I recently turned 50 and it was as though I fell off a cliff. One day all was going perfectly with my health and the next, I could barely read a paragraph of my novel without wondering who the people were, let alone study. Measuring my hormones was a revelation. I found I had almost zero Progesterone. Who knows how long this had been dropping off.
I thought I would share the signs and symptoms of low Progesterone with you all… especially those of you who are 45 and older.
If you find you are ticking almost every box, there is hope! While hormones are not to be treated lightly and careful discussion with your doctor is required, as well as time well spent with a Functional Medicine Practitioner or nutritionist, there are several steps you can take for yourself, in order to ameliorate any symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Cut out sugars and high GI foods. These inflame the body and make the brain fog, tension, anxiety and hot flushes worse.
- Remove alcohol. A moderate intake of alcohol is 3 glasses a week. Anything more than that means the liver has to use up precious detoxification enzymes on neutralising the alcohol when these enzymes are better served helping the body process and remove hormone metabolites. Estrogen dominance occurs when our estrogen levels are high in relation to out progesterone. It is even possible to be Estrogen Dominant with very low levels of Estrogen, simply because we may have even lower levels of Progesterone. Too much Estrogen that is not being metabolised, increases the risks of endometrial and breast cancer.
- Eat broccoli and cauliflower. They have a special phytonutrient called Indol-3-carbinol that is very protective against breast cancer.
- Add fibre to your diet. A properly functioning gut will eliminate estrogen metabolites.
- Add freshly ground flaxseeds for their lignans. Also protective against estrogen metabolites.
- Keep your weight down or make a special effort to lose weight. Fat is able to synthesize Estrogen and if one is not eliminating Estrogen metabolites properly, the continual exposure to these metabolites will increase risk of cancer. Click here for a course on weight loss.
- Keep Insulin levels down. Insulin promotes cellular proliferation, as does Estrogen and this contributes to increased risk of poor health. See the free lecture on Insulin and how it impacts on your health: Click Here.
- Add exercise to your day. Even 10 minutes daily, while you are waiting for the dinner to cook, will positively impact on mood, well being, blood flow, insulin levels and sugar metabolism. Pump up the music and dance or run up and down stairs 10 x, or skip for 3 minutes. These are all activities that require no equipment, just determination.
Signs and Symptoms of Pregesterone Deficiency
· sleep disorders
· irregular menses
· hair loss
· low sex drive
· mood swings
· excessive bleeding
· Thyroid dysfunction or disorders
· Fibrocystic breasts
· Weight gain
· Gallbladder disease
· Low blood sugar
· Panic attacks
· Water retention
· Irregular menstrual cycle
· Blood clots during menstruation
· Magnesium deficiency
· Vaginal dryness
· Breast tenderness
· Muscle cramps, sore muscles
· Dry cracked heels
· Sugar cravings
· Low basal body temperatures
· Cold hands and feet
Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Deficiency
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Memory lapses
- Difficult concentrating
- Joint pain
- Vaginal dryness
- Dry skin (which can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, and brown age spots)
- Loss of libido
- Vaginal infection
- Panic attacks
- Low self Esteem
My own experience has a happy ending. I responded very well to a bio-identical Progesterone cream which my doctor and I are continually monitoring.
Discuss the safety profile of synthetic hormones with your doctor. Synthetic hormones have a very poor safety profile, particularly unopposed estrogen, in other words a synthetic estrogen given with no progesterone. If you are on an estrogen replacement, talk to your doctor about adding progesterone (not progestins. These are synthetic and do not have a good safety profile).
I hope this post also helps you.