What is progesterone deficiency?
Progesterone is a female sex hormone. It is also known by the term "corpus luteum hormone" because it is formed in the ovary by the corpus luteum. The hormone also occurs in the male body and is formed there in the testicles. However, this happens only in very small quantities.
In the female body, the progesterone regulates the implantation of the fertilized ice in the uterus as well as the maintenance of pregnancy. After ovulation, the sheath of the egg follicle transforms to the yellow body. From this the progesterone is formed.
This process is controlled by the LH hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland. During pregnancy, the placenta will produce large quantities of progesterone to help maintain pregnancy. In addition, the progesterone is also tree material for the hormones estrogen and testosterone.
The cause of a progesterone deficiency lies in a yellow body weakness. Follicles do not mature sufficiently, so that the oocytes can not be formed. As a result, no complete corpus luteum can develop. The progesterone deficiency leads to an estrogen dominance, which is already considered a civilization disease. Again, this estrogen dominance can have many causes that often occur in combination and reinforce each other.
First, genetic factors play a role. It can also give cycles by taking the pill cycles without ovulation. The onset of menopause is often characterized by a lack of progesterone. In addition, the diet may contain estrogens or other substances that affect the hormone balance (eg mastics, plastic bottles, canned food and soup, additives in spreadable fats and in bread, etc.).
Also in the environment may be chemicals that are sensitive to disturb the cycle. These are, for example, xenoestrogens, which are found in paints, wall paints, pesticides, building materials and exhaust gases. Certain medicines may also have negative effects, such as psychotropic drugs, menopausal remedies, thyroid disorders and antidiabetics. Incorrect diet, stress, lack of light, lack of exercise and ovarian damage can do the rest.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
A deficiency of the hormone progesterone can occur in both men and women, the latter being more commonly affected. Especially in stressful situations a disturbance of the hormone balance may occur, with increasing age the probability increases. But even during pregnancy, breastfeeding and during menopause occur frequently symptoms.
In both men and women, a lack of progesterone may be due to sleep disorders, heavy sweating, cardiac arrhythmia, or an emotional imbalance. Women are also affected by other complaints. These include ovarian cysts and fibroids, severe iron deficiency (especially during menstruation) and the onset of breast cancer. The absence of pregnancy or a miscarriage can also be the result of the disease in bad cases.
Often there is a deficiency associated with other illnesses, which is why the doctor will also check symptoms of thyroid disease in the case history. Cold hands and feet, swelling of the fingers, dry and irritated skin, and low blood pressure can therefore also be signs of progesterone deficiency. There are also depressive moods, panic or anxiety and reduced performance.
The symptoms mentioned are only a few symptoms, which may additionally be different pronounced. However, if they find themselves in an appropriate life situation, they can be diagnosed well by a doctor.
Diagnosis & History
A progesterone deficiency can be manifested by various symptoms that provide a starting point for further diagnosis. These include lack of concentration, listlessness, fatigue, anxiety, depressive moods, fluid retention, nausea, weight gain, sensitive, swelling breasts, cysts and fibroids and pain in menstruation. Pregnant women may have a miscarriage. Also typical are shortened cycles and spotting.
If there is a suspicion of a lack of progesterone, the doctor will suggest a progesterone test. Here, the progesterone and estrogen levels are determined around the 19th, 20th, or 21st cycle day by means of a saliva test. Such tests can also be performed by taking samples and sending them to a laboratory for evaluation.
In support of this, a basal temperature curve can be created before the diagnosis by the physician. To diagnose a progesterone deficiency, an adrenal fatigue should be excluded.
Due to the lack of progesterone sufferers suffer from various ailments that can lead to different complications. In the worst case, however, the progesterone deficiency can lead to an unfulfilled desire for children. Not infrequently it also comes to mental discomfort or severe depression. The quality of life is thus considerably reduced and reduced.
Furthermore, patients often suffer from disorders of concentration and coordination. Even a fatigue and lack of drive can occur and have a very negative impact on the everyday life of the person affected. Not infrequently, patients also suffer from anxiety and confusion due to the lack of progesterone. In women, it also leads to a tightness in the chest and often to menstrual pain.
If the progesterone deficiency occurs in already pregnant women, it can come in the worst case to a miscarriage. The treatment is usually done with the help of medication. Special complications do not occur. Furthermore, the person concerned also various natural remedies available that can significantly reduce the symptoms of progesterone deficiency and reduce.
When should you go to the doctor?
