Second Nature Care Blog

The Pregnenolone Steal Tired, Depressed, Mood Swings

[fa icon="calendar'] May 14, 2019 5:16:32 PM / by Isadora Guggenheim

  • Do you suffer with fatigue, depression, low sexual energy, mood swings and irregular periods (menses)?

If you experience any of these symptoms, then we need to read The Hormone Story.

Once upon a time, there was a grandmother to all hormones. Grandma Pregnenolone kept Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, ACTH and DHEA happy when mother's cupboards were full. When they were bare, it was awful. Grandma felt terrible because she did not have enough food for anyone. Everyone was fighting for hormone scraps. That made everyone tired and crabby.

Who is Grandma?

Pregnenolone is made from cholesterol. If you have low cholesterol naturally or from, aging or from cholesterol lowering medications - you might have bare cupboards like Grandma. We make pregnenolone in our gonads (ovaries and testicles), adrenal glands and our brain. Pregnenolone makes other hormones using metabolic steps that convert pregnenolone into estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA. Each process requires specific enzymes, nutrients and energy. In order to get the right ratio of hormones to begin with, we need grandma pregnenolone in good supply and then she has to effectively convert into downstream hormones. Let's hope grandma doesn't have any favorite children or grandchildren. This is when you want things to be balanced.

Remember the Hokey Pokey? Things have not changed. Everything is still connected in a matrix web so when one hormone goes out of balance it has a domino affect on all other hormones. Grandma Pregnenolone is a precursor for most steroid hormones.

Pregnenolone into Progesterone

Pregnenolone can be a precursor to progesterone which converts to 11-deoxycortisol and finally into cortisol. We need cortisol for our stress responses. When we encounter a perceived threat we go into a fight or flight pattern and we release cortisol. Cortisol released into the bloodstream controls blood pressure, regulates metabolism and blood sugar levels, decreases inflammation and improves cognition.

Progesterone creates another steroid hormone - allopregnanolone. Allopregnanolone keeps our neurons in check when we are stressed, balances emotions and affects our behavior.

Pregnenolone can convert into DHEA (think anti-aging and immune function) and further into estrogen and testosterone. Both men and women have testosterone which contributes to sex drive, muscle strength and bone building. I think you need testosterone to drive a car on the highway in addition to sex drive. Estrogen is protective against environmental contaminants, keeps cholesterol levels in check and protect bone health in women and men.

With modern life, our sympathetic flight or fight responses are turned on all the time which affects reproduction, digestion and our ability to regenerate tissues. When we are under chronic stress, our supply of pregnenolone gets converted to cortisol instead of steroid sex hormones.

The Pregnenolone Steal

Symptoms can include:

  • Weight Gain (higher waist to hip ratio)
  • Infertility (high cortisol and prolactin levels in females)
  • Low Sex Drive in men and women

At Second Nature, we test all of your hormones, full thyroid panels with adrenals and much more . . .

It's easy to correct low pregnenolone levels with compounded pregnenolone. We can simultaneously correct low DHEA levels too.

Call us and find out if your hormones are balanced. 

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Isadora Guggenheim

Written by Isadora Guggenheim

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963 drguggenheim@msn.com