estrogen dominance examined

What is estrogen dominance?

Most women don’t think of estrogen until around menopause when they clamor to their doctors at the first symptom of “the change”  and their doctors quickly write them a prescription for an estrogen replacement.  The problem with this conventional mindset is that a significant drop in estrogen levels does not appear until after the very last period a woman has in her life.  Until then she is still producing estrogen.  In fact, she is probably producing much more than she did in her earlier years.  Confused?

In a completely healthy woman, free of menstrual issues and hormonal imbalances, and in normal weight ranges, estrogen levels are a bit like a race car.  From the onset of menstruation, through the childbirth phases of life, the race car is going at a steady pace, with a full tank of gas (or in this case, estrogen production.). Estrogen dominates the first half of the cycle and progesterone brings up the rear in the last half of the cycle. It’s a well-oiled machine.  The race car knows he has quite a long race and to be able to reach the finish line the race car needs to pace itself.  As a woman gets older, and it might shock you to know this starts happening as early as the early 30’s, the race car starts to move a little faster.  This phase is known as premenopause.  It’s generally marked by more PMS symptoms and slight changes in the cycle. This goes on until the woman enters perimenopause.  Perimenopause is the period leading up to menopause and can begin a full 5-8 years before the onset of menopause.  When a woman enters perimenopause the race car punches the “gas”  and tries to compensate by producing estrogen like a demon possessed. This usually happens when a woman fails to ovulate (anovulatory cycles) in a cycle and the estrogen just keeps on being produced instead of the progesterone taking over as would happen during a cycle where an egg is released.  This is what happens in a normal healthy woman living in a bubble, eating organic food, using non-toxic products, and breathing the freshest of air purified by angels.  ALL of this happens in a perfectly healthy woman.  It’s the revving of the accelerator to overproduce estrogen while the production of progesterone stays largely the same as at a younger age that causes much of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.

It’s at this time unenlightened doctors prescribe estrogen tablets or patches (like trying to overfill a gas tank) to a woman whose body is already racing to the proverbial “finish line” of menstruation.  This is one of the major causes of “estrogen dominance”  by which I mean too much estrogen in relation to the progesterone production.

Here’s even worse news.  Estrogen dominance is not just a problem faced by “women of a certain age” these days.  In fact, estrogen dominance is one of the main contributors to infertility issues in the Western world today.  It affects younger and younger women and it is a major contributor to certain kinds of cancers such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.  Let me say that again.  MANY BREAST CANCERS ARE CAUSED BY ESTROGEN DOMINANCE!

What causes estrogen dominance?

Being overweight is a prime cause of estrogen dominance. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries but it is also produced in adipose tissue (fat cells) so a woman with a high BMI runs the risk of overproducing estrogen.  There is another complication to the overproduction of estrogen because of being overweight.  The more you are estrogen dominant the fatter you become, and all you divas out there hear me when I say, estrogen dominance is the MAIN component of fat on the hips and thighs!!!  (Estrogen stimulates alpha receptors which stimulate fat cells to store fat while beta receptors help break down fat.)  So bottom line, the heavier you are the more estrogen you will produce (no matter your age) and you will store it on the tummy, hips and thighs.

What causes being overweight and/or obesity?  For starters, a low- fiber, high refined carbohydrate, low- nutrient diet full of modern wheat (and refined at that) and highly inflammation causing processed foods. Our Standard American Diet (SAD) full of acid producing foods is the number one cause of obesity in the Western world today. Low quality mass-produced meat and poultry products laced with antibiotics, hormones, and other environmental toxins (and they are fed on grain which means that the meat itself is low quality and toxic), is throwing our delicate hormonal balances into free fall.  Pesticide laden, not to mention genetically modified, toxic produce is triggering immune reactions which throw those delicate balances further into a tailspin.  Soy products, found in absolutely every processed food on the market, is a MAJOR cause of estrogen dominance today!  First, we eat too much of it as it is touted as a health food; we eat it unfermented and unsprouted, and we eat genetically modified soy.  (Soy is the number 2 most genetically modified crop in the United States.)  Since it is in every processed foods (textured soy protein and soy isolates, to name a few) and it is not even used WHOLE, it is one of the hidden causes of obesity today! It is also phytoestrogenic which means it adds to the cascading amounts of estrogen already being produced.  I could go on and on about the causes of obesity that are diet related but let’s move on.

