Thyroid, excess estrogen and balancing hormones

Thyroid, excess estrogen and balancing hormones

Thyroid, excess estrogen and balancing hormones

The following is a transcript of an interview between Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, PhD and Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt, Medical Director of Full Potential Health Care  revealing the links between stress, hormones and staying young. Patrick Wanis and Dr. Mike also reveal Thyroid, excess estrogen and balancing hormones.  For previous part of this transcript (Part 1), click here:

Dr. Mike: I see so many people coming in and they say, “I’m tired. My doctors told me my thyroid is fine.” Well, there’s ways to look at the thyroid and there’s ways not to look at the thyroid.

There’s a lot of people walking around with functional hypothyroidism. That is, they’re losing their hair, they’re gaining weight, their eyebrows are getting thin. But chemically, according to the lab tests, your thyroid’s “within normal limits.”


Well, I got news for you. Your thyroid’s still whacked. If you’re gaining weight, your hair’s getting thin, your eyebrows are getting thin and you’re cold all the time, you’ve got a thyroid problem, regardless of what the lab says, same thing with hormones.

So many women, even in their 20s, they come in and say, “For anywhere from two days to two weeks before my period, I turn into a raving lunatic. I get migraines. My breasts are tender. My flow is irregular. I get angry at the slightest thing. Am I going crazy?”

No, you’re not going crazy. You’re just estrogen-dominant. You have too much estrogen for the amount of progesterone your body’s making.

Patrick: Are you saying that it’s not natural for a woman who’s having a period to experience that intensity of emotions and pain and tenderness?

Dr. Mike: Absolutely. What is natural or normal about feeling bad?

Patrick: Well, nothing. But sometimes —

Dr. Mike: There’s no reason for it.

Patrick: But aren’t all of those emotions a natural part of the human experience?

Dr. Mike: Well, yes. But should they be concentrated for two days to two weeks before each and every one of your periods?

If somebody cuts you off in traffic, you’re going to get angry. If you find out your significant other has been cheating, you’re going to get angry, you’re going to be sad, and you’re going to be anxious. There’s all kinds of emotions that come in as part of the human experience. But to have them predictably recur on a regular basis? That’s not the normal human experience.

Patrick: What you’re saying is that —

Dr. Mike: There’s something physiologically different that’s going on.

Patrick: It’s an imbalance and you’re saying —

Dr. Mike: It’s an imbalance.

Patrick: The imbalance in this case is excess estrogen?

Dr. Mike: Correct.

Patrick: What can you do about that?

Dr. Mike: There’s a few things you can do about that. One is do a 24-hour urine and find out – I sent you a chart about how your hormones are metabolized.

Patrick: Yes, that’s going to be part [View and download the chart here: Downloadable Hormonal Chart – allow time for chart to open – it is printable quality.]

Dr. Mike: Do you remember that chart?

Patrick: I have the chart in front of me.

Dr. Mike: All right. When you look, everything starts with cholesterol. I don’t want to get sidetracked here, but remind me to talk about cholesterol and why it’s really good for you.

It starts with cholesterol and goes to pregnenolone and then to progesterone. From progesterone, come all our other hormones. Our sodium and potassium balance is done by aldosterone. Our stress hormone responses come from some of the hydroxyprogesterone which is a direct offshoot from progesterone and also, our androstenedione which is a precursor to testosterone, which is the precursor to estrogen.

Basically, if you do lab work, what the doctor is going to be looking at, because this is the only thing he could measure in the blood, is your estradiol, which is your primary estrogen, your progesterone, your testosterone and your DHEA, which may look perfectly to be in balance, within the normal range.

What you get from the 24-hour urine is, if you look, there’s all kinds of downstream products, the 2-hydroxyestrone, the 4-hydroxyestrone, the 16a- hydroxyestrone. Women can have high levels of these that are not going to be picked up on blood work and they will have the same effect, if not greater effect than the original parent estrogen, in this case, estrone and estradiol.

I’ve had so many women come in and say, “Well, the doctor tells me it’s not my hormones because the blood work is fine.” I say do a 24-hour urine. They come back and their bioactive estrogen metabolites are way high and they’re not going through that methylation pathway, which is kind of the bottom line on the chart that takes it to the 2‑methoxyestrone. The 16 goes —

Patrick: Hold on a second because we’re going to get lost easily here. What you’re saying is blood lab test can show that your initial hormones, the main hormones appear to be in the normal range, but those hormones are supposed to break down and convert into other hormones and only a urine test will reveal that these main hormones are not actually breaking down properly or converting properly, correct?


Dr. Mike: Correct.

Patrick: And the only way to find that out —

Dr. Mike: Forty percent of us in this country have problems with that methylation pathway in order to take those hormones and make them into a substance that our body can then excrete and that’s why we have the buildup of the hormones. I see this time and again with women with premenstrual symptoms.

Patrick: Going back to the example you gave us of a female patient that comes to you and says, “I’m experiencing these extraordinary symptoms leading up to my period,” and you say it’s an imbalance. What is the one suggestion that you give her to remove excess estrogen?

Dr. Mike: If it is the excess estrogen that’s the cause, then the I3C with DIM or other things that will help improve the methylation pathway, like methyl B12, methylfolate, MSM, anything that can help support those methylation pathways can be important.

Often the quick and easy way is to increase the level of progesterone in their system by giving them some bioidentical progesterone around the time that they start having symptoms so we’re balancing it out.

There’s also the possibility that a lot of their issues are the environmental exposures, things like BPAs and other xenobiotics that mimic estrogen. Now we’ve got a whole other topic of what do you need to do to detoxify your system? What do we need to do to support your liver and your kidneys? What’s a good way to sweat efficiently without losing too many of your supportive minerals as you’re detoxing?

It depends. Is this basically not making enough progesterone? Is this making too much estrogen or not metabolizing estrogen metabolites or is it xenobiotics that are in play in terms of mucking up the whole hormone balance system?

Also, now, coming into play are your adrenals because remember, progesterone is the precursor for your stress hormones. If your stress hormones are high because you’re constantly under stress, you’re using up your progesterone and you’re not going to have enough to balance out your estrogen.

I think a lot of women just by fixing their adrenals and reducing their stress, their periods become regular, their symptoms go away, their breasts are no longer tender, they’re not getting menstrual cramps, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Patrick: Briefly, what about women who go for a long period and, in some cases, years without a period?

For Part 3 of this transcript – the continuation, click here

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