What Causes High Estrogen Levels And What Diseases Are Linked To Estrogen Dominance
Instead of asking what causes high estrogen levels, it is better to consider what doesn’t since so many foods and consumer products are hormone disruptors. Here we will look at why so many people suffer from high estrogen levels and the health consequences of such.
What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a hormone that plays an important role in the development of female reproductive organs, including the uterus and ovaries. High estrogen levels can lead to a number of health issues. Symptoms of high estrogen include fatigue, headaches, breast tenderness, weight gain, and bloating. Estrogen dominance can also cause irregular menstrual periods, mood swings, low libido, and infertility.
High estrogen levels have been linked to an increased risk for certain types of cancer including breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. High estrogen levels can also disrupt the balance of other hormones in the body leading to an increased risk for certain thyroid diseases.
Furthermore, high estrogen levels have been linked to elevated cholesterol levels, which are correlated to heart disease. Lastly, high estrogen can trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety due to imbalances in brain chemistry.1
What Are The 3 Types Of Estrogen?
The three main types of estrogen are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3).
Estrone (E1) is the main estrogen in postmenopausal women and is also produced by the ovaries in smaller amounts during a woman’s reproductive years. Estradiol (E2) is the predominant form of estrogen in premenopausal women. It plays an important role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and is essential for maintaining bone density and healthy cholesterol levels. Estriol (E3) is produced mainly during pregnancy, where it helps nurture and protect a developing fetus.2
Low or high amounts of estradiol can result in various uncomfortable symptoms that can interfere with daily life. In females, estradiol is primarily made in the ovaries, but it is also produced in smaller amounts by the breasts and adrenal glands. During pregnancy, estradiol production occurs in the placenta as well.1
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Grains
Grains, like wheat, oats, and barley, are some of the most common causes of high estrogen levels in both men and women. Grains contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. When a person consumes foods containing these phytoestrogens, it can cause their hormone levels to become unbalanced.3 Ideally, avoid grains completely as they cause more harm than good. Instead, consider eating food from my Cellular Healing Diet.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Soy
Legumes like soy are high in phytoestrogens, which can mimic the effects of estrogen. Phytoestrogens are found in beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts. They interfere with the body’s production of estrogen by binding to the same receptors as naturally occurring hormones.4 Foods that are high in phytoestrogens should be limited or avoided if you’re concerned about high estrogen levels. Additionally, many processed foods contain added soy products and other plant-based ingredients.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Food Preservatives
Food preservatives are a common cause of high estrogen levels. Many processed foods contain additives and preservatives that can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body, resulting in increased estrogen levels. These preservatives include BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), propyl gallate, and propylene glycol.5 6 These chemicals are found in many processed foods such as cereals, snacks, cookies, chips, and crackers.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Conventionally Farmed Dairy And Meat
High estrogen levels can result from consuming conventionally farmed dairy and meat products. Conventionally farmed animals are often given hormones, including estrogens, to promote faster growth and increased milk production. These hormones can enter the food chain through both meat and dairy products and eventually make their way into our bodies when we consume them.7
Studies have shown that the hormones given to conventionally farmed animals can remain active even after being processed and cooked. This means that consuming these products can increase our estrogen levels.8 To avoid this issue, it is best to purchase organic dairy and meat from grass-fed, hormone-free animals whenever possible.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to elevated estrogen levels in both men and women. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, which is responsible for processing hormones like estrogen. When the liver becomes overwhelmed by alcohol, it has difficulty breaking down and eliminating excess hormones, resulting in higher-than-normal levels of estrogen in the body.
