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Depression is often thought of as an emotional or psychiatric disorder without any physical basis. In many cases of depression, however, there may well be a physical basis or even an environmental one.

One such cause which has been well established in the medical literature will be discussed here today.

Estrogen dominance has been established as a physical cause of depression since Dr. Lee's work in the 1980s, and beyond.

Since that time it has become clear that many chemicals behave as Estrogens. What is also clear is that we are exposed to them all our lives, not just in the womb. This group of compounds have been called the Xenoestrogens. Xeno is the Greek word for stranger, hence the comment about strangers in the night. The list is represented below. These are chemicals which are cumulative in some instances and increase in quantity in the body as we get older. One of the effects of Xenoestrogens is to reduce the excretion rate of copper from the body. All estrogens cause copper accumulation, xenoestrogens look like estrogens to our biochemistry and hence also cause copper retention. These patients have very high copper levels. These Xenoestrogens (especially the pesticides) over time have progressively been classed as carcinogens. The combination of high copper (which disables iron, zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin E) and intracellular carcinogens may explain the more unpleasant problems in this list.

List of the Xenoestrogens

Pesticides (DDT, DDE, 2,4,T, Dioxin, Dieldrin, endosulfan, methoxychlor, kepone, toxaphene, chloropicrin etc)

Petroleum products (car fumes, methlybenzene, toluene, benzene, styrene, pyrene)

Plastics (PVC, PCB’s biphenyl, nonylphenyl, octaphenyl, lunch wraps etc)

Hormones: a. From Doctors (OCP & HRT), b. From poultry industry and antibiotics in animal feed

Four Main Causes of Estrogen Dominance in Men and women

Cause #1: Diet

Animal products are major estrogen dominance contributors. Non-organic produce and processed foods made from them, can also contribute to estrogen dominance because they are grown with herbicides and pesticides which mimic estrogen.

Cause #2: Excess Body Weight

Fat tissues are rich in an enzyme that converts protein into testosterone, and testosterone into estradiol; the more fat you have, the higher your estradiol levels will be. Estrogen is also stored in fat cells, so if you’re overweight you’ll need to lose excess fat cells to reverse estrogen dominance.

Cause #3: Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages are major estrogen dominance triggers. Alcohol is also problematic because plants used to produce alcoholic beverages contain estrogen-like compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. It is well known that alcoholic beverages greatly increase the burden of estrogen on the body while at the same time slowing the function and metabolism of the liver...
Cause #4: MEN- Tight Underwear

Tight underwear forces the testicles to be squeezed up against the body, which reduces the flow of blood to the testicles and causes them to overheat. These two factors lead to an increase in estradiol and a decrease in testosterone.

Besides making dietary and other should consider hormonal testing and or liver testing and treatment. All these measures can help to illuminate underlying causes of your depression.

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Author's Bio: 

Taryn DeCicco ND, LAc, LDN of Apple A Day Clinic in Arlington Heights, IL has been specializing in Acne, Skin, and Digestive Disorders for over 16 years.