Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalances for women. It is often due to estrogen excess, but can also be due to progesterone deficiency.
Do You have Estrogen Dominance?
Common symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
Breast tenderness and swelling
PMS; can be brain fog, mood swings, anxiety, etc.
How can you find out if you have estrogen dominance? In our practice, we use the dutch hormone test (https://dutchtest.com/video/introduction/) or CHI hormone test (https://rmalab.com/test/comprehensive-hormone-insights/?myProvince=on) to get an accurate assessment of your hormones.
Top 5 Things You Can Do Now to Reduce Estrogen Dominance:
1. Eat your Cruciferous Veggies – 1 cup every day will help balance out the hormones! Start preparing your favourite broccoli, kale, bok choy, cabbage and cauliflower recipes. These veggies are rich in glucobrassicin, which converts to I3C, then to DIM, which supports estrogen metabolism in your liver. DIM has been shown to favour 2OHE1 over 16OHE1, a weaker estrogen in the body, therefore less estrogen activity overall.
Eat cruciferous vegetables.
2. Include Ground Flax – Add 1 heaping tablespoon of ground flax seed to your day. One of nature’s best phytoestrogens! Not only is flax able to help directly with hormone balance, but it also moves things along in the intestine, improving bowel health, which is also essential for hormone health. I usually suggest sprinkling on your breakfast yogurt or porridge, or have in the evening with a cup of water, away from meals.
Eat flax seeds daily.
3. Look for Xenoestrogens – these are chemicals that mimic estrogen in your environment. They are literally everywhere! On our food, in our water, on furniture…many personal skin care and hair care products contain synthetic estrogens too. We also ingest estrogens when we heat food up in plastic containers in the microwave. Most commonly, xenoestrogens are leached from high fat containing foods that are stored in plastic and are on our non-organic fruits and veggies.
Using glass containers instead of plastic ones to heat up food will help remove xenoestrogens from your environment.
Do what you can to identify sources of xenoestrogens in your environment, and make some changes. These are some changes that you can make now to help remove xenoestrogens from your environment:
Switch to more natural, chemical-free hair and skin care products.
Don’t heat food in plastic.
Buy all oil or fat containing products in glass (Eg. yogurt, olive oil, etc.).
Air out new carpets, furniture and mattresses in a garage or basement before using.
Always wash new clothes to reduce exposure to chemicals used to keep clothes looking pressed in the store.
Buy organic veggies where it matters! Avoid the Dirty Dozen: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and peppers.
4. Reduce Stress – Pregnenolone is a precursor to both hormones; Cortisol and Progesterone. If your body is in “stress mode” all day long, you are producing CORTISOL and not leaving any pregnenolone for progesterone production. In my practice, progesterone deficiency is the most common cause of estrogen dominance. I work with individuals to practice mindfulness and find ways to respond to stress, shifting the hormone balance towards progesterone. We often use adrenal support to help bring the body back into balance, and mitigate lifestyle stresses.
Exercising and practicing mindfulness helps balance hormones.
5. Exercise – Just 20 minutes a day to start! Exercise is key in hormone balance as it plays a role in insulin sensitivity, boosts weight loss, increases testosterone and helps the detox processes in the liver.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is key to avoiding estrogen dominance as fat tissue stores estrogen, and it can synthesize estrogen from other hormones.
What Other Reasons Cause Hair Loss and Acne?
If you have estrogen dominance, the above changes are a great start to getting back in balance.
But, estrogen dominance is not the only reason why you may be losing hair or struggling with acne. Our previous post, “A Naturopathic Post to Treating Acne” provides a more thorough explanation of the most common reasons you may be suffering from acne. And we have plans for an upcoming post where we do a deep dive into hair loss, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, if you are struggling with acne or hair loss, our Naturopathic Doctors and Skin Care Specialists at Pür GLō Natural Skin Rejuvenation Centre provide a unique inside-out approach when treating skin and hair loss concerns; you receive a natural, result-driven treatment plan that is customized to your specific needs. Contact us to learn more!
Author: Dr. Mary Anne Hembroff ND is the Co-Owner of Pür GLō Natural Skin Rejuvenation Centre in Winnipeg, MB Canada. She is also the co-owner of The Nature Doctors where she is a Naturopathic Doctor.