April 1, 2010
The human body functions best when it is balanced in every area. When one area is out of balance the entire body is effected. Traditional medicine as a whole has not recognized this powerful truth. At menopause, estrogen decreases by 40 to 60 percent. However, progesterone decreases are about 12 times greater nearly to zero, creating a hormone imbalance.
Estrogen and progesterone are closely interrelated in many ways. In normally functioning premenopausal women, estrogens are made from progesterone and/or from androgens within the cells of the ovaries. After menopause, estrogens are converted from adrenal produced androgens, primarily in the body fat. (This is a major reason for women to maintain normal body weight.) A key to hormone balance is knowing when estrogen becomes the dominant hormone and progesterone is deficient. There are very few western women that are deficient in estrogen. Most are deficient in progesterone.
The problem is not high levels of estrogen, but estrogen that is unopposed (balanced) by progestrone. It is worthwhile to compare unopposed estrogen to the progesterone balancing effect to see the importance of progesterone. Estrogen causes breast stimulation – progesterone protects against fibrocystic breasts; estrogen increases body fat – progesterone helps use fat for energy; estrogen causes salt and fluid retention – progesterone is a natural diuretic; estrogen increrases blood clotting – progesterone normalizes blood clotting; estrogen decreases sex drive – progesterone restores sex drive; estrogen reduces oxygen levels in all cells – progesterone restores proper cell oxygen levels; estrogen slightly restrains osteoclast function – progesterone stimulates osteoblast bone building; estrogen increases risk of autoimmune disorders – progesterone is a precursor of corticosteriods; estrogen increases risks of breast cancer – progesterone helps prevents breast cancer and estrogen increases risk of endometrial cancer – progesterone prevents endometrial cancer.