There are some manly ladies out there, but is it possible to go the other way, to be too female? Now, I figured that having too much estrogen in me would be the last thing I’d ever have to worry about. I mean, “not your typical female” is putting it mildly; I’m about as androgynous as one can get and still be this side of heterosexual, ya know?
So imagine my surprise when I’m hunt-and-pecking around the internet, trying to figure out why I’m carrying a small fanny pack in my abdomen (I thought those were supposed to reside outside the body and carry things like, oh, money–ha!–and stuff), and I happen upon this neat (well, not really) little phenomenon called Estrogen Dominance. The first thing I thought was along the lines of female dominance, as in, say, a relationship, (“I’m not dominant! I’m equal opportunity!…. Well, I can be a little bossy…”) and lo and behold, even the bossiness is a symptom! Along with the subcutaneous freight and a few other symptoms I’d been experiencing. That’s not even funny.
The cruel joke is two-fold. First, there are factors that lead to Estrogen Dominance that are incredibly hard to get away from.
I completely quit microwaving my food years ago, especially in plastic dishes or containers.
I switched to pretty much all organic animal products, including fish and milk, and I don’t even eat beef much (buffalo instead, which is an even leaner red meat than beef).
I completely stopped using non-stick cookware years ago.
I don’t even drink tap water.
But distilled water out of the jug? Guilty as charged. I figured it was better than tap, right? Wrong? Jury’s still out.
How about those fruits and veggies I’m so anal about power-chugging every morning? I try to buy organic, but sometimes it’s just plain cost-prohibitive, and other times an organic option isn’t even available. Apparently estrogen-mimicking compounds are found in pesticides. Lovely.
And about some non-organic dairy? Guilty again–not straight milk, per se, but my 1-to-2-bowl ice cream nightcap. It’s easy to forget that I do get some hormone-laden dairy products. I can say this: if I have to give up dairy completely, I’m gonna be really pissed.
To add salt to the wound? None of the conventional wisdom works. Cutting calories doesn’t work, going low-fat doesn’t work, low-intensity workouts don’t work, and neither do cardiovascular endurance workouts won’t work.
In fact, I’m still trying to figure out what does work. Sources of information on remedies often conflict, or worse, steer toward a particular product they just so happen to be peddling. Trying to get real answers is like navigating through fog. But as Momma always said, this too shall pass, and I’m holding her to that. I might get cranky. I might even lose sleep. But I’ll try not to get bossy in the process.