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By. Dr. Chantell Groenewald

M. Tech Hom UJ

Is your oestrogen dominance the reason why your are struggling to lose weight?

What is oestrogen dominance?

We have two hormones that play a key role in preparing our uterine lining for pregnancy each month, oestrogen and progesterone. This is however not their only function and both hormones play a major role in many of our bodily functions, including but not limited to weight loss, libido and mental health. There should be a balance between the amount of oestrogen versus progesterone secreted, with anything between a 100 – 500 ratio being normal. Anything lower than 100 is seen as oestrogen dominance.

What are the signs and symptoms of oestrogen dominance?

1. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight

2. Difficulty conceiving (especially in the presence of low progesterone)

3. Headaches and migraines

4. Excessive PMS symptoms

5. Bloating of the stomach

6. Hair loss

7. Anxiety and depression

8. Decreased libido and sex drive

9. Fatigue and decreased energy

10. Insomnia

Higher than normal oestrogen levels (or rather an abnormal normal oestrogen versus progesterone ratio) can occur due to three mechanisms:

1. Excessive production of oestrogen in the body:

This can happen when you are overweight. Fat cells not only store fat but also acts as an endocrine gland secreting oestrogen, further exacerbating oestrogen dominance and further weight gain,

2. Activation of oestrogen receptors from exogenous oestrogen such as xenoestrogens:

Xenoestrogens are bad oestrogen found from sources outside our bodies in products such as cosmetics, plastic bottles, pesticides etc, and

3. Lower than normal levels of progesterone:

DHEA is the building block for cortisol as well as progesterone, during periods of stress our bodies favour the production of cortisol, which is OK if it is only for short periods of time, but this becomes a major issue when we suffer from chronic low level stress.

Why do we need adequate progesterone levels and normal oestrogen versus progesterone ratio’s? Well, progesterone counters all the nasty side effects of too much oestrogen and is responsible for:

1. Boosting body temperature and metabolism

2. Promotes healthy libido and sex drive

3. Promotes healthy thyroid functioning

4. Lowers blood pressure

5. Has a calming effects on the brain and acts as a natural antidepressant

6. Boosts immune system

7. Retains bone density

8. Maintains healthy uterine lining for pregnancy

9. Natural diuretic

10. Helps promote healthy insulin levels.

Weight loss efforts are often futile if you suffer from oestrogen dominance. Testing your oestrogen versus progesterone ratio is as easy as having a blood test done for serum oestrogen and progesterone levels during two key phases of your cycle. Correcting oestrogen dominance helps us feel happier, healthier and assists in long term and permanent weight loss.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at The Naturopathic Health Care Centre.

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