A common occurrence in perimenopause, the years before menopause (average age of menopause is 51), even as early as your mid 30s, the ovaries produce too little progesterone, while continuing to produce plenty of estrogen. This is Estrogen Dominance, an imbalance where estrogen is in much higher proportion than progesterone. This can cause problems with irregular and heavy periods, as well as weight gain, trouble sleeping, low sex drive, moodiness, breast tenderness, even hot flashes.
You don’t have to be perimenopausal to have Estrogen Dominance. It can be caused by poor diet and obesity, environmental exposures, or stress. When you are stressed the body can “steal” progesterone to turn it into cortisol, one of your stress hormones. Estrogen Dominance is also common in women with PCOS. These imbalances in your hormones can also affect your thyroid, and worsen insulin resistance (which causes Type 2 Diabetes) and worsen your cholesterol.
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