Are you suffering from low progesterone? The answer might shock you.
Having insufficient levels of progesterone is a big problem. Is your body telling you that your progesterone levels are too low?
You never know until you know the causes and symptoms of not having enough progesterone.
Here are 9 causes and symptoms of not having enough progesterone:
1. Low Progesterone and Weight Gain :
Weight gain is a sign of low progesterone. Insufficient progesterone levels cause bloating and fluid retention, resulting in weight gain.
Obesity and excess weight alters your progesterone and estrogen levels. This can cause weight gain.
According to BodyLogicMD, progesterone burns fat and turns it into energy. Having low levels of progesterone can impact how well your body metabolizes food.
Progesterone deficiency causes estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance often slows down your metabolism and causes weight gain.
Low progesterone also affects your energy levels. This can make it harder to be active and lose weight.
Being overweight decreases thyroid functioning which can affect your progesterone levels and T3 levels as well. That brings me to my next point:
2. Hypothyroidism :
Your progesterone situation could be caused by untreated hypothyroidism. Your thyroid plays a big role in your hormone production. These hormones help your body with ovulation and progesterone production.
Over 12% of the population will develop a thyroid condition. If this is affecting you, you should get diagnosed right away. Up to 60% of people with a thyroid disease are not aware of it.
You might have a hormonal imbalance. When progesterone deficiency happens, the hormone isn’t able to bind to receptors in the thyroid gland.
If your thyroid is malfunctioning, you might not be producing enough progesterone.
The only way you can tell if you have hypothyroidism is seeing a doctor. After all, there comes a time for everyone. This leads me to my next point:
3. Age :
Age is a common factor in low progesterone in women.
Starting around age 35, women’s progesterone levels start declining until menopause. At that point, progesterone levels flatline and stay low.
After this dramatic decline of progesterone, women over 40 develop estrogen dominance.
Between the ages of 35 and 50, women’s progesterone levels plummet by 75%. At this point, it helps to use progesterone supplements and creams. This will help replace some of the missing progesterone and reduce the negative symptoms of low progesterone.
Your age isn’t the only thing that affects progesterone production.
4. Stress :
Stress is one of the most common reasons why women in the United States have low progesterone.
High levels of stress can have very real effects on your health.
Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that reduces progesterone levels. Excess cortisol puts you at risk of developing weight gain, anxiety, and depression.
Acute levels of stress spike progesterone and cortisol levels. However, long-term stress leads to high cortisol levels and lower than average progesterone levels.
Chronic stress can also cause changes in the thyroid, something that directly affects progesterone levels.
Physical stress like lack of sleep and emotional stress can contribute to insufficient
progesterone levels. However, emotional stress like rejection from peers or social stress influences progesterone levels more than other types of stress.
5. Menstrual Problems :
Progesterone helps regulate your menstrual cycle. With lower than average progesterone levels, you might experience menstrual irregularities.
Progesterone levels are supposed to fluctuate during your period. Progesterone deficiency creates estrogen dominance. Too much estrogen can cause irregular cycles, PMS, a risk of infertility, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis, and even cancer.
Absent periods can be caused by lower progesterone levels and poorly functioning ovaries. Insufficient progesterone levels can also cause uterine bleeding.
If you’re not ovulating, you don’t have enough progesterone.
Another important thing to look at is how you’ve manipulated your body’s hormones in the past. This brings me to my next point:
6. History of Birth Control Use :
Birth control pills can set your hormones out of whack.
Birth control pills disrupt your body’s normal hormone production with synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone called “progestin.” This suppresses ovulation by tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.
Birth control pills interrupt the normal homeostasis and cycle of your hormones throughout the month.
If you’ve taken birth control pills, you might have “post-birth control syndrome.” This is a collection of symptoms that stem from hormonal imbalances caused by long-term birth control use. This syndrome consists of a loss of menstruation, infertility, hypothyroidism, hair loss, breast tenderness, acne, adrenal dysfunction, weight gain, mood swings, and more.
It takes some time for your hormones to return to normal after using birth control pills.
7. Menopause :
Menopause is rock bottom for your progesterone levels. From there on out, it’s goodbye pregnancy, hello hot flashes!
During menopause, progesterone levels plummet. Low progesterone is responsible for many of menopause’s more irritating symptoms like anxiety, irregular menstrual cycle, fatigue, headaches, reduced sex drive, and more.
Progesterone helps you ovulate. Menopause is the absence of ovulation. It is associated with low progesterone levels.
The cause of menopause is the depletion of functional eggs in the ovaries. This creates a hormonal imbalance your body is not used to.
It helps to supplement the progesterone in your body with pills and creams. This will reduce the symptoms you experience from low progesterone.
8. Problems With Getting Pregnant :
Progesterone means “pro-gestation” in Latin. The name sums up progesterone’s role in preparing for pregnancy and maintaining the uterus.
If your progesterone levels are too low, it’s likely you’ll experience trouble getting or staying pregnant.
When you’re pregnant, your progesterone levels are supposed to be high. You and the baby need those high progesterone levels to maintain the uterus until birth.
If your progesterone levels are too low, your uterus might not be able to carry the baby for a full term.
9. Depression & Anxiety :
Progesterone can affect your mood. If you’ve been feeling depressed or anxious, a progesterone deficiency might be the cause.
Progesterone is said to promote good mood by boosting serotonin and GABA. Both help relax anxiety and panic.
Low levels of progesterone levels decrease serotonin. This can cause depression as well as poor sleeping.
Low levels of progesterone can’t balance the stimulating effects of estrogen dominance. This results in anxiety.
Your Body is Counting On You :
Do you think you have low levels of progesterone? If so, consult a doctor as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.
In the meantime, invest in your health and learn more about your body. It’s one of the most rewarding things you can ever do.
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