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Cold Medicine and Hormones

by | Last updated: Apr 4, 2023 | Hypothalamus, Men's Health, Women's Health | 0 comments

Does cold medicine affect your hormones? Let’s talk about it.

Cold medicine does effect your hormones.

I didn’t realize this until I had a personal experience of breast pain from taking cold medicine.  

After my three-year-old granddaughter gifted me with an upper respiratory infection, I could not stop coughing. I have mild asthma which gets aggravated by allergens and colds, but my inhaler was not helping. So I took over-the-counter cough syrups with guaifenesin. Guaifenesin acts as an expectorant and it made a big difference but within three days of using it, I noticed breast pain. I suspected guaifenesin was affecting my hormone metabolism. After stopping the guaifenesin, my breast pain went away. But my congestion got worse so I restarted the guaifenesin and took DIM along with it and voila no breast pain. 

In the meantime, I did a little research and discovered that breast pain is actually quite common, especially in women over 60. There was no explanation as to why but my experiment with DIM suggests that guaifenesin interferes with estrogen metabolism. DIM is an IC3 indole derived from cruciferous vegetables. DIM helps support healthy estrogen metabolism. Estradiol is the most potent form of estrogen but is short acting. Therefore, it’s metabolized by enzymes in your adipose cells into long-acting estron.

But not all estrones are created equally. 

Healthy young women naturally make the safest form – 2 OH-estrone. Women of normal weight, eating lots of flax lignans, cruciferous vegetables and fatty fish metabolize estradiol into protective 2OH-estrone. As women get older, or if they’re overweight, sedentary, don’t eat enough fatty fish, cruciferous vegetables, and flax lignans or if they abuse alcohol or take drugs like cimetidine, their estradiol conversion favors inflammatory 16OH-estrone.

Clearly, guaifenesin affects hormone metabolism. 

While breast tenderness from guaifenesin can affect both men and women, it’s more likely to cause issues in older postmenopausal women. Other cold medications can affect your hormones too. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine can cause vaginal dryness in women and urinary hesitancy in men. 

If you must take cold medicines that contain guaifenesin consider adding DIM 100 milligrams with each dose of guaifenesin up to 400 milligrams per day. Now remember, don’t continue to take DIM for too long or it may make you feel like your estrogen levels have bottomed out. Take just enough to combat breast tenderness.

If you have any questions about hormones, please join me in our Hormone Support Group where I answer your questions live. You can access it by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.



About the Author - Deborah Maragopoulos FNP

Known as the Hormone Queen®️, I’ve made it my mission to help everyone – no matter their age – balance their hormones, and live the energy and joy their DNA and true destiny desires. See more about me my story here…



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