By Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ).
Estrogen dominance refers to an imbalance in the ratio of the female hormones estrogen versus progesterone. This ratio is crucial considering estrogen acts as an 'on switch' while progesterone acts as the 'off switch' for many processes in our body. An imbalance in this ratio is responsible for chronic diseases including, but not limited to endometriosis, uterine fibroids, endometrial and breast cancer as well as fibrocystic breast disease.
Estrogen dominance can be caused by three mechanisms:
Excessive production of estrogen in the body,
Activation of estrogen receptors from exogenous estrogen such as xenoestrogen, and
Lower than normal levels of progesterone.
Estrogen dominance can be determined by a serum estrogen and progesterone blood test, however these results are not always accurate and a diagnosis can be made based on the clinical picture.
Here are 10 signs of estrogen dominance
Weight gain and difficulty loosing weight
Difficulty conceiving (especially in the presence of low progesterone)
Headaches and migraines
Excessive PMS symptoms
Bloating of the stomach
Anxiety and depression
Decreased libido and sex drive
Fatigue and decreased energy
Here are 5 diet and lifestyle changes to implement to help reduce estrogen dominance:
Eat at last 5 - 7 servings of vegetables each day. Include raw and cooked vegetables and plenty of cruciferous and allium vegetables. Vegetables help rewire your biochemical pathways and assists in estrogen metabolism.
Avoid plastic containers. This includes water containers and food packaged in plastic.
Plastic is a rich source of xenoestrogens.
Eat organic produce and free range reared live stock. This helps reduce exposure to growth hormones and pesticides that contribute to estrogen dominance.
Include plenty of fiber including insoluble fiber in your diet. Fiber helps facilitate healthy metabolism of estrogen.
Use organic skin care products. What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on your body. Non organic skin care products contain products that become xenoestrogens when absorbed through the skin.