Bioidentical Hormones: Progesterone
Menopause and Progesterone
Progesterone and estrogen balance each other out in the female body. Progesterone is necessary to negate the effects of estrogen and vice versa. This means that a lack of natural progesterone or an excess of it wreaks havoc on the body. Menopause and stress causes this imbalance leading to the unpleasant symptoms and reduced quality of life.
In menopause, several hormones are thrown off balance. Often in perimenopause, there is too little natural progesterone in a woman's body; it can result in symptoms such as anxiety, breast tenderness, headaches, sleeplessness, weight gain (caused by improper levels of progesterone which prevent your thyroid from functioning properly) and more.
One cause of progesterone imbalance is estrogen dominance by outside factors such as environmental hormones (i.e., xenoestrogen) found in the foods you eat. Other causes of diminished progesterone include insulin resistance, chronic stress, poor nutrition, and insufficient exercise.
Chronic stress is also a big contributor to progesterone levels. When your body is stressed, it works to produce higher levels of the hormone cortisol which manages stress in your body. Because progesterone is the precursor to cortisol, when cortisol levels increase, progesterone levels decrease. So, too much stress in a woman's life can lead to a progesterone deficiency, causing the estrogen dominance symptoms mentioned above.
Too much natural progesterone is also an issue, causing breast tenderness, depression, fatigue, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, and more. Causes include low estrogen levels found in menopause.
A proper diet and stress management are necessary components of normal progesterone levels. Diets with high sugar intake can lessen progesterone. As stated above, high stress levels can lead to reduced progesterone as cortisol demand increases. BodyLogicMD provides nutritional and fitness guidelines that work with the natural hormone therapy to maintain hormonal harmony.
Considering the importance of natural progesterone, it is crucial to maintain the hormone within a normal and healthy range. BodyLogicMD's hormone replacement therapy program begins by measuring the levels of hormones in your body, including progesterone, estrogen and more. With this information, your BodyLogicMD bioidentical hormone doctor will determine if your body needs more of the hormone or less of it. A natural progesterone cream or pill may be prescribed if your body is too low on the hormone. On the other hand, if there is an excess of progesterone in your body, a combination of proper nutrition and fitness plan may be prescribed.