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Estrogen Dominance… the Elusive Source of Your Hormonal Imbalances?

Posted in Hormonal Issues on Apr 18, 2016

by Keri Dennis

Estrogen is not a single hormone. It is a class of hormones and hormone like compounds that have estrogenic properties.

There are many types of estrogens, from phytoestrogens to toxic xenoestrogens.

The three estrogens that you have to think about as a woman are estradiol, estrone and estriol. 

When estrogen is out of balance in the body with progesterone or is not being detoxed properly from the body, you may find these signs and symptoms.

  • Speeds up the aging process
  • Weight gain around middle
  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast tenderness
  • Cold hands and feet as a symptom of thyroid dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Depression
  • Dry eyes
  • Early onset of menstruation
  • Uterine cancer
  • Fat gain in abdomen, hips, and thighs
  • Fatigue
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Foggy thinking
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Increased blood clotting
  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • PMS
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pre-menopausal bone loss
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Uterine cancer
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Water retention and bloating

 Causes of Estrogen Dominance Syndrome

Hormones naturally fluctuate during the month and especially nearing menopause. But certain lifestyle choices and conditions can also contribute to estrogen imbalance or estrogen dominance. 
Some of these culprits are a low fiber diet, an overloaded liver from internal toxins, environmental toxins, and even natural products of our metabolism from excess hormones. 

Gut Health

Perhaps one of the biggest culprits is our gut health.  If our gut bacteria, is out of balance our hormones could end up being reabsorbed.  With low gut bacteria, this puts extra pressure on the liver to detox the byproducts of bad bacteria, and actually contributes to reabsorption of toxins and hormones.  If your gut is not working efficiently and you are absorbing old hormones, this will eventually lead to an overloaded body. 

Liver Health

The liver filters toxins, hormones, and many other byproducts from our body. It detoxifies our body, protecting us from the harmful effects of chemicals, elements in food, environmental toxins, excess hormones like xeno-estrogens and helps to digest our food.  Basically anything that impairs the livers function or stagnates its ability to detox will result in excess estrogen. The liver is so important to care for in order to really balance your hormones. 

Estrogen is produced not only internally but also produced in reaction to chemicals and other substances in our food. When it is not broken down adequately, higher levels of estrogen build up. The estrogen dominance syndrome can be caused in women by too much alcohol, drugs, or environmental toxins, all of which limit the liver's capacity to cleanse the blood of excess estrogen.

Environment

We live in an environment like never before. Certain chemicals in the environment and our foods, can be found everywhere. One of these chemicals is Glyphosate, but there are many more like mold, plastics and BPA’s, fire retardant, other pesticides and herbicides and they all cause estrogenic effects. Chlorine and hormone residues in meats and dairy products can also have estrogenic effects. In industrialized countries such as the United States, diets rich in animal fats, sugar, refined starches, and processed foods can lead to estrogen levels in women twice that of women in other parts of the world. We are constantly exposed to xenobiotics (petrochemicals), xenohormone-laden meats and dairy products, forms of pollution, and prescriptions for synthetic hormones (such as the 'The Pill' and Premarin). Not to mention our own cosmetics, body sprays and deoderants.  

It is quite rare for cycling woman to be truly deficient in estrogen, most of the woman that I see are progesterone deficient which gives rise to estrogen dominant symptoms.  Progesterone balances out the toxic effects of estrogen. 

How To Begin Balancing Your Hormones

Diet – Make sure that your diet is abundant in a plethora of yummy anti-inflammatory fiber rich fruits and vegetables.  A major part of your diet should consist of these foods to keep the body eliminating properly, cleansing and more on the alkaline side.  Be sure to also make sure you are eating adequate fats and proteins to build hormones from.  Eliminate or reduce alcohol, sugar and pesticide ridden foods.  
Add in probiotic rich foods and supplements to balance your gut bacteria and keep your body happy.

Clear Your Vanity – Ditch your chemical laden make up and switch to a more natural organic line, opt for natural essential oils rather than chemical laden body sprays and clean with all natural cleaners to lessen your bodies toxic load.

Exercise – Daily exercise and sweating helps to get your body eliminating via the skin as well as gets the lymphatic and liver detoxing more efficiently.  Daily exercise is so important for building and detoxing hormones.

Get Enough Rest – It has been proven that getting 8 hours of solid sleep a night is needed to keep your hormones balanced and happy.  Less sleep than 8 hours can build more stress hormones in your body, which do contribute to estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. 

See a Qualified Practitioner – A qualified practitioner can help you determine which hormones are out of balance and help to create a plan of action with you.  This could include herbs and supplements, lifestyle changes and even a tailored diet plan.  It may even include a steroid urine hormone test, or saliva hormone test to get a better look at your hormones and how they are breaking down in the body.  

Remember that Diet is half the battle!

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