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Estrogen Dominance: What it is, how to identify it and fix the cause(s)

Estrogen Dominance: What it is, how to identify it and fix the cause(s)

Estrogen is a class of hormones and hormone like compounds that have estrogenic properties.  There are human estrogens, animal estrogens, xenoestrogens, phytoestrogens and synthetic estrogens.  
The three human estrogens are estriol, estrone and estradiol, all which belong to the steroid hormone family.  
"Estrogen dominance is a term that was coined by Harvard physician, John R. Lee MD.  It describes a condition where someone can have deficient, normal, or excessive estrogen but the body has little or no progesterone balance.  Health is about balance and metabolic flexibility.  Hormones are no different.  
Symptoms of estrogen dominance can be:
* speeding of aging process
* weight gain in midsection
* allergies
* autoimmune disease
* breast cancer
* thyroid dysfunction
* decreased libido
* joint pain
* depression
* early menstruation 
* uterine cancer
* fatigue
* PCOS
* Hair loss
* brain fog
* headaches
* low blood sugar
* increased blood viscosity 
* infertility
* insomnia
* PMS
* fibroids
* water retention/bloating
What Causes Estrogen Dominance:
Overloading the Liver:
The liver is our main filter.  Over exposure to environmental toxins, certain foods, chemicals and even normal metabolism can create a sluggish liver.  Anything that impairs liver function will result in excess estrogen.  Estrogen is produced internally but also produced in reaction to chemicals and other substances in our food.  
Environmental Factors
Certain chemicals in the environment and our food, such as DDT, have estrogenic effects.  Although DDT was banned in 1972, it's breakdown product (DDE) is still present in the environment.
Chlorine and hormone residuals in some meat and dairy also have estrogenic effects.  In industrial countries, diets rich in sugar, processed food and refined starches can lead to estrogen levels in women twice that of women of third-world countries.  We are constantly exposed to petrochemicals and hormone laden meat and dairy, pollution, medication and synthetic hormones; all of which have strong estrogenic effects. 
After menopause, estrogen is still present and continues to be made by fat cells.  If estrogen becomes the dominant hormone and progesterone is deficient, the excess estrogen becomes toxic to the body.  Traditional blood testing for estrogen levels are not accurate as hormones are pulsitile and should be tested as such.  The most accurate way to measure estrogen, their metabolites and progesterone is by saliva.  This is how we test estrogen because it yields the most accurate results.  
Tips to Combat Estrogen Dominance
* avoid processed foods, grain, unhealthy animal sources, sugar
* avoid unfermented soy
* limit alcohol consumption
* reduce toxic burden on liver by choosing better options for personal care products, home cleaning products, laundry detergent.  There are several quality brands.  Just do your homework.  
* daily intermittent/extended water fasting
* coffee enemas
* natural estrogen suppressors like indole-3-carbinol and diindolymethane
If you suspect to be estrogen dominant, it's important to be properly tested.  Always consult a qualified clinician for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment.  For more help, go to http://greinerhealthsolutions.com/

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