9 Possible Causes of High Estrogen

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Do you have high estrogen levels? The phrase “estrogen dominance” is very common in the health and alternative medicine realms. Many hormone-related issues, both minor and severe, are often explained with a generic theory. Despite popular belief, the concept of estrogen dominance is not completely true, has some questionable origins, and is often overly simplified.

The ‘Queen Bee’ Hormone

Before believing that estrogen is a perilous hormone, I will clarify. Estrogen is the luscious “Queen Bee” of hormones. I am being quite sentimental when I point out that her impact on our emotions is extremely considerable and pervasive; that is to say, I consider her to be a principal factor behind the ebullience we experience over the course of our life. She’s unquestionably considered the leading lady of female hormones.

Estrogen is familiarly linked to our monthly hormonal cycle, yet its impact on our lives goes far beyond this alone. Here are just some of estrogen’s other roles in our health and well-being as women:

  • Influences the development of the female body shape and female physical characteristics.
  • Prepares the uterus for pregnancy.
  • Maintains healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Stimulates cell growth.
  • Controls cholesterol levels.
  • Helps produce neurotransmitters like serotonin.
  • Assists in the production of our sleep hormone, melatonin.
  • Plays a role in empathy and facial expression recognition during our menstrual cycle.
  • Helps regulate our stress response.
  • Maintains bone health.
  • Maintains skin tone and hair health.
  • Supports vaginal and urinary tract health.
  • Supports cognitive health, memory, and executive function.
  • Supports cardiovascular health.
  • Keeps inflammation controlled.

It is not shocking that an imbalance of estrogen, either too high or too low, can cause frequent hormone-influenced signs and more severe gynecological issues like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, cancers of the uterus, and breast.

There’s More than Just One Estrogen

It is frequently assumed that estrogen’s primary role is involved with reproduction; however, estrogen is mainly created by the ovaries, but it is also detected in many other areas, such as the brain, bones, and even within the immune system.

Once familiar with estrogen, the magnitude of this potent hormone becomes clear, transcending its purpose as just a reproductive hormone. In reality, it is not simply one single hormone – there are three, E1 (estrone), E2 (estradiol), and E3 (estriol) created by the ovaries, adipose tissue, and the skin to a lesser degree.

Consider Estrone (E1) to be the least potent form of estrogen. Certain amounts of E1 are generated by the ovaries, but the majority of it is created through a changed state known as peripheral conversion, which suggests that the estrogen production does not take place centrally, such as in the ovaries. This specific estrogen hormone is the explanation as to why women who are overweight witness less intense symptoms of menopause and how certain body compositions can lead to better amounts of estrogen circulating in the body.

Estradiol, or E2, is the most prevailing and potent form of estrogen. I view it as the star of the hormone health ride for most of our female lives, from the start of menstruation up to our fertility years through to the nearby stages of menopause. Estradiol, which is produced in the ovarian follicles, is the main factor in controlling the activities of the first half of the menstrual cycle and then makes an appearance once more after ovulation.

Estriol (E3) is the star of the show during pregnancy, as it becomes the dominant form of estrogen present. At the last stages of gestation, it stimulates the milk ducts in the mammary glands and magnifies the action of prolactin, the hormone which induces milk production. To help me remember when I was getting started, I came up with the phrase “estriol is 3”, meaning mother-baby-placenta.

Changes in these hormones of estrogen, with emphasis on E2, cause us to start puberty, gain fertility, and traverse the shift to menopause with ease or difficulty. Estrogen shifts that occur in a cyclic manner can bring up physical and emotional signs that come with being a woman, like amplified vaginal wetness and libido during mid-cycle, as well as pre-menstrual breast soreness, minor puffiness and alteration in feelings.

Estrogen levels change at different points in the menstrual cycle and throughout people’s lives. However, it is very easy for these levels to exceed an ideal amount in the environment we live in. When this takes place, the natural control of hormones may be disrupted, leading to a selection of negative symptoms such as changes in mood, discomfort in the breasts, prolonged menstruation, and erratic hormonal behaviour, as well as medical issues related to elevated levels of estrogen.

