Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalances, and is found in both men and women. Although estrogen is commonly seen as a female hormone, it is naturally produced by the male body in small amounts. Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen levels are too high in relation to other hormones in the body. It can be caused either by excessive production of estrogen or insufficient production of other hormones, such as testosterone and progesterone.
Besides the normal hormonal changes that occur in the aging process, certain lifestyle choices and conditions can also contribute to estrogen dominance. Some of the main causes of estrogen dominance include:
Excess body fat (greater than 28%)
Exposure to extreme stress
Eating a diet low in fiber and high in refined carbohydrates
Impaired immune function
Common symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
Bloating / Water retention
Foggy thinking, memory loss
Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
Decreased sex drive
Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods
Breast swelling and tenderness
Estrogen dominance has been linked to a variety of other issues including allergies, autoimmune disorders, breast and uterine cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, infertility, ovarian cysts, and increased blood clotting, and is also associated with acceleration of the aging process.