There is one common hormonal imbalance I see again and again in my Flo Living practice. Women come in with the symptoms, signs, and health conditions that are rooted in a specific instability in their hormonal ecosystem. These signs include common symptoms like PMS, hormonal acne, ovarian cysts, fibroids as well as conditions like PCOS and Endometriosis. That hormonal imbalance is estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the root cause of so many hormonal health issues. If you’re a longtime reader of this blog you will have heard me use the term “estrogen dominance” many times. I want to dig a little deeper in this post into what estrogen dominance means, how you can know if you have estrogen dominance, and what you can do to address the imbalance and get your hormones working in harmony.
What is estrogen dominance?
Estrogen dominance happens in the body when there is estrogen overload or too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. This happens as the result of the foods we eat, the products we use, stress, poor sleep, and other environmental factors. It can be very hard to completely avoid estrogen excess, because we are surrounded by endocrine disruptors – in everything from our furniture to our nail polish.
When your body’s elimination system is working at a subpar level – the result of a lack of micronutrients, a disrupted microbiome, and inability to deal with an unnatural level of toxins – it cannot process and eliminate this excess estrogen efficiently. A body nourished with nutrient dense and hormonally-supportive foods has a better chance of coping with and managing the synthetic estrogens we’re surrounded by, but many of us are not eating in a way that supports and bolsters our elimination system. This leads to a toxic build up and hormonal soup swimming around your body – throwing your delicate hormonal balance out of whack and triggering symptoms.
The other side of this coin here is progesterone deficiency – if you have too much estrogen in your bloodstream, your progesterone levels will be low in comparison.
What are the signs of estrogen dominance?
Once you discover the symptoms of estrogen dominance it’s hard not to see the signs all around you – in your own cycle experience and the difficult, uncomfortable PMS and period symptoms of your friends. That’s because many, many women are experiencing estrogen dominance, because their bodies are not equipped to cope with the incoming estrogen overload. Here are some of the signs of estrogen dominance:
- PMS – pre-menstrual symptoms from moodiness to bloating
- Ovarian cysts
- Weight gain
- Heavy periods
- Irregular periods
- Early onset puberty (before 12 years of age) in yourself and/or your daughter(s)
The long-term health impact of estrogen dominance
As well as the symptoms you will currently be experiencing if you have estrogen dominance, there are long-term health effects for those struggling with this hormonal imbalance. Over the years and decades, a persistent estrogen overload increases the risk of many diseases and health issues including:
Treatments for estrogen dominance
The reason you have not heard about this from your doctor and she has probably never diagnosed you with “estrogen dominance,” despite your symptoms, is that there’s really only one treatment provided by an OB/GYN for all of the health issues I mentioned above and that’s the birth control pill. When you visit an OB/GYN they tend to only be able to tell you what you already know – that you have certain symptoms and you don’t feel good as a result. They don’t often tell you exactly why you’re experiencing these symptoms. And the how to deal with the symptoms is always the birth control pill.
Of course, the path to you getting better begins with understanding why this is happening in your body. Even if you now know (or you’ve long known) that you have estrogen dominance, the most helpful part of naming the problem is knowing that you now need to take immediate action to address the root causes. Addressing the root causes is the key to moving past symptoms and feeling better. And the birth control pill does not address the root causes. It is only a band-aid for those symptoms – it may help to stop some symptoms or manage them some of the time, but when you eventually come off it will leave you even more sensitive to excess estrogen, setting you up to experience the same problems and potentially at worsened levels.
Estrogen dominance: Not just a women’s problem
These days we also see a lot of men dealing with the symptoms of estrogen dominance. They’re exposed to the same environmental factors as us and their bodies are often no better equipped to deal with the excess estrogen and eliminate it efficiently. For men, this brings about low testosterone levels (instead of low progesterone levels). You may have seen ads on TV for “Low-T” treatments for men. Men dealing with high estrogen and low testosterone will also gain weight, experience moodiness and irritability, get bloated…all of those issues we usually associated as only “female” in nature! Men also need to nourish their bodies so that their elimination system works at an optimum level and to increase their testosterone levels (especially as they age).
How to treat estrogen dominance naturally and effectively
The natural treatment for estrogen dominance is also the most effective and the longest lasting. This is because it gets down to the root cause, changes your hormonal ecosystem, and supports your elimination pathways. Following the Flo Living protocol sets your body up to combat all that incoming estrogen and helps it to deal with some of the unavoidable sources that inevitably come your way.
- Eat more fiber – there are 3 foods that contain a good amount of fiber as well as the other vital vitamins and minerals – such as glutathione, B vitamins, and C vitamins – that you need to help your liver process the excess estrogen so that it can be transported to the large intestine and then eliminated quickly – broccoli, flax seeds and pears.
- Support your microbiome – a set of good gut bacteria and certain bacterial genes, called the estrobolome, produce an essential enzyme that helps metabolize estrogen. Your microbiome is part of the elimination system that is vital in ushering hormones out of the body. Eat fermented foods daily like kimchi and sauerkraut and take a probiotic.
- Love your liver – Eggs, Glutathione-heavy vegetables like carrots, spinach and asparagus, plus cilantro are all great liver detoxifiers and boost the whole elimination system’s function. Try my special cilantro-based juice once a week.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you have symptoms of estrogen dominance?
Second, have you used the birth control pill to control the symptoms?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
Need more Hormone Help?
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I’ve designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
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