High Estrogen: Symptoms and Risks

The hormones in a person’s body shift around during their menstrual cycle, and it is normal to sometimes experience mild symptoms associated with those changes, such as tenderness in the breasts ahead of the period, along with fluctuations in one’s emotions and energy. If you have an elevation of estrogen, the signs may become more severe and cause disruptions to your routine at certain points during your cycle or through the entirety of the month.

If your estrogen levels are too high, symptoms/conditions you might experience include:

  • Cyclic breast tenderness, breast cysts, breast fullness
  • Short menstrual cycles (< 21 days)
  • Heavy periods
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Water retention
  • Mood swings
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Hormonal migraines and headaches (as estrogen drops)
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Weight gain or weight loss resistance
  • Cervical dysplasia

The widespread nature of the results of estrogen could be surprising; but as mentioned earlier, estrogen receptors are located in many parts of the body. It is understandable that when estrogen levels are too high, we experience the effects throughout our body.

Unfortunately, if estrogen levels remain high for too long without being addressed, it can put you at risk for other long-term issues, including:

There is an association between estrogen and thyroid wellness; if estrogen ranges are too high, it will cut back the sum of thyroid hormone in the body, which could cause the appearance of symptoms associated with hypothyroidism notwithstanding the fact that the thyroid is actually working correctly.

Endometriosis may get worse if estrogen levels become too high, which can lead to the formation of endometrial lesions that eventually contribute to the progression of the disease.

An excess of estrogen can cause the uterine lining to thicken too much, which is known as endometrial hyperplasia. This can cause unusual bleeding from the uterus.

Research has indicated that alterations in estrogen that are not healthy can be associated with the development of certain cancers, such as breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers.

Elevations or reductions in estrogen levels have been attributed to various forms of cardiovascular issues such as coronary heart disease, strokes, and thrombosis.

What Are the Main Causes of High Estrogen?

1. Stress and High Estrogen

Stress is a factor for what causes high estrogen. When an upsetting experience occurs, cortisol, a hormone related to stress, is secreted and the body has the capability to offer protection by utilizing the hormones used in reproduction. This device serves to defend against abnormality, but eventually it might lead to a disruption in the production of hormones such as estrogen, resulting in abnormally high levels of estrogen.

2. Conventional Meat and High Estrogen

The consumption of traditional meat may be a factor in elevating estrogen levels. Factory farms raise livestock animals to reach their full size as quickly as possible to get the biggest yield of meat per animal. These creatures are given vast amounts of nutrient to consume and are additionally supplied with antibiotics and hormones like estrogen to cause them to develop speedier. Research showed that though the amount of estrogen in various types of meat is not the same as that in oral contraceptives, the estrogen produces an effect in the human body when it is transferred to fatty tissue and the bloodstream. In comparison to the beef examined, the chicken had greatly elevated amounts of estrogen. Eating this type of meat on a regular basis can lead to the buildup of estrogen, which could cause issues later on. It is suggested to purchase grass-fed and organic meat when available. Reducing your daily intake of conventional meat will help to lower your estrogen levels.

3. Low Fiber and High Estrogen

Fiber is an essential type of carbohydrate which helps with digestion. This research uncovered a reverse correlation between dietary fiber intake and numerous reproductive hormone levels, thus demonstrating that a low-fiber diet could result in high levels of estrogen. The cause for this is that higher amounts of dietary fiber can attach itself to estrogen and be removed from the body in feces. A different research revealed that more dietary fiber in one’s regimen lengthened the follicular stage of the menstrual cycle.

4. Nutrient Deficiencies and High Estrogen

Certain nutrients have the ability to help with the breakdown and removing of estrogen from the body. This is why a lack of nutrients can be the reason for excessive estrogen production. Eating a varied diet is suggested to guarantee that you are not unintentionally missing out on any required nutrients.

