Sweets. Takeaways. Cakes, ice cream, crisps, bubbles… What are we talking about? Well, aside from being a kickass shopping list, this is the sort of thing high levels of Progesterone can make you crave. Yup, turns out it really is your period that’s forcing you to open that second carton of Dulce de Leche…
What is Progesterone anyway?
As you may already know, Progesterone is a female sex hormone produced in your ovaries. Levels generally reach their peak during the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, when ovulation occurs.
And that’s because Progesterone is responsible for making sure your uterus is ready should an egg get fertilized. If it doesn’t, the levels drop, kick-starting the shedding of your uterus lining and, in turn, your period.
What do high levels of Progesterone do?
As part of your menstrual cycle, higher Progesterone levels can cause symptoms associated with PMS.
- tender breasts
- low libido
High Progesterone can also make you feel more hungry, more often.
Hungrier than usual? It could be Progesterone
Have you ever noticed your need for all things chocolate in the run-up to your period? Does the thought of an empty fridge cause Elton John-level histrionics? Chances are, high levels of progesterone are to blame.
Progesterone and Estrogen are in charge of both the follicular and luteal phases of your menstrual cycle. When Estrogen is in control, you’ll be less hungry. But these levels drop during the luteal phase, and high levels of progesterone take over. That increases your hunger and causes you to feel less full after that giant bar of chocolate.
High levels of progesterone can also stimulate another hormone. Grehlin, also known as the “hunger hormone,” which is produced in your stomach. And guess what? It also makes you eat more.
What food do high levels of Progesterone make me crave?
Simple – everything! High levels of Progesterone seem to increase hunger in general. However, lots of us find ourselves drawn to carb-heavy, salty or sugary food. And here’s why: Sweet and starchy food causes your body to release mood-boosting Serotonin.
And there’s no such thing as too much Serotonin during your period, you know? Whatever you’re craving, from chocolate to chips and everything in between, do us a favor. Don’t feel guilty about giving into the cravings. Remember, it’s just your hormones!
Now, where’s that spoon…