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Is estrogen dominance part of your health struggle?

Are you estrogen dominant? This is something that can be measured for with the right functional testing, and one of the factors I always look at when I perform labs with a client. Estrogen dominance can be caused by a number of things.

Estrogen dominance is not as much a diagnosis as it more so refers to the overall imbalance of estrogen to progesterone or testosterone in the body.


Estrogen dominance can result in many common symptoms, including:

  • Brain fog

  • PMS

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Reduced sex drive

  • Weight gain (particularly in hips, midsection, thighs)

  • Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Mood swings

  • Bloating

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • Abnormal menstruation

  • Fibroids

  • Endometriosis

  • Breast tenderness


Here are eight common root causes of estrogen dominance:


Toxins found in food

Hormones commonly used in conventionally raised meat and dairy products can mess with your own hormones. Pesticides, such as glyphosate, used on plants are also common endocrine disruptors. Heavily processed food not only contains foreign ingredients the body struggles to recognize but also contains a higher chemical toxin burden and can increase inflammation levels within the body.


How to fix:

Follow a nutrition plan that:

  • Minimizes processed foods, sugars, and alcohol

  • Avoids conventional cow dairy and incorporates occasional dairy from grass-fed goats

  • Chooses organic, grass-fed and finished, hormone free meat

  • Chooses organic produce when possible

  • Focuses on eating deeply pigmented vegetables and fruits in a variety of colors

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress tends to deplete the adrenal glands, responsible for producing healthy levels of cortisol and it’s counterpart, DHEA. DHEA is a precursor to the sex hormones and often becomes depleted as chronic stress takes its toll on the body long term. This destroys the delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone.


How to fix:

Addressing stress and finding relaxing outlets is one of the best things that you can do for your health as stress impacts almost every function within the body! Ways to reduce stress:

  • Create a list of things that trigger stress for you. What can you do to minimize, avoid, or change your perspective about those triggers?

  • Journal

  • Meditate

  • Walk outside for 20-30 minutes daily

  • Take 1-2 minutes every hour to take 5 deep breaths to recenter yourself

  • Make a list of activities that are relaxing for YOU


Tap water

Public drinking water contains 45 hormone-disrupting chemicals. Plastic bottles and cans also leach chemicals and micro plastics into the water, causing hormonal imbalances.


How to fix:

Drink filtered water out of a glass or stainless steel vessel. By filtering your drinking water with a quality filter, like an under-the-sink or countertop RO system, you’re massively reducing your exposure to the dangers of industrial chemicals, their toxic byproducts, and pharmaceuticals. I’d suggest investing in at least a heavy-duty carbon filter that will remove particles 0.8 microns or under.


Xenoestrogens

Xenoestrogens are endocrine disruptors that can mimic estrogen in the body which can block or bind to estrogen receptors in the body.


When this happens, it typically raises the overall estrogen levels in the body which can result in estrogen dominance.


How to fix:


Avoid these common ingredients found in everyday household products that have xenoestrogens:


Food:

  • Red dye No. 3 (erythrosine)

  • BHA (a food preservative)

  • Pesticides / insecticides found on conventional produce


Hygiene products:

  • Parabens

  • Benzophenone (commonly found in sunscreen!)

  • Phthalates


Household products:

  • Bisphenol A (found in plastics and receipts)

  • DEHP (commonly found in PVC)

  • Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) - (flame retardants found in things such as plastics, furniture, vehicles, etc)

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls


Other:

  • Ethinylestradiol (found in combined oral contraceptive pills)

  • Many insecticides (can be found in traces on non-organic produce)

  • Alkylphenol (found in cleaning detergents)


Metabolic Syndrome and Dysbiosis

Dysbiosis (more bad than good bacteria in gut) can create either byproducts that interfere with detoxification of hormone metabolites, or create inflammation which can interfere with detoxification. When this happens, the body can have trouble eliminating estrogen metabolites especially, storing it in fat, particularly around the midline. Significant blood sugar dysregulation can also lead to excess adipose tissue, which then lends itself to creating excess estrogen in the body.


How to fix:

The best way to overcome an inflamed gut is through testing to identify WHAT is happening in your gut or working with a qualified practitioner to help you get your sugar handling and metabolism optimized. Lifestyle actions that you can begin to take at home include:

  • Avoiding toxins

  • Eat fermented foods

  • Lower stress levels

  • Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners

  • Limit alcohol

  • Eat the rainbow

  • Choose organic produce whenever possible


Hormonal birth control

Hormonal birth control adds synthetic hormones to your body, which suppresses natural hormone production and disrupts your natural balance.


How to fix:

Speak with your practitioner about other methods of birth control that would be beneficial to you. Types of hormone free birth control include:

  • The copper IUD

  • Family planning method

  • Barrier birth control (condom, diaphragm, etc)

  • Vasectomy (if you have a current partner)


Mold toxicity

Mold has a lot of nasty affects on the body, one of which is interfering with the liver’s detox pathways. Because of this, the liver can have trouble metabolizing and clearing hormones like estrogen. Estrogen dominance is a common scenario with mold toxicity and/or poor detoxification.


How to fix:

This is one that you really need to work with a knowledgable functional practitioner on who has done a lot of mold testing with clients. In the meantime, take stock of your current home/work environment and symptoms:

  • Do you live or work in an older building (built more than 15 years ago) with a musty smell below grade, or any history of water intrusion?

  • Do you see any signs of past water damage - stained ceiling tiles or wood floor or warped wood under the sink?

  • Do you constantly get sick with colds, flus, or viral infections like cold sores or canker sores?

  • Do you feel like you are struggling with symptoms across multiple systems: brain symptoms, respiratory symptoms, GI symptoms, energy issues, etc?


Do you feel like you need more support for your hormones? Sign up here for a free discovery call so I can explore how I might be able to help you.


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