Most people are walking around with an excess of estrogen in the body. That is why, perhaps girls are now reaching puberty at 9 years of age, and there is such a growing problem with fertility and reproduction in our developed countries. Estrogen is a hormone that is produced primarily in the ovaries in women and in the testes in men. For men, it plays an important role in sperm production and bone maintenance. Estrogen is also produced by other tissues in both men and women, including fat and the brain. People with great amounts of stored fat (especially belly fat) have higher levels of estrogen.
Estrogen dominance is a theory about a metabolic state where the level of estrogen outweighs the level of progesterone in the body. This is said to be caused by a decrease in progesterone without a subsequent decrease in estrogen. It is known as a theory because it is generally not recognized by mainstream medicine.
Causes for Excess Estrogen:
1. Excess exposure to environmental xenoestrogens (an industrial compound found in consumer products such as detergents and lotions:
2. Use of synthetic estrogens such as the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy
3. Anovulation (lack of ovulation during menstrual cycle, which is not uncommon among women older than 35)
4. Digestion issues (which tax the estrogen-detoxification process in the liver)
5. Unrelenting stress (which strains the adrenals and the thyroid)
6. Unresolved emotional issues
7. Poor diet
8. Smoking and alcohol use
Estrogen Dominance symptoms:
-Breast cancer, breast swelling, fibrocystic breasts and tenderness
-Ovarian and Prostate Cancer
-Decreased sex drive
-Bloating, heavy or irregular periods
-Craving for sweets
-Weight gain/ Obesity
-Fibroid tumors, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and increased risk of strokes.
-Severe allergies can even be related to estrogen over production.
Environmental and Lifestyle Factors Contributing to Estrogen Dominance:
1. Stress: When a woman or man is chronically stressed, whole hormonal systems becomes compromised and imbalanced.
2. Birth Control Pills: Contain estrogen that combined with other factors may cause an excess of estrogen.
3. Nutrition: The healthiest diet to balance hormones is a low-fat, high-fiber nutritional program based on organic vegetables and fruits.
4. Hazardous Toxins in plastics, oil based coatings, most non-GMO and non-organic skin, hair, beauty, cleaning and daily products, animal hormones and pesticides, all have synthetic and artificial ingredients that have estrogen mimicking properties. When inhaled, applied topically or ingested, these products dramatically raise the estrogen in the body. To see if the products you are using are hazardous to your health, visit: www.ewg.org and view more than 80,000 products that have been researched and tested.
5. Supplement with B6 and Calcium/Magnesium: Many women because of stress and poor nutrition are deficient in both Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. These two vitamins are extremely important in getting rid of excess estrogen.
1. Eat Organic, non GMO foods: Diet is extremely important to a healthy body and hormonal system. The agricultural and meat industry has drastically changed in the last 30-40 years and our DNA is changing within one generation to yield more reproductive and hormonal problems across all cultures (especially the Western Industrialized) and genders. Milk, meat and chicken should be organic. Fresh cold water fish such as salmon and tuna that is not farm raised should be eaten three times a week. Omega 3’s are important to female health. Produce and oils should be non-GMO and organic.
2. Supplement with Essential Nutrients: Vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, omega-3 fish oils, cruciferous vegetables, green teas (matcha), magnesium, selenium, and melatonin.
3. Lose Weight: Women who are overweight tend to produce too much estrogen. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is another way to get your hormones in balance.
4. Exercise: Moderate exercise helps diffuse excess estrogen helping to keep hormones in balance (and you will feel much better everyday, increase digestive health, body circulation, decrease stress and improve sleep).
5. Drink More Mineralized Water: Water flushes out toxins from the kidneys. Most men and women do not drink enough water, or the water being consumed is void of live minerals. Try replacing lost minerals with trace mineral drops. Use glass water containers, not plastic. Choose BPA free containers. And abstain from the use of plastics and phthalates.
6. Block Aromatase and stop testosterone from turning into estrogen: For men, this is crucial, because blocking aromatase is key for getting rid of estrogen in men. Aromatase is an adrenal enzyme that converts androstenedione and estrogen to estrogen. Inhibiting its action is one approach to breast cancer and prostate cancer prevention and treatment. Foods that help block aromatase include: selenium, melatonin, zinc, green tea and citrus flavonones (substances found in orange and grapefruit rinds along with tomato skins).
7. Manage Your Stress. Stress raises cortisol levels and increases memory and cardiovascular problems. Stress acts as a causal factor to low testosterone and higher estrogen levels in both women and men. Try meditation, engage in a hobby that is fun, go get a massage, listen to your favorite music, or walk on the beach.
8. Reconsider the “pill” and seek other contraceptive methods that do not affect estrogen levels.
9. Eliminate Alcohol (harms liver, which decreases the ability for estrogen metabolism). Select red wines (Spanish and Sardinian) that are high in antioxidants. Alcohol decreases testosterone and significantly raises estrogen in both men and women.
10. Get More Quality Sleep (7-9 hours is optimal). Your sleeping quarters should be cool and dark (think bat cave). Remove all electronics from your sleeping room. Turn them off 2 hours before you go to bed. Make sure no lights (including those from alarm clocks are visible from your bed). Take a nice relaxing bath/shower before sleeping. Try to get to bed between 10:00-10:30 pm.
11. Try Essential Oils:
-Clary Sage this is a specific blend to balance hormones and manage symptoms of PMS)
-Balance (blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense essential oils)
– Serenity (blend of Lavender,Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood essential oils)
Sources: livescience.com, dawnaara.com, everythingessential.com, poliuingroup.com, naturalpathic.com.