Estrogen dominance...we see this a lot in practice and it can be an issue for menstruating women of all ages! So what is it?
Common Symptoms Of This Imbalance
Estrogen dominant symptoms can present as:
- Heavy and/or painful periods
- Breast tenderness and swelling
- PMS and moods swings
- Sugar cravings
- Fibroids, breast cysts, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, adenomyosis
- Cyclical bloating, water retention and/or headaches
- Decreased sex drive…. And more!
Now if you have all or some of these symptoms, does this mean for sure you are struggling with estrogen dominance? NO!
To know for sure it’s always best to test. Knowing your estrogen levels alone is not enough and they should always be looked at relative to progesterone levels as the balance between the two is the key!
If you are interested in comprehensive hormone and metabolic testing, learn about our Signature Hormone Rebalance Program!
3 Scenarios That Can Cause An Estrogen Dominant Presentation:
There are actually 3 imbalances that can all present with the same symptoms…
1. High estrogen, normal progesterone (treatment should be to detoxify of estrogen)
2. High estrogen, low progesterone (treatment should be to detoxify of estrogen AND boost progesterone)
3. Normal estrogen, low progesterone, presenting as a relative estrogen dominance (treatment should only be to boost progesterone)
For a more targeted treatment plan that is most specific to you, testing is always best, however this doesn’t mean there aren’t interventions you can get started on that will bring on great improvements to your symptoms!
3 Dietary Hacks To Balance Estrogen:
The following are the 3 key recommendations we give our patients in our office who struggle with estrogen dominance symptoms (whether you have done testing or not!).
These are actually great for every woman to follow even if excess estrogen is not her main concern, as it can help prevent excess estrogen in the future and can stop a problem before it even happens!
#1: Seed Cycling:
Certain seeds act as hormone modulators. Eating a therapeutic dose of specific seeds on specific days of your cycle, is a great way to naturally balance hormones.
Days 1-14 (day 1= first day of bleeding)- consume 1 Tbs of ground flaxseed and/or pumpkin seeds. Days 15-menses consume 1 Tbs of ground sunflower seeds and/or sesame seeds. For more details interactions read this post!
#2: Cruciferous vegetables:
This group of foods helps the body better metabolize and detoxify of excess estrogen in the liver. Eat at least 1 service per of the following foods (in raw or cooked form): cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.
This group of foods specifically helps what is called Phase I and Phase II detoxification in the liver. To learn more about it, read this post!
#3: Probiotic Foods:
The gut plays a vital role in excreting hormones and is considered the phase III of hormone detoxification. If you are struggling with constipation or lots of indigestion, it could be that your gut is not properly getting rid of hormones and instead they are circulating back into the system and are further driving your symptoms.
Consuming fermented foods that have natural probiotics in them, can be very helpful to support this system! These foods include sauerkraut, kefir/Greek yogurt, fermented coconut yogurt, kimchi and/or kombucha. These should all be easily found in your local supermarket and/or natural health food store.
The key to having a measurable impact on your hormones through food, is consistency! Eating these foods once a week will not suffice, you need daily consumption to get a therapeutic and more predictable dose of the active ingredients in each of these foods.
Looking for more dietary hacks to support your hormones? Be sure to download our Free Hormone Balancing Superfoods and Recipes Guide!