Your Estrogen Quotient or EQ is a great place to start if you are searching for an evidence based way to balance your hormones. Your EQ helps you to understand the dynamics of the 3 major estrogens in your body. Since prolonged exposure to the stronger estrogens may increase the odds of developing breast cancer, understanding your EQ is definitely a proactive step.
There are 3 major types of estrogens:
E1 or Estrone
E2 or Estradiol
E3 and Estriol
Estrone and estradiol are the estrogens that relieve menopausal symptoms, but they are also associated with an increased risk factor for developing breast cancer. They are the more potent estrogens.
Estriol is the gentler estrogen and has the ability to protect tissues against the proliferative or "cellular growth factor" effects of the other estrogens. Measuring and knowing the ratio of these three estrogens can play a key role in assessing your individual risk for breast cancer.
If you want to know how to balance your hormones, all three estrogen levels must be identified and the Estrogen Quotient can then be determined.
This can be accomplished with a simple saliva hormone test.
According to Labrix, a laboratory that offers saliva testing, "The Estrogen Quotient is a mathematical formula developed by Dr. Henry Lemon in his studies of estriol as it pertained to Breast Cancer in humans. The ratio looks at the relationship of the cancer-protective estrogen (E3 – Estriol)) to the cancer promoting estrogens (E1 – Estrone and E2 - Estradiol). If the EQ is below 1.0, the risk of Breast Cancer is higher than that of the individual whose EQ is above 1.0. The optimal ratio that is considered most protective to breast tissue is an EQ that is greater than 1.5. Besides being used to assess Breast Cancer risk in women, the EQ may also be beneficial in determining the protective status for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis."
Simply put, the higher your EQ ratio, the better.
Estriol, the gentle estrogen
According to Jonathan Wright, MD, "Most conventional physicians and pharmaceutical researchers have long dismissed Estriol as a weak and unimportant estrogen. They have considered it to be primarily a metabolite of Estradiol and Estrone, which are far more potent in producing estrogenic effects."
Estriol is in fact, very important simply because it is a weaker estrogen. Estriol’s saving power is the fact that it seems to oppose the growth of cancer, including cancers that are Estradiol and Estrone driven. Estriol, like many plant estrogens, seems to accomplish its protective role by benignly binding to estrogenic receptors in the uterus and the breast, shielding those tissues from the more potent estrogens.
European physicians are often way of ahead of us here in the states and studies conducted in Sweden and Germany have demonstrated the benefits of Estriol in menopausal women, particularly its ability to reduce the number of menopausal symptoms including incontinence, vaginal drying and thinning and hot flashes.
Since we are exposed to so many xeno-estrogens (environmental chemicals that stimulate estrogen or mimic estrogen), it is important to make sure that your EQ ratio is balanced.
What do you do if your EQ ratio is too low?
If you are pre-menopausal, dietary adjustments, endocrine support in the form of botanicals and homeopathy, and detoxification of environmental toxins will help to bring your EQ to a healthier level.
If you are post-menopausal, talk to a health care provider that understand bio-identical hormones and find a reputable compounding pharmacist. Your doctor can prescribe a bio-identical formula of "natural hormones" that can then be formulated from wild yams. These hormones are derived from a particular wild yam that is rich in "precursor molecules" that are then easily converted into hormones. The molecular structures of these hormones are exact replicas of the hormones produced in the body and thus, function as such.
The 3 estrogens should be formulated in what is referred to as a "Tri-estrogen Formula" which replicates the ratio that is normally produced in the body:
90% Estriol, 7% Estradiol, 3% Estrone
Learning How to Balance your Hormones can involve some time and research, but it is well worth it. You will feel better, sleep better and you can rest assured that you are being Proactive with Prevention.