Hormonal balance is something most women seek through most of their life. Whether they’re battling irregular cycles, PMS, cramps, bloating, heavy cycles, hot flashes, night sweats… it seems as though the quest for healthy hormones is never-ending.
From the time of menstruation onwards, it’s a continual struggle. Could it be that there is a common thread that may hold the answer to the majority of female hormone concerns?
What is Estrogen dominance?
The female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, work in close balance with each other. In the normal menstrual cycle, estrogen rises in the first half of the cycle, peaking at ovulation, and then falls in the second half as progesterone increases. Testosterone levels fluctuate, with a surge around ovulation.
Estrogen dominance is a condition in which women have little, normal or excess estrogen, and very little progesterone to balance it off. Even if you have low estrogen, if your progesterone is low, then you can still have symptoms of Estrogen dominance. Progesterone opposes the action of estrogen, and helps the body to break it down. With an estrogen dominant picture, estrogen levels can stay abnormally high, without enough progesterone to oppose it. This can lead to a variety of symptoms and health consequences down the road.
What causes estrogen dominance?
There is a delicate balance between these female hormones, and the speed at which they both decline as we age is quite different, with a more rapid decline in progesterone, with respect to Estrogen, which can create an imbalance in the ratio between the two hormones.
Lifestyle factors, such as stress, can contribute to this state as well, as the body “steals” progesterone to balance out the increased cortisol [stress hormone] production. Lifestyle choice, such as excess alcohol or caffeine consumption, will also play a role.
Additionally, we live in a society where we are constantly exposed to synthetic estrogens, making it nearly impossible to avoid: plastics, pesticides, body care products, furniture, pollution, and so many more. These synthetic estrogens accumulate in the body over time, leading to a variety of symptoms in both women AND men, since they are also exposed to these synthetic estrogens (xenoestrogens). This means that most of us are generally in an estrogen dominant state, and these xenoestrogens are known carcinogens, that can disrupt the immune system as well as hormonal balance.
In the past, many women were given synthetic estrogen on it’s own, as a form of hormone therapy, which lead to a host of negative health effects, changing the way hormone therapy is prescribed today, and estrogen is rarely given without synthetic progesterone. Today, we have alternate options, such as BioIdentical Hormones, which we will discuss below.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance:
Many of the symptoms experienced in relation to our cycles are simply tolerated. Something as common as PMS is often considered “normal.” What is shocking to many woman, is that it isn’t, and it’s often a sign of excess estrogen.
Below are a few signs that you may be estrogen dominant:
- Breast tenderness, Fibrocystic breasts
- Cervical dysplasia
- Decreased sex drive
- Early onset of menstruation
- Weight gain, water retention, bloating
- Fuzzy thinking, Poor Memory; Mood swings
- Hair Loss
- Polycystic ovaries
- Premenopausal bone loss
- PMS, Irritability
- Slow metabolism
- Uterine fibroids, endometriosis
- Anxiety, depression
- Food cravings
- Headaches/Migraines related to cycle
- Irregular periods, irregular/heavy bleeding
There are so many factors that impact hormonal balance, and estrogen dominance is just a piece of the puzzle.
If this sounds like it could be you, then I’m here to help!
Looking for solutions? Download my FREE Guide: 5 SIMPLE Hormone Hacks, to start the process of getting your hormones back on track.
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