Estrogen Dominance

Adenomyosis is known to be an estrogen-dependent disorder. Estrogen dominance has been suspected to be an aggravating factor in the development of this disorder.

Estrogen dominance is a condition where the progesterone to estrogen ratio is too low. In other words, there is not enough progesterone present to counter the effects of estrogen.

The following are some causes of estrogen dominance:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Anovulation
  • Exposure to xenoestrogens
  • Impaired immune system
  • Lack of exercise
  • Luteal insufficiency
  • Medications
  • Pre-menopause and menopause
  • Obesity
  • Ovarian tumors
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Poor diet
  • Stress
  • Thyroid disorders

Xenoestrogens are chemicals in the environment that can act like estrogen in a woman’s body, and these chemicals contribute to estrogen dominance. According to Kerdivel et al. (2013, Introduction section, para. 1), xenoestrogens (also known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs) are defined as “exogenous compounds that interfere with the signaling pathways of endogenous hormones at the level of their synthesis, storage, metabolism, transport, elimination, and binding to their specific receptors.”

Some of the common sources of xenoestrogens include:

  • Food processing
  • Cosmetics
  • Plastics
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Electrical systems
  • Heavy metals
  • Petroleum products
  • Cigarettes
  • Pharmaceuticals such as birth control pills

In adenomyosis patients, it is highly advisable to reduce or eliminate exposure to xenoestrogens as much as possible. The following list contains examples of specific xenoestrogens that should be avoided as much as possible (understanding, however, that it is impossible to completely eliminate them as some are present in our environment):

  • 4-methylbenzylidine camphor (4-MBC)
  • Alkyl phenols (nonylphenols)
  • Atrazine
  • Benzophenone
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Butylated hydroxy anisole (BHA)
  • Dichlorobenzene
  • Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)
  • Dieldrin
  • Endosulfan
  • Erythrosine (FD&C Red #3)
  • Ethinyl estradiol
  • Hepatachlor
  • Gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (Lindane)
  • Metalloestrogens
  • Methoxychlor
  • Parabens
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Phenosulfopthalein (Phenol red)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Propyl gallate
  • Phthalates
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  • Triclosan

Many of the above chemicals are found in things like herbicides, pesticides, and petroleum products. It is impossible to completely eliminate exposure to some of these chemicals as you are exposed to them as soon as you walk out your front door. However, xenoestrogens such as phthalates and parabens are commonly found in cosmetic products, and you can reduce your exposure to them by searching out and using products without these chemicals in them. For example, instead of using everyday cosmetics found in pharmacies, look into IT® cosmetics, Bare Minerals®, or Thrive Causemetics®. Do your research. There are many ways to reduce exposure to these dangerous chemicals.