Bpa And Other Plastics
Plastic in all its forms, including in water bottles, food wrap, and storage containers, contain the hormone-mimicking xenoestrogens responsible for symptoms of estrogen dominance. These can leach into what youre eating or drinking and cause major problems for your health. Even products marked BPA-free are not safe, and in fact, may contain chemicals whose effects on high estrogen levels arent as well-known.
Microwaving, dishwashing, and exposing plastic to sunlight increases the estrogenic activity of plastic even more.
Perhaps even more surprising is that every time you take a receipt from the store, you may be dealing a blow to your hormones. Receipts printed on thermal paper are a major source of endocrine-disrupting bisphenol-A . People who handle receipts frequently have significantly elevated levels of BPA in their urine and a greater risk of developing estrogen dominance.12
And because these xenoestrogens are absorbed through your skin, its a more direct hit to your system and a major factor in causing estrogen dominance.
What Happens During An Estrogen Test
Estrogens can be tested in blood, urine, or saliva. Blood or urine is usually tested in doctor’s office or lab. Saliva tests can be done at home.
For a blood test:
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle.
After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
For a urine test:
Your health care provider may ask you to collect all urine passed in a 24-hour period. This is called a 24-hour urine sample test. For this test, your health care provider or a laboratory professional will give you a container to collect your urine and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. A 24-hour urine sample test generally includes the following steps:
- Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine down. Do not collect this urine. Record the time.
- For the next 24 hours, save all your urine passed in the container provided.
- Store your urine container in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
- Return the sample container to your health provider’s office or the laboratory as instructed.
For an at-home saliva test, talk your health care provider. He or she can tell you which kit to use and how to prepare and collect your sample.
Estrogen Dominance: Imbalanced Hormones
Put simply, estrogen dominance is an imbalanced state of hormones.
Estrogen dominance isnt always the same as high estrogen levels. Thats really important to know.
You can have estrogen dominance even if your estrogen levels are normal.
Even as a post-menopausal woman with low hormone levels, you can still have estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance has been shown to be linked to:
- water retention
Well get back to how estrogen dominance and Mast Cell Activation relate a little later.
Next, though, lets look more at the main types of estrogen and the main types of estrogen dominance.
First, youll want to know about the 3 main types of estrogen. This will make understanding the types of estrogen dominance a lot easier.
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How Do You Treat Estrogen Dominance
In order to efficiently process extra estrogen for disposal, your liver requires specific nutrients in specific forms. It does not require dandelion or milk thistle, which are the constituents of many liver detox kits. It does require 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, indole-3-carbinol, methylcobalamin, n-acetylcysteine, glutathione, and calcium-d-glucarate. These are all natural substances, but almost none of them are found in health food store liver detox kits. These are the types of treatments that I would use to enhance liver detoxification generally. But they also ensure complete, and efficient estrogen metabolism.
I have seen dramatic improvements in the above-mentioned symptoms by helping the liver. This improves the metabolism of excess estrogen and xenoestrogens .
For help with this or any other health problem, book an appointment here or call the office for more information at 416-481-0222.
Authored by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc, ND
Dr. Pamela has been in practice as a naturopathic doctor in Toronto since 1999. She has been the recipient of numerous Best Naturopath in Toronto awards. She is registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
Dr. Pamela Frank uses a natural treatment approach that may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, diet, vitamins, supplements, and other natural remedies to restore balance and provide long-term resolution of almost any health problem.
Which 3 Reasons Cause Estrogen Dominance
You can experience estrogen dominance if you have one or even all three of the below:
1. E1, E2 and E3 ratio: When there is too much estrone and estradiol , also known as the aggressive estrogens, as compared to estriol , which is the protective estrogen. This measurement is called the Estrogen Quotient and can be measured with a simple saliva test.
2. Progesterone: Estradiol ratio: When there is insufficient progesterone to oppose the more aggressive estradiol this shows up as a ratio of progesterone to estradiol in saliva or urine tests.
3. Metabolites: When estrone metabolites called 2:16 hydroxy-estrone get broken down unfavorably towards the dirty metabolite 16 hydroxy-estrone .
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How To More Accurately Test For Estrogen Dominance
Since blood estrogen levels dont accurately match tissue estrogen levels
in order to more accurately test for estrogen dominance, we have to look for another indicator of estrogen levels where blood and tissue levels do match.
One hormone with matching blood and tissue levels, which can also be used as an indicator of estrogen levels is the hormone prolactin.
Prolactin is a hormone secreted under stress, and is most widely known for its ability to draw calcium from bones in order to provide adequate calcium for breast milk production.
Much like estrogen, studies also show that prolactin strongly suppresses thyroid function.
