Estrogen dominance doesn’t just apply to women. Daily production of estradiol (the predominant estrogen) levels in men are higher than those found in postmenopausal women!
High estrogen levels in women affect progesterone levels, whereas high estrogen levels in men lead to low levels of testosterone. And as any man will tell you, that is not a good thing.
What is are the health effects of high estrogen?
The role of estrogen is basically to stimulate cell growth of tissue. When levels get too high, studies have shown an increase in the rate of breast, uterine, and prostate cancer. Combined with inflammation (which we believe is the cause of most dysfunction in the body) and lymphatic drainage issues, the risk factor increases even more.
What are the symptoms of high estrogen?
Symptoms for women
- Decreased sex drive
- Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Fibrocystic breasts and/or uterine fibroids
- Headaches (especially premenstrual)
- Mood swings (most often irritability, anxiety, depression)
- Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
- Cold hands and feet
- Hair loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Sluggish metabolism
- Foggy thinking
- Memory Loss
- Trouble sleeping
Symptoms for men
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased vigor or low energy
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
- Baldness and/or hair thinning
- Fat accumulation around the waist with an inability to lose weight
- Urinary problems such as pain, frequency, urgency, or interrupted stream
- Changes in sleep habits
- Increased in LDL cholesterol with a decrease in good cholesterol
- Nervousness, anxiety, depression or too emotional
- Lack of enthusiasm for life
What causes high estrogen levels?
Poor diet, stress, excess body fat, synthetic estrogens, environmental estrogens, lack of ovulation, incorrect supplementation that inadvertently block pathways, binding protein issues, congested liver, GI issues, smoking, etc.
What is the best way to test estrogen levels?
This is extremely important. High levels of estrogen may actually cause symptoms of low estrogen. Why? Cells stop responding to high levels much in the same way that you lose your taste for pizza if you were to eat it for every meal. So what ends up happening without proper testing? The provider offers estrogen to women who already have too much! For men, testing indicates whether testosterone loss is due to estrogen or DHT conversion.
We recommend hormone testing to report estrogen levels, metabolites, and detoxification information. Standard blood testing doesn’t reflect what is happening at the tissue level. This is because the blood contains both bound and free hormone levels. Also, it is important to test all hormones together since they are highly dependent on each other. This includes testosterone, progesterone, 3 estrogens, DHEA, 4 cortisol, and DHT.
In addition, blood testing analyzed from a functional perspective is highly recommended to look at bound hormone levels and uncover the possible root cause of elevated hormone levels. Thermography may also indicate estrogen dominant patterns. We recommend this type of testing for breast health over conventional mammograms.
What can be done to reduce high estrogen levels?
- Lose fat mass and gain lean body mass. Get a Bioimpedance Analysis to determine your body composition.
- Eat lots of phytoestrogen containing foods to block the effects of harmful estrogens. Avoid unhealthy forms of soy.
- Change your diet to remove processed fats, bad fats, and sugars. Eat whole foods.
- Reduce stress to increase progesterone levels (which affects all hormone levels)
- Quit smoking
- Avoid xenoestrogens that simulate natural estrogens
- Do not use plastics for food or water bottles
- Use detergents with fewer chemicals so they are not absorbed by the skin
- Choose body products without parabens
- Use natural pest control and herbicides
- Buy hormone free meats
- Buy organic produce
- Avoid birth control pills and rings, spermicides, and HRT
- Get your liver, gallbladder, adrenals, GI, and thyroid working correctly.
- Avoid the use of hormone creams as they accumulate in your fat cells are extremely hard to remove from the body. You may end up passing them to your partner during those intimate moments causing them hormonal imbalance!
- Detoxification to remove excess hormones
- Consider supervised/monitored supplementation