Men aren’t the only ones who have to worry about having too much estrogen.
The human body has a very particular set of uses for its sex hormones. These hormones are supposed to be balanced in a certain way, and if they aren’t balanced properly, drastic problems can emerge.
The symptoms of a sex hormone imbalance are not always the same for men and women. Women low on testosterone might not experience the same symptoms as a man due to the way that the different genders process hormones differently.
As far as estrogen dominance goes, women may experience low energy, difficulty building muscle, poor sexual performance, and a decreased appetite.
Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to figure out how to balance your hormones again. Returning your estrogen levels to normal can be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes. First, you should understand how the process of estrogen dominance works.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
When talking about hormonal deficiencies, it’s more likely that what we are actually discussing is a hormonal imbalance.
Estrogen dominance, despite the name, describes an imbalance of a number of hormones. It primarily affects estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol.
Testosterone isn’t just important for men – it’s important for women to regulate their sex drive and regulate muscle growth and energy.
As estrogen levels rise beyond what is normal, testosterone proceeds to drop. In addition to the decrease in testosterone, the body’s stress hormone – cortisol – soars alongside the increased estrogen levels. This causes a whole bunch of problems.
Issues related to testosterone
- Decreased levels of testosterone make it more difficult for a woman to build muscle mass.
- Testosterone, much like it is for men, is largely responsible for a woman’s sex drive. Decreased testosterone can mean a decreased libido.
- Testosterone deficiency can also cause chronic fatigue.
- High estrogen can cause an increase in body fat, which, when combined with chronic fatigue, can make it very difficult to lose weight for a woman who is suffering estrogen dominance.
Issues related to cortisol
- Increases in cortisol can lead to high blood pressure and related issues.
- High cortisol can further contribute to fatigue and muscle weakness caused by testosterone deficiency.
- High levels of cortisol can also cause a wide range of mental problems. High cortisol is linked to depression, anxiety, irritability, and a range of cognitive issues like inhibited memory recall.
How does estrogen dominance happen?
In today’s society, the most common causes of estrogen dominance are from excessive exposure to phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that can be obtained naturally through a diet. While these can be components of a healthy diet, too many of them can still be a cause for estrogen dominance.
However, the chance of developing estrogen dominance solely from eating too many phytoestrogens is quite slim since many of them help your body process estrogen.
Xenoestrogens are artificially created estrogens that mimic the behavior of our body’s natural estrogen, and they can be found in all sorts of products.
- They are found in shampoos, soaps, and all sorts of other hygienic products, particularly those marketed to women.
- Xenoestrogens can be found in factory raised meat and dairy products. Many of these are contracted with bovine growth hormones which, when consumed, expose us to a high concentration of xenoestrogens.
- Tap water has been known to contain xenoestrogens. Many areas have tap water that is contaminated with petroleum derivatives, which are the main source for developing phytoestrogens.
- Disposable menstrual products and birth control pills, or other contraceptives that are ingested, are also known to contain phytoestrogens.
External products are not the only things that can cause someone to experience estrogen dominance.
If you are obese or have a high percentage of body fat, you are much more likely to develop estrogen dominance. Aromatization, the process by which testosterone is converted into estrogen, occurs in the fat cells.
Having more fat cells provides more opportunity for testosterone to be converted into estrogen, which can offset the balance of hormones.
High levels of stress can also influence estrogen dominance. As we have mentioned, cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is released in response to stress and is formulated from progesterone, another sex hormone.
Progesterone has another job – it regulates the production of regular estrogen. If too much progesterone is being used to create cortisol, there won’t be enough left to regulate estrogen levels.
How can I fix estrogen dominance?
Many people immediately reach toward steroids in an effort to fix their estrogen dominance. This is not always a good way to heal the problem since steroids can actually cause a wide range of problems.
Steroids are known for having a wide range of side effects that can negatively impact sexual health and life in general.
More likely than not, you will be able to fix your estrogen dominance with a few lifestyle changes. The best thing that you want to do is minimize exposure to xenoestrogens.
Minimizing contact with xenoestrogens
You can do this by avoiding things that come in plastic. Plastic is a very high source of xenoestrogens, and they are more easily released when the plastic is hot like when it’s used for packaging premade foods.
If you frequently eat food that comes in plastic containers, you’re going to want to exclude these from your diet – especially if these foods are dairy products or meat products, which can cause increases in estrogen on their own.
Unfortunately, it’s not always practical to avoid plastic, considering most personal hygiene products come in plastic wrappers or containers.
To avoid the xenoestrogens that contaminate some personal hygiene products, you will want to make sure that you purchase as few synthetic products as possible.
Try to buy organic whenever you can, and don’t buy things that are made with pesticides or herbicides.
Enhance your body’s ability to process estrogen
On top of that, make sure you include a lot of cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Cruciferous vegetables are high in DIM, a compound that helps the body metabolize estrogen and to less potent forms.
This, combined with some healthy phytoestrogens (they aren’t all bad) like the resveratrol found in red wine, can help your body keep its estrogen regulation in top shape.
Another great way to improve the body’s ability to process estrogen is to consume turmeric which has been proven to be just as effective as the estrogen-reducing drug called tamoxifen.
The symptoms of a sex hormone imbalance can be very negative. But by adopting some natural lifestyle choices you can completely avoid estrogen dominance and regain your health and sex life.
- Estrogen Dominance: Lose the Fat and Ignite Your Sex Life - March 13, 2018