A conclusion has been made that one of the most important mechanisms of the adaptive effect of PRL is its ability to suppress thyroid function, thus decreasing the metabolism level, which results in reduction of oxygen consumption and improves body tolerance to stress.
Also, like estrogen, not only is prolactin increased during hypothyroidism and stress, but it also increases in both men and women with aging.
The simplified diagram above shows how in hypothyroidism estrogen and prolactin tend to increase together .
Hypothyroidism, estrogen, and serotonin all increase the production of prolactin.
Prolactin then suppresses thyroid function further, while increasing serotonin, which further perpetuates prolactin production.
The Breakdown Of Estrogen Into Damaging Molecules
Estrogen dominance can also be the result of how the body is breaking down estrogen.
Your liver is responsible for breaking down estrogens. This is part of the process of eliminating estrogen from your body.
Estrogen can be broken down into these molecules :
2-OH is a more protective metabolite. It works to block stronger estrogens that promote possible cancer growth.
4-OH can convert into something called quinones. These have been shown to damage DNA. It is thought to promote cancer by damaging DNA. Its also sometimes called a dirty estrogen.
16-OH has been associated with inflammation, excess levels of the bad Omega-6 fatty acids, obesity, and hypothyroidism. Its also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. For this reason, its also called a dirty estrogen.
If your liver is not able to break down the estrogens to eliminate them properly, it will generate too many dirty estrogens. You can end up with more 4-OH or 16-OH if your liver needs support.
What you really want is more 2-OH than 4-OH and 16-OH.
This imbalance of estrogen metabolites is another way to experience estrogen dominance.
So, youve seen how estrogen dominance can really bring about some unwanted symptoms and conditions even if you dont have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
But if you do have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, estrogen dominance can be contributing to those symptoms, too.
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How Do I Know My Estrogen Level
There are three types of estrogen that your body makes. An estrogen test can measure all three: estrone , estradiol and estriol . Your provider will do a simple blood draw and send it to a lab for analysis.
- Estrone is the primary hormone your body produces during menopause and postmenopause. Its a weaker form of estrogen than estradiol .
- Estradiol is the primary hormone your body produces in your reproductive years.
- Estriol is the primary hormone your body makes during pregnancy.
Truth About Estrogen Dominance
And heres the hard truth: Estrogen dominance is at an all-time high. Were seeing high estrogen rates increase dramatically across the board, in both women and men, across age ranges. And the rates of cancers and chronic illnesses linked with estrogen dominance are on the rise right along with it.
In this article, Ill walk you through what estrogen dominance is and how youre exposed to xenoestrogens. Then Ill share simple diet and lifestyle changes you can make to minimize your risk of estrogen dominance. Ill also cover how you can naturally clear estrogen from your system and maintain an optimal hormonal balance.
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Why Address Estrogen Dominance Proactively
If you are already diagnosed with Estrogen Dominance you are probably motivated to do something about it. Some women experience painful PMS or other symptoms and learn to live with it. However, there is a far greater question:
How is estrogen affecting me in the long run?
The evidence that worries me the most is that of the clear connection between Estrogen Dominance and breast cancer. You can read the medical research and references here.
Breast cancer is second only to non-melanoma skin cancer as the most common cancer among women in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 192,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. Other conditions that have been linked to Estrogen Dominance are uterine cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infertility.
What Causes Estrogen Dominance In Females
So why might we be having all these estrogen issues? Below are some of the possible factors that might be contributing to an estrogen dominant picture:
- Increased amount of overweight and obese females
- Lack of exercise
- Increased consumption of sugar and processed foods and general caloric surplus, resulting in fat gain and increased inflammation
- Exposure to excessive levels of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides that have an estrogenic affect
- Other xenoestrogens found in plastics, body lotions etc
- Hormone therapies
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Is It Safe To Have Tests During The Pandemic
Dr Aziz-Scott: Its understandable that there is some hesitation about being around others at this time, but we would like to reassure you that your safety is of the utmost importance to us. It is safe to have your blood tests during the pandemic and as per Government advice, it is recommended that you keep any appointments or procedures you have booked.
Clean Up Your Personal Care Routine
Cosmetics, skincare products, and hair care are a major source of xenoestrogens. These chemicals mimic estrogen and alter your bodys internal feedback loops that regulate hormone levels.
As with food, the fewer the ingredients the better when it comes to choosing clean products.
Read ingredient labels closely and avoid products with:
- Parabens methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and anything else ending in -paraben
- Phthalates DEP, DBP, DEHP, and artificial fragrances
- Sulfates SLS and SLES
The good news is that xenoestrogens dont accumulate in the body. So once you switch to safer products, they exit your system fairly quickly.
