Category Archives: Hormonal Imbalance

5 Estrogen Sources and Breast Cancer Risk

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Women exercise-in-the-1950s-493921-mHave you ever wondered if “Estrogen” was an issue that these energetic women thought or talked about back then?

Estrogen is a steroid hormone, made from cholesterol, occurring in both women and men. It plays a major role in the growth and development of sex organs and reproductive tissues. Conversely, too much estrogen can do other things; among them is an increased risk of cancer.

Because estrogen contributes to breast cancer, today let me direct your attention to eliminate over-stuffed estrogen from your daily life.

There are five major sources of “Uninvited Estrogen”: foods, physical inactivity, obesity, environmental toxins, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Let’s go over them one by one.

1.      Poor diet and unhealthy foods

Without doubt, synthetic hormone-containing foods are available everywhere. For example, a lot of beef and dairy products are pumped up with synthetic growth hormones, which can interrupt your hormonal balance if you often consume them. Excess carbohydrates from refined foods and sugars are normally not needed for energy, so if you eat a lot, they will be stored as fat in your body. Read on to find out what happens next.

 2.      Lack of exercise

Living a sedentary lifestyle is closely associated with obesity and hormonal imbalance. Scientific research shows that exercise can regulate the balance of estrogen. So lack of exercise can cause estrogen accumulation in the body.

 3.      Obesity

Being overweight is a significant lifestyle factor related to cancer risk. Obesity is linked to breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and other cancers. Think about this. The fatty tissue is one of factories for estrogen production in the body. Here is the process:

Testosterone    via aromatase in fatty tissue —->  Estrogen

By this conversion, fatty tissue raises your estrogen levels. Research indicates that in post-menopausal women, obese individuals tend to have higher estrogen levels than their lean counterparts, and obesity is a risk factor for their development of estrogen-driven breast cancer.

4.      Environmental toxins

Xenoestrogens, you can call it “fake estrogens” or man-made toxins, are a group of chemicals present in the environment and our everyday products. They mimic the effects of estrogen in your body. When excessive estrogen is accumulated, as a result of the combination of these toxins sneaked into your body with those naturally produced by your body, normal hormone functions are compromised.

Xenoestrogens are often present in

  •       household cleaners.
  •       household plastics products (e.g. plastic containers and bottles)
  •       personal care products (e.g., nail polish and nail removers)
  •       pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides
  •       industrial pollutants.

 5.      Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills

Estrogen and progesterone are naturally occurring hormones. Although women (under 60 years old) can benefit from HRT for menopause related symptoms, clinical studies also reveal that HRT poses higher risks for breast cancer, cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Likewise, synthetic hormones such as estrogen are used in birth control pills. Research shows that the earlier a girl begins to use contraceptives, the greater her risk of breast cancer is.

In essence, over-loaded estrogen in your body may come from the food you eat, the amount of exercise you get, the weight you carry, the place you live and work, and possibly the drugs you take. Elevated estrogen is linked to breast cancer and other cancers. Furthermore, the worst is the harmful impact on the next generations, because their exposure during early life leads to their illness in later life.

 

Image credit:  by hortongrou

3 Aspects of Hormonal Imbalance You Need to Know

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Hormonal imbalance is defined when chemical messengers regulating our body’s systems are no longer functioning properly. The imbalance can be an overproduction or an underproduction of specific hormones. Estrogen is the primary hormone in these changes.

Today, I’d like to help you understand the danger when hormone imbalance is left unaddressed or untreated.

What can cause hormonal imbalance? 

Hormone balance is closely connected to the food we eat, the exercise we get, the weight we carry, the stress we bear, and the toxins we absorb. Therefore, many factors can impact the overall hormonal balance, including:

1. Aging
Advanced age itself is a common cause of hormonal imbalance in both men and women.

2. Poor diet 
Excess carbohydrates (especially from refined foods and sugars) that are not needed for energy are stored as fat in the body. Increased body fat elevates estrogen levels and increased estrogen levels bring about estrogen dominance, which leads to increased risks for breast cancer. Hormonal balance can also be interrupted by the consumption of beef and dairy products that are pumped up with synthetic growth hormones.

3. Lack of exercise
Physical inactivity, living a sedentary lifestyle contributes to obesity and hormonal imbalance.

4. Obesity
Fatty tissue converts testosterone into estrogens using an enzyme called aromatase; thereby raising estrogen levels. As research shows, obese postmenopausal women tend to have higher estrogen levels than those lean women.

5. Stress
The misconception is that mid-life women and teens have hormonal imbalance along with their emotional or life crisis. The truth is that both men and women experience stress, at least to various degrees, due to the demand of modern society and challenging economy. Although most hormone production is taken over by the adrenal glands during one’s mid-life, constant or chronic stress can reduce progesterone levels or result in adrenal exhaustion, subsequently hormonal imbalance.

6. Environmental toxins
Xenoestrogens are a group of chemicals present in the environment and our everyday products. They mimic the effects of estrogen in your body. Excessive estrogen accumulated as a result of the combination of these foreign, man-made toxins with those naturally produced by the body, leading to compromised hormone functions.
Xenoestrogens are found in
-          household cleaners. Chlorine and its by-products are a major source, which points to why it’s critically important to drink filtered water and use chemical-free cleaning products!
-          household plastics products (e.g. plastic containers and bottles)
-          personal care products (e.g., nail polish and nail removers)
-          pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides
-          industrial pollutants.

7. Birth control pills
Synthetic hormones are used in birth control pills. Research showed that the earlier a girl begins to use contraceptives, the greater her risk of breast cancer is.

8. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Women (under 60 years old and within ten years of menopause) can benefit from HRT with much less risk. However, clinical studies also reveal that HRT poses higher risks for breast cancer, cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Moreover, women who have used estrogen for seven years or longer are 14 times more likely to develop cancer.

What can hormonal imbalance lead to?

Hormonal imbalance causes a woman’s infertility. However, other serious medical consequences include:
-          approximately 6,000 endocrine disorders
-          osteoporosis
-          heart Disease
-          Because excess estrogens may act as initiators or promoters of cancer cell growth, hormonal imbalance can lead to cancer.

What can you do to prevent or control hormonal imbalance?

1.      Consult with your doctor on issues such as testing your hormone levels, hormone replacement therapy and using birth control pills, to ensure a proper treatment.
2.      Choose hormone-free meat and dairy products over farmed or estrogen-pumped varieties.
3.      Drink filtered water, which is more important than ever.
4.      Go for chemical-free cleaning. Avoid using household products containing chlorine or chlorine by-product such as dioxin.
5.      Wash  produce thoroughly; be aware of those possibly sprayed with pesticides.
6.      Limit the use of solvents like nail polish, nail polish-remover, and petrochemical-containing cosmetics (i.e. petro-based stuff is what you put in your car).
7.      Recycle hazardous wastes from electronic, plastic and paper products to protect environment.
8.      Reduce stress by positive outlook, relaxing techniques, and enough sleep with a consistent sleeping pattern.

The bottom line: your body has been attacked by harmful chemicals and stressors in everyday life. It is vital to maintain a delicate hormonal balance and strengthen the immune system, for both saving your life and long-term health.