That’s right. Estrogen dominance is not just a “woman thing.” In fact, estrogen dominance—having too much estrogen in the body compared to other hormones—can affect men, women and children to some degree because there are so many xenohormones, or xenoestrogens, in our environment.
Xenoestrogens are a category of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) that are industrially made from chemicals which disrupt our bodies’ endocrine, hormone-producing organs. When xenoestrogens enter the body, they attach themselves to our cells’ receptors and take over the function of our bodies’ natural estrogen, which controls proper growth and development. Xenoestrogens are everywhere around us, too, so it’s difficult to escape their effects. For instance, some of the top sources of xenoestrogens include:
- anything with insecticide or pesticide residues, which includes conventionally grown food—grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, veggies and more. Instead, eat local organic foods.
- tap water, which contains petroleum derivatives—primary sources of xenoestrogens. Drink pure, filtered water.
- conventional personal care items—shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps, cosmetics, toothpastes—and even dryer sheets. Go organic with your personal care and laundry products.
- commercially raised meat and dairy, since they are routinely filled with bovine growth hormones and deliver large amounts of xenoestrogens. Go grassfed, organic instead.
- foods with soy and soy isolates, since they have unusually high amounts of plant estrogens—and usually a lot of toxins, including GMOs, etc., from conventional growing. Choose fermented, organic soy such as miso or kimchi instead.
- soft plastics, plastic wraps and styrofoam cups with phthalates. In fact, plastic-wrapped foods heated in the microwave have some of the highest xenoestrogen levels. Use glass to store your food, and heat your food in glass containers in the oven.
- artificial food additives, including sweeteners and MSG. At least 31 additives have potential estrogenic effects. Again, opt for organic and fresh, as canned foods can contain BPA, a xenoestrogen, in the can lining.
Some of the fallout from xenoestrogen overexposure can lead to estrogen dominance, which can be accompanied by these effects: accelerated aging; premenopausal symptoms; insomnia; arthritis; allergies, hives, sinus congestion and more; dry eyes; obesity; thyroid disruption; adult-onset type 2 diabetes; heart disease; osteoporosis; fatigue; sluggish metabolism; headaches and migraines; depression with anxiety; hair loss; autoimmune disorders; increased reproductive-site cancers, including breast, uterine and ovarian; decreased fertility in both men and women; endometriosis; uterine fibroids; foggy thinking; increased prostate cancer incidence and more.
To avoid estrogen dominance, stay away from xenoestrogen sources, eat an organic diet, use organic personal care products and drink at least eight glasses of pure water daily. Likewise, it’s important to keep at a healthy weight, to get enough healthy fiber in your diet (to help eliminate excess estrogen) and to exercise at least five times weekly for 30 to 40 minutes each time.
Don’t let estrogen dominance dominate you and your health.