Why there is an excess of estrogen
Estrogen is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. When all hormones are balanced, the body works as it should, but with an excess of hormones, various problems arise. Despite the fact that estrogen is known as the “female” hormone, its excess negatively affects men. In women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries, and in pathological conditions it is often produced by fat cells, placenta, liver, adrenal glands, brain, and muscles. He is responsible for the menstrual cycle, the development of secondary sexual characteristics and even the formation of bones.
Together with calcium and vitamin D, it regenerates bones, therefore, its level decreases significantly with age. Estrogen also affects the thickness and strength of the vaginal walls, blood coagulation, stimulates the production of vaginal lubrication and many other body functions, affecting the pelvic muscles, hair and skin. Throughout her life, a woman constantly changes her hormonal background: from puberty to pregnancy to menopause. Estrogen production decreases with the onset of menopause, leading to symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and loss of sexual desire. And what happens when the body produces too much estrogen?
Possible causes of excess estrogen:
Estrogen levels rise with the onset of puberty. and pregnancy. But sometimes an excess of estrogen appears in the normal period of life. There are only two reasons for the accumulation of estrogen in the body: either the body itself produces too much of it, or we get it from the environment and food. If the level of estrogen is high compared to other hormones, then this condition is often called estrogen dominance, because one hormone dominates over the other. A common disorder is estrogen dominance over progesterone, another hormone that also regulates the menstrual cycle.
Surprisingly, the accumulation of excess estrogen is not so difficult to explain, because we are constantly exposed to estrogen-like compounds in foods containing toxic pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones. Many of the everyday household products that we use, including plastic, such as BPA, detergents, cosmetics, furniture, and carpeting, contain endocrine disrupters — chemicals that mimic estrogen.
These toxins lead to weight gain, which serves as a stimulus for the production of more estrogen from our own fat cells. Pharmaceutical hormones that are used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also lead to an excess of estrogen, regardless of whether we take them ourselves or use them from drinking water. Know that there are also products with a high content of certain types of phytoestrogens, for example, soy.
There are other causes of excess estrogen, including:
- Excessive alcohol use;
- High blood pressure;
- Heart diseases.
Given all this, it is not surprising that alarming indicators of estrogen dominance show the latest statistics: more than 50% of women aged 35 years and older suffer from an excess of estrogen. Let’s look at some signs of estrogen dominance:
1) You gain weight, although you have not changed your lifestyle
You do not overeat, do not roll all day on the couch. But still, without a reason, gaining weight, especially in the pelvic region – this is one of the main symptoms of excess estrogen. You also often suffer from bloating and cannot lose weight, even if you significantly reduce calories, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. All this is because the body can not balance the hormones, because only then will you lose weight and be able to maintain your ideal weight.
2) You have an irregular menstrual cycle
There are many reasons why menstruation comes earlier or later than your period, and a high level of estrogen is one of them. If your cycle is always on schedule and suddenly becomes unstable (except for pregnancy), this may be due to an excess of estrogen. The menstrual period is carefully controlled by hormones and with an increase in the level of one outside the normal range, the whole process is lost.
3) Your breasts are too sensitive or swollen.
Many women experience changes in the breast during the menstrual cycle, as well as during pregnancy. The chest is very sensitive to hormonal changes. If your chest hurts, especially around the nipples and front of the chest, or if you notice that they are swollen more than usual, you need to check the level of estrogen.
4) Sore breasts
With an excess of estrogen and low levels of progesterone, the breast acquires a so-called fibrocystic condition. It becomes sensitive and even painful, usually on the upper or side of the chest. With these signs, contact your doctor immediately to avoid the appearance of a tumor and other changes in the chest.
5) You are too emotional
Estrogen affects many systems of our body. Mental state and emotions are no exception. You have probably been unbalanced and agitated during the ICP. Such mood swings are due to hormones. With an excess of estrogen, women experience depression, panic attacks, anxiety, unexplained anger, and so on.
6) You have frequent headaches.
Women are more prone to headaches and migraines due to their reproductive system and fluctuations in estrogen levels. With a strong deviation of estrogen from progesterone, headaches often develop. The development of headache is influenced by many factors, including genetics and diets, but in women, an excess of estrogen is the main factor contributing to the occurrence of chronic headaches and menstrual migraines. Before the onset of puberty, migraines are approximately the same in both boys and girls, but after maturation they occur at a frequency of 3: 1 towards girls.
