Sky-high progesterone levels, didn't supplement, biliary dyskinesia and candida
As described in the subject line, this is what I am (most likely) currently dealing with. Some of this still needs to be verified in detail.
I had been battling candida for years but thought I had gotten to a good place, so I started being less aggressive in my treatment of it.
I had been walking around with it for more than half my life with intense bloating after every meal, abdominal pains, constipation, mood swings, anxiety, psoriasis, sleep problems - all of which getting worse with my monthly cycle. Then, in 2012, my immune system plummeted dramatically - just shortly after I finally stopped taking my rather high-intensity contraceptives, which I had been on for 12 years straight- and before I knew it, I was running from one doctor to the next with no answers and increasing symptoms. It took 6 months for me to receive an official diagnosis.
I believe my candida was originally triggered by the contraceptives mentioned above, which I also started taking too early in live (around age 14), as well as a genetic predisposition of some kind as my mom has some of the symptoms I have in milder form.
Either way, so afer years of treating candida, I was taking a well-deserved break from the heavy supplementation (I was still taking probiotics at night, though) and had loosened my diet up a bit, when towards the beginning of this year, I got a bunch of infections every month. Sinus infection, urinary tract infection, eye infection...I beat all of those back with a more or less steady intake of Silver Biotics, and then the heavy bloating started again.
And I had one new symptom: An intense pain below my right rib cage, coming and going. I ended up in the hospital with what turned out to be a dyskinetic gallbladder (ejection fraction 17%). The surgeon (of course) said it had to come out. I was sceptical, thank goodness. I didn't need to come out at all, as I was actually able to manage its function and the pain with supplements like beetroot extract, choline, and taurine. It's working so-so now, but I can feel the pain coming back sometimes.
But I also figured the following: Increased bile flow = less candida. I had read that theory before somewhere and I'm thinking it's still valid.
But I thought there had to be some deeper reason as to why my gallbladder wasn't working properly. I did some research and found out that hormone fluctuations can influence gallbladder flow. Since my problems all get way more intense with my monthly cycle, it made sense. So I ordered a hormone panel saliva test with an accredited lab in Germany (where I am currently staying with my family for recovery reasons, I have to be back in the States in a little over a week, though)and they found something scary: While all of my other levels are fine and within range, Cortisol being somewhat elevated, though, my progesterone levels are at a whopping 2140 pg/ml. Not sure how much that is in American measurement units, but the reference range for the luteal phase (which is when it was measured) only goes up to 400 pg/ml.
To clarify, I did not supplement ANY progesterone. I took: a multivitamin, magnesium, digestive enzymes, my gallbladder-helping beetroot extract, choline, taurine, colostrum to help my digestive tract, some milk thistle for the liver, small amounts of Swedish Bitters, and the herb Ashwagandha, as I found it helped me with the nervous tension I seem to be having constantly.
Now, my naturopath lady here in Germany believes that most of these supplements would help increase progesterone and told me to cut them out. I am now only taking milk thistle and choline, and I have added artichoke extract to replace the beetroot extract during the day to at least keep on helping my gallbladder. At night, I take probiotics.
She has also given me a long, long list of things that supposedly promote progesterone and it basically includes every healthy, natural food one could eat: Vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains, pseudo grains, meat, dairy, eggs,and 90% of herbs.It is impossible to stick to that list and still live. The list goes into no detail whatsoever about the degree to which these foods are supposed to promote progesterone production. Oh, and she also told me to relax. She should really have her own stand up comedy routine.
Sorry for the super-long, rambling message, but I figured the more information I can give you guys, the better. If anyone has any input whatsoever, that would be of great help to me.
I am, of course, not sitting idly by. I have an appointment with the extremely knowledgeable Eric Bakker N.D. on Sunday, I just had several vials of blood taken yesterday at an endocrinological practice in Frankfurt to double check those high numbers and also look for possible thyroid connections, I am trying to do a candida test before I leave, and I am willing to do any and all testing to get to the bottom of this problem once I am back in the States.
However, as it currently stands, I am having a candida flare up, a psoriasis flare up, and am intensely scared about, well ,everything.
Any opinion or input is highly appreciated.
Thanks a million in advance!