What Does Taking Estrogen Do To Women – Hormone balance plays a very important role in women’s daily lives, sleep, appetite, stress, libido, menstrual periods and digestion; You name it. Unfortunately, many women struggle with a common hormonal imbalance called estrogen dominance.
In this blog, we explore what estrogen dominance is, its possible causes, and the best foods and supplements to help naturally resolve your estrogen dominance symptoms.
- 1 What Does Taking Estrogen Do To Women
- 2 Hormonal Belly Fat: What Is It And How To Get Rid Of It
- 3 Myths You Might Have Believed About Estrogen Hrt
What Does Taking Estrogen Do To Women
The main role of estrogen is growth and development. It is an important part of the menstrual cycle; construction of the uterine wall, bone development and brain activity.
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Not only does progesterone play an important role in pregnancy, it also keeps estrogen levels in check, helps you feel relaxed, lowers stress hormones, improves sleep, reduces PMS symptoms, and much more.
Estrogen is the dominant hormone in the first half of the cycle. When we ovulate, estrogen should drop and progesterone should rise. However, when someone struggles with estrogen dominance in the second half of the cycle, estrogen levels remain high relative to progesterone.
From these charts you can see what estrogen and progesterone should look like in a healthy cycle. However, with estrogen dominance, estrogen levels remain high during the luteal phase, primarily due to low progesterone levels.
Both of these hormones are important, but when estrogen begins to accumulate in our tissues and the body has difficulty detoxifying it properly, we begin to develop unwanted symptoms.
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Below are some of the common symptoms of estrogen dominance. If you’re struggling with any of these symptoms, you likely have a hormonal imbalance with excess estrogen and low progesterone.
Unfortunately, in our fast-paced modern world, we often get caught up in diets, products, and mindsets that exacerbate our estrogen dominance symptoms.
All of these factors increase stress hormones, which slow thyroid function and prevent proper detoxification of estrogen from the body. That’s when estrogen begins to accumulate in tissues and suppresses progesterone production.
Three main factors contribute to estrogen dominance. One of these is nutritional deficiency, especially lack of proteins and minerals. Another is xenoestrogens, which are synthetic or natural hormones that mimic estrogen in the body. Finally, the predominance of high stress hormones. All three of these factors lead to poor estrogen detoxification, which allows estrogen to accumulate in tissues and prevent progesterone production.
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Many women are unknowingly malnourished, eating less and suffering from protein and mineral deficiencies. When there is not enough protein, carbohydrates and minerals, our liver does not have the energy and building blocks to eliminate excess estrogen in our body, so it begins to accumulate in the tissues. Check out the food and supplement recommendations at the end of this post to help you improve your nutrition.
Never before have we been bombarded with so many toxins in our modern world. Xenoestrogens are external substances such as plastic and pesticides that mimic estrogen in the body. The overabundance of these xenoestrogens adds to the storm of estrogen dominance. Check out the next section for more details about xenoestrogens.
When our stress hormones like cortisol rise due to undernutrition, unbalanced blood sugar, excessive exercise, and other life stressors, our thyroid levels drop. Estrogen can actually be considered another stress hormone and blocks the use of thyroid hormone. For more information on increasing thyroid hormones and lowering stress hormones, check out THIS blog post.
So now that we’ve identified the common symptoms of estrogen dominance and why our detoxification pathways are blocked, what can we do about it? Limiting your xenoestrogens and increasing your nutrition are the two best ways to start.
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One of the main reasons why estrogen dominance is so common, especially in our modern world, is the rise of xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are external substances that mimic estrogen in the body. Most of the time, the problem is not that the body produces too much estrogen, but that you consume or expose your body to external substances that act like estrogen and increase its levels.
Examples of estrogenic compounds include parabens, fragrance, BPA, formaldehyde, dioxanes, sulfates, glycols, triclosan, phthalates, and glyphosate.
The average woman uses 12 cosmetic products containing 168 chemicals before breakfast! (2020, EWG) This doesn’t even include many other daily xenoestrogens.
I know reading this can be overwhelming. Simplifying your life and using LESS products is the best and cheapest solution to limit these xenoestrogens from entering your body. Making slow and steady changes and replacing these household products as they wear out is the simplest approach. Use the Think Dirty App or EWG’s Wellness App, which are great tools to help you find better alternatives.
