DO YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE? SUCH AS…
-Mood swings and depression around cycle time
-Variations or skipped cycles
-Vaginal dryness or itchiness
-Excessive or scanty blood flow during periods
-Cyclic insomnia, night sweats and fatigue
-Breast cancer, benign breast disease, and pre-cancerous conditions
I think this list pretty much describes a nightmarish myriad of symptoms for any woman. According to Dr. Ray Peat, PhD., estrogen dominance is a leading contributor to many women specific cancers, “Benign breast disease, breast cancer and pre-cancerous conditions have been found to be associated with a progesterone deficiency and estrogen excess.” So keep reading and learn the causes, so you can support your body’s detoxification of estrogen for hormonal balance with diet!
WHY DOES ESTROGEN DOMINANCE OCCUR?
“Normally, the liver treats estrogen like a poison, removing it immediately from the body. If the liver gets sluggish from malnutrition or too much estrogen (or other damage), it can allow the hormone to build up to very high levels” -Dr. Ray Peat, PhD
- Excess estrogen due to a malnourished liver, which reduces estrogen detoxification:The liver needs an abundance of proteins, vitamins and minerals in order to detoxify used hormones out of the system. If estrogen can’t be detoxified, it recirculates in the body causing dysfunction, and this allows estrogen to build up in the body. According to Dr. Ray Peat, PhD, “Protein deficiency has been shown to cause the liver to fail to detoxify estrogen.” If the body’s ability to remove used hormones from the system is impaired, they are allowed to recirculate causing problems such as PMS.
- Poor hormone production resulting in low progesterone, leaving estrogen unopposed: Estrogen and progesterone are supposed to be in balance with one another, but a poor diet can result in low progesterone. The body needs some raw materials to make progesterone including: cholesterol, vitamin A, magnesium, B vitamins and thyroid hormone (T3). If you are low in these nutrients or if you have low thyroid function, then low progesterone is a very common cause of estrogen dominance.
- Chronic stress: stress of any kind decreases progesterone levels to increase production of cortisol. This is because cortisol is a stress hormone needed to help you survive stress.
- Birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy: This one is pretty straightforward. Adding synthetic estrogen to your body increases estrogen, and thus the estrogen burden on your body. Synthetic estrogen’s cardiovascular risks have been known since 1940, this includes: an ability to cause blood clots, varicose veins, miscarriage, and PMS. “It is the estrogen in oral contraceptives which correlates with their effects on the clotting system. In the last 20 years there has been a general agreement that increased risk of cardiovascular disease, rather than cancer or immunodeficiency or depression, is the most important concern about the effects of oral contraceptives” RDr. ay Peat, PhD.
- Aging: Estrogen levels tend to increase with age, as pregnenolone and progesterone levels decline.
CAN YOU STOP THE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE MADNESS?
A MULTIFACETED NUTRITION PLAN THAT SUPPORTS THE METABOLISM, LIVER, HORMONES, AND STRESS LEVELS IS A GREAT APPROACH. ESTABLISHING THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE IMBALANCES AND DYSFUNCTION IN YOUR BODY.
Support the metabolism:
-Stop the low-fat dieting, and calorie counting, and instead eat real nourishing foods. You should especially eat enough protein and carbs to meet your metabolic needs. Your body temperature is a good way to check and see if you’re eating enough.
-Balance blood sugar by eating protein/fats/carbs together during each meal, and eating frequently to help stabilize blood sugar (especially important for those with blood sugar handling issues).
-Listen to your body. It’s ALWAYS talking to you. Are you listening?
Nourish your liver:
-Increase protein to 70-100 grams+ per day based on your weight (about 20-25% of total calories). Make sure to include eggs, dairy (if tolerated, no allergy), collagen, fish, and shellfish, in order to help balance muscle meats (chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, etc). This will help to create the amino acid (building blocks of protein) balance needed to reflect “eating the whole animal.” By doing this, you empower the liver’s detoxification process to help your body detoxify estrogen properly.
-Eat easy-to-digest foods to reduce endotoxin that can back up the liver (especially important for those with digestive distress).
-Avoid iron overload and vitamin D toxicity that congest the liver.
Support hormone production:
-Address your mineral deficiencies, specifically calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium zinc, and copper (instead of playing the supplement guessing game)! I use Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis HTMA, coupled with a specific Blood Test for this very purpose.
-Increase hormone synthesis promoters in the diet using food: Thyroid (T3), wholefood Vitamin A, Vitamin E, copper etc……
-Decrease hormone synthesis blockers: unsaturated fats (PUFA), excess estrogen (hormone replacement, birth control, or liver malnutrition to adequately detoxify used estrogen), ultraviolet light, x-rays, and fortified foods, vitamins.
Reduce stress and environmental toxins:
-Identify and reduce stressors in your life. This could be a variety of things; lack of sleep, insufficient fuel, or food allergies (since they activate the stress response.
-Detox your home by ditching the chemicals in your cleaning and beauty routine.