Estrogen dominance is a condition where women (and men) can have deficient, normal or excessive estrogen, but has little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body.
One of the first signs of estrogen dominance is headaches and migraines. We often don’t recognize that these can come from a hormonal imbalance because they may seem sporadic and not cyclical.
Other symptoms of estrogen dominance:
- Fat storing around the mid-section and hips
- Water retention & bloating
- Heavy menstrual cycles
- Spider and Varicose Veins
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Abnormal Paps
- Uterine fibroids
- Mood swings, depression
- Low sex drive
- Increased risk of autoimmune disease
- Increased risk of breast and uterine cancer
One cause of estrogen dominance is taking oral synthetic birth control. Taking an oral birth control contains more estrogen than our bodies can handle.
Xenoestrogens are harmful compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. Things like pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, and herbicides can cause estrogen dominance. You can easily reduce the amount of pesticides you intake by washing your non-organic fruits and veggies in a vegetable wash.
Stress is a huge cause of estrogen dominance. Stress steals progesterone to make cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, leaving less progesterone in the body. You may not have too much estrogen, but by having high stress, you are left in an estrogen dominant state.
We get rid of excess estrogen through the liver so too much alcohol, drug use, and fatty liver can impair healthy liver function and build up estrogen.
Insufficient dietary fiber can lead to poor digestion, which leads to estrogen dominance. We need 35 grams of dietary fiber each day and often do not get it. Fiber binds estrogen, so to up your daily amount, consume more apples, pears, carrots, and greens. Probiotics are also essential to balance out estrogen in the body.
Alcohol consumption (as little as 1 drink) can increase your estrogen levels so be sure to give your body a break and take care of your liver. Drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet. When the liver is taxed with breaking down the alcohol, estrogen levels spike.
Additionally, nutrient deficiencies can lead to estrogen dominance. We need three main nutrients: B6, magnesium, and Zinc to break down estrogen. If you are low in any of these, you are at an increased risk of estrogen dominance and all the symptoms associated. Supplement with those by eating dark greens and cruciferous veggies.
Obesity in men and women encourages estrogen in fat cells and causes a decline in sex hormones. Men and women are at an increased risk of cancers when hormones are off balance.
Stay active by sweating out estrogen and exercise circulates your blood which goes through your liver to break down hormones. Work out at an intense level for 10-20 minutes to get your body moving.
Sleep deprivation inhibits melatonin, which protects against estrogen. Don’t eat right before bed, stay away from bright lights from your TV or computer late at night, and avoid caffeine after 12 pm. If you experience any of the above symptoms and aren’t sleeping well, you are not getting enough melatonin and are at an increased risk of developing cancers.
Review the above symptoms to see if you are estrogen dominant. If you are, there are key things you can do today to improve your hormone health. Eat more dark greens, exercise, get more sleep, lose weight, and lower your alcohol consumption.
Please share this blog post if you have friends that could benefit from this knowledge and, who are currently suffering and don’t know the cause. With this information, we can become proactive and move forward with our health.