Today we are going to cover the role of estrogen in the body. We will discuss estrogen dominance, the signs, symptoms of having too much or too little estrogen, and things to discuss with your health care provider if you are concerned about this.
What Exactly Is Estrogen Dominance?
Let’s start with the basics. Estrogen Dominance is a medical term used to describe when your body is making too much estrogen. Estrogen is created not only from your ovaries and uterus but from fat cells. This hormone plays a vital role in female health.
Estrogen is responsible for:
- Building up our endometrial lining and telling our ovaries to produce an egg
- Helping to shed endometrial lining
- Too little estrogen can cause osteoporosis, irregular periods, infertility, depression, urinary tract infections
Estrogen dominance is an influx of the estrogen hormones in our bodies. This can become as it can cause awful symptoms, leads to autoimmune disorders, and worst case scenario leads to some cancers.
What Causes Estrogen Dominance?
Dr. Amy Myers states that one cause of an increase of estrogen in our bodies can be linked to the increase of exposure to xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are industrial chemicals that mimic the makeup of estrogen and cause issues within our bodies. Unfortunately, they are found in just about everything from the clothing we wear, the food we eat, the environmental carbon emission toxins, and our makeup.
These chemicals cause serious endocrine disturbance and awful side effects. Cutting back on the exposure to these chemicals has become one of the many steps that doctors and holistic health practitioners are recommending to help balance out our hormones. Removing xenoestrogens can help control conditions like PCOs and other auto-immune disorders.
Another cause of estrogen dominance is our weight. The more fat cells we have in our body the better the chance that their will be underlying health problems with our hormones and other bodily systems. I will never be one to tell a woman that they need to diet or lose weight. I am not in any way promoting the dieting culture on this blog, however, we do know that being overweight and obese can be a contributing factor to this health concern.
Lastly, hormonal birth control can lead to this issue. To tell your body not to do its natural monthly cycle, hormonal birth control is made up of synthetic estrogen and progesterone. It can signal your body to produce more estrogen, leading to some of the symptoms listed below.
Signs and Symptoms
- Weight gain in hips, waist, and thighs
- Bleeding problems such as too light or too heavy periods
- PMS symptoms
- Fibrocystic Breast (lumps in your breast)
- Uterine Fibroids (painful as well as put you at risk for hemorrhage post delivery)
- Loss of sex drive
- Depression or anxiety
What Can You Do?
If you think you may have estrogen dominance, there are a couple of things that can be done. You should consult with your health provider, preferably one that has worked in hormonal imbalances in the past to discuss concerns. Explain what you are feeling.
You are your own health expert, meaning you know what your baseline of normal is. Give examples of these symptoms and explain that you have felt a lump in your breast, are having painful periods, or that your period is nonexistent or too heavy, lasting too long (longer than 9 days and soaking through super tampons or pads).
The amount of estrogen you have in your body can be measured. This can lead your provider to recommend a treatment like a diet control, exercise, avoiding toxins in our homes and water.
A great place to start is to take care of your gut-biome with probiotics found in yogurt or supplements. For instance, eating more fiber will promote digestion and metabolism of estrogen.
As a nurse, I can leave you with this. It is okay to get a second opinion. Do not be afraid to ask for another opinion before landing on a treatment plan. Finding a doctor that is open to integrative methods of treatment.
This information is intended to give you insights into health conditions that are not often discussed. Dr. Jolene Brighten is a wonderful resource. As well as, Alissa Vitti when it comes to this topic and all others pertaining to hormonal health. Remember, you are the only one experiencing your life, if it seems off or different from those around you, it’s worth asking about!