Stress causes imbalances in cortisol, noriepinephrine, and insulin. This causes adrenal fatigue which can trigger insulin resistance triggering obesity which then causes estrogen dominance.  Is it starting to gel that the human body MUST be treated holistically and cannot be selectively “healed” with medication treating symptoms?

An impaired immune system as in those suffering from an autoimmune illness such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, lupus, and fibromyalgia can trigger estrogen dominance but as chronic inflammation and alkalinity in the body is restored so the symptoms of these illnesses will dissipate curbing estrogen dominance.

Environmental factors, the biggest ones being toxic chemicals in beauty and personal care products from your face cream to your shampoo, are prime endocrine (hormonal) disruptors.  Parabens, found in 98% of products today, and phtalates, hidden in ingredients lists as “fragrance”  mimic estrogen in the body.  They have both been linked to breast cancer in both women and men.

Symptoms of estrogen dominance?  

Here are just some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance.

  1. Irregular periods
  2. Heavy, painful periods and large clots present during menstruation
  3. Breast Swelling and Tenderness
  4. Weight gain around tummy, hips and thighs,
  5. Hypothyroidism.
  6. Cold hands and feet (a symptom of hypothyroidism)
  7. Fibroids
  8. Endometriosis
  9. PMS
  10. Fibrocystic breasts
  11. Mood swings or anxiety/depression
  12. Premenstrual headaches
  13. Breast cancer
  14. Decreased sex drive
  15. Insomnia
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list, just a few of the most common symptoms of estrogen dominance. Find out how we treated one brave lady and a dear client, helping her lower her estrogen levels in Estrogen Dominance:: A Case Study and stay tuned tomorrow where  we will be talking about how to tame estrogen dominance naturally increasing vitality, energy levels, boosting fertility and/or easing premenopausal symptoms.

 

7 replies
  1. mary
    mary says:

    Thank you! This is a very good summary of what most women have either gone through, are going through or will go through. I’m looking forward to reading the next part. I didn’t know about soya being problematic. Learning new things every day!

    Reply
  2. rian
    rian says:

    weight problem is frequently causing many kind of diseases. we should have healthy diet to avoid it, include for control our hormones.

    Reply
  3. Karen
    Karen says:

    Many women in perimenopause, which usually occurs from about age 35 to 50, are deficient in testosterone progesterone because they ovulate less frequently.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Unfortunately, Karen, that is not nearly the only reason. Stress, estrogen disruptors, obesity, insulin resistance, birth control pills, ALL contribute to estrogen dominance, and, as I see you sell bio-identical testosterone, you also may know that estrogen dominance throws off the balance of other key hormones too. Not ALL women ovulate less frequently, by the way. They may have one or two anovulatory cycles in a year but some will ovulate regularly until premenopause. It depends on many factors….

      Reply
  4. Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club
    Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club says:

    I’m reading your posts in reverse order, but I definitely must have estrogen dominance. I have 1,2,3,4,9 & 10 on the list. I need to keep up with my running, and look into your supplement suggestions more. I don’t really eat a high carb diet though. I eat a lot of salads and vegetables, cheese, nuts and lean meat. I do have to have my live culture yogurt too. It’s like night and day when I don’t have that in my system. The meat is probably a contributing factor. These are so good to read Jacqueline! I’m subscribed to you to catch more on this topic.

    Reply
  5. just me
    just me says:

    Is it possible to have estrogen dominance even if you don’t have all these symptoms? Is it possible to have high testosterone levels ans at the same time high estrogen levels? I have acne and hirsutism but I am normal weight (have always been, I have never been overweight or underweight but I tend to lose weight easier than I gain). My periods are regular. But I had a cyst two months ago (I had too much spearmint tea trying to fight my excessive body hair – it’s a nightmare). I have always had cold feet and hands but sex drive is pretty high (maybe even too high). I have found out that regular sex life (or masturbation if I don’t have a partner) makes my periods very regular and less painful. I know that since I have acne my hormones aren’t balanced but I’m trying to figure out what it is exactly. Is it testosterone? Or estrogen?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Estrogen dominance (and yes, high testosterone levels) can exhibit ALL of these symptoms or only a few…. You don’t have to be overweight or have irregular periods but you do have hirustism which is indicative of both high estrogen and high testosterone and DHT (DHT blockers work well if you can find them in Korea.) You probably are more high testosterone than high estrogen but both are a problem.

      Reply

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