Stress, years without a period & progesterone

Stress, years without a period & progesterone

Stress, years without a period & progesterone

The following is a transcript of an interview between Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, PhD and Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt, Medical Director of Full Potential Health Care  revealing the links between stress, hormones and staying young. Patrick Wanis and Dr. Mike also reveal what women who have not had a period in years should do, and they discuss the significance of progesterone  For previous part of this transcript (Part 2), click here:

Dr. Mike: I think a lot of women just by fixing their adrenals and reducing their stress, their periods become regular, their symptoms go away, their breasts are no longer tender, they’re not getting menstrual cramps, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Patrick:Briefly, what about women who go for a long period and, in some cases, years without a period?

Dr. Mike: They definitely need a 24-hour urine, as well as they need to be looking at the pituitary gland in terms of is your brain telling your ovaries to kick out stuff? Is your brain telling your thyroid — that’s where you look at things like FSH and LH, prolactin, TSH, ACTH. These are all levels of the pituitary part of the brain. The pituitary is part of the brain that secretes what’s called the gonadotropins or the hormones that make your body secrete the other hormones.

Patrick: In a moment, we’ll take a look at the breakdown of hormones. You talked there about progesterone. Is the level of progesterone critical to the health of both men and women?

Dr. Mike: Yeah, just like cholesterol is. Look how far up the chart it is. You’re looking at the chart I’m sorry the listeners can’t see this chart. Perhaps you can figure out some way to put it into the – [View and download the chart here: Downloadable Hormonal Chart – allow time for chart to open – it is printable quality.]

Patrick: I’ll put it on the blog.

Dr. Mike:If you look at the very top, it says cholesterol and then, as you go down the pathway, about two down, what pops up? Progesterone.

Progesterone, through a few more steps, goes over to aldosterone over on the right hand side of the chart, which is your sodium-potassium balance, it goes down to cortisol and cortisone, which are your stress hormones, and then it goes over to DHEA and androstenedione which are your other sex hormones.


Patrick: So why not simply supplement or increase your pregnenolone levels?

Dr. Mike: You could. However, now you’re assuming that your pregnenolone is going to be converted only to the progesterone, which is not necessarily the case. If you notice, pregnenolone also pops over to the right to go down and become androgens.

So the pregnenolone kind of takes a direct path down over towards the DHEA. Theoretically, I suppose you could; however, I find it much easier to use a bioidentical progesterone cream because pregnenolone is basically something you can only take orally.

If you look at hormones and think about hormones for a moment, hormones are meant to be excreted by an organ and go directly into the bloodstream, that’s part of the definition of a hormone. Hormones do not go into the mouth, down through the stomach and in through the liver before they go anywhere else.

I tend to like to mimic nature as much as possible, which kind of takes pregnenolone off the shelf for me because I’m not mimicking nature, number one, and number two, I’m now overburdening the liver. And trust me, our liver has got enough to deal with, with the environmental toxins we’re exposed to every day, it doesn’t need to do any more work.

Patrick: Okay. So the goal is to try and get the hormone directly into the bloodstream. But there are versions of pregnenolone in either a sublingual form or a spray form; do they not work?

Dr. Mike: There are a lot of doctors that will use things like troches, which are dissolvable compounds, like chewing tobacco, you stick it between the cheek and your gum and you let it sit there, you’re swallowing a certain amount of it. I guess the pregnenolone sublingual spray would be an acceptable alternative, provided you don’t swallow because once you swallow, you’re going to be taking some of it through the liver.

I just try to avoid overtaxing our poor liver as it is. We’ve done enough damage to it in our lifetimes. It doesn’t need any extra help.

PatrickSo to summarize what we’ve discussed so far, we’re saying that hormonal health is obviously critical to your overall health because the level and the quality of hormones determines the quality of your organs and thus, determines the quality and the function of your entire body.

You also talked about the fact that right now based on what science knows, our body can live, depending on the kind of stress we present it with, can live to about 120 years of age. As we get older, it’s harder for us to maintain the levels of hormones that we had in our 20s. The earlier we start, the healthier we can be and we can stay because we can maintain those levels as much as possible.

You also talked about the four main stressors, which you abbreviate to an acronym, DEEP – diet, emotions, environment and physical state. You gave us an example of a patient who experiences extraordinary pain leading up to her period and that that’s not natural – that’s an imbalance and usually that’s an imbalance of hormones that might be connected either to her diet, her emotions, her environment, or her physical state.

Now, let’s talk for a moment about the difference between the hormones that are stress hormones and the hormones that are sex hormones. You started talking about how pregnenolone can break down into progesterone and then 17-hydroxyprogesterone that then breaks off into the sex hormones or the adrenal corticosteroid hormones. Explain how that works briefly.

For Part 4 of the transcript and interview – the continuation – click here:

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