What Causes A Hormone Imbalance?
Most women, unfortunately, face hormone imbalances to one degree or another. Additionally, today more than ever, women are faced with a barrage of complex health issues. Long working
hours, combined with the demands of family and friends, is taking a toll on general wellbeing.
Conditions such as infertility, endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hot flashes and night sweats are major hormone health issues affecting women from all walks of life. They have an extremely debilitating effect on physical and emotional health and quality of life for increasing numbers of women, young and old.
The problem is that in our modern lives, factors such as job pressures and emotional ups and downs sometimes cause us to live in a state of stress for long periods. It is this stress that can contribute to an underactive thyroid, worsening PMS, weight gain and conditions mentioned above.
Apart from stress, other factors can cause a hormone imbalance such as estrogen dominance and environmental estrogens.
Women with conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids are thought to be exposed to high levels of estrogen for too long. Such conditions may also occur because the growth promoting effects of estrogen are not in balance with other hormones such as progesterone. This is called estrogen Dominance.
A main reason why women today are affected by more estrogen is simply because they are having more periods per lifetime. The average age of a woman’s first period is becoming progressively earlier, the average age of menopause is getting later, and women are having fewer children. Additionally, women (and men) are exposed to xenoestrogens (chemical estrogen found in our environment) on a daily basis. Common sources include but are not limited to:
- car exhausts
- dry cleaning chemicals
- industrial waste
- meat from animals which have been fattened with estrogenic drugs
- sunscreen lotions
- BHA (food preservative)
- atrazine (weedkiller)
- bisphenol A (bpa)
- DDT (insecticide)
- FD&C Red No. 3
- parabens (lotions)
- phthalates (plasticizers)
- laundry detergent
- fabric softeners & dryer sheets
- air fresheners
- nail Polish
- nail polish removers
- plastic containers (especially harmful when microwaved)
Estrogen excess does not occur because the ovaries make too much estrogen; on the contrary, there is usually a problem with availability and clearance of estrogen. By supporting optimal liver functioning we can effectively clear excess estrogen.
Our hormone system is a complex system of glands and hormones which control development, growth, reproduction and behavior. When the delicate balance is disrupted by estrogen excess, many hormone problems can occur. Additionally, estrogen (like cortisol and insulin) is a fat storage hormone. When estrogen levels are elevated it is virtually impossible to maintain healthy weight.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance may include heavy periods, clotting, breakthrough bleeding, period pain and PMS. Increased incidences of endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fertility problems, miscarriage, breast and uterine cancer have been associated with estrogen dominance.
Toxic compounds in our environment are emerging as significant risk factors for hormone health problems.
Apart from exposure to environmental estrogens, our lifestyle, poor diet and weight gain can also contribute to estrogen dominance.
Hormonal conditions are major healthcare concerns, affecting millions of women worldwide, and are seemingly increasing in incidence. They have an extremely debilitating effect on physical and emotional health and on quality of life for large numbers of women, young and old.
Estrogen dominant conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids and PCOS are associated with:
- Exposure of estrogen through food, water and other environmental sources
- Underactive thyroid gland
- Weight gain
- Sluggish liver function
When One Hormone is Off, Others Follow…
Excessive exposure to environmental estrogens, especially when combined with poor liver metabolism of estrogen, can result in significantly lowered progesterone production and increased menstrual irregularities. Additionally an underactive thyroid gland is related to weight gain. This excess fatty tissue that results from low thyroid function, increases estrogen storage as the body will use this fatty tissue as an estrogen storage dump site of sorts when the liver cannot initially move the excess estrogen out. And how many of us have healthy livers today? If that’s not enough, insulin resistance contributes to weight gain and PCOS.
Help your body balance it’s hormones naturally through holistic wellness.