This Week on The Health Hub…Estrogen Dominance with Dr. Carrie Jones

Dr. Carrie Jones is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant, and educator on the topic of women’s health and hormones. She graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), School of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon where she also completed her 2-year residency in women’s health, hormones and endocrinology.  Later she graduated from Grand Canyon University’s Master of Public Health program with a goal of doing more international education. She was adjunct faculty for many years at NUNM teaching gynecology and advanced endocrinology/fertility and has been the Medical Director for 2 large integrative clinics in Portland. She is the Medical Director for Precision Analytical, Inc, creators of the DUTCH hormone test.

Learning Points:

  • What are normal functions of Estrogen?
  • What are symptoms of estrogen dominance?
  • How can we remedy estrogen dominance?

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The Upside of Estrogen

Although we tend to defer to women when speaking of it, estrogen’s importance and functions extend to men as well.

But many of us have a limited understanding of estrogen.  In fact, as someone who has had an estrogen positive breast cancer, it was an easy jump for me to arrive at the incorrect conclusion that estrogen had no benefit for me and at all and was only detrimental for my best health.

So I want to take some space here to look at important functions of estrogen to broaden the concept that it is responsible only for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics and estrogen dominant conditions such as Endometriosis, PMS and breast cancer.

In women estrogen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat tissue.  It circulates through the blood stream and locks on to estrogen receptors located throughout the body including the breasts, uterus, brain, bone, liver and heart. The mere fact that there are so many receptors throughout the body for estrogen underscores its importance.

In men, estrogen is produced through an enzymatic process in which the enzyme aromatase transforms testosterone into estrodial.  For men, it is important that a proper balance between estrogen and testosterone is maintained for prostate health as men with higher blood levels of estrogen may be at a higher risk for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

So let’s take a look at some key beneficial roles that estrogen plays.

Heart Health

Estrogen increases the ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL and decreases the ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL. Estrogen has a positive effect on the inner layer of artery walls, helping to keep blood vessels flexible and estrogen dilates blood vessels to aid increased blood flow.



Bone Health

Estrogen is extremely important for bone health. It helps the bones to retain calcium as well as other important minerals needed to keep bones strong. Estrogen reduces bone resorption, the breakdown of bone, and increases bone formation.

Insulin Resistance

A critical role of estrogen is to optimize the action of another hormone, insulin. Insulin regulates bloodsugar levels. Low levels of estrogen can lead to increased insulin resistance.

Vaginal Dryness

Estrogen helps to keep the tissue of the vagina healthy and lubricated. Estrogen helps to prevent vaginal thinning and dryness.

Estrogen and skin

Estrogen is important for healthy skin. It helps our skin to retain collagen, increase skin thickness and improve blood supply to the skin.