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How Hormonal Imbalances can affect your health?

A hormonal imbalance occurs when the balance of individual hormones, is disturbed. One of the most common imbalances is associated with excess oestrogen in relation to the amount of progesterone, and that’s what is being covered in this article.

Progesterone, is a hormone that is made at ovulation and normally balances estrogen’s growth effects, in a critical ratio. However, when ovulation ceases, progesterone production also stops.

Recent scientific research now reveals that perimenopause and menopause hormonal imbalance symptoms are caused by a relative excess of estrogen and a deficiency of progesterone.

Ovulation ceases when a woman’s egg numbers are exhausted in perimenopause, or when a woman uses the oral contraceptive pill. The result is that progesterone levels plummet, but estrogen levels remain high; therefore, the critical ratio is destroyed and “estrogen dominance” occurs. This condition, over a long time, can also lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer, plus many other symptoms.

So, what are hormones?

Hormones exert a powerful influence over many aspects of our growth and development, sexual and reproductive capability, our behaviour and intelligence, our energy, our memory and over every part of our lives.

Hormones are super-chemicals and are the body’s messengers. Hormones are produced for example, by your endocrine glands, your pituitary gland, pineal gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes and thyroid. All of these organs are directly commanded by the brain. When the hormones are totally in balance within the body, the body is in the state of “homeostasis”. Hormone balances are very sensitive and when even one hormone is suddenly increased or reduced, there is a chain effect on all of the other hormones throughout the body.

Estrogen and progesterone are two primary female sex hormones. When both are functioning properly, they work well together. However, when they are out of balance, as they are for many women, this can cause reproductive health issues mainly due to too much estrogen.

Estrogen is the most powerful female hormone; it is essential for reproductive function and plays a key role in determining a woman’s overall health. Estrogen is primarily produced by the ovaries. Estrogen is a term used to collectively describe oestradiol, oestrone and oestriol and an imbalance of any of these three alters the activity of Estrogen.

Progesterone is the building block for many major hormones: cortisol, testosterone and estrogen are all made from it. It is the secondary female steroid hormone and balances the family of estrogens. Progesterone has the capacity to be turned into other hormones further down the biological pathways when the body needs them. Estrogen and testosterone are end-metabolic products that are made from progesterone, so if adequate progesterone is not present than there won’t be enough available estrogen and testosterone.

One major difference is that estrogen stimulates cell growth while progesterone inhibits cell growth. You may be surprised to learn that there are estrogen receptors in most body tissues, including the brain, bones and skin. The uterus, urinary tract, breasts and blood vessels also depend on estrogen to stay toned and flexible.

So when these two major hormones are out of balance they can lead to the body producing more estrogen in comparison to progesterone, which leads to the most common “hormonal imbalance” – “Estrogen Dominance”.

What is Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen Dominance
, is a term that was coined by the late Dr John Lee, an expert in the use of natural progesterone from Harvard and the University of Minnesota Medical School. It describes the condition in which a woman can have deficient, normal or excessive estrogen hormones but little or no progesterone hormone to balance its effect in the body. As a result, she has more estrogen in her body relative to progesterone, which produces the symptoms associated with the term “estrogen dominance”.

Dr Lee, was an international authority and pioneer, with a distinguished medical career, in the use of natural progesterone and natural hormone balance. He was a sought-after speaker, as well as a best-selling author and the editor-in-chief of a widely read newsletter. He was the author of several best-selling books including What Your Doctor May Not Tell you about Premenopause and also What Your Doctor May Not Tell you about Menopause.

Estrogen dominance can also be the result of being exposed to too much estrogen in the environment or environmental chemicals that cause a woman’s body to produce more estrogen. In addition, it can be a result of peri-menopausal menstrual cycles, when no egg is released and therefore no progesterone is produced, which again causes excess estrogen. It can also be a combination of both these circumstances. There are also many other causes that can contribute towards estrogen dominance, which will be discussed in future articles.

As I began my research into hormonal imbalances, I discovered that a vast majority of women suffer from these symptoms. In fact, research suggests that as many as 75 percent of menstruating women have some premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, which are caused by hormonal imbalances.

That’s certainly a lot of women all being affected by hormonal imbalances of some sort and I realized I wasn’t alone. So, if you can relate to these hormonal imbalances, you’re not alone either.

Who does Estrogen Dominance effect?

Estrogen dominance
can affect women of all ages. For example, it can affect young girls who are stressed, young women on the pill and women going through perimenopause. This is because, in each of these scenarios, ovulation will occur either intermittently or not at all. If ovulation doesn’t occur, then progesterone isn’t being produced although estrogen is still being produced because the women are still experiencing periods.

Women going through menopause are also affected by estrogen dominance. As they are no longer producing eggs and ovulation has ceased, they may not be producing enough progesterone.

Young women on the pill, or women suffering from excess stress, may have seemingly normal periods but without ovulation. They might tend to suffer from PMS symptoms such as: swollen tender breasts, weight gain, mood swings, headaches and cramps.

So, you can see that “Estrogen Dominance can affect girls and women of all ages. In addition, it can also affect boys and men because of environmental influences.

Periods mean oestrogen; ovulation means progesterone. Periods don’t necessarily mean ovulation therefore periods don’t necessarily mean progesterone.

What are some of the symptoms of Estrogen Dominance?

Here is a list of symptoms that are caused or made worse by an imbalance of your hormones and are mainly attributed to having too much estrogen.

  • PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)
  • Bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Weight gain, especially around the abdomen, hips and thighs
  • Acne
  • Memory loss
  • Migraines
  • Tender or lumpy breasts
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythematosus and thyroiditis
  • Thyroid dysfunction with cold hands and feet
  • Endometrial (Uterine cancer)
  • Foggy thinking
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Osteoporosis
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Acceleration of the aging process
  • Allergy symptoms, including asthma, hives, rashes, sinus congestion
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Dry eyes
  • Early onset of menstruation
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Increased blood clotting (increasing risk of strokes)
  • Insomnia
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Premenopausal bone loss
  • Prostate cancer
  • Thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism
  • Zinc deficiency

Note: The above list of symptoms is adapted from Dr John Lee’s book “What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Premenopause.”

As you can see from the above list, there is an amazing number of symptoms and illnesses that can be attributed to the condition of estrogen dominance. Some of them can be very serious or even life-threatening conditions.

How many of these symptoms can you relate to?

So, if you are experiencing even a few of these symptoms listed, there is a good chance that you are suffering from “estrogen dominance” and your hormones are out of balance.

In the next article I’m going to be covering what some of the possible causes of “Eestrogen Dominance” are.

I’d love to hear about your experiences, so leave me a comment below.

For more information about these symptoms and a range of easy to follow and implement natural solutions to balance your hormones you can purchase my book From Hormone Hell to Hormone Heaven.

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About Me
Eva Torner

Hi! My Name is Eva Torner

Welcome to the Natural Harmonie Blog!

I am a Wellbeing Coach, Energy Healing Practitioner and Author.

I believe in your holistic health and wellness and I would love to help you achieve greater wellbeing in your life.

The Natural Harmonie website is to help women such as you with their hormone health, to help you deal with stress and create more balance and harmony in your life for better wellbeing.  The focus is to help you overcome the physical, mental, emotional and energetic blocks that are stopping you from being the best version of yourself!

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