Estrogen dominance is a hormonal imbalance where there is more estrogen than progesterone in the body. It can occur during puberty, your reproductive years, perimenopause, and menopause. As is the case with many health issues, diet, lifestyle, genetics, and environmental exposures influence our hormonal balance.
Aside from uncomfortable symptoms, many chronic conditions are thought to be associated with estrogen dominance including breast and uterine cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Signs You Might be Estrogen Dominant
- Irregular Menstrual Periods – This includes heavier or prolonged periods, spotting, or shorter cycles. Estrogen dominance can change the duration, frequency, and flow of menstrual periods.
- Mood Swings – When estrogen levels fluctuate, it can affect neurotransmitters in the brain causing mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and/or depression.
- Breast Tenderness – Estrogen dominance may cause swelling, soreness, or increased sensitivity in the breasts.
- Weight Gain – When estrogen levels increase in relation to progesterone, it can cause weight gain, especially in the hips, thighs, and abdominal area.
- Fatigue – Excessive estrogen levels cause fatigue and low energy levels.
- Insomnia – On the other side of the spectrum, some individuals with estrogen dominance may experience difficulty falling asleep or disrupted sleep patterns.
- Headaches – Hormonal imbalances, including estrogen dominance, can trigger headaches or migraines.
- Decreased libido – Estrogen dominance might contribute to a loss of interest in sex or other sexual dysfunction
- Brain fog – Some people may struggle with concentration, memory, or overall cognitive function.
- Skin Changes – Estrogen dominance can manifest as issues like acne, dryness, or increased sensitivity.
What Factors Contribute to Estrogen Dominance?
The balance between estrogen and progesterone is a delicate one and estrogen dominance can occur for a number of reasons. If you are experiencing symptoms, here are some things to keep in mind.
Natural hormonal fluctuations happen during different stages of our lives, like during puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, or menopause. These life changes are a common factor. Obesity, insulin resistance, and certain ovarian conditions can also cause excessive estrogen production.
Environmental factors play a part too. Exposure to environmental substances known as xenoestrogens can disrupt hormone balances. Plastics, pesticides, personal care products, and some food additives contain xenoestrogens, which are synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. A simple first step to balancing hormones is to remove these items from your home. Investing in high quality air filters can also help remove pollutants in your home. We love the filters from Molekule. CLICK HERE to our link for $90 off the Air Mini + and $250+ off the Air Pro by selecting “Dr. Linda McIver” at checkout.
Additionally, certain medications, like hormonal contraceptives, hormone replacement therapies, or some fertility treatments, can impact estrogen and progesterone levels, potentially leading to estrogen dominance.
Contraceptives contain synthetic hormones that can disrupt your body’s natural hormonal balance. While they suppress ovulation and reduce overall estrogen levels, they can also introduce exogenous hormones and that aggravates estrogen dominance symptoms. The specifics will vary on the drug, dosage, and of course, the individual person.
When you stop taking contraceptives, the body returns to its natural hormonal balance without the influence of synthetic hormones. This process can take time but ultimately, it leads to more regular menstrual cycles and restores normal estrogen and progesterone levels. Discontinuing hormonal birth control use promotes the health of your liver and other organs that are vital to hormone metabolic function.
It’s important to take a look at liver health when optimizing hormone balance. The liver plays a crucial role in metabolizing and eliminating excess hormones, including estrogen. If the liver is not functioning properly, it’s hard for the body to clear estrogen from the body effectively, leading to estrogen dominance.
Sometimes the issue relates to the production of other hormones in the body. For example, insufficient progesterone production may be the cause. Progesterone counterbalances estrogen. In females, a lack of progesterone during the menstrual cycle upsets the ratio between estrogen and progesterone. These hormones become imbalanced, resulting in estrogen dominance.
Chronic stress is another underrated cause of hormonal imbalance. An unhealthy diet can place physical stress on the body. Processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugars, and a diet low in fiber and nutrients, can contribute to hormonal related stress. Additionally, emotional stress signals an imbalance as well. This is a tricky one because, as mentioned before, when estrogen levels fluctuate, it can affect neurotransmitters in the brain. This lends itself to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depression – it’s a hormonal cycle that perpetuates itself. Chronic stress causes hormonal imbalance and hormonal imbalance can signal more stress.
It’s hard to pinpoint a single cause of estrogen dominance because many of these factors interact and influence each other. If you suspect estrogen dominance, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and conduct appropriate testing to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan. Here are some things a healthcare provider may suggest.
How to Functionally Treat Estrogen Dominance
Support Methylation with Blu Methyl B
Methylation is a biochemical process that supports detoxification of excess estrogen in the liver. Methylation is involved in the conversion of estrogen metabolites and supporting healthy methylation processes helps to maintain optimal estrogen metabolism and contribute to hormone balance.
Milk Thistle is an herb known for its potential liver-protective properties. It supports estrogen balance by promoting liver health and enhancing detoxification processes. Liposomal glutathione is an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in the detoxification pathways. By supporting glutathione production, it may help to clear estrogen metabolites and promote overall detoxification, potentially assisting in balancing estrogen levels.
Binders, such as activated charcoal or bentonite clay, can potentially assist in estrogen dominance by binding to excess estrogen in the digestive tract and aiding its elimination from the body. These binders can prevent estrogen from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Binders can deplete you of minerals, which is where Mineral Blu comes in. Certain minerals, like zinc and magnesium, are involved in hormone regulation and may help maintain a healthy balance between estrogen and progesterone. Zinc, in particular, is essential for proper estrogen metabolism and can support the conversion of estrogen into less active forms.
Balance with Blu Balance
Blu Balance is a blend of botanicals and nutrients that support female hormones from PMS to perimenopause, by assisting with excess estrogen metabolism and boosting the production of progesterone, naturally. Blu Balance contains Vitex, DIM, Black Cohosh, and Calcium D-Glucarate to help maintain hormone homeostasis. Blu Balance may be dosed differently depending on your age and symptoms. Dosing may change based on cycle timing.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber regulates estrogen levels by promoting proper digestion and elimination. Adequate fiber intake supports regular bowel movements, preventing constipation and promoting efficient elimination of estrogen from the body. It binds to estrogen in the intestines, aiding its excretion and preventing its reabsorption into the bloodstream.
Promote Gut Health with High Quality Probiotics: Super Gut and Blu Spore
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome. They can indirectly impact estrogen dominance by promoting proper digestion and gut health. A balanced gut microbiome is essential for optimal estrogen metabolism and elimination.
Manage Stress with Blu Chill
Blu Chill is a GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) supplement. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms the nervous system. While GABA itself does not directly impact estrogen dominance, it can help manage symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances, including anxiety and mood swings.
Signs of Improvement
As your body returns to a balanced state, you may notice several signs indicating a healthy shift in your hormones. These signs include resolved symptoms like improved menstrual cycles, reduced PMS symptoms, decreased breast tenderness, improved mood, weight management, clear skin, increased libido, and more energy.
Some of these symptoms can be attributed to other medical conditions or hormonal imbalances. Symptoms will vary from person to person, which is why it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to evaluate your specific situation and determine the best approach for addressing estrogen dominance and achieving hormonal balance.