ESTROGEN/OESTROGEN DOMINANCE AND THYROID FUNCTION

Surgeon checking pacient neck before surgical operation

Whether you use the US spelling “Estrogen” or the UK spelling “Oestrogen,” high levels of this hormone can interfere with your thyroid function. When your these levels are not balanced by the appropriate amount of progesterone, it is called “Estrogen/Oestrogen Dominance.”

Estrogen/Oestrogen is a female hormone, but it occurs naturally in both males and females. There are three different types of this hormone produced in the following proportion:

• Estradiol—15%
• Estrone—15%
• Estriol—70%

For optimal health, all three hormones are necessary. High levels of estrogen/oestrogen can lead to health problems.

Symptoms of dominance are often brushed off because many of them are thought of as just common “female” problems. They include: PMS, breast tenderness, mood swings, depression, anxiety, water retention, endometriosis, fibroids, migraines, lumps and cysts, blood clots, asthma, allergies, insomnia, autoimmune diseases, and thyroid problems.

Dominance can occur any time there is an imbalance between estrogen/oestrogen and progesterone, and can have an effect on many organs and systems throughout the body. The thyroid is one of them. It affects the thyroid in the following ways:
• Interferes with the conversion of T4 to T3 which results in low T3 levels—There may not be anything wrong with the gland itself, but it causes hypothyroid symptoms.
• Blocks the uptake of thyroid hormone—When this happens there is too much estrogen/oestrogen and it promotes hypothyroid systems.
• Increases levels of TBG—Thyroid Binding Protein—This carries the thyroid hormones to the cells. When there is an overload of TBG, levels of T3 and T4 can be low because it bets carried away by the TBG and doesn’t have time to enter the cells. This causes hypothyroid symptoms.

Obviously, it would be natural for many women to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism when their real problem is estrogen/oestrogen dominance. Once the proper treatment is received and they are given bio-identical progesterone and/or they can lower high estrogen levels, the need for thyroid medication will decrease.

Dominance is one of the main portions of a suppressed immune system. It can cause the developing autoimmune conditions which include Hashimoto’s and Grave’s diseases.

When a woman goes through perimenopause, progesterone levels drop at a faster rate than estrogen/oestrogen. By the time a woman reaches menopause, her progesterone is even lower while estrogen/oestrogen hasn’t reduced much. This causes many women to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism during menopause.

Though there are several causes for dominance to occur, one of the foremost reasons is stress. When you are experiencing chronic stress your body produces the cortisol hormone instead of other important hormones like progesterone causing progesterone levels to be low. Cortisol from stress can also interfere with the liver’s ability to clear excess estrogen. It can cause elevated TBG and lower T4 and T3 hormones.

You can help protect your body by reducing your exposure to estrogens that are man-made and help protect both your thyroid gland and endocrine system. You’d be surprised how even a small change can make a difference. Here are a few tips to help:
• Add plant-based foods to your diet—Research has proven that plant-based foods have over 5,000 types of sterols with protective effects for progesterone.
• Consume whole, fresh foods—Choosing these over processed and fast foods can considerably decrease your chance of dominance.
• Change to organic vegetables and fruits—Many of these have a tendency to store pesticides and herbicides which increase toxins in your body.
• Exclude unfermented soy from your diet—When you buy processed and packaged foods, read the labels. Soy is hidden in a great deal of foods you eat every day.
• Look for grass-fed, naturally-raised meats—These are better for you than commercial or even organic meat.
• Eliminate plastic with a recycling symbol of 3, 6, or 7—Poor quality plastics have been proven to leak xenoestrogens as well as other toxins into whatever is in the bottle especially if it becomes hot.
• Reduce Stress—You’d be surprised how simple lifestyle changes can affect your thyroid.
• Remove toxins from your system—A detox program will give you healthy gut and liver function to break down and get rid of excess hormones effectively.