Susan Merenstein, Pharmacist/Owner
Testing your hormones is a great start, in addition to being aware of your symptoms and becoming a pro-active participant in your health.
By balancing all of your hormones, you can choose health and longevity versus disease and a shortened life.
Please read the following information to help you balance your estrogen and lead a healthier life.
Here is a blog from our favorite testing lab, ZRT Laboratory:
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen dominance refers to an excess of estrogen when progesterone levels are inadequate. This condition can occur in women during the reproductive years, but tends to be particularly symptomatic for women during perimenopause and in menopause. Estrogen dominance is worsened by women not ovulating, women being exposed to synthetic estrogens and/or women not metabolizing estrogens correctly. Estrogen dominance is a term coined by John Lee, M.D. in the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause.
Scientific studies link high estrogen or estrogen imbalance with a wide range of symptoms and conditions, from hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, and foggy thinking to more serious conditions related to reproductive health (endometriosis and PCOS) as well as breast disease including cancer. Hormone imbalances triggered by medications like synthetic hormone combinations have also been found to contribute to estrogen dominance problems.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance Include:
Premenopause: Lack of ovulation and/or reduction of ovarian production of progesterone.
Perimenopause (40s-mid-50s): Lack of ovulation or erratic cycles, when estrogen levels fluctuate rapidly from high to low in the absence of adequate progesterone.
Postmenopausal: An imbalance of estrogen to progesterone ratio in waning reproductive years when ovarian production of estrogen can decline by as much as 60% and levels of progesterone can drop to nearly zero with the cessation of ovulation.
Women of all ages benefit from balanced hormones. With menstrual irregularities, PMS, endometriosis and infertility, testing can be helpful in understanding the underlying condition. Healthcare providers working with perimenopausal and menopausal women find hormone testing to be a key step in detecting and correcting imbalances. Testing hormone levels is also invaluable for monitoring women using hormone replacement therapy.
Why Test Hormones
Because hormones work together to create a balanced internal milieu, it makes sense to test all of the following to help determine estrogen dominance:
From fatigue and irritability to autoimmune conditions, thyroid dysfunction, and cancer, estrogen can wreak havoc on your body if it’s not in proper balance with your other reproductive hormones, such as progesterone.
Help for Estrogen Dominance
Good Nutrition is Vital! The right diet can help to bring estrogen back into balance by reducing estrogen production by the ovaries and adrenal glands, and by interfering with estrogen’s ability to bind to tissue receptors. Also affected by diet are the breakdown and detoxification of estrogen by the liver, and its elimination from the body.
Supplements to help balance Estrogen Dominance
Healthy Estrogen Metabolism Capsules-This multi-ingredient product contains Calcium D Glucarate, DIM, Indole 3 Carbinol, Resveratrol, Turmeric, Green Tea, Black Pepper Fruit Extract. Helps to remove excess estrogens and xenoestrogens. May inhibit tumor formation caused by chemical cancer-causing agents and helps liver detox.
Green Duo Detox (Sulforaphane 120mg)-inhibits the development of Cancer by enhancing the function of endogenous enzymes to block carcinogens. Increase Quinone Reductase activity: Sulforaphane (found in broccoli sprouts or as supplement) - R Lipoic Acid, Trans Resveratrol, Green Tea Extract EGCG
Magnesium Elemental Chelate/Glycinate-5mg per pound of body weight – 500-1000mg/day Too much Mg will give you diarrhea so decrease dose if this happens. Mg helps with the breakdown of estrogen. by promoting the methylation of catechol estrogens. Helps with breast tenderness, weight gain, extremity swelling, and bloating abdominally.
Vitamin C 1,000 - 5,000mg daily-Found in soy, buckwheat, alfalfa sprouts, the inner peel of citrus fruits, and many berries-helps to lower the body’s estrogen production by binding to an enzyme required for estrogen synthesis, strengthen blood vessels, build collagen and reduce inflammation. They also bind to and block estrogen receptor sites on uterine tissue and block fibroid stimulating effects.
Adrenal C with bioflavonoid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C Packets
Vitamin A Palmitate - 10,000 IU daily-This nutrient appears to play a role in correcting a number of estrogen-dominant conditions in humans, such as female reproductive cancers. A study of 71 women found that those with excessive bleeding had significantly lower blood levels of Vitamin A than the normal population.
Zinc- Essential part of structure of estradiol receptor (zinc fingers); inhibits aromatase; low zinc may lead to low testosterone and high estradiol levels; essential part of structure of SHBG. Also reduces Prolactin and helps with premenstrual acne.
Support methylation and breakdown of estrogen: B1, B6, B12 and folate with a methyl donor and enzyme cofactors and support the COMT enzyme to detoxify estrogens. Reduce menstrual pain and cramps. In clinical studies, Vitamin B6 (50-100mg) has led to a reduction in PMS-related cramping, fluid retention, weight gain, and fatigue. Vitamin B6 is involved in clearance of estradiol from nuclear receptors. A B6 deficiency can lead to estrogen dominance. Estrogen supplementation, including birth control pills increased need for B6. Vitamin B Trio Activated or B Supreme or Active B12/Folic Acid sublingual.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (Racemic) – 300-600 mg / day—an Antioxidant that helps to prevent insulin resistance and helps enhance our natural detoxifier, immune booster and antioxidant called Acetyl Glutathione
Acetyl Glutathione is the body’s Master Antioxidant, Immune Booster, and Detoxifier. It strengthens the immune system, detoxifies liver and cells, reduces the effects of stress, increases energy, and improves the quality of sleep. The body makes about 100mg per day but 300mg per day is needed to restore levels. It neutralizes free radicals, increases Natural Killer Cells, enhances the body’s ability to fight off toxins, infectious disease, pre-cancerous cells and the aging process itself. Lower quinone formation: avoid pesticides and trans hydrogenated fats- They can lead to the formation of bad estrogen metabolites as well as slow the metabolism down, and take an antioxidant to lower lipid peroxidase activity. Typical dose is 2mg/pound of body weight, 4mg/pound in cancer disease. It can be used topically to the breast tissue and combined with iodine. Support Glutathione activity: avoid toxins that stress the liver (including excess hormones and alcohol), garlic, MSM, Acetylated Glutathione 300mg, Selenium. Other good antioxidants are Astaxanthin and Trans Resveratrol
Phytoestrogens such as Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, and Vitex (chaste tree berry)—Vitex is an herb from the chaste plant that increases the ratio of progesterone to estrogen. Helps the body produce progesterone. Has a beneficial effect on breast pain (mastitis) and can suppress Prolactin. Can improve irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, breast fullness, bloating, and other menstrual symptoms. Black Cohosh Plus with Dong Quai-1-4 per day.
Iodine (inorganic) – Nascent Iodine 3 drops 3 times a day in water - Iodine may also be incorporated into a breast cream using Palmitated Glutathione as a base
Iodine’s main function is in the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Can decrease fibrocystic breasts and weaken the estradiol molecule. Works well for sore and fibrous breasts. “Iodine has been shown to induce apoptosis (death) in breast and thyroid cancer cells”
“It is known that ovaries concentrate a large amount of iodine. After the thyroid, the ovaries have the second largest concentration of iodine in the body. Iodine deficiency produces changes in the ovarian production of estrogens as well as changes in the estrogen receptors of the breasts. In an iodine deficient state, research has shown that ovarian estrogen production increases, while estrogen receptors in the breast increase their sensitivity to estrogens. Both of these conditions will increase the risk of developing pathology of the breasts, including breast cancer.”