Watch the Estrogen Video
Estrogen is responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Men also have estrogen but in smaller amounts. Other roles of estrogen include controlling cholesterol and protecting bone health.
Watch the video below or continue reading to learn about estrogen’s role in hormone balance and healthy weight.
Here are some common symptoms of Estrogen Imbalance: heavy periods, irregularity, infertility, acne, PCOS, night sweats, hot flashes, and low libido.
If you can identify with any of these symptoms, this article is for you! Nutrition and lifestyle are coming to the rescue. Estrogen issues are not only female issues — MEN have them, too.
How Estrogen Works
The ovaries are the main source of estrogen production in the body. Adrenal glands and fat tissue also make small amounts of this hormone.
Estrogen moves through your blood and works in many areas of the body. Estradiol or E2 is the most common and prevalent type in child-bearing years. Estriol or E3 is the main estrogen during pregnancy. Estrone or E1 is the only estrogen your body makes after menopause. Your estrogen levels change throughout the month. They are highest in the middle of your menstrual cycle and lowest during your period. Estrogen levels drop at menopause.
What Can Go Wrong with Estrogen Levels?
For many reasons, your body can make too little or too much estrogen. You can take in too much estrogen through birth control pills, hormone replacement, and exposure to estrogen-like chemicals and compounds in the environiment. There are millions of women and men that are dealing with estrogen imbalance, and some are truly suffering. They are often told nothing is wrong by their doctor.
There can be issues with both low and high estrogen.
Low Estrogen: The most common reason for low estrogen in women is menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries. Symptoms of low estrogen include:
- Menstrual periods that are less frequent or stop
- Hot flashes (suddenly feeling very warm) and/or night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Dryness and thinning of the vagina
- Low sexual desire
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Menstrual migraines
- Low estrogen in men can cause excess belly fat and low libido.
Estrogen dominance is relatively unknown to the general public.
Signs of High Estrogen or Estrogen Dominance:
- Weight gain, mainly in your waist, hips, and thighs
- Heavy, painful periods
- Fibrocystic breasts (non-cancerous breast lumps)
- Fibroids (noncancerous tumors) in the uterus
- Loss of sex drive
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Signs for men: enlarged breasts (gynecomastia), poor erections, and infertility
What are the Underlying Causes of Estrogen Imbalance?
- Lack of nutrients
Americans are under-nourished and over-fed. The Standard American Diet is calorie rich but lacks essential nutrients vital to healthy cells. Nutrients feed cells. Healthy cells form healthy hormones, organs, and systems. It’s all about the cell. If you aren’t getting enough nutrients, your cells won’t be healthy.
- Lack of fiber
The average American gets less than 10 grams of fiber daily. The recommended daily allowance of fiber is 25 grams. Fiber is essential for binding to toxins and helping the body detoxify. When you don’t get enough fiber, un-metabolized hormones get “stuck” and keep circulating, causing imbalances.
- Hormones and antibiotics in conventional meat
Hormones have been used for decades in the meat and dairy industries. Synthetic estrogen and testosterone are the most common. When you eat conventional meat, you are ingesting hormones that are similar to hormones present in our own bodies.
- Chemicals, plastics, and pesticides
Synthetic estrogens are found in many plastic products and linings of cans. Its estrogen-like activity makes it a hormone disruptor. Many pesticides have also shown to be endocrine disruptors. Endocrine or hormone disruptors can bind to hormone receptor sites in the body, even though they are not organic estrogen.
- Impaired Liver Function
The liver has to break down and “clear” hormones including estrogen. If the liver can’t do its job, the hormones keep re-circulating, and this causes estrogen dominance. The liver needs the right cocktail of nutrients from foods to be able to do its job correctly.
- Gut Dysbiosis
An imbalance of good to bad bacteria will ultimately lead to impaired liver function and create a “back up” of toxins. The first step to healthy detoxification pathways is always the gut.
- Stress and Lifestyle Factors
Excess weight, emotional stress, and inactivity all contribute to poor estrogen metabolism.
How to Balance Your Estrogen Levels
Now we know what estrogen does and some of the signs of estrogen imbalance. What do we do about it? When you mow down weeds with a lawn mower, what happens? The weeds come back rather quickly. When you pull the weeds out at the roots, you get rid of them.
If we want to balance our estrogen, an estrogen pill is not the long-term solution. You need a recovery plan. Here we go!
- Eat more fiber
We SHOULD get 25-30 grams of fiber every day, and most Americans are lucky to get 10 grams. EAT MORE FIBER through fruits and vegetables every single day.
- Eat more vegetables
Especially vegetables high in sulfur! High-sulfur vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, and garlic are ESSENTIAL for detoxification, especially re-circulating estrogens. Aim for 2 cups a day of cruciferous vegetables.
- Clean up the gut and liver
Rebuild the gut lining with the right supplements and foods. If you want to learn how to do this, we can help you!
- Switch to organic and grass-fed meats
The conventional meat supply is full of the wrong things — the wrong fats and too many hormones and chemicals. Make the switch when you are grocery shopping. You will taste the difference!
- Switch to organic dairy and only eat in small amounts
Dairy is full of casein, an inflammatory protein. You will need to cut back on this. Conventional dairy is full of hormones and antibiotics, which both disrupt hormones and gut health. At least switch to organic to get rid of the chemicals.
- Weight loss
No matter what anyone says, you have to be at a calorie deficit to lose weight, period. Fat cells hold toxins and make estrogen (somehow, lol). You should work toward a body fat under 28% for females and 20% for males to improve estrogen metabolism.
- Targeted supplements
DIM and high lignan ground flaxseed can help clear estrogen dominance. I typically recommend formulas that tackle estrogen and progesterone at the same time. Also, taking supplements to lower cortisol may help with estrogen levels by lowering overall stress of the body.
Ok, there you go. Take back the power over your health and your hormones. There is so much YOU can do to feel better and have a longer and healthier life. You got this!
If you want information on exactly how to take action on all of this information and are ready to take control of your life and begin your health journey, watch my free webinar.