Psychiatrist: What most women don’t know about their hormones
Psychiatrist: What most women don’t know about their hormones – and why you start drinking and smoking more around age 40
- Dr Daniel Amen is a psychiatrist and brain specialist based in California
- He revealed low levels of progesterone causes insomnia, anxiety, depression
A top psychiatrist has revealed the reason most women turn to unhealthy habits like drinking alcohol and smoking in their 40s.
Dr Daniel Amen, a brain specialist from California, explained the biological reasons which cause women to make lifestyle changes in the decade before they approach menopause.
The psychiatrist often shares information that explains common phenomenon that bewilders the general public.
In a recent video, he revealed that falling levels of progesterone ten years before menopause cause insomnia, anxiety, heavy cramps, frequent migraines, and irritability.
‘Your hormones can enhance your life,’ the doctor said. ‘They are extremely important.’
Dr Daniel Amen [pictured], a brain specialist from California, explained the biological reasons which cause women to make lifestyle changes in the decade before they approach menopause
‘An interesting thing about absorbing hormones that most women do not know is that progesterone – which makes you feel calm – begins to drop ten years before women go into menopause.’
The main function of progesterone occurs during a woman’s childbearing years where the hormone prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilised egg to implant and grow.
Progesterone thickens the uterine lining and is essential to support a healthy pregnancy.
But the levels drop later in life because the hormone is extremely hard to make – and is made only after ovulation.
As women stop ovulating into their forties and begin their anovulatory cycles, the body stops producing progesterone naturally.
‘So, around the age of forty I’ve noticed that a lot of women start feeling anxious or they have trouble sleeping and they’re more irritable but they don’t understand why.’
He went on, ‘And so they start drinking alcohol more or smoking more pot – or they end up on antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and sleeping pills.’
‘But the best thing for them to do would be to get their progesterone levels measured on the 19th or 20th day of their menstrual cycle and talk to their doctor about the best ways they can get natural progesterone to regulate their mood.’
Foods that can naturally increase progesterone levels
Many women in the comments were unaware of the importance of progesterone.
‘I’m thirty-nine and my anxiety has skyrocketed recently and I never get sleep,’ one woman wrote. ‘Most medical doctors don’t trust women and tell us feeling like this is normal when it isn’t.’
‘Thank you for sharing this information – I’m in my fifties and take progesterone every night. I sleep like a baby and do not have hot flashes. No alcohol!’