Researchers believe that several decades of environmental exposure to toxins (including the dioxin found in tampons) and malabsorption of nutrients (from long-term use of antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids) have caused a prevalence of female problems. A major factor in the progression of these diseases is an insufficient production of progesterone during the second phase of a woman's cycle, called the luteal phase. As a result of this imbalance, estrogen controls the second half of the menstrual cycle too. This is called a luteal phase defect. A common factor in hormonal imbalance involves the pituitary gland. The pituitary detects elevated estrogen levels, and lets the ovaries know they can start producing less of it. When the pituitary gland generates too much prolactin, a specific hormone, luteal phase defects may result.
Too much Prolactin can lead to an imbalance in the female sex hormones. Estrogen Dominance and Hormonal imbalances are frequently caused by: Pesticide laden non-organic foods, excessive amounts of rBGH (growth hormones) present in dairy, red meats, caffeine, refined sugar, chocolate and alcohol.
Due to their high 'fat' content, Dairy and red meat sponge up many environmental Contaminants (dioxins, etc). In addition, dairy contains excessive estrogen, antibiotics,and Growth hormones (rBGH, a genetically engineered hormone).
Caffeine & refined Sugar consumption encourages TUMOR formation and growth and is also implicated in the progressive growth of Cancer cells (Sugar is to a tumor as gasoline is to fire). Caffeine is a major factor in tumor formation. It promotes cell dehydration and constipation.
"Women's Unique Challenges"
Today... there are an unprecedented number of chemicals all around us ...in our food, water and the very air we breathe! The EPA has estimated that 60,000 chemicals have been buried here in the U.S. and are now starting to penetrate our water supply! Our food has become a chemical feast that is sprayed with pesticides, injected with hormones,fed with antibiotics and adulterated with over 3,000 chemicals in the form of artificial colors, flavors, textures and preservatives! Many of the chemicals now present in our environment have been proven to pose serious hazards to human health!
These components are 'foreign' estrogens that are found in pesticides, herbicides,numerous plastics, margarines, hydrogenated oils and salad dressings, etc.
Due to these harmful estrogens many women are producing 50% less of the progesterone that their mothers did! Xenoestrogens are the main factor in estrogen dominance, damaging the developing follicles of the fetus, and may also cause breast cancer, osteoporosis and infertility.
Xenoestrogens, like DDT and dioxins, bond with *estrogen receptor* sites in your body and never leave!!!!!
These components tie up "estrogen receptor" sites keeping more harmful "xenoestrogens" from attaching themselves to these receptor sites. Good sources of Isoflavones are...non-gmo Soy, Lentils, Legumes, Sprouts, Chickpeas and cooked dried Beans.
Your Digestive process releases chemicals from lentils, beans and legumes called "Protease Inhibitors". "Protease Inhibitors" tend to control/inhibit abnormal cell proliferation before it starts to turn into cancer.
The reason we recommend fish as an important addition to our diet is that oily fish contains immediately available EPA and DHA that do not have to undergo the extensive metabolism and enzymatic breakdown that Flaxseed oil does. We recommend Spectrum fish oil capsules from pristine Norwegian waters. They have considerably less contaminants than many others.
It is best to consume both omega-3 fatty acids and cold water fish as well. COLD-WATER FISH such as alaskan salmon, sardines in water and mackerel are highest in Omega-3s. Omega-3s, commonly referred to as "Essential Fatty Acids" protect our bodies from the ravages of disease. Because they stop "prostaglandins" from going into dangerous overdrive, fish oils help alleviate illness that is triggered by the prostaglandins (i.e. estrogen dominance, endometriois, breast and ovarian cancers, etc.) Apparently farmed fish have undergone genetic changes. Alaskan salmon remains the best cold water fish. If mercury is a concern, add sufficient quantities of Selenium to your daily supplements regimen. Selenium provides an excellent daily detox from mercury and other heavy metals! Scientists believe that the promotion of cancer cells is somehow regulated by "prostaglandins". Animal studies show that squelching the overproduction of these "hormone-like" substances can reduce breast, pancreas, lung, prostate and colon cancer. In humans it has been observed that Japanese and Eskimo women who have high seafood diets experience 80% less breast cancer than Americans!
ALFALFA: Alfalfa sprouts contain phytoestrogens, so don't hesitate to use them liberally on salads. Phytoestrogens are much less potent than the body's own estrogens. They actually block the body's own "estrogen receptor" sites from harmful xenoestrogens, thereby eliminating or reducing many of the detrimental effects of estrogen dominance.
LICORICE: Contains "estrogen-balancing" compounds. These compounds appear to decrease estrogen levels in women when they soar too high, and increase them when they become too low.
Bilberry: Bilberry contains chemicals called "anthrocyanidins", which have muscle-relaxant properties, in addition it contains OPCs. For menstrual cramps, some herbalists suggest taking 20 to 40 mgs of concentrated bilberry extract three times a day. If you are unable to obtain extracts, try a half cup of fresh bilberries or blueberries, which have similar compounds.
GINGER: With at least six pain-relieving compounds and another six anti-cramping compounds, ginger tea is a trustworthy remedy for menstrual regularity. Clinical Applications
GLA: Borage oil, EPO and Black Currant oil are all excellent sources of gamma linoleic acid (GLA)., GLA is an effective anti-inflammatory agent which has literally no side effects. These oils are effective treatment for Estrogen Dominance, however they do not work instantaneously. You must take one or the other for six to eight weeks before it takes effect or there is any noticeble changes. Evening Primrose oil contains an abundant amount of GLA. Mix a tsp. of Borage oil in juice and drink daily. Dr. Weil recommends 500 mg of black currant oil twice each day as the most econonical form.
