What is Progesterone?
The words testosterone and estrogen are tossed around quite often when talking about hormones, but what about progesterone? Progesterone regulates the menstrual cycle and helps to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. When progesterone levels are thrown off balance, irregular cycle symptoms or menopausal symptoms can occur. Let’s take a look at how progesterone works, some symptoms of hormonal imbalance, and how to get back to feeling good!
How does it work?
Progesterone is produced by the ovaries during the second part of your menstrual cycle. The main purpose of progesterone is to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, but if there’s no fertilized egg, that’s when your period occurs. Progesterone is also responsible for regulating blood pressure and keeping your mood and sleeping habits in check.
Are my Progesterone levels off?
There are many symptoms related to a progesterone deficiency, so let’s go over some of them. Weight gain and fluid retention, acne, facial hair, heart palpitations and hypothyroidism are all part of the physical symptoms associated with a deficiency. Heavy or frequent cycles, fibroids and breast cysts, as well as harsh cramps are all gynecological symptoms that may point to a progesterone deficiency. Lastly, when looking towards emotional symptoms, you can look out for mood swings, a low tolerance for stress, and irritability.
How do I fix this?
While these symptoms may sound scary, don’t panic, there are solutions! First and foremost is to try to keep stress to a minimum. Being stressed releases more cortisol than progesterone. Healthy fats also keep hormone levels balanced, so try to incorporate foods such as fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocado into your diet. Foods rich in zinc will also help boost progesterone. These may include shellfish, beets, legumes, seeds and eggs. Lastly, try to up your Vitamin B and Vitamin C levels.
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