Hormone HealthSigns & Symptoms

How to Correct Estrogen Dominance Naturally in 15 Steps

Estrogen dominance can be a significant problem for women if they develop it, and it can be an underlying cause of several medical problems. If you're wondering how to correct estrogen dominance naturally, this is for you. We're going to outline what estrogen dominance is, the main symptoms, lesser-known symptoms, and why Xenoestrogens is such an important term to remember.

Contents:

Defining Estrogen Dominance The Main Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance The Less Obvious Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance Xenoestrogens: An Important Term To Understand 15 Steps To Correct Estrogen Dominance Naturally
  1. Ditch Drinking Your Tap Water
  2. Use Organic Skin Care Products or Ditch Them Altogether (Be Wary of Fragrance on Labels)
  3. Stop Using Plastic in Food and Drink Preparation
  4. Improve Your Gut Health
  5. Get Out of the City and Away from Pollution
  6. Consider Stopping Hormone Replacement Therapy or Oral Contraceptives
  7. Meditate and Find De-Stressing Practices That Work for You
  8. Get as Much Exercise as You Can
  9. Consider Using a Sauna Two or Three Times per Week
  10. Remove Dairy from Your Diet
  11. Remove Processed Sugars from Your Diet
  12. Binge on Broccoli Sprouts
  13. Binge on Rosemary
  14. Think About Using Some Adaptogenic Herbs to Manage Your Symptoms
  15. Eat an Abundance of Cruciferous Vegetables
Bottom Line

Defining Estrogen Dominance

To make it simple, estrogen dominance is when you have more estrogen in your system than you normally would. Your body isn't making enough progesterone to help keep it in check. The estrogen will continue to build up in your system because your body will keep producing it. Progesterone is a hormone that works to balance your estrogen load. This sex hormone also plays an essential role in regulating your menstrual cycle and helping you get and stay pregnant. (1)(2) If you have estrogen dominance, several dietary and environmental factors can cause it. These things include digestive issues, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), smoking, emotional problems, stress and exposure to xenoestrogens. (3)(4)

The Main Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance

Fortunately, estrogen dominance comes with several symptoms that can clue you in that something is wrong with your body. Some people report several symptoms, and some people only report a few. They can also range in severity from mild to debilitating. The main symptoms include (5):
  • Bloating
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Increased PMS
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular periods
  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain

The Less Obvious Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance also comes with several less obvious symptoms. If this is all you experience, it's easy to attribute them to another medical condition. In turn, this can make it more challenging to diagnose. The less common symptoms of estrogen dominance include but are not limited to the following (6):
  • Acne
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Dry skin or skin rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches/Insomnia
  • Indigestion
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings/Depression
  • Night sweats
  • Osteoporosis
  • Palpitations
  • Problems with blood sugar

Xenoestrogens: An Important Term To Understand

In short, xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that can mimic estrogen inside of your body. "Xeno" is a term that means foreign. This means that xenoestrogens are foreign chemicals that act just like estrogen does. Since they have estrogen activity and come from a man-made source, they can negatively impact your body's natural hormone balance. You may hear them called many other things, including (7):
  • Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC's)
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Estrogen Mimicking Chemicals
  • Fake Estrogens
  • Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals
  • Hormone Disruptors
  • Metalloestrogens
  • Estrogen
  • Xenobiotics
Xenoestrogens come from a variety of environmental sources. They include many personal care products like lotions, shampoo and deodorants because they contain parabens, phthalates and Triclosan. They extend the shelf life of the product, make the skin soft and allow scents to last longer. They also come packaged in containers that have phthalate or BPA/BPS traces. (8) Household cleaners are another source of xenoestrogens. Cleaners that claim to have antibacterial agents like Triclosan can disrupt your natural hormone production. They can cause your body to reduce the amount of progesterone in produces, and this leads to having too much estrogen in your body. You can also find them in food preservatives, building supplies, insecticides, plastics and health or beauty products. (9)

