Estrogen Dominance is a term coined by Dr. Lee in his book ‘Natural Progesterone.’ (1) Dr. Lee believes, “it is possible that we are all (men, women and children) suffering a little from estrogen dominance because there is so much of it in our environment.”
Being Estrogen Dominant makes it impossible to lose weight and keep it off. But, there’s more to it than that. Estrogen Dominance Kills.
Normal testosterone levels aren’t just about an improved sex drive, and balanced estrogen levels aren’t just about fertility, optimal collagen levels, better moods or decreased hot flashes. Happy male and female sex hormones effectively work together and compliment each other for the benefit of a healthy metabolism and libido in both sexes. So it’s important to know what can disrupt this delicate balance of hormones, glands, fat cells, and metabolism, that can take us down the wrong path and fill us with preventable diseases.
Hormones & Metabolism are Designed to Work Together
Our hypothalamus links our nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. Besides hormones the hypothalamus governs metabolism and plays a role in male ejaculation. The hormone testosterone is dependent on a healthy pituitary gland. The pituitary gland also has an intimate relationship with estrogen.(2) Estrogen dominance is said to be not only the primary cause of weight gain, and belly fat, but it includes fibrosis disorders such as Colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS, Myocardial Infarction, Osteitis Fibrosa (bone), Thyroid Disorders, Alzheimers, Macular Degeneration, Depression, Cancer and a Low Sex Drive.
It appears Big Pharma and Big Corporations are responsible for changing our hormones, our environment, and our ecosystems, and rely significantly more on the female population for profit. Seriously!
“The WHO reports higher rates of obesity in women worldwide, reaching twice the prevalence of men..”(3) In 2013 weight loss medications Bel-viq or Qsymia targeted women with a BMI just over twenty-seven.(4)
Remember mother’s little helper? For better moods one in four American women are on some kind of psychiatric medication compared to one in seven men.(5) Side effects from these medications include lost libido, disrupted metabolism and increase risks for brain fog, heart disease,(6) suicide, aggression, and additional mood disorders.
To add insult to injury, advertisements target women as sluts who take birth control.(7)
Believe it or not, the CDC has set guidelines for women of childbearing age. They say women shouldn’t drink alcohol unless they’re taking birth control.(8) If we take into consideration individually, there is none. Facts are, alcohol disrupts hormones and increases the risk for estrogen dominance(9) as does birth control. When alcohol and birth control pills are combined you’ll see the CDC condones estrogen dominance. Does this make your hair stand up?
Women unwittingly go from birth control to antibiotics, antidepressants to diet pills, Synthroid to Corticosteroids, and statins to insulin medications. Today there are over 422 million people with diabetes,(20) with studies suggesting statins can increase the risk for diabetes, paving the way for insulin resistance.(10) This news hasn’t stopped statin prescriptions from being written.
Insulin Resistance Continues
Xenoestrogens can lead to estrogen dominance. Theses are found in our food and environment and contribute to belly fat, heart disease and more. A small list of xenoestrogens included hormone replacement therapy, DDT, and birth control medications, BPA’s, dryer sheets, pesticides, chemicals, tap water, dyes, and plastics. BPA’s increase insulin resistance. Interestingly enough, BPA’s and statins are considered an undesirable class of environmental contaminants.(18)
There are over 24 million men, women, and now children taking statins.(19) One reason for the increase can be attributed to the fact that people love to eat sugar and sugary products. Both sugar and coffee lead to estrogen dominance, disrupt our cholesterol levels and increase insulin resistance.
