See if you know what hormone in your body is responsible for all of the following:
If you don’t have enough of this hormone…
• You’ll almost always get monthly PMS.
• You may have a hard time falling asleep, or you may wake up in the middle of the night to not sleep for several hours.
• You may get heavy periods, fibroid tumors, breast and/or ovarian cysts.
• You may have anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
• If you’re menopausal, without it you’ll be hot flashing and night sweating.
• Fluid retention, endometriosis, infertility, miscarriages and premenstrual migraines are very common.
• Your doctor has most likely never tested you for this hormone and yet it is critical to overall well-being for any woman.
So, what is this mystery hormone? It’s progesterone. About four out of five women that come in to see us for health issues have low levels of progesterone, and the sad thing is that it is so easy to test for with a simple, routine blood test.
But for some reason, doctors generally don’t test for it. Here’s why: The average range on the blood test for progesterone ranges from 0 to 400. So accordingly, even if you are at 0, you are within the normal range. Your doctor tells you everything “looks good” on the labs. Does this sound familiar to those readers of last month's article about thyroid?
Four years ago at our clinic we kept track of how many women were prescribed antidepressants for many of the symptoms mentioned in the above test you just took. Unfortunately, 72 percent of these women are on at least one antidepressant when they could have gotten a prescription for bio-identical progesterone and been fine. There are no side effects with natural progesterone, but there are many side effects from taking antidepressants. (Yes, of course there is a time and place for antidepressants, but they are grossly overused.)
Let’s look at a short patient case history. Megan came to our clinic with several health issues. She is 37 years old, has 4 children, and works part time in a law office (notice the stress load already?). Her chief complaint was her PMS issues, along with severe menstrual cramping and bleeding. She had had two breast cysts, and over the past two years had had several panic attacks. Her biggest concern was her sleep. She said she woke up in the middle of the night and “couldn’t seem to turn her brain off.” Hours later she finally fell asleep again, but then the alarm went off and she felt tired for the rest of the day.
We ran a simple panel of tests on her hormones (tests that no doctor had ever run on her before) and it showed she was making very little progesterone and her thyroid was low. We put her on an oral form of progesterone taken at bedtime, along with some natural thyroid, and WOW what a difference in her life! (Watch other bio-identical hormone stories here.)
She immediately noticed a much-improved quality of sleep, which gave her more energy during the day. The biggest thing she saw was a huge decrease in her anxiety levels. She was more emotionally level throughout the entire month, and, if she is like most other women using progesterone, she’ll probably never have a breast cyst again.
What to do? Talk to your doctor about having him check your progesterone levels. And when he/she tells you that “everything looks good” don’t be satisfied with “low normal” on your tests. After all, do you enjoy living life in a “low normal” way? I didn’t think so.
Dr. Robert Jones is the Clinic Director at the Utah Wellness Institute in Draper, Utah. He just published a FREE DVD that explains hormone imbalances. You can get the free DVD at utahwellnessinstitute.com.