Estrogen Dominance and Progesterone Deficiency – An Undeniable Imbalance

You give 110% of yourself all the time. Whether it’s at work or at home, you want to make sure everyone is taken care of. Sometimes, however, you feel like the world is working against you – you’re an outsider in your own realm. The overwhelming symptoms of excess estrogen not only make you physically uncomfortable but can also take an emotional toll. Isn’t it time someone took care of you?

An Undeniable Imbalance
As strange as it may sound, you can experience both estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency at the same time. These two conditions can work in tandem to make you feel utterly miserable. Many people assume that estrogen dominance is when there is too much estrogen present in the bloodstream. This isn’t necessarily the case. Estrogen dominance can occur if there simply isn’t enough progesterone being produced by the ovaries. When this occurs, despite possibly “normal” levels of estrogen, the lack of progesterone to counter it creates an imbalance between the two hormones.

What’s the Story on Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen dominance is the result of a complex imbalance that doesn’t usually occur overnight. In many cases, your body is producing too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. When looking at estrogen dominance with progesterone deficiency, however, estrogen levels can be normal. It’s the lack of adequate progesterone that creates the problems.
Estrogen dominance can wreak havoc on your body – you may find yourself having irregular menstrual periods, breast discomfort and swelling, mood swings, headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, hair loss, weight gain and bloating, a decreased sex drive and raging PMS, just to name a few symptoms. Combined with the symptoms of low progesterone (listed below), “hot mess” only begins to scratch the surface of how you might feel.

What Can Be Done?
It may seem like an insurmountable task but getting your estrogen and progesterone back in sync with one another is easier than it sounds. By looking at your hormone levels (provided through blood work), the imbalance can be pinpointed.

There are three possibilities in this scenario:
1. Your estrogen levels are normal and your progesterone is critically low
2. Your body is producing excess estrogen and your progesterone levels are normal
3. You are producing too much estrogen and too little progesterone

In any of these examples, the end result is the same – there is too much estrogen and not enough progesterone to counter it.
Some of the ways that estrogen dominance can be treated include losing excess body fat, avoiding phytoestrogen-containing foods such as soy products, eating plenty of fresh veggies and fruits, choosing healthy fats, eating lean proteins and eliminating refined sugar from your diet. You may also need to supplement your progesterone with oral, injectable or transdermal products. Your doctor can help you determine which of these might be most effective. Stress can also lead to higher levels of estrogen – try guided meditations or yoga to help calm your mind and your system.
Estrogen dominance may seem like it is taking over your life. You don’t have to let it. Working with an experienced integrative gynecologist can give you the tools you need to get back to the life you love.

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