Our hormones are balanced in a delicate dance. Oestrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol – to name but just a few – when one is out of balance can cause a whole heap of issues.
Many women today suffer with symptoms which are clear indications of hormonal imbalance. These include PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, hormonal acne, PCOS, migraines and endometriosis. The root cause of this is oestrogen dominance.
It is extremely easy to become ‘dominant’ in oestrogen. Why? Because it is everywhere. The food we eat, the health care products we use, poor sleep and other environmental factors can all contribute to high levels of oestrogen.
So what is oestrogen dominance? Well it happens in the body when there is an oestrogen overload in relation to our progesterone. It’s extremely hard to avoid excess oestrogen because it surrounds us, so that is why we need to make sure we limit as many factors as possible.
When our detoxification pathway’s are working optimally, including having all of it’s vital micronutrients, an undisrupted micro biome (gut bacteria) and a fantastic ability to process and eliminate excess oestrogen efficiently then our bodies work fantastically well. A body nourished with nutrient dense foods and hormonally supportive foods has a much higher chance of coping in the 21st century compared to if we surrender to the ’21st century lifestyle’.
Unfortunately, most people do not eat in this way. Easily persuaded on the weekend to get a take away, go out binge drinking on the weekends or even being unprepared on weekends and not eating much food at all. These lifestyle choices are all going to play havoc on our endocrine (hormonal) system.
This can lead to a toxic build up, excess hormones can recirculate the body which can throw our delicate hormones out of balance and start triggering symptoms.
If our oestrogen levels rise, this unfortunately means a drop in progesterone and this is a root cause for fertility issues.
So what are signs of oestrogen dominance?
- PMS – Pre Menstrual Symptoms from moodiness to bloating
- Ovarian Cysts
- Weight Gain
- Heavy Periods
- Irregular Periods
- Early onset puberty (before 12 years of age) in yourself and/or your daughter(s)
Long term risks of high oestrogen levels?
- Female Cancers, particularly breast cancer
Treatments for oestrogen dominance?
Unfortunately for most if we walked into our GP surgery and mentioned any of these symptoms, more often than not some sort of pill will be prescribed. Whether it be the hormonal birth control pill or Metformin (mainly for PCOS), there seems to be a ‘one pill fit’s all approach’ when unfortunately, this is not always the case.
In order for you to get better however, the first step is to understand what and why this is happening to you. The first plan of action then is to address the root cause. Addressing the root cause is the key step to moving past symptoms and feeling better. The birth control pill is not addressing the root cause, because as soon as you stop taking it, all your symptoms will return.
For example, if you’re a young girl who suffers with heavy menstrual bleeds at the age of 15. You can be placed on the OCP (Oral Contraceptive Pill) in order to help with the pain and heaviness even if you’re not yet sexually active. It might not be until you’re 27 until you feel as though you’re ready to start a family, but as soon as you come off the pill you bleeds are just as heavy and much more painful then when you were 15. Now it could take you years to find the root cause of the problem before you can even start thinking of starting a family.
How to treat oestrogen dominance naturally and effectively
Natural treatment is long lasting. It’s something we can all do everyday and leads to optimal hormonal balance. This is due to it addressing the root cause and changes your hormones naturally and supports our elimination pathways.
- Eat more fibre: get your veggies in! We need fibre in order for our detoxification systems to work efficiently and excrete any excess waste products and hormones we produce via the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, flaxseeds, oats, cauliflower are all brilliant examples of great fibre sources.
- Support the bacteria in your gut: many people have heard of antibiotics, but not so many have heard of probiotics. Using antibiotics can wipe away both our good and bad bacteria meaning it puts an imbalance in our micro biome. Our micro biome is part of our elimination system and is vital part of hormonal detoxification. Eating fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut daily and taking a good quality probiotic will help to increase good bacteria in the gut.