ESTROGEN DOMINANCE ~ Is It Real, and What Can You Do About It?
Diana E. Natalie Johnson
Some conventional medical doctors still tell women that all perimenopause, premenopause, and menopause symptoms result from a drop in estrogen production. In this view the solution is prescription estrogen supplementation, or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), usually with synthetic hormones.
In contrast, many alternative practitioners believe that women have too much estrogen, leading to a condition known as “estrogen dominance”, where there is little or no progesterone to balance estrogen’s effects in the body. Even a woman with low estrogen levels can have estrogen dominance symptoms if she doesn’t have enough progesterone. I still believe this to be true and now several years after retiring from clinical practice, as a woman in my early fifties, have experienced firsthand over the past decade the need to promote hormonal balance naturally within my own body.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to healthcare pioneer Dr. John R. Lee, M.D., who broke new ground when he claimed that estrogen dominance was the real cause of premenopause and menopause symptoms, especially in younger women.
When estrogen levels are high in relation to our progesterone we experience many symptoms, among them anxiety, breast tenderness, depression, cyclic headaches or migraines, digestive complaints, ‘brain fog’, cravings, irregular menses (bleeding), edema (water retention), unexplained weight gain, and more.
Since the mid-1990’s there has been ongoing research published suggesting that Progesterone has a modifying influence on the rate of bone loss and the symptoms of estrogen withdrawal such as ‘hot flushes’ and ‘night sweats’, during the time of menopause.1
Estrogen is good when in balance, and necessary – it is the hormone which creates our fertility, protects our health in myriad ways, and serves as a powerful anti-inflammatory, however, estrogen and progesterone need to be balanced in order to work together as counterparts. “Together, they are responsible for balance in blood clotting and the storage and use of fat in the body…for positive attitude and normal feelings of well-being.”2
Estrogen also works together with testosterone to convert bad cholesterol (LDL/low-density lipoprotein) to good cholesterol (HDL/high-density lipoprotein). Progesterone and testosterone increase physical desire. “Hormones help with good brain function in maintaining optimal body functions, and most important, they work to help keep us young.”3
Consider the following chart outlining the metabolic pathways of the hormones in our body. Like an orchestra, all must be working in concert and in balance with one another.
Environmental Estrogens & ‘Foreign Estrogen’ Load:
Years beyond Dr. Lee’s research, we are now also very concerned about environmental estrogens (or ‘xenoestrogens’, pronounced “zēno-estrogens”), literally meaning “foreign estrogens” adding to our ‘estrogen load’. Xenoestrogens come from from pesticides, growth hormones given to livestock, dairy cattle, & poultry, and PCB’s and PVC’s from plastics. They’re another story entirely!
“Limiting our exposure to xenoestrogens is also very important,” writes Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP. “Thoroughly wash or peel all produce to remove at least some of the pesticides. Eating only lean, organic meat and dairy products is wise. Heat food in metal or porcelain containers, not plastic, and definitely not in the microwave with plastic wrap! Drinking out of glass containers instead of plastic, previously used water bottles, or Styrofoam cups…
…A diet rich in phytonutrients is also thought to be protective. Phytoestrogens, for example, are natural, plant-based substances found in soybeans, licorice, yams, alfalfa and lots of other foods that are thought to bind to estrogen cell receptors and protect them from accepting the more damaging xenoestrogens. Because they work as molecular messengers, abundant botanical and other micronutrients such as essential fatty acids can help increase your body’s ability to listen and dance to the hormonal music.” 4
In addition to eating a plant-rich diet, taking a high-quality daily broad spectrum multi-vitamin & mineral supplement (preferably a ‘Stress Formula’ with higher amounts of the B-vitamins to support the adrenal glands) is a very important step towards restoring hormonal balance naturally.
Five simple rules for maintaining good hormone production:
- Keeping the liver clean
- Consuming enzyme-rich food and taking a digestive enzyme supplement to give your digestive system a natural boost, especially with meals higher in proteins & fats
- Eating a diet high in soluble and insoluble fiber, and consuming a fiber supplement such as finely powdered Psyllium hulls, ground flaxseed, or Chia Seed
- Avoiding processed foods, foods grown with chemicals, body and hair care products with dangerous chemicals, toothpastes and deodorants with harmful additives, and the home-use of harsh chemicals in all forms (including laundry and cleaning products)
- Consuming a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin & mineral supplement daily, with higher amounts of B-vitamins (i.e. 50 mg of each), and use a phytonutrient supplement (example, wild yam extract) if necessary, or a for younger women consider a balancing essential oil blend such as Young Living’s Dragon Time™.
For women during peri-menopause, pre-menopause, and menopausal years who suspect estrogen dominance contributing to the symptoms highlighted above, D. Gary Young of Young Living Essential Oils has created a potent combination ‘natural progesterone delivery system’ containing wild yam extract called Progessence™ Phyto Plus to help promote improved hormone balance and emotional and physical well-being in women.5
Directions for use of Progessence™ Photo Plus involve applying 2 to 4 drops one to two times daily on neck area, and if desired applying 1-2 drops one to two times daily on forearms. Containing wild yam extract, vitamin E, and 100% pure therapeutic essential oils of Vitex (Vitex angus cactus), Copaiba (Copaifera reticulata), Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora), Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus), and Bergamot (Citrus uranium bergamia), it smells absolutely wonderful!
For younger menstruating women experiencing cyclical Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms and discomforts including cramping, irregular periods, mood swings, emotional swings, or headaches, consider the essential oil blend Dragon Time™ essential oil blend.
Dilute Dragon Time™ 1:1 in a carrier oil and apply 1 to 2 drops on wrists, neck temples, on Vita Flex points on feet, or on both sides of ankles and feet. Or dilute Dragon Time™ 1:15 in carrier oil for a full body massage. Or apply Dragon Time™ with a hot compress over lower abdomen, lower back, or on locations of pain. Cautionary note re Dragon Time™ essential oil blend: possible sun sensitivity; avoid sun exposure for 12 hours following application of Dragon Time™.
Progessence™ Photo Plus and Dragon Time™ essential oil blend are available HERE with wholesale membership (use enroller #3794432).
1. Beat The Menopause Without HRT, by Maryon Stewart & Dr. Alan Stewart, ©1995. Headline Book Publishing
2.3.5. Essential Oils Desk Reference Sixth Edition, p.137, ©2014.
4. Estrogen Dominance Is It Real, by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP, womentowomen.com
31.05.2016 DIANA E. NATALIE JOHNSON
IMPORTANT: THE INFORMATION WITHIN THIS DOCUMENT WAS OBTAINED FROM REPUTABLE RESOURCES (REFERENCED), LECTURES, AND BIOCHEMISTRY EDUCATION WHICH THE AUTHOR HAS RECEIVED OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PRESCRIBE OR RECOMMEND A PARTICULAR TREATMENT OR PROTOCOL, BUT RATHER, TO EMPOWER THE READER WITH KNOWLEDGE THAT MIGHT HELP THEM TO HELP THEMSELVES TO BETTER HEALTH NATURALLY.
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