Tired of being cranky, sleepless and PMS?
This article is for the many women I speak to who are suffering from a hormonal imbalance that includes low progesterone levels. I’ll fill you in on what progesterone does, how it becomes unbalanced and what you can do about it. Plus I’ll also give you an idea of what its like to have a life free of PMS! Yes, free from PMS!! And we finish with an opportunity to name your change and connect with others – make yourself feel better from today.
What does progesterone do?
If you’re menstruating, progesterone rises in the second half of your cycle (sometimes referred to as personal autumn, or luteal phase). It stops your womb lining from growing anymore and cements it in place, in case a baby comes along to grow there. If no baby appears (aka fertilized egg), then progesterone drops sharply in the few days before your period, and you go into your personal winter (bleed phase). See this article for more info.
What’s GREAT about Valium?…oops I mean progesterone!
Progesterone is nature’s Valium! It helps you sleep and feel calm, contented, soothed. It’s a diuretic which means it keeps the water bloat away. Its helps regulate body temperature and thyroid function.
Progesterone does not work alone; it is in a very close partnership with estrogen. A lot of women (but not all) with low progesterone also have high estrogen (estrogen dominance).
Do I have low progesterone?
Have you got any of these?
- PMS including sore breasts
- Unstable mood with rages
- Trouble sleeping
- Water retention
- Weight gain especially before your period
- Ovarian cysts, uterine bleeding
- Short menstrual cycles
- Painful periods
The more yes’s, the quicker you will want to get support to find harmony again….so you can be YOU again!
Why and how would I get low in progesterone?
Low progesterone can happen when your ovaries do not producing enough progesterone, or the cells of you body become resistant to progesterone. Here’s some reasons:
High emotional or mental stress (work, family, grief)
High physical stress (athletes or aerobic teachers!)
Low thyroid function
Blocked progesterone receptors (GABA)
Nutritional deficiency such as B vitamins
What can I do about it?
Some evidence based remedies for (low) progesterone imbalance.
- Vitamin C 750mg a day
- Chasteberry (Vitex) 500-1000mg a day for PMS and fertility
- Bladderwack for short cycles. (NB, contraindicated if a thyroid imbalance)
- Saffron 15mg a day for depression, pain, PMS
- Hold the coffee, alcohol and sugar while you’re balancing – they increase stress hormones which deplete progesterone
- Hang out with other supportive women who don’t drain you. This lowers stress hormones, in turn allowing more progesterone to be produced.
- Manage stress – deep breathe, stretch, yoga!
- Also see this PMS specific article
This is how it feels to be balanced!
This is what some women who do Healthy Lifestyle coaching with me have said:
My breasts used to hurt all month long, now they don’t hurt at all… ever!
My period crept up on me! I didn’t get cranky so I didn’t know it was coming.
My Husband happily commented that I was much calmer before my period this month
I used to get migraines in the week before my period, now they have stopped. Its a revelation!
Regular, moderate flow periods!
Boobs you can touch and move
Stable weight without fluid gain
Stable, calmer emotional states
Now your turn! What can you do for yourself?
What more support do you need from me to make this happen? Please comment for other women to connect and draw from each other’s wisdom.
Disclaimer: This is meant as a guide only. if you suspect a hormonal imbalance then visit your trusted health practitioner for testing and support. Out of control PMS can be a scary and overwhelming experience. Make sure you connect and share what’s happening for you.