Estrogen dominance is a condition of a person having deficient, normal, or excessive estrogen but little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body.
Estrogen is crucial for day-to-day functioning. Estrogen regulates menstruation, hunger and satiety, and insulin sensitivity. It also helps metabolize cholesterol and contributes to bone density. However, sustained monthly estrogen dominance may lead to a wide variety of medical problems stemming from unopposed estrogen side effects.
Estrogen dominance is often determined by a woman’s Pg/E2(progesterone to estrogen) ratio. When progesterone is low in relation to estrogen, then your ratio goes lower. This ratio helps doctors determine if estrogen dominance is present in a woman. This also suggests relative progesterone deficiency. If your progesterone levels decrease at a faster rate you can still become estrogen dominant, no matter how little estrogen you actually have in your system. So long as you have lower levels of progesterone than estrogen, you are likely to experience many of the symptoms associated with estrogen dominance. One reason Moment emphasizes accurate bloodwork is to know your numbers. Knowledge is power!
The symptoms of sustained monthly estrogen dominance may lead to a wide variety of medical problems. Some women experience:
- Headaches or migraines
- Depression or anxiety
- Memory problems
- Heavy periods
- Irregular cycles
- Breast tenderness
- Hair loss
- Cold hands and feet
- Night sweats or hot flashes
- Poor sleep
- Bloating and digestive issues
- Bacterial overgrowth
- Skin rashes or acne
- Excessive cellulite or weight in the hips
- Fibroids, cysts, and other kinds of growths
- Low Libido
- Water retention
- Increased fat deposition about the hips and lower abdomen
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Endometrial cancer and breast cancer
Estrogen dominance in this day and age is increasingly common. The main causes of estrogen dominance include obesity, poor nutrition, certain medications, surgeries like hysterectomies, low thyroid, sluggish liver function, and the environment.
A woman’s diet and weight may be a key factor in the condition of estrogen dominance because aromatase can produce estrogen in fat cells. Therefore, the more fat cells, the more likely that excess estrogen is produced.
Reduced liver function may contribute to estrogen dominance due to its function in helping the body get rid of estrogen. The liver inactivates estrogen during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the detoxification cycle, through hydroxylation and conjugation. If the liver is too busy struggling with overconsumption of alcohol, a deficiency of B vitamins, or trying to detoxify drugs and other pollutants, it may not be able to break down estrogen through either one of the phases. This will then inhibit its excretion via bile, urine, or the bowel. This may cause an excess estrogen will then recirculate into the body.
Estrogen dominance may also be caused by exposure to xenoestrogens (toxic compounds that mimic estrogen and wreak havoc on your endocrine system) and inadequate estrogen clearance due to sluggish liver function. If your liver is overworked dealing with other toxins, estrogen does not get properly metabolized and may then be recirculated back into your system. The resulting high estrogen levels can cause skin inflammation and acne.
Can you be estrogen dominant in menopause? Possibly one of the biggest medical confusions is that estrogen levels in all women drop strongly after menopause, and these low levels are responsible for all the many symptoms modern women suffer. This includes everything from depression to hot flashes. In truth, Western women in America and Europe often have excessive estrogen levels (even after menopause). This is shown by studies of actual blood and tissue levels – especially of estrone. Estrone rises with age and is more relevant for estrogen-driven diseases such as breast cancer. Menopause merely means that ovarian production of estrogen declines to levels that do not induce a menstrual cycle. It is a natural phenomenon indicating only that one’s period of fertility is over. It does not mean estrogen has gone to zero. Since a woman’s fat cells and skin cells still produce estrogen, estrogen levels often remain high. Estrogen continues to be produced, although in lesser amounts, by conversion of a sterol, androstenedione, which is found in fat, including the fat in muscle cells.
Estrogen dominance is likely the most important factor when it comes to breast cancer. This is because estrogen can feed cancer and cause it to grow. At Moment, we check your level of estrogens. Knowledge is power. Is estrogen a ¨bad” hormone? No, but it can quickly accumulate when the body isn’t functioning properly, and that’s when the problems begin.
How can I tell if my natural estrogen level is too high?
A blood test like the at-home blood test from Moment can help determine if estrogen is too high. It is necessary to measure your progesterone at the same time since it is often determined that it is best to have five or ten times as much progesterone as estrogen. If your progesterone level is low, even an average estrogen level can cause serious symptoms, because its effects are not balanced.
Estrogen dominance can be helped by increasing progesterone. A healthy thyroid, decreasing stress, pregnenolone, and eating a metabolic supportive diet will all help. Also, doing everything you can to decrease internal and external stress is important. Adequate protein and B vitamins are essential to support healthy liver function. Vitamin A protects some tissues, such as the breasts, against estrogen’s effects, including cancer, and generally offers protection against estrogen by increasing progesterone. Several studies found that vitamin E protects against estrogen’s harmful effects.
Check your estrogen levels today at www.momenthealth.co.
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