Veterinarian Reviewed on June 17, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Progesterone is an important hormone released by women’s body. It is released by female ovaries during the reproductive years and help in regular menstrual periods. The release of this hormone thickens the uterine cavity and triggers ovulation. Also this hormone is directly responsible for the production and release of two other hormones, estrogen and cortisone. All these three hormones in the female body regulate the monthly menstrual cycles and prepare the body for pregnancy.
A decrease in their adequate levels triggers aging and the skin losing its elasticity. Especially during menopause such effects can have higher impacts.
Besides these, progesterone also helps to regulate functioning of thyroid gland and build immunity. It also maintains collagen in the skin and keeps the muscles and bones strong. Progesterone helps in efficient nerve functioning too and protects against blood clots.
Though there can numerous causes for lower progesterone levels, some events directly affect it. Smoking affects the progesterone releasing receptors in the body. It may also cause early menopause and even infertility in women at a younger age.
The second most common and obvious reason is menopause. During this the female body undergoes drastic changes in hormones. As a result the levels of all reproduction and ovulation related hormones including progesterone decreases. These decreased levels cause other symptoms of menopause like weight, water retention and mood swings.
Signs and Symptoms
Low progesterone levels have both physical and psychological symptoms. Emotionally there is frequent mood swing with out of proportion distress. There can also be panic attacks for petty reactions and increased anxiety too. Additionally sudden anger outburst with not much control is also common.
Physically almost all parts of the female body react on low progesterone level. Starting from top, there is increased hair fall. On face, acne may appear. The eyes become dry and show lack of water in it. Frequent headaches with no direct cause may happen too. The breast may become sore.
Along with these, the problems of bloating and constipation also start. There may be lack of adequate sleep and also increased exhaustion and fatigue. For some women there is sudden increase in weight at menopause, this may be because of water retention too. Muscle pain and spasms become common. Decrease in progesterone in women may elevate their cholesterol too. Skin may become dry and itchy.
Artificial progesterone is given to women with severe related symptoms. This is given especially to those suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome and are facing difficulty getting pregnant. It is also given to those women who have irregular menstrual cycles. Though such medication helps but they have side effects too. In addition to getting facial rashes, the women undergoing such treatment faces increased risk of high blood pressure, blood clots and also heart attack.
Some home remedies along with natural and herbal treatments work effectively to regulate progesterone level. They do not have any side effects. Turmeric, thyme and oregano are known to regulate progesterone level. They can be easily added to any meal.
Foods like walnut, fortified cereal and soy milk are rich in vitamin B6. They also regulate progesterone and estrogen levels.
Chasteberry and Black Cohosh are traditional Chinese herbs that help to regulate hormonal levels in women. Siberian Ginseng also is known to boost female reproductive health.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan