Diet and NutritionFitness

Risks and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance and How to Cure It?

Can you imagine a hormone without any disadvantages? Well, a hormone in the excess amount can cause many diseases and disorders. We need a balanced quantity of each hormone to stay healthy. In this article, we will discuss only the imbalance of estrogen. Both hyper-activities and hypo- activities of estrogen are unhealthy (Patel 2018). Don’t get confused between hyper-activities of estrogen and estrogen dominance. These two terms have the same meaning, i.e. overproduction of estrogen in the body.

estrogen dominance

Estrogen dominance can also be explained as a health issue where the level of estrogen increases in comparison to the progesterone level (Whole health: change the conversation).

How can we check the level of our estrogen? How can we control it? Are there any symptoms to notice this imbalance? Well, you will clear all of your queries today. Just check out this article till the end.

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Testosterone Vs. Estrogen: (3,4,5)

Estrogen and testosterone are hormones which cause the reproductive development and development of secondary sex characteristics during puberty.

Usually, estrogen is considered a female sex hormone. In the same way, testosterone is a male sex hormone. However, both of these hormones are produced in both male and female.

Then, why are they named according to sex? The only reason is the level of hormone and the importance of their functions in subsequent sex.

Production of estrogen is higher in females and has major sexual development functions in females in comparison to male (3). Testosterone also follows the same rule to be named as a male sex hormone.

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Major difference between these two hormones:

Testosterone is produced by the Leydig cells present in testes of males. Estrogen is mainly produced in the ovaries of females.

Small amounts of testosterone produced by females and estrogen produced by males from adrenal glands.

Both FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (Luteinizing hormone) have a role in the production of estrogen.

Whereas only LH stimulates production testosterone in males and FSH helps in the development and nourishment of those producing cells.

Testosterone is responsible for several sexual functions as well as for the changes in the body in male such as:

  • It helps in scrotum formation and mechanism of the penis.
  • Further, it stimulates sexual behaviour as well as regulates prostates during maturity.
  • It also regulates libido, sperm production and fertility.
  • Body changes include healthy bones, muscle growth, hair growth on chest, beard and axillary portion, improvement of male pattern and voice change.

Estrogen has major functions in female-like: 

  • It regulates the menstrual cycle.
  • Regulates the structure of the vagina, i.e. regulates its thickness and lubrication.
  • Controls the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
  • Estrogen also causes some other body changes in females. It helps in enlargement of breasts and widening of the hip.
  • Estrogen also plays a role in the growth of armpit hair and public hair.

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What are the risks of estrogen dominant diets?

Do you have any idea about the prevailing estrogen diets? Can we increase our estrogen level only by certain foods?

There are specific diets which increase the estrogen level, but it may increase by other factors also.

Sometimes estrogen rises naturally. Whatever may be the reason, but high levels of estrogen cause many harmful effects in both males and females.

So, what are those food materials which can boost our estrogen level?

In short, we can conclude that the consumption of alcohol, meat and dairy products can raise the estrogen level, which may cause estrogen dominance.

Nowadays, milk production is taking place by using estrogen injection for better production.

So dairy products will enhance your estrogen more. In addition, many seeds and some fruits along with grains and legumes can increase the level.

From the beginning, we are discussing that estrogen dominance is harmful. But what are the harmful effects? It has many less significant problems along with some severe issues which can lead to death.

It has problematic effects both on males and females. In females, the most dangerous result is breast cancer.

Besides breast cancer, other marks are the formation of the tumour in the ovary and adrenal gland. Early puberty in females is also a sign of estrogen dominance.

In males, high levels of estrogen cause late puberty, unlike females. Similar to females, males also suffer from the tumour in the adrenal gland along with testicles for estrogen dominance.

A morphologically identified problem due to estrogen dominance is gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the enlargement of breast in males.

Males and females face particular problems due to estrogen dominance. But there are some common problems between them. Hyperthyroidism (hyperproduction of thyroxine hormone) and cirrhosis belong to that common list. (3)

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Symptoms of estrogen dominance:

When estrogen level increases in your body, you can feel some discomforts. Those discomforts are seen as symptoms. Those symptoms are:

Symptoms of estrogen dominance
Symptoms of estrogen dominance

Bloating:

High levels of estrogen is the reason for water accumulation in the body which results in bloating.

Swelling and soreness of mammary gland:

Estrogen causes swelling of milk ducts and causes pain in the breast. Increase in the amount of estrogen increases the pain and tenderness. Sometimes it also develops fibro cysts in breasts.

Libido reduction in male:

Estrogen dominance causes high stress and reduces sexual desires.

Menstrual problems:

Irregular menstrual cycle with heavy bleeding.

Headache:

Estrogen regulates some chemicals which can cause a headache.

Mood swings:

High levels of estrogen may cause anxiety and mental sickness.

Weight gain:

Estrogen causes weight gain, specifically in hip and thigh regions.

Insomnia:

Excess estrogen creates problems in melatonin production which results in insomnia (sleeping disorder).