According to the mayo clinic, seven in ten people take some kind of medication.(11) The path of multiple medications leads us down the path of depleted serotonin levels, depressed into insulin resistance and breast cancer.(12) Oral contraceptives, non-existent exercise habits, and commercial proteins also inhibit serotonin production. And if that isn’t enough, low serotonin levels negatively influence our sex drive.(21)
However you look at it, these alarming facts aren’t going away. When SEX HORMONES are disrupted, men and women can suffer from obesity, low libido, cancer and more.(13)
The Hidden Connection
The cat is out of the bag. What can cause disruption in the gut can also disrupt hormones. Estrogen dominance can be directly linked to our gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria that lives inside us. Disruptors include an abundance of prescription drugs, a poor diet, and exposures from pesticides such as Atrazine to Glyphosate. Atrazine can be found on golf courses and in waterways. Glyphosate can be found in everyday foods such as carrots, quinoa, Quaker Oats, meats, fish and pork, soy, millet, corn, and oregano, just to name a few. (15) Glyphosate is being linked to cancer. (16)
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® damages all cellular systems throughout the body causing inflammation, obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s.(17)
Some of us trying to lose weight or struggle with years of obesity start by eating a diet of low-fat, no-fat, diet sugars, liquid and solid chemicals, colors, and dyes totally unaware of the damage we are doing to our hormones, metabolism and sex life. According to Journal of Human Nutrition, “those eating less plant-based foods were found to have higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation in their bodies than their normal-weight counterparts.” Interestingly enough, a higher intake of processed foods like pizza, as well as packaged burgers and meat sandwiches was found to double the risk of prostate cancer and increase our risk for breast cancers.(27) Hopefully, I am driving this message home. Because hormones react to toxins and poor quality foods beneficial bacteria is lost, leaving the body unable to protect itself from obesity, cancer and heart disease.(28)
To place this in an easily digestible language, ‘the damage done by Big Corporations and Big Pharma is unacceptable!’ In today’s world, less than three percent of the population is healthy. To make matters worse, unhealthy Mega and Factory farms are subsidized with your tax dollars. The concentrations of poisons, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, medications and tainted food products disrupt our internal and external ecosystems so they can no longer function optimally. Because of this, our immune system struggles to protect us from disease.(14) What we truly need is to find balance in both ecosystems.
The good news is -we can begin to increase our awareness of toxins that cause estrogen dominance and get our sex drive back.
- Simple solutions that you can include in your life now are: drinking more water, exercise daily and better sleep habits. Sleep assist the body in releasing toxins. With continuing sleep deprivation men may develop prostate cancer.(22)
- Remember birth control pills, statins, painkillers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors cause metabolic side-effects. A person trying to lose more than 20 pounds, may be likely to have excess estrogen in their tissues from these medications, which we now know promotes the creation and storage of more fat cells and/or weight gain.
- Changing the environment begins with you. Get to know your body on a deeper more intimate level. It is no accident America is overweight. We have a system that grew out of control by trusting in fake foods, toxins, and chemical conformity. This mindset brought with it inflammation in all bodily systems. A toxic internal and external environment is linked to diabetes. Diabetes causes disruption of sexual function. Make an effort to get toxins out of your life. You can begin by avoiding commercial meat, wheat, sugars, and dairy.
- A healthy immunity means a healthy gut which is important for healthy and happy hormones. You’ll find more serotonin in your gut than in your brain. Organic walnuts, tomatoes, and bananas are good foods to boost serotonin levels. Making small healthy changes to your diet can have positive effects on changing your gut microbiome for the better.(23)
- Last time I checked, you still have a choice between organic and conventional produce. Eat Organic Plants First! Use organic food whenever possible to decrease your levels of xenoestrogens.
- Alcohol is not a health food. Support your liver by limiting alcohol, an endocrine disruptor.(24) In one study, blood and urine estrogen levels increased up to 32 percent in women who drank just two drinks a day. Choose liver supporting foods including turmeric, ginger, lemon, and fennel.
- According to Ori Hofmekler, author of ‘The Warrior Diet’, “an imbalance in estrogen metabolism is commonly associated with a diet low in vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables contain a large amount of diindolylmethane, a compound that can restore the balance of your estrogen metabolites.” Find creative ways to include broccoli, kale, daikon radish, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, radishes, and Brussel sprouts into your daily meals. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with phytochemicals, substances that display fat burning qualities that both promote belly fat loss(25) and prevent cancer.(26)
- Food is art! Cruciferous vegetables are a palette rich in color. Green, white, purple, and red. The key to consuming all the various vitamins and nutrients needed is rich, vibrant, colorful whole foods! Adding in vegetables with color to your diet is a very powerful step in helping you win the battle against belly-fat and cancer! By introducing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle you are taking the path to your survival.
Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrative Holistic Health Coach, Brain/Gut Coach, Blogger, Researcher, Optimal Living Expert, Ambassador of Well-Being, Published Author and Speaker. Owner of bitesizepieces.net
Her book found on Amazon, Path to a Healthy Mind & Body http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0692566066?
1- Dr. Lee ~Natural Progesterone Book- BLL Publishing 1993 (104 pages)