Feeling like your hormones are holding you hostage? It’s common to experience mood swings, stubborn body fat, or severe PMS symptoms wreaking havoc on your life. But you’re not alone.
Hormonal disturbance, particularly estrogen dominance, can be overwhelming for both men and women. However, there’s hope that you can restore optimal health and well-being with the right guidance and support.
Read on to discover key insights, tools, and strategies that will guide you on a transformative journey to achieve hormonal balance and create a more harmonious and fulfilling life.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen dominance can occur when hormonal imbalance disrupts the delicate harmony between estrogen and progesterone, leading to elevated estrogen levels and insufficient progesterone levels. This imbalance can have negative effects on physiological processes.
Estrogen is a hormone group mainly produced by women’s ovaries and, to a lesser extent, by fat tissues and adrenal glands. It plays a key role in various facets of health, including the reproductive system, brain function, cardiovascular health, and bone health.
Progesterone is produced from the same sites as estrogen and acts in conjunction with estrogen to regulate menstrual cycles, support pregnancy, and maintain hormonal balance.
Simply put, sustaining a harmonious equilibrium between estrogen and progesterone can significantly affect your overall wellness. However, when estrogen dominance enters the picture, it can disrupt this delicate balance, compromising your well-being.
The Root Cause of Estrogen Dominance
Excessive estrogen production, poor elimination, or inadequate progesterone levels are some culprits to blame for estrogen imbalance. Here is a quick breakdown of the potential causes behind this imbalance.
1. Abnormal body fat
In addition to the ovaries, adipose tissues or body fat can also secrete estrogen. Therefore, if you are overweight, there is a possibility that you may be experiencing estrogen dominance, as studies have revealed.
Stress takes a toll on your body’s hormonal rhythm, and it creates an environment prone to estrogen dominance.
For example, in times of stress, higher cortisol levels can sweep away the sex hormones, specifically progesterone, causing excessive estrogen. Also, the body’s fight-or-flight response can pose emotional eating, weight gain, and hinder metabolism, leading to the accumulation of estrogen in your body.
3. Lack of ovulation
During ovulation, your body secretes progesterone naturally. However, when the ovulation becomes irregular, progesterone levels drop, which ultimately leads to an upswing of estrogen.
Medications are typically designed to treat ailments but can also have potential side effects including those related to estrogen dominance. Certain medications, including antibiotics, antifungals, birth control pills, antidepressants, steroids, and corticosteroids, can disrupt hormonal synchrony.
5. Liver Dysfunction and Dysbiosis
Any damage to your liver can impair its ability to metabolize and detoxify estrogen, resulting in higher estrogen levels in circulation. In contrast, dysbiosis or poor gut health is another contributing factor to estrogen imbalance.
6. Environmental Agents
Exposure to plastic, cosmetics, or personal care products is another major cause of estrogen imbalance. This is because the xenoestrogen presence that imitates estrogen can disrupt the endocrine system and elevate estrogen production.
7. Toxic Mold Exposure
Inhalation exposure to toxic mold and other water-damaged building toxins also causes estrogen dominance. This exposure is most often the result of living or working in a home or building that has had water damage, such as a leak or flood. Mold mimics estrogen and therefore will cause estrogen to dominate and progesterone to become deficient. Toxic mold exposure can cause a wide range of other health issues, often categorized as Gu Syndrome in TCM.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but below are a few common symptoms that affect both men and women.
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Bloating and water retention
- Weight gain (especially around the waist, thighs, and hips)
- Hair loss or thinning due to estrogen dominance
- Decrease in sex drive
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Breast tenderness
- Fatigue, insomnia, depression, and anxiety
- Memory issues and headache
- Decrease in libido
- Hair loss or baldness
- Poor sleep quality
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
Estrogen Dominance Face
Estrogen dominance can lead to noticeable facial changes and skin-related hallmarks in both genders. Some of these manifestations include:
- Hormonal acne
- Abnormal facial hair growth
- Changes in skin texture
- Excessive skin sensitivity
- Pigmentation or skin discoloration
- Puffy or swollen face
How to Test for Estrogen Dominance
Testing for estrogen dominance can provide valuable insights for an accurate diagnosis. Follow the steps below to manually test for estrogen dominance:
1. Undergo an Estrogen Dominance Test
If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, the most effective way to alleviate concerns is by taking a lab test for estrogen dominance. These tests typically involve analyzing your saliva, blood, or urine to determine your hormone levels without causing any discomfort.
2. Obtain the Reference Range
To obtain an accurate reference value, consult the laboratory conducting the test. Keep in mind that the reference range may vary depending on the testing method and the specific laboratory.
3. Compare Estrogen and Progesterone Levels
Compare your test results with the reference range to determine if they fall within the normal range.
4. Evaluate the Estrogen-to-Progesterone Ratio
Calculate the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio by dividing your estrogen levels by your progesterone levels. For example, if your estrogen level is 100 pg/mL and your progesterone level is 10 ng/mL, the ratio would be 10 (100/10 = 10).
If the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio exceeds 10:1, it could indicate an excess of estrogen in your body.
