredible. My mood is so much, even keel and feeling great! Also I have lost 15 pounds in two (2) months without even really trying (this was not something intentional). I still eat the same amount...only now I eat better. The extra fat around my waste line is leaving and almost gone. I am 39 years old and have struggled with monthly issues and breast pain for quite some time. This year the breast pain was becoming extremely severe and my doctor didn't really have any answers. Also a couple lumps were found on my mammogram (diagnosed as cysts). I will write more later to you about this but must leave for work now. Oh, my weight, two months ago was 145 pounds and now I am 130 pounds (had to purchase new clothes). I am getting my body back and my skin has cleared up and my hair feels great (It seemed as though my hair kept thinning and now it has stopped in that I don't seem to have as much falling out when I run my fingers through it). Why don't more people know about this! I have begun telling everyone I know, that will listen.......

Thank you for having your website and sharing this news,


Port Richey, FL

I just placed my second order this morning.

Nov. 29, 2007


Lost Weight
Just a short note to let you know that I am so great. I have removed as many xenoestrogens as possible from my environment, skin and diet, as you advised, for nearly a month now and the improvement has been amazing. I am using the Nature Clean powder detergent, no dryer sheets, Elysian Dream products for hair and skin (fragrance free and those without rosemary and lavendar oils, only ones with olive oil, and the organic, fragrance-free shea butter), and the crystal deodorant vs. regular deodorant (AMAZINGLY better), and we changed all of our household products to the Nature Clean line and no longer use any antibacterial foaming soaps or anything. Just Grandpa's baking soda soap for regular hand washing.

I have lost seven pounds this month, my last period cycle was 28 days (who knew!) and my hair has started to grow back (after four years of thinning!!). The biggest thing is that my body is, quiet, for lack of a better way to describe it! No stomach aches, bloating or headaches, no breast pain and my moods are more consistent day to day. My energy is coming back, skin is great -- I can't believe it.

I think I have finally tapped into what has been ailing me for the past six years and I couldn't be more pleased! I plan to use these products regardless... the "clean" feeling from them is just so great. My husband has been using them too, and we are thrilled!!

Thank you so much!


D.S., Huntington, New York

Dec. 19, 2007

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