15 Steps To Correct Estrogen Dominance Naturally

Fortunately, if you believe you have estrogen dominance, there are several things you can do on your own to correct it. We've pulled together 15 steps you can take, and you can find out why they work below.
1. Ditch Drinking Your Tap Water
If you drink tap water, the first thing you want to do is stop and switch to drinking water that goes through reverse osmosis. Tap water is heavily polluted with a host of compounds that can disrupt your hormones like synthetic and natural estrogens, fertilizers, pesticides, industrial chemicals and prescription medication. (10) One study showed that estrogen and estrogen-mimicking compounds are higher in areas by wastewater treatment plants around the world. The same study also noted that women in these areas had higher instances of breast cancer than women who lived away from the wastewater treatment plant. (11)
2. Use Organic Skin Care Products or Ditch Them Altogether (Be Wary of Fragrance on Labels)
Soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and deodorants contain phenoxyethanol, parabens and phthalates. These compounds all have proven estrogenic activity. Skincare products are a large problem because they allow these chemicals to absorb directly into your skin. Manufacturers hide these chemicals in artificial fragrances. (12) One study spanning six years looked at over 50,000 women who reported using cosmetics with estrogen-disrupting agents. They polled these women with five categories regarding their product use including:
  1. Did not use
  2. Used less than one time per month
  3. Used one to three times a month
  4. Used a few times a week
  5. Used daily
At the end of the study, researchers found that more than half the women had elevated estrogen levels. (13)
3. Stop Using Plastic in Food and Drink Preparation
Plastic in food wrapping, water bottles and various storage containers all contain amounts of xenoestrogens that mimic estrogen. These things can leach into your food and drink and cause estrogen dominance. To stop it, don't use plastic when you prepare your food or drink, and this includes BPA-free products. Instead, switch to glass. (14) In one study, researchers purchase 450 plastic food and drink storage containers and tested them for estrogen-mimicking elements. The plastic products included things like deli packaging, baby bottles and flexible bags. They placed them in saline or alcohol to see what leached out. In the end. Roughly 70% of the products had estrogen-mimicking agents coming out. (15)(16)
4. Improve Your Gut Health
Your gut plays an important role in regulating and circulating estrogen throughout your body. It does this by using an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. As long as your bacteria levels stay in balance, there isn't a problem. However, this enzyme won't be able to metabolize estrogen effectively if your bacteria levels unbalance. This can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. (17) Studies involving mice show that having an unbalanced bacteria level and generally poor health in your gut can cause problems for your endocrine system. They divided mice into groups and disrupted their natural bacteria levels to compare them with a placebo. At the end of six weeks, they found that the group with disrupted bacteria had higher estrogen levels. (18)
5. Get Out of the City and Away from Pollution
Living in cities exposes you to higher levels of air pollution than someone who lives in the county or spends a lot of time away from the city itself. What's worse, not all cities comply with air quality regulations, and this can make air pollution levels worse. (19) One large review featuring 48 different studies found that there are roughly 21 different chemicals in air pollution that can disrupt your endocrine system. They impact your body's progesterone production and encourage higher estrogen production. Getting away from the city decreases your exposure to these chemicals. (20)
6. Consider Stopping Hormone Replacement Therapy or Oral Contraceptives
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is popular for helping people get pregnant because it increases their estrogen production and makes them more likely to conceive. Oral contraceptives help to regulate your hormone levels to improve your menstrual cycle. However, these synthetic hormones can lead to estrogen dominance due to the body's inability to metabolize them. (21) Studies show that both HRT and oral contraceptives have higher levels of estrogen without having the necessary progesterone to balance them out. Also, since your liver isn't able to metabolize them, it can lead to damage to your DNA. A review of 12 studies showed that four common oral contraceptives more than quadrupled the amount of estrogen present in the body. This led to an increased cancer risk. (22)
7. Meditate and Find De-Stressing Practices That Work for You
Roughly 35% of adults report having chronic high stress levels in their lives, and this stress can wreak havoc on all of their systems. Along with leading to problems with your emotional state, it can also influence your physical state and lead to estrogen dominance. (23) When you have chronic stress, your body starts converting progesterone to make cortisol to help control the stress response. In turn, estrogen goes unchecked. Several studies involving athletes show that when their stress levels get higher, their bodies produce more cortisol in response. Eventually, their bodies can't make enough cortisol to counter the stress. When this happens, it converts progesterone into cortisol. This leads to a higher concentration of estrogen. (24)
8. Get as Much Exercise as You Can
