Did you know?
Estrogen dominance is becoming one of the more common hormone imbalances among both men and women. Estrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of estrogen to progesterone sways too much one way or the other.
All hormones are chemical messengers that act much like a switchboard operator, directing the body to do one thing or another. Hormone balance is essential to nearly all functions in the body, including growth and development, sex and reproduction, mood, sleep, and how the body uses food (or stores it as fat). When your hormones are in balance, you feel great, look great, have sustainable energy, a healthy appetite and a healthy sex drive.
When hormones become out of balance, however, we often experience a wide variety of symptoms that can affect mood and energy, and may also lead to more serious conditions like the development of uterine fibroid tumors, fibrocystic breasts or hormone positive cancers, and for men the over-abundance of estrogen activity and the over exposure to estrogen as a primary culprit of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.
Estrogen and progesterone work in synchronization with each other like a system of checks and balances to achieve hormonal harmony in both men and women. Estrogen is an active hormone that is actually able to increase the production of its own receptors. It stimulates tissue to grow. When left unchecked (due to inadequate progesterone levels), it can stimulate tissue to grow inappropriately. Progesterone works to balance estrogen. It is able to decrease the production of estrogen receptors, thus protecting the body from estrogen induced tissue growth like uterine fibroids and estrogen positive cancers. Estrogen and progesterone need the presence of each other in order to correctly perform their individual functions. When estrogen and progesterone become out of balance, often estrogen dominance is the result. Men produce both estrogen and progesterone, but in significantly lower quantities than women. In men, estrogen and progesterone are produced in the adrenal glands and testes, in women they are produced in the ovaries, adrenals and fat cells.
Estrogen is not bad, but once it has done its work in your body, it is broken down by the liver into either “good” or “bad” metabolites. The “bad” metabolites are responsible for many of the problematic effects of estrogen (and estrogen dominance). There are a variety of things that influence the way your estrogens are metabolized. Some are an imbalance of progesterone, thyroid and cortisol levels, a toxic liver, and toxins. This applies to men and women as the pathways are the same for both.
Toxins: Xenoestrogens are chemical estrogens from the environment. They act like estrogen in your body and can have harmful effects. They bind to estrogen receptors on your cells causing them to grow and divide (as in the case of cancer). They can also block natural estrogen from binding to these receptors and result in more estrogen circulating in your body causing estrogen dominance. (List of xenoestrogens at end of the article).
Estrogen Dominance Symptoms
The symptoms listed below, as well as many others, often arise when estrogen overstimulates both the brain and body. All of these symptoms are exacerbated by stress of all kinds. Estrogen dominance can affect both men and women.
Women’s Symptoms: Decreased sex drive, Irregular/abnormal menstrual periods, Bloating (water retention), Breast swelling and tenderness, Fibrocystic breasts, Mood swings (irritability and depression), Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips), Cold hands and feet, Hair loss, Thyroid dysfunction, Sluggish metabolism, Foggy thinking, memory loss, Fatigue, Trouble sleeping/insomnia, Muscle Loss, Hot Flashes/Night sweats, PMS
Symptoms for Men: loss of muscle mass (including man boobs), mental fatigue, memory problems, an inability to concentrate, moodiness, irritability, emotional hypersensitivity, insomnia, unrelenting physical fatigue, depression, obesity, bone loss, back pain, headaches, and high cholesterol, a loss of libido, an inability to get and/or maintain an erection, low sperm count, infertility, and an inability to orgasm. As estrogen levels climb, both prostate size and fibrous tissues increase. This makes it hard to urinate and increases the risk for prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Ways to Decrease Estrogen Dominance
Here’s what you can do to decrease estrogen dominance:
- Increase nutrients in the diet (vegetables, fruit, good fats & proteins, good water)
- Remember to get enough fiber. Estrogen is excreted by the bowel; if stool remains in the bowel, estrogen is reabsorbed.
- Bioidentical progesterone cream
- Lose excess body fat and get regular exercise.
- Detoxify your liver: The liver acts as a filter, helping to screen out the harmful effects of toxins from our environment and the products we put in our bodies. When the liver has to work hard to eliminate toxins such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine, or environmental agents, the liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen is compromised.
- Decrease stress
- Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a supplement (not a hormone) that gives a natural option to help with estrogen dominance. While DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts), you would have to eat 2 pounds of the raw vegetables daily to get the same benefits as you would from taking one or two capsules of DIM. Dim helps to balance the sex hormones (testosterone & progesterone). DIM helps your liver make more of the good metabolites, also simultaneously reduces the levels of harmful estrogen metabolites. It is safe for men, women and teenagers. Dim is a strong antioxidant level, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging, all why dealing with all of the estrogen dominance symptoms.
Strictly speaking, it’s possible that we are all — men, women and children — suffering a little from estrogen dominance, because there is so much of it in our environment. You would have to virtually live in a bubble to escape the excess estrogens we’re exposed to through pesticides, plastics, industrial waste products, car exhaust, meat, soaps and much of the carpeting, furniture and paneling that we live with indoors every day. Over time the exposure will cause more chronic problems such as estrogen dominance symptoms. I hope you have found any or all of this information helpful. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact us and continue to: “LET US BE YOUR DOORWAY TO HEALTH”.
Here are some of the chemicals that are xenoestrogens:
- 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
- Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as a preservative)
- Benzophenone (sunscreen lotions)
- Industrial products and Plastics:
- o Bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
- o Phthalates (plasticizers)
- o DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
- o Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (flame retardants used in plastics, foams, building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles).
- o Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
- Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
- Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
- Atrazine (weed killer)
- DDT (insecticide, banned)
- Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)
- Dieldrin (insecticide)
- Endosulfan (insecticide)
- Heptachlor (insecticide)
- Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide, used to treat lice and scabies)
- Methoxychlor (insecticide)
- Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides
- Chlorine and chlorine by-products
- Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
- Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
- Alkylphenol (surfactant used in cleaning detergents
- Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
- Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
- Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
- Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
- Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
- Avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for storing or microwaving.
- Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
- Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
- If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
- Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
- Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later.
- Household Products
- Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products.
- Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towel, coffee filters).
- Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water
Health and Beauty Products
- • Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
- • Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
- • Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
- • Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes.
- • Read the labels on condoms and diaphragm gels.
- At the Office
- • Be aware of noxious gas such as from copiers and printers, carpets, fiberboards, and at the gas pump.