What is Estrogen Dominance?

Most people think that as we get older our estrogen levels decline, and that is the start of our menopausal years. It's actually very common for women to experience abnormally high estrogen levels during the premenopausal years, as well as earlier in life. Dr. John Lee, M.D. has done extensive research into this phenomenon. His belief is that excess estrogen, coupled with a deficiency of progesterone (the counter hormone to estrogen) is the common denominator for a lot of female hormone problems. Dr. Lee has pioneered the use of natural progesterone as an aid to dealing with this syndrome.

Estrogen dominance can start early on in a woman's menstrual cycle. Young women who suffer from this may have difficult or irregular periods and doctors sometimes give these teenage girls birth control pills to help regulate the frequency and severity of their periods.

Some women will develop the estrogen dominance syndrome later in life, sometimes as a result of diet, liver impairment, environmental factors or as a result of annovulatory cycles (menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred). Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.

Diseases and problems that are thought to be related to or affected by excess estrogen and deficient progesterone in women are:

  • Weight gain
  • Fibrocystic breasts (lumpy and sore breasts)
  • PMS
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual disturbances (irregular and heavy bleeding)
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Allergies
  • Memory loss and foggy thinking
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression
  • Infertility and miscarriages
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Acceleration of aging
  • Increased risk of breast cancer and stoke

The following contributes to estrogen dominance:

  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Menopause hormone levels change
  • Premenopause and lack of ovulation
  • Hysterectomy and/or removal or dysfunction of the ovaries
  • Post menopause (especially in women who are over weight)
  • Exposure to xenoestrogens (eg. plastics, chemicals)
  • Certain lifestyle choices and conditions can also contribute to estrogen dominance syndrome, especially a low-fiber diet, overloading the liver and toxins from the environment, and stress.
  • Phytoestrogens (Click here to read about it)

Low-Fiber Diet:

A low-fiber diet causes estrogen levels to be higher, while a diet high in fiber results in decreased estrogen levels in the bloodstream. Excess estrogen is excreted in the bowel - when stool remains in the bowel for a longer time, the estrogen is reabsorbed in the bloodstream. Eating a diet high in fiber helps excrete the excess estrogen.

Overloading the Liver:

The liver is a filter - it detoxifies our body, protecting us from the harmful effects of chemicals, elements in food, environmental toxins, and even natural products of our metabolism, including excess estrogen. Anything that impairs liver function or ties up the detoxifying function will result in excess estrogen levels. Estrogen is produced not only internally, but also produced in reaction to chemicals and other substances in our food. When it is not broken down adequately, higher levels of estrogen build up. This is true for both men and women, although the effects are more easily recognized in women. Taking a liver cleansing formulation (would typically include herbs like milk thistle, dandelion and other liver cleansing herbs) will help your liver filter out the estrogen and toxins more efficiently.


Too much stress, resulting in excess amounts of cortisol, insulin and nor epinephrine, can lead to adrenal exhaustion and can adversely effect overall hormonal balance.

Medical Help:

If you suffer from some of the problems mentioned earlier, and think you have estrogen dominance, you now know what the key factors are to help you overcome this syndrome: 2% topical progesterone cream, eat more fiber, take a liver protecting supplement and do whatever you can to reduce your stress level everyday. It is important to note that you may want to consult with an innovative physician who recognizes the syndrome of estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is not a standard medical diagnosis but is known more in the alternative-minded physician community. It's unfortunate, but most medical doctors only endorse pharmaceutical drugs, not natural products, because they did not study natural medicine.


Women throughout the world are becoming better acquainted with the health benefits of progesterone. Natural progesterone reduces the symptoms and discomfort of premenopause and menopause symptoms without the unhealthy side effects of synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. John Lee's best selling books (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause; What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause; What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer) lists the following benefits of natural progesterone:

  • Stimulates osteoblast bone building
  • Restores sex drive
  • Protects against fibrocystic breasts
  • Natural antidepressant
  • Facilitates thyroid hormone action
  • Normalizes blood sugar levels
  • Normalizes zinc and copper levels
  • Helps prevent breast cancer
  • Helps prevent uterine cancer
  • Helps prevent endometrial cancer
  • Helps uses fat for energy
  • Improves sleep patterns
  • Normalizes blood clotting
  • Restores proper oxygen to the cells
  • Natural diuretic
  • Elimination of depression after child birth