Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
- Cramping, Bloating
- Mood Swings
- Heavy or Short Cycles
- Breast Tenderness
- Fibrocystic Lumps in Breast
- Bowel Movement Changes around Period
- Weight Gain
- Histamine Intolerance
Despite this being the most common hormonal problem I see, the solution is never the same from person to person. But in each case you can divide it into two crucial components. The faucet needs to tighten and the excess broken down.
Detoxing Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen, unlike it’s sex hormone counterpart progesterone, can not be turned into other hormones to avoid too much. There is a reason that there are estrogen based cancers, but no progesterone based cancers. Decrease the systemic level of estrogen by focusing on breaking down the excess in the liver with things like NAC, Rosemary, antioxidants (glutathione), or Vitamin B6 (P5P). This is definitely not a comprehensive list, but some common things I see.
Reducing the Over Production of Estrogen
The second thing is to address drivers of estrogen dominance.
Anything that can stimulate the hypothalamus can drive an estrogen dominant pattern. This includes inflammation, emotional stress, and most common blood sugar issues (dysglycemia or insulin resistance). If the patient is significantly overweight, then focus on reducing fat as it is estrogenic in nature.
Reducing Stress Hormones
Stress hormones are called such because they increase due to the body’s response to some stress. Types of stress include emotional (family, job), chemical (low blood sugar, inﬂammation), or physical (pain)
- Avoid rapid ﬂuctuations in blood sugar. People in this category should focus on eating 3 meals spaced 5 hours apart with no snacking in between. Many people get relief by cutting out sugar and eating 3 balanced meals 5 hours apart with a substantial amount of protein (~30g) and fat (~30g) with carbs (up or down depending on activity). This simultaneously brings stabilizes blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and stress hormone production from dips in blood glucose.
- Get control of emotional baggage with meditation, therapy, or some low intensity exercise like yoga.
- Work on resolving chronic pain issues with a good manual therapist. (i.e. A chiropractor, physical therapist, or qualiﬁed professional)
- Consider adding an adaptogenic herb like Ashwaganda, Tulsi, or Rhodiola. Adaptogens will “adapt” to what you need at the time. They work to decrease excessive stress hormones or increase stress hormones (upon waking).
- Other supplements to consider would include Magnesium, Vitamin B6 (P5P), and Zinc.
- Inﬂammation will drive stress hormones as well so continue on with those recommendations below.
Inﬂammation is generated by the immune system. The amount of inﬂammatory triggers can be endless, so the focus will be general for the purpose of this ebook.
- Trying an anti-inﬂammatory or elimination diet can be helpful. Many times just cutting the biggest offenders can have a drastic impact (sugar, dairy, gluten).
- *Use caution as you reduce problem foods! You must increase the foods that you can eat, in order to avoid worsening a potential blood sugar issue. Eat plenty of good protein and fat with each meal.
- Consider adding in supplements that help reduce inﬂammation like Turmeric, Resveratrol, and Fish Oil, Magnesium, Vitamin B6 (P5P), and Zinc also help your body make more ﬁsh oil from omega 3’s).
- Reduce inﬂammatory “accelerators.” Things that further drive inﬂammation include stress hormones like cortisol, insulin (below), and excessive NSAID use.
If you have diabetes or your blood sugar is indicating some insulin resistance, then you must work on fixing this. Insulin will increase the activity of the enzyme that drives estrogen production.
- Zero sugar.
- To improve insulin sensitivity exercise. Start with half of something you think you can do. If you can walk 3 miles, then start with 1.5 everyday. High intensity exercises are even better if you are physically able to.
- Supplements like berberine and chromium are also helpful to improve insulin issues.