The Hemp Connection + [tips]

Pump Up Your Progesterone, Part 1 Watch Out for Environmental Estrogens!

I had the most wonderful Sunday afternoon with a newly pregnant client and her husband. She's been told that her progesterone is low, and she was interested in knowing if there is anything she can do, naturally, to help improve the outcome of her pregnancy. We discussed five different categories of actions. Since this is an issue many women face, I'm adding them to the lineup of planned posts, today being the first of five installments.

Progesterone can be low if estrogen is high. In many cases, it's not the natural estrogen your own body is making, but environmental chemicals resembling estrogen that confuse the body.

To reduce your exposure to unnecessary estrogen…

1. Stay away from plastic. Store your leftovers in glass containers. Be absolutely sure your food does not come in contact with plastic or Saran during heating. Avoid plastic water bottles; metal varieties are pretty easy to find in your Whole Foods or REI store.

2. Use natural cosmetics and hair dyes. inCYST Provider Carmina McGee, who is a licensed aesthetician as well as a registered dietitian, has shared that the primary offending chemical, phthalate, is gradually disappearing out of cosmetics. But just to be sure, read your cosmetic and nail polish labels. Make your cosmetic shopping easy by using an all-natural brand such as Body Shop or Arbonne.

3. Get to know your local eco-friendly decorating and remodeling stores. I recently painted my condo with paint that was free of volatile organic compounds (also known as non-VOC). I used the Benjamin Moore brand which was available at a local Ace Hardware, because I liked the color selection…but there were several eco-friendly brands, and remodeling stores I found while shopping around. One store also had quite a few"green" cleaning supplies as well as carpet glue.

4. If you are not sure of the contents of inks, glues, cleaning solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, fire retardant fabrics, etc., minimize your contact with it. Here's a great list from the National Institutes of Health for your reference.

5. Minimize your intake of dietary estrogens. This one can be a little tricky, since one of the tricks we've been recommending for getting pregnant has been supplementing with flaxseed oil, a natural source of estrogen. Once you know you're pregnant, best to back off on the flaxseed. (Special note: This release I'm linking is so new the actual study is not yet listed in the National Library of Medicine database. As soon as it is, I'll be sure to evaluate and report in more detail here.)

The other food to be aware of is soy--whole soy foods such as edamame and tofu are ok, but stay away from isolates that are often used as fillers.

6. Keep your sleeping environment as dark as possible at night. Close the drapes. Use eye shades. Eliminate televisions and computers from the bedroom.

What I really like about this first list is that it is, really, about living cleaner and greener. So choices you make for your pregnancy are doing double duty and helping out the planet!

Next time I'll take a look at insulin resistance.