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Women and Estrogen Dominance

Posted by Jane Jansen on

Estrogen dominance happens in many women when estrogen levels are high in relation to progesterone level. It doesn’t necessarily mean that estrogen is too high, although it often can be, it also happens when there is progesterone deficiency, when not enough progesterone is produced to oppose estrogen.

Some possible symptoms include: (You don’t have to have all of them to be estrogen dominant)

Decreased sex drive

Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods

Bloating / Fluid retention

Breast swelling and tenderness

Fibrocystic breasts / Ovarian cysts

Headaches (particularly pre-menstrual)

Mood swings (irritability, anxiety &/or depression)

Weight and/or fat gain that’s difficult to lose (particularly around the abdomen and hips)

Low Thyroid / Cold hands and feet (often thyroid related)

Hair loss

Foggy thinking, memory loss

Fatigue &/or trouble sleeping

PMS / Perimenopause / Menopause

Estrogen and progesterone are two of the primary sex hormones that work in unison like a system of checks and balances to achieve hormonal balance. There are three forms of estrogen: estradiol, estrone “bad estrogens” and estriol ”good estrogen”. Estradiol is the most potent form and 12 times more potent than estrone and 80 times more potent than estriol. Too much estradiol and estrone may increase a person's risk of estrogen related symptoms and/or disease such as weight gain, fibroids and hormonal cancers.

Progesterone is the building block for many other major hormones including stress hormones, electrolyte balance, blood pressure, and bone production. Progesterone is a primary hormone needed for fertility and pregnancy. It is essential to the survival of the fertilized egg, the embryo, and the fetus. In pregnancy, it prevents the shedding of the uterine lining. A drop in progesterone can result in a miscarriage.

Estrogen dominance happens in many women when estrogen levels are high in relation to progesterone level. It doesn’t necessarily mean that estrogen is too high, although it often can be, it also happens when there is progesterone deficiency, when not enough progesterone is produced to oppose estrogen.

Estrogen dominance often occurs when the diet is high estrogenic foods including caffeine particularly coffee, carbohydrates &/or sugar, alcohol and non-organic dairy. Medications such as prescription hormone replacement therapy, birth control and steroids can create imbalance too, as well as exposure to xenoestrogens found in plastics and chemicals in the environment.

Chronic stress can contribute to estrogen dominance because the adrenal glands (the stress glands) utilize progesterone to manufacture the adrenal hormones, in particular cortisol and results in progesterone deficiency.

High estrogen levels also interfere with the thyroid hormones, particularly the utilization of T3, the most biologically active thyroid hormone. This happens because excess estrogen increases Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG), then T4 & T3 hormones attach to TBG decreasing thyroid hormone uptake. End results: often Low Thyroid function and subdued metabolism.

So what can you do?

  1. Change your eating habits. Decrease caffeine and alcohol (including wine) consumption. Sorry Ladies, it really makes a difference! Limit carbs and make sure to have some protein with each meal. Organic Dairy Only! No skipping meals! Eat lots of fresh vegetables of all colors. Stay hydrated.
  2. Get hormones balanced naturally. Vitex is an herb, also known as Chaste Tree Berry (take in the morning) supports your pituitary gland for stimulating the production of progesterone or you can use topical Natural Progesterone cream, apply ¼ tsp to skin 2x day. There are many other hormone balancing herbs and nutrients that can be helpful too.
  3. Support the adrenal glands with Adrenasense (Natural Factors)
  4. Exercise daily at least 15 minutes
  5. Have regular daily bowel movements. Estrogen is excreted by the bowel, therefore if you are constipated; estrogen in the stool gets reabsorbed and recycled into the system.
  6. Get Quality Sleep – stop burning the candle at both ends, try relaxation yoga or the essential oil Serenity restful blend (doTERRA) and if needed try a supplement like  Happy Sleeper (Natural Balance) it is very popular combination natural sleep formula that does not make you feel hung over the next morning.

Don’t worry you are not stuck with Estrogen Dominance! But if you need help you can always schedule an appointment with me at the Tree of Life Wellness Center 508-336-4242.

Jane Jansen  Holistic Practitioner

Host Holistic Healthline Radio

 

 


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