Have you heard of the “pregnenalone or cortisol steal”?!
Its fascinating and makes so much sense for why we can struggle with our progesterone levels. Lets be real, we could all use more progesterone haha. Seriously though! It’s the calming, anti-anxiety hormone! And fertility based issues often stem from lack of progesterone.
When the body is under stress, hormones are automatically shifted away from making testosterone and DHEA and over to the progesterone pathway, which then dumps straight into cortisol in response to fight or flight. This allows the body to produce epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol in case we are being chased by a lion, when we are probably just sitting in traffic, running late or stressed about work.
Stress is stealing your progesterone!
If you are living in a constant state of stress, this could be why you have lower progesterone levels and are experiencing symptoms of PMS & estrogen dominance such as irregular cycles, spotting, bloating, irritability, acne around the chin, headaches, weight gain, breast tenderness, etc.
Supplementing with progesterone is only a band-aid, instead you should work on the HPA-axis by reducing stress and catecholamines (epinephrine and cortisol) so the body believes it is safe and you are no longer in danger. Seriously, your body may think you have lack of food or water if you’re dehydrated or restricting calories! This is why I cannot stress intuitive eating enough, and obviously drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
I’m well aware we will always have some sort of stress to deal with but there are things we can do. Practicing yoga, mindfulness, gratitude, meditation and deep breathing can go a long way in managing stress. I always recommend getting some testing done too, to see if there are any root causes/internal stressors like pathogens, viruses, chemical/toxin overload, etc as they can increase cortisol as well. for this I highly recommend a full scan from Creating Balanced Health (use my code “glowingfridge” for $20 OFF), or eventually working with me once I’m a practitioner!
Do you feel like you’re in a constant state of stress? What helps you manage it?