Estrogen is a group of hormones that is found predominantly in women, as well as in men. In women, estrogen helps to regulate menstrual cycles, including the development of our female reproductive system. When we have excess amounts of estrogen in comparison to the ratio of progesterone in our bodies, this can create havoc over time.
"Estrogen Dominance" is the term used to describe symptoms of excess estrogen in the body, and can result from overproduction of estrogen, the progesterone-estrogen ratio not being balanced, environmental exposures, or breakdown of estrogen into unfavorable metabolites.
Consequences of Estrogen Dominance include: Heavy menstrual periods, excessive bloating, elevated risk of developing uterine/ovarian/breast cancer, depression with anxiety or agitation, fatigue, hypothyroidism (via increased binding of thyroid hormone), irritability, mood swings, poor sleep, swollen/painful breasts, weight gain, water retention, and many more issues.
Here are the 5 most common factors that causes estrogen dominance:
When there is inflammation it affects the liver which is where the majority of estrogen’s metabolism takes place
Inflammation increases enzyme aromatase activity in adipose tissue which causes more estrogen production
You can come in and talk to one of our health providers about adjusting your diet to include anti-inflammatory foods, and our favorite Nutriclear- liver cleanse to help metabolize excess estrogen
Another supplement we recommend, and one of our patient favorites, BIOMEGA-1000 by Biotics Research
Avoid a diet with processed, refined carbohydrates and sugars as it can create high estrogen in our bodies
Consuming too many Phytoestrogens - found in soy, tofu, miso products - can also cause over production of estrogen
Instead focus on whole foods such as root vegetables, dark leafy greens, kale, collards, berries, quinoa, avocado, and nuts & seeds. Cruciferous vegetables are great at supporting the liver's detoxification processes.
You may find that your estrogen dominance is not due to excess estrogen but that your body is not producing enough progesterone, therefore throwing off the ratio of estrogen and progesterone
Low progesterone symptoms include irregular menstruation, acne, brittle nails, depression, anxiety, low sex drive
If you suspect you may be low in progesterone you can come in and speak to one of our functional medicine expert acupuncturists about diagnostic hormone testing and creating a supplements treatment plan to balance your hormones for optimal health
When our bodies are exposed to chronic stress cortisol is produced in excess from our adrenal glands into our bloodstream, when that happens progesterone is being used up to convert to cortisol to support exhausted adrenal glands from overproduction
Schedule an appointment with our acupuncturists to regulate the central nervous system with acupuncture, cupping and come up with lifestyle changes to support stress
Xenoestrogens can also disrupt our endocrine receptors causing malfunction of our hormones
Xenoestrogens are found in parabens, benzophenone in sunblock lotions, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides
To avoid xenoestrogens, focus on eating organic foods, avoid using plastics, and use natural beauty, household products