Elevated estrogen and PCOS
We all know that PCOS’ers have irregular hormones. They’re all tied into each other — low progesterone and high estrogen lead to high testosterone — all causing lack of cycles and ovulation.
Do you have estrogen dominance? Below are some signs:
- PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Menstrual cramps
- Breast, uterine and prostate cancer
- Hair loss, especially male pattern baldness
- Magnesium deficiency
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Anxiety and panic attacks
What causes estrogen dominance?
- Hormone replacement
- Birth control pills (the MOST common medication prescribed today for PCOS)
- Candida albicans (yeast)
The two main causes of elevated estrogen are:
Xenoestrogens: These contain chemicals that mimic natural estrogen. They include parabens in cosmetics, plastic containing BPA (ALL plastics contain BPA unless clearly marked “BPA free”), pesticides, detergents, pharmaceuticals and a number of of other chemical products.
Phytoestrogens: These can mimic our own estrogen and cause estrogen dominance. Things like soy, black cohosh, caffeine, lignans, isoflavonoids and coumestans are among the top foods and herbs that contain high levels of phytoestrogens.
So….what can we do?
1) Obviously, reduce our exposure to the list of things above. Use only natural cleaning products and detergents, natural makeup (mineral makeup), and plastics that are marked BPA free.
2) Utilize herbs to regulate our hormones: If you are trying to get pregnant, Vitex is the BEST herb to use. It regulates your hormones, returns your cycles and returns normal ovulation. HOWEVER, if you are not trying to conceive, another option is DIM.
DIM balances the hormones by breaking down estrogen and removing it from the body. It can be found in vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower, but in order to get enough DIM you would have to eat 1 1/2 pounds of cruciferous vegetables! Ummmm, no thanks! So supplementation is necessary.
As with all supplements, there are a number of different products out there. PCOSInfo recommends the following: DIM Supplement