To achieve optimal health, females need to achieve balance in all of their hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. But what happens if one or more hormones go array?
Estrogen dominance is one example that can wreak massive havoc on the body. Before diving into this common, yet frustrating imbalance, it is important to understand the relationship between the three major hormones.
What do each of the major hormones do in the body?
When it comes to the female body, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone each play an important role. Let’s break them down!
Estrogen is a major female sex hormone that helps us grow and develop our entire reproductive system. This hormone helps us produce breasts and pubic hair at puberty, and it even contributes to healthy bone maintenance as well as cardiovascular function.
Next up is progesterone. This hormone is important particularly for pregnancy, as it helps prepare your body’s tissues and organs for pregnancy. Most notably for day-to-day life, progesterone is a calming hormone that promotes sleep and stress management. Keep this in mind as progesterone is important regardless of pregnancy!
Lastly, testosterone. This hormone is typically associated with males, as they have much higher levels than females do. However, all females produce testosterone and adequate amounts are actually very important for us! Women need testosterone for bone health, sexual function and drive (hello libido!), and even brain health or cognition.
What imbalances can occur?
A wide variety of hormone imbalances can occur, and unfortunately, they do so for a wide variety of reasons. Without adequate hormone testing it can be difficult to detect a root cause of imbalance.
However, common imbalances often include estrogen dominance, excess testosterone, low testosterone, low progesterone, low estrogen, or high progesterone. As you can see, every hormone can increase or decrease. As a result, every root cause and subsequent treatment may vary.
Regardless of the hormone imbalance, a few major lifestyle changes can be key to success!
Stress management, staying active, and consuming a nutritious diet are imperative in not only regulating your major sex hormones, but in maintaining healthy insulin, cortisol, thyroid hormones, and more.
How does estrogen dominance happen?
This process can happen slowly over time without you even realizing it! However, once estrogen is calling the shots, it can be difficult to manage and reduce.
Estrogen dominance can occur when either too much estrogen is being produced OR when normal levels of estrogen are produced, but too little progesterone is produced, too. This ratio can occur either way, and hormone testing will tell you which version of estrogen dominance is occurring.
What are the symptoms of estrogen dominance?
This hormone imbalance can cause a multitude of symptoms, including:
- irregular menstrual cycles
- decrease in libido
- significant premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms
- breast tenderness, fibroids, or other growths
- weight gain, particularly in the low to mid stomach region
- hot flashes and night sweats
- difficulty trying to conceive
- diagnosis of PCOS and/or endometriosis
- and much more
How can I balance my hormones again?
Do you suspect estrogen dominance at the root of your symptoms? Don’t fret! You can conquer this hormonal imbalance and achieve hormone harmony once and for all.
At Rachel Scheer Nutrition, we take a holistic approach. This means that we don’t just analyze your hormones, but the factors that can play a role in impacting them. Stress, sleep, mental health/mindset, under (or over) exercising, heavy metals and other toxins, environment, and nutrition can all impact your hormones.
While this sounds like an extensive list to review, our team is able to delve into every area of your whole-body health to ensure we customize your game plan for success.
Our team may recommend an increase in sleep quantity and quality, fibrous foods and cruciferous vegetables, sauna and other detoxification methods, stress management techniques, and more. Estrogen dominance requires significant lifestyle changes to ensure success.
While it can sound scary, our team is there every step of the way to help you create sustainable, healthy habits that promote hormone balance for life!
Do you have questions on hormone testing and our approach on estrogen dominance?
Book a FREE 30 minute call with our team here so we can learn more about your needs and answer any questions related to our Functional Wellness Coaching program!
Rachel Scheer is a Certified Nutritionist who received her degree from Baylor University in Nutrition Science and Dietetics. Rachel has her own private nutrition and counseling practice located in McKinney, Texas. Rachel has helped clients with a wide range of nutritional needs enhance their athletic performance, improve their physical and mental health, and make positive lifelong eating and exercise behavior changes.