Menopause pioneer, Dr. John R. Lee coined the term “Estrogen Dominance” during his long and accomplished medical career. The term was introduced in his book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”.
The notion of estrogen dominance has provided a new approach to the way many women have treated the symptoms of menopause, and has given women who had run out of hope, the answers that they were looking for.
Estrogen dominance is also possible outside of menopause, due to modern lifestyle factors or other medical issues.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
The name can be a bit misleading. Being estrogen dominant doesn’t necessarily mean that you have too much estrogen. In fact, many women are estrogen dominant while also having an estrogen deficiency!
That’s because estrogen dominance isn’t about overall estrogen levels, but rather the ratio of estrogen to progesterone. Estrogen levels fall during menopause, but progesterone plummets. The result is often decreased levels of both hormones, with a new problematic ratio.
Estrogen dominance can also occur when progesterone levels are decreased due to conditions like PCOS, or estrogen levels have been drastically elevated by artificial environmental factors.
Without sufficient progesterone to balance the estrogen presence, women can become estrogen dominant. The experience can be every bit as bad as the menopausal symptoms associated with general hormone decline.
What Does Estrogen Dominance Look Like?
The list of potential negative effects associated with estrogen dominance is long, and can include:
Acceleration of the aging process, allergies, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, breast tenderness, breast cancer, decreased sex drive, depression, fat gain, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, foggy thinking, gallbladder disease, hair loss, headaches, hypoglycemia, increased blood clotting, infertility, insomnia, irritability, memory loss, migraines, miscarriage, osteoporosis, pre-menopausal bone loss, PMS, seizures, strokes, thyroid dysfunction, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, and water retention.
You'll notice quite a few symptoms on that list that are also associated with menopause.
The unfortunate irony is that many women present the symptoms of menopause, and receive unopposed estrogen supplements (usually the more volatile estradiol or estrone). Needless to say, many women are left without relief because they haven’t corrected the estrogen dominance that was the true source of their symptoms.
Several factors have an impact on the development of estrogen dominance.
One of those factors is the prevalence of excess body fat. Body fat stores estrogen, and more fat means higher levels of estrogen. Assuming similar progesterone values, the ratio of the two hormones can be thrown off by the extra weight. This can prove to be especially problematic for women with PCOS, a condition often marked by poor ovulation (low progesterone) and unwanted weight gain.
Hormone-based birth control pills factor in, too. Pharmaceutical birth control manipulates estrogen/progesterone to prevent ovulation and pregnancy. The trouble comes when the addition of artificial estrogen causes an imbalance with lowered progesterone levels, throwing the body into estrogen dominance.
Progesterone-based birth control pills can also inhibit the body’s natural production of progesterone. The body becomes reliant on the regular supplementation, and when birth control stops, there can be a depletion of the progesterone needed for balance.
Another pervasive factor in the development of estrogen dominance is the constant bombardment of xenoestrogens that each of us experience each day. Xenoestrogens are chemicals that, while structurally different, interact with our bodies similarly to estrogen.
The list of xenoestrogen sources is extensive. They include car exhaust, pesticides, nail polish, Styrofoam, plastics, Household cleaners, and a thousand other seemingly benign things that surround us every day of our lives.
The buildup of these estrogen-like chemicals effectively raises total estrogen. Xenoestrogens act in our bodies like estradiol or estrone. Despite the presence of xenoestrogens, the third, more mild form of estrogen (estriol) remains low if unsupplemented during menopause.
In the long term, focusing on a healthy diet that includes a full range of essential vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates can help support healthy ovulation and progesterone production. Losing excess fat body fat and avoiding xenoestrogens can also help bring your estrogen levels back into normal ranges.
You can also supplement with progesterone cream for quick results. This is especially true for menopausal women whose ovulation days are coming to a close. Too often with menopause, women treat their symptoms with unopposed estrogen. But progesterone is crucial for finding balance and avoiding the symptoms of estrogen dominance.
For women suffering with estrogen dominance, supplementing with progesterone is one of the quickest, most effective ways to get results. If your estrogen dominance is related to progesterone declines, our Progesto-Life cream is the supplement that you've been looking for.
DIM (Diindolyl methane) is also a great option for reeling in excess estradiol and estrone. DIM promotes the metabolism of estrogen through the body’s natural mechanisms. This impressive function is a natural byproduct of consuming this powerful phytonutrient, which is also found in vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
If you’ve tried to get relief, but struggled, consider getting your hormone levels checked. Estrogen dominance is increasingly common in modern women. You need to know about it if you’re going to treat your symptoms effectively.