Marlene asked how you know if you are estrogen dominant. In our book Hormone Revolution, Dr. Lark and I give a couple of ways for you to determine your estrogen levels. While several doctors recommend blood testing, Dr. Lark prefers saliva testing, as it contains a particularly accurate indicator of free (unbound) hormone levels. This is the key, as only free hormones are active, meaning that they can affect the hormone-sensitive tissues in your breasts, brain, heart, and uterus. You can talk with your doctor about ordering a saliva hormone test.
For a non-testing a quick peek into your hormone balance, you can also use the following checklist to determine if you suffer from estrogen dominance and have high estrogen levels. What these symptoms have in common is that they are due to estrogen levels that are too high in relationship to progesterone.
- Are you over age 35?
- Do you suffer from PMS?
- Do you have heavy, irregular periods?
- Do you suffer from anxiety, irritability, and/or mood swings?
- Have you gained more than 10 pounds over the past few years?
- Do you have noticeable cellulite?
- Do you have puffiness around your eyes or face?
- Do you have a decreased interest in sex?
- Are you experiencing sleep difficulties?
- Are you retaining fluids?
- Are you having headaches?
- Do you have bouts of brain fogforgetting your friend’s first name, where you put your car keys, or the point of a text you recently studied?
- Have you recently discovered cysts in your breasts?
- Have you been told you have fibroid tumors?
- Do you have symptoms of endometriosis?
- Have you been diagnosed with either hyperplasia or endometrial cancer?
- Have you been diagnosed with ovarian cysts?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you likely have estrogen dominance.