But WHY do I need progesterone?
Ovarian cysts. Estrogen dominance. PMS. Post partum depression. Brown bleeding at the tail end of the cycle. Clotting during the menstrual flow. PMD. Infertility. Short luteal phase. PCOS.
These are all signs of a hormonal imbalance. The problem can be a result of too much estrogen, not enough progesterone, too much exposure to xenoestrogens, poor liver function, or something else. The delicate relationships of our hormones can result in some catastrophic health issues. If one of these hormones are thrown off it can impact all the others. Progesterone inhibits estrogen in the second half of the menstual cycle. As a result administering progesterone can be an effective treatment for women with hormonal imbalances espeically when taken cooperatively with their cycle, in other words during the time of the cycle when progesterone levels should be high. In certain cases taking progesterone can even be enough to reregulate the body so that it will make adequate levels of progesterone on it’s own.
But sometimes it doesn’t. Clients often asking me, “Why do I need progesterone in the first place? Is there something else that can be done, other than a pharmeceutical, to help the body reset and make the hormones it needs to restore health and balance.”
As we look into hormonal imbalances often we find additional symptoms that point the way to a greater need to dig deep into root causes. One thing we may disover is a need for liver support. Any time our livers are congested or in need of some additional detoxification support our hormones will be thrown off. 1 of the 500 known jobs of our liver is to eliminate used up hormones from our blood stream. If that process is hindered by a poorly functioning liver we can have estrogen dominance, and a host of other issues, result.
Or if we are consuming xenoestrogens (like soy, or plastics leaking into our food) they can trick our body into thinking that you don’t need to make estrogen. The body goes on to make the necessary amount of estrogen and that combined with the phytoestrogens can lead to levels being too high, also known as estrogen dominance. 1 When that symphony of hormones gets thrown off the body has a greater need for progesterone, since adequate progesterone is required to keep the higher levels of estrogen in check.
Additionally, chronically high stress levels can contribute to low hormone output. Living in a state of high stress causes our parasympathatic nervous system to constantly be on. And if our body is fleeing or fighting the last thing it is going to prioritize is fertility. (Your body is smart and will preserve itself when in danger before pursuing the possibility of pregnancy, which is the most amazing and difficult thing it can do!) This is why when our cortisol levels are high there is a decrease in progesterone and testosterone in women. 2 (Yes I said testosterone. The male sex hormone is also important to women although in much smaller amounts.)
So what’s to be done?
So when a woman asks, “But WHY is my progesterone low?” More digging can, and should, be happening. We need to remember the importance of a properly prepared whole foods nutrient dense diet. Steps should be taken to optimize digestion and blood sugar regulation so there is less stress placed on the liver. This will also allow for proper elimination of used hormones. In addition to taking time to help women implement stress reduction techiniques.
Pharmaceuticals can be an necessary piece of a health plan. Modern medicine has made so many incredible advances but at the end of the day the small constant things (ie. eating, the food being consumed, sleeping, how we handle stress) need to be properly ordered and handled so that we are supporting healthy physicological functioning as well. When we do that we allow the body to do what it needs to restore optimal health. We must always remember that the menstrual cycle is a vital sign of health and when the hormones are dysregulated it will impact other things as well. The solution back to optimal health should always incorporate a holistic approach to wellenss.
Want to know more about how your body needs to be supported? That is exactly what I do with my 1-1 nutritional therapy packages. Go here, to sign up for a free discovery call.