Estrogen dominance is at an all-time high affecting thousands of women, typically between the ages of 35 and 52 years old. And an astonishing 90% of women will also suffer from estrogen dominance as they go through perimenopause and menopause.
So if those numbers caught your attention today, I want you to tune in because I'm going to share with you what estrogen dominance is, the causes of estrogen dominance, how to recognize if this might be happening to you, and then of course some ways to help reverse the situation.
Hi, my name is Marcie Vaske. I am a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. So I work with clients who live with intestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and that's just to name a few.
As we learn and continue to learn more and more about the significance of having a healthy gut, it's also very often that my clients will come with issues relating to things like hormones like we're talking about today, or thyroid issues, insulin dysregulation, and even autoimmune diseases.
So if this sounds like you or maybe someone you love and know and want to become a client, you can sign up for your initial appointment.
Or if you're kind of the person who likes to do things on their own and learn and just get more knowledge, then check out our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve your Gut Health.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Alright, so what is estrogen dominance? Estrogen dominance is a hormone imbalance where you have too much estrogen in relation to the progesterone in your body. So, you might be wondering, what is causing this type of situation?
Well, there are many causes and we're gonna run through a few of 'em right now. There are ways in which our environment, food, stress, and even lifestyle factors can mess with our hormones and create this estrogen dominance, and it leads to symptoms that we dread.
Things like PMS or hot flashes, terrible periods, weight gain, and even hair loss. So what we wanna do first here is take a look at our liver because our liver is responsible for packaging up that estrogen so it can move it out of your gut.
If either your liver or your gut aren't doing their job, then that estrogen can build up in your body and develop this estrogen dominance.
So, we really want to pay attention to if our liver is functioning well to process all that estrogen. If you're pooping every day or if you're constipated, all those toxins are getting backed up into your system, increasing that estrogen-dominant situation going on.
Then we wanna take a look at estrogen-mimicking chemicals. And those are environmental toxins known as xenoestrogens. They can also be behind all these symptoms and where are you gonna find 'em? Well, in your environment, right?
Everywhere around you like your household, and even personal care items will contain these xenoestrogens.
Things like lotion, nail polish, makeup, cleaning products, laundry detergent, pesticides, plastics, perfumes, and our feminine hygiene products that we might use during our period, are possibly increasing those xenoestrogens.
Now, another reason that you could be experiencing symptoms from this is if you have an ovulatory cycle, which means months where you don't release an egg so you could be increasing that estrogen dominance in the system.
If you don't ovulate, or have issues getting that progesterone up in the last two weeks of your cycle, that's where there's that high estrogen and low progesterone imbalance happens.
And of course, gut health can cause estrogen dominance. Those little bugs in our body that help us function so well! If they're out of balance, then they're making too much of something called beta-glucuronidase, and you'll find this with excess estrogen.
There are some supplements that we'll get into as well that can help counteract that. You're gonna wanna pay attention to how your skin is looking, are you moody? Are your breasts more tender?
Have you had hot flashes or even difficulty sleeping? These are going to help you make that connection between your gut health, and how your gut is impacting your hormones.
So, maybe it's in the next cycle you have, just take note of that, be mindful of those symptoms and see if it's gut related is one of your causes for estrogen dominance.
And another cause for estrogen dominance is our most beloved stress, which is, I think in almost every single video that I talk about anything stress is some factor in inflammation.
And now today as we're talking about estrogen dominance, it's a big problem because what happens is that when you're stressed, it pushes the cortisol production at the expense of the progesterone.
So remember, we want that balance with estrogen and progesterone, but if our cortisol is outta whack, then that progesterone isn't being made right and it's being lowered, which sets the stage for estrogen dominance.
And things that you might notice if stress is causing some of this is sleep trouble, or maybe you're just kind of flying off the handle or your periods are getting worse or your breasts are tender or you feel like every stress around you is just way overwhelming.
So we wanna look at reducing our stress of course, and there are lots of ways to do that through deep breathing, maybe a massage. Some people like to journal, yoga is a great stress reliever, and maybe just taking a walk.
So now that we know what kind of causes this estrogen dominance, how can you recognize this in yourself? Well, symptoms of excess estrogen can look like irregular or heavy periods, maybe water retention, breast swelling, and tenderness.
You can have headaches, and migraines, you could even have fibrocystic breast changes. Also, weight gain, mood swings, our hair falling out, painful periods, and otherwise just a wreck of PMS.
Estrogen dominance can also lead to decreased amounts of available thyroid hormone. So your thyroid might be MI dysfunctioning and you need a little support there. So if you're feeling like any of these symptoms could be you, then I hope that you'll listen.
