by RITA KAZIEVA, RN, BSN, MBA, Head of Medical Coaching Services.
How old were you when you first heard the phrase Estrogen Dominance?
I was 44 years old. Yes, I have been in the medical field for over 20 years and I first heard this phrase at age 44. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that estrogen and progesterone were sex hormones, however, Estrogen Dominance had no significance to me until I was 44-year-old.
Estrogen Dominance came at me head on. Symptoms started gradually making it difficult for me to pin point what was actually happening. Difficulty sleeping, headaches, cold hands, foggy thinking, bloated stomach were also symptoms of many other possible diagnoses. To add to my hormonal imbalance, my OBGYN prescribed hormonal birth control “to control the menstrual flow”. To this day, I have no idea how I agreed.
I increased my exercise routine, I started taking boot camp classes thinking this would make my symptoms better, but it didn’t. My symptoms worsened until one day I woke up feeling palpitations and internal shakiness all over my body. It was not anxiety and it was difficult to describe to my physician. I was seen by an endocrinologist and a cardiologist and no definitive diagnosis.
I spoke to my primary physician who practices Integrative Medicine and he mentioned the phrase Estrogen Dominance. He ordered some tests and there it was, my progesterone to estrogen ratio was extremely low.
I would have to guess that if you are reading this, you are a female with some of the above listed symptoms. Without getting too medical, most Estrogen is made in the ovaries and delivered to the cells throughout your body. Throughout your midlife years your estrogen and progesterone go through some changes. This is most common between the ages of 35 and 55, however, it can happen in your 20’s as well. There is a more rapid decline of progesterone than estrogen and that's when you get estrogen dominance. Even someone with low Estrogen may have Estrogen Dominance if she has little or no progesterone.
Many years ago, estrogen was considered the first choice for therapy for hormone replacement therapy. Women were prescribed estrogen as hormone replacement therapy and some of the symptoms improved. However, over the years, this hormonal replacement therapy with estrogen alone was causing that imbalance. More recently, research has pointed to the fact that Estrogen Dominance may be the culprit of your hormonal problems today. Unfortunately, our environment is partly to blame. There is estrogen in plastics, your personal products, soaps, and much more. Exposure to these xenoestrogens over many years will cause Estrogen Dominance symptoms.
Some women go through this with no symptoms at all. I feel like my mom went through menopause differently. Others exhibit a list of symptoms, and some of these symptoms affect their quality of life. While Estrogen and Progesterone are both essential hormones, their imbalance can lead to many health issues including weight gain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, low libido, depression, anxiety, PCOS, and a whole world of autoimmune thyroid issues, and hormonal cancers.
When was the last time you checked your levels ?
RITA KAZIEVA, RN, Head of Medical Coaching Services at Nano Health Associates. Rita specializes in a Comprehensive Personalized Approach to health care for women, helping you to adopt a healthy lifestyle. She encourages you to make healthy choices; teaching people about wellness, balancing body systems and nail down your medical issue. Her health coaching skills help women through every stage of their life. As your Personalized Nurse Health Coach, she brings her vast clinical knowledge of patient/client assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of care and outcomes for all health conditions.