Hormones regulate body processes and act as chemical messengers from the body to the brain. The important female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are produced in the ovaries and control ovulation and menstruation. Normally, these hormones are equally balanced within a woman’s body. When estrogen levels increase or progesterone levels decrease, a condition known as estrogen dominance
Causes of Hormone Imbalance Due to Estrogen Dominance
Many women, beginning in their 30's, experience a fluctuation in hormone levels over time as they approach menopause. Ovulation may be irregular, lowering the amount of progesterone produced by the ovaries. Estrogen levels remain high and dominate the progesterone production.
When women experience stress, the body diverts progesterone to the adrenal glands to make cortisol. The levels of progesterone decrease and estrogen dominance prevails.
Birth control pills hinder the amount of progesterone produced by the ovaries. The pills trick the body into believing it’s pregnant, and the levels of progesterone fall. Estrogen levels remain the same and the balance of hormones is disrupted.
A diet high in hormone-injected beef and dairy products may contribute to an increase in estrogen. Synthetic hormones in foods mimic estrogen and interrupt the delicate balance of hormones. A diet high in sugary and over-processed foods contributes to the disruption of the balance.
Identifying Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
Symptoms vary for different women and change on a monthly basis. Breast tenderness, weight gain on the abdomen, water retention, anxiety, headaches and irregular periods are common symptoms. Related signs include fatigue, decreased libido, mood swings, insomnia, hair loss and difficulties in concentration.
If you experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chances are high you are estrogen dominant. Young women can also experience hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and other symptoms of premature menopause.
The most reliable way to identify estrogen dominance is through blood or saliva tests, but many women experience the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone in different stages of normal cycles. Symptoms and physical history should also be included in the diagnosis.
Studies reveal that the dominance of estrogen is linked to fibroids, uterine cancer, heart disease, endometriosis, infertility, obesity, and irregular menstruation. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been studied and suggested it is a related complication
Estrogen dominance is described as a hormone imbalance in women. Fluctuations in progesterone can be caused by erratic ovulation, birth control pills, and triggered by stress. Estrogen can be increased by hormone-injected beef and dairy products. The effects are different for most women, but can be identified by a pattern of reported and experienced symptoms.
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