Ladies, Could Estrogen Dominance be Hurting You?
Written by By Katie Reinholtz, ND
Estrogen is a sex hormone needed for women’s sexual and reproductive health and to give women physical characteristics like breasts and pubic hair. It is the hormone that causes girls to develop into adults during puberty and is crucial to fertility. Estrogen is very important, as it is needed in numerous functions throughout the body, like bone formation and cardiovascular health to name a few. But could your estrogen levels be harming you?
In the last 50 years there has been a dramatic increase in female-related health problems that are having a huge impact on women’s lives, finances, and wellbeing. More women than ever are struggling with fibroids, abnormal menstrual cycles, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and severe menstrual pain, fibrocystic breast disease and breast cancer. A strong contributing factor in many of these conditions is estrogen dominance. In fact, despite not being well known by both physicians and the general public, it is likely that almost 30% of women currently suffer from estrogen dominance!
What is Estrogen Dominance?
During a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone work together. Estrogen as the dominant hormone during the first half of the cycle and progesterone as the dominant hormone after ovulation in the second half of the cycle. When the body does not produce enough progesterone relative to estrogen during the second half of the cycle, symptoms of estrogen dominance emerge such as breast tenderness, cramping, bloating, swelling in the fingers and feet, insomnia, fatigue and irritability. As women, we have been taught that these are the “normal” symptoms of our cycle but they don’t have to be!
Estrogen dominance can occur for a variety of reasons. Anovulation - when a woman does not release an egg - is a common reason and happens frequently in women starting menopause and also in women struggling with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Hormone disruptors (like the phthalates used to soften plastics, and the pesticides in the food we eat) also contribute to the high estrogen load in the body. I would say that the majority of our customers struggling with estrogen dominance also have significant stress in their lives. Stress inhibits the production of progesterone and therefore leads to a relative excess of estrogen.
What can be done?
Perhaps, the worst part about estrogen dominance is not the symptoms that women experience, but the fact that if left untreated, it can potentially lead to an increased risk for uterine, endometrial, and breast cancers. The good news is that there is a lot that can be done to protect yourself against developing estrogen dominance and the harmful effects it has on your body.
Indole-3 Carbinol with DIM is a supplement that comes from the cruciferous vegetable family (Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, Bok Choy). It is an incredible supplement that does a number of things to counteract the negative effects of estrogen dominance. It is one of the only compounds that can improve the ratio of good estrogen to bad estrogen. Yes, just like with cholesterol there is good estrogen and bad estrogen! Good estrogen helps to promote healthy cell growth. I’ve seen many women achieve incredible results with Indole-3 Carbinol with DIM and it is one of the product’s that has universal benefit for women.
Organic Flax Seed Powder is a great food if it is domestically grown – it helps support proper hormone metabolism. The lignans in flaxseed actually interfere in a protective manner with the enzymes that produce estrogen. It also works as a plant phytoestrogen, which means that it can displace bad estrogen metabolites with its own much weaker ones at the tissue level. This is one of the most effective ways to naturally reduce the estrogen burden in the body.
Women of all ages (even post-menopausal women) are struggling with Estrogen dominance. Indole-3 Carbinol with DIM and the lignans in Flaxseed powder are a reduce the risk of the harmful effects of estrogen and bring your hormones back into balance.
Questions about Estrogen Dominance? Give us a call at (800) 632-0541 and speak with a nutritionist! Or visit a retail location near you for a free nutritional consultation!