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pms, pcos, dysmenorrhea, menopause, and the relationship to estrogen dominance


“Today, we see the age of puberty (menarche) dropping precipitously to as low as 10 years of age, endometriosis afflicting 10% of all perimenopausal women; Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) rising and afflicting close to 30% of perimenopausal women, uterine fibroids affecting close to 25% of women from age 35 to 50, and breast cancer afflicting close to 10% of all women.”   – Dr. Michael Lam from his article called Estrogen Dominance
Although it is nearly ubiquitous in American women, many (probably most) have never heard of Estrogen Dominance before.  This begs the question of what Estrogen Dominance really is, how does one get it, and even more importantly, how does one go about fixing it? 

Estrogen Dominance is the all-too-common situation where a woman has too much Estrogen in her body as compared to Progesterone.  How does this happen?  The number one reason is that virtually all of us end up with too much Estrogen in our systems (men and women) is because of the amount of time spent swimming in a sea of estrogen and estrogen-like substances called “Xenohormones” or “Xenoestrogens” (HERE).   Although I dealt with Estrogen Dominance in that post, the real question, which I did not address, is what to do about this problem.  In other words, how would a person, whether male or female (yes, men get overdosed with Estrogen as well), get these toxic estrogen-like chemicals out of their system?  That is going to be the chief topic in today’s post.


While there are no ‘absolute‘ symptoms for Estrogen Dominance, the more things from this list you are dealing with, the greater the chances that ED is going to be found at the bottom of the pile.

  • IRREGULAR OR ABNORMAL PERIODS / PCOS:  This could be just about anything.  And while PCOS has been mostly associated in the peer-reviewed literature with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar, most women dealing with this issue are going to be Estrogen Dominant as well.
  • PMS:  Nuff said.  In case you have not seen the SNL parody of the birth control pill Seasonale (“Annuelle“), you need to Google it and check it out. 
  • BLOATING, SWELLING, AND WATER RETENTION:   Can’t get rings on and off?  Swollen ankles?  Puffy face?  Estrogen Dominance is probably in the mix.
  • PMS-RELATED HEADACHES:  Lots of women get “Hormonal Headaches” during that time of month.  Most of these are related to Estrogen Dominance.
  • WEIGHT GAIN:  Estrogen is likely a culprit — particularly when talking about BELLY FATIt is critical that you understand that fat-soluble substances (Estrogen / Xenoestrogens fall into this category) are stored in fat cells — particularly the visceral fat layer that covers your organs.  If you are Estrogen Dominant but not overweight; trust me — it’s just a matter of time.  By the way; it is not just the Female Organs that produce Estrogen.  A main producer of Estrogen just happens to be fat cells, which in turn produce more Estrogen.  When farmers give hormones to fatten cattle, these are various forms of synthetic Estrogen.  THIS will shed some more light on the subject.  WEIGHT LOSS is critical in the battle against ED.  However, the very nature of the problem can make losing weight difficult — or even impossible.  Don’t worry.   Very shortly I am going to show you how to get the excess Estrogen out of your system so that you can begin losing weight.
  • HAIR LOSS / HYPOTHYROIDISM:  Ever notice that HYPOTHYROIDISM is far more common in the female population?
  • BRAIN FOG:  Trouble thinking or concentrating.  Very common in people with Fibromyalgia and / or GLUTEN SENSITIVITY.
  • SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE:  There are SEVERAL, but one of the most common are sleep issues — particularly Insomnia.

