Cauliflower Moment…the “mid-ages” is a time when you finally feel like you are getting your life together …and then your body starts falling apart…….continued
If you are going to question anything – question the information on progesterone given on the internet.
Let’s start by saying our bodies need both estrogen and progesterone hormones…but, as we shared in the previous article, they must be in balanced levels for our bodies to function properly. We have been researching data on this topic that dates back to the 30’s. It’s been a stressful 6 months of controversy to get thru the hype to the truth. Let’s just say progesterone is a very controversial topic in regards to its uses, “dangers” and estimated need. Here’s what we have found to be true for us, and the outcomes we have seen with taking varied doses of it:
The bad news first …
Since the 1930’s studies have shown that estrogen, if dominant, could produce inflammation, cancer and miscarriage/ sporadic abortion.
Ironically, it was this same time that the pharmaceutical industry began promoting estrogen as the female hormone to prevent any reproductive system problems.
Studies also showed that women with anovulatory cycles, that failed to produce progesterone, or who had a reduced production of progesterone, developed overgrowth of the endometrium, and that these were the women who were later most likely to develop cancer of the endometrium.
The peak incidence of endometrial cancer is in the postmenopausal years, resulting from prolonged exposure to estrogen, unopposed by progesterone.
Several laboratories, from the 1950s through the 1980s, investigated the causes of age-related infertility. A.L. Soderwall, among others, demonstrated that an excess of estrogen makes it impossible for the uterus to maintain a pregnancy.
Now the good news…
Progesterone, the other female sex hormone, down regulates estrogen activity.
- Progesterone is produced by the ovaries.
- It reduces anxiety and has a calming effect on mood.
- It makes you feel happy.
- Reverses postpartum depression (caused by a rapid decline in progesterone levels)
- Increases sleepiness and promotes restful nights of sleep
- It helps to build and maintain bones
- It slows the digestive process (increasing nutrient absorption)
- If pregnant it; promotes appetite and fat storage, helps breast tissue mature and prepares breasts to produce milk
Low progesterone levels can happen at any age, but production especially plummets around menopause.
Symptoms of low progesterone or progesterone deficiency include PMS-like symptoms, premenstrual migraines, irregular or heavy periods, and anxiety.
Women can suffer from excessive amounts of progesterone if they take too many hormone replacements; these symptoms include: sleepiness, drowsiness, and depression.
Both estrogen and progesterone levels have suffered because of our modern diet. Excess sugar and the elimination of natural fats led to serious disturbances in these important sex hormones.
Estrogen sensitizes the male brain, and too little estrogen can effectively neuter a man.
However, in men, excess estrogen is the real problem, especially as we get old. Too much caffeine and obesity can lead to overproduction of this female sex hormone instead of testosterone, the male sex hormone.
Insecticides in our food chain have also contributed to the phenomenon of excess estrogen in men and women. A disturbance in the estrogen-testosterone balance in men can translate into weight gain
Remember we need both hormones, but we need them to be balanced…to view a chart that compares these two hormones side by side visit Dr Mercola’s website
What Does Progesterone Do For Us?
In experiments, progesterone was found to be the basic hormone of adaptation and of resistance to stress. The adrenal glands use it to produce their anti-stress hormones, and thus they produce less cortisol – thereby reducing the degree of aging and deterioration in the body.
- relieve anxiety
- improve memory
- protect brain cells
- prevent epileptic seizures
- promotes respiration
- corrects emphysema
- prevents bulging veins by increasing the tone of blood vessels
- improves the efficiency of the heart
- reverses many of the signs of aging in the skin
- promotes healthy bone growth
- relieves many types of arthritis
- helps a variety of immunological problems
More importantly, there are no side effects to taking it unless you take amounts that are way beyond what a normal person would take.
Explaining the Cancer Scare
No…taking standard doses of progesterone will not give you cancer…although there will be this warning on the label. To summarize this issue quickly, progesterone is a natural substance so therefore it cannot be patented (did not generate big money). Pharmaceutical companies made synthetic versions trying to mimic the benefits of the natural forms. The purpose was to develop a product that could be marketed for a profit to patients and doctors.
The synthetic versions of HRT do offer some help in balancing hormones, but the dangers are cancer of the breast and uterus along with increased risks for many other diseases. Here’s a quote from one of many studies on this “Both physiological and clinical data have indicated that progesterone is associated with a diminished risk for breast cancer, compared with the increased risk associated with synthetic progestins.”
The synthetic versions of both progesterone and estrogen have been conclusively shown to cause cancers. Because of the cancer danger from the synthetic progesterone, the natural progesterone also has to have a disclaimer that states it is a potential cancer causing supplement – even though it is an entirely different substance and has been proven not to carry the cancer causing qualities. Go figure?
Read our final article “How can we reverse our hormonal changes?” to see what we took, how it worked, and why we now feel and act 20 years younger!