What is Estrogen dominance?
I am sure you know that we (ladies) have several very important hormones at work in our bodies.
One of the most important and powerful ones is estrogens (Estrone, Estriol & Estradiol). As with everything else in our body, it must be found in the correct levels in order for us to be in good health. Too much estrogen can be a problem and will cause a myriad of symptoms.
The expression “Estrogen dominance” was first used by Dr Lee in his first book on the Benefits of Natural Progesterone. It describes a condition where we have either an excess of estrogen in the body or there is an inadequate supply of progesterone to balance its effects. When estrogen level rises it automatically lowers the level of progesterone.
Even a woman with low estrogen levels can have estrogen dominance symptoms if she doesn’t have enough progesterone to balance out the estrogen. To achieve a state of well being a woman must have the proper estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.
Hormones must be balanced for us to live healthy lives.
What do those hormones do?
- They are chemical messengers released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism.
- A small amount of hormone can alter cell metabolism.
- Cells respond to a hormone when they have a specific receptor for that hormone. The hormone binds to that receptor and it activates the mechanism that allows the cell to give the specific response it is meant to give.
When your doctor prescribes you bio-identical estrogen, he also needs to prescribe you natural (or bio-identical) progesterone because it will counteract the negative effects of too much estrogen. Without natural bio-identical progesterone, you will find yourself suffering from estrogen dominance symptoms.
What causes estrogen dominance?
1) Synthetic hormone found in the pill or HRT (replacement therapy). Why? Because it uses high doses of estrogen and progestins. Progestins or Progestogens are NOT bio-identical progesterone. Its molecular structure has been altered and it is no longer just as our body makes it.
2) Pre-menopause: early onset of pre-menopause causes early follicle dysfunction resulting in a lack of natural progesterone production, and therefore a loss of ovulation.
3) Exposure to xeno-estrogens caused by environmental pollution. Exposure to pesticides, to industrial toxins. They have an estrogen-like effect: They attach themselves to the estrogen receptors of the cell (see in the beginning what is a receptor) and they mimic the action of estrogen. This results in estrogen dominance symptoms!!
4) Birth control pills : They stop natural hormone production and contain excessive estrogen.
In the Long Term Estrogen dominance is a major health risk for women.
The risks are greater as a woman grows older and reaches menopause.
- Uterine Fibroids
- Breast cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Fibrocystic breast
- Ovarian cancer
- Pre-menopausal bone loss
- Osteoporosis in menopausal women
If Estrogen is not opposed by the action of Progesterone in the body
it can cause Other estrogen dominance symptoms such as:
- Acceleration of aging
- Autoimmune disorders
- Breast tenderness
- Decreased libido (low sex drive)
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Hair loss
- Blood clotting increases the risk of stroke
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Bloating, water retention
Nobody in their right mind would accept to live with these symptoms or even worse with these diseases. At the time of menopause, these symptoms increase leading sometimes to serious health issues.
Menopause is a “difficult time” where you are at a greater health risk. Get your hormone levels checked or use bio-identical hormones to achieve balance.
If You want healthy menopause!
- Sleep enough
- Eat healthily
- Do regular Physical Activities
- Balance your hormones naturally with bio-identical progesterone
When using progesterone therapy, at first it will stimulate the estrogen receptors, making estrogen the dominant hormone. You can understand why so many people feel worse when starting their progesterone therapy.
Men also can experience estrogen dominance symptoms when starting progesterone.
It is essential to persevere in applying progesterone, for at least 3 months, as progesterone will gradually become the dominant hormone then those symptoms will begin to disappear. Some women don’t experience estrogen dominance, while others do. These symptoms can take several days to wean off.
How Much Progesterone to Use?
How much progesterone to use depends solely on the amount of estrogen active in the body. The recommended amount of progesterone ranges from about 100-200 mg per day. Unfortunately, many women use doses as low as 20 daily mg. It is too low to counteract the excess estrogen and leaves the body in a permanent state of estrogen dominance.
If a woman experiences heavy continual bleeding during her monthly cycle or extreme hot flashes, she should start with a higher dosage of progesterone such as 400mg/day.
Men with high levels of estrogen can benefit from using 10-20mg daily and increasing up to 10mg daily if necessary.
When you experience Estrogen dominance symptoms, then your choice is to either…
1. Start with a higher progesterone dosage and persevere until the estrogen dominance symptoms wean off, or
2. Begin with a low dose, to start with, and then gradually increase it over a month or two.
The 2nd option will understandably take longer to resolve the symptoms.
Temporary Relief From Estrogen Supplements
Estrogen supplements can initially bring a relief from symptoms. Because Estrogen activates the progesterone receptors causing progesterone to become the dominant hormone. But this relief is short lived as estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.
You now understand why so many women keep alternating their HRT treatments. For those women who do not suffer any adverse reaction, the risks of using HRT or the contraceptive pill for any length of time are associated with high health risks.
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