Many of my clients are so overwhelmed at the thought of “hormone balancing’’.
They often ask me:
How do I know that my hormones are off?
What should I be looking for?
Aren’t these symptoms just a normal part of being a woman?
The answer to that last question is “No, sis…your intense PMS symptoms, heavy periods, and those annoying chin hairs are not normal parts of womanhood.”
I’ll explain below but first, let’s talk about estrogen!
WHAT IS IT?
Estrogen is a hormone that plays various roles in the body. While it is present in both men and women, women create more of it. In female bodies, estrogen helps develop and maintain both the reproductive system and female characteristics, such as breasts and pubic hair.
It also helps to promote the growth of the uterine lining and the development of an egg, contributes to ovulation, supports your metabolism, promotes a healthy libido, and overall helps you feel happy, energized, confident, mentally sharp, and productive!
WHAT DOES ”ESTROGEN DOMINANCE” MEAN?
Estrogen dominance occurs when we have too much estrogen in the body and less of the other sex hormones, such as little progesterone to balance it out.
Progesterone is especially important during the childbearing years, if you don’t produce enough progesterone, you may have trouble getting or staying pregnant.
WHAT CAUSES ESTROGEN DOMINANCE?
Estrogen dominance can be caused by:
Stress and high cortisol levels: We all live busy lives and often feel burnt out at the end of each day. Stress causes our adrenal glands to produce a lot of cortisol to keep us going, but when we’re under chronic stress, this can lead to adrenal fatigue. When our body uses up our cortisol, it begins to steal sex hormones, especially progesterone, to produce more. This leads to an estrogen-dominant state because there isn’t enough progesterone to balance it out.
Poor liver function: Our liver is responsible for metabolizing estrogen and it needs certain vitamins, minerals and enzymes to do this effectively. Overexposure to environmental toxins, certain foods and chemicals can create a sluggish liver. If the liver is not functioning optimally, estrogen levels can be high because your body is not breaking it down and getting rid of it as it should. Anything that impairs liver function will result in excess estrogen.
Excess fat: Fat tissues absorb and store estrogen circulating in your bloodstream. Having high estrogen levels signals your body to make more fat cells, which then produce even more estrogen, creating a vicious cycle that can lead to estrogen dominance.
Contraceptive pill: A woman’s natural cycle is composed of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone. Birth Control Pills contain synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone (called progestin) which suppresses ovulation, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month. This can contribute to the development or worsening of estrogen dominance. Depending on the dosage, they can be very strong and linger for a long period of time in the body.
Poor diet: Conventional meat and dairy products, excess alcohol consumption, high caffeine intake, refined sugar and processed soy products can all lead to estrogen dominance.
SIX COMMON SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE:
We hear all the time about women experiencing the following symptoms, so we think they’re normal and all part of womanhood – but as I stated earlier, no sis, this is not normal at all!
Some common symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Mood swings
- Heavy periods
AND NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS!
If you know you have estrogen dominance or are experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t worry, you’re not doomed! Thankfully, by making small changes to our diet and lifestyle, we can naturally help balance out our hormones.
TIPS TO HELP YOU BALANCE YOUR ESTROGEN LEVELS:
Stress Management: Manage your stress by identifying/removing any triggers, taking deep diaphragmatic breaths, prioritizing rest time, avoiding caffeine and relying on your family/friend support network
Ditch the pill: The pill is a common band-aid used to manage the symptoms of many women’s health concerns (irregular periods, heavy bleeding, etc.). Fortunately, there are many ways to address these concerns without using birth control. It is important to not quit your birth control pills cold turkey. If you’d like support getting off of the pill, click here to book an appointment with me.
Support Your Liver: Our liver does so for us so it’s important that we support it any way that we can. Two easy ways to do this is through nutrition & herbal support. Make sure that your diet is full of foods such as berries, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts), broccoli sprouts, etc. Liver supportive herbs include dandelion, milk thistle, & burdock root.
Exercise: aerobics and moderate functional strength training can help improve muscle mass and lower estrogen levels…………
LOOKING FOR MORE SUPPORT?
- Book a free welcome to wellness visit with me for custom hormone balancing support