Progesterone and Stress

We all know that constant stress can play havoc with our health and well being. In this post I will focus on the effects of excessive stress on progesterone levels.

Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands, and in the placentas of pregnant women. It has a calming effect, is a natural diuretic, regulates menstrual cycles, and prepares the body for conception and pregnancy. Some women can experience excessive levels of progesterone, which usually produces symptoms of PMS, but in general, progesterone is a vital and beneficial hormone.

Let’s examine what happens to progesterone if you are a woman under constant and chronic stress. When the body is pummeled with endless stress, the adrenal glands simply cannot keep up with the demand for more cortisol, so they convert more pregnenolone into cortisol to make up for the deficit. However, this has devastating effects on progesterone levels, since progesterone is also synthesized from pregnenolone. Basically, a woman who deals with excessive amounts of stress not only overtaxes her adrenal glands, but progesterone concentration also drops to a precipitously low level. So that calming, diuretic effect of progesterone falls away, and menstrual cycles become erratic or periods cease altogether. Sounds like fun, huh?

I cam tell you that running on an empty tank of progesterone is no fun at all. You retain water, you get irritable and cranky, and you lose your ability to navigate calmly through stressful situations. If you depend on a regular menstrual cycle as a reassurance that all is right with the world, then living with the mystery of whether or when you might have a period can be maddening. I found out during perimenopause that I actually WANTED a period, and I thought I would never feel that way.

I began retaining water like crazy after attaining IFBB Pro Status last July, and I knew something just wasn’t right. I didn’t feel like I was in my own body, as strange as it sounds. I began flailing, and went through a rebound which was disturbing and unexpected. My emotional barometer was all over the place, and I couldn’t get out of the funk that I was in. Gaining eight pounds (which is considerable for me), most of which was water weight, made me even more depressed.

Another completely irritating set of symptoms which suddenly popped up at the end of January 2015, and which persisted every single night is that I would wake up at around 4 a.m., completely drenched in sweat and with a sensation which could best be described as being lit on fire from the inside. I would throw the covers off and quickly disrobe, then rather quickly fall asleep, only to awaken about 30 minutes later, shivering and pulling the covers over me.

The nightmare finally subsided to a great extent once I began replenishing my body with bioidentical progesterone in late February 2015. Though I still retained a bit of water for several months, my weight returned to a reasonable 120 pounds, versus the 125 I had been at in the Fall of 2014, my hot and cold episodes subsided, I felt much calmer, and more like myself. Now that I have been on bioidentical progesterone for two years, I have maintained balance and feel infinitely better.

Had I removed the stressors that I had some control over, I am firmly convinced I would not have bottomed out with my progesterone levels like I did. Even if I had engaged in meditation more regularly a couple of years ago, I think I could have saved my progesterone levels from bottoming out. Trust me when I say that progesterone depletion can be incredibly disruptive and upsetting. And don’t think for a second that this is only a problem which women past the age of 45 deal with. I have come across female patients as young as 32 who had almost no progesterone in their lab tests.

If you do one thing to improve your health, please reduce your stress! You can do this by removing the stressors that you have some control over, performing breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, and meditation, enjoy time with friends, loved ones and pets more often, and letting go of anxiety and worry.

Who Is That Old Person In The Mirror?

young-vs-old

This post is dedicated to every single patient and client who has admitted to me that at some point after they began their descent into middle age, they looked in the mirror and no longer recognized the reflection staring back. The aging process can be terribly cruel, and when hormonal levels plummet, the physical changes can appear almost overnight. Taut, supple skin is replaced with saggy skin. A full, thick head of hair is reduced to a thin, lifeless mass. Joints begin to creak and resist natural movement. Brilliant white teeth begin to look dingy. Once full cheeks and lips become deflated. Grey and white hairs sprout and take over the scalp. Back fat and belly fat obliterate a once trim waistline. I could go on, but you get the idea.

wrinkled face

None of the changes associated with aging are fun, especially the physical changes which end up making us feel frustrated by a rapidly changing physical landscape. While some folks begrudgingly accept the aging process without considering any interventions, a growing segment of the aging population has turned to everything from adrenal support supplements, to hair dye, to dermal injectable fillers, to surgery, in an effort to fight the aging process every step of the way.

The good news is that there are more anti-aging options than ever before. In addition, there is a greater awareness of the importance of proper nutrition and regular exercise in fighting the aging process. But let’s face it. Many people still want a magic pill or an instant fix, and that is where cosmetic interventions such as fillers and surgery come into play.

Is it cheating to have treatments which make you feel more like yourself? I certainly don’t think so, nor do my patients. Unless you are on a mission to pump your face so full of fillers that you look like a Barbie doll, you can turn to fillers to restore volume which has been lost over the years and STILL LOOK LIKE YOU.

I offer the following injectable facial medical treatments:
Botox
Juvederm
Voluma
Kybella
Radiesse
Bellafill
Restylane

In addition, I also perform medical grade chemical peels, surgical skin tag and mole removal, and bioidentical hormone replacement.

For those of you in the Los Angeles area who are interested in any of the treatments or services I offer, please check out my medical site: http://www.drstaceynaito.com/#!procedures/c1pna

Who Is THAT In The Mirror?

young-vs-old

This post is dedicated to every single patient and client who has admitted to me that at some point after they began their descent into middle age, they looked in the mirror and no longer recognized the reflection staring back. The aging process can be terribly cruel, and when hormonal levels plummet, the physical changes can appear almost overnight. Taut, supple skin is replaced with saggy skin. A full, thick head of hair is reduced to a thin, lifeless mass. Joints begin to creak and resist natural movement. Brilliant white teeth begin to look dingy. Once full cheeks and lips become deflated. Grey and white hairs sprout and take over the scalp. Back fat and belly fat obliterate a once trim waistline. I could go on, but you get the idea.

wrinkled face

None of the changes associated with aging are fun, especially the physical changes which end up making us feel frustrated by a rapidly changing physical landscape. While some folks begrudgingly accept the aging process without considering any interventions, a growing segment of the aging population has turned to everything from adrenal support supplements, to hair dye, to dermal injectable fillers, to surgery, in an effort to fight the aging process every step of the way.

