It’s Time To Talk ProgesteroneJan 18, 2022
Although we hear the words estrogen and progesterone a lot when we talk about menopause and hormone balancing, it often seems like estrogen gets the spotlight.
So what’s the story about progesterone?
What should all women know about this hormone?
An important part of overall health and living your best life in menopause is achieving and maintaining hormone balance.
One of the hormones we need to focus on is progesterone, but do you know how to keep this hormone in balance?
Stay tuned to find out!
My dear readers
I talk about balance a lot on Divine Renewal, and that’s because our health is about balance:
Healthy ratios of hormones, nutrients, and other elements in our body, working in synergy and harmony to make up this blessed body and keep it functioning at its best.
When hormones begin to fluctuate and get out of balance as they can do in perimenopause and menopause, there are steps we can take to help bring the body back into balance.
Today I am going to talk about progesterone, the “other” hormone that is often mentioned along with estrogen.
Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, although some is also made in the adrenal glands and placenta.
Its main roles in the body are to regulate menstruation and prepare the uterus for possible pregnancy.
However, as progesterone levels decline in perimenopause and menopause, its roles change. It is also when we may notice some of the other functions it performs.
For example, declining levels of progesterone are associated with mood swings, changes in bone density, irregular bleeding, hot flashes, sleep problems, and migraines, all symptoms of menopause.
To help boost progesterone levels and restore hormonal balance, you have two choices:
a) You can take hormone replacement therapy, which is associated with significant side effects (headache, weight gain, nausea, fatigue, vaginal bleeding to name a few);
b) Or you can do it naturally.
Guess which way I recommend!
Research has shown that taking progesterone may reduce hot flashes and night sweats, and it may also help with disrupted sleep, such as having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking up earlier than desired.
There’s even evidence that progesterone may offer some protection against cognitive decline in the menopause years.
You can help your body remedy these and other menopausal symptoms by boosting your progesterone production naturally.
Here are some tips:
- Focus on certain foods. These foods don’t contain progesterone, but they may help stimulate the body to produce the hormone.
They include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, spinach, nuts, and pumpkin
- Consider zinc. This mineral has an impact on the ovaries and pituitary gland, which are involved in progesterone production.
Zinc also increase the production of follicle stimulating hormone, which can lead to more progesterone. Zinc is found in seafood, pumpkin seeds, and nuts, but you may consider a supplement as well. Check with your healthcare provider before taking zinc supplements.
- Check magnesium. This mineral helps regulate the pituitary, which produces hormones that can help boost progesterone.
Good sources of magnesium include fish, spinach, dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds, but you may also want to consider a supplement.
Help lower estrogen.
A few foods may reduce the amount of estrogen in the body, which in turn could increase the ratio of progesterone to estrogen. Include bananas, shellfish, and walnuts in your diet
- Practice stress reducing techniques. When we are under stress, the kidneys may convert hormones like progesterone to cortisol, the stress hormone.
You can help prevent this conversion by taking steps to relieve stress by participating in relaxing activities, such as listening to music, dancing, reading, journaling, progressive relaxation, tai chi, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises
- Maintain a healthy body weight. When we have excess weight, the body produces more estrogen.
This results in an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. Losing even a small amount of weight can help bring the two hormones toward a more balanced state.
- Exercise moderately. Exercise is a great way to work toward a healthy weight and reduce stress, but don’t overdo it.
Moderate exercise is best, but excessive activity may cause your body to make stress hormones rather than progesterone.
Discover many more ways to balance your hormones, choose nutritious foods, and enjoy other health tips at Divine Renewal.
Are you ready?