How having too much estrogen can make you gain weight …
Estrogen balance is essential for achieving and maintaining fat loss. In men and premenopausal women, too much estrogen – a condition called estrogen dominance – causes toxic fat gain, water retention, bloating, and a host of other health and wellness issues. In women, with stress and age there is a natural decline in testosterone and progesterone levels, leaving a relative excess of estrogen.
While premenopausal women with too much estrogen tend to have the pear-shape body type with more weight at the hips, both men and menopausal women with this estrogen excess exhibit an apple shape with more fat accumulation in the abdominal area. In fact, excess estrogen is as much a risk factor for obesity – in both sexes – as poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
What causes estrogen dominance? There are only two ways to accumulate excess estrogen in the body: we either produce too much of it on our own, or acquire it from our environment or diet. Unfortunately, accumulating estrogen is not hard. We are constantly exposed to estrogen-like compounds in foods that contain toxic pesticides, herbicides, and growth hormones. Many of these toxins are known to cause weight gain, which serves to fuel the production of more estrogen from our own fat cells. More weight gain then leads to insulin resistance which, you guessed it, increases the risk of estrogen dominance.
Pharmaceutical hormones such as those used in hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) or the birth control pill can also increase estrogen, whether we take them actively or absorb them when they make their way into our drinking water. We are living in a virtual sea of harmful estrogens, and researchers are only beginning to identify the extent of this exposure on health in humans – and even other species.
The signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance If you are a premenopausal woman with estrogen dominance, you likely have PMS, too much body fat around the hips and difficulty losing weight. Perhaps you have a history of gallstones, varicose veins, uterine fibroids, cervical dysplasia, endometriosis, or ovarian cysts. In both sexes, estrogen dominance is thought to be responsible for many types of cancers. This particular hormone imbalance could be be one of the leading causes of breast, uterine, and prostate cancer.
How to correct estrogen dominance Use these foods or specific habits to decrease harmful estrogen:
Since the liver breaks down estrogen, alcohol consumption, drug use, a fatty liver, liver disease, and any other factor that impairs healthy liver function can spur an estrogen build-up. If you occasionally consume alcohol, always take a 1mg folic acid and a B-complex vitamin to reduce its negative effects.
Bacterial imbalance in the gut, and other problems that compromise digestion, interfere with the proper elimination of estrogen from the body via the digestive tract. Be sure to include a probiotic daily with 15 billion units. Store it in the fridge and take one or two capsules twice daily on an empty stomach.