FLAXSEED OIL contains the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid that undergoes enzyme conversion to the principle omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
Why are so many women "Estrogen Dominant"?
Today, many women over the age of 35 are producing only 50% of the progesterone their mother's produced--This is due to: Stress: Cortisol alters the message the brain sends to the ovaries. Diet: Highly processed "exhausted" food does not give the body the complex nutrients it needs to function optimally. Xenoestrogens: These are "foreign" estrogens that are found in pesticides, herbicides, plastics, salad dressings, etc. They damage the developing follicles of the fetus. Women produce less progesterone and men produce less sperm than they should. The worst side effects of estrogen dominance include: breast cancer, osteoporosis and infertility.
What is the best way to measure Hormone Levels?
Serum blood tests measure only the amount of progesterone that is bound to protein. Of this only 5% is usable by the body, so this is an inaccurate number. Progesterone is fat soluble, so it does not mix with serum. A saliva test will measure the amount of progesterone that is actually available to the body.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease/Painful Breasts/Breast Cancer: Take natural progesterone day 12-26 of your cycle. Start with a little dab and go higher (crescendo effect). Results occur in about 3 months. Birth Control pills further exacerbate these types of problems by contributing to overly high estrogen levels!
Cramping/Clotting: Clotting is caused by blood that was not shed properly (not enough progesterone). The blood stays behind and comes out in the next cycle. Add natural progesterone cream daily.
Cramping is due to Estrogen Dominance! This increases Endometrial cells which can work up into the wall of the uterus and become very painful because the blood stays in the muscle and has an inflammatory effect. Restore progesterone which keeps the endometrial build-up inside the uterus.
Irregular Bleeding: Younger women, you are probably making more estrogen (the hormone that builds up the bloody lining. Progesterone holds it in place). Either the progesterone quit too soon causing early bleeding or you were estrogen dominant which extends the time. Cycle progesterone from day 12-26 in regular rhythm. When you quit the progesterone your period follows. Older women, you many have hyperplasia. Check with your physician.
Thyroid: Thyroid function often improves when natural progesterone used as progesterone works with the thyroid hormone to improve function.
Premenstrual Syndrome: You may be making enough progesterone but are under stress and making "cortisol" which actually causes a blockade of existing progesterone. You become estrogen dominant. Breasts often swell (retaining water intracellularly).Augment with natural progesterone.
Adrenal Fatigue: Progesterone helps combat "cortisol interference" and can help restore energy levels.
Mood Swings: Hormone-regulating herbs such as chasteberry and Dong Quai can also help to smooth out the mood swings irritability and depression often associated with menopause/perimenopausal symptoms.
Other herbs to consider: Try taking 40 mgs. gingko capsules 3 times daily or 10 to 15 drops of St. John's wort tincture of extract 2 times a day.
WILD YAM: Contains estrogen-balancing compounds. The progesterone taken from the wild yam is nearly identical to what the body produces, says John Lee, M.D. of Sebastopol, California.
Most studies report that the cream and oil are most effective because the progesterone absorbed through the skin enters the bloodstream directly!
A synthetic form of the female hormone progesterone is often prescribed for women with menstrual problems, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. However, synthetic progesterone has been linked to a number of unpleasant side effects, such as fluid retention and salt buildup as well as blood clots and uterine and breast cancers!
A natural and safer form of progesterone, derived from wild yam is readily available and effective in relieving the symptoms for which synthetic progesterone is prescribed!
Strawberry: and strawberry leaf may help relieve cramps, according to Germany's Komission E, the body of scientists that advises the country's government about herbs.It's leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals plus ellagic acid, a highly touted cancer preventive.
Many women herbalists recommend raspberry tea for easing menstrual cramps. One study showed that the herb also helps relax the uterus. Researchers don't know the active compound in Raspberry, but they speculate that it might be Pycnogenol (an oligomeric procyanidin, or OPC. In one study, taking 200 mgs of OPC daily over two cycles eliminated menstrual cramps in 60 percent of the women who took them. Among women who took OPCs for four cycles, the number who benefitted was even higher--60 to 80 percent. You can buy pure OPC in the form of Pycnogenol capsules.
CRAMPBARK: Otherwise known as (Black Haw). This herb is recognized as a treatment for menstrual cramps in most pharmacology reference books through the nineteenth century. The bark contains at least nine substances that relax the uterus. Two (aesculetin and scopoletin) also help relieve muscle spasms. With so much folklore and science to recommend it, this is one of the very best for pain!
Kava-Kava: Contains two pain-relieving chemicals that are as effective as aspirin, according to pharmacognosist Albert Leung, Ph.D., and Askansas herbalist Steven Foster in their book, "The Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. Although Kava-Kava has been described as narcotic and hypnotic, it is neither hallucinogenic nor stupefying. Furthermore, according to Dr Leung and Foster, it is non-addictive and does not cause dependency. Some Europeans use kava kava extracts for its relaxant or anti-anxiety effects. Since the plant also helps relax the uterus, it is used to treat menstrual cramps.
Chasteberry: promotes the proper estrogen-to-progesterone ratio, and helps regulate gland function. Chasteberry also has diuretic effects, which helps women who suffer from fluid retention. Chasteberry is recommended for infertile women who have a luteal phase defect and high prolactin levels.It appears to help regulate the ovulatory cycle. Chasteberry helps relieve breast tenderness by regulating prolactin. Chasteberry may help to slow, stop, or reverse the development of lumps in the breast. It appears to work by increasing "lymph vessel circulation" in the breast tissue while promoting 'hormonal balance'.
Eat organically grown foods.
Traditional Dairy and Meat contribute to Estrogen Dominance because of the *Bovine Growth Hormones* in these foods. These unnatural hormones interfere with the balance of natural female hormones.