Estrogen dominance, a condition that occurs when a woman’s estrogen levels are higher than her progesterone levels, can be caused by a number of factors including; stress, fatigue, changes in estrogen metabolism and hormonal production.
In addition to a variety of causes, this condition can also cause a variety of symptoms. Among the most common symptoms of estrogen dominance is; headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, heavy menstruation, fatigue, and mood swings.
Fortunately, for those dealing with this condition, there are several ways to naturally reduce excess estrogen levels in the body and help balance hormones.
1. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is considered one of the best natural estrogen blockers. It contains catechins that block the production and effects of estrogen in the body, as well as antioxidants that help remove excess estrogens from the liver and kidneys. Drinking green tea daily may also help reduce your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer, and even heart disease.
To read more about How Green Tea Catechins Impact Infertility, click here.
2. Eliminate Processed Foods and Meat
Eating processed foods and meat increases the number of hormones in the body as a result of present pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics that are added during manufacturing and production of the foods to ensure they last longer on store shelves or in refrigerators at home. These substances have been shown to cause hormonal imbalances such as PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or breast cancer in women who eat them regularly over time.
3. Take a Vitamin B Complex Supplement
The most common cause of estrogen dominance is a deficiency in B vitamins. B vitamins are essential for metabolizing and eliminating excess estrogen from the body. They also support healthy liver function, which can help prevent toxic buildup that can lead to estrogen dominance, and play a large role in fertility health.
The best way to ensure proper consumption levels of these critical nutrients is to take a high-quality B complex supplement, specifically, as most multivitamins contain just one or two forms of B vitamins, which are less effective than getting all eight forms in one supplement.
4. Eat More Fiber-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
Fiber is critical for estrogen balance because it feeds the good bacteria in the gut, producing short-chain fatty acids that help regulate estrogen metabolism. Fiber also slows down digestion, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. This helps keep insulin and leptin levels balanced, reducing the risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to higher estrogen levels.
5. Eat Soy Foods
Soy foods are rich in phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen. These can help reduce symptoms of estrogen dominance by suppressing excess testosterone production in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other hormone issues. However, soy can also adversely affect blood sugar levels in some cases, so, for those with diabetes or insulin resistance, it’s best to avoid soy products until blood sugar levels are back under control.
6. Avoid Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)
Many of the products used on a daily basis, such as cleaning supplies and personal care products, contain chemicals that mimic estrogen. Some of the most common endocrine disrupters are BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates, and parabens. These chemicals, known as endocrine disrupters, can cause hormonal imbalances, and thus should be avoided or actions should be taken to limit exposure to them.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a major factor when it comes to hormonal imbalances like estrogen dominance because it disrupts normal hormone secretion patterns. When enough sleep is not gotten regularly, the body releases cortisol (the stress hormone), which can increase estrogen levels and impact hormones and fertility. Additionally, when cortisol remains high for long periods of time, it can trigger an immune response that causes inflammation throughout the body, and leads to weight gain and other health issues associated with estrogen dominance.
8. Balance Fat Intake
Consuming too much saturated fat increases estrogen levels in men and women, while consuming omega-3 fatty acids decreases them. A high-fat diet can also cause low thyroid function or hypothyroidism, which is another common cause of estrogen dominance.
Limiting intake of animal fats such as red meat, butter, or cream cheese, and instead choosing vegetable oils such as olive oil or avocado oil whenever possible can be a healthy and simple solution.
9. Get Enough Exercise
Exercise helps balance hormones and improves their circulation through the body. It also reduces stress, which can increase the risk of developing high levels of estrogen in the first place. Ideally, individuals should try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. For those needing to get used to exercising regularly, starting slowly and building up gradually over time until fitness target goals are met can be key.
While estrogen dominance can be a setback, the good news is that it can often be offset by reducing exposure to environmental estrogens and increasing consumption of phytonutrients that possess estrogen-blocking properties.