Dr Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert
Owner/CEO Bare Skin by Dr Bollmann, www.bareskincare.com
I have long touted the positive effects of bio-identical hormones in the menopause. And still do.
But there is a period before menopause, "peri-menopause" if you will, when estrogen levels are actually high - this usually occurs about the year before menopause, when the menstrual cycle becomes irregular - the ovaries are not working the way they used to.
Remember, in the cycle of life starting after menarche (start of menes) until menopause, there is a balance in hormones that keeps things regular. This balance can be upset by many things, including stress, but it is an amazing thing that menstrual cycles are usually regular, despite the challenges of everyday living.
But as the body ages, and menopause begins, the high estrogen levels can actually cause the mid-age spread that women often complain about. Now of course, there are other things that can cause weight gain - but the following article points out things that can cause "estrogen dominance", and ways to combat these.
In my practice, I found the easiest way to balance the hormones in the "peri-menopause" was to use an oral contraceptive - one that contained both estrogen and progesterone (preferably a low dose progesterone). I encouraged patients to stay on these and have a blood test for FSH levels, which if elevated show the occurrence of menopause. At this time I would switch to bio-identical hormone replacement, using estradiol, estriol, and possibly testosterone (to give sex drive a boost).
This protocol enabled my patients into a smooth transition for menopause - and it wasn't brain surgery.
The following is the article mentioned:
Listed are five causes of estrogen dominance that are frequently overlooked.
Estrogen dominance is a destructive health condition where estrogen levels are too high in relation to other reproductive hormones. Since it’s rarely acknowledged in the conventional medical community, you’ll likely need to take your health into your own hands to diagnose and overcome it. Below is a list of five causes of estrogen dominance that you need to be aware of, which are often overlooked in estrogen dominance literature.
Hidden Cause #1: Excess Body Fat
- Fat cells store large amounts of aromatase, an enzyme that creates a very potent type of estrogen called estradiol. - The more fat cells you have, the more estradiol that is created.
- High estrogen cues your body to make more fat cells.
- High estrogen levels causes an increase in the production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, which makes testosterone unable to do its job.
- The decrease of free testosterone reduces muscle mass, increases fatigue, and lowers stamina and energy (interfering with exercise efforts).
- These factors combined, increase body fat accumulation, cause estrogen levels to rise even further, and worsen estrogen dominance symptoms – creating a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
Hidden Cause #2: Alcohol
- There is a well-established link between alcohol consumption and high levels of estradiol, which is the type of estrogen that is most often associated with estrogen dominance and hormonal cancers.
- The association occurs because your liver is responsible for clearing toxins from the bloodstream (including alcohol and estrogen). When you drink alcohol, your liver becomes preoccupied with eliminating the alcohol toxins, which reduces its ability to clear estrogens from your system.
Hidden Cause #3: Caffeine
- Caffeine consumption stimulates the adrenal glands causing them to release stress hormones to prepare the body to fight.
- Regular consumption can exhaust your adrenal glands, and cause them to stop releasing adequate levels of essential hormones.
- Insulin is one of those hormones, and the impaired insulin causes blood sugar fluctuations, which in-turn, leads to chronic inflammation.
- Inflammation increases oxidative stress and can result in a reduction of testosterone and progesterone; both of which are required in order to keep estrogen level in-check.
Hidden Cause #4: Birth Control
- Birth control pills flood your body with synthetic estrogen, that is both foreign and unnatural.
- Your body metabolizes these synthetic estrogens into harmful versions of estrogen which increase estrogen dominance symptoms.
- Birth control pills increase the production of SHBG, which lowers testosterone levels, and makes estrogen dominance even worse.
- Birth control pills also suppress the production of natural progesterone, and progesterone is needed in order to keep estrogen levels in-check.
Hidden Cause #5: Animal Products
- Animals produce large amounts of estrogen by their very nature, and they are particularly high in estradiol which is chemically identical to the estradiol found in the human body.
- Animal products are a major contributor to estrogen dominance; and if you consume them, you are exposed to between 10,000 and 1,000,000 times more estrogen molecules than you otherwise would be.
- Conventionally raised animals are even more harmful because they’re often injected with synthetic estrogens to fatten them-up and make them grow quicker.
- The fats found naturally in animal products also increases the conversion of the healthful types of estrogen (such as estrone) into the more harmful forms of estrogen that are responsible for estrogen dominance and hormonal cancers.
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