You’re having mood swings, irregular periods and feeling more fatigued than you should be. You go to the doctor and start hormone therapy. For a while you do feel better…
But now your symptoms are back – even worse…
You feel no attraction toward your spouse or partner, you’re tender in areas and swelling, you have a hard time self-regulating your body temperature and your irritability is OUT of control.
You have persistent exhaustion that sleep can’t touch.
You’re having a difficult time concentrating and making decisions is harder than it should be.
You started hormone therapy, because you wanted to avoid all of this… So, WHY isn’t it working?
It may actually be working. Hormone therapy is about adding hormones to your system, because you’re not producing as much as you were.
However, hormone therapy does not address the other conditions of hormone regulation, and that’s where the problems can occur.
One problem and one that is on the rise is estrogen dominance.
There are 50 different hormones in your body. HRT, hormone replacement therapy, usually targets only three; estrogen, progesterone and at times testosterone.
Because as a woman ages it is her ovaries that slow down, women in peri-menopause and menopause are seen to have an estrogen deficiency. That’s why most often, estrogen is the focus and is the most often prescribed.
However, all three work together, and other hormones play a role. In addition, women continue to produce estrogen, though it’s much lower after their last period.
Adding estrogen, especially without consideration of other hormone levels and body systems, can lead to estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance is when you have too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. This can lead to overstimulating both the brain and body which is intensified by stress.
Symptoms directly associated with estrogen dominance are:
- Mood swings, depression and irritability
- Water retention
- Low sex drive
- Tenderness and swelling, especially the breasts
- Brain fog
- Restless sleep
- Irregular periods / PMS
Estrogen dominance can also diminish your Thyroid and cause you to experience hair loss, cold hands and feet, and a sluggish metabolism.
Studies have further linked estrogen dominance with allergies, autoimmune disease, ovarian cysts, blood clots and hormone sensitive cancers; breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
There are several factors that can lead to estrogen dominance, not just HRT. The problem is if you are on HRT and you do not address these other factors, you could find yourself feeling worse instead of better.
5 Factors that contribute to Estrogen Dominance:
- HRT that only addresses estrogen levels.
- Obesity, belly fat in particular can produce estrogen. And, if your Thyroid is diminished and you have a sluggish metabolism, it’s easier to gain weight.
- Stress, resulting in adrenal exhaustion will lower your body’s ability to produce progesterone, skewing the ratio between estrogen and progesterone.
- Diminished detoxification function, especially the liver. Used and excess hormones must filter through the liver before they can be excreted from your body. If your liver function is poor, these substances can return to your bloodstream.
- Environmental and food sources of estrogen such as from water, plastics, personal care products and feed-lot animals treated with hormones can add up and increase your personal levels of estrogen.
5 things you can do to reduce your risk of estrogen dominance and improve how you feel:
- Eat more organic produce and animal-based products. Eat only pasture raised animals that have not been given hormones.
- Filter you water and drink lots of it to support your lymph and liver function.
- Eat lots of greens; leafy and cruciferous vegetables support your natural ability to detoxify.
- Manage your energy by getting 7 – 9 hours of sleep and taking routine breaks.
- Move your body and sweat every day increasing feel-good chemistry, reducing stress and detoxification function.
If you have more than one of the symptoms listed above and suspect that your HRT isn’t working correctly, you’ll want to do some baseline testing. Test your hormone levels and their metabolites to include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol and melatonin.
And test for gut dysfunction, liver congestion, food sensitivities and check for pathogen infections. You want to ensure these systems are in good working order and remove as many internal stressors as possible.
Healthy lifestyle choices and reducing stress as much as possible is going to wonders for you, but if you want to speed up your results and you want testing done, contact me. I can help you determine which tests would be the most beneficial after we go through your health history.
If you want the results you thought your hormone therapy would provide, so you can think straight, maintain your peace of mind and feel like yourself, let me help. To get your hands on the right diagnostic labs and resources you need to uncover what’s going on and restore your body’s function, click here to fill out a Hormone Health Questionnaire and then schedule your Hormone Troubleshooting Session.
Your partner in health,
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