A majority of women over the age of 35 will experience the effects of abnormally high hormone levels. However, the symptoms of high hormone levels vary dramatically and women who experience them sometimes mistake them for signs of menstruation or aging.
A disconcerting truth is the serious health-related symptoms caused by high hormone levels. For this reason, it is important for any woman experiencing these symptoms to consult with her doctor to determine their cause.
Causes for High Hormone Levels
One of the most common manifestations of high hormone levels is estrogen dominance. This occurs when the body has an excess of estrogen hormones and a deficiency of progesterone hormones. Common symptoms of an abnormally high level of estrogen include: mood swings, depression, and bloating.
What Causes Hormonal Dominance?
Dominance of estrogen can start early on in a women's menstrual cycle. Young women that first enter menarche (the first menstrual period, or first menstrual bleeding) may also suffer tremendously with difficult periods.
Additionally, estrogen dominance can be the result of anovulatory cycles before menopause. Anovulatory cycles are menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred. During this time, a special gland called corpus luteum forms on the surface of the ovary at the site of ovulation. This gland produces progesterone that remains for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.
Other Causes of High Hormonal Levels
Exposure to Xenoestrogen
Compounds containing this petrochemical have a chemical structure similar to estrogen and are found in consumer products such as creams, soaps, shampoos, and lotions. Furthermore, adhesives found in paint removers, nail polish, and glues along with car exhaust, petrochemically derived pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and solvents are all sources of xenoestrogen.
Commercially Raised Cattle and Poultry
Commercially raised animals are fed estrogen-like growth hormones that can lead to high levels of hormones. People that consume these animal products may sometimes have the hormones passed on to them.
Commercially Grown Fruits and Vegetables Containing Pesticides
Pesticides from fruits and vegetables can have adverse effects on hormone balance. This is because pesticide residues have chemical structures that are similar to estrogen, which are then passed on to humans.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Estrogen only HRT, which is given without sufficient opposing progesterone, increases the level of hormones in the body. Women who receive HRT commonly use patented drugs that are chemically different from natural hormones and can have adverse effects on the system.
- Obesity. A higher fat intake results in a higher conversion of fat to estrogen and often leads to high hormone levels.
- Stress. Stress causes adrenal gland fatigue and reduces progesterone output. Lower progesterone often results in excessive estrogen being produced.
- Deficiency of vitamin B6 and magnesium. Too much of one hormone can create a deficiency of zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins. These all play an important role in hormonal balance.
After high hormone levels have been fully understood, it is time to learn the most common symptoms women may experience when dealing with hormonal imbalance. Continue reading to learn about the symptoms of high hormone levels.