Progesterone is a hormone predominantly found in women. Also referred as female hormone, progesterone in adequate amounts is important to regulate menstrual cycle. The hormone is also involved in regulating normal sleep pattern and maintaining weight. It also counteracts the effects of estrogen (yet another female hormone), which is essential to maintain overall health.
For instance, estrogen encourages cell growth but if this activity of estrogen is not controlled, it can either induce excess production of cells or reduce cell growth. However, this does not happen because progesterone regulates estrogen actions and keeps cell growth in control. Sufficient progesterone levels during pregnancy is crucial, otherwise it may lead to miscarriage.
Progesterone imbalance is a condition in which progesterone in the body is not in the normal range as compared to estrogen levels. There is disturbance in the normal progesterone - estrogen balance and in most cases it means excess estrogen and lower than normal progesterone levels.
The production of progesterone takes place inside the ovaries. During ovulation of ovaries (that usually occurs in menstrual period) progesterone is secreted. However, if ovulation does not occur, it can lead to disturbances in progesterone levels. It is observed that with chronic stress, the body reacts by lowering progesterone production. A poor diet can also have a negative impact on progesterone levels. As more and more women are getting attracted to junk food, no wonder cases of progesterone imbalance are on the rise. Too little physical activity, which means ignoring exercise can also disrupt progesterone - estrogen balance.
Progesterone levels going haywire can trigger a wide range of bothersome symptoms. Some of them are listed below:
- Lowered sex drive
- Excessive tiredness
- Increase in weight
- Depression and anxiety
- Swollen breast
- Hair loss
- Yeast and urinary tract infections
- Painful periods
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
Treatment doesn't mean taking supplements that contain synthetically prepared progesterone. There are safer alternatives to correct this problem, some of which are given below:
Eat the Right Food
A natural cure involves taking foods that help to stabilize progesterone levels. Eating food items that are good sources of vitamin B6 can contribute in restoring normal estrogen - progesterone balance. Some of the foods high in vitamin B6 are soy products (soy milk), walnuts, seafood (salmon), whole grain products, banana, cherries, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. Adding spices like garlic, turmeric and oregano to recipes can also assist to improve progesterone levels. Foods rich in zinc are also helpful in maintaining healthy progesterone levels. So, make sure to add zinc foods like turkey and chicken in the diet.
Experiencing stress for long periods of time decreases the production of progesterone, whereas cortisol production increases in response to stress. Although stress in today's lifestyle is inevitable, one can easily keep stress related problems at bay by regularly practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga. These age-old remedies have proved beneficial to calm the mind and provide relief from stress.
Using herbs like macafem can work wonders to restore healthy progesterone - estrogen balance. Macafem supplements is an effective tool to cure fluctuating levels of progesterone and estrogen. Basically, macafem stimulates the glands responsible for maintaining progesterone levels. This helps to increase progesterone and reduce elevated estrogen levels.
Exercising regularly can also help to improve progesterone levels. An exercise routine lasting for just 30 minutes is often recommended to restore progesterone levels. Being physically active is one of the best ways to stay fit and has numerous health benefits including healthy progesterone levels.
Although progesterone replacement therapy (HRT) may help to control symptoms, patients are advised to stay away from this form of treatment. This drug therapy involves taking tablets or capsules that contain synthetic progesterone. However, this therapy can produce adverse health consequences in the long run. Studies have shown that progesterone replacement therapy can put a person in the risk zone of breast and ovarian cancer. As if this was not enough, users of progesterone replacement therapy also have higher chances of developing strokes and heart diseases. Also, dependence on these synthetic hormones can make the body less efficient in manufacturing its own hormone, eventually leading to progesterone imbalance.
If the symptoms are potentially serious and the aforementioned remedies are not providing any relief, then consultation with a doctor about the usage of progesterone replacement therapy is advised. The doctor will first determine whether the benefits of HRT outweigh its potential risks and then come to a conclusion that works in favor of the patient.