When there is a surplus of estrogen in comparison to progesterone, the condition that results is known as progesterone deficiency. Due to the consistent absence of progesterone in the body, this condition carries with it its own list of causes, risk factors, signs, and symptoms.
Continue reading to learn and understand more about this life-threatening hormonal imbalance.
A progesterone deficiency is not solely defined as low progesterone levels, but when a woman has constantly low progesterone levels due to the presence of high estrogen levels. A progesterone deficiency is continual and mid- to long-term. Whereas, low progesterone levels are just temporary.
This is problematic due to the hormone's crucial role in the female body. Progesterone is known as a progestational hormone due to its work in helping to prepare the uterus for a fertilized ovum and maintain the pregnancy. The hormone works in conjunction with estrogen to promote the health of various other body systems as well, such as the cardiovascular, immune, and more.
Because the endocrine system is affected by a range of factors, identifying the cause of progesterone deficiency from symptoms exhibited is key in moving forward with treatment.
Primary causes of progesterone deficiency aside from the transition into menopause include:
Poor bowel and liver function. Estrogens converted to inactive metabolites in the liver are eliminated through the bowels in urine or feces. If this system is not functioning correctly, it can trigger high estrogen levels or reabsorption of estrogen back into the body, throwing hormonal balance off kilter.
Thyroid problems. When there are excessive amounts of estrogen in proportion to progesterone, thyroid action is inhibited. Moreover, hypothyroidism negatively affects clearance of estrogen from the body, further contributing to the never-ending cycle.
Environmental pollutants. Non-biodegradable, endocrine-disrupting heavy metals - mercury, arsenic, and lead - and hormonally active xenoestrogens modify endocrine system functions and cause endogenous estrogen levels to rise. These pollutants are found in many places, such as in car exhaust; plastics (BPA); petroleum-based household products; commercial meats; and more.
Exogenous hormones. Consuming birth control pills and prescription medications may elicit progesterone deficiency by encouraging high estrogen levels. The by-products of these foreign drugs cannot be properly broken down and removed from the body. This condition is especially prevalent among those partaking in HRT.
Moreover, there are a variety of characteristics that put women at greater risk of having a progesterone deficiency.
Difficulty concentrating, cramping, mood swings, and irregular periods are some of the “normal” symptoms associated with having low progesterone levels.
In fact, many progesterone deficiency symptoms are similar to those of low progesterone levels, just more pressing and usually continuous.
These critical symptoms of having a progesterone deficiency include:
When progesterone deficiency symptoms accumulate over time without proper management or treatment, they become complications. The following are a few medical concerns paired with their observable side effects for easier recognition:
The aforementioned complications and more can evolve in the wake of a hormonal imbalance known as estrogen dominance, too.
When a doctor identifies symptoms related to a progesterone deficiency, the following test results will be gauged in order to officially diagnose the imbalance:
All in all, progesterone deficiency in the shadow of overpowering estrogen can turn into a severe problem if left untreated. Thankfully, there are methods to handle the hormonal imbalance before it worsens. Continue reading to learn more about increasing progesterone levels.
Many women don't know that progesterone deficiency symptoms can present at any age. Progesterone, a female hormone, is famous for being the "pregnancy horm (...)
A better understanding of how your body works will help you cope with hormonal fluctuations.
Detecting symptoms of hormonal imbalance can prevent you from developing serious conditions.
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