Last week, we learned all about progesterone and acne how to tell if you have low progesterone.
Today we’re going to talk about how to treat low progesterone!
One of the most essential steps to getting your progesterone back on track is to lower your stress levels. Low progesterone is almost always partly caused by chronic stress. This is because your body makes the stress hormones out of progesterone.
This actually has its own nickname … “progesterone steal”.
So if your body is always in need of making stress hormones, then it’s just naturally going to deplete your progesterone. It’s a normal biological function, and that’s just how it is. Our bodies were designed to be under stress for only short bouts of time, but for so many of us, it’s our constant state of being.
So yes, getting stress under control is a big thing if your progesterone is low.
Also, just to note, stress isn’t always just emotional stress, which is what we tend to think of when the word is mentioned.
It can also be bodily stress, such as not sleeping enough, not eating enough calories (or heavily restricting certain food groups, making your diet imbalanced), exercising too hard too often, overload of toxins coming into the body, or from fighting off infection.
Caffeine also triggers cortisol, so you might need to let the coffee go.
Magnesium, B6, and Zinc
These three nutrients work together and are essential for your body to produce progesterone and be in hormonal balance. Many women who are deficient in progesterone are in part deficient because they are lacking these nutrients.
Stress, high alcohol consumption, blood sugar imbalances, the birth control pill, and low concentration in our modern food can lead to these deficiencies.
Ever find that you crave chocolate like a crazy person when you have PMS? It’s because cocoa is high in magnesium!
Making sure you’re eating foods high in these nutrients or supplementing them can really help with low progesterone, its symptoms, and hormonal acne.
Vitex Chaste Berry (Agnus Castus)
Vitex (sometimes referred to as Agnus Castus, or Chastetree Berry) is an herb that has a long history of use with women’s gynecological imbalances. We’ve already talked about it a few times on The Love Vitamin here and here.
Vitex doesn’t contain any hormone; instead, it naturally stimulates and supports your body to ovulate and make its own progesterone. I recommend taking it with the above nutrients since they are the building blocks of progesterone, and will support your body to make its own.
Vitex has a great track record of helping women with irregular or absent periods to ovulate and get a more regular cycle. Vitex has also shown in studies to have a very positive effect on PMS symptoms, particularly depression, headaches, acne, and breast tenderness.
It’s effectiveness kicks in slowly, so you really need to make sure you take it for at least three months to see if it works for you. You can take it for several months to over a year and then gradually lessen your dose to see if you are able to regulate without it.
Don’t take Vitex if you are on hormonal birth control as it might change the effectiveness.
Bio-identical Progesterone Cream
Another way to support your progesterone levels if they are low is to try bio-identical progesterone cream. Some people find this helps their acne immensely. You can use it for a few months and it will often help to “kick-start” your own natural progesterone production.
Bio-identical hormones are derived from natural substances that contain hormone-like substances. In the case of progesterone, it usually comes from wild yam.
They are then changed in a laboratory so that they are exactly the same molecular structure as your body’s natural hormones. This means your body receives them and uses them just like your own. This in in stark contrast to the synthetic hormones often prescribed at doctor’s offices.
If you want to give progesterone cream a try, you can get it from either a bio-identical friendly doctor, or you can buy it over the counter. Look for what is called “USP progesterone cream”. USP is the standard of purity and signifies that it is bio-identical.
Natural progesterone cream that contains straight disogenin from wild yams (from which bio-identical USP progesterone is made) is not the same thing. It is similar and may have benefits, but is not quite exactly the same as our body’s progesterone.
Also it’s best if you find one with all natural ingredients. Many progesterone creams contain chemical fillers, which are pointless because they contain xenoestrogens like most mainstream cosmetics! BeeYoutiful and Progestelle are good natural options that use coconut oil to suspend the progesterone instead of these chemical fillers.
My Progress with Low Progesterone
Last post I mentioned that I tested very low in progesterone when I did a saliva hormone test several months ago. To treat mine, I decided to start taking Vitex, just one pill per day, and had been doing so for five months or so. I’ve now weaned off it.
I also went on vacation for three months, so that definitely helped with my stress levels that were probably contributing to the problem!
Either way, I’ve noticed almost full resolution in my low progesterone symptoms. I’m sleeping way better, I don’t get that one big spot that I was getting right before my period, nor are my breasts sore at all. I also feel much less anxious. So there you go.
Check Out My Guide to Female Hormonal Acne
If you want a more in depth discussion about the above options; best way to use them; warnings and considerations, how to get your hormones tested as a great price, and much more, check out my ebook: The Love Vitamin’s Guide to Female Hormonal Acne. Thanks!