The good news is that there are more anti-aging options than ever before. In addition, there is a greater awareness of the importance of proper nutrition and regular exercise in fighting the aging process. But let’s face it. Many people still want a magic pill or an instant fix, and that is where cosmetic interventions such as fillers and surgery come into play.

Is it cheating to have treatments which make you feel more like yourself? I certainly don’t think so, nor do my patients. Unless you are on a mission to pump your face so full of fillers that you look like a Barbie doll, you can turn to fillers to restore volume which has been lost over the years and STILL LOOK LIKE YOU.

For those of you in the Los Angeles area who are interested in injectable filler treatments, Botox, chemical peels, or bioidentical hormone replacement, please check out my medical site: http://www.drstaceynaito.com/#!procedures/c1pna

Don’t Feel Like Yourself? Hormone Imbalance Could Be The Problem.

Portrait of a happy middle aged couple together outdoors

Portrait of a happy middle aged couple together outdoors

Are you experiencing any of the following?

Low energy
Insomnia
Irritability
Hair loss
Weight gain
Mood swings
Hot Flashes
Night sweats
Skin changes
Dry skin
Brittle nails and hair
Decreased libido
Erectile dysfunction
Difficulty concentrating
Memory loss
Depression
Anxiety
Muscle loss
Decreased strength

The above signs and symptoms are usually a clear sign of hormonal balances which are a function of the aging process. It is pretty widely known that women go through a process in which their estrogen and progesterone levels diminish and bring about symptoms of menopause which can be downright frustrating. However, men also go through a decline in testosterone as they age, with some men experiencing a sharp or early decline which manifests in troubling symptoms which have an adverse effect on their day to day lives. This decline, known as andropause, can be monitored through salivary or serum testing of hormone levels and treated with BHRT.

The good news is that in many cases, natural supplements and certain food choices can correct these issues, but some individuals, both men and women, may require supplementation with bioidentical hormones, also referred to as BHRT. Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones which are produced naturally within the body. As a result, the body treats bioidentical hormones exactly like hormones produced within the body, which means that the body’s hormone balance can be restored.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and interested in booking a consultation with me for hormone balancing, please visit: http://www.drstaceynaito.com/#!natural-hormone-support/c1wd8

Running On Empty – Progesterone And Stress

Stress meterWe all know that constant stress can play havoc with our health and well being. In this post I will focus on the effects of excessive stress on progesterone levels.

Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands, and in the placentas of pregnant women. It has a calming effect, is a natural diuretic, regulates menstrual cycles, and prepares the body for conception and pregnancy. Some women can experience excessive levels of progesterone which usually produces symptoms of PMS, but in general, progesterone is a vital and beneficial hormone.

Let’s examine what happens to progesterone if you are under constant and chronic stress. When the body is pummeled with endless stress, the adrenal glands simply cannot keep up with the demand for more cortisol, so they turn to progesterone, converting it into cortisol to make up for the deficit. Eventually, however, not only do cortisol levels plummet, but progesterone levels also drop to precipitously low levels. So that calming, diuretic effect of progesterone falls away, and menstrual cycles become erratic or periods cease altogether. Sounds like fun, huh?

I cam tell you that running on an empty tank of progesterone is no fun at all. You retain water, you get irritable and cranky, and you lose your ability to navigate calmly through stressful situations. If you’re like me and you depend on a regular menstrual cycle as a reassurance that all is right with the world, then living with the mystery of whether or when you might have a period can be maddening. I found out that I actually WANT a period, and I thought I would never feel that way.

Though I had regular periods until very recently, I began retaining water like crazy after attaining IFBB Pro Status last July, and I knew something just wasn’t right. I didn’t feel like I was in my own body, as strange as it sounds. I began flailing, and went through a rebound which was disturbing and unexpected. My emotional barometer was all over the place, and I couldn’t get out of the funk that I was in. Gaining eight pounds (which is considerable for me), most of which was water weight, made me even more depressed.

Another completely irritating set of symptoms which suddenly popped up at the end of January and which persisted every single night is that I would wake up at around 4 a.m., completely drenched in sweat and with a sensation which could best be described as being lit on fire from the inside. I would throw the covers off and quickly disrobe, then rather quickly fall asleep, only to awaken about 30 minutes later, shivering and pulling the covers over me.

The nightmare finally subsided to a great extent once I began replenishing my body with bioidentical progesterone in late February. Though I still retain a bit of water, my weight is back to a reasonable 120 lbs. versus the 125 I had been at in the Fall, my hot and cold episodes have subsided, i feel much calmer and I feel more like myself.

Had I removed the stressors that I had some control over, I am firmly convinced I would not have bottomed out with my progesterone levels like I did. Even if I had engaged in meditation more regularly a couple of years ago, I think I could have saved my progesterone levels from bottoming out. Trust me when I say that progesterone depletion can be incredibly disruptive and upsetting. And don’t think for a second that this is only a problem which women past the age of 45 deal with. I have come across female patients as young as 32 who had almost no progesterone in their lab tests.

If you do one thing to improve your health, please reduce your stress! You can do this by removing the stressors that you have some control over, practice breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, and meditation, enjoy time with friends, loved ones and pets more often, and let go of anxiety and worry.