Menopause, Not Necessarily What You Think
When we think of menopause we usually think of an elderly woman going through a process that takes years to occur. The reality is actually much different; it only takes about 12 months without a period to be considered menopausal. About 5-15 years before the age of 52 when menopause generally occurs, most women have already begun to stop ovulating even though menstruation continues regularly. In that time the body begins to produce less progesterone; this point in life is called peri-menopause.
The symptoms that are typically associated with menopause are actually the body’s reaction to an excess of estrogen. These changes increase the risk of developing uterine, breast and ovarian cancers.
Low Progesterone in Younger Women
The occurrence of fibroids and ovarian cysts are typically associated with progesterone depletion. In women below the age of peri-menopause, estrogen dominance and the presence of fibroids and ovarian cysts are linked to disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and endometriosis. Both of these conditions can cause infertility and increased risk of early miscarriage. Because progesterone is so important in maintaining the health and well-being of women, treatment becomes necessary to ensure stability.
Improving Progesterone Balance
So how can you improve these levels? The reality is that hormone therapy is only a small part of the process; the rest is up to you.
1. Exercise: Exercise is essential to maintaining good overall health and as it turns out in maintaining or increasing hormone levels when they are imbalanced. Get up and stay active to get your body to follow suit.
2. Eat Right: Eating more of foods that boost progesterone levels in the body can go a long way toward increasing progesterone levels. Foods such as walnuts, cherries, chicken, red meat, wild yams, soy milk, whole grains and herbs such as turmeric, oregano and thyme are all good progesterone boosters.
3. Get Your Vitamins: Zinc, magnesium and vitamins such as Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C, are generally found to be lower in women who have low progesterone. Getting more of these vitamins in your diet and vitamin intake can help boost your levels.
4. Reduce Stress: The less stress there is in your life the less fluctuation your hormones will go through in your daily life. Lowering the damage that can occur from excess levels of cortisol and estrogen.
5. Stop Smoking: No seriously! Smoking has been shown to bring on premature menopause and increase infertility in younger women. The more you smoke and longer the higher risk there is to bring on these side effects.
6. Consider Hormone Therapy: Whether you use all natural methods or synthetics it’s important that you begin some sort of therapy to help balance your hormone levels, without it there’s a strong chance that the effects of hormonal imbalance will increase.
7. Try Natural Supplements: Chasteberry is one of several supplements you can get that may boost progesterone levels.
8. See Your Doctor: Seeing your doctor and getting your hormonal levels tested regularly are important to maintain desired levels as well as check up on the effectiveness of what you’re doing.