Are You Oestrogen Dominant?

By Dr Natasha Nixon, 11th April 2017.

What is Oestrogen?

Oestrogen is the primary female sex hormone responsible for sexual development, regulation of the menstrual cycle, and regulation of various metabolic processes; including bone growth, blood vessel integrity, bowel motility, muscle mass, fat storage, and fluid balance in the body.

The female body produces two hormones, Oestrogen and Progesterone, which work together in synergy to maximise reproductive ability. However, often women have issues regulating oestrogen and are “in excess”.

Signs and Symptoms

An Oestrogen and Progesterone imbalance may be a major contributing factor to the development of the following signs and symptoms;

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Loss of libido
  • Irregular periods
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Non-cancerous lumpy developments in breasts
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Issues with sleep
  • Increased symptoms of PMS

Causes of Oestrogen excess

The delicate balance that exists between Oestrogen and Progesterone is influenced by many internal and external factors. Too much Oestrogen can occur naturally or as a result of lifestyle choices and medications.

Diet and Lifestyle Predisposing Factors Medications
Meats and dairy fed antibiotics and growth hormones

Soy containing plant-based Oestrogens

Excess caffeine and alcohol

Processed foods

Xenoestrogen loaded cosmetics (parabens, sulfates), pesticides, plastics, pollution
Obesity

Stress

Ovarian cysts

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Liver issues

Nutrient deficiencies

Genetics

Inflammatory conditions
Oral Contraceptive Pill – The average low dose pill has 20 times a woman's natural Oestrogen levels

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Excess antibiotic treatment

Common Underlying Conditions Related to Relative Oestrogen Dominance

PMS
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is experienced by up to 90% of menstruating women throughout their lifetime (1). Higher Oestrogen levels can increase unpleasant symptoms of PMS, which can leave you feeling agitated, compulsive, anxious, tender, and bloated.  

Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids affect up to 25% of women aged 30-50 years old. Although the cause and development of fibroids is unknown, Oestrogen is known to promote their growth.

Breast lumps
The development of fibrous breast tissue can be caused by an abnormal response to Oestrogen. Oestrogen stimulates the growth of new cells within the breast tissue, glands and ducts.

Infertility
Oestrogen is the primary sex hormone responsible for production of follicles in the woman's ovaries and the placenta, however having elevated levels can cause fertility issues through Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Furthermore, a study by Jeeyeon Cha et al. found that elevated Oestrogen levels can adversely affect a woman’s fertile window and may alter embryo implantation (2).

Endometriosis
Oestrogen causes the cells lining the uterus, the endometrium, to rapidly multiply. With Endometriosis these endometrial cells begin to divide and invade the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and other tissues. Endometriosis is predominantly an inflammatory disorder and accounts for up to 25-50% of infertile women.

Fluid retention
Oestrogen and Progesterone play an important role in the maintenance of fluid balance in the body. Women tend to retain more water when Oestrogen levels are elevated. This also explains why bloating is a common symptom experienced in the days prior to a menstrual cycle. Progesterone, by comparison, acts as a diuretic, which helps the body rid itself of excess water.  

Thyroid conditions
Oestrogen dominance blocks the efficiency of thyroid hormones by 25% and is often associated with a Progesterone deficiency. Although an iodine deficiency is the most common cause of Hypothyroidism worldwide, iodine plays an important role in the detoxification of Oestrogen (3).

How Can Chiropractic Help?

The Chiropractic adjustment may assist reproductive health by improving the function of your spine, cranial and nervous system. More specifically, spinal and cranial movement contributes to the proper flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Restrictions of spinal and cranial movement alter the flow of CSF which may impact the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. It is the pituitary gland that is responsible for secreting the hormones which act on the ovaries to stimulate the production of Oestrogen and Progesterone (4,5).

Further to this, a Chiropractor is able to request pathology samples for testing to assess whether a patient is Oestrogen dominant. Tests can include; salivary, blood and dried urine tests.    

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To make an appointment call us on 02 9363 0080 OR 02 9241 2487 
and find out how Chiropractic Care can help YOU achieve a better balance!

 

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/estrogen-and-womens-emotions#1

  2. http://www.sciencemag.org/site/products/Serono_high_342_1393.pdf

  3. https://www.thyroidfoundation.org.au/page/13/iodine-nutrition-iodine-deficiency

  4. Peacock (Anderson), Elizabeth. Reduction of Vertebral Subluxation using Torque Release Technique with Changes in Fertility: Two Case Reports. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research

  5. Shelley, Jessica. Healthy Pregnancy In a Previously Infertile Patient Following D.N.F.T. Chiropractic Care: A Case Report. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research