If you’ve been reading my posts you know that I believe CFS and estrogen dominance are the same thing. There seems to be some confusion about estrogen dominance. It is looked on as a female problem because it involves estrogen. Because of it’s role in perimenopause it is looked on as something to be concerned about only in the adult stage of a woman’s life. Yet estrogen dominance is caused by a an imbalance of hormones particularly a lack of progesterone. Progesterone helps to prevent and relieve the symptoms of estrogen. Symptoms of estrogen dominance are very very similar to CFS. (see symptoms below) Women are more apt to feel the effects of estrogen than men, yet that doesn’t mean men are not effected by estrogen dominance also. Dr. John Lee has a booklet out about estrogen dominance in men. This lack of progesterone can affect us at any time in life. The cause of estrogen dominance can vary. Dr. John Lee believes that xenoestrogens, very potent estrogen like pollutants in our environment that effect our estrogen levels raising them above normal, may cause damage to our reproductive organs even before we are born - while we are yet in our mothers womb. This results in our bodies failing to be able to produce adequate progesterone levels. Allergies, asthma, overweight are just some of things he attributes to estrogen dominance and are growing problems among children in this country. Symptoms of estrogen dominance acceleration of the aging process allergies symptoms including asthma, hives, rashes, sinus congestion autoimmune disorders such as lupus, thyroiditis and possibly Sjogren’s disease breast cancer breast tenderness cervical dyslplasia cold hands and feet as a symptom of thyroid dysfunction decreased sex drive depression with anxiety or agitation dry eyes early onset of menstruation endometrial cancer fat gain, especially around the abdomen ,hips and thighs and an inability to lose weight fatigue fibrocystic breasts foggy thinking gallbladder disease hair loss headaches hypoglycemia increased blood clotting infertility irregular menstrual periods irritability magnesium deficiency memory loss mood swings osteoporosis PMS polycystic ovaries premenopausal bone loss prostrate cancer sluggish metabolism thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism uterine cancer water retention, bloating zinc deficiency This is a list by DR. Lee-there are other symptoms as well. Dr. Lee makes mention of things like bipolar disorder and rage, resulting from imbalance of copper and zinc in the brain due to estrogen dominance especially with PMS. The above is a long list of problems. Some of these are symptoms of too much estrogen which has gone unopposed so that the illness has progressed to its extreme. When I first went to my doctor’s office with a list of problems similar to this they made fun of me. They didn’t want to believe that I had an illness that could cause all these problems. Estrogen dominance is basically an imbalance of hormones that produces symptoms which may grow worse the longer the imbalance remains or the greater the imbalance becomes. I’ve added to my list as time goes on. Gallbladder disease is the newest. Women are especially effected by estrogen dominance because it can produce perimenopause. In women, estrogen dominance is usually when she has a lack of progesterone while her estrogen levels remain normal. Sometimes estrogen levels are erratic perhaps dropping low and then surging. Perimenopause is when a woman stops ovulating. Her estrogen levels are still high because she still has her period, but because she is not ovulating she is not producing progesterone to off set the symptoms of estrogen. She becomes estrogen dominant. Perimenopause can cause symptoms of menopause long before a woman stops menstruating- perhaps in her thirties. In Ann Louise Gittleman’s book, “Before the Change, Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause”, she states that perimenopause should not be thought of as a disease, but as a time of life when changes are happening. I’ve been reading this book and recommend it to all of you who feel you may benefit from it. Ms. Gittleman is a nutritionist and she has devised a diet plan that helps to bring the hormones back into balance. She also recommends some supplements to help in this readjustment. Many are those recommended on this board for CFS and FM such as magnesium and flax seed oil. I particularly like this book because it takes many of the recommendations that I have found on this board and shows you how to work them into your diet and lifestyle in order to find the proper balance for you. The book tends to take a lot of the guess work out of how to eat healthy for hormonal balance. As I mentioned before there are a number of causes for estrogen dominance, xneoestrogens, poor diet, and stress to name a few, so I tend to think of estrogen dominance as result of something causing this hormonal imbalance. I used to believe that a virus caused CFS, but it may be that viruses also can create estrogen dominance, so who knows.