Midlife equates to hormonal changes. And hormonal changesÂ now come from sources that didn’t exist generations ago. Â For instance, we are living more and more in a world swimming in estrogen, and estrogen mimickers. Â Xenoextrogens are in BPA, PCBs, flame retardants, pesticides, and herbicides. TheyÂ areÂ in rigid plastic cups, water bottles, and food storage containers. They are in toys, flooring, and shower curtains as well as in nail polish, hair spray, and shampoo. The list includes thousands of products.
Iâ€™ve been reading research that suggests we need to balance all of that estrogen with more progesterone. Women who reach menopause have often lost 50% of their estrogen, but nearly 100% of their progesterone. That imbalance triggers hot flashes, anxiety, migraines, poor sleep, and bone loss, and other common menopausal symptoms. Itâ€™s about balance. Â My friend Jodi Baglien, the aromatherapist, uses Vitex oil in some of her products, including Womenâ€™s Balanceâ€”a favorite of mine. Vitex or Chastetree berry is known to increase progesterone production. Â My suggestion is that you find a practitioner you trust and ask about your estrogen/progesterone levels.
Alternatives newsletter,Â drdavidwilliams.com, states â€œIn menopausal women, twoÂ to four drops daily can be a godsend when it comes to alleviatingÂ hot flashes, stabilizing moods, overcoming depression, and dealing with other symptoms. It can also aid in reversing osteoporosis and preventing various forms of cancer and heart disease, as mentioned earlier.â€
Over-the-counter natural progesterone creams have been available for the last 30-plus years. But the results among patients were often inconsistent.
With creams, absorption rates vary, measuring dosages can be difficult, and although most over-the- counter creams reportedly contain about 20 mg of progesterone per 1/4 teaspoon, actual concentrations tend to vary from one manufacturer to another. Creams have their place, but Dr.Williams believes oral drops are now the better way to go.
Progesterone dissolved in vitamin E is absorbed by the gums and tongue almost immediately. When used correctly, it is practically impossible to overdose.
The drops he recommends are ProgonB-L 4x, which are sold under the Bezwecken label. One of the best prices found is from Natural Nutritionals (404-591-0405, naturalnutritionals.com). A 10 ml bottle costs $31. That would be about 200 drops, or a 50-day supply at four drops a day.
Each drop contains 4 mg of progesterone, and a typical dose would be three to four drops per day. I recommend splitting the daily dosageâ€”half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon or evening. Since this product is absorbed in the mouth, rub the drops around your gums with your tongue before swallowing, and donâ€™t rinse your mouth with any liq- uid for several minutes afterward. Just some food for thought.
And speaking of food for thought, here are some of the latest recommendations for supplements and nutrition from Dr. Low Dog in her book, Life is the Best Medicine:
- Â Multivitaminâ€“basic
- Â VitaminD3 – get level checked(1000-2000 IU/d)
- Â Magnesiumâ€“ 300-500 mg/d
- Â Omega3â€“eat fish2 x week or take 600-800 mg EPA, 300-500 mg DHA
- Poultry< Meat and Eggs Cheese and Yogurt
- Fish and Seafood
- Fruits, Vegetables, Grains (mostly whole)
- Olive oil, Beans, Nuts, Legumes,
- Seeds, Herbs, Spices
- Green tea and wine!
Physical Movement– Dr. Low Dog isÂ a big proponent of the 10,000 steps a day, which I find quite hard to accomplish even when Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ve walked much much more than that!
- Â Helps maintain healthy body weight, muscle tone and bone density.
- Â Reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Â Relieves depression as well as psychotherapy and medication
- Gill A, et al. J Fam Pract 2010; 59(9):530
Personally, I walk our dog twice a day. Iâ€™m guessing itâ€™s maybe a mile total, plus I put in three workouts a week using the weight machines at Snap Fitness. Iâ€™m not enthralled with weight machines because it gets boring, but I know it is important for my bone strength and muscle retention to do so.Â Â The rest of my exercise comes from housework, yard work, and chasing my husband around. Â Never forgetâ€¦ play is important to our wellbeing. And that brings me to my pet projectâ€¦creativity. Â See you next week!