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Does High Estrogen Mean Pregnancy
Not necessarily. The only way to know for sure if youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining your cardiovascular, reproductive and bone health. High levels of estrogen, however, can cause unpleasant symptoms that warrant a visit to your provider. Once your provider identifies whats causing your estrogen to be high, they can recommend treatments that make your symptoms more manageable.
Testing For Estrogen Dominance
At Functional Health Unlimited, we use the DUTCH complete test to evaluate your hormones. This test looks not only at hormone levels, but also at which pathway the hormones are being sent down. We know there are good pathways and bad pathways to detoxify estrogen. The DUTCH test shows where you are sending estrogen and our ability to detoxify. So, if you are not detoxifying very well, or sending estrogen down the wrong pathway, we can recommend supplements and dietary modifications that will correct the imbalance.
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Why Do I Need An Estrogen Test
You may need an estradiol test or an estrone test if you:
- Are having trouble getting pregnant
- Are a woman of childbearing age who is not having periods or having abnormal periods
- Are a girl with early or delayed puberty
- Have symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Have vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Are a boy with delayed puberty
- Are a man showing female characteristics, such as the growth of breasts
If you are pregnant, your health care provider may order an estriol test between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy as part of a prenatal test called a triple screen test. It can find out if your baby is at risk for a genetic birth defect such as Down syndrome. Not all pregnant women need to get an estriol test, but it is recommended for women who have a higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- Have a family history of birth defects
- Are age 35 or older
- Have a viral infection during pregnancy
Symptoms Of High Estrogen In Men
Although its called the female hormone, a mans body also makes estrogen. A healthy balance of estrogen and testosterone is important for sexual growth and development. When these hormones become imbalanced, your sexual development and function may be affected.
Symptoms of high estrogen in men include:
- Infertility. Estrogen is partly responsible for creating healthy sperm. When estrogen levels are high, sperm levels may fall and lead to fertility issues.
- Gynecomastia. Estrogen may stimulate breast tissue growth. Men with too much estrogen may develop gynecomastia, a condition which leads to larger breasts.
- Erectile dysfunction . Men with high levels of estrogen may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
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Estrogen Metabolites Are Out Of Balance
This type of estrogen dominance looks at your E1 and E2 levels in comparison with your E3 levels.
This isnt a straightforward case of more E1+E2 than E3 = estrogen dominance.
Its a bit more complex than that.
You may have run across the term estrogen quotient. Thats whats used to look at the relationship between these three estrogens.
Estrogen quotient is a way of comparing the ratios of dirty estrogens to the protective ones. Remember that E3 is protective.
The estrogen quotient is determined by this formula:
Estrogen Quotient = E3/
The ideal estrogen quotient is 1.5 or higher. Using my Dutch Hormone Test from above, lets see how to use this formula.
Youll see that at the time of my test:
So, using the formula above, we first add E1+E2:
3.14 + 15 = 18.14. Thats my value for E1 plus E2.
Now I divide my E3 value of 7.5 by 18.14. The result is an estrogen quotient of .41.
Generally speaking, the higher your estrogen quotient, the better. But mine is well below the optimal of 1.5 or higher!
This low estrogen quotient is another form of estrogen dominance. You can see why testing all 3 types of estrogen is important.
Next, lets look at one more form of estrogen dominance.
Signs You May Have Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a term that describes a pattern of elevated estrogen and low progesterone symptoms. It is the second most common hormone imbalance that I see in women in my practice.
In this article, I will break down why estrogen is an amazing hormone , the most common signs of estrogen dominance, and some of the reasons why it occurs.
What does estrogen do for you?
Despite its negative reputation in estrogen dominance, estrogen is an incredible hormone. You actually have 3 types of estrogens, but the main one we will focus on is called estradiol .
Estrogen has the following functions:
- Helps to promote the development of an egg
- Promotes the growth of the uterine lining
- Contributes to ovulation
- Helps you feel happy and energized
- Promotes a healthy libido
- Benefits your brain function, cognition, and mental sharpness
- Supports healthy, supple skin and hair
- Protects your heart and cardiovascular system
- Supports your metabolism
- I describe estrogen as the yang hormone of the first half of your cycle. When present in healthy levels, estrogen helps you feel energized, confident, sexy, mentally sharp and productive, particularly in your follicular phase.
As we know from Traditional Chinese Medicine, yang energy must always be balanced with yin. In this case, that would be progesterone. Progesterone is the calming, cooling, grounding, yin balancing hormone.
What you need to know about Estrogen Dominance
2. Uterine fibroids.
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Estrogen Dominance And Cancer
Conventional medicine tells us that its your lifelong exposure and the total amount of estrogens that pose a problem and cause cancer. For instance, if you started your period at a young age, or had children late in life or not at all, you would be at a higher risk. However, thats not entirely true. Its really your lifelong exposure to bad metabolites of estrogen that increases your cancer risk. Let me explain.