Women may also experience an increase in estrogen due to the presence of phytoestrogens found in alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine.9
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Tap Water And Some Bottled Water
Tap water and some bottled water can contain high levels of estrogen, as many bottled water companies simply use tap water. The main source of estrogen in tap water is runoff from animal manure ending up in the water supply.10
Additionally, water that has been bottled in PET plastic containers contains three times the level of endocrine disruptors than water in glass containers.11 If you aren’t drinking high-quality RO water or spring water out of glass bottles, consider doing so.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Endocrine-Disrupting Compounds
Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are chemicals that interfere with the normal functioning of hormones in the body. Common EDCs include pesticides, industrial chemicals, and pollutants found in some food products, water sources, and everyday items. High levels of xenoestrogens, or estrogen-like substances, can mimic natural hormones and upset the balance of hormones in the body, leading to unnaturally high estrogen levels.12
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Endocrine Disrupting Compounds – BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in certain plastics and resins. It is used to make polycarbonate plastics, which are used in food containers, water bottles, and other consumer products. BPA can leach into food or beverages from the containers it is stored in, leading to BPA exposure. Research suggests that BPA can affect the endocrine system, leading to an increase in estrogen levels, and breast cancer.13
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Endocrine Disrupting Compounds – Phthalates
Another class of chemicals that causes high estrogen levels and has been linked to the disruption of the endocrine system is phthalates. Phthalates are commonly used in plastics, perfumes, household cleaners, and other products. These chemicals can disrupt the body’s natural hormones, leading to increased levels of estrogen in both men and women. Long-term exposure to phthalates has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers and reproductive issues.14
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Endocrine Disrupting Compounds – Parabens
Parabens are a group of chemicals found in cosmetics and personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, body wash, lotions, and other beauty products. They are used as preservatives to improve the shelf-life of these products. Unfortunately, they have been linked to increased levels of estrogen in the body.15
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Endocrine Disrupting Compounds – Dioxins
Dioxins are a family of chemical compounds, some of which can act as endocrine disruptors. They are often found in industrial waste and in areas where there is heavy air pollution. Dioxins bind to estrogen receptors and can stimulate the production of excess amounts of estrogen. Animal studies have linked high levels of dioxin exposure to increased cancer risk and reproductive abnormalities.16
Read more about other common toxins we are bombarded by.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Lead
Elevated levels of lead in the body have been linked to high estrogen levels.17 Lead is a heavy metal that can be found naturally in the environment, but exposure to it can also come from certain practices such as burning fossil fuels and consuming contaminated food or water.
Read more about lead toxicity.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels – Mercury
Mercury toxicity is one of the causes of high estrogen levels.18 Mercury is a heavy metal found in many consumer products, such as batteries, thermometers, and fluorescent lightbulbs. Symptoms of mercury toxicity include fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness, and depression. To reduce the risk of mercury toxicity and its associated high estrogen levels, avoid products containing mercury. Additionally, reduce your intake of fish caught in mercury-contaminated waters.
Read more about mercury toxicity.
Estrogen dominance is a condition in which estrogen levels are too high relative to progesterone levels. This may result in the growth of fibroids, cysts, cervical dysplasia, and tumors.19
High Estrogen And Cancer
Estrogen has numerous beneficial roles in the body, such as regulating the menstrual cycle and reproduction, modulating bone density, influencing brain function, and stimulating cholesterol mobilization. However, prolonged exposure to artificial estrogen can prove hazardous, as it is a well-established risk factor for various types of cancer.20
High Estrogen And Breast Cancer
There is increasing evidence suggesting that high estrogen levels play a significant role in the development of breast cancer. Studies on both pre-and postmenopausal women reiterate that estrogen levels are correlated to the risk of breast cancer.21
High Estrogen Levels And Lung Cancer
The role of estrogen in lung cancer has been postulated as a contributor to its development and progression. Estrogen also has been linked to increased levels of certain tumor markers that are associated with worse outcomes for people with lung cancer.22
The Best Estrogen Test
A 24-hour urine hormone test is used to measure the levels of hormones in the body. It is used to diagnose certain conditions like estrogen dominance. The test measures hormones like cortisol, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).
This is the test that saved my wife’s life, as once we determined she was suffering from estrogen dominance, we were able to pinpoint the cause, which was lead toxicity. At that moment, we began the heavy metal chelation protocol to remove lead from her body and target the source that was making her sick.
Read more about heavy metal chelation.
What Causes High Estrogen Levels
Now that you know what causes high estrogen levels, you can modify your lifestyle to avoid these xenoestrogens. Environmental factors such as the food we eat, air pollution, and industrial chemicals used in consumer products can all increase estrogen levels. High estrogen levels can increase the risk of certain types of cancer and other health problems.
Read more about toxic chemicals in cosmetics.
1 Holland, K. (2018, April 19). Signs and Symptoms of High Estrogen. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-estrogen#complications
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