Does Progesterone Cream Cause Weight Gain – January 30, 2019 | Posted by: Magdalena Wszelaki | Adrenal, Essay, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause | Tags: cancer, progesterone
. In Part 2 you will learn more about paradoxical cases and reactions to progesterone (rare but they do happen) and what can cause them.
Does Progesterone Cream Cause Weight Gain
You know I’m a big proponent of using food as your primary hormone balancing tool. Let me remind you that food is the basis of your hormonal health.
Estrogen Dominance & Progesterone Deficiency
Herbs and supplements can also play a big role. My mantra for prioritizing these forms is simple:
If you’re not getting results with diet and herbs alone, it may be time to explore bioidentical hormones like progesterone.
So who should use topical hormones like estradiol, estriol, DHEA or progesterone? It depends on the person. Don’t you shudder hearing that? But don’t worry, I’ll lay it out for you.
Some women can function beautifully without taking any extra hormones. Others may only need progesterone, and some may need all four. Additionally, your body is changing and over time you may need to increase some and reduce or eliminate others.
Topical Progesterone: When, Why, And How—part 1
The majority of Hormones Balance readers are women over the age of 45 – so it’s no surprise that many of them show signs of progesterone deficiency. In fact, the production of estrogen by the ovaries can drop by as much as 60%, and progesterone levels can drop by as much as 100% after ovulation is complete. For some women, this may be in their forties.
Progesterone is often referred to as the hormone needed for fertility and pregnancy, but its role is much broader.
Here are some of the reported health benefits of balancing progesterone levels — including for peri- and menopausal women.
The symptoms of low progesterone are not only because the body needs progesterone to prevent these symptoms, but also because of the effect on the ratio of progesterone to estrogen.
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When progesterone levels fall below a certain level, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, and this change in the balance between the levels of these two hormones ultimately leads to many of the symptoms people experience when progesterone levels drop.
When this imbalance occurs, certain herbs can help restore the balance, but sometimes progesterone is needed to relieve problematic symptoms.
Both estrogen and progesterone levels decline with age. However, as progesterone drops much more, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone becomes higher than in youth, which is associated with symptoms of estrogen dominance.
Take a look at the graph below – it shows the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels over time. Do you see how, for example, a 35-year-old woman has a ratio of estrogen and progesterone of approximately 1:1? Now look at how that changes when she’s 55: Her estrogen, while low, is more dominant than her progesterone levels.
The Truth About How Much Progesterone Cream To Use?
This imbalance may also be why older women are more likely to develop estrogen receptor positive breast cancer later in life – estrogen dominance with low progesterone being the culprit.
Stress can cause progesterone levels to drop. When we are stressed, we produce and release high levels of the hormone cortisol. Both cortisol and progesterone are made from pregnenolone. When you are chronically stressed, your body will prioritize and divert available pregnenolone to produce large amounts of cortisol to help you weather stress.
This means that there may not be enough of it to produce enough progesterone. This is called “pregnenolone steel” and is a major cause of low progesterone problems.
Using toxic beauty products or household cleaners introduces molecules known as xenoestrogens that interfere with the normal activity of female sex hormones. The use of these types of products can cause an imbalance in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone and thus cause symptoms associated with low progesterone.
Estrogen Dominance As Hormonal Imbalance In Women
At the beginning of the article, I explained how foods, supplements, and herbal solutions can naturally increase progesterone levels.
However, there may be circumstances where you cannot or cannot change your diet or access these herbs. Or maybe, I hope that’s not the case, you’ve tried eating strategies but still have overwhelming symptoms. In these circumstances, topical progesterone may be a good option.
Shortly after publishing my first cookbook, Cooking for Hormone Balance, I hit the road actively promoting it. I was already exhausted from months of work on plans for the book’s release. It was a stressful and intense time. As a result, I began to experience a deterioration in my health. After a good night’s sleep, I didn’t feel rested and my periods became a bit irregular.
