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What's the Deal with Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen dominance is one of the most common health conditions that women suffer from today. Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed out on a daily basis? Are you unaware of the ingredients in your beauty and household cleaning products? These, unfortunately, may be contributing to your estrogen dominance.

Estrogen dominance may result from environmental toxins, excess weight, improper detox of excess estrogens, poor gut health, chronic stress, and even autoimmune diseases.

The good news is that with simple nutrition changes and supplement support, you can address your estrogen dominance, including those annoying and painful symptoms that we all dread!

What is Estrogen Dominance?

Normal estrogen plays a role in regulating the menstrual cycle, controlling the uterine lining's growth during the first part of the cycle.

Estrogen dominance occurs when your body has excess estrogen and normal levels of progesterone, or normal estrogen levels and low progesterone levels.

When you look at your estrogen levels, you'll want to look at it in relevance to your progesterone levels. This balance (or imbalance, really) is what may be causing your estrogen dominance health issues.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance may include:

  • Bloating

  • Heavy periods

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • Headaches

  • Weight gain

  • Hair loss

  • Fibrocystic breast changes

  • Painful periods

  • Mood swings

  • Tender Breasts

  • Intense PMS

  • Reduced available thyroid hormone

  • Even cancers

What Causes Estrogen Dominance

Poor Detox Functioning

Your liver is your go-to organ for packing up estrogen and shipping it out to get eliminated (via your stool). If your liver isn't working optimally, it can cause a backlog of estrogen to build up. This excess estrogen then causes ALL those unwanted symptoms.

Environmental Toxins Acting like Estrogen

Environmental toxins, known as xenoestrogens, can also contribute to this mess. Xenoestrogens mimic estrogen, increasing the toxin burden on your body. It puts extra stress on your liver, making it less efficient and effective at packing up that estrogen to be eliminated. This then wreaks havoc on your endocrine system (aka hormonal system).

Do you know the scariest thing about these xenoestrogens? They are found in our daily life in our homes. Think about your personal care products, make-up products, household cleaners, in the lining of take-out food containers, on receipts, and plastic containers. Scary right?

So we want to avoid these things as much as possible. I know, I know, there is no way we can avoid these completely. However, now that you are aware, you can reduce your exposure to them to lighten that toxin load on your body and detox systems.

Poor Gut Health

As some of you may know, your gut health influences SO many other organs and aspects of your health and well-being. Hormones are not an exception.

Your microbiome (the bacteria that resides in your gut) plays a role in hormone production and regulation. More specifically, the estrobolome is the bacteria that deal with processing and eliminating extra estrogen. These bacteria produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. If they are making too much beta-glucuronidase, it can cause excess estrogen.

If your gut health is poor, meaning there are more harmful bacteria present than beneficial bacteria, then these processes of elimination don't occur optimally or hardly at all. This leaves estrogen to build up to excess amounts. Some things that can promote an unbalanced gut microbiome or estrobolome, are stress, food choices (processed foods and sugar), and toxins.

Elevated Stress

Are you overworking yourself at work, overwhelmed when you get home, and have a bazillion things on the do-to list still? You might want to take a step back and figure out what is vital and what things can wait. Try to limit the amount of stress you put on your body and learn how to cope with the stress that is coming at you.

When your stress levels are high, your body produces more cortisol. When your body makes more cortisol, it does it at progesterone's expense. Cortisol also blocks our body’s progesterone receptors. This leads to lower progesterone levels. So while your estrogen levels may be normal, your progesterone levels can be low, resulting in relevance estrogen dominance.

Steps to Take To Heal Estrogen Dominance

Addressing estrogen dominance doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some things you can start today to get your hormones back on track.

Nutrient Support For Estrogen Dominance

Balancing out your hormones to treat estrogen dominance doesn't have to be complicated. It may take some time, but oh so worth it when you start seeing your symptoms disappear- for good! Here are some tips to start incorporating into your daily routine.

First off, I want to make a quick note about buying organic foods. I know organic foods may cost a bit more, but it's important to avoid pesticides found in non-organic food products and produce. These pesticides may have toxins that mimic, inhibit, or interfere with your hormone balance. If you are on a tight budget, I highly recommend buying organic foods on the Dirty Dozen List.

Consume These Foods

  • Cruciferous Vegetables (great for hormone balancing)

  • Non-GMO soy foods

  • Variety of colorful fruits and vegetables (to build up different beneficial bacteria strains in your gut)

  • Here are some of my favorite foods for helping estrogen dominance

    • Broccoli and broccoli sprouts

    • Cabbage

    • Blackberries

    • Kale

    • Dandelion root

    • Flaxseeds

    • Avocado

    • Shiitake mushrooms

    • Dark chocolate

    • Carrots

    • Jicama

    • Beets

    • Garlic and Onions

Supplements for Estrogen Dominance

Before purchasing any kind of supplement, make sure you are buying from a high-quality source. Please don't buy any from Amazon! I have an online dispensary you can access here if you want supplements and vitamins that actually work and are safe to use.

  • B Vitamins

  • Diindolylmethane (DIM) - this is the compound found in cruciferous vegetables.

  • Probiotics- ensure you're helping your gut by giving it healthy bacteria strains to colonize in your gut.

Lifestyle Changes to Support Healthy Hormones

Manage stress- go for a walk, try some virtual yoga, mediation, or breathwork.

Get your beauty rest, girl! - sleep is vital in hormone balance and allowing your body to restore.

Get Help From A Naturopathic Hormone Specialist

Do you want to finally say goodbye to those horrible periods and embarrassing symptoms and get to the root cause- estrogen dominance? Please reach out to Dr. Jillian Smithers. She is a hormone expert based in Arizona but takes patients from around the nation. You can schedule your FREE 15 consultation with her to get started on your journey to optimal health!

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