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Symptoms of Excessive Estrogen

Updated on December 20, 2010

Estrogen is an important hormone that helps regulate reproductive health, maintain healthy skin, hair, and bones, and many other functions. However, excessive levels of estrogen, also known as "estrogen dominance," are associated with many health problems in both women and men, including PMS and other menstrual problems, breast cancer, and many other problems.

Symptoms of Excessive Estrogen in Women

Women are the most common sufferers of estrogen dominance. Symptoms range from mildly annoying to life-threatening.

Obesity is a common cause and symptom of estrogen dominance. Photo by colros.
Obesity is a common cause and symptom of estrogen dominance. Photo by colros.
  • Dry skin
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Tender breasts
  • Low libido
  • Water retention/bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia and restless sleep
  • Memory Loss and "fuzzy thinking"
  • Irritability
  • Early puberty/late menopause
  • Irregular or absent periods (amenorrhea)
  • Unusually heavy or long lasting periods (menorrhagia)
  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
  • PMS
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Cyclical migraine headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Low thyroid symptoms
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Breast cancer

Estrogen dominance can have a number of causes in women. Several of the most common include:

  • insufficient levels of the hormone progesterone
  • exposure to xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy or birth control pills

However, estrogen dominance can also be caused by some serious medical conditions, so it's important to consult with your doctor if you believe you may have it.

Estrogen dominance is also commonly associated with obesity, because estrogen is produced by fat cells, and alcoholism, because estrogen levels are regulated by the liver, so reduced liver functioning reduces the body's ability to maintain proper hormone balance. In fact, even one glass of alcohol a day can raise estrogen levels.

If you could fit one of these, you might be suffering from estrogen dominance. Scanned by AZAdams.
If you could fit one of these, you might be suffering from estrogen dominance. Scanned by AZAdams.

Symptoms of Excessive Estrogen in Men

Although estrogen dominance is more common in women than men, it sometimes affects men as well. Common symptoms include:

  • Prostate problems
  • Breast development ("man boobs," or gynecomastia)
  • Impotency
  • Weight gain
  • Low sex drive

Estrogen dominance in men is usually caused by xenoestrogens but may be caused by more serious conditions, including pituitary diseases and testicular tumors. As with women, It is also a common side effect of obesity and alcoholism. Consult your physician if you experience any of the above symptoms.


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