Woman with Hormonal Imbalances Often Suffer with Estrogen Dominance
If you are a woman who is going through “the change”, suffering with menopausal symptoms, been put on HRT or you have endometriosis, you may have come across a term that gets thrown around quite a bit on the internet and in self help hormone balancing books called estrogen dominance.
Today’s video, I want to help you understand what it is, the signs and symptoms of it, the dangers of it and why in certain cases it can be dangerous to take synthetic hormones.
So when we talk about Estrogen realize that estrogen is not a single hormone. It is a class of hormones. there are many kinds of estrogens. there are human estrogens, animal estrogens, synthetic estrogens, phytoestrogens, and xenoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are the estrogens that comes from plants, and the xenoestrogens are the estrogens that are commonly found in plastics and other chemicals. If you are having any kind of hormone imbalance, the hormone that often gets tested by your doctor typically include the estrogen hormone called estradiol or E2.
But I want you to realize that there is also E1 called estrone and E3 called estriol. and then metabolities of these hormones like 2,4,16 hydroxyestrogens.
What Is Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance” is a term that was coined by Harvard physician John R. Lee M.D. and whats important to know about estrogen dominance is that it can realy occur in many times in a womans life.
It can happen to a woman in her teens if she has an irregular cycle (endometriosis) for which her doctor has put her on birth control pills to help “regulate the cycle” it can occur in a woman who had difficulty conceiving and she underwent fertility shots, it can happen to woman who have dont ovulate every month.
So lets talk about how this applies to woman between the ages of 35-50.
Starting at around age 35 estrogen levels start to decline, your body doesn’t need as much estrogen as it did once upon a time and so your body is in the early stages of winding down, but with the drop in estrogen often what we see is that there is a steeper drop in the progesterone levels… and its this steep drop in progesterone that widens the gap between these two opposing hormone’s.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have a whole lot of estrogen, it just means that relative to progesterone your body is favoring a state of more estrogen to progesterone.
Progesterone Not Always the Answer to Estrogen Dominance.
Not that long ago I did a video titled “Why you may feel worse with progesterone cream” and so I highly encourage that you watch that video. There is no doubt that for some woman progesterone can be a blessing but it needs to be used judiciously and to be quite honest, there are things a woman can due naturally, if a woman wants to restore balance without necessarily having to resort to putting progesterone into her body.
So let me be clear here for the record, it’s not as simple as simply taking progesterone levels because progesterone levels are low. There are many causes behind why progesterone levels would be low and these mechanism should be explored before diving into hormone replacement land.
Hormones are a family, and when we see one hormone that is off or out of balance, there are usually multiple hormone family members that are also off. This is why I believe to truly assess female hormone levels we need to look at not only the estrogens, and progesterones, but also the androgens, the metabolites of estrogen, thyroid hormones and finally the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA levels.
In over 15 years of practice, I rarely see woman who consults my practice have all of these hormones evaluated or balanced for that matter.
Don’t Make this Mistake if You Are Already Taking Hormone Replacement.
The other thing I want to really stress to any woman who has started working with a doctor for hormone balance or bioidential hormone treatment is this…. You need to get your hormones retested every 90-120 days if you are taking compounded hormones, progesterone, DHEA or Thyroid. IF you don’t, you run the risk of these hormones getting converted to undesirable hormones and causing a further deterioration in hormone balance. Taking hormone is not a forever thing!!!!
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
- Weight gain around middle and triceps area, Fat gain in abdomen, hips, and thighs Fatigue Fibrocystic breasts
- Autoimmune disorders- many woman will note that their doctor has uncovered a Autoimmune thyroid disorder on a check up.
- Breast cancer- we know that too much estrogen with unoposed progesterone can lead to breast and uterine cancer.
- Breast tenderness
- Cold hands and feet as a symptom of thyroid dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive and libido, difficulty with orgasm
- Muscle and joint pain, Depression,
- Foggy thinking, Hair loss, Headaches, low blood sugar called -Hypoglycemia
- Increased blood clotting or heavy periods.
Why The Liver is A Woman Best Friend
The last thing I think that is important to discuss when we talk about female hormone balance, is the importance of good healthy liver function.
Overloading the Liver can be a huge problem and can also further exacerbate many of these symptoms of hormone imbalances. It is for this reason, you want to get you liver enzymes evaluated and something called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or SHBG.
If you think of your liver as a filter, It detoxifies our body, it protects us from the harmful effects of medications, environmental toxins, and even natural products of our metabolism, including excess estrogen.
Anything that impairs liver function or ties up the livers ability to detoxifying will result in excess estrogen levels. If we look at the things that can tax the liver we are talking about alcohol, or medications like tylenol or aspirin. Do you get headaches or do you experience menstrual cramping, if you do… Do you reach for the Tylenol bottle every month?
So you want to be extremely conscious of what you put into your body and the effects it has on your liver. Other elements that can be taking to the liver include environmental toxins such Bisphenol A, plastics, fluoride, chlorine, and methyl parabens. These also limit the liver’s capacity breakdown and recycle these estrogens that exacerbate estrogen dominance.
Points To Remember About Todays Video on Estrogen Dominance
We talked about estrogen dominance, the many causes behind it and being mindful of the medications you could be taking to combat the symptoms of hormone imbalance. We talked about the importance of testing the hormone as a family not just testing estradiol or E2.
In my next video, I discuss the best way to test female hormones and why the standard testing approach for female hormones misses the boat on so many levels. So if you are a woman who is experiencing female hormone imbalances and your doctor has tested you and everything comes back normal, I will explain why that may not be the case.
I hope you enjoyed today’s video, If you have questions or you want more information, visit my website drhagmeyer.com, you will find over 900 pages of information related to thyroid, hormone, adrenal, GI health and so much more.
I also have a short video titled “7 signs you are in need of a hormone make over”
Till next time, Take care of your body you only get one and it needs to last you a lifetime!