Excess belly fat means something is out of balance. Maybe you are over-eating, but more often than not there is another reason.

This is part one of a series on belly fat.

Estrogen dominance is something that is very important to understand, especially for women and particularly for women who have a family history of breast cancer. Estrogen dominance can cause all sorts of symptoms that might be seemingly unrelated like: depression, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, anger, PMS, thyroid dysfunction, cold hands and feet, gall bladder issues, blood sugar cravings, a weakened immune system, inflammation as well as increasing the risk of cysts, ovarian, uterine and breast cancers- and breast cancer in men. About 75% of the time breast cancers are called Estrogen Receptor Positive or ER breast cancer, meaning that they receive signals from estrogen to grow. Estrogen dominance can make it very challenging to lose belly weight.

Estrogen dominance is defined as simply too much estrogen relative to the amount of progesterone. A state of estrogen dominance can be created when either the estrogen (usually estradiol) is elevated, the progesterone is too low, or both.

The next series of newsletters will go into each of the factors that influence these conditions.

How does someone get too much estrogen in their body?

There are several ways a person can end up having an overall excess of estrogen relative to progesterone in the body. The focus of this news- letter is on how the Estrogen part of the equation becomes out of balance.

1. Girls who start their period younger than other girls increase their overall estrogen over a life time.

2. Birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy (regardless if the hormones are bio-identical or made from horse urine) add excess estrogen to the body

3. Eggs, butter, cheese, meat and poultry raised with hormones add to your total estrogen. Cooking these foods still leave hormone residues.

4. Conventional or non-organically grown fruits and vegetables laden with pesticides, herbicides and/or fungicides add to more estrogen indirectly. This group of chemicals are called XENOESTROGENS, or foreign estrogens. They can act on estrogen receptors as if they were estrogen.

5. PHYTOESTROGENS, like soy, also act like estrogen in the body. While some women get great benefit from eating soy as they move into menopause, those women who have an increased risk for breast cancer or who have had breast cancer should not eat soy.

Stay tuned for our next episode of the exciting adventures of estrogen!