Estrogen often gets a bad rap. Truth is estrogen is a critical hormone for both women and men.
It only presents a problem when, (like all hormones) it gets out of balance or there is an accumulation of the wrong type.
In this article we are going to look at the many roles of estrogen, how we can tell if its too high or too low in relation to other hormones and how to balance estrogen and our health simultaneously.
We will also look at xenoestrogens (estrogen mimicking compounds) and phytoestrogens - when they are helpful and when they are harmful.
Finally, we will discuss the contraceptive pill and the potential damaging effect on the female endocrine system and beyond.
Estrogen has many benefits in men and women including but not limited to…
- Bone development and fracture repair
- Healthy skin and collagen production
- Brain function and mood enhancement
- Healthy hair
- Cholesterol regulation and heart health
- Blood glucose balance and insulin sensitivity
Estrogen is found in 3 main forms:
- Estrone (E1) - This is a weak form of estrogen and the only type found in women after the menopause. Small amounts of estrone are present in most tissues of the body, mainly fat and muscle. The body can convert estrone to estradiol and estradiol to estrone.
- Estradiol (E2) -This is the strongest type of estrogen. Estradiol is a steroid produced by the ovaries. When in excess it is thought to contribute to a range of gynecological problems, such as endometriosis, fibroids, and cancers that occur in females, particularly endometrial and breast cancer.
- Estriol (E3) - This the weakest of the estrogens and is a metabolite made after the body uses estradiol. Pregnancy is the only time at which significant amounts of estriol are made. Estriol cannot be converted to estradiol or estrone.
Like many other hormones, estrogen isn’t a problem when in the right ratio to other hormones and in the correct forms. The human body when presented with the right environment can keep hormones well balanced. However, most of the time we provide the wrong environment which can lead to ESTROGEN DOMINANCE.
Estrogen dominance is when estrogen becomes high in relation to progesterone and testosterone.
Some symptoms of ESTROGEN DOMINANCE include:
- Weight gain (especially around the hips, butt and chest)
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Brain fog
- Low libido
- Ovarian cysts
- Menstrual cramps
- Ovarian or breast cancer
If you are diagnosed with estrogen dominance or suffer from some of the symptoms here is a list of foods to reduce and include:
- Non-fermented soy
- Sugar and processed foods (synthetic dyes, flavours and artificial sweeteners)
- Sprayed fruits and veges
- Non-organic meat
- Canned food
- Bottled or tap water
- Broccoli (especially sprouts)
- Spinach and kale
- Filtered water
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Green tea (matcha)
- Organic meat
- Probiotics or fermented food
Are foods really the blame or are there more sinister causes for estrogen dominance or imbalance?
Some other major causes of hormonal imbalance that should be addressed FIRST are…
- Synthetic hormones – birth control pill or HRT
- Cosmetics and sunscreen– phthalates and parabens
- Stress – emotional and physical stress lowers progesterone
- Pesticides – glyphosate increases toxic accumulation, mimics estrogen and disrupts gut microbiome
- Inactivity – reduced detoxification
- Constipation – reduced elimination
- Lack of sleep – melatonin (sleep hormone) helps reduce excess estrogen
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency
- Cooking oils – spray oils containing petrochemicals and oxidised omega 6 rich vegetable oils
7 effective ways to improve the balance of your hormones immediately:
- Eat more organic food and less processed food - avoid sprays and man-made chemicals
- Exercise regularly – movement that makes you break a sweat every day
- Avoid synthetic estrogen
- Birth control
- BPA (plastic bottles, canned food, takeaway coffee cups, microwaving in plastic)
- Cosmetics – check ewg.org
- Pesticides and herbicides – wash fruit and veges with apple cider vinegar and water
- Lower stress – Lowering cortisol and helps improve hormone balance and thyroid function. Meditation and mindfulness are incredibly helpful
- Sleep better – Magnesium and ashwagandha will help support sleep quality. Use blue blocking glasses to watch screens at night and turn off wifi before bed
- Improve digestion, liver & gut health – supporting regular toxic elimination and healing leaky gut with the use of Vitality Switch™ will be incredibly helpful for the removal of excess estrogen
- Avoid mould – Get it out of the house and walls as mycotoxins cause estrogen dominance. NB: using supplements that contian anti-fungal and anti-microbial so it will help.
Supporting detoxification and sleep may reduce your risk of ESTROGEN DOMINANCE and hormonal dysfunction.
Being forgetful, tired, sad, angry, stressed, regretful and anxious will become a thing of the past. Give the above 7 tips a go and see how good BETTER feels! 😊
For more specific help on your individual hormonal needs please feel free to contact top naturopath and nutritionist Margeaux Kruger at www.nisanaturalhealth.com.au
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.