Around the world, every two out of three adults are obese with every one in four children identifying as obese as well. Excess body fat tends to settle around your waist, hips and thighs. This can cause estrogen dominance because fat absorbs estrogen that circulates throughout your body. (25) One study took 18 obese women and compared their estrogen levels to 16 non-obese women. They found that the obese women had an average estrogen score of 72 compared to the non-obese woman's 64. Also, higher estrogen levels prompt your body to create more fat cells, and this starts a vicious cycle. (26)
9. Consider Using a Sauna Two or Three Times per Week
For decades, people have made a point to use a sauna a few times a week since research began to support the fact that using a sauna has dozens of health benefits. They range from helping you detox harmful chemicals out of your body to improve your heart health, relax and lose excess water weight through sweat. (27) Studies show that intense, shorter sessions in the sauna can encourage your body to start the detox process by stimulating your liver and metabolism. Your liver starts to metabolize more of the excess estrogen in your body, and this reduces your levels. Additionally, your metabolism will burn more fat cells, and this can stop them from absorbing excess estrogen. (28)
10. Remove Dairy from Your Diet
Adding dairy products to your diet from cows, goats or other mammals means that you're going to get trace amounts of estrogen each time you drink them. Estrogen is fat-soluble, and there is more of it in higher fat dairy products like whole milk. These trace elements can make your estrogen count go up. (29) One study involving both men and women measured how dairy impacted estrogen levels. They drank 500 ml and 600 ml of cow's milk once a day for 21 days, and the researchers measured the estrogen levels before, during and after the study. They found that their estrogen levels had all gone up throughout the study. (30)
11. Remove Processed Sugars from Your Diet
Added or processed sugars are non-natural sugars that manufacturers add to food and beverages to make them sweeter. These sweeteners include corn sweetener, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, raw sugar, sucrose and more. Your body can't break these processed sugars down, and it can lead to elevated estrogen levels. (31) One study followed 258 women and split them into two groups. One group drank less than a cup of soda per day, and the second group drank more than a cup of soda per day. At the end of the study, they found that the women who drank more soda every day had higher estrogen levels than the control group. (32)
12. Binge on Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts are three-day-old broccoli plants that come packed with vitamins and nutrients. You can eat them raw or cooked, and they've been popular for helping to balance estrogen levels since the 1990s. (33) Research shows that broccoli sprouts stimulate your NRF2 Detoxification pathway. The more you eat, the better this pathway works to help rid your body of excess estrogen. It helps your liver collect and flush out the estrogen in your system, and this gives progesterone time to catch up and balance it out. (34)
13. Binge on Rosemary
Rosemary is an extremely popular herb in Mediterranean cooking. It comes from centuries of use as a medicinal and therapeutic herb. It's very fragrant, and you can add it to your dish to give in a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. (35) A study involving mice incorporated rosemary leaf extract into 2% of their diet for three weeks and monitored their estrogen levels. At the end of the study, they found that the mice that got the rosemary leaf extract had lower estrogen levels because rosemary is effective for stimulating the NRF2 detoxification pathway to flush out excess estrogen. This has to do with your liver, and it makes it more effective at flushing toxins. (36)
14. Think About Using Some Adaptogenic Herbs to Overcome Your Symptoms
Adaptogenic herbs like Berberine, Maca Root and Ashwagandha are natural, safe and effective ways to balance out your hormone levels. Adaptogenic means that they help your body adapt and respond to higher stress levels. In turn, this can help reduce your cortisol levels and increase your progesterone. (37) An Australian study took 168 participants and split them into two groups. Group A got two 500 mg capsules containing adaptogenic herbs and group B got two 500 mg placebo powder capsules. They took them twice a day for four months. At the end of the month, researchers found that the women in group A had higher levels of progesterone in their system and lower levels of estrogen over the placebo group. (38)
15. Eat an Abundance of Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables that have a deep green color. The ones that people eat the most include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, bok choy, rutabagas and collard greens. These cruciferous vegetables have several minerals and vitamins that help to reduce estrogen levels. You can eat them raw or cooked. (39) Research shows that cruciferous vegetables have higher levels of phytochemicals. They can actually disrupt estrogen receptors in your body, and this helps to slow down your body's production rates. It also helps your progesterone levels catch up to your estrogen levels and balance them out. (40)

Bottom Line

These 15 foods, supplements, or lifestyle changes can help you control estrogen dominance naturally. You can incorporate one, or you can incorporate several into your life to get your estrogen numbers under control. They're effective, safe, and natural. You should consult with your doctor before you make drastic lifestyle changes to ensure that it won't disrupt anything else. The right strategy can help you lead a healthy life.

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