What is Estrogen Dominance and how to treat it?
Estrogen dominance is a hormone imbalance that occurs with most of the following symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention (edema)
- Varicose veins
- Changes in mood and depression during menstrual cycle
- Breast tension
- Changes in menstrual cycles
- Vaginal dryness or itching
- Excessive or insufficient flow of blood during menstrual periods
- Cyclical insomnia, night sweating and fatigue
- Breast cancer, benign breast disease, and precancerous conditions
To check your hormons you can order a the Hormone imbalance test at home to check your hormons levels.
Why estrogen dominance occur?
Normally, the liver metabolizes estrogen without any problem and they are removed immediately from the body. If there is an alteration in liver function or a state of malnutrition is present, these hormones will not be metabolized properly and, therefore, accumulate in blood.
It is here where the importance of proper diet arises. The liver is an organ that needs protein, vitamins and minerals in order to carry out its function of detoxification. If estrogens are not disposed of properly, they accumulate and re-circulate in blood.
Protein deficiency has proven to be one of the reasons why the liver can not properly take its detoxification function. Typically, estrogen levels are in proportion with progesterone levels. But if the diet is deficient, this ratio may be altered.
It is also important that your diet contains the nutrients necessary for the formation of progesterone, such as cholesterol and vitamin A; and an optimal functioning of the thyroid. If the diet is low in these nutrients or if there is a hormonal disorder with decreased thyroid function (hypothyroidism), estrogen dominance can be triggered.
Stress of any kind (physical, mental) levels of progesterone decreases due to increased cortisol production.
The use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy with synthetic oestrogens are also two common causes of estrogen dominance. This is basically due to increased blood levels of estrogen that occurs when added from these synthetic sources. This also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease as the increased estrogen stimulate the formation of blood clots, varicose veins, miscarriage, and premenstrual syndrome.
With aging, estrogen levels tend to increase as pregnenolone levels and progesterone decrease. Therefore, it also increases the risk of this hormonal imbalance.
In order to restore the hormonal balance, it is necessary: to
- Shelve low-fat diets and calorie counting. Sharpen the diet in a varied diet, but with unprocessed foods. It is also important not to restrict nutrients and consume adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates.
- Select carbohydrates of low glycemic index to stabilize blood sugar levels (sweet potatoes, whole grains, whole wheat bread or multi-seed, nuts, etc).
Nourish the liver
- Increase Protein intake to 70-100 grams per day according to your weight (about 20-25% of total calories). Be sure to include eggs, dairy products (if you tolerate and there is no allergies), gelatin, fish and seafood, meat from animals raised on pasture (chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, etc.). A large proportion of animals that are raised in feedlots are given hormones for their rapid growth and development. It is important to avoid these meats.
- Consume easily digested foods because they have a faster bioavailability of nutrients. This means simpler sugars of good quality (ripe fruit and honey), roots, tubers, and dairy products (if tolerated).
Support the hormone production
- Some nutrients are necessary to promote the synthesis of hormones that can be found in low concentration.
- Increase the consumption of nutrients that favor the thyroid function: vitamin A, vitamin E, copper and iodine.
- Decrease blockers of hormone synthesis found in low concentration: unsaturated fats (PUFA), excess estrogen (therapy conventional hormone replacement, contraceptives, or malnutrition liver), ultraviolet light, X rays, and excess iron.
Reduce stress and environmental toxins
- Identify and reduce stressors in your life. This could include a variety of things: lack of sleep, insufficient energy or food allergies and sensitivities (as they activate the stress response).
- Detoxify your home eliminating chemicals in your cleaning and beauty routine.
Peat, Raymond. Natural Estrogens. Retrieved on May 15, 2013, from http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/natural-estrogens.shtml Peat, Raymond. Nutrition for Women. Eugene, OR: 1993. Weatherby, Dicken. Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective. Nutritional Therapy Association, 2004.