A Brief Intro: What it Means to be Estrogen Dominant, Why it Matters and What to do About it.

The term “estrogen dominance” is a term we hear about a lot, but do you really know what it means? Should you even care? Well, if you experience symptoms such as fatigue, acne, depression, anxiety, brain fog, mood swings, and/or the all too common complaint of weight gain, then read on. These all may be a result estrogen dominance and learning more about it is the first step towards resolving symptoms.

What is estrogen dominance?

Estrogen dominance is a metabolic condition characterized by a) too much estrogen circulating in the body b) an inability to effectively detox from estrogen or c) both. The list of symptoms associated with estrogen dominance is extensive, ranging from unwanted facial hair (or hair in places you don’t want!) to the all too common complaint of slow weight gain…particularly the kind that creeps up on you over the years.

Unfortunately, the approach many people take when dealing with these symptoms is futile; if you’re symptoms stem from estrogen dominance then no matter how many times you pluck and/or how many calories you restrict, they’ll return.

It’s about a lot more than just our looks.

Estrogen dominance is not only a problem that affects our physical appearance but its contribution to severe long-term health consequences is of vital importance as well.  Estrogen dominance has been linked to a wide range of medical conditions, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers (all of which are considered estrogen dependent cancers), and cervical dysplasia (1).

It’s not just a female problem.

While estrogen dominance is usually associated as a female issue it affects men as well. Women and men both have estrogen in their bodies, and both can have estrogen dominance. Even though men have less estrogen than women, estrogen dominance in men can increase risk of prostate cancer, auto-immune disease and inflammation disorders. These risks are increased even more in men that are overweight. Why? Because adipose (fat) tissue causes conversion of testosterone to estrogens.

A different approach.

Obviously, the above listed medical conditions need an integrated medical approach but when it comes to weight loss or acne resolution, for example, a very different approach is needed to resolving these symptoms. Instead of buying the newest and greatest anti-acne cream or cutting out whole food groups for weight loss, addressing your hormonal imbalance is what’s ultimately needed for symptoms resolution. How can you start balancing your estrogen? By bringing your estrogen levels down and back in check, AND by supporting your detoxification processes specific to estrogen.

More than just blood work.

Sounds complicated? It’s not. You can start the process by testing your hormones in a comprehensive, accurate manner. And I’m not referring to hormone serum (blood) levels and/or saliva tests. While these types of tests do provide you with some info as to where you are hormonoly, you can still be estrogen dominant and not have it show up!

Detoxing from estrogen is vitally important.

It’s not just about how much estrogen we have, make and/or are exposed too but it’s also about how effectively our bodies detox from estrogen. While our levels may come back within range (and/or for many depleted) with standardized testing, we can still be estrogen dominant due to our inability to effectively detox from it.

The ultimate biologic effect of estrogen in the body depends on how it’s metabolized (aka detoxed).

Hydroxylation, methylation, sulfation and glucuronidation are processes that are involved in estrogen metabolism. Definitions of these terms are beyond the scope of this post, but KNOWING how well your body is performing in these above processes is key to balancing your hormones effectively.

Effective testing for comprehensive info.

So how can you easily find out if you truly are or aren’t estrogen dominant? With accurate testing of course. Test don’t guess!!!

You can easily measure your estrogen levels and find out how well you’re detoxing from them with the DUTCH test. DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. This test is a urine test and not only shows you your levels of the various estrogens (yes, we have more than one type!) but also shows you how well you’re detoxing from them as well. Priceless information that will not only help you in the short term with resolving annoying symptoms, but in the long term as well; by providing windows of opportunities to possibly prevent chronic long term health problems.

Thankfully, once you get your results, if you ARE dominant, then there’s dozens of dietary, lifestyle and targeted supplementation interventions that you could do to stop the estrogen overload, balance your levels, support your detox from it AND put an end to the metabolic chaos.

Are you ready to stop guessing and start testing? Contact me today.

  1. https://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=401

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