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How To Heal Estrogen Dominance

In my part one post on this topic, I cover what the common symptoms and root causes of the 4 most common hormonal imbalances I see in women. If you haven’t read that I recommend starting there and then coming back to this post. In this post, I will cover some of the best ways to start healing estrogen dominance. One thing I do want to mention is that hormones are impacted by other systems in the body–they do not operate on their own. While we are focusing on specific imbalances in this post, healing takes a whole mind-body approach. 

Estrogen Dominance

In order to heal estrogen dominance you have to make sure you understand where it is coming from. For example, estrogen dominance can occur when estrogen levels are normal, but progesterone is low. In this case, we would want to look at how we can boost progesterone. Go to the low progesterone section to learn more about this. 

If estrogen is high and progesterone is normal, that’s when you would want to look at reducing estrogen. Either scenario can give you estrogen dominant symptoms like PMS, mood swings, breast tenderness, weight gain, menstrual migraines/headaches, hair loss, brain fog, acne, etc. This is why I always recommend testing your hormones and not guessing. Testing will allow you to get to the root of the issue.

Root Causes of Estrogen Dominance

You also have to take into consideration your specific circumstances. Estrogen dominance can be caused by so many different things.  

  • Not ovulating (can happen with PCOS, hormonal birth control, amenorrhea–not getting your period)
  • Hormonal birth control usage (the pill, hormonal IUDs)
  • Poor liver detoxification
  • Gut dysfunction/constipation/low fiber diet AKA not pooping every day- estrogen is excreted in bowels
  • Hormone disrupting chemicals (toxic personal care products, plastic, water, conventional meat, etc)
  • Chronic stress (typically lowers progesterone and can create estrogen dominance)
  • Inflammation
  • PCOS
  • Endometriosis
  • High androgens (male hormones can be converted to estrogen by an enzyme in the body)
  • Excessive body fat—gives off more estrogen
  • Xenoestrogens in your environment: toxic compounds in personal care, cleaning, plastics, etc. that mimic estrogen in the body

Hormonal Birth Control & Estrogen Dominance 

This is one of the most common reasons I see estrogen dominance. Women will often come to me to either get off hormonal birth control or to help rebalance their hormones after getting off themselves. Hormonal birth control shuts down the body’s natural hormone production and stops ovulation. This lowers our progesterone levels (since progesterone is how we ovulate) and BOOM, now we’re estrogen dominant. Remember, you don’t have to have high levels of estrogen to experience estrogen dominance. It’s all about the balance with progesterone. Estrogen dominance after hormonal birth control use is part of Post Birth Control Syndrome–read more about it here.

Managing Stress & Filling Your Cup

I’ve mentioned having an imbalance in the amount of progesterone and estrogen a couple times, and one of the most common causes of that is stress. Believe it or not, stress can impact your sex hormone levels. We all need stress. Our bodies are designed to respond to stress, but with our current lifestyles we often have too much of it for too long. This is when hormone imbalances can occur. Excessive stress can reduce our progesterone levels and sometimes increase estrogen levels (depending on where it is coming from), which then leads to estrogen dominance and all your unwanted symptoms. 

The best thing you can do is find ways to not only reduce your current stressors, but do things that make you happy.

We will always have stress and some people even enjoy being in stressful situations or working high stress jobs. I have a few clients that love their high level/high stress jobs and thrive. It’s just a matter of balancing it all out. If you have a lot of uncontrollable stressors, try focusing on what you can add in to bring more gratitude and happiness to your life. 

Reducing Estrogen Exposure 

This is something I recommend every do, even if you don’t think you have estrogen dominance. We are exposed to a lot of chemicals and toxins in the environment, but the ones that have the most impact on our hormones are xenoestrogens. These are toxins that mimic estrogen in the body, which is why if we have estrogen dominance, we want to minimize these. 