Couples or women who have an unfulfilled desire to have children should be fully informed about the optimal conditions for procreation of offspring. If all requirements are fulfilled and yet a pregnancy lasts for several months, a check-up should take place with a doctor. This is a re-elucidation of the optimal conditions for fertility. In addition, a comprehensive investigation should be initiated to provide information on the fertility status of the individuals concerned.
Persistent sleep disturbances, heart rhythm irregularities, and abnormalities of the endocrine system should also be discussed with a physician. If it comes to mood swings, depressive phases or peculiarities in the behavior of the person concerned, an examination is necessary. Heavy sweating, swelling of the fingers or a diffuse anxiety life should be presented to a doctor. The symptoms indicate a health condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated. Breast lumps, female monthly menstrual irregularities and a decrease in well-being are other signs of illness. If the person suffering from changes in libido, severe tears and changes in the appearance of the skin, a doctor's visit should be made. Internal restlessness, fluctuations of weight and apathy are indications of a health disorder and must be clarified by a doctor. For cold limbs, hypersensitivity to temperature and rapid fatigue, a doctor should be consulted.
Treatment & Therapy
There are different approaches to treating a yellow body weakness. If a deficiency of progesterone has been found, the body is usually given progesterone medication. Candidates include agents such as Clomiphene, Dydrogesterone and Utrogest®. Ideally, a therapy is already carried out during the follicular maturation, because there is the cause of the luteal weakness. In some cases, estrogen is also given. Furthermore, the pregnancy hormone is used if a luteal weakness should be treated.
The estrogen dominance can be treated in different ways. Which treatment is preferred depends on the severity of the progesterone deficiency (and thus the estrogen dominance) and on the preferences of the patient in question. In addition to the treatment with chemical progesterone, for example, a treatment with plants come into consideration, which have progesterone-like active ingredients (phytohormones) and with which the natural progesterone production can be stimulated.
Sport, healthy nutrition, water, light therapy and natural remedies can also help in the treatment of progesterone deficiency. Acupressure, homeopathy, Schuessler salts and esoteric healing methods can be tried with appropriate mental disposition.
To prevent a progesterone deficiency, it is helpful to eat healthily and to live as stress-free as possible. Helpful are walks, especially in daylight, moderate sports (eg jogging or swimming), reduction of obesity, abstinence from alcohol, sugar, nicotine and animal fats.
Ideal is a diet that contains enough protein and is rich in fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals (especially magnesium), vitamins (especially vitamins B6, B12, C and E) and trace elements (especially selenium and zinc).
The progesterone deficiency is basically not to be regarded as an independent clinical picture, but occurs as a result or symptom of a hormone disorder. This can happen during the different stages of life, but it can also be related to the hormone system as a whole. A well-defined follow-up care for the progesterone deficiency therefore does not exist. Aftercare can vary from a lifelong hormone balance to no need for aftercare or therapy.
If a lifelong supply of hormone replacement therapy is found to be necessary, then it is necessary that the patient presents regularly to a specialist, preferably an endocrinologist. This examines the hormone status at fixed intervals and can adjust the treatment individually depending on the situation. When treated at certain stages of life or after certain events, such as pregnancy and childbirth, the intake of hormones after a certain time is no longer necessary.
Here, the appropriate drugs can then usually completely discontinued or gradually reduced. However, after each hormone replacement therapy must be checked whether the body is again able to independently ensure the necessary hormone levels permanently. The follow-up therefore mainly refers to regular follow-up examinations in order to guarantee that the patient will not be re-treated with hormone deficiency.
You can do that yourself
A deficiency of the hormone progesterone is clearly noticeable in everyday life. Symptoms range from sleep disorders to fatigue and emotional imbalances. The doctor will suggest a hormone therapy, which many sufferers, however, look critically, because in this therapy, the body is administered an artificially produced hormone, which can cause serious side effects.
For this reason, the question of an alternative is great. Since hormones are always influenced by a certain behavior, it is also possible to support the formation of the body's own progesterone by looking at one's own way of life. Even a change in the movement behavior can be beneficial here. People should be careful to exercise regularly, be it in sweaty sports or long walks in the fresh air. In addition, a healthy and balanced diet should be considered, rich in vitamins and fiber. Too much sugar, caffeine or bad fats have a negative effect on the hormone balance. Even sunlight can counteract the lack of progesterone, which usually already 15 minutes daily sunbathing are sufficient.
If the deficiency does not go back with these measures, alternatively to a hormone therapy also homeopathy, Schüßlersalze or other naturopathic procedures can be resorted to.