From puberty to menopause, symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, headaches, hot flashes, and insomnia are indicators of hormone imbalance. Often the underlying cause is estrogen dominance. This occurs when there is too much estrogen or not enough progesterone to balance its effects. Estrogen dominance is caused by exposure to potent, environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens), found in plastics, pesticides, cleaners, detergents, beauty care products, meat and dairy products, stress, anovulation, poor diet, obesity, microbial imbalances, as well as synthetic hormones from birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
Foreign estrogens are much more potent than the estrogen made by the ovaries. Artificial estrogens activate receptors to stimulate a hormonal effect or occupy the receptor and block natural estrogens from doing their job, thereby disrupting normal endocrine function. Xenoestrogens can accumulate over time, are absorbed through the skin, are difficult to detoxify, and are stored in fat. While endogenous estrogens are biologically active only during the years of sexual maturity, have a life expectancy measured in days, and fluctuate month to month, xenoestrogen exposure starts with fetal development and can be around for decades.
Here are 5 tips for reducing estrogen dominance:
1) Eat Phytoestrogens:
Phytoestrogens are plant-based chemicals that have weak estrogenic activity. They are considered hormone balancing, because they have a mild estrogen and antiestrogenic effects. They can compete with more potent natural estrogens as well as xenoestrogens, thereby blocking their effects. If your body does not have enough estrogen, phytoestrogens can provide mild estrogenic activity.
Phytoestrogens can be found in flaxseeds, legumes (soybeans, lentils, chickpeas), fennel, celery, and parsley. They are also found in herbs such as alfalfa, hops, red clover, black cohosh, and wild yam. Studies show that dietary intake of phytoestrogens is associated with a decreased cancer risk, specifically endometrial. Obese, post menopausal women consuming low amounts of phytoestrogens have the highest endometrial cancer risk.
2) Support Your Digestion:
Phytoestrogens are metabolized in the intestinal tract where they are converted into their active form. Optimal digestion and bacterial balance are key for this conversion to take place. Estrogen is metabolized and conjugated in the liver. The liver produces glucuronic acid, which attaches to the hormone and helps to eliminate it from the body. A poor diet can disrupt this process by releasing an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which cleaves the bond between glucuronic acid and estrogen, so that it doesn’t get eliminated and becomes recirculated, contributing to estrogen dominance.
3) Optimize Your Diet:
A diet that focuses on high fiber (whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, and legumes), high quality proteins, fermented foods, healthy fats, organic foods, cruciferous vegetables, filtered water, and low in sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and artificial foods supports healthy hormone metabolism and promotes healthy weight management.
4) Practice Healthy Lifestyle Habits:
Habits such as exercising, cleansing, supporting your stress levels, and using natural body care and natural cleaning products, can support optimal liver function and detoxification.
5) Supplement with Helpful Nutrients:
· Calcium D-glucarate – a substance found in many fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit, apples, oranges, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Calcium D-glucarate increases the glucuronidation and elimination of estrogen. Research shows that it has a preventive and therapeutic effect on a number of cancers including breast, liver, and colon. Xymogen Calcium D-glucarate
· DIM (Diindolymethane) – promotes metabolism of estrogen into the favorable and protective 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE) metabolite versus production of 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone (16-alpha-OHE) metabolite. Assessment of 2:16-alpha-OHE ratio appears to be useful in evaluating breast health. Xymogen Dimension 3
· Liver support – examples include choline and inositol, turmeric, milk thistle, dandelion root, artichoke leaf, and other bitter herbs – help to promote the removal of fat from the liver, detoxify body’s wastes, detoxify harmful chemicals, and metabolize and excrete estrogens. Xymgoen XenoProtX
· Chaste tree – stimulates progesterone production. Chaste tree is excellent for addressing a wide variety of menstrual irregularities. Pathway Chaste Tree Berry
· Probiotics – have a positive effect on estrogen excretion. Healthy bacteria are associated with a lower incidence of estrogen sensitive cancers due to the reduced re-absorption of estrogen. Pathway Suprema Dophilus
· Progesterone cream – helps to increase progesterone levels. Look for a cream that uses USP progesterone derived from a substance called diosgenin, which is extracted from wild yam or from soybeans. In the laboratory diosgenin is chemically synthesized into human progesterone. Because progesterone is very fat-soluble, it is easily absorbed through the skin. Pathway Crème de Femme
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