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Estrogen Dominance

The thyroid gland is the master of your hormone universe. When the thyroid gland isn’t working correctly, it causes a hormonal ripple affect throughout the entire body. In his book, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, Dr. David Brownstein reports that, “…increased estrogen levels may lower circulating thyroid hormone levels and inhibit the T4 to T3 conversion.”

While estrogen is primarily produced in the ovaries, the thyroid gland also produces estrogen in both men and women. Many of the symptoms associated with estrogen dominance and hypothyroidism overlap: irritability, fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, depression, headaches, endometriosis, menstrual and fertility disorders.

A clear link with estrogen dominance and a poorly functioning thyroid gland has been established. Thyroid problems may actually be a symptom of estrogen dominance in the body. Today, estrogen dominance, caused by the introduction of xenoestrogens into our environment, is reaching epidemic proportions. Xenoestrogens are synthetic forms of estrogen that are found in plastics, pesticides, air fresheners, Styrofoam products, cosmetics, meat, eggs, milk, cleaning products and even laundry detergents. Products such as body lotions, toothpastes, soaps, gels, and hairsprays may contain xenoestrogens in the form of parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, and other compounds.

Another source of synthetic estrogen is through the use of birth control pills. Sadly, when women complain about many of the symptoms associated with estrogen dominance, doctors actually prescribe birth control pills. This is may actually be the last thing they need to moderate their symptoms. Dr. Brownstein says, “I believe it is prudent to avoid taking synthetic estrogens, when possible. Birth control pills, in particular, should always be avoided.” If possible, consider alternatives to birth control pills.

Using natural progesterone cream to help balance the estrogen dominance is one solution. Natural progesterone cream has proven to be beneficial in helping with fertility/miscarriage disorders, insomnia, headaches, decreased libido and mood swings. Personally, I use natural progesterone cream three weeks out of the month and have found it to be extremely beneficial in minimizing excessive bleeding, cramping and mood swings.

Eating a healthy, natural, hormone-free, organic diet is also important to decrease the amount of estrogen that is introduced into our bodies. Soy in the diet – a source of unhealthy estrogen - should be limited to no more than one serving per day – preferably less than that – as it is likely there is hidden soy in many of the foods that we consume throughout the day.

Avoiding air fresheners, pesticides, plastic wrap, plastic bottles and food containers, Styrofoam containers, fabric softeners and dryer sheets are steps that can be taken to reduce your exposure to xenoestrogens. Never microwave foods in plastic containers or covered with plastic wrap. Glass is always preferable to plastic when it comes to food storage – including bottled water.

By minimizing the amount of xenoestrogens in your environment, you may be helping your thyroid gland and your body function more efficiently. Sadly, our world is inundated with products that contribute to estrogen dominance, but every small step you can take to minimize your exposure is a step in the right direction.

Please note that the information provided on the Thyroid Health site on Bella Online is for information and educational purposes only and may not be interpreted as medical advice.
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