When it comes to a woman’s health, balance is critical. More specifically, hormone balance is the key to keep everything functioning the way it should inside your body. When a woman’s hormones “get out of whack” or become imbalanced, there are a number of consequences that can occur.
Many women, whether you experience PMS or menopause, have suffered the more temporary symptoms of hormonal imbalance. These can include disruptive side effects such as:
- Hot Flashes/Night Sweats
- Foggy Thinking
- Low Libido
- Mid-section Weight Gain
The More Serious Threat of Hormonal Imbalance
While the above list of symptoms is certainly not welcome in any woman’s life, the more serious risk of leaving your hormones unbalanced is breast cancer. Estrogen dominance is the most common form of systemic hormonal imbalance that can increase your chances of breast cancer. Estrogen dominance is just like it sounds – too much estrogen in the body combined with too little progesterone.
What Keeps Women Balanced
As mentioned before, sometimes your hormones temporarily shift, such as when you are about to start your period or when you become pregnant. Other times, the balance is due to poor nutrition, excessive stress or toxic influences.
Are You At Risk?
Physicians can’t always predict estrogen dominance. However, there are certain risk factors that have been discovered. Estrogen dominance is more likely to develop women who:
- Use synthetic hormone replacement therapy or taking birth control pills
- Are premenopausal but not ovulating
- Are exposed to “xenoestrogens” (environmental toxins)
- Have had a hysterectomy (partial or full)
- Are overweight (extra fat cells produce extra estrogen)
Can’t identify with the above risk factors? You are still not out of the woods. There are also certain lifestyle habits that can lead to hormonal imbalance, including:
- Diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat
- Lack of exercise
See Your Gynecologist at First Signs of Estrogen Dominance
To ensure you are reducing your risk for breast cancer, it is important that you recognize and report any signs of estrogen dominance. Breast tenderness, weight gain in the hips/waist, decreased sex drive, mood disturbances, thyroid dysfunction, irregular cycles and fibroids are just some of the warning signs that your body is producing too much estrogen and too little progesterone.
Call North Pointe OB/GYN today. We value the importance of a balanced female body – for your health and your quality of life!