Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Low Progesterone. But High Hopes. We've Got This!


While I was in the middle of writing this blog post, I had my own hormone levels checked for several yucky symptoms (moody, bloating, and gaining weight in hips/butt) that I couldn't ignore. Can't argue with the objective facts, the results showed my progesterone level is 'very low'. Where the normal range is from 1.7-27.0, this girl's progesterone level came in at .4. Bummer dude.

I had an ah-ha moment thinking this explains why I have more "junk in the trunk" than I should, The hubby didn't sound very enthusiastic of me losing my All-About-That-Bass booty. But here goes! 
All About That Bass, No Treble

Progesterone does not work alone. Progesterone and estrogen are a power couple. Progesterone for a woman helps regulate her monthly cycle, and protect a new pregnancy. However, if a woman is not ovulating, then she doesn't produce progesterone and there is too much estrogen roaming around solo. (I suspect estrogen is looking for progesterone at the time and feeling lost, humph). A drop in Progesterone is also what contributes to carb city central, when you are craving that dessert (chocolate?) right before you start your next period. Now you know who to point your finger at, its your hormones.

Men also manufacture progesterone and use it for a healthy brain, heart and bones. Their levels would likely be more stable since their levels are not dependent on ovulating. But we all need progesterone for the same reason, to rid ourselves of excess estrogen. Without enough progesterone, we tend to be off balance. It also goes both ways, we can have too little Progesterone because we are estrogen dominant. 

Signs of Progesterone imbalance:

  • Belly fat/ Fat storage to hips/booty/hamstrings
  • Carb cravings
  • Dry skin
  • Extreme PMS
  • Hair loss
  • Heavy periods
  • Missed periods
  • High blood sugar
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • PCOS
  • Anxiety & nervousness
  • Reduced facial hair in men
Causes of Low Progesterone:
1. Anovulation (woman not ovulating) Don't know if you are? Read here
2. Too much stress!
5. Birth control pills
6. Smoking/pollution/Toxins

Natural ways to Balance Progesterone:
1. Acupuncture 
2. Manage your stress with meditation, yoga, deep breathing, etc.
3. Progesterone cream
4. Royal Maca or Vitex are known to balance hormones
5. Vitamin B6
6. Magnesium
7. Evening Primrose Oil
8. Decrease sugar
9. Increase fiber
10. Nix the Alcohol and caffeine to help the liver detox the hormones