Do you suffer from severe premenopausal or perimenopausal symptoms? Symptoms like: infertility, fibroids, ovarian cysts, brain fog, irritability, mood swings, PMS, fatigue or insomnia? If so, then you very likely are “estrogen dominant”.
But what is estrogen dominance? And most importantly, is it reversible?
Fortunately, estrogen dominance is treatable. Even if you suffer from severe perimenopausal symptoms, with a little effort, you can find relief.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Coined by the late Dr. John R. Lee, “estrogen dominance” refers to the condition when the body has high estrogen levels and low progesterone. If your hormones are influx due to perimenopause, then that imbalance will make your symptoms more severe.
So how does this happen? What causes the body to become estrogen dominant?
To explain how this condition comes about, you must first understand how hormones work in your body.
Hormones are little chemical messengers responsible for about 80% of your body’s functions. They travel through your bloodstream, to and from organs and tissues, to carry out their tasks.
Various hormones in your body respond to one another. If one becomes elevated, another may react and increase as well. But the opposite also happens. If a certain hormone becomes high, another may decrease as a result.
How Estrogen Levels Become Elevated
So how do estrogen levels get inflated?
A number of reasons really.
Estrogen can increase if you are exposed to too much stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, and estrogen work together. If cortisol rises then estrogen does the same.
But it doesn’t stop there. This abundance of estrogen in the body pushes down progesterone levels. An imbalance is created. Your body now has overly high levels of estrogen and depleted progesterone.
If left untreated, that imbalance will make you feel very, very sick.
Other Contributors to Estrogen Dominance
But stress is just one factor contributing to this condition. Synthetic hormones in our environment also play a role.
Our environment is inundated with xenoestrogen toxins. These synthetic hormones enter our body and mimic our own naturally produced estrogen, causing levels to rise. You’ll find some of the highest xenoestrogen levels in conventionally raised meat and dairy. They also are found in certain plastics, personal care products and even cookware.
Your diet plays a role as well. Foods like sugar and cheap carbohydrates also elevate estrogen levels in the body.
Even if you are close to menopause and your estrogen levels are waning, you can still be estrogen dominant. That’s because the condition refers to the balance between estrogen and progesterone. In other words, you can be low in estrogen and even lower in progesterone.
Fortunately you can reverse estrogen dominance. Eating right, exercising, reducing exposure to toxins, and managing your stress go a long way in alleviating the condition.