  • SUGAR OR STARCH CRAVINGS:  Show me a woman with hardcore SUGAR CRAVINGS, and I’ll show you a woman with Estrogen Dominance.  This is often times associated with Chronic Systemic Yeast Infections as well — particularly in women who have taken lots of ANTIBIOTICS at some point in their lives.
  • SWOLLEN, TENDER, ENLARGED, OR FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS:  A very common side effect of Estrogen Dominance.
  • CONSTANT ALLERGIES / SINUS INFECTION:  HERE, HERE, and HERE are some links on these issues.  Much of this is due to, as you will see momentarily, increasing whole-body toxicity and a deficiency in the nutritional compounds to stop or reverse the trend.
  • DIMINISHED LIBIDO:  HERE are the links.  You need to be aware that although Testosterone fuels sex drive even in women, too much Testosterone in women is associated with both diminished libido and PCOS.
  • DEPRESSION:  DEPRESSION is far more common in women than men, and more common yet in women with Estrogen Dominance.
  • AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, INCLUDING IBS:   HERE is a list of some of America’s more common Autoimmune Diseases.  HERE are my blog posts on the subject, including IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME.  If you have Autoimmunity (far more common in women than men), you need to understand this relationship.
  • INFERTILITY:  Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy.  Too little Estrogen and / or not enough Progesterone, and either pregnancy will not occur, or the odds of a miscarriage increase dramatically.   When you think ‘big picture’ think of Estrogen and Progesterone as antagonistic to each other.  It is important to understand that simply looking at raw Estrogen levels will not tell us the whole picture.  Estrogen Dominance occurs when the ratio of Estrogen to Progesterone is too high.  As Dr. Janet Lang always said concerning this topic; “ratios rule“.
  • ENDOMETRIOSIS: According to Shelley Binkley M.D., “In women with endometriosis, the processing of estrogen is abnormal“.  This leads to the uterine lining ending up growing in places it should not be.
  • FEMALE CANCERS:  This is particularly true of BREAST CANCER.  How big is this relationship between excess Estrogen and Breast Cancer?  The two chief drugs for treating women once their initial cancer has been taken care of are Tamoxifen and Femara — both Estrogen-blockers.  This is because the majority of Breast Cancers are fueled by, among other things like SUGAR, Estrogen.
  • OSTEOPOROSIS:  Although Estrogen (usually in the form of HRT) has been associated OSTEOPOROSIS prevention, we are learning that this is not the whole story.  Aren’t INVISIBLE STUDIES grand?


  • ADD MORE ESTROGEN TO YOUR SYSTEM WITH BIRTH CONTROL PILLS OR HRT (HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY):  Once you take some time to study this issue of Estrogen Dominance, you’ll quickly realize that HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy like Premarin — Pregnant Mare’s Urine) does not make much sense for many many (maybe most) women.  And while ‘The Pill’ is certainly convenient, adding synthetic hormones to your system is rarely a good thing — particularly over the long haul.  Several years ago, Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote that, “In July 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) abruptly ended its combination of estrogen and progestin therapy study, as their data discovered higher rates of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the population taking the hormones, compared to those taking placebos.
  • ADD PROGESTERONE TO YOUR SYSTEM:  Although natural forms of sub-lingual Progesterone might be a good thing to do for awhile, it is not going to solve this issue over the long haul.  It is a band-aid that makes things easier while you work on the root cause(s) of the problem.  This is because when you take exogenous hormones, your body shuts down endogenous production.  Be aware that Progestins (patented drugs that are actually artificial forms of Progesterone) have been part of most HRT protocols for quite some time.  As you might guess, there are a number of side effects associated with them.  Again; this might be a short-term option but is never a long-term solution.

  • DO NOTHING AND HOPE IT GOES AWAY:  Playing the ostrich-game and keeping your head buried in the sand is an easy thing to do for awhile.  Particularly since your doctor will not talk about Estrogen Dominance (other than maybe to pooh pooh it).  The problem with this approach is that it can lead to Breast Cancer and other forms of (mostly) female CANCERS.  Not only that, but when the symptoms get too crazy, most women revert back to the first bullet point.


  • ELIMINATE THE SOURCES OF ESTROGEN FROM YOUR LIFE:  This means that you probably need to stop eating commercially-raised meats (Estrogen is the hormone given by farmers to make their animals fat — more on this shortly).  It also means that you will have to figure out where other sources of PSEUDO-ESTROGEN (including plant-based sources of Estrogen such as soy) are coming from.


  • WORK ON PHASE I & PHASE II DETOXIFICATION:  This one is huge, because it is how you are going to get this crap out of your system.  Unfortunately, it is the proverbial “Catch-22”.   Because Estrogen is stored in fatty tissue, getting rid of it can not only be time consuming, but can also require some weight loss — something that is itself difficult in people with Estrogen Dominance.   Since we have to start somewhere, let’s get this ball rolling by learning about the way that your body clears toxic substances.