Including these major symptoms, some other symptoms are: hair loss, feeling weak, cold limbs, hard to remember anything and PMS (premenstrual syndrome). (3)

If you have the above symptoms, then you should go for an estrogen test. After confirmation of estrogen dominance, consult the doctor for further treatment.

How can we reduce the estrogen levels:

Estrogen dominance is a major issue. If you are suffering from this, then strictly follow the doctor’s prescription.

Along with the proper treatment, you also can try some other methods to help this estrogen reduction process.

There are several methods to boost this reduction process. Such as:

Exercise:

Physical exercise increases physical stress which ultimately lowers estrogen and progesterone level. Thus it prevents breast cancer (6).

Birth control pills:

Birth control pills contain high amounts of either progesterone or both estrogen and progesterone. So avoid taking those pills if you have estrogen dominance (7).

Avoid plastic bottled water:

According to several studies, it is concluded that the water food material packed in PET (polyethene terephthalate) plastic increases the estrogen level.

So avoid PET plastic bottled water to get rid of the estrogen dominance (8).

Don’t gain overweight:

In premenopausal women, estrogen is produced by the ovary, but in postmenopausal women, it is made by the periphery site.

When women get obsessed and gain overweight, they get a huge amount of fat cells and adipose tissue.

Adipose tissues are the source of estrogen. Thus estrogen level increases. So to avoid estrogen dominance, don’t gain overweight (9).

Yoga and meditation:

In today’s world, stress is a very common thing. So yoga and meditation will help to reduce stress.

Along with stress, it also reduces the estrogen level. Estrogen replacement therapy can be used for estrogen reduction, but it has some limitations too.

Yoga is a pure form without any disadvantages. Postmenopausal women should do yoga and meditation regularly (10).

Avoid estrogen rich foods:

Consume alcohol, meat and dairy products as less as possible. Don’t eat flax and sesame seeds with some fruits like peach, dry fruits to control your high estrogen.

Consume estrogen blocking foods:

Mushroom, curcumin, green tea, soy and cruciferous vegetables are the most common estrogen blocking foods.

Estrogen blocking food
Facts on estrogen blocking foods

Besides these oats, barley, wheat, corn, rye, millet, rice and citrus or vitamin-C rich foods like red grapes, oranges, tangerines, pomelos, lemons, and limes also come under this list.

Aromatase inhibitors:

Aromatase inhibitors reduce the amount of estrogen and prevent breast cancer. Certain food materials like maca also provide aromatase inhibitors (11).

Summing Up!

Nowadays, most of the women are facing hormonal imbalance. This is the effect of our modern lifestyle.

We have toxins in almost every daily used thing. Starting from food and drink to makeup, everything has the cause for the hormonal disorder.

So we should follow many precautions to turn it to a balanced state.

Relax as much as possible because stress is the major cause of every problem.

Well, take precautions and consult the doctor in case of any emergency. Don’t hesitate and ignore any minor issue related to hormones because a tiny mistake can lead your life to a painful experience.

Minor symptoms of estrogen dominance can even cause breast cancer which will ultimately result in death if not cured.

Never ever ignore any symptoms related to sexual development.

References:

  1. Patel, S., Homaei, A., Raju, A., & Meher, B. (2018). Estrogen: The necessary evil for human health, and ways to tame it. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 102, 403-411. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.03.078
  2. WHOLE HEALTH: CHANGE THE CONVERSATION Advancing Skills in the Delivery of Personalized, Proactive, Patient-Driven Care.
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323826414
  4. Vineet Tyagi, MD, Michael Scordo, MD, Richard S. Yoon, MD, Frank A. Liporace, MD, Loren Wissner Greene, MD, MA., Revisiting the Role of Testosterone: Are We Missing Something? 2017;19(1):16-24 doi:10.3909/riu0716].
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221740685
  6. Kossman, D., Williams, N., Domchek, S., Kurzer, M., Stopfer, J., & Schmitz, K. (2011). PCN20 EXERCISE LOWERS ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE LEVELS IN PREMENOPAUSAL WOMEN AT HIGH RISK OF BREAST CANCER.  Value In Health, 14(3), A158. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2011.02.878
  7. Gebel Berg, E. (2015). The Chemistry of the Pill. ACS Central Science, 1(1), 5-7. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.5b00066
  8. Barrett, J. (2009). ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS: Estrogens in a Bottle?. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117(6). doi: 10.1289/ehp.117-a241
  9. Cleary, M., & Grossmann, M. (2009). Obesity and Breast Cancer: The Estrogen Connection. Endocrinology, 150(6), 2537-2542. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-0070
  10. Joshi, S., & Vaze, N. (2010). Yoga and the menopausal transition. Journal Of Mid-Life Health, 1(2), 56. doi: 10.4103/0976-7800.76212
  11. Fentiman, I. (2004). Aromatase inhibitors and breast cancer: time for a change?. International Journal Of Clinical Practice, 58(12), 1152-1158. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2004.00363.x
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