....Continuing discussions on each of the hormones, with Progesterone as today's highlight. Progesterone is VERY important for perimenopausal women, premenopausal women, menopausal women, pregnant women, and NO woman should be without it.
Progesterone, like estrogen, is secreted by the ovaries; therefore when women go through menopause their levels begin to slide towards zero. It is a very good hormone for premenstrual syndrome, a great therapy for menopause, and the only suggested treatment for perimenopause. If used in appropriate doses and individualized to a person's needs, it can decrease headaches and bloating associated with menstrual cycles. I have tons of peri-menopausal and menopausal women on progesterone therapy and they LOVE it!!
Natural and Bio-Identical Progesterone protects against cancer, osteoprosis, fibrocystic disease, ovarian cysts, and coronary artery disease. Conversely, "synthetic" versions, aka medroxyprogesterone, commonly cause bloating, headache, fatigue, weight gain, depression, increased symptoms of PMS, dementia, increased risk of clots, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease. "Synthetic" versions are found in the products Provera, PremPro, and birth control pills. That makes you want to rush right out and get some, right? Not! Please see all of the other blogs that I have written on synthetic hormones and their dangers. The bio-identical progesterone, because it's an exact match to the body's natural structure, is not associated with any of these.
The focus often tends to become the ovaries with hormone therapy, but progesterone has receptor sites located throughout the entire body including; uterus, breast, vagina, blood vessels, and brain tissue as an action site. Whether or not a woman has a uterus does not impact whether she needs progesterone. Why? I just answered that question by stating all of the progesterone action sites in the body. You can tell how "up on things" your doctor is by their position statement on progesterone therapy needs. Progesterone moderates estrogen balance. Progesterone can be given transdermally (through the skin), in oral capsules, or in sublingual drops. The choice depends on patient symptoms, dosing needs, and compliance with therapy.
Here's a guide to progesterone related symptoms:
Abundance: mild depression and sleepiness
Deficiency: headache, low libido, anxiety, moodiness, foggy thinking, depression, food cravings, irritability, cramps, painful breasts, weight gain, water retention, painful joints, and decreased urine flow, and the biggie, difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep.
If you want to see where your levels are sitting, give me a call. This is a hormone worth knowing about. Your body might be running on empty and the effects could be more significant than you realize. Literally!
To your good health,