No matter how you look at it we are all controlled by our hormones. Some of us may have a little more control over our hormonal levels than others. However, at the end of the day our hormones dictate the mass majority of what we can and will do. But there is hope! The more we know about our hormones and how they work the better equipped we are at working with them instead of against them. With that in mind there are so many hormones that occur within our bodies. At times it can be hard to figure out which hormone or hormones are in the driverseat. Several hormones work together in tandem, caught in a never ending game of tug-a-war.
We have already discussed some of these hormones. For example, Leptin and Ghrelin, you cannot alter one without affecting the other. Estrogen is another one of these hormones that when it is high produces lower levels of other hormones such as Progesterone. Estrogen is similar to Melatonin and Cortisol in that when this one hormone is off it can create a number of imbalances for several different hormone levels. The other hormonal level that is most commonly affected by an imbalance of Estrogen is Testosterone. In an attempt to ease you, as the reader, into learning about the different ways our bodies are constantly talking to us. I will only be introducing one new hormone in this article.
It’s a Dominant World
Based on the number of Estrogen dominant individuals I thought it would be beneficial to introduce Progesterone. Progesterone is an endogenous steroid. It is involved in menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and embryogenesis. Progesterone belongs to a group of steroid hormones called progestogens and is the major progestogen in the body. It provides a variety of functions such as: crucial metabolic intermediate, produces other endogenous steroids, including sex hormones and corticosteroids, and plays an important role in brain function as a neurosteroid. Progesterone is produced by ovaries. One of its main functions is to act on the GABA receptors in the brain which produce a calming effect on the nervous system.
The Weight Hormones
Progesterone can be a critical component when trying to get our weight under control. In fact, one of Progesterone’s key roles is in making sure our metabolic rate is balanced. Unfortunately, there are several different hormones that when out of balance can lead to weight gain. Such as: Cortisol, Ghrelin, Leptin, Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, Estrogen, Testosterone, Oxytocin, and Endorphins. Progesterone can help balance out a several of these hormones which is why some of the all natural treatments as well as the signs and symptoms that can indicate an imbalance have a bit of overlap.
To begin let’s breakdown the signs and symptoms that can indicate something might be off on your Progesterone levels. Due to the fact that the majority of individuals are currently suffering from Estrogen dominance that means the majority of individuals are also suffering from Progesterone deficiency. The following is a list of signs and symptoms that can indicate you are deficient in Progesterone:
- Short Irregular Cycles
- Brown Spotting During and Between Cycles
- Breakthrough Bleeding
- Tender Breasts
- Low Libido
- Brain Fog
- Low Thyroid
- Weight Gain
- Hair Loss
- Dry Skin & Brittle Nails
If some of these signs and symptoms may look familiar, that is because they are! The majority of signs and symptoms listed above can also be seen in an individual suffering from an excess of Estrogen. Because these hormones have a push pull relationship it is common for individuals who are suffering from high levels of Estrogen to experience low levels of Progesterone. One of the reasons people don’t like looking into their hormone levels is the fact that they are all interconnected. It is similar to playing a really scary game of Jenga where the consequences of losing can be much more devastating.
Too Much Progesterone
A much rarer case is people who suffer from an excess of Progesterone. Just because it is not as common does not mean that it is not still possible. The following is a list of signs and symptoms that can indicate that you may have too much Progesterone:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Unable to get a restful nights sleep
Are You a Little Off?
Here is the thing about hormones, they are constantly fluctuating. For women, more than men, as a response to our menstrual cycles. In fact, during one cycle your Estrogen and Progesterone levels are stuck in a constant game of tug of war. If you have ever heard of seed cycling this is where you consume seeds rich in the hormones you are deficient in at different points in time during your cycle. This does not mean, however, that men do not experience the same or similar fluctuations in their hormones. They are also exposed to foods that have been tainted by hormone laced chemicals. Because the majority of pesticides are Estrogen based Estrogen levels in men have been on the rise. Not to mention the presence of Estrogen in milk, and milk based products. Heck, it has even been used in the treatment of drinking water in the United States.
Keep it Simple
Because it is so easy for our Estrogen levels to become imbalanced it can be beneficial to know how to lower them naturally by naturally increasing our Progesterone levels. Luckily, just like with all of the other hormones we have covered so far I am going to provide you with a variety of all natural options that you can pick and choose from. The following is a list of all natural supplements you can incorporate into your daily routine that will increase your Progesterone levels for you:
- Vitamin C
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
- Vitex Chasteberry
All Natural Supplements
Vitex Chasteberry is a purple flower that is traditionally used for maintaining a healthy hormone balance. Diindolymethane (DIM) is a food-based compound that helps balance out Estrogen levels naturally. Rhodiola Rosea is a natural adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. Magnesium and Zinc are both minerals that are critical to our digestive health. They help to strengthen the walls of our digestive tract while also helping to breakdown food and increase its overall absorption. The majority of vitamins listed are water soluble and can be taken regularly. Vitamin D, however, is a fat soluble vitamin that we can overdose on! The best way to get your daily dose is by spending 20 minutes in the sun. If you need to take the supplement make sure you are taking the recommended dose.
What’s On Your Plate?
One of my favorite ways to get all of my vitamins and minerals is through the foods I eat. That is why I do my best to provide you with a tasty way to get the most out of your foods. Here is a great recipe that is not only filling, but also great for helping to balance out your hormone levels. I hope you like it as much as I do!
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at DrDeeandMe@gmail.com or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!