Many women experience progesterone deficiency throughout their lives. There are many ways to solve this problem, such as using synthetic progesterone. But given the side effects of these hormones, many people like to know how to treat low progesterone levels naturally.
In this article, after understanding the causes of progesterone depletion and its symptoms, we will conduct a comprehensive study of foods that increase this hormone in the body. We then introduce habits and lifestyles that can help increase the body’s progesterone levels. Finally, consider the advantages and disadvantages of using natural progesterones.
1. Symptoms of low progesterone levels
Progesterone is one of the most important hormones that is secreted in the women’s body and has a direct effect on pregnancy and gestation. Therefore, if the levels of this hormone are lowered, the body may be disrupted by these complex processes.
Lowering progesterone levels in the body occurs in what is known as estrogen dominance. Under these conditions, the balance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body disappears.
Symptoms of progesterone deficiency in the body include:
- abnormal menstrual periods
- missed or late periods
- spotting or cramping during pregnancy
- decreased sex drive
- difficulty concentrating
- mood swings
In addition to these, aging can also reduce some hormones, including progesterone.
If these symptoms are ignored and remain untreated for a long time, they can cause dangerous conditions in the body:
- A complete lack of ovulation
- Uterine cancer
- Low-grade dementia
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
2. Progesterone function in females
Progesterone is produced in the ovaries and plays an important role in the reproductive process. This hormone helps the body keep the uterus ready for pregnancy after conception.
Another important function of progesterone is to regulate the menstrual process of women. It also plays an important role in preventing breast and cervical cancer because increased estrogen in the body can accelerate the growth of cancer cells.
Decreased progesterone levels in the body can occur at any age. But women after the age of 35 have severe changes in hormone levels; So that progesterone is reduced by 75% and estrogen by 35%.
Many common menopausal problems, including hot flashes, are due to this hormone imbalance. So we can say that age is the most important reason for lowering progesterone levels in the body.
3. How to treat low progesterone levels naturally (using foods)?
All the foods we eat indirectly affect our hormone levels. No food directly contains progesterone, but some nutrients can help the body produce enough progesterone.
Foods high in magnesium
Research shows that about 30 percent of women have a magnesium deficiency. Young women should receive at least 320 grams of magnesium daily to perform the normal ovulation process. Without proper ovulation, progesterone is not produced enough in the body.
Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of magnesium. Provided that the dark chocolate is pure and without any sweeteners. It also contains useful antioxidants which are very helpful for body health.
Another good source of magnesium is a variety of nuts such as almonds and peanuts that contain a lot of fiber in addition to magnesium. These nuts are a good choice for a snack.
Tofu is a good source of magnesium as it contains 53 mg of magnesium every 3.5 ounces. In addition to magnesium, tofu has significant amounts of iron and calcium.
An average avocado contains about 58 mg of magnesium and can quickly meet the body’s need for magnesium. It also contains good amounts of potassium and B vitamins.
Most types of beans such as beans and lentils contain large amounts of magnesium. For example, by eating a plate of steamed black beans, you get about 120 mg of magnesium.
Vitamin B6 Foods to treat low progesterone levels
In addition to magnesium, vitamin B6 also plays an important role in hormone balance. Research has shown that consuming 200 to 800 mg of vitamin B6 daily can treat low progesterone levels, increase fertility, and reduce abortion rates.
One of the rich sources of vitamin B is salmon, so consuming 6 ounces of it almost eliminates body daily need. In addition to salmon, tuna and snapper are also useful for this purpose.
If you eat two eggs per meal, you have about 10 percent of your daily vitamin B requirement.
Try incorporating milk into your diet. Drinking a glass of milk provides about 5 mg of vitamin B6 to the body and can quickly raise the body’s progesterone level. If you don’t like milk alone, you can mix it with tea or coffee.
If you’re having trouble eating milk, you can replace carrots and get vitamin B as much.
Foods high in zinc
According to the latest WHO research, only a quarter of Americans get enough zinc, and the rest suffer from a deficiency of this important element.
Zinc not only directly affects the function of the pituitary gland (to regulate hormone levels), it also has an important role in the function of the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone.
Since the human body cannot store zinc, women over 18 years of age (especially pregnant and lactating women) are advised to consume at least 8 mg of zinc daily.
Mussels are one of the richest natural sources of zinc so consuming only 6 mussels can provide up to three times your body’s daily requirement of zinc. In addition to shellfish, crabs and shrimp are also good sources of zinc.
Daily consumption of seeds like sesame is a good idea to provide the body with the zinc it needs. They also contain healthy fats and fiber.
Whole grains contain a lot of zinc, but at the same time, there is another substance called phytate that prevents the body from absorbing too much zinc. But in general, their intake is recommended with regard to other valuable nutrients such as magnesium.
You can combine zinc-rich vegetables such as mushrooms, green beans and peas with other foods. For example, you can add mushrooms to your omelet to take advantage of both nutrients due to the high levels of vitamin B6 in the egg.
One of the best options you can add to your diet is low-fat yogurt. In addition to being a healthy food, it can raise the level of zinc in the body and help increase progesterone.
