What Is Estrogen Dominance?
Women will experience hormonal changes throughout their lives. Many of us think of these changes as occurring at only two significant life stages- adolescence and menopause. Women in their mid- to late-30’s and 40’s will have a major shift in their hormonal life. Some women simply produce fewer and fewer sex hormones, (DHEA, progesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, and estrogen). However most will experience hormonal fluctuations, usually marked by normal to excess estrogen and decreased progesterone. This is known as estrogen dominance and often marks premenopause.
It’s important not to dismiss estrogen dominance as a trivial hormonal imbalance. It can lead to serious and life threatening health problems if left unaddressed. Some of the complications may involve: fibroid tumors, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, heavy menstrual bleeding, benign breast disease, hyperplasia and uterine cancer.
Are You Estrogen Dominant?
The following is a checklist to help you determine if you are estrogen dominant. If you anwered yes to four or more of these questions, you are very likely in estrogen dominance.
Are you over age 35?
Do you suffer from PMS?
Do you have heavy, irregular periods?
Do you suffer from anxiety, irritability, and mood swings?
Have you gained more than 10 pounds?
Do you have noticeable cellulite?
Do you have puffiness around your eyes and face?
Do you have a decreased interest in sex?
Are you experiencing sleep difficulties?
Are you retaining fluids?
Are you having headaches?
Do you have bouts of brain fog—forgetting your car keys, your friend’s first name, or the point of a text you recently studied?
Have you recently discovered cysts in your breasts?
Have you been told you have fibroid tumors?
Do you have symptoms of endometriosis?
Have you been diagnosed with hyperplasia or endometrial cancer?
Have you been diagnosed with ovarian cysts?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, you may like to get your hormone levels tested.
Tip of the Day:
Saliva Hormone Tests
Like blood, saliva closely mirrors hormone levels in your body’s tissues. However, saliva is the preferred test for determining free hormone vs. bound in the body. This is important since only free hormones are active, which means that they affect the hormone sensitive tissues in the body.
Saliva testing is easy, stress-free and non-invasive. If you think saliva testing is right for you consider consulting your physician. Having your doctor order the test has two advantages: The profile is more extensive and your insurance may cover the cost. If your doctor doesn’t have a preference for labs, you may like to us Geneva Diagnostics, (www.gdx.net or 800-522-4762 as well as ZRT Laboratory (www.zrtlab.com or 866-600-1636). If your doctor is unable to order a test for you, you could take a home saliva test from Aeron Laboratories (www.aeron.com or 800-631-7900).
Dr. Susan Larks's Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark M.D.
The opinions given here have not been approved by the FDA or the author of the aforementioned book. This information is not intended as medical advice nor to treat, diagnose or cure any disease and is for entertainment purposes only. If you have any health concerns, please consult a licensed health care professional. Please consult your doctor before beginning a supplement program.