A month ago, I took an at home stress and hormone test and sent it in for results. You take samples of your saliva throughout the day at very specific times, and they process your results from the data.
I got my results back a couple weeks ago, and a few things on the results were quite alarming. I keep going back to my results, looking at them, and then diving in on Google, looking for answers and information.
- I have an estrogen/progesterone imbalance, which is indicative of Estrogen Dominance
- I have incredibly high DHEA levels, like off the charts high, and I don’t even know what to look for here.
Progesterone to estradiol (Pg/E2) ratio and reported symptoms are consistent with estrogen dominance.
Note: The laboratory test system does not measure the progestin associated with the Mirena IUD.
The high DHEA and testosterone are suggestive of PCOS or metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance),
although exogenous exposure cannot be excluded. Serum vitamin D, fasting glucose and insulin testing
may be warranted.
AM cortisol level appears adequate, although reported symptoms are consistent with adrenal gland
I have a Mirena IUD, so they’re not sure how that might be swaying the results. But I have run into the term Estrogen Dominance before. I must have missed this part in my reading, and skipped right to the high DHEA part. I’ve been searching high and low for answers, but most of the results are about low DHEA, and how it relates to stress. High DHEA is hard to find information about, and most people who take performance enhancing drugs have high DHEA. I don’t take anything performance-enhancing. I’m lucky if I can function in a way that passes for mostly adequate most days.
I also have high testosterone.. I am attributing this to weightlifting and CrossFit, and I’m not so concerned about this one.
I tried looking up PCOS, as well as metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, and I highly doubt I am pre-diabetic. The symptoms I have found don’t add up, although the excess weight around my mid section are indicative of this, as well as symptoms of high cortisol levels. However, when I read things like:
The insulin resistant condition is rooted in the metabolic effects of a high carb diet in combination with a lack of exercise. Weight gain is a symptom of insulin resistance, rather than a cause. Carbohydrates are foods which contain either some form of sugar or starch, or both.
It doesn’t make sense. I don’t have a lack of exercise, and I am pretty good about my diet right now. I’m appalled by added sugar in foods, and try to avoid it whenever possible. So… I’d like to move on beyond that.
I keep going back to high DHEA. And then I finally re-read the results and saw Estrogen Dominance again. What does this mean?
And thanks to Dr. Lam for this information..
Here are some typical complaints from patients having estrogen dominance:
My breasts are swollen and getting bigger.
I can’t put my rings on my fingers.
I am more impatient now than ever.
People tell me I am too bossy.
I am getting cramps again like when I was younger.
I no longer get my period.
I miss my periods regularly.
My periods come irregularly.
I get scared when I see large clots during my period.
I have Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).
When I get a hug, my breasts hurt.
I have fibroids.
I have endometriosis.
I cannot fit into my shoes.
I have a cyst in my breast.
I feel tired all the time.
and I also found these symptoms on another site..
decreased sex drive
cold hands or feet
feeling tired or lacking energy
So yes… Maybe? Sounds like it could be? I found another piece of information relating to the reasons behind why I may have this Estrogen Dominance thing. Xenoestrogens.
Sounds super sketchy and like I’m pulling shit off the internet. Well, yes.
Xenoestrogens are quite simply, environmental estrogens, usually from toxins such as pesticides.
And now, a list of several common reasons that create or produce these xenoestrogens.
- Things such as Commercially raised meats such as beef and poultry. Have I been eating organic meat lately? Nope. I completely fell off the organic meat bandwagon, and now I’m pissed about it. Not only am I supporting the commercial farming industry all over again (except for pork, I still won’t eat it..) but now it could be affecting my health on a grand scale.. I’m pissed.
- Commercially grown produce. Again, that shit’s covered in pesticides. Billions of pounds of pesticides are used on our fruits and vegetables every year. This is awesome.
- Petrochemical compounds and Industrial Solvents. What are these? Creams, lotions, soaps, car exhaust, almost all plastics, glues, nail polish, paint removers. Adhesives. Lawn spray and herbicide treatments, fertilizers. Cleaning products. Well this fucking sucks because I work in the graphic design and print industry. We print shit and make murals and decals for a fucking living. Using solvent inks and vinyl, with adhesives. Not much I can do about this unless I tell Dave adios and abandon ship. Not likely.
- Hormone Replacement Therapies.. These don’t apply to me but it’s relevant to note. HRT without progesterone added in (to help balance the estrogen) can be detrimental to a woman’s health and well being!
- Stress. Stress causes adrenal gland overload, as well as reduced progesterone production and output. This tilts the estrogen to progesterone ratios in favor of estrogen. Excessive estrogen in turn causes insomnia and anxiety, which further taxes the adrenal glands. This leads to a further reduction in progesterone output and even more estrogen dominance. After a few years in this type of vicious cycle, the adrenal glands become exhausted. This dysfunction leads to blood sugar imbalance, hormonal imbalances, and chronic fatigue. (taken from Dr. Lam’s site, as linked above)
- Obesity! Technically, I am obese. By the USDA’s standards, I am obese. I do CrossFit, I eat well, I attempt to take care of myself, but I am still fat, and I am still considered obese. So great. Almost 5 years of trying to be better, and it’s a constant uphill battle.
- Deficiency of B6 and Magnesium. Apparently both are necessary for the neutralization of estrogen in the liver. It’s worth noting that I stopped taking almost all of my supplements over the last several months because.. I was fine. I felt great. Well, lesson learned. When you feel great, keep doing what you’ve been doing. I started back up on my supplements last week, and hopefully my stores are being built back up.
- Increase in coffee or caffeine consumption. I am pretty set on my 3 cups of coffee a day, and this list references excess of 4-5 cups a day.
Working on all these things, particularly the weight loss, but this all seems so counter productive. I keep going in circles. I want to lose weight so I exercise more which increases cortisol which exhausts my adrenal glands, and then I’m sore as shit because my muscles aren’t recovering fast enough so then I can’t work out, and then I get moody, because I’m not exercising as frequently as I should be.. and.. yeah. What the fuck.
So what am I doing today? I am going to the store, and I am stocking up once again on good, healthy foods. I am revitalizing my faith in organic meats and veggies. I’m coming home and doing food prep for the week with food that we can both eat. I’m once again, cutting out the starches and carbs that have crept back into my daily routine. It’s going to suck, but I’m hoping to be a better living example of practicing what I preach.
I need to stop worrying about losing strength, and instead shift my focus on fixing my health and eliminating some of these toxins from my diet. Whether my issue really is estrogen dominance or something else, switching back to a more strict Paleo/keto diet will if nothing else, improve my overall well being. Having more concrete reasons and answers only helps to fuel my fire and determination. Wish me luck.