Low Progesterone, Stress, and Inflammation

by | Sep 14, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Interestingly, this is exactly the pattern we see in one group of women who are known for having chronically low P and staggeringly low levels of ALLO: women on the birth control pill. As I talk about at length in my book, women on the pill have cortisol responses that are notorious for misbehavior. Their levels of cortisol that are too high when they are at rest, they are too low when they are experiencing stress (see e.g., this), and their daily curve is too flat. And every other part of the signaling pathway is equally jacked… but no one in the research literature has been able to offer a good explanation for why…

But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]You all probably know that cortisol is a stress hormone. But what you probably don’t know is that one of the tools that the body uses to regulate cortisol release in the body is P. It does this primarily through the action of allopregnanolone [ALLO], which is a neurosteroid that gets released when P is broken down by the body (read more here). And this is a big deal because because a lot of mood-related disorders – including major depression, postpartum depression, PTSD and alcohol use disorders – are characterized by (among other features) cortisol dysregulation (see this for a review). These dysfunctions generally involve cortisol being too high when the body is in a resting state and being too low when the body is stressed.

Interestingly, this is exactly the pattern we see in one group of women who are known for having chronically low P and staggeringly low levels of ALLO: women on the birth control pill. As I talk about at length in my book, women on the pill have cortisol responses that are notorious for misbehavior. Their levels of cortisol that are too high when they are at rest, they are too low when they are experiencing stress (see e.g., this), and their daily curve is too flat. And every other part of the signaling pathway is equally jacked… but no one in the research literature has been able to offer a good explanation for why…

But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]First, stress.

You all probably know that cortisol is a stress hormone. But what you probably don’t know is that one of the tools that the body uses to regulate cortisol release in the body is P. It does this primarily through the action of allopregnanolone [ALLO], which is a neurosteroid that gets released when P is broken down by the body (read more here). And this is a big deal because because a lot of mood-related disorders – including major depression, postpartum depression, PTSD and alcohol use disorders – are characterized by (among other features) cortisol dysregulation (see this for a review). These dysfunctions generally involve cortisol being too high when the body is in a resting state and being too low when the body is stressed.

Interestingly, this is exactly the pattern we see in one group of women who are known for having chronically low P and staggeringly low levels of ALLO: women on the birth control pill. As I talk about at length in my book, women on the pill have cortisol responses that are notorious for misbehavior. Their levels of cortisol that are too high when they are at rest, they are too low when they are experiencing stress (see e.g., this), and their daily curve is too flat. And every other part of the signaling pathway is equally jacked… but no one in the research literature has been able to offer a good explanation for why…

But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]So, let’s get right to it.

First, stress.

You all probably know that cortisol is a stress hormone. But what you probably don’t know is that one of the tools that the body uses to regulate cortisol release in the body is P. It does this primarily through the action of allopregnanolone [ALLO], which is a neurosteroid that gets released when P is broken down by the body (read more here). And this is a big deal because because a lot of mood-related disorders – including major depression, postpartum depression, PTSD and alcohol use disorders – are characterized by (among other features) cortisol dysregulation (see this for a review). These dysfunctions generally involve cortisol being too high when the body is in a resting state and being too low when the body is stressed.

Interestingly, this is exactly the pattern we see in one group of women who are known for having chronically low P and staggeringly low levels of ALLO: women on the birth control pill. As I talk about at length in my book, women on the pill have cortisol responses that are notorious for misbehavior. Their levels of cortisol that are too high when they are at rest, they are too low when they are experiencing stress (see e.g., this), and their daily curve is too flat. And every other part of the signaling pathway is equally jacked… but no one in the research literature has been able to offer a good explanation for why…

But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]Typically doctors become aware of low P because women are spotting between periods or they are having difficulty getting or staying pregnant. It is also sometimes co-diagnosed with things like PCOS, endometriosis, and perimenopause. However, a growing body of research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that low P may show up in women as difficulty regulating stress, inflammation, and mood. And this is a big deal because there are a huge number of downstream consequences that come along with these sorts of issues, including problems with mental health, weight gain, and cognitive decline.

So, let’s get right to it.

First, stress.

You all probably know that cortisol is a stress hormone. But what you probably don’t know is that one of the tools that the body uses to regulate cortisol release in the body is P. It does this primarily through the action of allopregnanolone [ALLO], which is a neurosteroid that gets released when P is broken down by the body (read more here). And this is a big deal because because a lot of mood-related disorders – including major depression, postpartum depression, PTSD and alcohol use disorders – are characterized by (among other features) cortisol dysregulation (see this for a review). These dysfunctions generally involve cortisol being too high when the body is in a resting state and being too low when the body is stressed.

Interestingly, this is exactly the pattern we see in one group of women who are known for having chronically low P and staggeringly low levels of ALLO: women on the birth control pill. As I talk about at length in my book, women on the pill have cortisol responses that are notorious for misbehavior. Their levels of cortisol that are too high when they are at rest, they are too low when they are experiencing stress (see e.g., this), and their daily curve is too flat. And every other part of the signaling pathway is equally jacked… but no one in the research literature has been able to offer a good explanation for why…

But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

If your mood is all over the place and you’re having a hard time managing your stress right now, you’re not alone. A lot of us are struggling. For some of you, though, your quarantine / the-world-is-a-dumpster-fire anxiety may be being made a whole lot worse by low progesterone [P], or low P. Although low P is typically called a luteal phase deficiency [LPD], I think some rebranding is in order. My hope is that calling this struggle low P – just like calling hypogonadism, low T – will start more conversation about this topic and get it the attention it deserves.

