What is Estrogen Dominance?

This is one of the most common conditions I see, and not just in women. Estrogen dominance is not necessarily an overload of estrogen, it’s an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, which effectively does everything the opposite to estrogen.  There are many reasons estrogen dominance occurs. The main reason is the constant exposure to environmental compounds that act like estrogen in the body.

photo credit: Greencolander via photopin cc

photo credit: Greencolander via photopin cc

Called Xenoestrogens, they come from virtually everything in the modern day that you come in contact with. Herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals like mercury fillings, platics, car exhaust, carpeting, furniture and paneling materials, soaps, preservatives and more fall into the heading of xenoestrogens that act in much the same way as our natural estrogens. Estrogen dominance also results from lack of exercise (an action that actually will directly stimulate estrogen detoxification), excess fat (especially visceral fat which converts via aromatase from testosterone to estrogen), impaired liver function (impairing estrogen detox of estrogen), lack of fibre (that holds onto estrogen in the intestines and helps to eliminate it from the body), excessive caloric intake, anovulatory cycles (which eliminate a huge source of progesterone from the corpus luteum when an egg is released from the ovary), impaired ovary and mitochondrial function, consumption of meat that is from animals fed hormones, stress, birth control pills,  and refined sugar consumption.

So, how do you know if you are showing signs of estrogen dominance?  Many common “every day symptoms” can actually be traced to estrogen dominance or lack of progesterone:

  • Anxiety (with or without depression)

    photo credit: Stefan Neuweger via photopin cc

    photo credit: Stefan Neuweger via photopin cc

  • Breast tenderness
  • Loss of libido
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Headaches
  • Gall Bladder inflammation
  • Dry eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Increased clotting
  • AutoImmune disease like arthritis or thyroid disease
  • Infertility
  • Low blood sugar
  • Water retention

Many of these symptoms may be present in an individual. Many hormone issues can overlap in symptoms so it is important to speak to a practitioner that is trained in hormone deficiency or excess symptoms before treatment is tried. A saliva hormone test is best to determine the exact amounts of  hormones and the ratio of these hormones to determine the cause of any given symptoms. Check with us if you would like to explore further into this.

 

 

 

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