I was and sometimes still am such a moody thing, up down and all around feeling like a total hot mess. Turns out estrogen dominance is a key player. When I first had my full hormonal lab panels drawn, vials and vials of blood, I learned of this is a type of hormonal imbalance in which the body produces too much estrogen.
Experiencing estrogen dominance during the transition into perimenopause, the body will produce less progesterone but keep producing the same levels of estrogen. This causes an imbalance that causes unpleasant symptoms; similar to those of perimenopause, menopause, or even PMS.
Precisely timed lab tests are required to diagnose estrogen dominance. If you experience the following symptoms, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with a hormonal specialist, OB/GYN or reproductive endocrinologist. I prefer a holistic functional medicine hormone specialist. To find one in your area, do a search or ask for recommendations or referrals to a specialist, and/or demand your doctor perform the precise hormonal lab protocols. Reminder, they work for you.
BioIdentical Hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate these symptoms. I highly recommend bio identical hormones and NOT mainstream medicine synthetic hormone replacements. My personal favorites hormonal help to support my hot mess include Progessence Plus Serum, Endoflex, Thyromin, paleo, exercise and rest.
Any slight change in hormones can cause emotional and mood swings. If your mood changes quickly and dramatically for no identifiable reason, it may be because you have too much estrogen.
In addition to noticeable changes in mood, women experiencing estrogen dominance may also be more irritable in general. Everyone has their bad days, but if everything is getting under your skin all the time, then a hormonal issue might be to blame.
Women with estrogen dominance may have a lower libido than normal. This is due in part to the imbalance in estrogen and progesterone, but you could argue the other symptoms on this list wouldn’t exactly “put you in the mood” either. With these changes comes vaginal dryness and discomfort. Be sure to use toxin free natural products like coconut oil for assistance.
Another sign of estrogen dominance is worsening PMS symptoms. Breast tenderness, headaches, acne flare-ups, and mood changes may become more pronounced.
Irregular Menstrual Periods
Hormone imbalances in women will often disrupt their menstrual cycles. Menstrual periods can occur less frequently or more frequently. They may also change in duration. This symptom can be hard to notice for some women who already have irregular cycles.
Women with too much estrogen may have heavy and painful periods. This can happen to women who still get their period regularly and those who are experiencing irregular periods.
Women experience bloating at different times in their menstrual cycles. Most women who get regular periods can estimate when in their cycle this will occur. In cases of estrogen dominance, you might be bloated at a different time. Irregular and heavy periods may also cause unexpected bloating.
Breast Tenderness or feeling of Engorgement
Enlarged swollen and tender breast tissue sensitive or hot to the touch, and even cystic is a red flag for estrogen dominance. Many women have fibrocystic breast tissue which can cause glands to swell and feel painful to touch. Estrogen increase can enhance this and cause pain. Proper nutrition and hormonal balance can help.
Puffiness & Swollen Extremities
Extreme hormonal imbalance can also create inflammation and cause tissues to swell making you look puffy.
Putting on weight when your diet or exercise habits have not changed might be a sign of another health condition. This symptom may also present itself as an increase in body or carrying your weight in different places than before and less muscle tone.
Women with too much estrogen often experience anxiety and have panic attacks. There’s a major difference between anxiety and worrying about the things that most people do. Anxiety is more of a general feeling while worries are about specific things. Anxiety may also cause physical symptoms like light headedness, nausea or a racing heart or tightness in the chest.
As women age, they may experience some hair loss. This can happen during perimenopause or menopause. But if it happens before menopause it might be one of the signs of estrogen dominance or even a Thyroid condition.
Trouble sleeping is a common symptom of many problems involving hormones. If you toss and turn and can’t get to sleep even when you’re tired, or
The opposite. If you experience extreme fatigue or sleep too much you should consider an appointment to see your doctor for lab tests.
Unfortunately, estrogen dominance can cause extreme fatigue. This symptom can occur whether or not you have insomnia. If you experience persistent tiredness or feel more drained of energy than usual, talk to your doctor about being tested for hormonal issues.
Fertility issues are not uncommon in women who have hormonal imbalances like estrogen dominance. This issue may also be compounded by the fact that women with estrogen dominance are often over 35 but could also be younger when fertility naturally declines and not enough progesterone.
Memory & Mental Fog
If you have consistent problems recalling details or putting your thoughts together, then you may have an imbalance in hormones.
Hot Flashes & Night Sweats
Just like with menopause, hot flashes and night sweats can be signs of estrogen dominance.
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