3 Hidden Causes of Oestrogen Dominance in Perimenopause

Hormone balance, Oestrogen

The Ultimate Guide to Thriving in the Menopause

 

Are you eating broccoli until you turn green, taking agnus castus, and eliminating every bit of plastic from your life, but still experiencing heavy periods, mood swings, and breast tenderness? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many women over 40 struggle with hormonal imbalances, particularly oestrogen dominance, despite their best efforts. In this blog post, we’ll explore 3 hidden causes of oestrogen dominance in perimenopause and offer practical solutions to help you regain balance.

 

 

Hidden Cause #1: Copper Toxicity

Understanding Copper Toxicity

Copper and oestrogen have a bi-directional relationship. Excess copper can cause oestrogen dominance, and oestrogen dominance can cause the body to retain copper. This interplay can lead to a host of physical and neurological symptoms that resemble hormone imbalance.

Common Sources of Copper Toxicity

  • Oral contraceptives and xenoestrogens
  • Copper IUDs
  • Progestin exposure (synthetic progesterone)
  • Copper pipes and cookware
  • Vegan and vegetarian diets (often low in zinc, high in copper)
  • Liver and gall bladder weakness
  • Chronic stress
  • Copper sulfate in organic farming and swimming pool cleaning

 

Hidden Cause #2: High Androgen Levels and Aromatase Activity

The Role of Androgens

Androgens are male hormones that women produce in small amounts. High androgen levels can be converted into oestrogen through a process called aromatization, potentially leading to oestrogen dominance.

Factors Influencing Androgen and Aromatase Levels

  • PCOS and insulin resistance: Conditions that can elevate androgen levels.
  • Inflammation and excess cortisol: Can increase aromatase activity.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Particularly zinc deficiency, which can be tied to copper toxicity.

 

Hidden Cause #3: Weight and Toxins

Body Fat and Hormonal Health

More body fat means more aromatase enzymes, which can lead to excess oestrogen levels. Additionally, toxins can mimic oestrogen and certain toxins get stored in fat cells, which the body responds to by making more fat cells.  Both of which add to oestrogen dominance.

Sources of Toxin Exposure

  • Food and water: Processed foods and unfiltered water.
  • Beauty products and medications: Often contain harmful chemicals.
  • Environmental factors: Work and living environments.

Heavy Metals and Estrogen Mimicry

Heavy metals like aluminium, mercury, cadmium, and lead can mimic oestrogen in the body, further contributing to estrogen dominance.

 

The Role of Testing

I use two types of tests to assess all of the above causes:

  1. Dutch Hormone Panel: This test looks at hormone levels and their metabolites, which indicates how well your body is using and clearing these hormones.
  2. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA): This test assesses mineral levels and heavy metal toxicities.

 

Practical Solutions to Oestrogen Dominance in Perimenopause

While the information may feel overwhelming, focusing on reducing stress and inflammation, improving gut health, and maintaining good metabolic health can make a significant difference. Start with the foundational pieces—my free guide “Thriving in Your 40s and Beyond” will help you do exactly that.