Itâ€™s confusing, isnâ€™t it?Â The way our bodies change and seem to go rogue on us? As we age a baffling number of transformations occur and we scramble to figure out if they are normal, abnormal, or some sort of ancient curse unleashed when we touched that museum piece we werenâ€™t supposed to touch.Â Where did that hair come from?Â Why is my skin suddenly dry/oily/spotty/wrinkled?Â Why am I getting a thick waist and flabby arms?Â Yeah.Â Itâ€™s a tough road in a culture that reveres perfection and youth, and hormonal changes are along for the ride.Â Â
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen dominance is a term that is often heard as menopause approaches.Â What does it mean, and what should you know about it?Â Let me just say it is a complex subject, and one that research is still unraveling. Â I have pulled together information from several leading medical and integrative healers and will let you decide for yourself how it might apply to you now and going forward.Â
A simple definition, too simple really, is that estrogen dominance occurs when there is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone.Â As our bodies prepare for menopause progesterone levels begin to fall.Â So even if our estrogen levels are normal, they are no longer in balance because of the decreased progesterone.Â This imbalance can lead to symptoms such as bloating, cramps, mood swings, and tender breasts. (Source: Dr. Laura Corio, â€œThe Change Before The Change,â€ p. 12)
According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, â€œIf a woman begins to experience uncomfortable symptoms at this stage, itâ€™s because her body can senseâ€”and attempts to adjust toâ€”that relative estrogen excess. Estrogen excess is also exacerbated by high insulin and stress hormones. Unfortunately, however, thereâ€™s a great deal of overlap in the symptoms of various hormone imbalances, and itâ€™s not uncommon for a woman experiencing symptoms of estrogen or stress hormone excess to be given a prescription for more estrogen or even antidepressants. Not surprisingly, her mild symptoms can worsen as a result. – See more at: www.drnorthrup.com.
Another factor in estrogen dominance is our exposure to xenoestrogens, which are, according to Dr. Williams, â€œ10 to 100 times more powerful than natural estrogen.â€Â He goes on to say, â€œCommon xenoestrogens include BPA, PCBs, phthalates, flame retardants, pesticides, herbicides, and DDT residue, all of which have been found in our food and water supplies.â€Â (Source: http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/estrogen-dominance-and-its-link-to-xenoestrogen-exposure/)Â As I mentioned, it gets complicated fast.Â
Here are a few suggestions to deal with estrogen dominance:
- Try to limit or avoid pesticides and herbicides.Â Itâ€™s hard, right?Â Beyond our food sources, we are probably exposed to these if we simply walk across a golf course, park, or a manicured lawn.
- The more natural the food sources the better.Â Organic foods and hormone-free meats give you a shot at limiting xenoestrogens.
- Check your personal care products for xenoestrogens like DMP, DEP, DEHP, DBP and BzBP, and propyl gallate.Â Maybe itâ€™s time to find other, healthier merchandise.Â
- Did you know thermal credit card and cash register receipts contain BPA?Â Try not to handle them any more than possible.
- Avoid microwaving in plastic containers, which often contain BPA.
- Dr. David Williams recommends the following: Â Studies have demonstrated that turmericÂ (or its extract, curcumin) help stop the growth of estrogen-dependent cancer cells. He also recommends using natural detoxifiers such as cilantroÂ and spirulinaÂ on a regular basis.Â Soy mimics estrogen, so stay away from processed soy products (although occasional consumption of fermented soy is acceptable).Â Sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and canola oils may be natural, but they are estrogenic and should be avoided, or at least restricted. (Olive oil is fine.) Finally, licorice and red clover inhibit the activity of progesterone.
Source: Dr. David Williams Filed Under: Women’s HealthÂ Â Last Reviewed 04/21/2015
Estrogen Dominance and it’s Link to Xenoestrogen
I realize this is just a quick dip into a deep pool of information.Â If you are concerned, or just want to take control of your health and aging, donâ€™t be afraid to ask your trusted healthcare providers questions.Â Check the research and who provided the funding for the research.Â Last, but never least, listen to your body and trust your instincts.
Recommended Estrogen Dominance reading:
Corio, Laura E., (2002). The Change Before The Change. New York, NY: Bantam Books
Lee, J. R., & Hopkins, V. (2004). What your doctor may not tell you about menopause (Rev. edition ed.). New York, NY: Time Warner.
Northrup, C. (2003). The wisdom of menopause: Creating physical and emotional health and healing during the change. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.
Tieraona Low Dog and Marc S. Micozzi. (2005). Women’s Health in Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Missouri: Churchill,Livingstone-Elsevier.
Weed, Susun S., (2002). New Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing
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