Severe cases have even warranted a psychiatric diagnosis: PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The suggested treatment? An antidepressant. The true cure for this hormonal problem has been known since 1954, when the brilliant British physician, Dr. Katharina Dalton, wrote about giving progesterone injections in oil. Over 50 years later, we have oral micronized (ground very finely to last longer in the blood stream) progesterone available by prescription.

Progesterone, the first hormone to decline as we age, promotes sleep, calmness, and relieves bloating in the young perimenopausal woman. This imbalance of progesterone to estrogen may cause hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia. The term, estrogen dominance, refers to the imbalance of too little progesterone.

Menopause, the time of life when the ovaries stop producing the hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone usually occurs by age 51. The medical diagnosis of menopause = LH/FSH greater than 23 and no period for a year. Perimenopause is that time of life when the progesterone blood level dwindles in comparison to estrogen. Insomnia, night sweats, and irritability mark this stage of life until full menopause.

Most doctors do not measure hormones in cycling (menstruating) women, because they claim that the hormones change daily if not hourly, so hormone blood levels do not provide meaningful data. However, as fertility specialists know, hormones can be measured. and the number very much guides therapy, when someone is trying to get pregnant.

Don’t get talked into a psychiatric mis-diagnosis for a normal time of life. We no longer have to endure the insomnia and night sweats or treacherous mood swings. Progesterone, the great balancer, is available as a capsule from the compounding pharmacy. I prescribe progesterone to mimic the way your body produces it—one capsule the first 2 weeks of the cycle and two capsules the last two weeks. Progesterone levels should be highest the last 2 weeks of the cycle (first day of the period is day 1).

So, no, you are not crazy, but you probably are over-stressed & over worked! Get your blood levels checked and get balanced again.