You always hear about estrogen being the bad guy. Is it really the villain that it has been made out to be? It’s true we use the term ‘estrogen dominance’ negatively, but this can be misleading. Why?
Estrogen dominance could just as easily be called ‘progesterone deficiency’. Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an imbalance in the naturally occurring female hormones. Both estrogen and progesterone decline as we age, but progesterone declines 120 times more rapidly than estrogen does thus tipping the hormone scale in favor of estrogen. And viola! We have estrogen dominance. Progesterone deficiency usually begins in midlife, around 35 years of age, and continues until menopause. Progesterone levels fall as women have anovulatory cycles and as their ovaries age. Meanwhile, we’re living in an environment that is full of xenoestrogens, which tips the scale further in favor of estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. What are the symptoms of estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency?
A progesterone deficiency can cause premenstrual headaches, which are often migraine in nature, fluid retention, fibrocystic breast disease, uterine fibroids, menorrhagia (heavy, painful menstrual periods), endometriosis and functional hypothyroidism. The incidence of breast cancer also increases during the time of life when women become estrogen dominant. Just listing these can make you hurt! Don’t worry – all we need is a little progesterone to balance things out. Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief as we list a few of the benefits of progesterone:
•Promotes the survival of the embryo and fetus throughout pregnancy.
•Balances estrogen, thereby eliminating estrogen dominance.
•Decreases thyroid binding globulin thus freeing up thyroid hormone to do its job as well as promoting the assimilation of thyroid hormone into the cells.
•Reverses osteoporosis by promoting osteoblastic activity in the cells.
•Acts as a natural diuretic thus relieving fluid retention.
•Relieves headaches associated with the menstrual cycle.
•Acts as a natural antidepressant and enhances mood.
•Aids in normalizing blood sugar levels.
•Ameliorates breast tenderness prior to menses.
•Alleviates fibrocystic breast disease.
•Regulates the menstrual cycle.
•Has soporific effect, aiding in sleep.
•May help maintain sex drive.
•Precursor to other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and cortisol.
•Protects against endometrial and breast cancer.
•Normalizes blood clotting.
•Promotes fat burning for energy.
•Promotes proper cell oxygen levels.
So, if you’re worried that you might have symptoms of estrogen dominance, have no fear! The solution may be as simple as balancing your hormones with bioidentical progesterone.