Most of us, at different times, have experienced hormone imbalances. We all know that hormone imbalances in women can result in hot flashes, mood swings, heavy periods or lack of sex drive. These issues often become the material for great jokes, right?!? Yes, we have to learn to laugh at ourselves, but more seriously, hormone imbalances can result in extreme discomfort, or even breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Even men can be affected by hormone fluctuations, resulting in hair loss, depression and prostate cancer! So whether your symptoms are an annoyance, or whether you’ve battled breast cancer yourself, balancing your hormones is essential. We can feel better… and we should!
Here’s a little mini-education in balancing your hormones.
What causes hormone imbalances? Usually it’s related to a drop in progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone produced in the body which helps to regulate the menstrual cycle of women. Men also produce a small amount of progesterone, As we age, our production of this hormone declines, and after age 40 it drops off sharply. This gradually leads to menopause, and a whole host of progesterone deficiency symptoms. Think of progesterone as the regulator hormone. As progesterone drops, estrogen rises. This increase in estrogen is what causes unwanted symptoms such as weight gain, bone loss, anxiety, hot flashes, insomnia, aging and ultimately cancer. Men lacking progesterone will develop breast enlargement, depression and possibly prostate cancer. Healthy progesterone levels are absolutely vital to a comfortable and healthy life after 40!
Progesterone’s beneficial functions include:
- Decreasing heavy periods and reducing PMS symptoms
- Sedating/relaxing the body
- Improving brain function and memory
- Decreasing fat storage
- Creating younger, fuller, healthier skin
- Progesterone, when taken by an expecting mother, has even been shown to increase intelligence in their babies by 35 points!
How can you get more progesterone? There are several products you may research. Our favorites are progesterone creams which are applied topically, and a progesterone drop which is taken orally. The cream may be found at a local health food store or online. The oral drops (“Progest-E”) contain vitamin E oil to help absorption so must not be taken on phase 1 of the diet. Be sure to check with your weight loss coach if you’d like more information on ordering these products. Also, if you’d like to check your levels before beginning a progesterone regimen, Rejuvenation recommends a saliva hormone test which you can order and take yourself at home. Please ask your coach about these.
Finally, if you’re not quite convinced about the need for healthy progesterone levels, go to raypeat.com and read some of his articles regarding this hormone. Check out “Progesterone Pregnenolone & DHEA – Three Youth-Associated Hormones” While on the site, you’ll more than likely get drawn into many of his other great articles!
Pregnenolone is considered the raw building material for creating many other hormones. It’s also known as the protecting hormone, protecting our bodies from the negative effects of too much estrogen or cortisol, and most importantly, protecting our bodies from the effects of too much stress. Besides these general benefits, pregnenolone has been shown to:
- Increase memory
- Improve mood
- Protect the brain from the effects of fatigue
- Improve thyroid and adrenal gland function
- Most importantly, “it was proven to prevent the tumors that can be caused by estrogen”.
After the age of 40 or 45, it seems that everyone lives in a state of continuous “stress,” just as a normal part of aging. This coincides with the body’s decreased ability to produce an abundance of pregnenolone” (raypeat.com) So how can you regulate your pregnenolone levels? Once again, a saliva hormone test can lead you in the right direction. If your weight loss coach isn’t able to help you with this, have them put you in contact with our headquarters office in Springfield MO. We would be glad to get you a saliva test and point you in the right direction.