Signs & symptoms of low progesterone
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Low progesterone symptoms will affect the majority of women in their lifetime, in particular as menopause approaches. Low progesterone symptoms are often associated with higher levels of oestrogen in the body, or oestrogen dominance.
Declining progesterone levels are often one of the first signs that menopause is approaching, sometimes many years before actual menopause. Because the hormones progesterone and oestrogen are meant to be in harmony with each other, when rising levels of oestrogen present themselves, as is the case before menopause, progesterone becomes diminished in the body.
Progesterone is primarily made in the ovaries during the time before and after menopause. However, it is also produced in the brain and the peripheral nerves. It's main purpose is to support the uterus during pregnancy, and is thought to be a muscle relaxant, while preventing premature contractions. Progesterone also influences the function of the brain, producing a feeling of calmness. It has a sedating effect and promotes better sleep.
Women who are experiencing low progesterone levels as they approach menopause may have some of the following symptoms: premenstrual migraines, pms-like symptoms, irregular or heavy periods and anxiety and nervousness. Some women may also experience, hot flashes, cloudy thinking, poor sleep, vaginal dryness and loss of sexual desire. Additional signs of low progesterone levels may include wrinkled skin, breast problems, difficulty in losing weight and fluid retention.
Oestrogen Dominance and Low Progesterone Effects
Oestrogen dominance plays a large role in low progesterone levels. When oestrogen levels are not sufficiently balanced by progesterone, women may experience weight gain, painful headaches, bad moods, chronic tiredness and loss of interest in sex. These are all classic symptoms of low progesterone levels, and are clinically known as premenstrual syndrome and may well affect women exponentially during the time before menopause.
Oestrogen dominance may also be a contributing factor to the development of breast cancer, because of oestrogen proliferative effects. Oestrogen dominance and low progesterone levels can stimulate fibrocystic breast disease. This condition can be treated by raising the progesterone level with a natural progesterone supplement.
Osteoporosis and Fibroids
Low progesterone levels always imply an oestrogen dominance. This dominance can lead to a decrease in the formation of new bone in a woman's body by something called the osteoblasts. These are the cells that are responsible for bone creation and new growth. This may be a leading cause of osteoporosis.
Fibroids may also be formed more easily in a woman's body because of low progesterone levels and an increase in oestrogen level prior to menopause. Generally, fibroids tend to shrink after menopause when oestrogen levels drop significantly because a woman's ovaries are no longer making oestrogen. Women who are given natural progesterone to raise their levels, commonly experience a decrease in the size of their fibroids, and may also experience a complete atrophy of the fibroids.
Menstruation and Endometrial Cancer
Women who are menstruating and are oestrogen dominant, along with low levels of progesterone, may have irregular periods. Correcting this problem involves making lifestyle changes, and also including a natural progesterone product. Doctors can easily perform a simple blood test to determine levels of progesterone during certain times of the month.
Cancer of the womb, or endometrial cancer, often develops where there is substantial oestrogen dominance combined with very low levels of progesterone. This may be prevented with the use of natural progesterone. Discuss this option with your physician, along with other therapies.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure and hypertension are often symptoms that something is awry with levels of progesterone in the body. These diseases frequently occur with oestrogen dominance. Using a natural progesterone cream will often help with this problem.
If you are experiencing the classic symptoms of low progesterone such as decreased sex drive, irregular periods, bloating, mood swings, weight gain and headaches, consult your physician or natural health care provider. She can help you determine the best treatment plan, which may include natural progesterone supplementation.
- The Wisdom Of Menopause, Christiane Northrup, MD, Bantam Dell, 2001.
- Low Progesterone or Estrogen Dominance
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