Posted on by Paula Gallagher
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 can occur naturally as we age, however some of the most common hormone disruptors are environmental toxins and plastics.
Exposure to potent, environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens), found in plastics, pesticides, cleaners, detergents, beauty care products, meat and dairy products, along with stress, anovulation, poor diet, obesity, microbial imbalances, and synthetic hormones from birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, can wreak havoc on hormones. Xenoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body and contribute to estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are difficult for us to break down, and they fool the body into thinking they’re estrogen.
Estrogen dominance in women is associated with many symptoms and conditions, including PMS, excess belly fat and difficulty losing weight. Women may also have a history of varicose veins, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, headaches/migraines before periods, sore breasts, or heavy and painful periods. Men with estrogen dominance will often experience fatigue, loss of muscle mass, depression, belly fat and sometimes sexual dysfunction.
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 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 become 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 is 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. Clean Up the Toxins From Your House
Switch over to environmentally friendly household cleaners and detergents, choose organic beauty products and makeup, and minimize your exposure to plastics. Switch out all the plastic in your kitchen and dump the plastic zip lock bags and wrap. Wax paper is excellent for wrapping sandwiches, or better yet a stainless steel lunch container. Try to go plastic free!
6. Supplement With Helpful Nutrients
Are you interested in learning more about estrogen dominance? Check out our new Humanized Podcast and discover how personalized health is now a reality.
Before you take any supplement, please consult with a natural healthcare practitioner. Contact Village Green Apothecary for advice and consulting on your best possible nutrition plan.
Humanized Health - NEW!
Learn about personalized health from top experts! Check out our fascinating new shows every week, available as videos, podcasts and transcripts.:
Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
Dr. Rav Ivker
Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Dr. Rob Brown
Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.