What is Oestrogen Dominance and Why is it a Problem?
Oestrogen is a hormone that plays a crucial role in a woman’s reproductive system. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle, maintain bone health and keep the skin and hair healthy. However, when the levels of oestrogen in the body become too high, it can lead to a condition called oestrogen dominance.
Oestrogen dominance occurs when the levels of oestrogen in the body are out of balance with other hormones, such as progesterone. This imbalance can lead to a range of symptoms and health problems, including weight gain, mood swings, and irregular periods. It is particularly prevalent during the perimenopause as oestrogen goes up and down as it declines, whereas progestogen declines more steadily.
Causes of Oestrogen Dominance
Oestrogen dominance can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Excessive oestrogen production: This can occur for a variety of reasons, including obesity, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins.
- Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders, and perimenopause, can contribute to oestrogen dominance.
- Poor liver function: The liver is responsible for breaking down and eliminating excess oestrogen from the body. If the liver is not functioning properly, it may not be able to eliminate excess oestrogen, leading to oestrogen dominance.
Symptoms of Oestrogen Dominance
The symptoms of oestrogen dominance can vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Irregular periods: Oestrogen dominance can cause irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or missed periods.
- Mood swings: High levels of oestrogen can cause mood swings, irritability, and depression.
- Weight gain: Oestrogen dominance can lead to weight gain, particularly in the hips and thighs.
- Breast tenderness: Excess oestrogen can cause breast tenderness or swelling.
- Insomnia: High levels of oestrogen can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia.
- Headaches: Oestrogen dominance can cause headaches or migraines.
- Decreased sex drive: High levels of oestrogen can decrease libido.
Treatment for Oestrogen Dominance
The treatment for oestrogen dominance depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Some treatment options include:
- Hormone replacement therapy: Hormone replacement therapy may be used to restore hormonal balance in women who are experiencing menopause.
- Lifestyle changes: Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins may help reduce oestrogen dominance.
- Medications: Medications such as birth control pills or anti-oestrogen medications may be prescribed to help reduce oestrogen levels in the body.
- Nutritional supplements: Nutritional supplements such as vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc may help reduce oestrogen levels in the body.
Oestrogen dominance can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, it can be effectively managed. If you are experiencing symptoms of oestrogen dominance, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalised treatment plan.
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