There are three primary estrogens in the body: estradiol, estrone, and estriol.
In menstruating women, estradiol is the primary estrogen. Once a women goes through menopause, estrone becomes the primary estrogen. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat tissue. Estrogen helps with skin integrity, bone health, breast development, vaginal moisture, and brain health. It also controls the thickening of the uterine lining during the first half of a female’s menstrual cycle.
Low estrogen can make a women feel like they are going crazy! It can cause hot flashes, night sweats, osteopenia or osteoporosis (decreased bone density), vaginal dryness, mood swings, and pain with intercourse.
However, like all things too much of a good thing can be bad. Elevated estrogen typically leads to estrogen dominance (where estrogen is in excess in relation to progesterone).
Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance Include:
- Weight gain (difficulty losing weight- especially around the hips, thighs, breast, and abdomen)
- Breast enlargement/breast pain
- Fibrocystic breast
- Mood swings/irritability
- Heavy, painful cycles
- Decreased libido
- Brain Fog
Should I keep going….
If you suffer from these symptoms, there are a number of natural remedies that can help reduce your estrogen and improve your estrogen/progesterone balance.
Quick Tips to Reduce Estrogen Dominance
- Lose weight
- I know easier said than done… but fat tissue produces estrogen. If you are overweight or obese, its important to start a good weight loss program to get your body mass index or BMI in the optimal range, which is 18.5-24.9.
- If you don’t know your body mass index; use this link to calculate it today. Anything above 25 is considered overweight and anything above 30 is considered obese.
- Exercise (this really goes with number one too)
- Lean muscle mass will increase your metabolism and decrease body fat percent.
- Aim for a full body strength training workout 3x per week. If you don’t have an exercise regimen in place, connect with me. I can set you up with one of our wonderful personal trainers!
- Optimize Detoxification/Liver Health
- The liver plays a key role in hormone balance and detoxification
- Add foods that support detoxification including celery juice, cilantro, parsley, lemon water, dandelion greens or dandelion tea, cruciferous vegetables (which are rich in an antioxidant called diindolymethane or DIM for short that helps us metabolize estrogen), and cold pressed green juices (veggie heavy, limit fruit juices).
- Eat Fiber
- Once the liver breaks down estrogen it has to be eliminated by our digestive tract. Having regular bowel movements is actually a critical part to hormone balance. If you are constipated, you can reabsorb toxins and hormones that were meant for elimination.
- Aim for 35-40 grams of fiber per day. Most American’s tend to only get 15 grams of fiber per day. If this is you, make sure to gradually increase your fiber consumption or you may suffer from digestive discomfort.
- If you have a hard time getting all of your fiber from vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, try adding in 1 tbsp of organic psyllium husk per day. This is a strong soluble fiber, so once again increase slowly. Start with 1 tsp and gradually increase to 1 tbsp (or 3 tsp) per day. Also, make sure you stay very well hydrated when you are taking soluble fiber or it can make you more constipated!
- Clean up your lifestyle
- Our environment is filled with endocrine disruptors (products and toxins that alter hormone balance); including but not limited too parabens, phthalates, BPA, pesticides, and hormones/antibiotics in our meat/dairy.
- Most people can’t afford organic everything, however I highly suggest buying the dirty dozen organic and all meat/dairy products.
- Also, be aware of what you put on your body! The average female puts 126+ chemicals on their body every morning before heading out the door. Now thats scary! Consider downloading the Think Dirty or Skin Deep app to help you learn what is in the products you use!
- Supplement when appropriate
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Come see us at 2UMedical to get your hormone levels checked
- If you are trying all of this and still having symptoms, it is probably time to add bioidentical progesterone to help balance estrogen dominance.
- We would love to help you not only feel your best, but look your best. Make an appointment today!