10 Signs of Estrogen Dominance
I can’t tell you how many times women ask me, “could it be my hormones?”
Lots of times they’ve been told that everything checks out fine, that it’s just normal hormonal changes, or that the only option they have is to take the birth control pill.
Those things are often only partially true or not even true at all.
Lots of times when we do more thorough testing, we discover an explanation—and sometimes it’s estrogen dominance.
I’m not saying estrogen dominance is the issue for every woman, but it is commonly overlooked and something I believe more women should be aware of.
Ever heard of it?
Estrogen dominance is a pattern in the body where estrogen levels are too high in comparison to progesterone levels. It can happen because of any of these reasons:
Here are 10 of the most common signs of estrogen dominance:
Estrogen dominance is also associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, endometriosis, and an increased risk of breast or uterine cancer.
Please do not take this as medical advice. The only way to know your hormonal patterns is to have testing ordered by a qualified healthcare professional.
8 Hidden Causes of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a common pattern in women, where estrogen levels are high in comparison to progesterone levels.
Our hormones respond to so many aspects of our physiology that it can take some detective work to figure out the root cause of estrogen dominance.
Here are 8 potential hidden causes:
1️⃣ Body Fat
Our fat cells contain an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. That means the more fat cells in the body, the more estrogen produced.
2️⃣ Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance (when cells do not properly respond to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar) increases aromatase activity, leading to increased estrogen levels.
3️⃣ Liver Problems
The liver is the main site of estrogen metabolism. If the liver is not functioning well, estrogen will be metabolized (and therefore eliminated from the body) more slowly.
4️⃣ Poor Gut Health
There’s an enzyme in the gut called beta-glucuronidase that causes estrogen to recirculate into the body. Overgrowth of certain unfriendly gut bacteria boost levels of this enzyme, contributing to estrogen dominance.
5️⃣ Low Thyroid Function
Estrogen and thyroid hormones have an intimate relationship. High estrogen blocks the conversion of T4 to T3, and low thyroid function slows elimination of estrogen from the body. This can create a vicious cycle and worsen estrogen dominance!
Alcohol increases activity of the aromatase enzyme in the liver, contributing to higher estrogen levels.
Here’s a big one. Did you know that progesterone and the stress hormone cortisol are made from the same precursor hormone? That means that with more stress, we produce more cortisol and less progesterone—leaving estrogen unchecked.
Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. They can be found in plastic water bottles, grocery store receipts, cleaning products, shampoos, and lotions to name a few.
5 Lifestyle Hacks for Estrogen Dominance
There is no pill anybody can take to magically correct estrogen dominance. Our hormones respond to foods, movement, stress, and everyday habits. So let’s look at 5 lifestyle hacks to deal with estrogen dominance:
1️⃣ Try Seed Cycling
Seed cycling means eating seeds that support estrogen during days 1-14 of the menstrual cycle and seeds that support progesterone during days 15-28. For example, eating 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds during the first half of the cycle and switching to sesame seeds and sunflower seeds during the second half.
2️⃣ Boost Fiber
Fiber supports healthy bowel movements and elimination (including the elimination of estrogens). Plus, foods that are rich in fiber fuel the beneficial bacteria in the gut for microbiome balance.
3️⃣ Cut Alcohol
Alcohol can burden the liver and increase activity of the estrogen-producing aromatase enzyme. Cutting alcohol promises many benefits—including happier hormones.
4️⃣ Reduce Stress
We cannot control the stressful situations around us, but we can find ways to respond and release that stress. Better stress management translates to less cortisol production, freeing up your body’s resources to make healthy levels of progesterone.
5️⃣ Get Exercise
Exercise helps with several of the hidden causes of estrogen dominance—including body fat and insulin resistance. Getting into a routine of moving your body every day will help support hormone health.
Supplements for Hormonal Health
Estrogen dominance can be confusing and frustrating—especially because the conventional medical system has little to offer in the way of solutions.
Bringing hormones back into balance requires a commitment to healthy habits, but we can support the process with targeted nutritional supplements.
Here are 3 categories of supplements to consider:
💊 Gut Support (for estrogen elimination):
💊 Liver Support (for estrogen metabolism):
💊 Hormone Support (for estrogen-progesterone balance):
Looking for the best way to come up with a supplement plan that will work for YOU? Work with a qualified practitioner! Click through to our website to learn how easy it is to get started at our clinic.
This information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA and does not intend to diagnose or treat disease.
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