What is estrogen Dominance? & 5 Steps to Reverse It
Estrogen dominance is either an overabundance of estrogen or too much estrogen in comparison with progesterone. Being estrogen dominant can cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Heavy periods
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Water retention
- Hot flashes
But How Does Estrogen Dominance Come About in the First Place?
Too much sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol spike estrogen.
With estrogen clearance, your liver is responsible for packaging up estrogen so your gut can move it out. If either system can’t do its job due to methylation/MTHFR issues, b vitamin deficiencies, or gut imbalances, then you can develop estrogen dominance.
Foods to support Estrogen clearance through the liver and gut:
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
- High-quality protein
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Burdock root
- Dandelion root
Oh and you know how the gut is connected with everything we talk about? Yeah, well, if your gut microbiome is out of balance and making too much beta glucuronidase (an enzymes by anaerobic bacteria in the gut) then you can also find yourself with estrogen excess.
Steps to Eliminate Estrogen Dominance
- Love Your Liver Your liver is responsible for deactivating and eliminating estrogen from the body. This could honestly be a whole article of its own (and it probably will be), but here are some basics:
- Eat high-quality protein
- Take a B complex
- Eat a minimum of 3 cups of cruciferous vegetables weekly
- Support methylation if you have an MTHFR defect
- Fix Your Gut Once the liver processes estrogen for elimination, it is up to your gut to move it out! If you are experiencing constipation, there is a good chance your estrogen isn’t making its way out, but instead, going back into circulation in the body. Figuring out and treating the root cause of your digestive issues is crucial in creating optimal hormonal health.
- Eat Fiber Aim for at least 25 grams per day by eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. Fiber will keep your bowels regular and help eliminate waste, including unnecessary estrogen.
- Stress Less (Yes easier said than done, I know!) But here’s the thing, elevated cortisol is hormone killer!
- Sleep! Seven hours is the minimum you should be getting nightly. Your body needs sleep and your hormones demand it. For many of our clients, we recommend wearing light blocking glasses 1-2 hours before bed to help them get the rest they need and shift their hormones to a more favorable state.
Yes, estrogen is a hormone that can sometimes get a bad wrap, especially in the context of estrogen dominance. But estrogen is what gives women their hips, breast and thighs and keeps the whole body well lubricated. It is also very important for bone health and your mood. Estrogen also plays a crucial role in thyroid health and, when in excess, can lead to decreased amounts of available thyroid hormone.
And although estrogen dominance can make you feel miserable, it is reversible! By implementing these 5 steps you can improve your estrogen/progesterone balance and begin to heal your entire hormonal system.
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.