High Estrogen: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatments
In this article, we will be explaining the various symptoms that occur due to high estrogen, their causes, and risk factors. In addition, we will be discussing effective treatments for the same.
Hormone imbalance is a serious condition that occurs due to too much or too little production of a hormone. Multiple reasons can give rise to hormone imbalance, and the same can further cause a multitude of medical issues.
Before indulging in the details, we would like to talk about what high estrogen exactly is.
What is Estrogen?
The female body has numerous hormones, however, estrogen and progesterone are the most crucial. Estrogen is a female sex hormone, though it is present in males in small quantities too. It is in charge of multiple vital processes in the human body.
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These processes include:
Control of Menstrual Flow
- Regulation of appetite, cholesterol, metabolism, and bone density
- Sexual development of adolescent females
- Control of bodily functions during pregnancy
- Protection against heart diseases
The presence of high estrogen is referred to as estrogen dominance.
Types of Estrogen
Estrogen has three forms in total.
- The first and primary form is known as estradiol. It protects women from cancer and elevates the sex drive. This form exhausts women by the time they reach menopause.
- The second form is referred to as estriol. It helps nourish and protect the fetus during pregnancy.
- The third and final form is estrone. While it protects the heart and brain, some studies consider it to be a reason for weight gain, diabetes, and cancer.
Estrogen is considerably more dominant in females than it is in males. Due to this, the symptoms vary for both sexes. Symptoms for males include erectile dysfunction, enlarged breasts, and infertility, whereas high estrogen has the following symptoms in women:
- Irregular periods
- Chills in hands and feet
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hair loss
- A severe case of premenstrual syndrome
- Low sex drive
- Depression, anxiety, and stress
- Tender breasts
- Non-cancerous breast lumps
- Non-cancerous growths around the uterus
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
One doesn’t need to experience all the given symptoms at once. They differ from person to person.
As it has been established, high estrogen is quite an unpleasant experience. Estrogen dominance is not something that happens overnight, it slowly develops over time.
Here are a few possible causes of estrogen dominance:
High estrogen may occur if one’s body rejects a medication, takes hormonal contraceptives, antibiotics, birth control pills, or herbal remedies for an issue. It might also take place due to certain medicines doctors prescribe to treat mental disorders.
This condition doesn’t need to arise only due to reactions against a certain medication. It may also happen due to genetics, obesity, ovarian tumours, stress, or liver diseases.
Harmful environmental factors can lead to high levels of estrogen too. The condition has a possibility of emerging if one consumes produce with insecticides and pesticides, or poultry injected with hormones. The same can take place if one consumes water with unwanted chemicals.
Perfumes and cosmetics containing estrogen-mimicking chemicals also tend to create an imbalance in the user’s body. The same chemicals are also present in plastics and metals, which puts people living in polluted areas at a larger risk.
While the symptoms of this condition are tremendously uncomfortable, that is to be expected in the case of hormone imbalance. The human body is deprived of something it urgently requires to function normally and is instead given another hormone in surplus.
It is understandable for the human body to start malfunctioning in some areas in this case. Although keep in mind, high estrogen does not only come with uneasy symptoms but also with risks.
These risks include thyroid dysfunction, blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. It may also cause serious obesity. According to studies conducted in 2018, it also leads to depression. This particular risk is commonly noticed in men.
The diagnosis for estrogen dominance differs by sexuality and age group. One can be tested through a blood test or by giving a urine sample. The convenient testing makes the condition easy to detect.
Change in Nutrition
A person doesn’t need to spend a large amount of money and go to great lengths to treat this condition. A great change can be seen in estrogen dominance if one plans their diet around food items that reduce estrogen levels. These include:
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and kale
- Flax seeds
- Whole grains
- Red grapes
- Plant-based foods
- Healthy fats
- Citrus fruits like oranges
A consistently healthy diet is necessary to see any kind of change. One must be committed and prepared to change their old dietary habits.
Change in Lifestyle
Even considerably small practices in a routine can lead the way to bigger changes. A five-minute workout or even a new eyeshadow palette can prevent estrogen levels from rising.
Fat cells tend to produce estrogen. Yet, a person suffering from obesity and estrogen dominance can get rid of both by devoting a few minutes of their day to exercise.
By discarding off cosmetics and perfumes containing estrogen-mimicking agents, one can avoid chances of high estrogen issues in the future.
Yoga, meditation, sleeping, and other such relaxing activities release progesterone. The release of progesterone will balance out the high levels of estrogen and provide relief – so why not get your fitness routine started?
In case the change of lifestyle and diet does not work, one always has the option of going to a doctor and getting professional help. They can start hormone therapy, which helps regain the balance of hormones in the bloodstream. This is usually done if there is a risk of cancer.
If a medication was the reason for the imbalance in the first place, they can try an alternative treatment. They can also go one step ahead and consume medications to stop androgens from converting into estrogen.
In case of extreme hormonal imbalance and high medical risk, one can turn to surgery as a last resort. In the case of cancer, the ovaries can be surgically removed to put a stop to the production of estrogen.
High levels of estrogen are caused due to its increased production in the bloodstream. It is also caused due to exposure to chemicals in the environment, obesity, genetics, and medications. In case one experiences chills, stress, irregular menstrual cycles, reduced sex drive, and bloating, they should get tested for estrogen dominance.
In case it is left untreated, it can cause heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions. Additionally, it can be treated through home remedies such as a change in diet and lifestyle. However, in the event of serious hormonal imbalance, one should seek a professional opinion.
March 31, 2021 Sam Bell