7) Your hair falls out
Many believe that men are more prone to hair loss, but this is not fair. With an excess of estrogen and progesterone deficiency, women lose hair no less than men. But do not rush to blame hormones in everything. It all depends on how much hair you have lost and for how long. Marked hair loss depends on a number of factors: genetic predisposition, lifestyle, diet, and general health, regardless of whether you are taking steps to solve this problem or not.
Do you know this joking expression? If you notice that your memory crashes much more often than before, for example, you often lose your car keys, leave your phone at work, then this may be the fault of estrogen. Low levels of estrogen are often associated with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss, but scientists have found that an excess of estrogen also leads to difficulties in memorizing, although the exact cause of this phenomenon is not yet known.
9) You suffer from insomnia
Estrogen – a brain stimulant, in fact, this hormone can be considered an exotoxin. Therefore, women who take a lot of estrogen experience terrible depression and insomnia after they suddenly stop taking it. One of the signs of excess estrogen in women can be considered the inability to stop, whether it is work, sport or just a conversation. Even moderate dominance of estrogen causes problems with sleep, because an excess of this hormone reduces the production of melatonin. So if you have a lot of estrogen and not enough progesterone (a hormone that helps calm down), then you are guaranteed insomnia.
10) You feel exhausted
Lack of sleep easily leads to a feeling of complete exhaustion. Of course, in such a busy world, when many of us face a long list of responsibilities every day, many get tired, but this does not always mean estrogen dominance. If you notice that you get tired much more often, you experience some other symptoms that we talked about, you may have an excess of estrogen. Be aware that estrogen dominance increases the risk of serious medical problems, including high blood pressure, depression, cancer of the uterus, breast and endometrium, as well as endometriosis. Another important detail: the level of estrogen must be monitored from time to time, because its level fluctuates constantly.
So what can we do to bring estrogen back to normal? Limit alcohol intake. Since the liver is responsible for estrogen metabolism, it must be carefully taken care of. Alcohol impairs the functioning of the liver, which can cause estrogen to build up. Drinking more than one alcoholic drink per day in women increases the risk of breast cancer.
Eat organic foods.
Inorganic products contain many pesticides and chemicals, including those that act as estrogen in the body or endocrine disruptors. Buy natural products often so that your body does not absorb hormones, antibiotics and chemicals.
Eat more fiber.
Insoluble fiber binds to excess estrogen in the digestive tract, and then excreted from the body. Fiber also affects the composition of intestinal bacteria, reduces the accumulation and re-absorption of free-floating estrogen. Good sources of fiber are fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dried beans.
Eat more probiotics.
The imbalance of healthy bacteria, known as probiotics and “bad” or unhealthy bacteria, can not only compromise digestion, but also prevent the proper removal of excess estrogen from the body in the digestive tract. Eat more probiotic foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha, or take probiotic supplements.
Weak phytoestrogenic products.
These products counteract the effect of excess estrogen: flaxseed, oats, barley, pears, berries and apples.
Follow a balanced diet.
All the necessary vitamins and minerals help balance hormone levels. The body needs a sufficient amount of vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, and some other nutrients to support normal hormone levels and the functioning of enzymes that balance testosterone and estrogen.
Rosemary essential oil.
It is believed that this oil can control the level of estrogen by stimulating blood flow to the brain, encouraging the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and strengthening the immune system.
This powerful antioxidant stimulates hair growth, improves memory and relieves muscle pain., which means that it can fight with some symptoms of estrogen dominance. 100% pure rosemary oil affects even the inert hormones of estrogen. Rutgers University experts evaluated the effect of rosemary extract on laboratory mice and found that a diet with 2% rosemary oil increases liver microsomal oxidation and glucuronidation, a process associated with xenobiotic metabolism.
This is especially reflected in estradiol and estrone in the uterus. Estradiol is considered an aggressive form of estrogen.
Avoid exposure to xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens mimic the effect of estrogen, they are found in cosmetics, plastics, birth control pills and other products. Limit exposure to these harmful substances.
Excessive stress leads to a higher production of estrogen in the body. Under stress, progesterone decreases and the stress hormone cortisol increases, which often leads to an excess of estrogen.