You'll continue to listen as I talk about how to reverse some of these estrogen-dominant symptoms naturally.
Now, if you suspect that estrogen dominance might be creating some problems for you, you'll first wanna work with a practitioner and get some blood labs taken and find out if you have estrogen dominance in the first place.
But if you have these symptoms that I spoke about, here are a few things to kind of help reverse them as you move forward.
How to reverse estrogen dominance?
First and foremost, you wanna love your liver. As I talked about at the very beginning of the video, as I said, our liver is responsible for getting rid of estrogen, detoxing it, and pushing it out of the gut. And so, how can you give your liver a little more love?
Make sure you eat some quality protein you want to eat, even if you can tolerate and like garlic and onion, that's a great way to support your liver. You could take a B complex multi or B complex vitamin. You could even eat three cups of cruciferous vegetables weekly, which is awesome and pretty easy to do.
Or you could even consider a supplement that has dim in it, which is a nutrient that supports the liver and processing estrogens out.
And what's interesting is that part of dim is the cruciferous vegetables, because these cruciferous vegetables actually have an enzyme in there that helps detox and process that estrogen out.
Now, another thing you could do is fix your gut.
If you kind of rolled through some of those thoughts that I gave earlier on, is your gut connected to a bad period, bad skin, and things of that nature. You're gonna want to dig in a little bit further and make sure your gut is healthy and what you want to figure out those underlying causes if there is some.
So, maybe it's best to work with a practitioner to help you get to optimal gut health. There are obvious signs of gut dysbiosis or just dysfunctioning gut, right? As I mentioned earlier, all the people I work with, have gas, excess diarrhea, constipation, and too much bloating, and this can be triggering some of this estrogen dominance for you.
Now, if you're not having a lot of gut issues, it might be easy enough just to take a probiotic, otherwise, I would recommend working with a practitioner to help sort all that out. Another thing you can do here to help your estrogen dominance reverse itself is to maximize your nutrition, right?
What's really gonna be helpful is making sure you're getting enough fiber.
And there have been reports that have studied how much fiber has been beneficial for estrogen dominance, and they've come up with that between 15 and 30 grams of additional fiber a day helps reduce this estrogen dominance in perimenopausal women.
Now, 15 to 30 grams of fiber a day is kind of the standard, so it's not much different, but where are you gonna find that, right?
You can easily include more fiber by having avocados, raspberries, artichokes, oatmeal, almonds, and broccoli. They're all wonderful forms of increasing fiber in your daily diet.
Now, besides just the fiber, what are some other things that are gonna help support your hormone balance? Well, we talked just a moment about those cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. These are amazing for helping that hormone balance.
Also, adding some fiber like flax seeds and seed cycling possibly. And of course, adding in good proteins, good grass-fed beef, you know, can do some lentils if you'd like. Eggs are amazing.
And then just some various foods that are gonna be really, really helpful will be carrots, jicama, and avocado, even things like blackberries or beets are amazing for your liver.
Burdock root, dandelion root is wonderful for the liver, and even a little bit of dark chocolate. So, there are a lot of wonderful foods you can add in to easily work on balancing those hormones.
Now, another thing to help decrease this estrogen dominance is going to be stress less. Again, talking about how you need to calm the stress in your life, find some self-care things that feel good to you because stress will wreck your hormones.
And that might sound a bit dramatic, but it can. Stress causes so many problems in so many other areas in our body as well. So take some time to take some deep breaths. Think about letting go of things. Don't always be the yes person.
Try to think about what you need to help yourself feel the very best. And of course, sleep. We've got to sleep. A minimum of seven hours of sleep, you should be getting a night. It helps your body heal and it will help your hormones balance out.
So if you're struggling with sleep, it might be best to work with a practitioner, but also look into your sleep hygiene. Is the room cool enough? Are you too hot at night under all your blankets? Are you eating a large sugary meal right before you go to bed?
Or maybe having a glass of wine? Or maybe you are just on your phone right before you go to bed and all that blue light is causing problems. So you want tp think about your sleep hygiene in helping yourself balance out those hormones.
Now there are supplements that can be helpful for estrogen dominance, and I mentioned a couple above, which would be the B complex, and also a product that contains dim. And I think it's best if you are struggling with estrogen dominance to really work with a practitioner.
If you are looking for vitamins and supplements that are holistic nutritionist approved, check out our line of vitamins and supplements here.
A lot of times it gets confusing and some symptoms or signs seem like the same thing and you don't know which way to go.
So I hope that helps you think about your hormones in a different way and how you can help get hormone balance back into good standing
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH