Estrogen is a hormone that is essential for women’s reproductive health. It plays a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle, maintaining bone density, and keeping the vaginal tissues healthy. However, too much estrogen in the body can cause problems. This is called estrogen dominance, and it can affect both men and women.
Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone in the body. Progesterone is another hormone that helps to balance out the effects of estrogen. When there is too much estrogen and not enough progesterone, it can lead to a range of symptoms.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance Can Include:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy or painful periods
- Mood swings
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
Estrogen Dominance Can Be Caused By a Variety of Factors
The most common reason this occurs is during perimenopause when the ovaries start to produce less progesterone because of irregular ovulation.
It can also occur as a result of exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and synthetic hormones in food. Being overweight increased the likelihood of estrogen dominance as fat tissue creates its own estrogen.
Management of estrogen dominance may involve lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, increasing fiber intake and getting regular exercise. Progesterone therapy may also be prescribed to help balance out the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. There are also supplements that can be helpful. These will be discussed in an upcoming post.
An overlooked area that contributes significantly to hormone balance is gut health. Poor gut health affects the body’s ability to eliminate estrogen. Estrogen is metabolized in the liver and eliminated from the body through bowel movements. Constipation can lead to a buildup of estrogen in the body.
If the estrobolome (gut bacteria that affect estrogen metabolism) is out of balance, estrogen will recirculate. This worsens estrogen dominance and increases the potentially toxic effects of estrogen.
An unhealthy gut can also lead to inflammation, which can contribute to estrogen dominance. Chronic inflammation in the body can increase the production of estrogen and decrease the production of progesterone, which can contribute to an imbalance of these hormones.
My team uses the GI Map to assess gut health and create a plan to rebalance and repair imbalances that are noted. I’m now including this test in my signature Connect the Dots program.
Estrogen dominance is a condition that occurs when there is too much estrogen in the body and not enough progesterone to balance it out. It can cause a range of symptoms and can be caused by a variety of factors. If you think you may have estrogen dominance, let’s talk. My team can create a customized plan to address whatever you are experiencing!
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone-balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at www.perimenopausebook.com.
Also, she offers a membership group, Hormone Harmony with Dr. Anna Garrett, which provides women in midlife with affordable expert guidance and community support.
Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at www.drannagarrett.com/lets-