Estrogen dominance is a term that describes relatively high ratios of estrogen to progesterone in the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle. As you will learn, it does not require elevated estrogen levels.
signs of estrogen dominance
If you are struggling with any of the following symptoms, your hormone ratios may need support.
- Mood swings
- Breast tenderness
- Heavy periods
- Painful periods
- Decreased interest in sex
There are others, but these are – by far – the ones I see most often in practice.
I am a firm believer in the value of testing hormones before treating. At the MT Center for Vibrant Living, we use one of two tests for this evaluation.
The DUTCH Complete
This test – ideally collected half way between ovulation and menses – provides a snapshot of DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone at the time that progesterone should be peaking. What makes this test invaluable is that is also provides the breakdown of specific estrogens: E1 (estrone), E2 (estradiol), and E3 (estriol). Furthermore, with the Complete, we get insight into the detoxification and clearance pathways. These pathways are critically important in assessing estrogen dominance.
The DUTCH Cycle Map
When working with a woman with irregular cycles, I am likely to order the Cycle Map (separately or with the Complete). The Cycle Map requires a waking urine collection most days between the end of one menses and the start of the next. The test provides a day by day view of the changing relationship between estrogen and progesterone over the course of the month.
Why testing matters
As mentioned early in the article, it is possible to have symptoms of estrogen dominance without having elevated estrogen. In fact there are three common hormone pictures that can result in similar symptoms, but require different treatments.
- high E + normal P
- normal E + low P
- normal E + normal P + sub-optimal clearance pathways for estrogen
other important tests
One thing about bodies is that everything is connected to everything. Your thyroid and adrenal function play a huge role in balancing your reproductive hormones.
The digestive system also plays a critical role. It turns out that having normal, healthy bacterial in your gut is essential for progesterone signaling. And when the liver is burdened by inflammation, the detoxification and clearance pathways are likely to go awry.
We believe you deserve to get to the root of your concerns. This is just one of the many reasons we promote comprehensive testing.
If you are struggling with the common – and sometimes debilitating symptoms of estrogen dominanance, request a consult, and let’s get to the bottom of it.