Myths You Might Have Believed About Estrogen Hrt
We must not only limit xenoestrogens, but also support estrogen detoxification through nutritious foods. These foods provide your body with the energy, nutrients, and minerals needed to develop and support your detoxification organs. Supporting our liver and intestines is especially important for improving estrogen detoxification.
The proteins and nutrients found in animal foods have very high bioavailability, meaning they are more likely to be absorbed in the body. Without enough animal protein, we lack the basic building blocks our liver needs to detoxify estrogen. However, most women have protein deficiency without realizing it. To properly and consistently eliminate excess estrogen, we must obtain at least 100 grams of bioavailable animal protein per day. My favorite animal proteins are bone broth, seafood, eggs, muscle meat, and dairy.
Repeat after me; Carbs aren’t bad! Our modern nutritional world makes us think that low-carb diets are the solution to our health problems. But the truth is that our bodies need simple, easy-to-digest carbohydrates for energy, and we need energy for detoxification. Our liver, the main organ of detoxification, needs energy, especially from fructose, to perform more than 3,000 functions, including estrogen detoxification. Without enough carbohydrates, our liver slows down and deprioritizes estrogen detoxification, leading to estrogen dominance symptoms. My favorite simple carbohydrates are fruit, juices, root vegetables, honey, and maple syrup.
The typical modern American diet is sorely lacking in mineral-rich foods. Minerals are essential for proper estrogen and progesterone balance. When there are not enough minerals, stress hormones begin to rise, thyroid hormone decreases, and our detoxification pathways begin to become blocked; This is the perfect storm for estrogen dominance symptoms. True superfoods like liver and oysters boost our energy system so our body can function as it was designed.
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Dr. Popularized by Ray Peat, this salad is designed to bind excess estrogen and endotoxins and help eliminate them from the gut effectively. Coconut oil and apple cider vinegar have a synergistic effect with the fiber present, making the antimicrobial effects stronger. To do this, peel an entire carrot, then shred it with a grater, add ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Eat daily and between or before meals for best results.
Popularized by Morley Robbins, the adrenal cocktail blends vitamin C, potassium, and sodium to directly replenish the adrenal glands. These vitamins and minerals are quickly depleted under stress. When our adrenal glands are exhausted, the body slows down and estrogen begins to be supported. To make this, mix 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup coconut water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drinking this 1 or 2 times a day can do wonders for your energy and estrogen levels.
For health and hormone balance, we should always adopt a food-first approach. However, in our modern world full of toxins and our bodies depleted of micronutrients, it can be difficult to achieve the next level of health without supplements. The above foods are the foundation for reducing your estrogen dominance symptoms, but these supplements can also aid in the healing process.
Magnesium plays a role in more than 3,000 reactions in your body. It is also the first mineral to be depleted under stress. Magnesium helps lower your stress hormones and increase your thyroid hormone, which helps balance your estrogen levels. My favorite forms of magnesium supplements are magnesium spray, magnesium flakes, and magnesium glycinate. I always recommend starting with spray or flakes. To calculate your personal magnesium dosage, multiply 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight to get the milligram dosage.
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Vegetable oils are found in almost every modern packaged food and are one of the biggest culprits for mimicking estrogen in the body. Most of us grew up eating tons of vegetable oils, and these toxic oils remain in our bodies for many years. Vitamin E helps reverse the damage caused by these seed oils and has anti-estrogenic effects. If we didn’t consume so much seed oil growing up, we wouldn’t need vitamin E supplements, but if you did, vitamin E could be a game-changer for your symptoms. My favorite vitamin E supplements are Ultimate E, Unique E, and PUFA Protection.
Castor oil packs can be incredibly helpful for estrogen dominance symptoms, especially painful periods and endometriosis. The oil enters our body through the skin to maximize detoxification pathways, binding estrogen and helping to eliminate it from the body. Read THIS article to know more about castor oil packs and how to apply them.
Eating it first is the best approach, but I know not everyone enjoys eating beef liver. Beef liver capsules can be a great alternative. Beef liver contains almost every mineral and vitamin, as well as vitamin C. Minerals are the spark of reactions and are necessary in every event.
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