4. Habits To treat low Progesterone Levels
Until a few decades ago, people prepared their food freshly and organically. But in recent years, people have become more interested in foods that are easy and quick to prepare, as well as sweet foods. Producers have also moved towards using preservatives, sweeteners and edible dyes in foods. This has caused many xenoestrogens to enter our diet.
Xenoestrogens are a type of xenohormone that exhibits estrogen-like behavior in the body. Prolonged consumption of Xenoestrogens can cause excessive accumulation of this substance in the body and eventually lead to estrogen dominance.
You can easily prevent too much Xenoestrogens from entering your body by using the following strategies:
The way in which the processed food is prepared causes remaining harmful substances such as Xenoestrogens. Unfortunately, these foods, which include meat, vegetables, and fruits, are abundantly found in supermarkets. Try to buy products that have a hormone-free label. Consumption of processed foods causes the body’s hormonal balance to disrupt and as estrogen levels rise, levels of progesterone decrease.
People who regularly drink a lot of alcohol change the pattern of estrogen production in their bodies. Excessive alcohol intake can increase estrogen and thus reduce progesterone in the body. According to a research done in 2000, women who regularly drink alcohol have much lower progesterone levels than people who do not. In addition, alcohol can prevent the proper absorption of zinc in the body, which plays an important role in the production of progesterone.
Tea instead of coffee
Coffee contains large amounts of caffeine, as consuming only 2 cups of it can increase estrogen up to 30%. Try starting your morning with a variety of herbal teas instead of coffee.
Plastics have become an integral part of our lives today. We store our drinking water in plastic bottles and place our food in plastic containers and heat in the microwave. When plastic containers heat up, some of their chemicals infiltrate their contents. So we get a lot of xenoestrogen through these containers every day. As mentioned before, it acts like an estrogen in the body and disrupts the function of the endocrine glands.
5. Change lifestyle to treat low progesterone levels
In many cases, progesterone deficiency in the body does not require any special treatment and the person can continue his/her normal life. But some patients may want to use natural remedies as a complement to treatment. These include:
High stress causes high amount of stress hormones, which could negatively affect the ovaries and sex hormones. This is the reason that women may lose a period during experiencing high stress.
herbs to treat low progesterone levels
There are some supplements and herbs that are thought to have a positive effect on increasing the body’s progesterone levels (for example, chaste berry and evening primrose oil). But there is still insufficient evidence to support this claim, and the FDA has not yet approved this.
Getting regular sleep
Having enough sleep is an important factor preventing the increase of stress hormones in the body. All adults should sleep for about 8 hours during the night, but most people don’t pay attention to this.
Having a night of high quality sleep is an essential habit for everyone; But those with hormone imbalances should pay more attention to this.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Overweight can increase estrogen levels and therefore progesterone imbalance in the body. Having a good weight does not necessarily increase progesterone levels in the body, but it can provide a good balance between estrogen and progesterone levels.
6. Natural progesterone products
People can treat low progesterone levels using natural progesterones such as Prometrium and Crinone. Pharmaceutical companies produce these from diosgenin (a natural substance) and market them in the form of capsules or gels.
There are also other products that are claimed to be made from natural progesterones while the main source is soy or a kind of wild yam called Diascorea villosa.
Wild yam products do not contain natural progesterone. They contain diosgenin, which cannot be directly converted to progesterone in the human body and requires complex chemical processes. So these products cannot meet the body’s need for progesterone.
If you are taking progesterone supplements you should note that wild yam products do not contain progesterone and the FDA has not yet approved their effect in the treatment of progesterone deficiency.
The best way to increase progesterone levels in the body is to use natural products such as creonine and perinone. Using these natural progesterones can also help women who have the pregnancy loss problem to maintain a pregnancy. It is better to buy these products from reputable brands.
7. Advantages and disadvantages of using natural progesterone products
If natural progesterone is prescribed by your doctor and really contains progesterone, it can have benefits. Some of the benefits are: the protective effect against endometrial cancer, the reduction of perimenopausal symptoms, and the reduction of side effects compared to synthetic progesterones.
The use and effectiveness of products that do not contain progesterone itself have not been approved by the FDA.
People who are on supplement therapy or hormone replacement are at higher risks than normal. These risks include:
- blood clots
- gallbladder disease
- uterine cancer
- deep vein thrombosis
Older people who have a long-term use of natural progesterone are at risk for heart disease and breast cancer.
The difference between effects of natural and synthetic progesterone on the body has not yet been fully elucidated, but using either of these can have the following side effects:
- weight gain
- breast tenderness
- blurry vision
- mood swings
- irritation at the application site
Experience has shown that the side effects of natural progesterones are less than synthetic. These effects are higher at the beginning but decrease with time. If side effects do not diminish over time, you should tell your doctor.
In this article we describe how to treat low progesterone levels naturally; but the important point we tried to emphasize is the importance of self-care.
If you already have low levels of progesterone, it doesn’t really matter because you can make it back to normal with a few small changes to your lifestyle.
Keep in mind that progesterone deficiency is not a stumbling block, but a bump in the way of a healthy life and you must pass it with calmness and patience.