If you’ve ever experienced symptoms of pms (cramping, bloating, moodiness, insomnia, headaches, etc.) then chances are you’ve dealt with low progesterone levels, high estrogen, or a combination of both.
Progesterone is a steroid hormone that plays a key part in female reproduction and a healthy menstrual cycle. It’s best known for its role in preparing the endometrial lining to thicken in order to potentially house a fertilized egg after ovulation.
+ Regulates immune, cardiovascular + respiratory systems
+ Stimulates weight gain + appetite
+ Maintains fat tissue
COMMON CAUSES + TRIGGERS OF LOW PROGESTERONE
The most common causes and triggers of low progesterone include:
+ Chronic Stress/High Cortisol
When our bodies experience chronic stress it often leads to high cortisol levels, another common hormone imbalance. Both cortisol and progesterone rely on a precursor hormone known as pregnenolone, and because stress is always prioritized first in the body (in order for survival) too much cortisol often leads to something known as a pregnenolone steal. Basically cortisol steals this precursor hormone at the expense of progesterone production, often leading to lower levels of progesterone.
+ Exposure to Synthetic Estrogens
Synthetic estrogens (also known as xenoestrogens) are manmade chemicals commonly found in cleaning supplies, plastics, pesticides and conventional beauty and body products like soap, lotions, and makeup. These chemicals mimic estrogen in the body causing estrogen dominance and lower than normal levels of progesterone.
As mentioned above, after we ovulate, we create a temporary gland known as the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum produces the majority of our progesterone, which fosters healthy endometrial tissue for potential implantation. Thus, ovulation each month is absolutely necessary to maintain healthy progesterone levels.
SIGNS + SYMPTOMS OF LOW PROGESTERONE
The most common signs and symptoms of low progesterone include:
+ Feeling “flu like” before your period (aches + pains)
LOW PROGESTERONE AND ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
It’s important to note that symptoms of low progesterone are often accompanied by high estrogen levels. This is because progesterone works to keep estrogen levels within a healthy range. Thus if progesterone levels are low, they won’t be able to carry out this function properly, often leading to estrogen dominance, or an imbalance in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
Bottomline if you want healthy estrogen levels, you need adequate progesterone levels!
TIPS TO BOOST PROGESTERONE NATURALLY
So now that you KNOW you need healthy progesterone levels in order to avoid so many of those common unwanted symptoms (hi pms, awful periods, fertility challenges, etc.) you’re probably ready for some simple action steps you can take like, now.