Hey ladies! Happy New Year!
How is everything going this year? Do you have lots of goals planned to accomplish?
One of my top goals this year is to keep educating females out there on the inner workings of their lovely lady systems. As a female adult, now well versed in the functioning of my lady parts, it took me a while to get educated myself on how our unique systems operate and how to treat mine so it functions at its best. Seems to me like there is a gap in the system in which us as lil ladies weren’t taught enough while growing up about this.
You may remember my posts from the end of last year on the connection between the hormones of the ovaries, adrenals and thyroid. One of the situations I brought up that could occur if there is dysfunction or an imbalance with these hormones is what is called “estrogen dominance.” This is a common issue seen in women when the amount of estrogen in the body exceeds the amount of progesterone. This could occur for a number a reason, at various life stages, and can manifest in a variety of ways.
Some of the most common symptoms of estrogen dominance are:
- Intense PMS symptoms
- Weight gain or difficulty loosing weight
- Irregular periods
- Loss of sex drive
- Foggy brain
Estrogen carries out a number of functions in the body. It circulates in the body binding to cell receptors which then acts as a signal to carry out another action in the body, such as maintaining a normal body temperature, regulating the menstrual cycle and supporting the cardiovascular system. Once estrogen has done its job, it is then metabolized in the liver. There it is broken down into metabolites. Estrogen can be broken down into two types of metabolites: one “good” and one “bad”.
The good pathway: The 2-hydroxy pathway. These beneficial estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream and account for many benefits previously attributed to estrogen, such as, prevention of heart disease, the building of strong, healthy bones, and soft, supple skin.
The bad pathway: The 16-hydroxy pathway. Estrogen broken down in this pathway results in metabolites responsible for many of estrogen’s undesirable actions, including weight gain and an increased risk of breast and other gynecological cancers.
In addition to these bad guy metabolites from our estrogen, we are also exposed to chemicals which contain ‘xenoestrogens’. These trick the body and mimic the action of estrogen by binding to the same receptors. However, they don’t have the same positive effect of estrogen and can therefore cause havoc on the system, and need to be metabolized and eliminated as well.
So, the real key here is to take care of your body in ways that help maintain a healthy balance of estrogen. This means getting rid of the bad guy estrogen and xenoestrogens in the system. See below for some suggestions on how to do so. For some, their bodies do this more efficiently, but for others (including me!) more effort is needed. We’re all unique!
HOW TO ELIMINATE EXCESS ESTROGEN
GIVE YOUR LIVER LOVE
Our liver does so much for us. We hear this time and time again, but when you sit back and think about all the shit we put it through, it’s unbelievable. It works overtime and has very little break. Please – give it some love already! You can do this through herbs that help support liver detox, like milk thistle, quality B vitamins and healthy food sources of amino acids – they are found in proteins like lean meat, eggs and legumes.
When it comes to balancing hormones for women, I also really like a supplement called DIM. DIM, which stands for diindoylylmethane, is a plant based compound that is also found in cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts). DIM helps maintain the right kind of estrogen and helps increase the detoxification of the bad kind. Keeping estrogen in its healthiest form, and speeding up the removal of harmful estrogens and xenoestrogens, can play a major role in reducing PMS and menopause symptoms and reducing your risk of cancer.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BOWELS
This is immensely important in removing excess hormone from the body. Why? It’s the exit route out! If it’s jammed up you can only imagine the road rage that will occur internally. The longer fecal matter sits when its unable to be removed, the more risk that toxins are reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This is a pretty gross thought, yet very true and detrimental to your wellbeing.
If you know this is one of your issues, this year you should make it your goal to get your bowel movements moving! How?
Fiber and water
- I mean like LOTS of water – 2L a day, please. I fill up a glass litre bottle to help me keep track. That’s what works for me – find your jam. You can also get fluids in through coco water, herbal teas or natural low sugar, veggie juices.
- Eating lots of the veggies mentioned above and other in their family also is a great way to get in DIM AND fiber!
- Other good sources of fiber: fruit and vegetables of all kinds, oats, and nuts and seeds.
- You can grind up and keep in your fridge a jar mixed with flax seed, psyllium husk and chia seeds. Put a tablespoon in yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies or even soups!
- Keep in mind the more fiber you ingest the more water you need to help its removal.
- YOUR bowels are gonna love you!
A healthy digestive track really depends on a healthy balance of good to bad bacteria in the gut (it’s all about the good and the bad it seems).
- Eat probiotic foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.
- More importantly, take a probiotic. Especially if you’ve recently been on antibiotics OR if you are on the BC pill!!! Super important.
I’m not one to preach this on the regular. In my opinion, we do need to ingest quality, complex carbohydrates occasionally. But when it comes to hormones, the research does show us low carb is best. Why? It goes back to the role of insulin and to the intertwining nature of the endocrine system. And this doesn’t mean I’m telling you that you can never again have a slice of bread, but to help get your hormones back on track, it can be very beneficial to do this for a period of time to help you feel better. How about a New Year experiment? Cut down on the carbs for a month to see how you feel and how the body responds.
Read my recent posts of here to learn more about this.
There is definitely more you can do to help the body remove estrogen but these are some of the most important – so start there. Positive change that actually lasts comes with small steps!!
If you have questions or comments about excess estrogen comment below!