Imagine a natural ebb and flow of hormones, gently washing back and forth, keeping your body in balance. Not too much estrogen or progesterone, but just enough to keep each other – and you – on an even keel.
Now imagine a sudden flood of estrogen – or a drop in progesterone. In either instance, the balance is gone and estrogen dominates. Many of my patients feel like they are constantly treading water, barely able to keep their heads above the waterline and totally overwhelmed.
It’s no wonder since they are dealing with the stress of daily life compounded by the physical symptoms that often arise during perimenopause and menopause, including PMS, weight gain, decreased libido, hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia or fatigue. For many, estrogen dominance is to blame, but it responds very well to a lifestyle plan that includes fitness, nutrition and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).”
Estrogen dominance, caused by either an overabundance of estrogen, a deficiency of progesterone or a combination of the two, is one of the more common hormone imbalances in women from ages 30 to 50. The goal is to strike a balance between the two hormones to maintain a healthy mind and body throughout perimenopause, menopause and possibly beyond. There are many outside sources of estrogen in our environment that can cause an increase in estrogen levels. Xenoestrogens, a.k.a. foreign estrogens, can be found in an alarming number of foods and products that we come into contact with every day. The effects of xenoestrogens are wide ranging and include early onset puberty for both boys and girls and estrogen dominance for women and some men.
To lower your risk of estrogen dominance or to improve the results of BHRT or other estrogen dominance treatments, avoid the following:
• Air fresheners
• All artificial scents
• Birth control pills and spermicide
• Canned foods
• Car exhaust and indoor toxins
• Commercially raised meat and milk
• Cosmetics and Personal care products
that contain paraben or phenoxyethanol
• Detergents and dryer sheets
• Industrial wastes
• Paints, lacquers and solvents
• Pesticides and herbicides