We keep hearing “estrogen dominance” as a vilified term but is it really “bad”? To better answer this question, we need to understand exactly what estrogen dominance is. This is a condition that occurs when the estrogen level is relatively higher than that of progesterone. High estrogen levels can develop naturally, but too much of it can result from changes in estrogen metabolism, taking certain medications, vitamin deficiencies, etc.
It is normal for women to have high estrogen and no progesterone, especially during the first 2-3 weeks of their cycle. However, when the levels are too high, they can cause health concerns such as irregular periods and ultimately affect your reproductive health. So, working towards a healthier estrogen to progesterone ratio balance is critical to your health and overall wellbeing.
This post will dig deeper into estrogen dominance, including how to know you have it and tips for supporting your body towards an estrogen balance.
Understanding Estrogen Dominance in Detail
Estrogen dominance is a hormonal imbalance state where the estrogen levels in the blood go higher relative to the progesterone levels. It is also described as an imbalance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio.
For some women, this condition occurs during the beginning of their menstrual cycle, while for others, it begins with perimenopause. The condition also affects men, but it is more common in women. In men, the estrogen levels remain low and gradually increase in adulthood with a drop in testosterone.
For women, estrogen and progesterone are the major hormones, and they work in conjunction with each other to perform some primary functions. Many of these functions relate to reproduction, including regulating the menstrual cycle, preparing the female body for pregnancy, modulating libido, and more.
Besides that, they play a significant role in enhancing cognitive bone and cardiovascular health. Lack of balance between the two hormones can lead to problems, decreased sex drive, and irregular periods. Some of the known estrogen dominance causes include:
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Chronic stress
- Environmental toxins known as xenoestrogens
- Taking some oral medications such as birth control pills
- Poor gut or liver health
- High body fat percentage
- Drinking too much alcohol
Why is Estrogen Dominance Such a Hot Term Right Now?
When searching for information about hormone imbalance, you will likely come across estrogen dominance. The term has emerged as a buzzword over the past decade as the condition becomes more prevalent, especially in women. Nonetheless, estrogen dominance is a non-medical diagnosis but rather an umbrella term that encompasses symptoms that occur when estrogen is elevated relative to progesterone.
While there are numerous causes of this hormonal imbalance, each is treated differently. The best approach is to understand the root cause and then address it. Also, a few routine practices like taking vitamins and minerals help keep the hormones balanced.
How to Know I Have Estrogen Dominance
When there is no balance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio, you may begin to experience some symptoms. The most noticeable imbalance symptoms in women include:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Decreased sex drive
- Dense breast tissue
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Sleeplessness or fatigue
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Swelling or tenderness in your brains
- Increased premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms
Having these symptoms does not directly mean your estrogen levels are too high. An estrogen test before taking any treatments is necessary.
Estrogen Dominance Symptoms in Men
While estrogen is believed to be a female hormone, men’s bodies also produce the hormone. A healthy estrogen and progesterone balance in men is vital for sexual growth and development. When there is a lack of balance in these hormones, sexual development is affected. Here are the most common symptoms of too much estrogen in men.
- Gynecomastia: When men have too high estrogen levels, they stand a risk of developing larger breasts, a condition known as Gynecomastia. It can affect one or both breasts, mostly unevenly. Those experiencing gynecomastia feel embarrassed and find it tough to cope with the condition.
- Infertility: Estrogen plays a vital role in the development of healthy sperm. Too much of it may lead to a fall in sperm level and fertility issues.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED): High estrogen may lead to difficulty maintaining an erection.
Is Having High Estrogen a Bad Thing?
Your body requires estrogen for certain primary functions such as reproduction, cardiovascular, and bone health. Estrogen levels will elevate and drop though your life along with other hormones that control essential body processes. Increased levels ensure effective body processes such as spurring sexual development and preparing a woman’s body for pregnancy.
So, having high estrogen levels is not bad, but too much of it may put you through a high risk of hormonal imbalance. The condition can cause reproduction disruptions and unpleasant symptoms. Besides, you may be at a higher risk of conditions associated with estrogen dominance, such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian tumors, etc. Therefore, you should aim at maintaining an estrogen and progesterone balance to avoid these dangers.
How Can I Support My Body?
A healthy lifestyle may help to support a positive estrogen balance. The following are some good practices to help you effectively fight estrogen dominance.
Reduce Exposure to Environmental toxins (Xenoestrogens)
Environmental toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may lead to very high estrogen levels. Examples include BPA (bisphenol A), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and phthalates. To avoid them, you can prioritize eating organic fruits and vegetables since they are free from toxic grow agents and pesticides.
You can also avoid plastics where possible and embrace metallic items, especially when taking hot food or beverages. Little or no exposure to these toxins will lower the estrogen levels in your blood.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
A bottle of alcoholic drink per day can lead to high estrogen. Unfortunately, no alcohol brand is better than the other. So, reducing your alcohol consumption is imperative in lowering estrogen levels and promoting hormonal balance. If you are used to alcohol, you can start by reducing your weekly intake and spending some nights without it.
Eat Phytoestrogen Rich Foods
Legumes and soy are the major sources of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens provide a weaker estrogen form, which prevents a more potent form (estradiol (E2) from binding with estrogen receptor. This reduces the adverse effects resulting from high estradiol levels. Adding chickpeas, mungbeans, and non-genetically modified soy to your meals at least once a week will be great.
Take Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral essential for estrogen detoxification. It also reduces symptoms associated with too high estrogen levels, such as period pain. Taking magnesium supplements every day will enhance effective estrogen detoxification.
Take Daily Vitamins
As already mentioned, estrogen dominance may result from vitamin deficiencies. Vitamins such as B6 and B12 are well-known to support a balance in estrogen levels for both men and women. Therefore, you should consider adding vitamin supplements to your daily self-care routine to ensure your body is receiving an adequate amount.
Get Estrogen to Progesterone Ratio Balance with Binto
Estrogen dominance has become a common health issue for women and men worldwide. Luckily, several lifestyle changes may help support a balance of estrogen to progesterone ratio in our bodies. One of them is taking daily supplements and vitamins.
When purchasing your supplements, you will want to ensure that you get them from a reputable provider such as Binto. Here, we have a line of hormonal balance supplements made from high-quality ingredients with no fillers, chemicals, or preservatives. Click here to book a consult and learn more about our ingredients or take a personalized quiz.