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Signs and Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency

written by: Suzanne Florin • edited by: BStone • updated: 1/14/2011

Progesterone deficiency symptoms are usually experienced by perimenopausal women, as the ovaries tend to produce little quantity of progesterone. These symptoms can also be manifestations of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) among younger women.

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    Causes of Hormone Deficiencies

    Hormones fluctuate as a result of several factors such as stress, unhealthy diet, menopause, and ovulation. A decrease or increase in the levels of hormones in the body can cause physical discomfort and mood changes. In particular, low levels of progesterone hormone can also cause a drop in serotonin production , a chemical in the brain that manipulates the mood of a person. Thus, a person may feel more susceptible to anxiety and depression, and may experience insomnia or broken sleep patterns.

    An insufficient supply of progesterone can also cause abnormal menstruation cycle and bleeding. If the level of estrogen is higher than the progesterone levels, yeast infections, hormone-related cancers, and mood swings are likely to occur. For pregnant women, particularly those in their first trimester, progesterone deficiency increases the risk of miscarriage.

    There are several treatment options for those who are experiencing a drop in progesterone supply. These medications can effectively balance the hormones and bring back a person's vitality. That is why it is best to be aware of progesterone deficiency symptoms so that prompt treatment may be given, and severe medical conditions can be prevented.

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    Progesterone Deficiency Symptoms

    According to Dr. Candice Lane, a prominent physician and specialist in bioidentical hormone and nutrient replacement, hormone loss occurs among women as much as ten to 15 years before menopause starts. The decline in testosterone usually happens first, followed by progesterone, and lastly, estrogen. Once women reach their 40s, they experience physical discomfort that can be mild to severe. These symptoms are typically attributed to progesterone deficiency. Such symptoms also occur to women with PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), which is often linked with stress and effects of birth control pills.

    The most common progesterone deficiency symptoms include:

    Depression, Anxiety, Irritability

    Low levels of the progesterone hormone can result to insomnia, a condition that greatly affects mental alertness and healthy mood of a person. This results to crankiness and fatigue, as the body becomes more receptive to stress. In relation to this, a deficiency in progesterone affects serotonin production. Serotonin is a neuro-transmitter that helps one maintain a positive and healthy mood. A drop in serotonin triggers depression and anxiety.

    Osteoporosis, Constipation, Bloating, Indigestion

    Progesterone stimulates bone building; thus a deficiency in this hormone increases the risk of bone loss or osteoporosis. According to Dr. Randolph, co-founder of Natural Hormone Institute, progesterone plays a key role in overall vitality and intestinal health. Thus, women who have progesterone deficiency are prone to chronic constipation, indigestion and other stomach problems.

    Pain, Inflammation, Muscle Aches, Headaches

    Progesterone deficiency has been linked to a decrease in the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. The result of such is sensitivity to touch and intense feeling of pain all over the body, or fibromyalgia.

    Pain and Tenderness of the Breasts, Fibroids, Increase in HDL Cholesterol, Weight Gain

    Progesterone is essential for the proper development and growth of uterus and the breats. A decrease in progesterone can cause an increase in estrogen. Excessive estrogen supply or "estrogen-dominance" can cause several medical conditions such as hypertension, fibroids, water retention, and endometrial cancer.

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    Resources

    Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency, From

    http://hormonehealthmd.com/2008/09/03/progesterone-deficiency/

    Estrogen Dominance Information and Solutions, From

    http://www.hormonewell.com/womenshh_estrogen_dominance.html

    Progesterone: University of Michigan Health System, From

    http://health.med.umich.edu/