Tips To Avoid Xenoestrogens

  • Get a water filter! I like Pure Effect Filters but you can always start with something simpler if budget it an issue. Learn more about water filters here
  • Prioritize organic produce. It’s not always realistic to get all organic, which is why I recommend using this list of the Clean 15 (don’t need to buy organic) and the Dirty Dozen (do need buy organic). Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides all contain xenoestrogens. 
  • Purchase organic, grass fed/pasture raised meat and dairy. This helps avoid hormones and pesticides. 
  • Reduce your use of plastic. Invest in glass tupperware, mason jars, silicone bags instead of plastic, beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap. There are SO many options now! You can freeze in glass and silicone too!
  • Switch to safer skincare & beauty products. These contain a lot of toxins, but can especially impact our hormones. 
  • Use organic tampons/pads or opt for a menstrual cup! Best decision I ever made. 
  • Say no to receipts. Opt to get a receipt emailed to you or not at all. They are all lined with BPA, which is a xenoestrogen. 

 

Supporting Digestion & Detox Pathways

Gut health is extremely important when it comes to hormonal health. You cannot heal hormone imbalances long term if you do not address underlying gut issues. This is why I recommend my estrogen dominant clients to also get their gut tested (I like the GI map) so that we can make sure that we heal leaky gut and get rid of parasites/pathogens/yeast. 

Do you poop everyday? If not, this could be a contributing factor to estrogen dominance. Not only do we poop out excess estrogen, but it’s out we eliminate toxins. When we don’t poop everyday this leads to recycling toxins and hormones in the body, which makes us more toxic and can lead to estrogen dominance. 

Tips To Poop More

  • Add 2 tbsp of freshly ground flaxseeds to your diet daily.
  • Increase water intake–make sure if you are adding in more fiber (like recommended above) you are drinking more water. Otherwise, you could wind up constipated.
  • Relax at meals. Eating in a stressed or distracted state inhibits digestion. 
  • Take a shot of raw apple cider vinegar ACV (1 tbsp) before meals. If you have bloating, constipation, or just don’t feel like you’re digesting your food well, ACV can help! Mix with a little filtered water and take like a shot before (or after) a meal. 
  • Make sure you’re getting good sleep. I’ve seen a lot of clients have issues sleeping that leads to digestive dysfunction and makes being regular difficult. 

Liver Detox

Having a high toxic load (the amount of toxins at any given time in your body) can also contribute to hormone imbalances. Our livers process all of our hormones AND our toxins in the body. Our livers often only get associated with detox, but they also help with digestion and proper breakdown of food and even convert thyroid hormone. It’s important to have a healthy, well-functioning liver and one of the best ways you can do this is by supporting it on a daily basis. I’m all for a detox (I have a mind body liver detox program), but I truly believe that supporting detox daily is where everyone should start. 

Tips To Support Detox Daily
  • Drink plenty of water (at least half your body weight in ounces).
  • Eat cruciferous veggies and grow your own broccoli sprouts! Sulforaphane is magic and has so many benefits. 
  • Switch to safer beauty & personal care products. This helps to reduce the burden on your liver. 
  • Get moving! Movement helps to support our lymphatic system and supports digestion. 
  • Sweat! One of the ways we get rid of toxins is through sweating. Getting your sweat on either through a workout, in the sauna, or out in the sunshine is great for helping the body eliminate toxins.
  • Go to bed earlier. We do the most detoxing between 10pm-6am, especially 2-3am. If you find yourself waking a lot at night consider some herbal tea (passionflower, valerian root, holy basil) to help you unwind, reduce stress, and sleep like a baby.  

 

Seed Cycling To Improve Your Period

I wrote an in-depth post on everything you need to know about seed cycling here. Seed cycling focuses on using specific nutrients to support a healthy hormone balance and regulate your cycle. This along with reducing your exposure, minimizing stress, supporting digestion and daily detox are all great place to start with balancing out estrogen. You can also download my free guide to seed cycling here

 

Need Help?

That was a lot of information on estrogen dominance, but I truly hope you found it helpful. If you are struggling with hormonal imbalances and would like help getting to the root and healing your hormones once and for all fill out this form. Once that is filled out you will get an email to schedule a free, 30 minute discovery call with me. I am happy to chat with you about your main concerns, what has worked/not worked, and where you need the most help. Hormone imbalances can have cause a lot of unwanted symptoms and make life more difficult that it has to be. Let me help you balance your hormones, BOOST your energy, and feel good for LIFE. 

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