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Estrogen Dysregulation

Summary: In healthy women, estrogen and progesterone concentrations vary depending on the stage of each person’s ovarian cycle. These important hormone concentrations are regulated minute-to-minute to maintain specific healthy ratios. When estrogen or progesterone are consistently too high or too low, abnormal imbalances result. These are collectively referred to as “Estrogen Dysregulation” conditions.


Estrogen Dysregulation


What promotes excess amounts of circulating estrogen?

Perhaps the biggest offenders are the many man-made substances in our environment that are known to interfere with human hormone concentrations. Known as “endocrine disruptors”, people exposed to such chemicals are predisposed to having abnormal sex hormone concentrations due to alterations in the synthesis and/or metabolism of estrogen. Researchers are continuing to identify more and more xenoestrogens (endocrine disruptors) in our environment.

  • Personal care products that include parabens, phthalates, and benzophenones.

  • Chemicals commonly found in plastics (BPA/BPS)

  • Herbicides and pesticides. Glyphosate exposure is a known risk factor for developing breast cancer and has been directly linked to the production of human breast cancer cells in vitro.

  • Conventionally raised meat. Animals are given hormones to promote rapid growth and development to maximize weight and profit. The hormones given to animals are the same as those produced in healthy people, but when consumed, they confuse normal control mechanisms and lead to abnormal blood levels.

  • Slow digestion and constipation. Healthy bowel movements are one of the most important methods for eliminating unneeded estrogens.

  • Zearalenone is a potent estrogenic mycotoxin produced by some Fusarium and Gibberella species of mold. These mycotoxins are found worldwide in crops such as maize, barley, oats, wheat, rice, and sorghum.

  • Birth control pills containing artificial estrogen/progesterone can lead to estrogen dysregulation.

  • Certain genetic SNPs can predispose people to estrogen dysregulation.


Symptoms of Estrogen Dysregulation

  • Heavy periods

  • Breast tenderness

  • Difficult perimenopause/menopause (hot flashes, irritability, bloating, anxiety, hair

  • loss and night sweats)

  • Weight gain

  • Infertility

  • PMS

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Insomnia

  • Low energy

  • Low libido


How does the body normally detoxify estrogen and inactive substances?

Estrogen is metabolized through chemical pathways called hydroxylation and methylation. These normal processes are enhanced in people consuming a balanced, nutrient dense diet. Routine exercise, managing stress, and reducing exposure to potential toxins can also have

a powerful effect on the way your body manages estrogen.

The DUTCH test, performed by a functional practitioner, can help determine if Estrogen Dysregulation is at play. The DUTCH test measures concentrations of:

  • Estrogen and the by-products (metabolites) of its breakdown

  • Overall estrogen

  • Testosterone

  • Melatonin

  • Cortisol and Adrenaline

  • B vitamin status

  • Detox ability


Lifestyle changes recommended for individuals likely to have estrogen dysregulation:

  • Replace all plastic food containers with glass or stainless steel.

  • Review your makeup, hair, perfume, and skin care products to ensure they do not contain

  • parabens, phthalates, and benzophenones.

  • Avoid drinking from plastic bottles. Soft plastics contain BPA and phthalates, known

  • endocrine disruptors that can leach into the water and after being consumed, leach into

  • body tissues.

  • Balance your blood sugar. Too much sugar, simple carbohydrates, alcohol consumption

  • and weight can bring on estrogen dominance. A common source of excess sugar are

  • processed foods (sodas, snack food, and many others). Adipose tissue (belly fat) is an

  • estrogen-making factory.

  • Limit alcohol consumption since it can block estrogen clearance.

  • Buy organic and GMO-free foods.

  • Limit inflammatory grains that may contain Zearalenone.

  • Avoid meats that contain antibiotics and/or hormones.

  • Never let a day go by without pooping at least once.

  • Eat a diet rich in colorful, organic, local vegetables and fruits.

  • Eat grass-finished meats, pasture raised eggs and wild-caught fish.

  • Eat fermented foods, properly prepared legumes, nuts and seeds.

  • Eat healing fats such as olive, coconut and avocado oils, grass-fed butter and tallow.

  • Consume a few drops of bitters at every meal to assist with bile flow.

  • Eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. The compound Diindolylmethane DIM) in these veggies helps resolve estrogen dominance by increasing beneficial 2-hydroxy estrogens and reducing the unwanted 16-hydroxy variety.

  • Get plenty of sunshine but never burn.

  • Exercise, even mild exercise, helps support the lymphatic system which is critical in allowing the body to eliminate toxins.

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