Most doctors who hear the word “detoxification” mentioned, simply shrug their shoulders and roll their eyes.  “DETOX” is a term that can mean just about anything.  However, when you hear the terms “Detoxification” or “Purification” discussed by me,  we will almost always be talking about the normal functions of the kidneys (they filter toxins from the body and excrete them as urine), the bowel (the bowel helps to detoxify the body, excreting toxins as solid waste), and the liver. 

When we talk about detoxification and the liver, we will invariably see terms like Phase I, Phase II, and the P-450 Cytochrome System bantered about.  In order to understand the process (it is the exact same process used to clear drugs / medicine from your body), we are going to briefly discuss these subjects.

  • PHASE I describes your body’s ability to transform toxins to a form that can be pulled out of the fatty tissues they are stored in, and is considered to be your body’s first enzymatic defense against foreign chemicals.    Phase I reactions are primarily performed by via oxidation (oxygen) and the P450 Cytochrome Enzymes.  It is important to be aware that the ‘intermediate metabolites‘ created by Phase I can actually be more toxic to your system than when they were in storage.  This is why it is absolutely vital to have Phase II working properly.   When Phase I is not working properly, or if Phase I is cranked up while Phase II is suppressed, the result can be a wide range of serious diseases, including AUTOIMMUNITY, CANCER, and PARKINSON’S

  • PHASE II reactions attach or “conjugate” the toxins to various water-soluble compounds in order to increase their ability to be dissolved, which allows them to be voided easier.  This part of the equation is where the oxidized chemicals are combined with sulfur, specific amino acids, or organic acids, so that they can be excreted in the bile.  There are several different enzymes and slightly different metabolic pathways for accomplishing this that can and will become depleted without replenishing them via the diet.  Possibly the single most powerful antioxidant in the body — GLUTATHIONE — is critical for Phase II.  Note that Phase II can be inhibited by alcohol or drugs (prescription, OTC, or recreational) and, as you might guess from the second sentence in this bullet point, nutritional deficiencies (including  too little dietary protein) will shut this phase down cold.    When exposed to a heavy toxic load, Glutathoine and other similar substances can become rapidly depleted.  Oh; do not waste time on oral Glutathione supplements as it is rapidly degraded by the digestion process.
  • PHASE III is simply the process of your system actually removing / excreting the conjugated toxic chemicals from your body —- without reabsorbing them.  Be aware that this is virtually impossible without ample amounts of dietary fiber.   Also be aware that detoxing your system of years of toxicity can take some time.

The bottom line on Phase One detoxification is: you need it but you don’t want Phase One activity to exceed the ability of your liver’s Phase Two enzymes to finish the job, otherwise you’re in trouble.  When you oxidize BENZENE, you initially produce some very toxic Benzene-related substrates, which means your Phase II System had better be up and running full tilt, otherwise you could end up in worse shape than when you started. 

Having a toxic system can set you up for a whole host of health problems, including the dreaded MUPS, which experts claim, accounts for 40 – 50% of all doctor visits.  In order to achieve optimal health, we must be detoxing our system optimally — and constantly.  Although Phase I and II occur almost exclusively in the liver, I want to take just a moment to mention the importance of the bowel as far as detox is concerned.  Not only is dietary fiber important so that the toxins can be ‘bound’ to something in order to be carried out of the body as waste, but listen to what Dr. DeAnn J. Liska, the director of Nutrition Science for Kellogg, and faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine, says about the bowel’s potential effect on Phase I and II.

The first contact the body makes with the majority of xenobiotics [drugs] is the gastrointestinal tract. Over the course of a lifetime, the gastrointestinal tract processes more than 25 tons of food, which represents the largest load of antigens and xenobiotics confronting the human body.   The gastrointestinal tract influences detoxification in several other ways. Gut microflora can produce compounds that either induce or inhibit detoxification activities. Pathogenic bacteria can produce toxins that can enter circulation and increase toxic load.”  

Since, as we mentioned, most of the Phase I and II reactions occur in the liver, it would stand to reason that a healthy and properly functioning liver is critical to your overall health. This automatically presents us with a couple of serious problems.  If you count the people who are “SKINNY FAT“, nearly 4 out of 5 Americans are either overweight or outright OBESE.   Looking at the link will tell you that this is a big problem in and of itself.  However, when you begin to look at the specific effects of obesity on the liver itself, you realize just how big this issue really is.

