Excess estrogen, or Estrogen Dominance, is a condition recognized and written about extensively by the late Dr. John Lee. It can occur with high, normal or low estrogen levels and indicates an imbalance in relation to progesterone.
Why should you be concerned about Estrogen Dominance?
Western civilizations have experienced a marked escalation in the incidence of cancer during the past fifty or so years. Teenage girls and young women are complaining of once rare disorders, such as endometriosis and persistent ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast disease.
In an environment of hormonal imbalance, cancer cells can rapidly grow and reproduce in certain types of hormone-sensitive cells. This disruption of normal female hormone balance sets up the body for a host of uncomfortable symptoms, as well as serious health problems.
In the presence of excess estrogen , breast tissue may proliferate and mutate in an unhealthy fashion. Elsewhere in the body, inflammation, irritation or other pre-disease conditions can develop into a number of health issues, such as severe PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, colon dysfunction, infertility, chronic Candida infections–even cancer.
What causes estrogen dominance?
There are a multitude of environmental and physical factors that lead to this state of imbalance. The two prime suspectsare the western diet and industrialization.
Our S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet!) is devoid of proper amounts of fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Industry has provided us with many great benefits; unfortunately, it has also created pollution in the air, water and food chain.
Chemicals, such as chlorine, fluoride, and diazinon cannot help but be ingested or inhaled even if in minute amounts. These toxic chemical and pollution substances, termed ‘xenoestrogens’, are confusing to the body’s hormone receptors. These estrogen imitators can excessively stimulate receptor sites; or they may simply block the natural hormones altogether.
In addition, poor nutrition, xenoestrogens and mental/emotional stressors can cause anovulatory cycles (‘normal’ period, but no egg is released). Without the monthly release of an egg, progesterone levels fall even more. In fact, stress alone can cause significant hormone imbalances.
How Does Estrogen Dominance Impact My Menopause Symptoms?
When the body senses low levels of progesterone, it may instruct the pituitary gland to release higher levels of FSH and
LH. (Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone) In turn, the increased levels of FSH and LH cause increased estrogen production–often resulting in further imbalance.
High amounts of stress can reduce the amount of progesterone being produced in the adrenal glands. Cortisol , the so-called ‘stress hormone’, then competes with progesterone at the hormone receptor sites. As the receptor sites are overloaded or just simply confused, the body may respond again with even more estrogen production.
Can Estrogen Dominance Be Treated?
Yes, this condition can be treated, utilizing bioidentical hormones, dietary changes, supplements, and stress management.
However, before estrogen dominance can be properly dealt with, a physician must establish the extent of the hormone imbalances.
Many traditional physicians don’t even recognize “estrogen dominance syndrome” and may not fully explore the importance of estrogen-to-progesterone ratios.
If you can persuade your physician to read Dr. John Lee’s book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, it should be quite helpful in explaining the concept of excess estrogen and progesterone deficiency. A subsequent book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer, further explores the estrogen dominance connection suspected with several types of cancer in women.
Learn more about estrogen