Hormonal Balance—If I had only known about progesterone…

IMG_0870Men/Women—Could you have a progesterone deficiency?

If I had only known about hormone balancing when growing up, I wouldn’t have; had years of painful periods, two pregnancies with raging nausea and vomiting, depression that started at age 12, fallen asleep in classrooms, used sugar to hype myself up, had babies with thrush, never drank cows milk and or developed fibroids, gone thru debilitating menopause, enduring procedures and poor sleep which ended up with fatigue and fibromyalgia at age 50.

 

If you suffer with any of the following: fatigue, sleeplessness, restless leg syndrome, cravings, ADD, ADHD, depression, weight issues, high cholesterol, menstrual cramps, infertility, have used birth control pills,  had miscarriages, morning sickness while pregnant, have diabetes and cancer running in your family, have fibroids or fibromyalgia … this is an important wake up for you.

Do NOT ignore these symptoms! I have seen progesterone relieve them all. My recovery began with hormone balancing.

Do not be mislead by information that came out in 2002 proporting that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) causes cancer. That study of 16,OOO women showed that synthetic hormones increased cancer—which is true, but not to be generalized toward bio-identical progesterone which prevents it.

Click here — to read more of what I have learned about this and see the video of expert Dr. Sangeeti Pati’s summary of what your doctor may not even know about hormones.

Dr. Sangeeta Pita, world expert, speaks on hormones

Progesterone is the first hormone to go as we age, but even teens can be low in progesterone resulting in attention disorders, acne, weight issues and PMS.

I like what Barbara Minton wrote about progesterone in Natural News in 2009—

Progesterone has a calming effect in the body. It builds bone, and is a natural diuretic and fat burner. It restores proper cellular oxygen levels, improves vascular tone, normalizes blood clotting, and prevents cyclical migraines and arterial plaque. Progesterone helps balance the actions of estrogen and acts with estrogen and testosterone to prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases. A low level of progesterone may results in irritability, anxiety, obsessive behaviors, weight gain, itching, bloating, sweating, digestive problems, flatulence, and loss of memory.

“Many women experience estrogen dominance, a term that does not mean an excess of estrogen. It means there is not enough progesterone. This condition is characterized by heavy bleeding that may include clots, unexplained weight gain, bloating, and an intestinal tract that feels like it is filled with concrete. Pre-menopausal women who are still producing an adequate amount of estrogen can often regain hormonal balance simply by buying a tube of progesterone cream… “

Progesterone deficiency following pregnancy is the culprit during post-partum depression. Instead of taking a synthetic anti-depressant that would provide a host of unpleasant side effects and would appear in breast milk, progesterone cream can be safely used after giving birth until a feeling of normalcy returns.”

Dr. Michael Platt, author of The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones, informs us that “hormones are chemical messengers that control every system in the body. The action of a hormone takes place when it reaches the nucleus of a cell. In order to reach the nucleus, a hormone has to attach to a hormone receptor site specific to that hormone… In the case of progesterone, depending on the type of cell, it will then enhance the particular function of that cell. For example, if it is a bone cell, progesterone will help to make new bone cells.”

Progesterone has receptor sites throughout the body in every organ. “Progesterone is one of the most important hormones. It is a hormone that is present, along with its receptor sites, in both sexes, from fetal life until death. A clear understanding of the various roles that progesterone plays, is necessary to differentiate between bio-identical progesterone and synthetic progestogens.

“Bio-identical progesterone is identical to the progesterone produced in the body. However, synthetic progestogens, found in birth control pills, hormonal IUD’s, and drugs like Provera are not… thereby they can never duplicate the action of natural progesterone.”

A healthy young man also produces progesterone from their testicles each day—about 5-15 mg. Why? Progesterone’s anti-inflammatory effect, nerve regeneration and insulin lowering abilities are needed by both sexes.

