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Pregnenolone Rhythm?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Ema, May 22, 2013.

  1. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Does anyone know if pregnenolone has a cyclical rhythm like progesterone? Or does it stay fairly even across the month?

    I tested my level last week after reading about it in a book called The Migraine Cure. It suggested levels for women should be around 200. Mine is 32.

    I realize I know nothing about pregnenolone other than I took some for a while a year or two ago and got headaches and thought I gained weight. But everything is different now that I've weaned off hydrocortisone and I wonder if this is a good way to support my adrenals during this transition period. But I also don't want to add anything that might interfere with their recovery particularly before my next stim test.

    It might also help with the low progesterone levels if that is what is causing my shortened luteal phase.

    I don't even know where pregnenolone is synthesized! Is there a feedback mechanism involved?

    I'm sort of reluctant to start messing with hormones right now. I'd kind of like to see where they all shake out as my adrenals pick up again (if they are able to). But then again, 32 is pretty low! I had to give up the DHEA after stopping HC as it was making me break out. I have low cholesterol as well.

    Any thoughts?

    Ema
  2. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    Cholesterol is converted into pregnenolone. This then follows 2 important pathways. Pregnenolone is used to make progesterone and cortisol. When adrenal function is low i.e. adrenal fatigue this process is shifted towards cortisol production and less progesterone gets made.

    Look up 'pregnenolone steal' to find out more about this.

    I have this problem and am trying to treat it naturally. If you can get adrenal function up there's a good chance progesterone and pregnenolone may go up too.

    Important issues which need to be addressed in this process is:
    detoxification of the liver - things like milk thistle are beneficial
    fat intake - ensuring that yr not on a low fat diet, but also not eating too much fat to burden yr liver - the slow approach is better
    xenoestrogens - cause a multitude of problems, research them to learn more as they're everywhere. Our balance of oestrogen and progesterone is key and in today's world we are often oestrogen dominant due to xenoestrogens.
  3. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Mercola says this:

    "Pregnenolone is a precursor hormone synthesized from cholesterol, principally in the adrenal glands, but also in the liver, skin, brain, testicles, ovaries, and retina of the eyes."
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Not really sure about rhthym. I would assume similar to cortisol. Suppose to be no negative feedback issues with preg as well as dhea which apparently isnt the case with other hormones.
  5. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Milk thistle is an iron chelator (and so is curcumin btw) so it shouldn't be used for people low in iron. I'm taking DIM and calcium glucarate for xenoestrogens.
  6. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    That's really interesting. I didn't know that. Milk thistle is meant to be great food for the liver. Some sites talking about its chelating effect mention taking an iron supplement with it if concerned with low iron.

    Does it chelate other metals?

    There are loads of herbs that will aid in liver detox - schisandra and dandelion are great and dandelion is pretty cheap.

    With my liver issues I would rather supplement with iron and take the usual liver detox herbs as I have such bad liver problems.
  7. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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  8. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I have always believed in the pregnenolone/progesterone steal as well. And then I stumbled across this article which seems to be based on the work of Ray Peat (who may have been a quack for all I know at this point). Anyway, I think the theory is interesting and I have no idea who is "right" at this point.

    "Regarding the pregnenolone steal theory, It would be interesting to know who started that, it's a mechanical way of thinking about physiology that ignores the things that really matter. Thyroid hormone, vitamin A, and cholesterol support the formation of pregnenolone, and the well nourished body is able to make large adjustments in these, to minimize the need for cortisol. In health, enough pregnenolone and progesterone are produced to inhibit the stress systems, for example by inhibiting the release of ACTH. When something prevents the formation of pregnenolone and progesterone, rising ACTH will increase its production as conditions permit, but if something, such as thyroid hormone, is lacking, the ACTH will increase cortisol, often with DHEA and the androgens increasing too, if resources permit; sometimes the stressed system is able to sustain only cortisol and aldosterone production, and that leads to degenerative problems." - Ray Peat

    http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/pregnenolone-steal-syndrome-geocentricity-and-ice-theory

    He also talks about anaerobic metabolism and lactic acid which I always find interesting.

    Ema
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Also using other hormones like dhea and testosterone in men anyway canleave more pregnenolone for cortisol production. I suppose we have to remember that cortisol is the energy hormone that also breaks down body proteins etc but we do need the anabolic hormones like dhea and testosterone to repair our bodies and build them back up and balance out the effects of cortisol. Its tricky to get them right as we can react so differently to them. I also think that in us cfsers may not get good effects from hormones until we get on top of infections we have. I think the energizing hormones combined inflammatory cytokines can over stimulate us making us feel like crap.
  10. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I agree with you for the most part. I especially think that it is important to supp DHEA in particular any time one is taking cortisol and tests low for DHEAs.

    But I think cortisol is released to combat the inflammatory cytokines (maybe that is what you are saying too?). This may be one reason that the endocrine system starts to falter - the constant stress of the infections causes a near constant release of cortisol to prevent cytokine storm which can be fatal itself. Over time this causes dysregulation of the circadian rhythm and the hypothalamus goes off and the rest of the endocrine system goes to hell in a handbasket. That's just my working theory though.

    Ema
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Agree with ya emma. I think after the initail reving up of hormones the body/hypothalamus either burns out or shuts down in a protective mechanism or combination. This is what I think adrenal fatigue is. Also I just dont think the body can get back to normal in alot of us. This is why I think many of us are or need to be on some type of hormone replacement. Pregnenolone and dhea have helped but the addition of testosterone the last month as made a big difference in me. But its not just about hormones but the whole package of treatments that go together. Many people say I tried dhea but it didn't help, on its own no but in conjunction with other treatmens its going to help, thats if one tests low. I think there is merit to dr tetlebaums shine protocol, sleep hormones infections nutrition exercise shine. Although not 100 percent on the way he goes about it.

    Cheers
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    So would it be better to do other treatments before trying pregnenolone or DHEA? Or is ok to take them at the same time?
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I think u could try either but some wont notice an effect until on top of stress/infections etc but good hormones can only help immune system like everythi g tread lightly
  14. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Yeah. I think it's the same thing with methylation (and several other treatments). People might not get as much benefit until they do other things first or in conjunction. There was another thread where some people with Lyme said they didn't experience significant improvement until they took care of their viral infections. The tricky part is finding a doctor who is able to figure out which treatments are needed. I wonder how many Lyme doctors have their patients tested for viral infections as well. Maybe it's unlikely to have both, but it certainly is possible. And with adrenal and thyroid issues I'm finding out that the tests and/or reference ranges used by many doctors misses a lot.
    heapsreal likes this.

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