The Link Between PCOS & Estrogen Dominance
Although there is no set number for estrogen dominance, this name essentially refers to when you have too much estrogen in your system compared to progesterone and your other sex hormones.
Like with all of your hormones in your endocrine system, It relies on a healthy balance and when there is an imbalance, there are issues. Women with PCOS will often have high levels of estrogens, estrone (E1), and estradiol (E2). This is due, at least in part to lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
This hormonal state of high estrogen leads to a positive feedback of increased LH (luteinizing hormone) production, and a negative feedback of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) production, these two hormones are essential for a healthy and regular menstrual cycle.
High LH levels contribute to the development of ovarian hyperplasia (ovarian enlargement), this directly increases androgen production and leads to chronic anovulation; when the ovaries do not release an egg during the menstrual cycle, ovulation does not take place.
If the cause of elevated estrogen levels is a direct result of lower SHBG levels then to reduce estrogen production your goal will be to increase the production of SHBG. How do you do that? high insulin levels drive down SHBG production, therefore, your strategy to reduce estrogen production will mirror that of reducing insulin production.
Furthermore, environmental factors can also play a role in estrogen dominance. Chemicals in our environment, known as xenoestrogens, can mimic naturally occurring estrogen in our bodies and act as endocrine disruptors.
Some common sources of endocrine disruptors include pesticides, Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates (found in plastic containers, water bottles, and paper receipts), and parabens (often found in skin and hair care products). It is thought that BPA disrupts signaling pathways, perhaps by interfering with estrogen receptors. BPA levels have been shown in studies to be higher in women with PCOS.
To help to minimize your exposure to environmental estrogen disruptors;
👉 Choose organic or “hormone-free” foods
👉 Choose glass containers over plastic storage containers
👉 Throw out all your plastic storage containers
👉 Don’t heat food in the microwave in plastic containers
👉 Drink beverages from glass bottles or those marked “BPA-free”
👉 Try to buy “paraben-free” skin and hair care products
👉 Try to avoid beauty products that contain the words ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’
👉 Use phthalate and sulfate-free shampoos and makeup
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About Drew Baird:
Drew Baird is the founder and owner of Drew Baird Fitness and Healthy PCOS. Drew has worked with over 23,800 clients on his online weight loss programs and helped his clients lose over 263,000kgs. He's known for his realistic, no bullshit approach to getting results.
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