What is Estrogen Dominance?
Learn the Symptoms and Causes of Estrogen Dominance Along with 5 Steps for Rebalancing Your Hormones
What is all this talk about estrogen dominance? Dominance in the gym, that board meeting, or the bedroom: Good. Dominance with one of your most important hormones? We need to talk.
Here’s the deal: Your body needs estrogen to maintain the female reproductive system, contribute to cognitive and cardiovascular health, build bone density, and more. Too much estrogen, though, can cause a myriad of unpleasant symptoms and increase your risk of serious health conditions. It is normal for estrogen levels to shift throughout a woman’s life, but once hormones fall out of balance, it can be a challenge to rein them back in. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of estrogen dominance and what to do if you find that your hormones could use some rebalancing.
What Are the Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen and progesterone work together to keep your reproductive system functioning optimally. But some people’s bodies don’t make enough progesterone, causing unopposed estrogen, the medical term for estrogen dominance, to overcompensate. This imbalance can affect a woman’s life in many ways, including:
- Heavy, painful, and irregular periods
- Unexplained weight gain (and an inability to lose weight)
- Recurring headaches
- Low libido
- Fatigue/sleep problems
- Tender or fibrocystic breasts
What Causes Estrogen Dominance?
While a complex condition, one or more of these causes can lead to estrogen dominance:
- Hormonal birth control
- Eating non-organic food and/or a poor diet
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Using products with endocrine disruptors such as conventional beauty, skincare, and household products
- Poor gut health
- Chronic stress (staying in fight-or-flight mode) or unresolved trauma
- Poor liver function
- Poor lifestyle choices (binge drinking alcohol, smoking, overindulging in sugar)
How to Fix Estrogen Dominance
One of the reasons it is so important to identify and resolve estrogen dominance is because it can lead to other serious health conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), insulin resistance, and can significantly increase your risk of certain cancers (like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer).
But don’t worry: If you think you struggle with estrogen dominance, you’re not alone. In fact, 72% of women struggle with estrogen dominance, making it one of the most common hormone imbalances women face today (though many don’t realize it). If you think you might have estrogen dominance, here are the steps you can take to rebalance your hormones:
- Take a hormone test. If you suffer from one or more estrogen dominance symptoms, it is a safe bet that your hormones are a little off kilter. However, confirming your suspicions with a hormone test will give you the data you need to understand how best to tackle any imbalances.
- Consider adding more organic whole foods to your diet. Going organic can be pricy, but when you consider the price of consuming pesticides and other hormone-disrupting chemicals in your food, replacing at least some of your produce with organic can make a noticeable difference in how you feel. If you’re on a budget, we recommend replacing only the Dirty Dozen—EWG (Environmental Working Group)’s annual list of the most pesticide-laden foods—with organic replacements. Your hormones will thank you.
- Eliminate hormone-disrupting products from your home. Endocrine disruptors—or chemicals that interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system and the reproductive and other biological processes regulated by it—are just about everywhere. It can be hard to eliminate our exposure to them completely, but if you are working to rebalance your hormones, you may want to eliminate products like conventional laundry detergent, cosmetics, skincare products, and cleaning solvents with cleaner, nontoxic alternatives.
- Show your liver some TLC. A hormone imbalance can usually point to a sluggish liver that is struggling to eliminate metabolized estrogens. After all, your liver is busy working around the clock to eliminate toxins from your body. Love your liver back to life by eating more nutrient-dense food (like cruciferous vegetables, lean proteins, and fatty fish), staying hydrated, limiting or avoiding alcohol intake, getting 20-30 minutes of exercise each day, and getting restful, restorative sleep each night.
- Consider hormone treatment options. If you’ve tried everything to restore hormone balance and are still experiencing stubborn symptoms like weight gain and relentless headaches, consider hormone treatment options. Many hormone treatment options can be individualized to your unique needs, such as creams, troches, capsules, and injectables.
Hormone Help is on the Way, Dear
If better moods, improved sleep, better energy levels, and higher libido feel out of reach no matter what you’ve tried, our Hormone Optimization Therapies may be perfect for you. Contact us today for a free consultation where our team of providers will formulate an individualized treatment plan to help you feel and look your best—from the inside out.