According to Dr. Julie Durnan, N.D., symptoms of progesterone deficiency manifest as infertility, acne, mood swings, low libido, brittle nails and slow metabolism. Additional symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, difficulty focusing, migraines, depression, sugar cravings and anxiety. The cortisol released when the body is stressed is known to inhibit the production of progesterone, so it is important to develop effective coping mechanisms to deal with stress.
The body must maintain a delicate balance between hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, and a surplus of one type of hormone can overpower others. Durnan explains that many foods are manufactured with estrogen-like chemicals called xenoestrogens, which wreak havoc on the body when consumed in large quantities. It is recommended to avoid products that are contained in plastics and cut back on animals products to avoid these chemicals and keep the estrogen and progesterone balance in harmony. Durnan warns that going overboard with exercise can also cause progesterone levels to drop, so people should keep fitness sessions to a moderate pace and participate for between 30 and 60 minutes a few times each week. It is especially important for women who are hoping to conceive to take necessary steps toward achieving healthy progesterone levels, because the hormone plays a vital role in becoming pregnant.