If you are experiencing weight gain, night sweats, sleep disturbances, mood swings, low libido, and brain fog, you might be dealing with estrogen dominance.
Estrogen, one of the most important female reproductive hormones, gets a bad rap at times however, estrogen is crucial for day-to-day functioning. Estrogen plays a role in regulating menstruation, cholesterol production, improving skin health, cognitive function, bone health, and much more!
When estrogen levels are low, you may experience menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood imbalances, and irregular periods. However, having too much estrogen or high estrogen and low progesterone is known as estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is linked to many symptoms and chronic health issues. Some of the most common health related concerns regarding estrogen dominance include: an increased risk of hormone-dependent cancers (estrogen receptor positive cancers), uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, PMS, thyroid imbalances, endometriosis, weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance:
Weight gain (particularly in hips, midsection, thighs)
Brain fog/cognitive imbalances
Reduced sex drive
What Causes Estrogen Dominance?:
Women that have estrogen dominance are often overweight. One classic sign of high estrogen levels is carrying excess weight in the hip section and an inability to lose weight with dietary changes. Why does this occur? Ironically, our fat tissue absorbs and stores estrogen in the bloodstream and it also synthesizes estrogen from our other hormones. This can lead to a viscous cycle of weight gain and estrogen storage! The more fats cells that we have, the more estrogen the body will make, and the more estrogen you have, the more fat you store!
We all experience stressful situations in our lives, but chronic stress can lead to a host of hormone imbalances, including estrogen dominance. In the presence of stress, our bodies produce excess cortisol (a stress hormone). When there is excess cortisol, the body will deplete our progesterone levels, creating an estrogen dominance state. Therefore, stress management is a focal point for any women trying to improve hormone health.
Hormone replacement therapy and birth control
The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and/or oral contraceptives can increase estrogen levels in the body. Improper management of HRT and excessive use of birth control furthers the presence of estrogen dominance in women. If HRT and/or birth control are needed, proper testing to ensure healthy levels is a must!!
Our Westernized environment promotes estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and promote estrogen dominance and other hormonal imbalances. Xenoestrogens are found in a variety of everyday products including personal care products, tap water, plastics, cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, canned foods, air fresheners, nail polish, hair dyes, sunscreens, and more!
Hormone Help is Here!
If you think estrogen dominance is the root to your health issues, there is help! The first step to identifying estrogen dominance is proper hormone testing. In addition, working with a functional medicine nutritionist can help you identify dietary and lifestyle factors that might be promoting imbalanced estrogen levels in the body and can help guide dietary and lifestyle factors to improve your hormone levels.
To learn more or to schedule your free healthy hormone consultation, visit me here: https://www.vitalsourcenutrition.com/womenshealth