I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “estrogen dominance” floating around the functional medicine space and for good reason! I’m not here to rag on estrogen because estrogen (like all the other hormones) have a place in our system and is super beneficial, especially for women! BUT, it’s like with everything else – we need BALANCE!
Before I go into lowering estrogen, I want to say that I wouldn’t recommend you to just jump in right away to any and all supplements without getting your hormones tested first. That is the first rule that I want to give you because I see it EVERYWHERE on social media. I’m in many holistic, natural mom Facebook groups and people are searching for that one off magic supplement or advice. I’m here to tell you that you are a UNIQUE individual and while many women are struggling with this condition, you need to have it properly checked to see what’s going on inside YOUR body.
And of course, I do offer my services in working 1:1 with you and testing your hormones using an in-depth hormone test looking at alllllll the aspects of your hormones (especially estrogen!). I don’t diagnose + treat, but I can support your body and hormones with food + herbs and it’s amazing what focusing on the foundation will do to your hormones. Book your free 15 minute phone call to start the process of becoming a client of Thrival Nutrition!
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
Looking at the symptoms of estrogen dominance can help you decide if you need to take testing and seeing someone as your next step! Because let’s face it – these symptoms are not always fun and can totally put a damper on feeling your best and living your best life.
- Can’t lose weight and/or gaining weight
- Tender breasts
- Moods be swingin’
- Suuuuper long periods, like having it for more than 7 days.
- Irregular cycles
- Low sex drive
- Ragin’ PMS symptoms
Risks of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance increases your risk of certain cancers like breast + ovarian cancer, thyroid disorders, as well as strokes and blood clots.
Lowering Estrogen Naturally
Estrogen dominance can be coming from having a low progesterone compared to estrogen or having too much estrogen in general. If you are confirmed of having estrogen dominance, I want to share some of my favorite ways that I use in my practice of supporting women’s estrogen levels.
- Diet. A no-brainer. Real, wholesome, organic foods are NEEDED to give your body optimal balance between your hormones. I’ll get to the organic part in a second, but make sure that you’re eating PLENTY of vegetables in every single meal (yes, that means breakfast!) and you’re eating enough quality proteins + healthy fats. You should also eat at regular intervals – breakfast, lunch, dinner. After dinner, start your fast – no snacking. This will naturally give you a 14-15 hour fast that you’ll break when you eat breakfast. With eating more vegetables (and even include nuts + seeds!), you’ll get more fiber into your system, which will help you poop on a normal regular basis that will reduce the amount of estrogen getting REABSORBED into the body, which can cause estrogen dominance. I would also recommend to get your body to an optimized nourished state + avoid the most common inflammatory foods – dairy, wheat, soy, and refined sugars! Having a cruciferous vegetable with every meal is also recommended – especially broccoli sprouts!
- Environmental Toxins. You’ll need to clean up your beauty and cleaning supplies. Many conventional products that we use on our skin or around us contain dangerous chemicals, like parabens + phthalates, that influence our hormones. These chemicals influence our hormones in a couple of ways: 1) Mimicking natural hormones 2) Blocking hormones from reaching their receptors 3) Interfering with the metabolism of hormones and how they are made. There are also chemicals like BPA that you’ll find in packages and plastic that can leech into what you consume/use. I talk about this on my blog about plastic! Basically, BPA can mimic estrogen in the body. The organic pasture-raised meats I talked about in number one are important because of the estrogens found in animal/animal products from factory farms can impact our health. Always try to know the farmer and/or get QUALITY organic, pasture-raised, wild caught animal products when you are to minimize your exposure to hormones used with animals.
- Water. You HAVE to clean up your water – think about how much you (or you should) drink everyday! Trace amounts of birth control are found in water supply, along with pesticides that further imbalance our hormones. Don’t rely on the cleaning system that your city has – buy an extra reverse osmosis water filter for your home to really filter it down to good and clean water.
- Lovin’ Your Gut. Why should you love your gut if you struggle with estrogen dominance? I mentioned above with the fiber in our diet and making sure that you’re passing a bowel everyday can help reduce the risk of estrogen sitting in your bowels and getting reabsorbed. But also, there is an enzyme in our gut called beta-glucuronidase. If we have too much of this enzyme, it can take neutralized estrogen in the stool and separate it from its conjugate bond and allows it to get reabsorbed by the body too! Your diet influences how much of this enzyme you make, but also underlying infections and/or overgrowths in the gut can increase this enzyme. This is from bacteria imbalances, yeast overgrowth, parasites, you name it. This is why a comprehensive stool analysis is something I order as well!
- Supplements. Supplements are a great tool to help you eliminate + detox that extra estrogen. Dandelion root tea, milk thistle, and NAC are all great supplements to love your liver and make sure the detox process is flowing! Remember, hormones are processed and detoxed through your liver – we don’t want this machine backlogged. Calcium d-glucarate is also a favorite to help package up estrogen to be eliminated from the body and it also inhibits beta-glucuronidase made by your gut I also love DIM because it helps your body choose the safer metabolites of estrogen. DIM is naturally found in those broccoli and cruciferous vegetables I mentioned earlier 😉
Again, I just want to preface that you aren’t just guessing and throwing random supplements at your hormones. It’s best to know exactly where your hormones are at, so you can support your body with what it needs exactly!
Does this seem overwhelming or maybe you’re looking for a personalized approach to make sure you are taking care of yourself correctly? Don’t forget to book that 15 minute phone call for free with me to see how we can help you! We work with women all over the U.S. and see people in-person in Austin, TX! xo