Allergy to Estrogen and Progesterone discovered

xchocoholic

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This may explain some of our symptoms ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060330182210.htm


Evidence Of Estrogen And Progesterone Hormone Allergy Discovered

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2006) AUSTIN, Texas--Some women with menstrual cycle disorders like asthma and migraine headaches may be experiencing allergies to their own estrogen and progesterone hormones, Texas researchers have discovered.

Russell Roby, M.D., director of the Roby Institute, Dr. Dick Richardson, professor at The University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Aristo Vojdani, of Immunosciences Lab, Inc. in California, found that female patients who experienced health changes during their menstrual cycle had higher levels of IgE antibodies against progesterone and estrogen than control subjects. An increase in IgE antibodies is typically associated with allergic response.

The researchers published their findings in the March 27 issue of the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

"This is going to explain a lot of unexplained illnesses," says Roby, alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. "The primary disorders are premenstrual asthma, menstrual migraines, interstitial cystitis and fibromyalgia. We have no idea what causes these things, but they are definitely linked to hormonal cycles."

The researchers studied blood samples from healthy women and women who experienced symptoms associated with their menstrual cycles, like asthma, migraines and joint pain. A significant number of patients in the latter group showed high levels of IgG, IgM and IgE antibodies against estrogen and progesterone.

Antibodies play a critical role in immune response and are produced by the body in response to antigens, molecules the body recognizes as foreign.

Hormones haven't been implicated in allergic response in the past, because it was thought that hormone molecules were too small to create an allergic response. The researchers found that estrogen and progesterone combine with other proteins and that the hormone part of the molecular complex is recognized as the antigen.

"We have shown that IgE antibodies, Type 1-immediate allergy antibodies, are produced against estrogen and progesterone," says Roby. "This opens a whole new area of treatment possibilities."

Roby says that in the process of the clinical study, it was found that symptoms could be diminished by very low concentrations of progesterone, which served both as a diagnostic feature and for symptomatic relief when needed.
 

wciarci

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Fascinating, females in my family suffer from all three of these symptoms. I will pass the word on to them. Thank you xchocoholic!
Wendy
 

ukxmrv

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I did see something once about women with CFS and progesterone (medical journal). I'll see if I can find it. Here's one bit it's not an allergy. Could the allergy be causing this problem though?

Allergies to hormones are often discusssed by infertility doctors as well.


Endocrinology
January 19, 2004
2004 JAN 19 - (NewsRx.com & NewsRx.net) -- Progesterone metabolite levels rise in women with chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to recent research from Canada, "chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a controversial entity whose cause is unknown. In this study we have explored the possibility that progesterone, metabolites may be involved. Plasma levels of the progesterone precursor pregnenolone, progesterone itself, and five ring A-reduced metabolites of progesterone were measured in 20 women with CFS and in 13 age-matched controls."

"To minimize the contribution of the ovary, women were either post-menopausal or in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle (day 4-8), and progesterone levels were all well within the expected range (less than or equal to3.5 nmol/l). Mean values for progesterone and all of its metabolites were higher in CFS patients, the most marked being a 2.3-fold elevation in isopregnanolone (3beta,5alpha-tetrahydroprogesterone; pless than or equal to0.001)," stated B.E.P. Murphy and colleagues, McGill University, Department of Psychiatry.

"Progesterone levels were correlated with those of its metabolites, but even after controlling for progesterone by ANCOVA, isopregnanolone levels were still elevated (pless than or equal to0.001). These elevated levels of isopregnanolone could not be attributed to medications (antidepressants and anxiolytics)."

"When the CFS patients were divided into two groups according to their Hamilton depression scale ratings, (meanSD) isopregnanolone levels were higher (274160 vs. 197.119 pmol/l) in the less depressed group (ratings 2-14) than in the more depressed group(ratings 17-28), although this difference did not reach significance," study authors said.

"Progesterone levels were negatively correlated with Hamilton depression rating scores (r=-0.56; p<0.01). These results suggest that increases in ring A-reduced progesterone metabolites, particularly isopregnanolone, are associated with CFS, and that the pathophysiology of CFS is unlikely to be due to depression," investigators concluded.

Murphy and colleagues published their study in Psychoneuroendocrinology (Elevated levels of some neuroactive progesterone metabolites, particularly isopregnanolone, in women with chronic fatigue syndrome. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2004;29(2):245-268).
 

paddygirl

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dammed if you do....

Fascinating, females in my family suffer from all three of these symptoms. I will pass the word on to them. Thank you xchocoholic!
Wendy
I use bioidentical progesterone cream instead of HRT to help me through menopause, and as it's meant to protect bone density and be a cancer deterrent.

I heard Dr Judy mention hormones in a lecture, I think the CA one, and was worried about it as she said they might be a trigger. Presumably thats why pregnancy and menopause can be when many women start or get worse with their ME/CFS symptoms. I searched around a bit, and I think she said BALANCE of these hormones was the most important thing. So I continued using the cream.

My doc is pretty useless, so suggesting tests etc is pointless. I'm my own guinea pig. I know it's important but I get so weary about being vigilant and a one woman research facility. But imagine all the free time I'll have when we have appropriate treatment and get our energy back! Ps Is that supposed to be damned? Got a block!
 

