Estrogen is a vital female sex hormone. Estrogen, along with progesterone controls the menstrual cycle and the way the reproductive system functions. This hormone also regulates and contributes to certain other factors such as hunger, satiety, cholesterol metabolism, bone density and more.
When this hormone goes out of balance and the level of estrogen increases, such a condition is known as estrogen dominance. If the estrogen is not in balance with the other reproductive hormones, such as progesterone, then it can cause multiple health issues.
What Causes High Estrogen in Women?
There are a lot of factors that can lead to estrogen dominance. Let's discuss below some of the common causes of high estrogen in females:
- Medications: As a side-effect of using some antibiotic, herbal or natural remedies, the estrogen level in the body can increase. Certain other medication that can cause estrogen dominance includes oral birth contraceptives and phenothiazines, a group of medicines used for treating mental or emotional disorders.
- Food: Consuming fruits and vegetables without cleaning the insecticide or pesticide on them in a proper manner can interfere with one's hormonal balance. Also, the growth hormones injected into the poultry birds and raised animals can also affect the estrogen levels.
- Water: The water we drink consists of harmful and unwanted chemicals that are known to produce endocrine disrupting compounds that can rise up the estrogen levels in the body.
- Body fat: Obesity or excess of body fat can lead to estrogen dominance. These fat tissues store estrogen in the bloodstream, which shoots their levels to cause adverse health issues. Not only this, the fat tissues have the ability to synthesize estrogen from other hormones of the body too.
- Perfume and other personal care products: Most of the human-made cosmetic and personal care products have xenoestrogens that mimic estrogen and create an imbalance in the body. Some of the common xenoestrogens are parabens, phthalates, and benzophenones. Perfumes also have certain harmful chemicals that act as hidden endocrine disruptors.
- Microbiome imbalance: When the gut microbiome goes out of balance, the digestion slows down, which in turn slows down the elimination of the estrogen circulating in the digestive tract. This causes the estrogen to reabsorb into the bloodstream and increase its level.
- Stress: When one is stressed, the pregnenolone hormone which otherwise produced progesterone starts making the stress hormone like cortisol. This causes the progesterone level to drop and estrogen level to rise.
Hormone replacement therapy: These medications contain synthetic estrogens, which increase the level of estrogen in one's body.
- Use of plastics and exposure to heavy metals: The estrogen-mimicking properties found in plastics and heavy metal can disrupt the endocrine system and increase the production of estrogen. We use plastics everywhere in our house, especially to store food or microwave it. These plastics contain xenoestrogen that absorbs into the food causing major health consequences. Our environment is polluted with heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury that cause the estrogen level to rise due to its estrogen-mimicking properties.
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