Today, we live a stressful existence. And, we continually run at a hectic pace. Therefore, it is not surprising that hormonal imbalance is increasing in prevalence. Many women suffer from an excess of androgens or estrogens. Unfortunately, an imbalance of any of the hormones causes negative impacts.
Estrogen dominance, in particular, is one of the main drivers of painful periods. It can arise from a variety of factors, including inflammatory foods, environmental pollutants, prolonged stress, and more. Treating this condition naturally involves discovering the root cause, which offers a much longer-lasting solution than medication to mask the symptoms.
SYMPTOMS OF ESTROGEN DOMAIN
-Weight gain, particularly in the hips, waist and thighs.
-Menstrual irregularities, such as unusually light or heavy bleeding.
-Pemestrual Syndrome (PMS).
-Loss of sexual desire.
-Depression or anxiety.
RISKS OF THE ESTROGEN DOMAIN
1. Hormonal cancer
Cancers of the breast, uterus and ovary can be the result of chronic dominance of untreated estrogens. Breast cancer, in particular, is increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, one in eight women receives a diagnosis. As discussed earlier, adipose tissue harbors estrogens. Fat cells trigger the strongest form of estrogen: estradiol. Due to its potency, estradiol is more difficult for the body to detoxify; This can lead to an increase in circulating estrogen and, consequently, harmful metabolites.
2. Autoimmune disease
Drastic fluctuations in estrogen, such as during labor and menopause, can contribute to autoimmunity by increasing the body's inflammatory response. These events cannot be avoided; Of course, however, its effects can be minimized by avoiding xenoestrogens in plastic, beauty products, food, and water.
3. Thyroid dysfunction
Having too much estrogen increases levels of thyroid-binding globulin, a protein that allows thyroid hormones to circulate in the bloodstream. When these hormones bind to TBG, they remain inactive. This prevents storage and conversion to active forms, which in turn disrupts metabolic processes.
A fungus that lives in the mouth and intestines, candida helps with digestion and absorption of nutrients. This beneficial organism can become pathogenic when overproduced, breaking down the intestinal barrier and causing intestinal leakage. Studies have shown that candida gets stronger when exposed to estrogen. Women on birth control or hormone replacement therapy are more susceptible to yeast infections, and this connection may explain why.
9 POTENTIAL ROOT CAUSES OF ESTROGEN DOMAIN
Conventional meat and dairy contain growth hormones that can upset the intricate balance in our bodies. Also, the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in most fruits and vegetables are chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and disrupt the function and metabolism of hormones.
Today our water supply is heavily contaminated with contaminants like fertilizers and estrogens from both livestock and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, countless industrial chemicals from plant runoff and plastic disposal in landfills contribute to water pollution. Refineries that burn coal also emit more than 31,000 kilos of mercury into the air each year, which reaches the water. Many of the aforementioned compounds can have negative hormonal implications.
PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
The average person uses 10-15 beauty products daily, with a total of about 130 chemicals! Makeup, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, and soap generally contain xenoestrogens or chemicals with estrogenic activity. These are possibly more harmful than estrogens in food, as what happens on our skin cannot be detoxified by the liver. Be especially careful with the ingredient, "fragrance," as it is a general term that can contain several different endocrine disruptors. Unfortunately, these products are internally regulated, so nefarious activity can happen without hesitation.
Our gut microbiome is responsible for many internal processes, including the regulation of estrogens. It does this through an enzyme known as beta-glucuronidase. When gut health is compromised, as in the case of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (or SIBO), estrogens cannot be properly metabolized. This malfunction can put women at higher risk for breast cancer and other ailments caused by the dominance of estrogen.
BPA AND OTHER PLASTICS
Plastic, regardless of the source, contains xenoestrogens that can contaminate food and water in storage or by touching it. Products marked "BPA free" are also not safe. Also, the chemicals they contain are not as well studied. Heating or washing plastic dishes makes it even more estrogenic.
Even accepting a receipt after shopping could compromise your hormonal health!
Thermal paper is a major source of BPA, and people who handle it regularly have significantly elevated levels in their urine.