How to Treat Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance treatment can involve both conventional hormonal therapy and natural alternative medicine approaches. Conventional hormonal therapy relies on prescribed medications to directly modify hormone levels, while natural alternative medicine approaches prioritize holistic methods and lifestyle adjustments to restore hormonal balance.
1. Conventional Hormonal Therapy
Hormonal replacement therapy: HRT includes supplementing your body with progesterone, estrogen, or a combination of both to restore hormonal harmony. It can be administered orally, topically, or through patches.
Progesterone therapy: This therapy only includes progesterone supplementations to counterbalance estrogen dominance and regulate the hormones in your body.
2. How to Treat Estrogen Dominance NaturallyDiscover these natural strategies that can help you maintain optimal hormonal health and naturally restore balance to your estrogen levels.
Estrogen Dominance Diet
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet Plan
A balanced diet is incredibly valuable in combating estrogen dominance. A healthy diet can play a crucial role in addressing this condition by promoting gut health, supporting liver function, and rebalancing hormones, However, to effectively address your individual needs, a personalized nutrition plan is highly recommended.
This tailored approach can provide targeted support and guidance to optimize your dietary choices and further assist in addressing estrogen dominance.
2. Foods for Estrogen Dominance
- Eat foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale, to support estrogen metabolism and help eliminate excess estrogen from your body.
- Include flaxseed, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds into your diet. The lignans in the seeds can bind to estrogen receptors and lower estrogen dominance in your body.
- Citrus fruit rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, can contribute to the detoxification of estrogen.
- Fiber-enriched whole grain and leafy greens contain prebiotic fibers and anti-inflammatory properties that can support estrogen metabolism.
- Organic, lean meat is recommended to help reduce the intake of added hormones that can cause hormonal disruption.
- Green tea, spearmint tea, and dandelion root tea are excellent for anti-estrogenic effects as they are loaded with active catechins.
3. Foods to Avoid with Estrogen Dominance
- Avoid eating all kinds of processed foods and bakery products if you’re diagnosed with estrogen imbalance.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol or caffeine, as they can burden your liver and interfere with the breakdown of estrogen.
- Reduce the intake of soy products, which can tempt extra estrogen in the system.
- Eliminate non-organic and conventionally raised meat, which can cause hormonal imbalance.
Supplements for Estrogen Dominance
Supplements play a valuable role in addressing estrogen levels and alleviating symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances. Some commonly recommended supplements for estrogen dominance include:
- DIM (Diindolylmethane)
- Calcium D-Glucarate
- B vitamins, particularly B6, B12, and folate
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Other Natural Tools for Estrogen Dominance
1. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is another significant factor that can disrupt estrogen balance. Certain relaxing tools such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, qi gong, or tai chi can scale back stress and bring overall calmness.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
7 to 9 hours of peaceful sleep is another vital tool to combat fluctuating estrogen levels and regulate the body’s internal system. Here are a few tips for more restful sleep.
- Sleep in a restful environment
- Reduce exposure to blue light
- Avoid screens before bedtime
- Limit caffeine, nicotine consumption close to bedtime
- Devise a bedtime schedule
- Try relaxation techniques
3. Minimize Exposure to Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that mimic the effect of estrogen on your body. Here’s how you can limit your exposure:
- Avoid plastic containers and food packaging
- Choose organic foods
- Filter water to remove contaminants
- Use eco-friendly household and personal care products
4. Incorporate Regular Exercise
Regular exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy weight, liver function, metabolism, and combating estrogen dominance. By incorporating well-rounded exercises such as cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises, you can effectively reduce excessive estrogen levels and enhance overall well-being, paving the way for a happier and healthier life.
5. Test your indoor air quality
To ensure you are not inhaling toxins such as mold and other water-damaged building toxins, it is important to test your indoor air quality. Our article on Gu Syndrome reviews ways to assess indoor air quality.
Herbs for Estrogen Dominance - Unlocking Hormonal Harmony with Wan Ton
A few incredible herbs from nature’s garden can put the pesky estrogen levels back into their place. For example,
- Dong Quai
- Chinese Yam
OHCO’s all-natural Wan Ton formula combines all these herbs, including 16 others, to create an incredible blend that can restore hormonal balance and bring energy, passion, and excitement back into your life. To ensure optimal results, sticking to the recommended dosage is essential.
How Long Does it Take to Reverse Estrogen Dominance?
The duration of overcoming estrogen dominance can vary based on multiple factors, such as a person’s overall wellness, the severity of the imbalance, chosen treatment methods, and lifestyle modifications. Nevertheless, hormonal disruption is a complicated process and needs your patience to achieve optimal results.
For some individuals, the improvement period may be a few weeks or months, while others may need a bit longer to see the significant changes. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek professional help to assess your specific situation, track progress, and devise a personalized treatment plan to get you the desired results.
Estrogen dominance is an imbalance between estrogen and other hormones which stems from various factors. However, balancing the hormonal scales demands a multifaceted approach to address the abnormalities and regain control over your well-being. Consistency, patience, and acquiring healthcare professional support are keys to opening the doors of ultimate vitality.