What is Oestrogen Dominance?
Oestrogen is one of two main sex hormones that women have. It is more dominant in the first half of your cycle and I refer to her as the waxing/full moon energy-out there making her self-known to everyone. The other hormone is progesterone. I like to think of her as more a waning/New moon energy. She forces us to slow down and step back a bit. We produce Progesterone in the second half of our cycle after we ovulate. This is the reason I bang on about how ovulation really the starring role in the months show is- your cycle. Oestrogen is primarily responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Men have oestrogen, too, but in smaller amounts. Oestrogen dominance occurs when these 2 dance partners decide not to work together and Oestrogen is higher in relation to progesterone.
What is Oestrogen responsible for?
Oestrogen is responsible for the growth of the breasts, pubic, and underarm hair. During puberty, it’s oestrogen that triggers the start of menstrual cycles and oestrogen that helps control the cycle through childbearing and into menopause. This hormone has other functions too. Oestrogen keeps cholesterol in control, protects bone health, and affects your brain (including mom mood), bones, heart, skin, and other tissues.
Oestrogen is also responsible for making your skin look plumper and more elastic due to estrogens effect on collagen. You might notice this around ovulation when Oestrogen has peaked. Furthermore, it aids in building your muscles and bones, slows down the aging process, increases your libido, balances your moods, and your sleep cycle. So you can see she truly has the right to strut her stuff.
What happens in Oestrogen dominance?
Slow dancing with estrogen is great, but everything takes a 180-degree turn if estrogen dominance becomes an issue.
The term ‘estrogen dominance’ refers to a condition where your body continually produces oestrogen in excess as compared to progesterone. If we think of a beautiful garden. Oestrogen is the grass; progesterone is the lawnmower keeping the grass looking its best. If the grass is left alone without being cared for it becomes overgrown. That is when weeds and everything else we don’t want starts to grow. As you see, they are both super important and we need them to work tighter in order to have our beautiful garden- “A good cycle”. During the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle, estrogen is naturally more dominant, but only for a few days. Hormonal imbalance tends to have a cascade effect, so estrogen dominance often leads to a plethora of other health-related problems. Estrogen dominance can cause PMS symptoms due to which you can feel sluggish for days, weeks, or even months until you finally balance your hormones.
Symptoms of Oestrogen Excess:
If you experience any two or more of the following symptoms, you may have Oestrogen dominance.
- Constant headaches or migraines
- Water retention and bloating
- Gaining weight in your lower body
- Ovarian Cysts
- Oily hair and skin
- PCOS or Endometriosis
- Tender and painful breasts
- Hair loss
- Random mood swings
- Heavy flow during periods
- Painful cramps before and during periods
- Irregular periods
How to balance oestrogen
The best natural way to balance estrogen is by detoxing your body. Detox does not mean that you starve your body or indulge in ridiculous juice cleanses. Instead, it refers to eliminating certain foods and drinks and replacing them with healthier options that supports these natural processes.
To get rid of estrogen dominance and balance your hormones, you will have to take care of your liver. The liver is responsible for filtering blood, removing toxins, and balancing your hormones. To support liver health, avoid foods high in processed fat, sugar and salt and focus instead on fresh, whole foods and foods that are rich in fiber. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, sulfur, and B vitamins are also great for liver health. Eating this way helps the body naturally detox and can be part of your path back to balance.
Ditch the toxins that you put on your body and in your environment for another layer of support. Try to use products that are clean and free of harmful chemicals. Whether it be makeup or skincare products, try to use organic products made from natural ingredients. Apart from this, you should also take care of your mental health by detoxing and removing all sources of negative energy from your life. Take a look at the dirty dozen and clean fifteen list to see how many foods your eating that are on the heavily sprayed and toxic list here
Oestrogen Detox Smoothie:
To enjoy a tasty detox smoothie, blend the following ingredients until the mixture looks smooth and creamy and enjoy!
- 3 cups kale/ spinach
- Half peeled cucumber
- Half lemon
- Peeled knob of ginger
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 cups mango
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- 3 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 to 2 scoops of quality protein powder (optional)
Taking steps to balance your hormones, reduce toxins, and kick your natural detox response into gear may take some time. If you don’t find yourself improving within about 30 days of solid changes, contact a qualified health practitioner. They will be able to more fully assess your health and order labs to get a better feel for your hormone levels so you will have a more personalized and informed path to balance. Or if you would like to find out more on how you can support you, book a free hormone clarity call here.
Check out my Nourish Move and Thrive Circle here. It is my 4 month group coaching program designed for busy Mums to get results by working smarter not harder with their bodies.