Most doctors treat low estrogen as the sole cause of menopause. But looking at declining estrogen only gives you half the picture.
At the onset of menopause, your body’s progesterone production falls to almost zero. Many women I measure have progesterone below the lowest detectable limit of the blood test.
Having a healthy amount of progesterone can help keep you feeling happy and energized.
Why does this matter to you? Because progesterone maintains healthy features you may not want to give up like:
- Using fat better
- Assisting thyroid hormone action
- Elevating your mood
- Keeping your blood sugar normal
- Boosting your sex drive
- Keeping blood clotting at normal levels
- Protecting against some cancers
- Stimulating bone building1
It’s no wonder when your body’s progesterone falls during menopause you gain weight, feel depressed, and lose interest in sex. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you…
You can replace lost progesterone with a number of therapies including foods, nutrients, herbal supplements, and even real hormone replacement.
But don’t confuse natural progesterone replacement with the dangerous “HRT.”
The basic problem with HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, is that it’s none of the above.
What do I mean by that?
The pharmaceutical products billed as HRT aren’t hormones at all. And taking them is not replacement therapy.
Big Pharma’s Big Fallacy
Take the prescription drug Provera as an example. It’s billed as “progesterone replacement.” In truth, years of research and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to find a drug that was different enough from progesterone to be patentable – even though progesterone was already inexpensive and available.
Before perimenopause you have plenty of progesterone, but shortly after, it can drop to nearly undetectable levels. Fortunately, you don’t have to take a drug to restore lost progesterone. There are several effective and natural ways.
Upjohn won the race with the development of medroxyprogesterone acetate, which they call Provera. And they won big. Provera became one of the most profitable drugs of all time.
But medroxyprogesterone acetate is not a hormone and has never been in your body. I, for one, say we shouldn’t call taking something you’ve never had before “replacement.”
So, what should we call these pharmaceutical concoctions? We already have a word. It’s honest, accurate, simple… and everyone knows what it means. The word is “drug.”
I do not recommend these drugs for any woman. They are toxic and dangerous experiments. They’re not hormones and don’t work like natural hormones. And they cause a number of health risks and side effects.
Doctors Missed the Point… But You Don’t Have to
At first, HRT drugs included only conjugated estrogens. Doctors and drug companies ignored the role of progesterone. Research soon showed that women taking these drugs had a greater risk of breast, cervical, and endometrial cancers.2
To offset the risk of cancer, drug companies created drugs that would mimic progesterone – progestins. They added progestins to the existing HRT drugs. But there are side effects and other health risks. Health risks of these combination HRT drugs include:
- A 24% increase in heart disease risk
- A 31% increase in the chance you will have a stroke
- Twice the risk of blood clots in the lungs and legs
- A 24% increase in breast cancer risk
- A 76% increase in the risk of dementia3
When doctors began prescribing synthetic progestin, they completely missed the point.
You need progesterone for more than just reducing your risk of cancer. In clinical trials, natural progesterone proved effective against bone loss.4 Natural progesterone also proved to help reduce menopause symptoms without adding to breast cancer risks like progestins do.5
Research shows that natural progesterone replacement in aging females helps to improve insulin sensitivity thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.6
What’s worse is that conventional medicine has insisted that you don’t need to have your hormones measured. Their position is that you can take the one-size-fits-all drugs or not.
But hormone levels vary widely and are impossible to guess. Deciphering what to do about declines is complex and different in every woman.
No woman should take a hormone without first having her hormone levels tested. If you have problematic deficiencies, take the real hormone, not a drug substitute.
Restore Your Good Mood, Your Youthful Energy, and Your Health
When I see women during their first visit to my clinic, they often tell me of weight gain, lack of sex drive, and poor sleep. Many are even on antidepressant drugs.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) uses drugs, not real hormones. These drugs increase the incidence of breast cancer.
After measuring hormone levels and discovering low progesterone, I often prescribe natural progesterone replacement. (I also see low testosterone levels. Testosterone is essential for women, too, which I will talk about in a future issue.) Within two weeks, they usually are back to normal.
But there are several ways to naturally restore your progesterone so you can get back your sex drive, good mood, and keep a lean, trim body.
1) Try to eat progesterone-boosting foods. Walnuts, cherries, chicken, red meat, wild yams, and spices like turmeric, oregano, and thyme all help your body with the process of making progesterone.
2) Make sure you get the right nutrients. Women who have low progesterone often have low levels of zinc, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C. I recommend you get your nutrients through food, but if you need to supplement, get at least 500 mg of vitamin C, 40 mg of B-6, 30 mg of zinc, and 400 mg of magnesium per day.
3) Herbal secret to boost progesterone. One of my favorite herbal supplements that I recommend to women is Chaste Berry. It’s effective for many menopausal symptoms. It works by regulating pituitary hormones, which regulate estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
It’s a gentle hormone balancer. I use Chaste Berry to relieve depression, insomnia, and hot flashes associated with estrogen and progesterone decline. I use 300 mg in tablet form once a day.
4) Try a high-quality progesterone cream. I encourage women with signs of low progesterone to use a natural progesterone cream. It works its way through your skin into your bloodstream and gently lifts your progesterone levels.
The good news is I’m developing my own exclusive progesterone cream formula, and it will be available to you within a few weeks.
5) Safe use of bioidenticals. For more serious cases, you can get a blend of natural hormones, identical to your own, called bioidentical hormones. I recommend you have a complete hormone panel to determine which of your hormones are low. Then your doctor can prescribe bioidenticals.
Bioidentical hormones are exact replicas of your body’s missing hormones. They’re not synthetic imposters. Your body naturally and easily responds to them.
I’ve treated hundred of patients with bioidenticals. I’ve never seen anything but positive results. It’s hands down the best treatment I’ve found. My patients tell me they feel better instantly.
The great thing about them is that they are custom made for you. Your doctor will measure your hormone levels. And you get the exact right fit for your body. A compounding pharmacy creates your unique blend.
That’s why bioidenticals are only available through a doctor. My website’s health directory has a list of doctors in your area who may prescribe them.
If you are in South Florida – or can travel to here – you can make an appointment for a consultation by calling my clinic at 561-784-7852.*
1. “Progesterone: Frequently Asked Questions,” Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education. project-aware.org. April, 2006. Retrieved Feb 28, 2012.
2. Crosbie E, Zwahlen M, Kitchener H, Egger M, Renehan A. “Body mass index, hormone replacement therapy, and endometrial cancer risk: a meta-analysis.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Dec;19(12):3119-30.
3. Zoler, Mitchel L. “Risks of Hormone Therapy Dwarfed Benefits in WHI,” Family Practice News. March, 2006. Retrieved Feb 28, 2012.
4. Lee J. “Is natural progesterone the missing link in osteoporosis prevention and treatment?” Med Hypothese 1991; 35(4): 316-18.
5. Campagnoli C, et al. “Progestins and progesterone in hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer.” J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005; 96(2): 95-108.
6. Moorthy K, et al. “Effect of estradiol and progesterone treatment on carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes in tissues of aging female rats.” Biogerontology 2004; 5(4): 249-59.