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Article

Estrogen Dominance: What is It and How to Address It

Saturday, June 4th 2022 10:00am 15 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Estrogen dominance is a term for many common – and sometimes serious – hormone-related issues. It’s a complex condition that needs an appropriate approach to treatment. Let’s take a deeper look at estrogen dominance, what it is, and why it’s crucial to identify and understand it. Then let’s take a look at how to address common symptoms from menstrual migraines, heavy periods, hot flashes to breast tenderness, and more. If you are experiencing estrogen dominance, you need to protect yourself from chronic excess estrogen exposure.

The importance of estrogen

Estrogen plays a truly crucial role in our health and wellbeing. In addition to helping regulate our monthly hormonal cycle, estrogen also:

  • Prepares the uterus for pregnancy
  • Maintains healthy blood sugar levels
  • Helps regulate our stress response
  • Maintains bone health
  • Maintains skin tone and hair health
  • Supports vaginal and urinary tract health
  • Supports cognitive health, memory, and executive function
  • Stimulates cells growth
  • Controls cholesterol levels
  • Helps produce neurotransmitters like serotonin
  • Assists in the production of our sleep hormone, melatonin
  • Plays a role in empathy and facial expression recognition during our menstrual cycle
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Keeps inflammation controlled
  • Influences the development of the female body shape and physical female characteristics

With this knowledge, it should be obvious that estrogen levels that are unbalanced – either too low or too high – have been linked to common hormonally-related symptoms and more serious conditions like endometriosis, uterine and breast cancers, and serious gynecologic conditions.

Estrogen and estrogen receptors

Estrogen is produced in the ovaries. However, estrogen receptors are found throughout the body, in the bones, brain, and even in the immune system. Estrogen has a major influence on our metabolism and heart health. It has a profound role during menopause as overall estrogen levels decline. All other health factors can be altered as well due to that decline.

In fact, estrogen is actually three hormones: estrone or E1, estradiol or E2, and estriol or E3. They are produced in the ovaries, fat cells, and to some extent, in the skin.

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