Estrogen dominance has been showing up a LOT lately in the consultation conversations I’ve been having and in my clients’ test results.
It’s a stealthy hormone imbalance that often goes overlooked in typical blood test and can be related to issues such as weight gain, sleepless nights, sugar cravings, low energy, depression and insulin resistance all within both men and women, and irregular periods and intense PMS symptoms for just the ladies.
What is estrogen dominance?
In men, it’s usually determined when estrogen levels are relatively high in comparison to testosterone. Meaning testosterone levels could be normal or low, and estrogen is high relatively high to whatever that number is.
In women, it’s commonly evaluated based upon the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, but as with men, it can also be evaluated when comparing testosterone to estrogen.
In general, when estrogen levels are relatively high to other hormones, it’s not good.
I, too, fell victim to estrogen dominance back in the day. I was on birth control for 15+ years, my periods were irregular, my weight would fluctuate drastically, and my emotions would be out of control – all because estrogen had taken over.
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The good news is that estrogen dominance doesn’t happen overnight. It’s preventable and reversible in almost any case.
But if estrogen gets out of control, it can lead to more health issues beyond stubborn weight, acne and pain in the ass periods.
Estrogen dominance can also contribute to:
● Hormone driven cancers such as the ER-2 breast cancer
● Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s
● Yeast and bacteria overgrowth such as Candida
So how can you keep estrogen within its normal playing field?
Making sure estrogen doesn’t start dominating the field means tackling it from a couple of different angles.
Angle #1 – Sort out estrogen sources
One of the biggest reasons why estrogen is on the rise is due to a classification of toxins known as Xenoestrogens. These toxins have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body or block hormone receptor sites resulting in elevated estrogen levels.
Common sources of estrogen promoting toxins can be found in:
● Plastic food, water or other types of containers
● Lotions, shampoos, conditioners, deodorant or other personal care products
● Metal substances such as as cadmium, lead, and mercury
Aim to swap out your plastic containers for glass or stainless steel and use the EWG’s Skin Deep Database to find non-toxic personal care products.
Other estrogen elevating sources also include:
● Non-organic foods containing pesticides or added hormones
● Tap water (yes, even though it’s deemed “safe”) contaminated with pesticides/toxins
● Intestinal parasites, bacteria and yeast that elevate toxic enzymes and trap estrogen
● Excess body fat that absorbs, stores and synthesizes estrogen
● Synthetic hormones found in hormone replacement therapies and/or birth control
● Water damaged buildings with mold growth
● Unrelenting mental or emotional stress
Some actions you can take action to tackle these sources by eating organic, drinking and cooking with only filtered water, properly addressing water leaks and mold and taking time to meditate or de-stress daily.
To sort out the synthetic hormones and/or intestinal pathogens, seek a functional health practitioner (like myself) to assist you with proper and personalized strategies.
Angle #2 – Love your liver
The reality is, we can’t control our exposure to estrogen driving toxins 100% of the time. But our liver does play a major role in getting rid of excess estrogen that might be circulating in the body, and that’s something you can get behind. By supporting liver function, you can kill two birds with one stone: eliminate toxins you’ve been exposed to that might raise estrogen levels, and excrete existing excess estrogen.
To support your liver, you can:
● Take a daily liver support supplement with nutrients such as milk thistle
● Eat naturally detoxifying foods such as beets, grapefruits, lemons and dandelion greens
● Occasionally do castor oil liver packs, dry body brushing or an infrared sauna
Do all of the above and give more power to your liver!
Angle #3 – Eat and drink anti-estrogenic
The great news is, you can combat estrogen on a daily basis with little effort. Simply aim to eat anti-estrogenic foods, known as cruciferous vegetables, and drink clean, filtered water (from a glass or steel bottle of course!).
Some of the best estrogen regulating foods to consume include:
● Brussel Sprouts
● Bok Choy
● Collard Greens
By taking action from all three angles, estrogen will be neutralized and will play nicely.
However, in some cases even if you’re adamantly working to lower estrogen levels, there still might be something stopping you from getting where you want to be. There might be some hidden stressors, pathogens, or digestive issues that are driving estrogen levels up.
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If you suspect estrogen might be dominating you, and you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to get it under control, then schedule a complimentary Functional Health Assessment today!