If you are experiencing migraines, irregular menses, peri-menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, thyroid problems, or sleep issues, toxic estrogen could be the cause.
Estrogen is a hormone that is produced by both women and men. As women age, there are several factors that can (and often will) lead to an accumulation of excess estrogen. Excess estrogen is a cause of the apple shape commonly associated with men and post-menopausal women. Unfortunately, accumulating excess estrogen – even before menopause – is very easy. We are constantly exposed to many substances that are similar enough in molecular structure to estrogen that our body is confused into trying to process these substances in the same way we would naturally process estrogen. These substances are called xenoestrogens. Cells in our bodies have “docking stations” called receptors that hormones like estrogen plug in to, allowing the cells to respond to that hormone. The estrogen that our body produces plugs in and then clears out the receptor once the cell has responded. Xenoestrogens also plug into these receptors, but don’t clear out as well, causing a problem referred to as estrogen dominance. If the liver becomes less efficient in metabolizing hormones out of the body, your problem can become even greater.
Estrogen dominance can eventually lead to a host of problems including fibroids, many types of cancers, mood swings, and weight gain. So, what can you do?
- Avoid BPA. BPA is found in many plastics and lines the inside of food cans. Switch to glass or stainless steel containers for food and water storage. You should also avoid processed food whenever possible because it is often packaged in containers with plastic linings.
- Choose natural cleaners. Xenoestrogens are found in air fresheners, house cleaners, and laundry products.
- Don’t forget about cosmetics and skin care products. Parabens are found in many hair and skin care products. They are known to mimic estrogen in the body. This is especially troublesome because we tend to reapply these products throughout the day during activities like washing our hands or reapplying lotion.
If you’re wondering about your hormone levels, there is a simple, non-invasive test available that measures hormone and cortisol levels and helps us understand how your body is processing hormones. Your specific test results will guide the treatment approach.