Updated: Sep 12, 2021
Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone, but it is present in both males and females. When your body has too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone, a whole host of problems can begin. This is estrogen dominance, which can lead to:
•Some research suggests that men with high estrogen levels may experience depression.
This issue isn't just for girls/women, boys/men are also affected. It can cause gynaecomastia, prostate issues or erectile dysfunction. Here are some symptoms of estrogen dominance:
•Irregular menstrual periods
•Body fat in hips, thighs and butt
•Hot flashes/ night sweats
There are several reasons hormone get out of balance. Here are the top 4 contributors:
1. Hormone mimickers/distuptors- Common household products like detergents, disinfectants, plastics, and pesticides, contain chemical ingredients that enter the body. They disrupt hormones and cause adverse developmental disease, and reproductive problems. Known as endocrine disruptors, these chemicals, which interact with the endocrine system, wreak havoc in humans and wildlife. They trick our body into thinking that they are hormones, and block natural hormones from doing their job.
Here are just a few of these chemicals:
1. Xenoestrogens- are the #1 cause of estrogen dominance. These are chemicals we ingest or put on our skin and act as hormone mimickers. Xenoestrogens sit on estrogen receptor sites in the body, creating an excess of estrogen compared to our other hormones. If your liver is already burdened with other toxins (poor diet, stress, alcohol, and caffeine) the job of detoxing this extra estrogen can become too much.
2. Bisphenol A (BPA)- a chemical added to most plastics (water bottles, plastic Tupperware), canned food, register receipts, dental sealants, feminine hygiene products.
3. Triclosan- found in anti-bacterial products, some deodorants, some toothpastes
4. Pesticides/herbacides- Round-up/glyphosate sprayed on our food and used in our homes.
5. Herbicides and insecticides- are sprayed on crops and used in our homes.
6. Flame-retardants- sprayed on furniture and children's clothing.
Our skin absorbs everything we put on it. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin! Check out my previous blog post for a list of ingredients to watch for in your skin care products.
2. Obesity- Body fat is able to make estrogen, so even if you’re menopausal, you can have too much estrogen. Fat tissue is like a magnet for estrogen, absorbing and storing much of what is circulating in the bloodstream. which in turn makes more estrogen. Its a vicious cycle!
Also, high insulin levels lead to insulin resistance and lowered testosterone which causes estrogen dominance.
3. Poor Detox- The detox process is key. Our body needs to detox, even excess hormones. Poor clearance (gut dysbiosis and constipation) inhibits detoxification. This causes free flowing estrogen in the body leading to estrogen dominance. **Alcohol causes estrogen to be shuttled down the 4-OH pathway in the liver which can lead to breast cancer and DNA damage.
4. Stress- Our body will prioritize survival over balance. A high demand for cortisol depletes progesterone. Progesterone is a natural diuretic and helps to stabilize blood sugar. When estrogen is dominant, your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes may increase.
I recommend testing to see exactly what's going on with your hormones so you know how to support your body best. Dutch test is a lab test you can order at do at home. It tests 36 hormones, cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and their detox pathways. DUTCH OATs: Oxidative stress marker, melatonin, and six organic acid tests (OATs) including markers for vitamin B12, vitamin B6, kynurenate, glutathione, dopamine, norepinephrine/epinephrine. You can order this test here. The results are emailed to you. I can help you understand them and get you set up on a wellness program. You can set that appointment with me here.
This big cycle of imbalance that can be avoided! My next post will talk about what you can do to help your hormones to stay balanced.