These nutrients can be beneficial for ridding the body of excess estrogen. The normal process of eliminating estrogen from the body is something that our liver, kidneys, and digestive system should do naturally. However, if there is a lack of specific nutrients, then these processes may become slower and result in increased levels of estrogen. There are 3 main steps to the detoxification. Initially, the estrogen is changed into another substance, subsequently, the nutrient like an amino acid is used to bundle it up, and finally, said compound is expelled from the organism.

Here are some of the nutrients that play an important role for healthy estrogen levels:

  • B Vitamins: Specifically, folate (B7), B6, and B12 are important cofactors to produce enzymes that degrade estrogen.
  • Magnesium: It promotes the detoxification of estrogen by encouraging two main pathways methylation and glucuronidation.
  • Vitamin E: Studies have found that women with PMS have reduced symptoms when supplementing with vitamin E from finding lower estrogen levels as a result.
  • Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C): This is the main compound in many cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts. This compound helps aid in healthy estrogen metabolism to reduce and detoxify estrogen.

5. High Toxic Burden and High Estrogen

A toxic overload occurs when the number of poisons that get into the body is more than the amount the body can get rid of. Research determined that when body toxic levels exceeded the recommended amounts due to estrogenic chemicals, metabolism in fat cells was affected. High levels of fat can lead to increased levels of estrogen as fat is closely associated with the hormone. Increased fat accumulation can thus trigger an increase in estrogen. This information about the toxins pertinent to xenoestrogens will be supplied later, so you can be aware of what needs to be avoided to reduce your toxic accumulation.

6. Gut Dysbiosis and High Estrogen

The gastrointestinal system consists of a range of different microorganisms which support digestion and are nourished by fiber. We desire a great range of this bacteria in order to process food effectively. A disturbance in the proportions of bacteria in the stomach is referred to as gut dysbiosis. This occurs when the microorganisms in the digestive tract are not in equilibrium. There could be an excessive amount of bacteria in the gut, which could be responsible for increasing estrogen levels because of an enzyme that changes it into a form that can be eliminated. When the bacteria in the intestines is not in equilibrium, the digestive process can be hindered which can cause constipation. If estrogen is not discharged from the bowel, it can be recycled and lead to higher estrogen levels.

7. Elevated Beta-Glucuronidase and High Estrogen

Beta-glucuronidase is a catalyzing agent which assists in the dismantling of complex carbohydrates. Nonetheless, an increase in its presence can have an influence on the way estrogen is metabolized. Gut dysbiosis can lead to a rise in levels, which can have an influence on the second phase of the body’s estrogen detoxification, resulting in the release of estrogen. This will result in the estrogen cycling back into the body, which could be what produces a high level of estrogen.

8. Constipation and High Estrogen

Constipation involves having a hard time passing stools and having bowel movements less often than usual, which can cause discomfort. It is usually accepted that having fewer than one bowel movement in a day over a period of time is an indication of constipation. In cases of this nature, it is indicative of inadequate cleaning of our system, and can be attributed to numerous causes. Estrogen can be secreted in the feces, however if it is not then it will stay in the circulatory system as unbound estrogen which is why irregularity in bowel movements leads to elevated estrogen levels. Poor gut health may lead to constipation, as could a lack of fiber in one’s diet.

9. Methylation Gene Variants and High Estrogen

A common chemical reaction that takes place in the body is Methylation. This process involves attaching a methyl group, made of a carbon and three hydrogens, to a different compound. Methylation is a procedure that is fundamental to DNA functioning, allowing us to either activate or deactivate certain genes. It may seem straightforward, but its effects are profound. When the procedure is hindered, a variety of problems can arise.

MTHFR’s purpose is to create the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, which controls folate metabolization. Earlier it was stated that folate is an essential nutrient that can help purify estrogen. When there is an issue with the MTHFR gene failing to carry out the process of methylation properly, it can be what is causing an increase in estrogen levels.

The COMT gene produces the enzyme catechol-o-methyltransferase, which regulates the concentrations of hormones, including estrogen, and is a vital part of dopamine metabolism. A study showed that there was a connection between women with COMT genotype and high levels of estrogen, suggesting that COMT is a possible explanation for elevated estrogen.


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