According to amazing woman functional medicine doctors like Dr. Sarah Gotfried and Alissa Vitti, the main cause of SO many hormonal imbalances, especially PMS is estrogen dominance. If you are looking to feel and look better, focusing on balancing your hormones will change your life!
What is Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones that women produce. They are very opposite in their roles and function. When their levels are in a natural balance they work in synchrony which allows for a state of harmony. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle has left most women with a terrible ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
Estrogen dominance simply means that a woman has way more estrogen in comparison to progesterone. Even if she has low estrogen, it could still be higher and out of balance with her progesterone levels.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Painful periods
- Low libido
- Cervical dysplasia
- Low energy
Causes of Estrogen Dominance
1. Toxic Personal Care Products:
This one is HUGE! Most personal care products contain compounds called Xenoestrogenic Chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body, creating an overload that is hard for the liver to process. Here is a list of chemicals you should check your personal care products for to make sure you are not putting them into your blood stream.
2. Sluggish Liver:
Many people have a slow working liver because they are eating processed foods, using toxic products, and not eating foods that help support it. This is causing the liver to get overloaded and backed up. When this happens, the liver does not eliminate the hormones it needs so they get recirculated in the body, causing hormonal imbalances.
Stress is a huge factor because it is what prohibits the creation of progesterone. When we are stressed, our body can either make cortisol (stress hormone) or progesterone. If a woman is constantly stressed, then her body is constantly making cortisol and not progesterone, therefore progesterone levels get extremely low, and estrogen dominates.
Natura Solutions to Estrogen Dominance
1. Support the liver:
Eating and drinking certain foods will help support the liver in the detoxification process. This will then allow your body to excrete the excess hormones and remain in balance. Liver supporting foods include:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fermented and cultured foods
- Leafy greens and vegetables, especially dandelion greens
- Plenty of filter water daily
- Milk thistle
- Greens powders (my favorite fermented kind <-)
2. Eat cruciferous veggies that contain DIM
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower Brussel sprouts & cabbage contain several powerful nutrients that detoxify bad estrogenic molecules. These nutrients include Indole-3 Carbonyl and Diindolylmethane (DIM).
These cruciferous veggies also contain sulfur nutrients that enhance liver detoxification processes and destroy cancer cell formation
What you avoid is almost more important than what you eat. The main things to avoid for balanced hormones are:
- Toxic personal care products
- Inflammatory foods like vegetable oils, sugar, wheat, factory farmed animal products.
- Tap water
- Genetically modified foods.
4. Self Care and Pleasure Daily
In order for a woman’s body to stay in hormonal balance, her system needs to be in a parasympathetic state as much as possible. This means that each day, doing something that you enjoy and makes you relax is one of the most powerful activities you can do for your hormones. Eating on the run, constantly switching from one task to the next, worrying about the future, etc all put your hormonal system into a state of shut down- making it impossible for hormones to be produced properly.
Balanced Hormones Daily Check List
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
- Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily
- Eat plenty of veggies daily
- Drink 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water daily.
- Do one activity a day that relaxes you and brings you pleasure
- Learn how to not let stress shut down your body here.
I want to hear from YOU! Have you noticed a change in your hormones when you switch to an organic diet and natural personal care products!