Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that are paramount to a woman’s good health and long life. A woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels should be balanced in the body most of the time with the exception of ovulation times. During ovulation estrogen levels rise and progesterone levels fall but if no pregnancy has occurred then hormone levels should return to normal. If a woman’s hormone levels are unbalanced serious problems can appear such as breast, uterine or ovarian cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression. Sadly, most women have unbalanced hormones and do not even know it. So how can you tell and what can you do about it?
Most women have unbalanced levels of estrogen and progesterone and do not even know it.
Unfortunately many of the products we use on a daily basis and foods we eat regularly contain what is called xenoestrogen. Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals that “mimic” natural estrogen. Our body cannot differentiate between natural estrogen and the xenoestrogens. This may not sound too terrible at first however xenoestrogen does not have the ability to attach itself to receptor cells that communicate with the rest of the body like natural estrogen does. But the body still recognizes xenoestrogen as “estrogen” and can trigger natural estrogen production to cease. Obviously this is a big problem. We call this problem estrogen dominance.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance can include symptoms we associate with PMS such as bloating and water retention, mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches, cold hands and feet, decreased sex drive and abnormal or irregular periods. If these symptoms occur at random times of the month instead of only premenstrual times then estrogen dominance is likely.
Studies show that after being on hormone replacement therapy for 10 years or more a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases by 100%!
A visit to the doctor can be tricky if you suspect you have high estrogen because only natural estrogen is tested. Since xenoestrogens mimic natural estrogen the body thinks it has too much estrogen but blood tests will show “low natural levels.” What happens then? Normally the doctor will prescribe hormone replacements that will only continue to increase estrogen levels therefore compounding existing problems.
Studies show that after being on hormone replacement therapy for 10 years or more a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases by 100%! We should all be alarmed by this astonishing statistic. Xenoestrogens are also being blamed for the increase of early puberty in young girls and early menopause in young women.
So what can you do to decrease xenoestrogens and get natural estrogen to normal levels?
- 1. Eat right.
Foods like beans, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens come from plants and help the body rid itself of xenoestrogen. Phytoestrogen also has the ability to attach itself to receptor cells and encourage the production of natural estrogen.
- 2. Reduce Stress.
Exercise and relaxation techniques can be very useful in reducing our stress levels.
- 3. Control toxicity in the body.
It is important to protect the body against free radicals, heavy metals and any foods or products containing xenoestrogens.
- 4. Increase progesterone.
Increase your vitamin B6, C and Zinc and eat magnesium rich foods.
- 5. Treat your symptoms naturally.
Stay informed about women’s hormone health, be pro-active, and do your research. We all need to stay healthy!
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