In the normal monthly female cycle, in response to ovulation, we see progesterone levels increase from 2-3 mg. per day to 22-25 mg. per day for days 12 to 14 just prior to menstruation. Progesterone is first made in the ovaries during pregnancy, then after 3 months by the placenta where levels climb to 400 mg per day to protect and neurologically grow the baby. Without enough progesterone a fertilized egg will often die by 10 weeks.

One client came to me after losing her baby at 10 weeks. Her history revealed signs of progesterone deficiency—a lifetime of heavy menstral cramps, PMS and she had acne as a teen. When prescribed daily progesterone and Vit D (her Vit D was off the chart low at 27!!) she conceived and carried the baby until full term. This is powerfully safe stuff.

While we may live to be one hundred, by middle age our progesterone dwindles year by year to none. However estrogen, which is made very well by our own fat cells, escalates. Shifts in environmental causes are also raising our estrogen levels. It is the ratio of progesterone to estrogen that tells the story. Some studies declare that a ratio of 600:1 in favor of progesterone feels healthiest.

Because there are many cream companies promoting products that contain only a few milligrams of progesterone per ounce (or in some cases none) or they use cream bases that are not purely absorbed, many formulations are unable to have any positive effect on biological levels.

With correct replacement therapy, progesterone becomes the dominant hormone and the symptoms of estrogen dominance that you see below begin to ease.

Progesterone deficiency or Estrogen dominance show up as:

aches and pains, acceleration of the aging process

allergies and sinus

anger and irritability

autoimmune disorders

bloating/weight gain due to water retention

breast tenderness and cancer

bruising

cervical dysplasia

constipation

depression

dry eyes

dizziness

early onset of menstration

fat gain

fatigue

fibrocystic breast

gallbladdar disease

hair loss

headaches, migraines

heart palpitations

hot flashes

hypoglycemia

increased appetite/cravings

infertility and miscarriage

insomnia

irregular periods

low libido

magnesium deficiency

memory loss

mood swings

muscle weakness

nausea

osteoporosis, premenopausal bone loss

polycystic ovaries

prostate cancer

skin problems/rashes/acne/itching

spotting

tiredness/chronic fatigue

uterine cancer, fibroids

water retention

zinc deficiency

It is essential to use enough progesterone, about 100-200mg/day, in 2 or 3 divided doses to overcome severe estrogen dominance. Many women use too little. Using only 20-40mg/day, common in over the counter preparations, may actually stimulate estrogen and makes things worse. It cost me about $100 dollars for a three month supply.

It’s complicated and working with a professional who checks your lab work, takes a hard look at your history, while you log your symptoms is what I recommend. 

If your symptoms are severe, like heavy continual menstration, debilitating hot flushes, or fibromyalgia, you may need up to 400mg/day. Normally men with estrogen dominant symptoms will benefit from 10-20mg/day of progesterone, but if a higher than normal amount of estrogen is present, it may take up to 100mg/day.

Please bear in mind that stress drops progesterone levels sharply, so puzzling symptoms can come back. You can increase the amount used over a stressful time,  unlike what I recently did when moving to LA and misplaced mine for a week, which resulted in several weeks of hot flashes, cravings and depression. 

Large meals may also drop progesterone levels, due to an increased clearance rate of the hormone. Dark, gloomy days and winter reduce progesterone levels, because of a reduction in vitamin D. Please have a vitamin D test done as lower levels reduce the benefits of progesterone.

As we get into our thirties issues such as depression, weight gain around the middle, decreased sex drive and anxiety can signal our need for progesterone [or the need to go live on a tropical island with abundant health food, rest, pleasure and love – which I am sure would work as well!!!]

Stress increases our cortisol levels which erodes our hormones. That’s why menopause and male andropause is arriving earlier than ever before. These used to start in our forties, but today we commonly see levels of progesterone declining in 30 year olds.

The good news here? Low progesterone is an easy correction that leads to feeling better than ever! It takes a few months to get maximum benefits, but there is nothing to lose in trying except that list of symptoms.

Love, Gwendolyn

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Gwengrace