Updated: Jul 21
While there are many hormone imbalances that can happen, I want to talk about what estrogen dominance is for a moment, as estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalances I see with my clients in the Nourish To Thrive program.
What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is one of the main female reproductive hormones. It's an essential hormone that plays a vital role in your overall health.
Estrogen levels will fluctuate throughout your cycle. Estrogen will rise during the first half of your cycle, peaking at ovulation. Then estrogen should decrease somewhat during the second half of your cycle.
However, estrogen is not the only important reproductive hormone. Other hormones, such as progesterone, are required for good health, too. When these hormones are not in the right balance, estrogen dominance follows.
What Is Estrogen Dominance:
Estrogen dominance is a type of hormone imbalance related to the ratio of estrogen to progesterone. Essentially your body continually produces estrogen in excess compared to progesterone.
Estrogen dominance can look like this:
→normal estrogen, low progesterone
→high estrogen, normal progesterone
→high estrogen, low progesterone
Estrogen dominance is also involved in conditions such as PCOS, fibroids, and endometriosis and drives many symptoms.
Signs Of Estrogen Dominance:
low sex drive
low energy levels
headaches or migraines (especially premenstrual)
irregular or heavy periods
feelings of depression
foggy thinking, memory loss
4 Steps To Take Today To To Get Rid Of Estrogen Dominance & Balance Your Hormones:
1. Optimize Your Nutrition:
Your diet can go a long way in helping to reduce the symptoms of estrogen dominance naturally. The best natural way to balance estrogen is by detoxing your body. By detox, I don't mean that you starve your body or resort to juice cleanses. It means that you include plenty of whole foods, fibre, and cruciferous vegetables to support your liver. If you aren't sure where to start grab this free 3-day meal plan with all the recipes.
2. Love Your Liver:
Your liver health is foundational for optimal hormone health. By supporting your liver your body is able to effectively excrete excess hormones.
Your liver is responsible for readying estrogen to be moved out of the body. If our liver isn't able to effectively do this the excess estrogen re-circulates in our body and this leads to symptoms of estrogen dominance. To support your liver health, limit the amount of highly processed foods and sugar you consume and focus instead on fresh, whole foods that are rich in fibre, vitamin C, sulfur, and B vitamins.
3. Manage Your Stress:
When you are chronically stressed your body produces more cortisol. Excess cortisol elevates estrogen levels by encouraging the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. It also impacts the production of progesterone. When stressed the adrenals will convert progesterone to cortisol and this leads to an imbalance in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
4. Be Mindful of Toxins:
Try to use household and personal care 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 and minimize your exposure to estrogen-mimicking chemicals called xenoestrogens.
Key Supplements For Estrogen Dominance:
If you think you might be dealing with estrogen dominance it's always best to work with a trained practitioner who can provide you with a customized protocol based on your unique needs and identify why you have estrogen dominance so you can address the root cause.
However, there are a few supplements that may be beneficial in helping support your liver and adrenals.
To help ensure your liver has the right nutrients to prepare estrogen for removal milk thistle can be used. To support your adrenals you can add in adrenal adaptogens like ashwagandha, licorice, or schisandra. Read more on the benefits of adaptogens here.
Taking steps to balance your hormones, reduce toxins, and support your natural detox response may take some time. Be sure to start adding in some of the above steps and stay consistent.
Give this estrogen detox smoothie a try. It's packed with liver-loving foods, fiber, and key hormone-friendly nutrients.
Estrogen Detox Smoothie:
3 cups kale/ spinach
Half peeled cucumber
Ginger (1 tsp freshly grated)
2 stalks celery
2 cups mango
1 handful of fresh cilantro
3 cups of water
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 to 2 scoops of healthy protein powder (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender, mix well and enjoy!