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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Possible estrogen dominance? Symptoms fit

 dayandage - Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:27 pm

the way this came about is actually kind of silly. i've been blessed with very full lips. one of my friends made the comment that women with naturally fuller lips have more estrogen. being inquisitive as they come, i entertained this theory and actually google it. well, i didn't actually find out if it was true or not but i did stumble upon a few pages regarding 'estrogen dominance' and excessive estrogen. for the past eight months of so i've been having great difficulty with my periods and the symptoms of excessive estrogen actually fit!

about a week or so before my period...
WATER RETENTION - My body retains water like no other. My entire body swells, particularly my extremities. This month I gained about 15 pounds of water weight.
DEPRESSION - I have no desire to have any contact with the outside world and a complete sense of hopelessness washes over me. Its also made a lot worse by the fact that none of my clothing fits me! I am a size 4/6 but during that time I can barely fit into a size 8/10.
IBS really flares up around my periods

I always pretty much have a..
LOW LIBIDO (and i'm only 18)
FATIGUE I am always exhausted with 7/8 hours of sleep
FUZZY THINKING i've noticed while i am still as sharp, my recall is sort of impaired.
And this year I've developed ASTHMA, another symptom

my periods have always been really irregular -- even on birth control! (I started YAZ three months ago -- my pms symptoms didn't change the first two cycles, got worst the last though)
i was heavier when I was younger, but dropped the baby weight. I am on my track team and run 4-5 miles a day but I just can't kick the pocket of fat on my abdomen and thighs. I know to lower estrogen levels they recommend exercise, so thats really not my issue. If I don't run though, I am 10x more miserable and my pms is a lot worse.

One of the main reasons this is really worrying me is because as you may or may not know, excessive estrogen significantly raises a woman's risk for reproductive cancer/prostate cancer. my mom has breast cancer at a fairly young age and an overwhelming amount of my immediate family has had prostate cancer of some kind. I am going to my gynecologist this Thursday to discuss if I should discontinue birth control. Should I definitely express my worry or asked to be referred to an endocrinologist to have my hormone levels checked?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:16 pm

User avatar Hello --

While this is not inappropriately placed under endocrinology subjects, it is a rather specialized question and for this reason rather than try to guess my way through this I'm going to refer it to the gynecology team here. Please check back in a day or so to see if anyone has advanced a plausible response to your question.

Thanks for bringing your question to The Doctors' Lounge.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:17 am

User avatar Hello,
This is very hard to answer since the symptoms you describe could be attributed to many different causes. When someone suggests one possible cause and you rush to learn all about it, it is very common to see your symptoms on the list. This is because many disorders have the same symptoms and most people do not have all the symptoms of any disease so by the time you spot several on the list it is tempting to go off thinking "this is it." Your best bet is to discuss your concerns with your doctor at your appointment. Labs can be requested and analyzed. If anything is suspicious and needing specialized care your doctor can refer you. However, hormonal problems are so common, it is very likely your doctor can handle it.

Estrogen dominance is most often diagnosed in older perimenopausal women whose progesterone levels are decreasing but we also know that our environment is infusing much estrogen into all of us so it has been said we probably all have estrogen dominance to some degree.

You could just have a severe case of PMS - one of the disorders that can cause the symptoms you describe. Thyroid disorders can also bring some of these signs. This can easily be checked by your gynecologist. You also mentioned IBS and certainly some of your symptoms can come with that. Even depression itself can manifest with fatigue, low libido, fuzzy thinking and irritability. We have so many different specialty areas that we sometimes assume we must see a particular doctor and self-diagnose in order to even know who to see. In truth, your primary doctor can get the diagnosis started and offer treatment options. Take a list like the one you have here so you don't miss any of your concerns in communicating with your doctor.

A complete exam and health history, including symptoms is the most important thing for you to do now. Please let us know how it turns out.

Best wishes.

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