Typically doctors become aware of low P because women are spotting between periods or they are having difficulty getting or staying pregnant. It is also sometimes co-diagnosed with things like PCOS, endometriosis, and perimenopause. However, a growing body of research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that low P may show up in women as difficulty regulating stress, inflammation, and mood. And this is a big deal because there are a huge number of downstream consequences that come along with these sorts of issues, including problems with mental health, weight gain, and cognitive decline.

So, let’s get right to it.

First, stress.

You all probably know that cortisol is a stress hormone. But what you probably don’t know is that one of the tools that the body uses to regulate cortisol release in the body is P. It does this primarily through the action of allopregnanolone [ALLO], which is a neurosteroid that gets released when P is broken down by the body (read more here). And this is a big deal because because a lot of mood-related disorders – including major depression, postpartum depression, PTSD and alcohol use disorders – are characterized by (among other features) cortisol dysregulation (see this for a review). These dysfunctions generally involve cortisol being too high when the body is in a resting state and being too low when the body is stressed.

Interestingly, this is exactly the pattern we see in one group of women who are known for having chronically low P and staggeringly low levels of ALLO: women on the birth control pill. As I talk about at length in my book, women on the pill have cortisol responses that are notorious for misbehavior. Their levels of cortisol that are too high when they are at rest, they are too low when they are experiencing stress (see e.g., this), and their daily curve is too flat. And every other part of the signaling pathway is equally jacked… but no one in the research literature has been able to offer a good explanation for why…

But it has to do something with P. It would be impossible not to.

Although this might sound like bad news, this could be great news for therapeutic treatments. ALLO may be able to be used to treat HPA-axis dysfunction (and the resulting mental health side-effects) that are so often observed in women on the birth control pill. And this could be HUGE. So many women go on the pill because they feel like they don’t have better options. Anything that we can do to ease the mental health burden put on these women is a huge step in improving the quality of reproductive healthcare until we have more contraceptive options.

Understanding the role that P and ALLO play in regulating cortisol could also provide insight into some of the unpleasant symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. During the ever-magical perimenopausal transition, levels of P and ALLO decline and levels of cortisol go up. And I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Supporting P and ALLO during this hormonal transition could possibly ease some of the cortisol-driven symptoms that women have during this time, such as mood changes, hair loss, and the accumulation of belly fat (more on this in a minute).

Having low P can also lead to elevated inflammatory activity in the body since P and ALLO help keep inflammation in check. And this is no bueno since inflammation is linked to things like heart disease and certain cancers, as well as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problems with cognitive function. So anti-inflammatory are the activities of P, P and ALLO have been found to be therapeutic in treating traumatic brain injury, cocaine addiction, and postpartum depression. And research in animal models has also found it to show promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to boost levels of P and its metabolic side-kick ALLO?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can naturally support your body’s synthesis of P and ALLO. The two that seem to be the most important are (a) eating a nutrient-dense diet, rich in vitamins C and B6, magnesium, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids and (b) managing stress. If you are doing all of these things and still have low P, you can consider supporting progesterone production by supplementing with Vitex agnus-castus, using a micronized progesterone cream, or by supporting your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor or naturopath before trying any of these latter ideas, though, since you should have your P levels monitored.

If you aren’t in a position to be supporting P – either because you aren’t ready to ditch your birth control pills or you are menopausal and aren’t interested in hormonal replacement – all is not lost. You can help promote cortisol regulation and manage inflammation in other ways.

For example, a growing body of research suggests that many foods can modulate inflammation and improve stress-related mood disorders. Diet is the most potent modifiable risk factor in the fight against systemic low-grade inflammation. And this is super-important because chronic inflammation is involved in several chronic diseases, including mood disorders, but also cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So, what should you eat? It’s the usual suspects. Omega-3 fatty acids have well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects because they keep the immune system in check. Foods rich in omega-3s are walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon, salmon, and salmon (I really like salmon, so I stopped reading the research paper once I saw that: YUM!). So heroic are these fats in the fight against depression that a recent meta-analysis suggests that they may be an effective treatment in perinatal and postpartum depression. Which is huge! Let food be thy medicine, indeed.

Another bioactive compound that packs a big punch when it comes to brain function is vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in brain development and neuronal activity and deficiencies are a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Major dietary sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, shrimp, herring, sardines, and (my favorite!) salmon.

Lastly, find yourself a good source of resveratrol. This naturally occurring antioxidant shows beneficial effects on depression and anxiety by suppressing inflammation in the periphery, as well as in the brain. Resveratrol, which is present at high levels in red grapes, nuts, dark chocolate, and pomegranates. It is also in red wine, which is my favorite. It has positive metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is neuroprotective.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am going to leave P alone – and start to talk about something else – I have one more Progesterone-a-rific post left to share. I have been reading some super interesting things about progesterone and pain perception that every woman needs to know. The reason you need to know is because it will arm you with the information you need to dismiss your doctor’s claim that your unexplained physical symptoms are all in your head. I will break down everything you need to know to school your doctor on pain perception and hormones. Until then, take care and be well.

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