Like plastics, heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury have estrogen-like properties. These compounds are dispersed throughout the atmosphere and are suspected to be a causative factor in early-onset puberty.
EXCESS OF BODY FAT
Storing too much body fat (that is, around the hips, waist, and thighs) is one of the most commonly implicated causes of estrogen dominance. Estrogen is stored in fat cells, so being overweight keeps the hormone circulating in the bloodstream and vice versa. Fat tissue breaks down other hormones to create more estrogen, which can increase the imbalance.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT) AND BIRTH CONTROL
HRT and most oral contraceptives only contain estrogens and not progesterone, which is necessary to maintain a balanced hormonal system. Progesterone is a vital hormone that reduces anxiety, increases concentration, and improves symptoms of PMS. It only occurs after ovulation, which is not the case with contraceptives. Instead, the pill contains a synthetic version known as progestin. Progestin does not offer the same benefits as progesterone and is, in fact, associated with an increased risk of depression.
Additionally, the hormones in these medications are often toxic, synthetic versions of what our bodies make. These unnatural compounds are not easily metabolized by the liver. This can lead to DNA damage and an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer.
Chronic stress leads the body to convert progesterone to cortisol. Low progesterone levels can lead to estrogen dominance.
HOW TO LOWER THE ESTROGEN LEVELS NATURALLY
- Clean your diet. Minimize or eliminate meat, dairy, and conventional products. Instead, opt for grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic foods to reduce your exposure to exogenous hormones and pesticides. If buying all organic fruits and vegetables isn't an option, check out the EWG's Dirty Dozen list. In this way, you can eliminate at least the worst offenders.
- Invest in a water filter. Xenoestrogens are widespread in the water supply, so you'll want to install filters on your faucets and shower heads as well.
- Audit your personal care products. Browse the ingredient lists of your shampoo, toothpaste, makeup, and other beauty products, looking for the term "fragrance" in particular. If you don't have time to be a detective, just use the EWG database to see how your favorite articles compare.
- Avoid plastic. Whether it's BPA-free or not, plastic contains xenoestrogens that can negatively affect hormone levels. Use glass containers to store food.
- Consider alternatives to HRT and birth control. Both methods can contribute to estrogen dominance. If you absolutely must take hormones, the bioidentical versions are much more similar to what our bodies produce.
- Manage your stress. Adopt a yoga or meditation practice and make sure you get enough sleep each night to prevent the progesterone from turning into cortisol.
The seed cycle is a practice in which women rotate the consumption of four different seeds throughout their menstrual cycle. Supporters of this protocol claim that it helps naturally balance progesterone and estrogen - the two main female reproductive hormones. In a healthy cycle, estrogen is highest during the first half; progesterone during phase two. When this intricate hormonal dance becomes unbalanced, women can experience menstrual irregularities. This is because estrogen and progesterone have very different functions in the body and certain levels must be maintained for optimal function.
HOW IS THE SEED CYCLE
1-2 tablespoons raw, organic, freshly ground pumpkin seeds daily
Both flax and pumpkin seeds contain high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients increase uterine blood flow and promote healthy cell membranes. Additionally, flax seeds have polyphenols called lignans, which bind to excess estrogen that does not oppose progesterone during the follicular phase. Pumpkin seeds, on the other hand, are rich in zinc. This trace mineral supports healthy progesterone production when the second phase of your cycle unfolds.
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground, organic, raw sesame seeds daily (or tahini)
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground, organic, raw sunflower seeds daily (or sunflower seed butter)
Sesame seeds also contain lignans, which block excess estrogen for a time when progesterone is supposed to be higher. Sunflower seeds contain selenium, a trace mineral that helps detoxify excess hormones by the liver. This is an essential step because an overloaded liver can cause estrogen or progesterone to be recirculated in the body, ensure efficient liver detoxification.
Liver detoxification is our bodies' way of removing excess estrogen and preventing it from turning into harmful metabolites. Foods like olive oil, walnuts, garlic, beets, citrus fruits, turmeric, cruciferous vegetables, and green tea can enhance liver detoxification.