One of the up-and-coming health problems facing our citizens today is something called Fatty Liver Disease.  Although it is estimated that nearly 100% of America’s 15 million alcoholics have Fatty Liver Disease (also called “Hepatic Steatosis”, alcohol is not the number one cause, nor the largest group of people with the problem.  By far, the biggest group of people suffering from Fatty Liver Disease (no pun intended) would be the portion of our society who are overweight.  This is why the majority of Fatty Liver Disease is actually referred to as Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.  And while the Mayo Clinic says that, “nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common and, for most people, causes no signs and symptoms and no complications,”  I’m simply not buying it — or at least buying all of it. 

As I showed you the other day, we have a massive segment of our people who are dealing with something called MUPS (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms).  Do you think that an inability to detox drugs and toxins could cause people problems?  Darn straight!  Failure to detox will cause serious and life-altering problems!  Just one category of these problems are those related to Estrogen Dominance.  In other words, fail to detox excess Estrogen (whether endogenous or exogenous) from your system, and you will end up with a serious HORMONAL TOXICITY, leading to the propensity to develop a host of female problems, as well as endocrine problems.

One of the health issues that has been intimately associated with both Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease is Inflammation.  In America, SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION is a nearly-universal problem, which the medical community has little to offer in the way of real solutions.  Sure; they have all sorts of things for the symptoms.  But if that’s all you are looking for, you may want to visit a different website.  The situation is so common that WebMD says that, “Up to 20% of adults may have either fatty liver or NASH [an inflamed liver — hepatitis]. And more than 6 million children have one of these conditions“. 

There is a way to determine just how high your level of Systemic Inflammation might be.  It’s an inexpensive blood test called CRP (C-Reactive Protein —- a protein found in the liver that is elevated in the presence of infections or numerous other health problems).  Is there any correlation between Inflammation (CRP) and Fatty Liver Disease?   Listen to the conclusions of a study published in the September 2007 issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Association Among C-Reactive Protein, Fatty Liver Disease, and Cardiovascular Risk), “CRP levels were associated with hepatic steatosis [Fatty Liver]“.  But common sense would likely have led us to this conclusion.



Medienservice – Bremen/Deutschland – Pixabay

As you are beginning to understand, a well-functioning and healthy liver is absolutely critical for those of you with any sort of female issue, or trouble LOSING WEIGHT.  Sure, you could take all sorts of iffy supplements, or purchase overpriced “cleanses” from your local health food store.  But why?  Especially when you can do much of this yourself.  Be aware that the veggies listed are better off eaten raw or lightly steamed.

  • CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES:  This class includes things like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.  This is the foundation of SP Greenfood.
  • PLENTY OF PROTEIN:  Two amino acids, cysteine and methionine, are high in sulfur and found in meat, fish, eggs, and chicken.  Another reason I am not keen on VEGAN DIETS
  • CITRUS FRUITS: Many liver detoxes have you drinking Green Tea with lemon juice.  Also the basis of one of my favorite Bowel Cleanses — the Master’s Cleanse.
  • CARROTS, BEETS, TOMATOES, SPINACH / GREEN LEAFIES:  Great to juice or eat as a healthy snackBeets (raw, not pickled) are a “Super Food” for liver / gall bladder issues.
  • ONIONS / GARLIC:  These plants are heavy on the sulfur.
  • MILK THISTLE / SILYMARIN:  This is the number one herb for detoxing and healing the liver.
  • VARIOUS HERBS OR SUPPLEMENTS:  Curcumin, Ashwagandha, Dandelion, Green Tea, PROBIOTICS for the bowel, PGFO for Inflammation, and several others.
  • LOTS OF FIBER:  The truth is, you can do everything else correctly; but if you are not getting plenty of fiber (the RIGHT KIND) into your system to bind up the toxins that have been excreted out of your cells and blood stream, you will reabsorb them before they can be excreted from your body (Phase III).

This list is in no ways definitive, and there are several products in the Standard Process Line (including their Purification System — SP COMPLETE with SP Green-Food) that are wonderful for aiding the process.  However, nothing, and I do mean nothing, takes the place of a healthy diet.  While you are at it, start exercising.  EXERCISE is good for everything, including detoxification / purification.  And if you would give up the tobacco, drink no more than a little bit here or there, and stop taking so dad-blamed many drugs,  you would help yourself by taking toxic pressure off of your liver.


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