Estrogen dominance is a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, where there is an excess of estrogen, a deficiency of progesterone, or both. This imbalance is quite common, and can be the cause of many women’s health concerns, and is treatable with naturopathic medicine.
Symptoms of Excess Estrogen
- Weight gain
- PMS with breast tenderness, water retention, bloating, weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Migraines or headaches with menstrual cycle
- Irregular periods, mild to extreme heavy bleeding
- Endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts
- Water retention, puffiness, bloating
- Anxiety, depression, poor concentration, mood swings
- Gallbladder problems
- Cellulite or fat at the hips and thighs
- Low sex drive
Causes of Excess Estrogen
It is most common to experience excess estrogen in the teens and again in the 40’s. Other health factors can cause or exacerbate this problem at any time, like liver and colon health, and the effect of environmental toxins on the body. The liver is our major filter, and if impaired by toxins can’t remove estrogen as effectively. If the colon has a problem, such as candida overgrowth or constipation, the old estrogen will be reabsorbed and lead to increased estrogen in the body. Environmental toxins like pesticides can mimic estrogen when ingested, and heavy metals such as lead and mercury can block the effects of hormones and their liver clearance. Obesity is also a risk factor, as fat cells store and produce estrogen.
Menopause and Estrogen Dominance
There is approximately a 35% reduction in estrogen during menopause, and a 75% reduction in progesterone. That means there is a relative excess of estrogen, and is why many women feel better with progesterone support.
If you have symptoms of estrogen dominance, we recommend our hormone balancing program, which will start with a detailed history and lab assessment. An individualized treatment plan will be suggested to optimize digestion, liver function, the nervous system (stress), and decrease inflammation if necessary. Women often report having increased energy, drive, and mental clarity after learning how to take care of their bodies.