Some of you may know part of this story and may have seen some of my old “fat” pictures but let me share a bit more. Back in the early 2000s, I was more than 100 pounds overweight. I was distraught because I had lost about that same amount of weight two times earlier and each time I had quickly gained back all of my weight and more. As I looked at my pictures in despair, I had almost given up hope. But then two important things happened. The 9/11 tragedy hit the world and shortly thereafter I learned I was estrogen dominant and at risk of diabetes and breast cancer.
I was living and working oversees in Singapore and vacationing in Thailand on 9/11. On that fateful day, my priorities instantly shifted. Life became much more important and it was no longer possible for me to just “go through the motions” instead of building the life of my dreams. I realized that life was short and I needed to grab the bull by the horns and make it mine for whatever time I was given on this earth.
I returned to the States exhausted, overweight and depressed. At a routine checkup with my doctor, he said everything was normal and that I just needed to eat less, exercise more and reduce the stress in my life. He offered me yet another diet program this time with HcG shots as well as an antidepressant. I declined both and left feeling worse than before. But I was determined to solve this problem so I kept searching for a solution.
A couple weeks later i ran into a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in over a year. She looked amazing and she said she felt even better. I asked her what her secret was and she said Functional Medicine. Well that was enough for me. I made an appointment with her Functional Medicine Practitioner. He ran a couple tests (blood, thyroid, hormone, digestion and organics profile) and told me I was insulin resistant (bordering on diabetes), estrogen dominant, and that my brain neurotransmitters were out of balance causing or exacerbating my depression.
The hormone assessment test he ran is what really shook me up. My hormones were all over the place which explained a lot of the symptoms I was having with the brain fog, depression, inability to lose weight, bloating, and excessive fatigue). I also learned what my Estrogen Quotient was and how I was metabolizing estrogen. As it turns out, my body uses a pathway that is not protective and it put me at risk for breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease. He also explained that because I carried so much excess fat, I was actually producing estrogen in those fat cells. A lot of it. And not the protecting E3 estrogen either. The test results, my family’s history of cancer, and the knowledge that my weight was dramatically impacting my chance of getting seriously ill were finally enough motivation to jumpstart my willingness to engage in another weight loss and health building program.
When I was diagnosed with Syndrome X and Estrogen Dominance over 15 years ago, I didn’t understand that there were different types of estrogen that can be cancer protective or catabolic! I didn’t know that there was an estrogen quotient! I didn’t know the estrogen quotient can indicate greater or lesser risk for estrogen sensitive cancer development. Knowing my EQ provided me with the awareness and clarity to begin to make fundamental and holistic changes in how I was eating, living, and exercising and it made all the difference. I dropped the weight, balanced my mood (without antidepressants), got fit and am no longer pre-diabetic or estrogen dominant.
I fell in love with Functional Medicine and Nutrition and have spent the past 10 years gaining my various health certifications and digging deeper into discovering healing opportunities, for myself and others. I wonder if I had the chance to step back in time, would I do anything different. I’m not certain, but as I step back in time and breath the knowledge and understanding that I have gained I know that I find greater appreciation in knowing that I have some control over my health and that I can support other women in gaining some of that control in their lives too.
Please take a moment and breath in this important health protective information, and consider how important it is for you to take control over your health. Bear with me while I put on my Science hat and geek out a little with you so can better understand exactly what EQ is.
Dr. Henry Lemon, an estrogen researcher, developed the Estrogen Quotient formula. He discovered that the greater amount of cancer protective estriol also known as E3 that is present in comparison to the growth promotion estrogen, estrone (called E1) and estradiol (called E2), the lower the risk of estrogen sensitive cancer development. It’s a simple formula: You take the Total E3 divided by the sum of (Total E1 and Total E2).
EQ = E3 / (E1 + E2)
If your EQ is below 1.0 the risk of breast cancer is higher than those whose EQ is above 1.0. The optimal ratio that is considered most protective is an EQ greater than 1.5. If you have a recent test from your doctor with E1, E2 and E3 you can quickly calculate your EQ. If not, I have a lab that will give you that information and so much more!
One of the labs that I use most frequently in my practice with clients, is called the DUTCH Complete lab. This is the latest technology and provides and incredible amount of detail on exactly what is happening with your hormones and as well as your levels of E1, E2, and E3 and how you are metabolizing those hormones.
In addition to the sex hormones it provides comprehensive data on your stress hormones, melatonin, and oxidative stress and provides a lot of information on how your liver is detoxing those hormone metabolites too. All things that are important for women over 35 who are looking to age beautifully and full of vitality. Knowing these numbers helps make sure you are not carrying increased health risks for things like breast cancer and diabetes and it gives the data necessary to create successful programs for resolving weight, mood, fatigue, digestion and hormonal imbalances.
If you are interested in running your own lab kit, you can buy the DUTCH Complete Hormone test kit here. Or for just a bit more than the test kit alone you can join The Queens for the upcoming group Happy Hormones Program here.
Ok ladies, this is one investment I can promise that you will never regret. To join the group program click on the picture below so you can get started today!
More on the Dutch Complete: Millions of women suffer from hormonal imbalances. Whether it is menopause, weight gain, fatigue, low libido, premenstrual symptoms (PMS), mood swings, or depression, these symptoms can lead to more serious problems if misdiagnosed. Identifying the root cause of chronic health issues is certainly correctable, but only if properly identified.
The DUTCH test was created to provide insight into many of these concerns, working to deliver the most complete assessment of sex and adrenal hormones, along with their metabolites, in one easy to administer test. No blood to draw, spitting in tubes or filling up jugs of urine. Our dried urine collection process is great for baseline measurements of women with hormonal imbalances. After utilizing the DUTCH test, you will be able to work with your health practitioner to continue to modify, track and evaluate hormone levels, ensuring they are at their optimum balance.