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If you’ve felt a rush of heat come across your face, neck and upper body that caused you to reach for the nearest makeshift fan or ice pack, then chances are you were experiencing a hot flash. This is a common symptom associated with body changes that occur in women over 40.
These episodes can be linked to excess estrogen in your body. And this can pose a health hazard for women, and men, as they age. Yes, men, too!
In women, estrogen production tapers off around menopause, but women still have estrogen production and need to balance progesterone production. It is the opposite for men. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, as men age, their estrogen production increases as the body accumulates more body fat. Rising estrogen levels in men have been associated with heart problems, obesity and prostate problems.
In proper amounts, estrogen provides anti-inflammatory properties and helps protect your health in many ways. But excess estrogen and xenoestrogens—chemicals in the environment that mimic the effects of estrogen—may lead to estrogen dominance.
According to research published by Dr. John Lee in Natural Progesterone, symptoms may include:
- Weight gain—especially belly fat
- Hot flashes and uncomfortable menopausal symptoms
- Unwanted facial hair
- Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse
- Bloating and water retention
- Memory loss
- Depression and anxiety
- Migraines or headaches associated with the menstrual cycle
- Irregular or skipped menstrual cycles
- Low sex drive
- Dry skin and wrinkles
- Brittle bones
- Breast tenderness
Medical practitioners have suggested that diet, exercise and nutritional supplements, as well as massage, acupuncture and reflexology treatments, may minimize the painful symptoms associated with estrogen dominance and menopause.
The supplement di-indole methane, or DIM, can also help maintain healthy estrogen levels in women and men. DIM is a natural phytonutrient (plant nutrient) found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.
DIM can greatly improve metabolism by stimulating good estrogen production. Many of the benefits that are attributed to estrogen, which include protection of the heart and brain, are now known to come from these “good” estrogen metabolites.
DIM may be one of the most powerful agents to help relieve health problems associated with menopause, irregular menstruation and hormonal imbalance. Anyone over age 40 and anyone with a family history of breast, uterine problems or prostate problems should add DIM to their daily routine.