Today I will discuss why estrogen dominance is the top sign patients have that indicates they have a hormonal imbalance and why it is so common today. I will discuss treating the root cause and what measures can be taken to counteract these causes that can sometimes be unavoidable in today’s times.
I will discuss the following:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– What is estrogen dominance?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Why does this imbalance occur?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– What are the signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Estrogen dominance: Not just a women’s problem⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– The link between estrogen dominance and difficult weight loss⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– How to lose weight when you have a hormonal imbalance⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– How to treat estrogen dominance naturally and effectively
Firstly, what is the role of estrogen in the human body?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Estrogen is present in both men and women. They are present in significantly higher amounts in women after menarche (onset of menstrual periods at puberty) until menopause (cessation of menstrual periods after completion of reproductive age). Estrogen has the ability to control energy balance, food intake, and body fat distribution.
The primary function of estrogen is development of female secondary sexual characteristics. These includes breasts, endometrium, regulation of the menstrual cycle etc. In males estrogen helps in maturation of the sperm and maintenance of a healthy libido.
Like with all hormones, there is a delicate balance where a hormone can be beneficial or detrimental to one’s health if it is deficient or in excess. But this is one sign that is a sure indicator that you have a hormonal imbalance and is actually unrelated to your cycle.
Many of my patients find that despite their best efforts, they cannot lose weight and find themselves putting on the pounds. What they are most likely dealing with what is known as Estrogen Dominance.
Root Causes of Estrogen Dominance⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Estrogen dominance is a sinister hormone imbalance that typically isn’t caused by one single factor. It occurs when there is an estrogen overload in the body (due to poor elimination of the hormone and increased exposure from external factors discussed below) or too much estrogen in relation to progesterone.
There are many factors that play with this hormonal imbalance, such as genetics and epigenetic factors, liver detoxification imbalances, our body’s preference on which hormones turn into estrogen or not, environmental toxicity, dietary choices, and gut health.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Two main causes:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Too much estrogen or synthetic estrogens are coming into or are being made in the body.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Not enough estrogen is leaving the body. The liver and gut are involved with the elimination of estrogen so if these 2 systems are not working efficiently it can lead to estrogen dominance. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It can be very hard to completely avoid estrogen excess, because we are surrounded by endocrine disruptors daily. We are constantly being bombarded by what is called Xenoestrogens. These chemicals are often found in foods, medicines, cosmetics, households, plastics, herbicides, birth control pills, sunscreens and many more other products that are used in everyday life. These are industrial chemicals that mimic the behaviour of estrogens in the human body. We encounter a shocking number of these endocrine-disrupting xenoestrogens in the course of a day, without even knowing it.
Which chemical products to avoid⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Parabens (found in most beauty products)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– triclosan (found in hand sanitizer)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Styrene – a widely used plastic for food packaging⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Bisphenol-A (BPA): the WORST – found to activate aromatase, lower progesterone effect, bind and activate estrogen⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
*Healthy tip: Purchase a glass water bottle instead of consuming water from a plastic one as these chemicals leach into the water you’re drinking over time.
What are the signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Women who experience:
– abnormal menstrual periods or cycles
– PMS such as bloating and breast swelling or tenderness
– mood swings often presenting as depression or anxiety
– loss of libido
– sluggish metabolism and/or weight gain esp in the abdominal or hip region
– hair loss
If treated early enough it can prevent further complications in the future such as: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Heavy periods⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Irregular periods⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Ovarian cysts⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Estrogen dominance can also cause early onset puberty (before 12 years of age). So mum’s take care in making sure your daughters (and sons – estrogen dominance can also affect males; see next post) are not using harsh body care products at a young age to prevent the unncessary exposure to parabens and other estrogen disruptors. Opt for BPA free containers for school lunches – reduce plastic ware as much as possible.