Abnormally low levels of progesterone may be the result of a miscarriage or ovulation issues. If you are concerned that you have low levels of progesterone, consult a physician. A progesterone test is done by taking a blood sample and can help determine such issues as infertility, the health and progress of pregnancy, as well as examine some potential risks for cancer. If your doctor has informed you that you have low progesterone levels, consider a diet to help.
Progesterone is made in your ovaries and testes. It is one of the two female sex hormones that contributes toward ovulation as well as overall female sexual development. The other hormone is estrogen. Progesterone levels follow a course throughout the menstrual cycle. They rise and fall depending on the release and fertilization of the egg. Most birth controls include synthetic progesterone, which helps to keep higher levels of progesterone in an effort to prevent fertilization.
Progesterone levels are lowest in men and post-menopausal women. Levels increase as days go by in a woman's ovulation cycle. If conception takes place, progesterone levels stay high. Progesterone levels naturally decline as a result of menopause, but you may also have hormonal imbalances that cause the lowering. Symptoms of low or decreasing progesterone levels include fatigue, irritability, hair loss, weight gain and digestive problems. Low progesterone can interfere with the ability to conceive.
Foods for Low Progesterone
A diet to help low progesterone should be rich in vitamin B-6. Foods rich in vitamin B-6 include enriched cereals, nuts and soy products. Turmeric, thyme and oregano are spices that have been known to help increase progesterone levels. Consider adding these spices to any meal. Many foods containing or based on animal products may have added hormones. In order to keep a healthy hormonal balance, avoid foods with added hormones.
Low Progesterone Dietary Supplements
Prometrium is a prescription treatment for low progesterone. Including this in your low progesterone diet would therefore require a doctor's recommendation. Non-prescription treatments include dietary supplements in the form of herbs. Chasteberry, Black Cohosh and Siberian Ginseng are all herbs linked to the promotion of hormonal balance. Consider adding these herbs to your low progesterone diet. Look for teas that include them or take an oral supplement by tablet or tincture.
Consult with your physician or nutritionist when making any alterations to your diet. Do not self-diagnosis low progesterone, as mistreating could cause greater complications with hormonal balance. Synthetic progesterone treatment has side effects which can include high blood pressure. Smoking cigarettes can also inhibit the healthy functioning of progesterone. Untreated low progesterone levels can lead to issues and complications in aging such as osteoporosis and loss of elasticity in the skin.