Progesterone Made Easy pt. II
Here you go, friends... More Wonderful News about Progesterone, the "Feel Good" Hormone! Progesterone and your brain suggestions
The brain LOVES progesterone and responds very well to supplementation.. In fact, the concentration of progesterone in the brain is 20 times higher than that in the blood! When progesterone levels are too low, estrogen and testosterone will be unbalanced and can lead to conditions like anxiety, insomnia, migraines, and weight gain which are all related to brain function. In the brain, progesterone is able to counterbalance the negative effects of excess estrogen. While estrogen excites the brain, progesterone CALMS it.
Studies have shown that progesterone has anti-anxiety effects by acting on GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and relaxation and balances excitation with inhibition. Progesterone INCREASES the GABA receptor sites, leading to balance and a lessening of anxiety.
The progesterone and estrogen ratio is also linked to migraines. Progesterone is found to relieve hormonal migraines, including those associated with PMS. Migraine symptoms are associated with low levels of magnesium in the brain. High estrogen or estrogen dominance causes magnesium levels to drop. Adding supplemental progesterone INCREASES magnesium levels. Magnesium can relieve migraine symptoms because of its ability to relax vascular smooth muscle. (You can also take supplemental magnesium 400-800 mg per day)
Progesterone and Osteoporosis
Conventional medicine widely believes that osteoporosis is caused by declining levels of estrogen. However, bone loss begins well before menopause when estrogen levels in women remain intact. FACT: a woman's peak year for bone density is at age 30, after which she will experience bone loss of about 1-1.5% per year. Countless women who take estrogen supplements and maintain a healthy diet still have disappointing bone density. It is actually PROGESTERONE not estrogen, which declines rapidly in women after age 30. So progesterone needs to be involved in the treatment of osteoporosis.
What is the physiology? There are two types of cells that regulate bone: osteoclasts and osteoblasts. OSTEOCLASTS function to dissolve old bone, leaving tiny spaces behind. These spaces are then filled in with new bone by OSTEOBLASTS. Both osteoclasts and osteoblasts require hormone balance to function properly. Estrogen slows down bone loss but does nothing to encourage NEW bone. Progesterone (and testosterone) facilitate the building of new bone by stimulating the bone-building osteoblasts. So...Natural progesterone can stimulate the new bone formation required to prevent and reverse osteoporosis.
Progesterone and Cancer
Hormones "out of whack" has been associated with an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancers. Controlled studies suggest that synthetic progestins increase breast cancer risk. (Write for my pamphlet Top 10 Reasons To Get Off Synthetic Hormones to learn more details) Natural, bio-identical progesterone does NOT affect the risk of breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown that natural progesterone is a PROTECTIVE agent against breast and endometrial cancers. While estrogen causes breast and uterus cells to multiply, progesterone does not promote cell growth and cancer cells are inhibited.
Progesterone levels at the time of breast cancer surgery even influence survival rates, according to a 1996 study. The study revealed that 65% of women with higher progesterone levels were alive 18 years after the surgery, as opposed to only 35% of women with low progesterone levels. Wow! Ask your oncologist about progesterone, ladies!
Progesterone after a hysterectomy?
Many medical professionals believe that progesterone is not necessary for women who have undergone hysterectomies. However, scientific studies suggest otherwise-using estrogen therapy alone can lead to many negative health consequences. See my blog about Estrogen Dominance or write for my hand-out). When women are young, they have optimal levels of all hormones, not just estrogen. Replacing only estrogen after a hysterectomy will surely lead to estrogen dominance, so progesterone is just as necessary. In fact, it can be even more important.
As one distinguished researcher said: "If you do not have a uterus, brain, or heart, then, fine... don't use progesterone with your estrogen. Otherwise, you need it!"
Progesterone and Men
(see more on my Progesterone & Men blog)
Although typically considered a female hormone, progesterone is an invaluable tool for men's hormone balance as well. Just as estrogen dominance can severely affect quality of life for women, it has equally detrimental effects for men. In fact, excess estrogen in men is linked to breast enlargement, decreased sexual function, weight gain, and prostate enlargement. A BAD combo!
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) appears to be related to long-term exposure of the prostate gland to DHT and possibly estrogens. In fact, Dr. John R. Lee, considered the pioneer of natural progesterone research, (and my mentor!) stated that excess estrogen exposure was a primary cause of prostate enlargement and even prostate cancer. Progesterone can help prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT in addition to counterbalancing estrogen.
How to use Natural Progesterone
Perimenopausal: From the 12th through the 26th day of the cycle (for heavy bleeding use from day 10-26). ¼ tsp. twice daily.
Postmenopausal: 1/2 tsp. daily for 25-28 days of the month. Use ¼ tsp twice daily if under 60. Over 60, you can use your whole dose at one time.
For either of these two groups, if symptoms are severe you can increase the dose until you are comfortable and then cut back to 40 mg per day.
PCOS: Day 1-10 20 mg of progesterone at bedtime.
Day 11-start of period, 40 mg of progesterone at bedtime.
I sincerely invite you to write to me. I want to help you feel GREAT... All the time!
I also have a FREE 30 page booklet entitled "Natural Progesterone For You" that I will send you or your loved ones.
You were NOT designed to suffer! Natural progesterone can be your new best friend!