Have you ever wondered what your symptoms are trying to tell you? Excess oestrogen? Low progesterone? Peri-menopause? It is possible that it’s a case of all of the above. Oestrogen dominance occurs when oestrogen levels are in excess relative to progesterone. Unfortunately, due to pollutions, plastics, chemicals, oral contraceptives and poor gut health, it is becoming very common. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to help balance oestrogen. Read on for tips on treating oestrogen dominance naturally.
What are the symptoms of oestrogen dominance?
PMS, bloating, mood swings, hormonal headaches, endometriosis, fibroids, breast tenderness, periods irregularities, memory issues, low libido, depression or anxiety can all indicate oestrogen dominance.
Oestrogen is our high energy hormone. Oestrogen promotes the growth of endometrial lining, regulates the menstrual cycle, and is involved in numerous functions from metabolism to mood and bone density. In fact, oestrogen is involved in over 400 different functions in the body.
But having too much oestrogen in excess of progesterone, or oestrogen dominance is not an ideal situation. In excess, it can lead to hormonal cancers, candida, autoimmune conditions and thyroid dysfunction.
Reasons for Oestrogen Dominance
Gut/liver/bowel health – within the microbiome we have the estrobolome which metabolises excess oestrogen. The liver then detoxes, and the bowels eliminate those excesses. If any of these organs are sluggish, or not fed properly, they are unable to do their job and excess oestrogen is re-absorbed back into our system.
Stress – being constantly busy or having chronic stress raises cortisol levels which in turn depletes progesterone. Lower progesterone levels naturally mean oestrogen dominance.
Excess weight – fat tissues absorb circulating oestrogen BUT fat tissues also produce oestrogen. High levels of oestrogen signals to the body to make more fat cells, which then produce more oestrogen and so a vicious cycle is created.
Xenoestrogens – environmental pollutants, herbicides, pesticides, beauty and cleaning products all contain chemicals that once in the body mimic oestrogen raising oestrogen levels.
Menopause – yes oestrogen falls during menopause, but it’s actually progesterone that falls first thereby creating a state of oestrogen dominance. This can start in our mid-to-late 30s and continue well into our 40s.
Pill/HRT – most contain synthetic oestrogen without the balance of progesterone. And being synthetic, it is not easily dealt with by the liver.
Tips to balance oestrogen naturally
Eat more fibre – eating lots of fibrous vegetables on a daily basis, feds the microbiome and supports the liver and bowels. Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts are all high in fibre. Raw carrots are beneficial due to their unique fibre which helps to sweep up and eliminate oestrogen. Cruciferous vegetables are high in a compound called DIM (Diindolylmethane) which helps to balance oestrogen.
Avoid conventionally farmed meat and dairy – traditional farming practices can have a high use of antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides. Instead, choose grass-fed and organic wherever possible to avoid extra toxicity.
Reduce toxin exposure – filter your water, avoid plastics and review your cleaning and beauty products – all of these will reduce your exposure to xenoestrogens.
Daily movement – exercise helps the liver and bowels to function more efficiently, reduces stress and helps with weight management.
Reduce stress – prioritise daily stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation or gratitude practices. This will help to reduce cortisol and promote better levels of progesterone.
And of course, there are many homeopathic remedies and herbal blends to help – including herbs like black cohosh, agnus cactus and wild yam. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss further.