Are your Hormonal Issues Due To Estrogen Dominance?
Updated: Jul 22
Dr. Ray Peat, a pioneer in the field of natural hormone therapy, coined the term “Estrogen Dominance” to describe what happens when the normal ratio or balance of estrogen to progesterone is changed by excess estrogen or inadequate progesterone. Estrogen can be potentially dangerous when not counter-balanced by adequate progesterone.
While hot flashes and night sweats are classically a sign of decreased estrogen levels in the body, the answer may not be as simple as taking synthetic or even natural estrogen. It is possible that estrogen levels are low, but rarely does a case exist where the levels of progesterone are not also just as low or lower.
Xenoestrogens: A Major Cause Of Estrogen Dominance
Due to xeno-estrogens in the body, the estrogen receptor sites are full and the body can’t utilize the natural estrogen available. Women, and men, are easily susceptible to becoming estrogen dominant in our culture today.
Studies have proven that it is more dangerous to take estradiol than to exist with the symptoms of menopause. It does relieve hot flashes, insomnia and many other symptoms, but it does not fix the cause of these problems, and creates dangerous side effects of breast and cervical cancer, strokes, heart attacks and weight gain.
Estrogen dominance is now a prevalent problem in our society. And we are now struggling to find another magical pill to take away those problems of hot flashes and insomnia without excess estradiol.
Other Factors in Estrogen Dominance?
There are many causes of estrogen dominance, some of which are related to lifestyle choices.
Too much body fat can lead to estrogen dominance because estrogen is produced secondarily in fat cells. Low-fiber diets can also lead to estrogen dominance because fiber is needed to help estrogen leave the body through the bowel.
Excessive amounts of stress, which can lead to adrenal fatigue, can also cause hormone imbalances and lead to excess amounts of estrogen in the body.
Impaired liver function can also lead to estrogen dominance. The liver acts as a detoxifying agent in the body, ridding it of harmful chemicals, foods, and excess estrogens. In like manner, the estrogen dominance syndrome can be evoked in women by too much alcohol, drugs or environmental toxins, all of which limit the liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen. It has been found that circulating estrogen levels increase significantly in women who drink. In one study, blood and urine estrogen levels increased up to 32 percent in women who drank just two drinks a day.
Stress plays a major role today. Stress causes adrenal gland exhaustion as well as reduced progesterone output. This tilts the estrogen to progesterone ratios in favor of estrogen. Excessive estrogen in turn causes insomnia and anxiety, which further taxes the adrenal glands. This leads to a further reduction in progesterone output and even more estrogen dominance.-
Increase in coffee consumption. Caffeine intake from all sources is linked with higher estrogen levels regardless of age. Caffeine increases estrogen secretion and leads to depletion of key nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C and B vitamins that are necessary for the process of neutralizing bad estrogen metabolites in the liver.
What Are the Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance?
For adult women, estrogen dominance leads to weight gain, especially in the breasts, waist, and mid-section of the body. Other symptoms of estrogen dominance and/or not enough progesterone are listed below:
High cholesterol Facial Hair Joint pain Mood swings Depression PMS Acne Irregular bleeding Menstrual cramps Endometriosis Fibroid tumors Polycystic ovaries Sweet cravings Decreased sex drive Vaginal Dryness Constipation Hot Flashes Bloating Migraines Cold hands and feet Hair loss Slow metabolism Foggy thinking Memory loss Heavy periods Early signs of aging Osteoporosis Weight gain without change in diet or exercise Lack of motivation Irritable bowel
How Do You Remedy Estrogen Dominance?
Adding fiber helps eliminate estrogen from the body. Eating a diet of organic fresh fruits and vegetables and moderate amounts of organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat reduces the number of hormones and pesticides consumed. (Pesticides are also xeno-estrogens.) Eating this diet and exercising will lower body fat, leading to lowered estrogen levels.
Women who are estrogen dominant are also frequently insulin resistant. Lowering the refined carbohydrate intake and balancing the diet with hormone-free proteins, organic vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, and plenty of water will change many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance over time.
Natural Protocols for Estrogen Dominance
An important nutrient called DIM is found in greens and cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli and kale, and many studies have shown the need for this substance to help the body use estrogen properly, as well as diminish the effects of excess estrogens.
It isn’t always necessary to use Progesterone, especially if the woman appears to have high cortisol. She most likely will rapidly convert the Progesterone to Cortisol, resulting quickly in bloating and puffiness, water weight gain and discomfort.
Perform aerobic exercise is also important in reversing estrogen dominance. Research shows that physical activity curtails overproduction of estrogen.
We recommend lab tests for other factors before we recommend an individualized program.
After checking labs we then recommend additional products that we utilize for suggested protocols . These formulas support the liver metabolism of estrogen. –We specialize in balancing hormones to minimize estrogen dominance and its symptoms.