We all know that stress is bad. Stress raises your cortisol. But did you know that a prolonged rise in cortisol will steal your progesterone? In addition, estrogen and testosterone can also become depleted by the constant demand for cortisol over a longer period of time.
So you're stressed. Who isn't? Work has been really tough, not to mention the hour commute and traffic you deal with daily. Add 3 points to your "Cortisol Bucket." You miss a deadline, a sale, or lose a client. Add 3 more points to your bucket. And just your luck, you also get into a fender bender on the way to work and miss the biggest meeting of the year. Add 3 more points. At this point, the daily life stresses many of us face would have already overflowed our bodies with cortisol.
Our bodies were not made to deal with this much stress. Over time, the adrenal glands will run out of out the “back up” needed to make cortisol and adrenal fatigue sets in. So what does the body then use to produce more cortisol? It steals the very hormone that regulates menstrual cycles, aids the body in PMS symptoms, helps with fat burning, acts as a diuretic, keeps your blood pressure stabilized, and keeps androgens in check. It steals Progesterone.
Once the body has converted its progesterone to cortisol, it leaves us in an unbalanced state that many refer to as “estrogen dominance,” when really I think it should be called low progesterone in relation to estrogen. It’s not that we need to lower estrogen, its that we need to raise our progesterone.
1. Control your stress. Keep in mind stress can be physical, mental and emotional. Get enough sleep, resolve any mental and emotional blocks, and try to stop sweating the small stuff.
2. Keep progesterone levels up by using a natural transdermal progresterone cream
3. If you find you’re still stressed, consider taking an adrenal supplement or herb.
4. Eat healthier! Eating cruciferious veggies like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower everyday can help with hormonal imbalances.