Tips to Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Before going into detail on Estrogen Dominance, it’s important to understand what a hormone actually is. Hormones are messengers that send signals to organs telling them how to perform. If we have too little or too much of a hormone, then our organs do not receive the proper signals needed for our bodies to function optimally.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main female sex hormones. They have many different roles in the body and are equally important for reaching and maintaining optimal health.
Estrogen sends messages to the lining of the uterus to grow and thicken in preparation for pregnancy. It also affects sexual urges, sexual response, brain function, and bone density. Estrogen impacts the functioning of the thyroid, hypothalamus, anterior pituitary, thymus, skin, and the nervous system.
Progesterone also instructs the uterine lining to grow and thicken in preparation for pregnancy. If fertilization does not occur, progesterone levels drop signaling the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone also decreases cell growth, particularly that of breast cells, it reduces anxiety and depression, promotes sleep, influences bone growth, and increases the activity of thyroid hormone which affects metabolism.
Estrogen Dominance is one of the most common hormonal imbalances women experience, which can be due to either excess estrogen or a lack of progesterone in the body. Either way, there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone and this imbalance can negatively impact health in numerous ways.
Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
- Dry skin
- Anxiety/Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Uterine and breast cancers
- Difficulty losing weight
- Excessive hair growth on the body
- Ovarian cysts
- Cervical dysplasia
- Varicose veins
- Uterine fibroids
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Fluid retention
- Fat accumulation around the hips, thighs & abdomen
- Altered thyroid activity (mimicking hypothyroid)
- Heavy and irregular menses
- Early onset of menses (before age 12)
Foods for Healing
- Whole-Foods, Brassica family/cruciferous vegetables, Plenty of Fiber, Probiotic-rich foods, Water
- Water is needed for all bodily functions including healthy bowel movements.
- Whole food simply means food in its natural form (the way it is right after harvesting). A diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates and sugars can increase estrogen to unhealthy levels.
- Brassica/cruciferous vegetables are great at supporting the liver’s detoxification processes.
- Fiber is critical for healthy bowel movements which are the main way for excess estrogen to exit the body.
- Probiotic-rich foods are essential to digestive health, energy production, healthy skin and metabolism of hormones but will also create an environment of higher good bacteria in the gut. This reduces the risk of bad bacteria converting estrogen that reaches the bloodstream and promotes regular bowel movements + elimination.
- Healthy Fats – Healthy fats support healthy hormones.
Eliminate / Reduce
- A diet high in sugar, wheat, dairy, and artificial ingredients, is a nightmare for the human body.
- Limit animal products (meat, dairy) – especially important to avoid conventional animal products, choosing only grass-fed, free-range and organic but also be mindful of the intake of these products.
- Alcohol and caffeine- The liver is forced to work extra hard to eliminate alcohol from the body and so it cannot focus on eliminating estrogen and other toxins at the same time. The estrogen marked for elimination then accumulates in body fat instead and is recirculated in the body. Excessive intake of caffeine exhausts the adrenal glands and can further drain these glands which increase estrogen levels.
Herbs & Supplements for Healing Estrogen Dominance
- DIM + Calcium D-glucarate – DIM is a strong estrogen metabolizer and helpful for those with estrogen clearance issues. Calcium D-glucarate is a natural substance that helps the detoxification process.
- Vitamin D3 – plays a role in regulating estrogen levels as well as supporting healthy functioning of the immune system.
- B6- help boost progesterone production to counteract excess estrogen while supporting liver function.
- Probiotics – Probiotics contain “good” bacteria which encourages further growth of good bacteria and discourages the growth of “bad” bacteria which helps to rebalance gut flora if dysbiosis is present.
- Magnesium – responsible for hundreds of enzyme responses that impact natural hormone balance. It aids in liver detoxification that detoxifies excess estrogen from the body.
- Transdermal natural progesterone cream – Many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance can be relieved with natural progesterone cream which can be found in most health food stores.
- Chaste tree berry (Vitex)
- Dandelion root
- Milk thistle