Symptoms Of Low Progesterone
Low progesterone levels can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as insomnia, dizziness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, extreme changes in mood, bloating, weight gain, muscle pain, joint pain, and urinary incontinence. Other possible symptoms of low progesterone may include frequent urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, changes in appetite, hot flashes, cold chills, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Symptoms in hormone fluctuations should be brought to a doctor's attention for treatment. Most doctors will not recommend self-treatment for women who are having discomfort because many things should be taken into consideration before using hormone replacement therapy. Other health conditions and even family history will play a part in how a doctor will go about prescribing treatment for fluctuating hormones.
Hormones levels can have a profound effect on emotions and may lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Some women may start experiencing the symptoms of low progesterone in the beginning stage of menopause, known as perimenopause. Extreme stress over a prolonged period of time can also affect hormone levels. Women who are still having a menstrual cycle may benefit from a low dose birth control pill. Those who are no longer having a cycle are in menopause and may possibly benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Women who are experiencing depression because of hormone fluctuations should consult with a physician about the possibility of treatment for the depression through a prescription for anti-depressants. It is believed that anti-depressants affect neurotransmitter levels such as serotonin and that neurotransmitter levels affect hormone levels.
During perimenopause a woman may start experiencing symptoms of low estrogen and low progesterone levels. Hot flashes are usually indicative of decreased estrogen and can become very bothersome. Some of the common triggers that may bring on a hot flash include changes in weather especially hot weather, spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, and caffeine. Some women experience cold chills immediately after a hot flash. Normally during a hot flash a women may have sudden heat to the upper body and her face may even turn red. It is not uncommon for there to be sweating during an episode as well. To minimize the discomfort doctors recommend wearing cool cotton fabrics and avoiding triggers.
There are other health conditions that can cause the same type of symptoms that are indicative of menopausal symptoms. A doctor will want to rule out other possible causes before making a sound diagnosis. Thyroid problems can cause symptoms that mimic the same as ones associated with symptoms of low progesterone. An underactive thyroid can cause a decrease in hormone levels and an overactive thyroid can cause an increase in hormone levels. Other types of illnesses that can affect hormone levels include adrenal gland disorders or diseases. Women going through hormonal changes can be helped tremendously through active fellowship with other Christians, joining a prayer group, and meditating on God's word. "My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh" (Proverbs 4: 20-22).
Women who experience an imbalance of hormones may experience symptoms of premenstrual disorder which over a prolonged period of time can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, tender breasts, endometriosis, fibroids, heavy menstrual bleeding, and other symptoms associated with low progesterone levels. Hormone replacement therapy can help to bring levels in balance so that the discomfort is diminished and cycles will become normal with minimal irritability. A doctor can prescribe a synthetic product or recommend a bioidentical source. A bioidentical hormone is made from plant sources so they closely resemble the natural hormones found in the body. These substances are also known as phytoestrogens and are found in soy products.
Hormone replacement therapy can help to relieve hormone fluctuation discomfort and help to prevent osteoporosis and delay some of the conditions associated with low estrogen. Low hormones have been linked to increased risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Hormone replacement therapy is usually recommended mostly for short-term treatment. Prolonged treatment has been linked to an increased risk for breast and uterine cancer. Other risks associated with hormone replacement therapy may include the development of blood clots, heart attack, gallbladder disease, and stroke. Side effects of taking hormone therapy may include breast pain, nausea, fluid retention, and mood disorders. Some women experience spotting or bleeding when taking estrogen and progesterone therapy. Treatment for symptoms of low progesterone is usually not recommended for women who have a family or personal history of breast cancer, liver disease, or a family or personal history of diseases associated with the heart and blood vessels.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be an alternative to women who can not take hormone replacement therapy or who choose not to do so. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with low fat meat and dairy choices can help with the symptoms caused from low progesterone levels. Along with eating healthy a woman should consider taking supplements especially with adequate amounts of calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and omega 3 fatty acids. Regular exercise can help to promote healthy hormone levels. Most doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Before starting an exercise program a woman should consult with a physician especially if there are other health concerns that should be considered beforehand such as lung or heart problems.