when you’ve got too much of a good thing & how to fix it
The term ‘oestrogen dominance’ essentially means high oestrogen levels in relation to other hormones, mainly progesterone.
What causes oestrogen dominance?
♀ Excess oestrogen production from ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells.
♀ Excess body fat – greater than 28%
♀ Low progesterone, creating an imbalance in oestrogen and progesterone ratio
♀ Slow detoxification and elimination of oestrogen, largely due to a sluggish liver and poor gut health.
♀ Low fibre diet and nutrient deficiencies
♀ Impaired immune function
♀ Environmental exposure to oestrogen mimicking chemicals – Eg, BPA in plastic and parabens in skincare.
Why is it important to address oestrogen dominance?
High oestrogen due to poor oestrogen detoxification has been linked to allergies, autoimmune disorders, increased blood clotting, acceleration of the aging process and many hormonal conditions such as;
♀ uterine fibroids
♀ breast cysts
♀ heavy periods
♀ breast and ovarian cancers
Symptoms of oestrogen dominance
The symptoms of oestrogen dominance vary from person to person, however these are some of the most common;
♀ heavy periods
♀ bloating (water retention)
♀ breast swelling and tenderness
♀ headaches – especially premenstrual
♀ PMS – bloating, irritability, depression
♀ weight gain – particularly the abdomen, hips and thighs area
♀ cervical dysplasia
♀ cold hands and feet – due to thyroid dysfunction
♀ brain fog
♀ sleep problems - insomnia
How to improve oestrogen dominance and hormone balance
Sufficient fibre is essential to eliminating oestrogen via the bowel. Without sufficient fibre oestrogen is reabsorbed into the blood stream further exacerbating oestrogen dominance. Foods high in fibre include:
♀ ground flax seeds
♀ chia seeds
♀ psyllium husk
♀ slippery elm
♀ non starchy vegetables and fruits.
Limit plastic and chemicals
Reducing oestrogen mimicking chemicals such as plastic containers and bottles, chemicals in skincare and eating organic as much as possible can significantly lower your toxic load and subsequently lower oestrogen excess and improve detoxification.
Chronic high stress raises cortisol, lowers progesterone and creates the perfect environment for oestrogen dominance. Taking steps to manage stress can go a long way to supporting hormone balance. This can be as simple as implementing some down time every day or a daily self care ritual.
Love your liver
Reduce liver stressors that burden the liver’s ability to eliminate toxins:
♀ bad fats i.e. trans fats found in vegetable oils as well as processed and deep-fried foods
♀ refined sugar
♀ environmental toxins
Increase foods that support liver health and detoxification:
♀ Green veggies, especially broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, turnip, radish and watercress
♀ Lemon juice including the rind in water
♀ Green tea
If you suspect you have oestrogen-dominance or a condition related to hormone imbalance, consider seeing a health professional and getting tested. A complete hormone profile test can identify hormone imbalances and give some insight on how to go about effectively improving hormone health.
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