Estrogen Dominance involves an imbalance in the ratios of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. As I’ve discussed in past articles, this condition is usually the result of a progesterone deficiency. Estrogen dominance can cause a thyroid condition to develop, or can be a contributing factor. In either case, anyone who is looking to restore their health back to normal through a natural thyroid treatment protocol needs to get this condition corrected.
The good news is that estrogen dominance is fairly easy to correct by following a natural treatment protocol. However, besides trying to restore one’s health back to normal, another obvious goal is to prevent the condition from reoccurring. And perhaps the best way to show you how to do this is to discuss some of the common causes of estrogen dominance. So what I’d like to do is talk about three of the most common causes of this condition:
Estrogen Dominance Cause #1: Stress. Dealing with chronic stress on a regular basis (and not doing a good job of handling it) will stress out your adrenal glands. This in turn can decrease the amount of progesterone produced, which will cause a progesterone deficiency. This of course takes time to occur, but those people with poor stress handling skills who deal with chronic stress daily will inevitably develop adrenal gland problems, which over time will most likely lead to a progesterone deficiency.
Estrogen Dominance Cause #2: Birth Control Pills. Taking oral contraceptives suppresses the production of progesterone. As a result, a progesterone deficiency can develop, leading to estrogen dominance. One obvious solution to this is to stop taking oral contraceptives. But many women won’t want to do this, even if it is negatively affecting their health. I actually wrote a separate article about the problems created by oral contraceptives, and went into greater detail about some of the potential consequences.
For those women who want to remain on “the Pill”, taking natural progesterone can help with the progesterone deficiency. Of course it’s not offering a permanent solution, so taking natural progesterone really isn’t a correction. However, this can help to manage the symptoms of estrogen dominance while someone is taking oral contraceptives. But as I mentioned in that article I wrote, the ideal situation would be to stop taking oral contraceptives altogether.
Estrogen Dominance Cause #3: Xenohormones. I’ve also discussed in the past the widespread problem with xenohormones, as these days everyone is exposed to these in the foods they eat, the products they buy, and through other factors. These xenohormones act as hormone disruptors, and can easily cause a hormone imbalance to occur. It is of course nearly impossible to completely eliminate your exposure to xenohormones, but chances are you can do a much better job of minimizing your exposure to them.
The good and bad news is that most of the xenohormones we’re exposed to are in the foods and products we buy. The bad news is that it can be difficult to make these changes when you’re used to eating certain foods and using certain household products. The good news is that by making these changes this can have a dramatic effect on your health. Once again, simply eliminating the xenohormones won’t cure an estrogen dominance condition. On the other hand, doing so is of course important in order to help restore your health back to normal, as well as prevent a relapse from occurring in the future.
Consider An Annual Hormone Panel To Help Maintain Optimal Hormonal Health
I’ve stated in the past that in order to diagnose estrogen dominance one should obtain a male or female hormone panel. This will show the levels of both estrogen and progesterone, along with other important hormones. While the other hormones might not directly relate to estrogen dominance, they all interact with one another, and so in my opinion it’s a good idea to look at the whole picture. And many other healthcare professionals agree with this.
If you have been diagnosed with estrogen dominance and had this corrected through a natural treatment protocol, then it’s not a bad idea to obtain an annual hormone panel as a preventative measure. This will help you to maintain these healthy hormone levels, as many times a person won’t become symptomatic until there is a significant imbalance. So by obtaining a hormone panel on an annual basis, this will allow your doctor to see if there are any minor imbalances in the hormones, and then they can put you on the necessary protocol to correct this. As you would probably guess, correcting a minor hormone imbalance usually isn’t as challenging as correcting a major case of estrogen dominance.
I realize that a saliva-based hormone panel (the one I recommend because it measures the levels of the free hormones) can be expensive. In fact, even though most of my patients can benefit from obtaining such a test, I don’t require everyone to obtain it because I realize it is costly, and in my opinion, tests like the Adrenal Stress Index test are usually more important. However, there are some people who really do need this test, and if that is the case I will let them know. In any case, if you can’t afford this test every year, I would at least recommend an initial one, and then try to obtain one every few years.
In summary, estrogen dominance is a common condition, but one can usually cure it by following a natural treatment protocol. Although natural progesterone can help manage the symptoms of estrogen dominance when a progesterone deficiency is the cause, taking this bioidentical hormone won’t do anything for the cause of the condition. Speaking of the cause, by being familiar with the three common causes of estrogen dominance I listed here, this not only should help with the recovery process, but will also make it easier for you to prevent this condition from developing in the future.