JillBohr

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Great Find XChocoholic. My ME/CFS sister-in-law had the worst migraines when she was menstruating. I know many women do but she was absolutely miserable. What is really strange is that she is doing a lot better these days (she has not had a severe flare up since last fall). She still has to pace herself and many of her family members get upset when she has to cancel a family event. Are there any women here that experienced any improvement (even if minor) after menapause? Just curious because the estrogen is reduced about 40-60 percent and progesterone levels fall to nearly zero.
 
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Was just prescribed progesterone to try to reduce abnormally thick uterine lining in hopes that will help ease some pain. Doubt my gyn knows about these studies. I'll run them by her before taking the Rx. Thanks for posting, xchocoholic and ukxmrv!
 

maryb

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Post menopausal and I don't get migraines anymore. I suffered dreadfully with them from being in my twenties, not so before I had my children. Lack of sleep and diet did have a impact, the usual, cheese, chocolate, orange juice, I stayed away from for years and this helped to reduce them, but still suffered the couple of days before periods,light sensitiviy, had to be in a dark room, vomitting etc for 24hrs and then wobbly for another day or two, bad times. Now I've just got ME:)
ps I forgot to mention was prescribed progesterone cream by a thyroid doc, a small amount made me feel really cr*p, I just put it down to my usual intolerances, but maybe now looking at these findings, interesting...
 

*GG*

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Paddygirl,

Have you heard of the Co-cure website for a good Dr? Not sure where you are located. Google it, Dr's all over the world!
 

kerrilyn

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That's interesting. There are times during my cycle when I've felt like I'm being poisoned. I'm on bio-identical progesterone cream and it has helped some things a lot (but not others), but I've not noticed worsening CFS symptoms from it. I definitely don't want to stop it, but I've read something about it and receptor sites and it can lose it's effectiveness overtime, if used too long. I think they may already be starting to happen to me.
 

xchocoholic

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Hi All,

thanks for your responses. It seems the more we find out about this DD the more questions it raises. As in, are any doctors testing women for this ?
And what treatments are available ? I'm post menopausal so I'm not sure I even need to worry about this anymore ...

I did a little more research on this and found this article ... and then this one led me to 74 more ... ; )

http://www.yourmenopausetype.com/menopausequestionsandanswers/05142000.html

Progesterone Allergy

Answers, by Dr. Joseph Collins

Question:

Is it possible to be allergic to progesterone?

Answer:

Yes, women can become allergic to progesterone. Granted, it is rare, but does occur often enough to be mentioned in the literature quite a few times.

Type the words "Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis" into PubMed. You will get 43 references between 1967 and 1999.

Your best bet on finding a physician who is experienced in treating progesterone allergies and autoimmune progesterone dermatitis is to contact the following organization and request a referral in your area:

American Academy of Environmental Medicine
7701 East Kellogg, Suite 625
Wichita, KS 67207-1705
Phone: (316) 684-5500
Fax: (316) 684-5709
Email: aaem@swbell.net
Website: http://www.aaem.com

Dr. Joseph J. Collins
When I went to pubmed and typed in what she said, I got 74 references. So this info is probably a bit old. If the title reflects the date then this is from 05/14/2000.

I have to wonder too if this condition is really rare or just rarely properly diagnosed. X
 

ukxmrv

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Most of the references I found were not necessarily an allergy to progestrone but allergies to the way it was delivered to women undergoing IVF and hormone therapy. The allergies were to the oil etc in the injection or cream. That's why they talk about dermatitis.

This is different to an allergy to naturally produced progesterone in the body.

Just a note for anyone who looks at the same thing as I did and wonders what they are referring to.

I was under the care of a Reproductive Immununologist once (he has since died) and when I went back on my notes I came across a question that I asked him by email once and his answer was

<start>
I have seen this before in women with antibodies to estradiol and progesterone
<end>

The problem is that I cannot find the sheet with all my tests on it and if I was ever tested for that.
 

xchocoholic

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Most of the references I found were not necessarily an allergy to progestrone but allergies to the way it was delivered to women undergoing IVF and hormone therapy. The allergies were to the oil etc in the injection or cream. That's why they talk about dermatitis.

This is different to an allergy to naturally produced progesterone in the body.

Just a note for anyone who looks at the same thing as I did and wonders what they are referring to.

I was under the care of a Reproductive Immununologist once (he has since died) and when I went back on my notes I came across a question that I asked him by email once and his answer was

<start>
I have seen this before in women with antibodies to estradiol and progesterone
<end>

The problem is that I cannot find the sheet with all my tests on it and if I was ever tested for that.
Hi ukxmrv,

Did you go to Pubmed and type in "AUTOIMMUNE progesterone dermatitis" like Dr. Collins suggested ? That's how I found 74. Not that I read them all ...

Regardless, if someone has one autoimmune disease, they are more likely to have other auto immune diseases. And I'm not sure how many of us are being tested for auto immune diseases. I wasn't tested for any until recently and I've been sick for 20 years now. It would be interesting to see how many of us have auto immune issues and antibodies to our hormones.

Just from what I read, it appears that progesterone could help with an autoimmune reaction to estrogen because it acts as a steroid. Someone told me today that testosterone does too but I haven't looked to see what others might work that way.

X
 

Misfit Toy

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Due to being in perimenopause, I was on estrogen last year. BHRT. I was sick as a dog on it. I was having panic attacks and my mood swings were all over the place. The interesting thing is, my bloodwork showed that I had less estrogen when I was on a patch!! When I finally went off of it, my blood levels rose. I am able to take progesterone well. Estrogen, not so much. I wish I could take it because I have hot flashes and migraines right before my period.