That’s when I brought topical progesterone and felt immediate relief. Despite the challenges, I felt very calm during the day.
Stress Can Cause Progesterone Deficiency In Women
Therefore, during periods of intense stress such as divorce, work deadlines, or illness, topical progesterone may be a good idea.
Using topical progesterone in the body allows it to bypass the digestion and liver, which is good for two reasons.
Second, if your gut and liver are not functioning optimally, you risk your body breaking down progesterone into “dirty” progesterone metabolites that can be harmful.
In addition, oral progesterone is largely converted to allopregnanolone during its first passage through the liver. It is not the best choice as progesterone replacement therapy because allopregnanolone binds to GABA receptors, causing anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and sedative (sleep-inducing) effects. Oral progesterone does not offer all of the other benefits of progesterone (described above).
Ways To Increase Progesterone & Boost Fertility
To this day, there is a fear among women and uninformed doctors about using any form of hormone replacement therapy (more on this below). This fear can be put to sleep once we understand that there is a fundamental difference between bioidentical progesterone and progestin.
Progestins (brand names include Prempro) are derived from pregnant mares and are synthetically altered in laboratories. The problem with progestins is that they don’t “fit” into the progesterone receptor like natural progesterone – they have a different molecular structure that can cause health problems (more on that below).
They are called HRT, which stands for ‘Hormone Replacement Therapy’. Progestins are also used in birth control pills and are often portrayed by doctors as “safer” than estrogen-based contraceptives, which is misleading and inaccurate.
Bioidentical progesterone, also called “natural”, comes from plants – usually yam or soybean. To be clear: they are also made in a lab, but the molecular structure is very similar to real progesterone produced by your own body.
Medications That Cause Weight Gain And What To Do About It
Yam or soy in their natural form, when eaten or applied topically, do not have the same effect as bioidentical hormones. If you’ve seen the TV series “Frankie and Grace”, Frankie starts a new business venture by making yam cream from her boyfriend’s crops to increase progesterone in women. It’s a cute and funny story, but it’s also confusing. Women who report improvement with yam cream may be experiencing a placebo effect.
“Progestone” (sometimes the term “progestin”) is a generic term for hormones that act like progesterone, and thus includes both progesterone and progestin. Here’s what the California Prop 65 warning says. It includes “progestins” and the warning applies to the use of progestin, not progesterone.
I want to make an important point: not all hormones are created equal. Many women are afraid of them, and their misinformed doctors declare that “hormones cause cancer.” As a result, women suffer from terrible symptoms all their lives, which will be solved with the help of bioidentical hormones.
I recently attended an endocrinology symposium and learned more about progestins and what they don’t help with (while natural remedies can help):
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As you can see from this long list, natural progesterone and progestin can also be called two completely different chemicals.
The fear of hormones causing cancer and other health problems started with a global health initiative. More than 15,000 women, aged 50 to 79, who had been given estrogen-progesterone HRT (not bioidentical progesterone) for more than 10 years were studied.
The study had to be stopped early because of the high incidence of breast cancer, blood clots, stroke and cardiovascular disease. This caused a wave of fear among women and doctors, and all hormones were considered dangerous. Many doctors are never educated and updated on the nuances of this study and make a general statement to their patients that does not serve women, especially those who need it badly.
By now, enough research has been done to establish, over a long period of time, that bioidentical progesterone is a completely different compound and its benefits outweigh its risks.
What Are The Side Effects Of Too Much Progesterone?
For example, this study showed that progestins and norethisterone (a synthetic and potent progestin hormone used to stop uterine bleeding) caused the proliferation of progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer cells.
This study compared bioidentical estrogens and progesterone with equine estrogens and progestins and concluded: “In contrast to two 28-day cycles of daily oral conjugated estrogen (CEE) 0.625 mg and oral medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) for the previous m5 14 days of each cycle significantly increased proliferation at the cellular and mRNA level,
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