Estrogen - no women should take extra. We have over 100 mimics in our environment as it is. Men also experience ESTROGEN DOMINANCE symptoms
Estrogen Dominance is a term used often to describe the adverse symptoms often encountered by men and women if they have a naturally high level of estrogen or, in the case of women, have been on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or the contraceptive Pill for any length of time and therefore have low progesterone levels.
Initially progesterone has a stimulatory effect. This is because progesterone activates the estrogen receptors so making estrogen the dominant hormone which makes many men and women feel worse.
With progesterone therapy, progesterone gradually becomes the dominant hormone and symptoms begin to ease. Some women never experience estrogen dominance, in others it can take several days, whilst in others it can last longer. Much depends on the amount of excess estrogen that is present.
Men can also experience estrogen dominance when first using progesterone.
It is essential to use enough progesterone when first using progesterone, about 200-400mg/day or 6-12ml /day to overcome the excess estrogen. The biggest mistake one can make is to use too little, some women think by using 20-40mg/day will work, this is incorrect and merely means that progesterone is always in the stimulation mode leaving them in a permanent state of estrogen dominance. If symptoms are severe, for instance heavy continual bleeding or debilitating hot flushes, up to 400mg/day will be needed. Nothing less than 100mg/3ml of progesterone should be used. Remember to use progesterone a minimum of twice a day as progesterone levels start to drop after 13 hours.
Normally men will benefit by using 10-20mg/day progesterone, but if a higher than normal amount of estrogen is present, it's advisable to use up to 100mg/day.
It is easy enough to reduce the amount of progesterone to a level that suits you and your symptoms once your symptoms have improved and you feel stable enough to do so. The reduction should always be done slowly over several weeks. Please refer to First Time Users on how to reduce correctly.
Please bear in mind that stress drops progesterone levels sharply, so symptoms can come back. Should this happen, increase the amount of cream until you are over the stressful time, then slowly reduce back down again. Large meals also drop progesterone levels, due to an increased clearance rate of the hormone.
Dark, gloomy days and winter reduce progesterone levels, because of a reduction in vitamin D. Please have a vitamin D test done as low levels reduce the benefits of progesterone, this is vital!
Supplemental estrogen can initially make us feel better. The reason for this is estrogen activates the progesterone receptors so making progesterone the dominant hormone, but it wears off as estrogen becomes the dominant hormone. This is one of the reasons so many women keep changing their HRT script. There are some women who do not suffer any adverse affects, but the risks of using HRT or the contraceptive pill for any length of time are not worth it. Please read HRT and Contraceptives.
Estrogen dominance is characterized by any of the following symptoms. These symptoms can also occur in women when first using progesterone. In men too, aside from the obvious women's problems...
- aches and pains
- bleeding which comes either earlier or later than usual
- bloating/weight gain due to water retention
- weight gain
- breast tenderness
- foggy brain
- heart palpitations/racing heart - see here and here
- chest pains/tight chest
- hot flushes
- increased appetite/cravings
- mild depression
- mood swings
- muscle weakness
- skin problems/acne/melasma
- tiredness/chronic fatigue
If you experience any of these symptoms then your choice is to either...
- increase the dose and persevere with the symptoms, or
- reduce the dose considerably to begin with and then gradually increase it over a month or two. This will understandably take longer to resolve symptoms
The Pill and HRT contain estrogen and synthetic progesterone, which is commonly called 'progestin'. Progestins are synthetic and cause natural progesterone levels to drop, leading to many of the above symptoms.
If you are on either HRT or a contraceptive pill and you wish to come off it, it's far gentler on the body to do this gradually in conjunction with progesterone.
- large meals (due to the increased metabolic clearance rate of progesterone)
- all forms of oestrogen
- oxidised fats, (ie margarine, refined oils, and fried foods, in particular fried animal protein)
- pasteurised, homogenised milk
- tap water, which is now contaminated with prescription drugs, including oestrogen from the Pill and HRT, plus the estrogen mimics generated by industry. Drink only filtered water
If you are considering having your estrogen level tested please ask them to test all 3 levels:
- E1 - Estrone
- E2 - Estradiol
- E3 - Estriol
E2 is the most important of the 3 and is the one used in the contraceptive pill and HRT. E2 is also low when going through peri-menopause and menopause. It is also a good idea to have your progesterone level tested too, that way you can get a true understanding about your hormones. It has been reported that some pathologists have not heard of E1 and E3 for testing. Please insist as they are two important hormones which also need testing. Some pathologists don't even have it on their chart for testing. Please insist!
The best form of testing is by hair analysis which is rather costly, saliva testing is very good and then blood tests.
VITAMIN D - I can't stress enough it's importance! Please have your vitamin D level tested and visit the vitamin D page for more information. Amongst so many other health issues, it helps with depression, insomnia, MS, cancer, infertility - the list is endless.
Estrogen sensitivity of normal human breast tissue in vivo and implanted into athymic nude mice: Analysis of the relationship between estrogen-induced proliferation and progesterone receptor expression