Guest Expert Training #2
One of the most common hormone issues I see female clients struggle with is estrogen dominance. Irrespective of age and socio-economic standards, this is so frequently seen that I feel it is really beneficial to share why the imbalance of estrogen can be so problematic for so many women.
What is estrogen?
It is the primary female sex hormone that works in harmony with progesterone and testosterone. Produced mainly by the ovaries, it is responsible for the development of the first half of the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is also produced and stored in adipose or fat tissue.
During our childbearing years, estrogen levels can disrupt the hormonal balancing act and can contribute to health issues. Being estrogen dominant doesn’t necessarily mean that your estrogen levels are high, though. It means that they are not balanced properly with progesterone. This can also be problematic in women in peri-menopause (10 years before menopause) and in menopause as well.
What are the signs/symptoms of estrogen dominance?
• Weight gain around the hips, waist and upper thighs
• Heavy menstrual bleeding and clots
• Fibrocystic breasts
• Low libido
• Depression and anxiety
• Gallbladder issues and/or trouble digesting fats
What causes estrogen dominance?
• Diet: poor quality diets with too much sugar, or too much soy
• Insufficient good quality fats
• Mineral imbalances (zinc, copper, iodine, magnesium and calcium)
• Use of synthetic hormones, including the pill, hormonal IUD, hormone replacement therapy
• Exposure to parabens and other toxins in the environment, our food and personal care products
• Hypothyroidism (the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone impacts thyroid function)
Why the concerns about estrogen dominance?
• It can increase your risk of cancer, including breast, ovarian and uterine cancers
• It can make you prone to thyroid and adrenal health issues
• It can decrease your quality of life and make you feel crummy ☹
What can be done to address estrogen dominance?
• Testing: Either saliva or urine testing for hormones
• Adequate water intake
• Supporting digestion, esp the liver with cruciferious veggies, adequate high quality fats, and probiotic rich foods (Kombucha, fermented veggies, etc)
• Eliminate processed inflammatory foods (like gluten, dairy, refined sugars)
• Consume fiber daily, like Psyllium powder, or fresh ground flax seeds. More fiber=healthy BMs, which help rid your body of excess estrogen
• Limit exposure to toxins: eat organic produce, avoid personal care products that contain parabens, use natural cleaning products, don’t heat food in plastic containers, drink from glass or stainless steel bottles vs plastic. Check EWG’s website for great resources: www.ewg.org
• Weight loss (if you are not at your ideal and healthy weight)
• Green tea (brewed) or in supplement form
• Chaste Tree Berry
• Fish Oil
• Dry brushing or castor oil packs