AUTHOR HOLLY BOHN / HORMONES / PUBLISHED: JUN 06, 2019
Everything You Need to Know About Estrogen Dominance
There is a common misconception that estrogen levels gradually decline with age, then finally stop with menopause. The reality is that hormone levels fluctuate and many women suffer from too much estrogen relative to progesterone. This condition is called estrogen dominance and can start as early as age 35. The key to optimal aging and wellness is hormone balance.
Although, women's health issues are getting more attention from the medical community, environmental changes and increased stress have made estrogen dominance a growing problem. The exact cause of excess estrogen can be different for every person, but in addition to environmental issues and stress, some contributing factors are birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, poor diet, digestion issues, smoking and alcohol.
What is estrogen dominance?
During a normal menstrual cycle, the dominant hormone during the first two weeks of the cycle is estrogen. During the last two weeks of the cycle, after ovulation, estrogen is balanced by progesterone. When estrogen levels are too high in relation to progesterone, this delicate balance is disrupted resulting in a variety of symptoms. There are actually three types of estrogen in the body estrone, estradiol & estriol. Some studies point to estrone as being most harmful and the cause of these symptoms, but for the purposes of this article we will simply use the term estrogen. It's important to note, that in addition to the list below, excess estrogen has been linked to cancer, infertility and allergies.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance:
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Foggy thinking, memory loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Breast swelling
- Irregular periods (heavy periods, spotting)
- Low libido
- Thyroid issues
- Accelerated aging
Treating estrogen dominance is challenging. Everything I read told me to lose weight and reduce stress, but the estrogen dominance had caused the weight gain in the first place! As for reducing stress---giving away my teenagers wasn't an option.
— Holly Bohn, Radiate Wellness Co-Founder
What can I do about estrogen dominance?
Treating estrogen dominance can be challenging at first. An important first step is maintaining a healthy diet & weight, but if you are struggling with estrogen dominance losing weight can seem impossible. I had estrogen dominance and for the first time in my entire life, my weight was out-of-control. Everything I read told me to lose weight and reduce stress, but I was stuck in a vicious cycle. The weight gain was due to the estrogen dominance and the stress.....well, I wanted to reduce my stress, but giving away my teenagers wasn't an option. Finally, I found Dr. Randolph who recommended natural progesterone cream. The cream, along with some important lifestyle changes helped me feel normal again.
Here is what you can do to fight excess estrogen:
- Reduce exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals including plastics, parabens and phalates. I invested in glass food storage containers---the tops are BPA free plastic, but don't touch the food. I invested in a glass water bottle and stopped buying bottled water---which is also good for the environment. Freezing or heating food in plastic is especially dangerous. That goes for water bottles as well, don't freeze them and never leave them in a hot car. I also took a long hard list at my commonly used beauty products. I switched to pure coconut oil instead of body lotion. Depending on your budget this is not an easy undertaking. Just like any change in habits start slow and remember than any positive change is a step in the right direction.
- Look for ways to reduce stress.
- Increase exercise and maintain muscle mass.
- Get plenty of fiber and use probiotics as needed. Our digestive system is key in removing bad estrogen, so increase fiber intake.
- Supplement with DIM. Many supplements are more effective as creams, but DIM is most effective as an oral supplement. I prefer the brand Smoky Mountain Naturals DIM.
- Limit sugar intake.
- Moderate alcohol use. Binge drinking is the worst. Estrogen is metabolized through the liver, so treat your liver kindly.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Find alternatives to birth control pills and HRT.
- Use a natural progesterone cream, such as Radiate Balance
So how do you know if you are actually in menopause and your symptoms are from too little, rather than too much estrogen? When your menstrual cycle stops, you can begin supplementing with a bioidentical estrogen cream, such as Radiate Vitality. But you'll notice that Radiate Vitality contains natural progesterone, we believe it's important to maintain balance between estrogen and progesterone. Our testing partner, Your Hormone Balance, offers hormone testing by mail. Click here to LEARN MORE.
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The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement or other health program.