Estrogen dominance or excess is a very common cause of hormonal imbalance symptoms in women.
Have you been told by the doctor that you have estrogen excess or dominance? Or maybe you have symptoms that fit but your blood test came back normal? There is a good explanation for that. In this post we’ll cover the list of symptoms and how to correct estrogen dominance naturally.
First of all, I don’t really like the term “estrogen dominance” but I do use it because it makes it easier to communicate to others what I mean. I don’t want anyone to think that estrogen is bad, it’s a very beneficial hormone that you need! The focus of this article is, however, to discuss a situation where estrogen levels are too high in relation to progesterone (and other hormones).
The endocrine system is all about balance, not one hormone is more important than the other. Imbalance symptoms appear when this balance has been disrupted. Usually, excess estrogen symptoms appear when:
A) you have high estrogen levels and “normal” (or low) progesterone levels or B) your estrogen levels are relatively “normal” but your progesterone levels are very low.
This is why it’s important to look at the symptoms rather than just relying on the blood test. Your body is giving you clues about what is going on.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance / excess
This list of symptoms is often associated with having excess estrogen in the body. Are you experiencing any of them?
Sore and swollen breasts, fibrocystic breasts
Reduced sex drive
Mood swings, anxiety, irritability and depression
Weight gain around the abdomen and hips
Sleep issues, insomnia
Foggy brain, difficult to think clearly
What causes estrogen imbalance?
When you have a prolonged period of stress, your body will prioritise making necessary stress hormones to help you cope but this will be done at the expense of sex hormones, especially progesterone. Lowered progesterone levels often lead to excess estrogen. Read more about how stress can mess up your hormone balance.
Using hormonal birth control
Taking hormonal contraceptives stops your natural hormone production and floods your body with synthetic estrogen (or progestin in case of some contraceptives). This synthetic estrogen dominates in your body and artificially elevates the levels.
Poor elimination and detox pathways
Excess estrogen is taken out of the body via the liver and the gut. If you suffer from constipation, for example, it slows down the detox and can cause your body to reabsorb the estrogen. Gut health is very important in hormonal balance.
The friendly bacteria in your gut are your best friend. If there is an imbalance of some sort in the gut, this can affect the detoxification of estrogen and contribute to excessive levels (ref).
Excess body fat
The fat tissue in our body manufactures estrogen. If you are carrying a bit too much weight, then chances are your body is making excessive amounts of estrogen. Which in turn causes weight gain and the vicious cycle is born.
PCOS is known to cause irregular ovulation or even non-ovulation. When you don’t ovulate regularly, you are not making enough progesterone to balance estrogen. This can lead to excess estrogen levels.
Toxins and plastics
Xenoestrogens, the man-made synthetic estrogen-like chemicals, are found in many plastics, cosmetics and other consumer products. These chemicals can really disrupt the natural hormone balance in the body. Read more about the 10 most common toxic chemicals and how to avoid them.
Food and water
Mass produced meat and milk often contain growth hormones which can affect your health. Go organic when you can. Your water supply might also contain estrogen so make sure to filter it or find a good source of drinking water.
Many don’t realise how heavy metals can mess up hormone levels (ref). Do you have any silver fillings in your mouth? They contain mercury. Other culprits might be aluminium or lead. Hair mineral analysis can tell you what heavy metals you might have accumulated in your body.
Heavy metals can be cleared with homeopathic detox therapy which is a targeted but gentle way to get them out of your body. Message me for more info if this applies to you.
Lara Briden has written an interesting article about histamine and its link to estrogen. If you have any histamine intolerance symptoms, such as headaches, nasal congestion, brain fog, insomnia or hives, it’s worth a read.
How to balance estrogen dominance naturally
Stop hormonal contraceptives
It’s very difficult to truly balance hormones while there is an intake of synthetic versions via birth control or hormonal replacement therapy. Consider other natural options. More and more women are embracing their natural cycles and saying no to birth control.
Fix the root cause
Find the real cause of the problem in your body and aim to fix that rather than just thinking you need to “detox estrogen”. The deeper problem could be lack of ovulation, adrenal burnout from too much stress, thyroid imbalance, obesity, poor diet and lifestyle choices, heavy metal toxicity or as mentioned above, synthetic hormones from birth control.
Homeopathy can fix the imbalance
Homeopathy will help your body return to homeostasis (balance) naturally and effectively. The treatment is very targeted and based on your individual needs. The medicines can be used to detox birth control or heavy metals, to support organs such as adrenals or liver to aid detox. The possibilities are endless so if you are stuck and don’t know what else to try, schedule a free 20-minute call with me and I can give you some advice and answer any questions.
Improve liver and gut elimination
Beneficial liver boosting herbs include milk thistle / carduus marianus, dandelion root and turmeric. There are also many homeopathic remedies that can be used, such as chelidonium. Also, look after your gut by eating unprocessed whole foods avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar. Include some fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut. Eat fibre-rich foods and drink plenty of water to get your bowels moving regularly.
Rebounding/trampoline jumping is a great exercise for hormonal problems, it aids detoxification of excess estrogen. But any exercise you enjoy that gets your body moving will be beneficial.
Cultivating joy and laughter is a good way to bust stress. Watch a funny movie or spend time with friends who make you laugh. Calming activities are also useful to reduce stress hormones in the body; maybe give yoga or tai chi a go. Or do crafts and arts to keep your hands busy. Also don’t forget to get enough sleep!
Avoid toxins and pesticides
It’s easy to choose natural alternatives to cleaning products and cosmetics these days. Organic food and good drinking water will help reduce toxic load and correct estrogen dominance.
Nourish your body
Eat foods that give you plenty of nutrition; vegetables, fruit, your choice of protein and some healthy fats. If you react to some foods badly, it’s a good idea to avoid them. Also, practice conscious eating, take pleasure in eating the foods you like!
If you are struggling with hormonal imbalance, why not join my Natural Solution for Hormone Imbalance support group on Facebook. It’s a safe space for women to share and discuss anything. See you there!