Addressing estrogen dominance is vital to reducing your risk of cancer, autoimmune conditions and a number of other health issues.
Whether you are male or female, read on for symptoms, causes and remedies for estrogen dominance in your life!
PMS AND ESTROGEN
Do you turn into a monster a week before your period? Do you contemplate divorce? Does your family joke that you should be locked away for a week or so?
What about migraines. Do you get a migraine mid-cycle, right before your period or the day of? Do you have insomnia the week before your period? Do you struggle with with breast tenderness?
While these symptoms can be blown off as being normal, it’s important to understand that they are actually critical symptoms that you should pay attention to.
It’s not normal to be extremely irritable every week before your period. It’s not normal to gain five or so pounds before your period or have extreme bloating. It’s not normal for you to feel sluggish or foggy before a period.
I know a lot of times in society we just say “Oh! PMS? it’s no big deal.” But these signs are critical because they’re telling you that your estrogen levels are extremely high.
ESTROGEN IN MEN
Let’s get real now. Guys need to be aware of this as well, because unfortunately we’re starting to see a lot of guys who are getting more estrogen into their body than they need to. In some cases, they are experiencing cycles as much as women!
So ladies. If you know a guy, who seems a little emotional certain times of the month, don’t judge! He may be facing an issue similar to you.
Guys with estrogen dominance face the same issues as women. They experience weight gain around the thighs, lower abdomen, hips and upper back. They may experience hair loss, tender breasts and depression.
Have you heard of man boobs? It’s a real thing. It can be attributed to elevated estrogen levels, and believe it or not can cause men to get breast cancer along with autoimmune disorders among other health issues.
ESTROGEN DOMINANCE AND YOUR BODY
Do you tend to gain weight in your thighs? Do you have bingo arms? You know, the flappy tissue hanging down from your triceps when you raise your arm? What about your sex drive? Is it completely in the tank? Do you have what I call a bra-muffin-top, meaning your bra goes on and tissue hangs over the top?
These are all signs of estrogen dominance.
ESTROGEN AND CANCER
There are so many cancers out there that are estrogen positive; meaning they feed on estrogen.
The more estrogen you have in your body, the more these little tumors can hang out and be fed. That is not a good thing. You don’t want to be messing with that.
Breast and uterine cancers are something to watch out for in someone with elevated estrogen levels.
ESTROGEN FROM PLASTIC
Anytime you consume foods that come in contact with heated plastics, you have a risk of elevated estrogen levels.
Xenoestrogens are plastic estrogens that we can consume through our food when they come in contact with heated plastics.
Saran wraps, non-stick pans, hot coffee from plastic containers or those plastic to-go lids, all have the potential of delivering us the plastic estrogens which can cause estrogen dominance.
You can also absorb xenoestrogens through certain shampoos, or any number of household chemicals (Click for 12 ways to avoid Xenoestrogens).
Another big thing to watch out for is canned goods. While BPA is excluded from many water bottles these days, it is still used in the lining of canned food. I recommend reading your canned good labels as many companies are now saying if the lining of their cans are BPA free.
Instead of risking the chance that xenoestrogens can leach into your food from it’s packaging, consider purchasing BPA free food items like Eden Foods.
COPPER PROMOTES ESTROGEN
More and more foods are being made with nut flours. This can be good, however there is an important fact to consider. Nuts and seeds are high in copper.
Copper promotes estrogen dominance.
I have seen it happen in a lot of my patients who have gone on really low carb diets, like Paleo or Keto. You have people who didn’t eat many nuts before, start to consume large amounts, and their body reacts. They experience issues with weight and hormonal changes.
This is a big issue because we think we are eating healthier, while potentially creating an unhealthy hormone imbalance.
Other sources of copper in our lives can be attributed to copper cookware or IUDs (intrauterine contraceptive device). Some IUD’s contain copper. Lots of copper right to the uterus is not a great thing!
As a remedy, along with managing the amount of copper you ingest, consider eating foods that are high in zinc to balance your levels.
SOY PROMOTES ESTROGEN
It doesn’t matter how the soy is used, soy based products are source of plant based estrogen. This is tough because soy is everywhere, and in many people’s minds it’s a healthy alternative to meat and dairy products.
If you are already estrogen dominant soy messes with you. It’s a big problem. So again check your estrogen levels and consider how much soy you have in your diet.
BEER PROMOTES ESTROGEN
Another big thing is beer, malt liquors and things of that nature, especially those made with hops, all promote estrogen production.
Just look at men who drink a lot of beer. What happens? Beer belly and man boobs; sure signs of estrogen dominance. As a side note, I give hops to my ladies who have just had a baby to help encourage milk production.
So ladies do you like the beer? Great, then maybe consider keeping it to the first half of your cycle. And limit it to one or two times a week at most.
Honestly though, if you’re trying to balance your hormones, I’d ditch alcohol altogether.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are all from the brassica family of vegetables. They have something called di-indolmethane, which helps our body process estrogen through the liver.
Other common foods that help reduce the amount of estrogen in our bodies are red wines, olive oil and oats. Click here for more foods that help reduce estrogen.
A simple assessment of your surroundings and diet can be a great first step in detoxifying your life from the causes of estrogen dominance. Checking your water supply, replacing non-stick cookware with ceramic or cast-iron, and ensuring your foods and skin creams are free of xenoestrogens are great places to start.
A quick first step you can take today is to make sure you’re at least taking a good walk each day and getting enough sleep. Believe it or not, exercise and sleep are beneficial to reducing estrogen levels.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Ultimately my goal is to never see someone have to go on hormone replacement therapy. However, if necessary, there are options out there.
There are creams, pills, liquid drops and even pellets that can be inserted under the skin. Most of these come from a compounding pharmacy, or a specialty pharmacy in the case of the pellets. Regular pharmacies will have hormone replacement medications as well however, these medications are synthetic hormones compared to bio-identical hormones provided at compounding pharmacies.
You definitely want to make sure you have your hormones tested before someone just puts you on hormone replacement therapy.
I typically recommend an estrogen cleanse first, then addressing your stress levels to get cortisol levels in check (internal link to Jannine Blog on Cortisol). We may then work on progesterone boosting, if it is needed.
If hormone replacement therapy is needed, I am a huge proponent of using bio-identical hormones. Our body assimilates with these much better than with synthetic hormones. Unfortunately, you can only get them through a compounding pharmacy. While insurance companies don’t usually cover them, I think they are well worth worth the price.
I hope this list of symptoms, causes and remedies is of help to you!
Estrogen dominance is a very real concern for many people in the world these days. Look for these symptoms and potential causes in your own life, and those around you.
Whether you have an issue with estrogen dominance or not, I recommend taking steps to protect you, your friends and family from the risks. It could be a matter of life or death.
This blog is a summary of my podcast on estrogen dominance. If you want to hear more on this topic click HERE to listen to my podcast on estrogen dominance.