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Effects of Environmental Estrogen on the Body

Last months article discussed "signs" the body gives us to indicate a nutritient deficiency may be present.   A "sign" worthy of its own article is Estrogen Dominance. According to Chinese Medicine, little red blood blisters (aka: cherry angiomas) found under the skin on the abdomen and/or the back are a " sign" of estrogen dominance.

 We live in an ocean of estrogen.  In our industrialized society it is nearly impossible not to be estrogen dominant.  The body makes its own estrogen, however, when exposed to xenoestrogens, (Xeno meaning foreign) in the environment, these estrogen mimicker’s create chaos in the body.  There are so many substances that have a chemical structure similar to the estrogen structure of the body, that the estrogen receptors can’t differentiate between good estrogen and bad estrogen.

There are an estimated 70,000 plus registered chemicals for use in the United States that have hormonal effects.  Xenoestrogens are found in certain cosmetics, pesticides, plastics, fuels and drugs which are usually synthetic and difficult for the body to break down, and can amplify the effects of estrogen on the body.   Xenoestrogens can be found in meats and dairy products in the form of chemicals and growth hormones that are given to the animals.

Some disturbing health effects of estrogen dominance include: increased rates of breast, prostate, uterine, and endometrial cancers, osteoporosis and infertility.  In women, estrogen dominance creates an imbalance between the estrogen/progesterone ratios. This imbalance plays havoc on the female cycle contributing to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and aggravating menopausal symptoms.  Other effects of estrogen dominance are thyroid imbalance, blood sugar issues, depression and the list goes on and on.

 Men are not immune from estrogen dominance. Their symptoms include: bloating, mood swings, irritability, headaches, fatigue, depression and hypoglycemia.  Some theorize that estrogen dominance in men is contributing to hair loss, atherosclerosis, prostrate problems, lowered libido, impotency and a female-like weight distribution. Today’s men are producing 50% less sperm than their grandfathers did as a result of estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens produce hormonal stimuli that contribute to inappropriate growth of breast tissue cells; resulting in “man boobs.” 

 Another negative side effect of estrogen dominance is that young girls and boys are reaching puberty at a younger age compared to their parents and grandparents.

While is it nearly impossible to avoid xenoestrogens found in the environment and in the food supply, there are measures one can exercise to minimize the effect. Maintaining a healthy liver so that it can rid the body of excess estrogen and other toxins is a necessity. Avoid heating food in plastic containers; don’t drink water from plastic containers.  Consider natural make-up; avoid anti-aging creams full of estrogen-like substances. Know the source of the foods being consumed, consider organically grown and raised. 

 There are a number of natural supplements that are very effective at helping rid the body of excess estrogen.  They have the reputation of cleaning up the xenoestrogens.  Eating organically grown broccoli, a head per day, is very therapeutic at aiding the bad estrogen out of the body.  For those not wanting to eat that much there are other choices in pill form.  

 There are other dynamics to consider in observing physical signs of estrogen dominance.  A detailed physical examination using Chinese Medicine protocols, a thorough family history, diet history, and environmental toxic exposure all play a role in overcoming estrogen dominance.  A physician trained in clinical nutrition can help identify a potential problem and guide the patient to reversing the pattern.

 This information is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.