Estrogen Overload: Are Your Hormones Toxic?
For all intents and purposes, estrogen is a wonderful thing. Besides being one of the primary drivers behind our beautiful, womanly curves and our ability to become moms, estrogen is important for strong bones, proper blood clotting, balanced moods, and great skin and hair.
But like just about everything in life, there actually can be too much of a good thing.
When you have too much estrogen, the excess can cause everything from PMS to fibroid growth, to infertility and low libido. The bad news is that this problem is all too common and very often masked with synthetic hormones in the form of birth control pills. But while the Pill may help you manage the bothersome symptoms, it won’t fix the underlying problem. In fact, covering up the issue with a birth control Band Aid will only exacerbate the root cause, making it that much harder to address the factors behind your elevated estrogen.
How do you know if you have elevated estrogen levels?
A full endocrine blood test panel is an important tool for understanding where your various hormones are at. But if you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, chances are that elevated estrogen is at the root of the problem:
- Low libido
- Heavy periods
Are you changing your pad or tampon once an hour? Do you have special sheets for that time of the month? Do you have large clots that are dark purple in color?
If so, specifically, you have elevated estrogen levels. Estrogen builds the lining of your uterus. If you’re eating a diet that prevents your liver from breaking down this hormone, it can build up and wreak havoc on your cycle. In addition to the heavy bleeding and clots, you may also struggle with endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, or polyps.
What could be causing estrogen overload?
When your estrogen levels are high, the lining of your uterus can become thicker. Estrogen can also be much higher relative to progesterone, which is the hormone that will keep your uterine lining intact for a longer period of time. Excess estrogen occurs when your diet contains estrogen rich foods, and when your liver is not able to keep up with detoxification.
Additionally, an imbalance in your gut bacteria can wreak serious havoc on your hormonal levels. A certain set of gut bacteria (and more specifically, certain bacterial genes) called the estrobolome produce an essential enzyme that actually helps metabolize estrogen. This means your gut—not just your lady parts!—is an integral part of the system responsible for ushering hormones out of the body. The only real way to keep the machine running smoothly is to feed the internal ecosystem in the way that promotes the growth of these good bacteria.
The population of friendly bacteria or “gut flora,” as it’s also known, makes up your microbiome. Your microbiome is a main player in regulating your hormones, especially your estrogen levels.
How to get your estrogen levels in check?
Most symptoms that occur from hormonal imbalance issues are the result of excess estrogen, and by eating the foods below at the right times during your cycle, you’ll help support the metabolization of estrogen through your elimination organs and the removal of that unwanted excess from your body. By incorporating these greens at these specific times, you enhance your body’s ability to metabolize estrogen and your symptoms will disappear. Really!
To cycle-sync your diet and regulate your estrogen, start incorporating these foods at these points in your cycle:
Follicular phase (before you ovulate, after your period):
Artichoke, broccoli, carrot, parsley, green peas, string beans and zucchini
Ovulatory phase (when you’re ovulating):
Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, chard, escarole, scallion, spinach
Luteal phase (before you have your period):
Cauliflower, collard greens, daikon, onion, parsnip, radish, squash, sweet potato
Menstrual phase (your period):
Beet, kale, kelp, mushrooms
In addition, there are some great supplements and lifestyle techniques that can help detoxify your liver even further and really move your body in a positive direction...
- Milk thistle is an herb that helps detoxify the liver and even out estrogen.
- Learning uterine massage technique via an experienced practitioner will help uterine congestion and lessen clotting.
- Increasing the amount of water you drink and eating more leafy greens like collards and kale will assist the estrogen detox process.
- Liquid chlorophyll can boost iron in your blood and help you deal with the anemia that typically develops from chronic heavy bleeding.
And to keep your gut health in good shape, eat fermented foods rich in good bacteria like kimchi and sauerkraut to promote the balance of good bacteria, and start taking a probiotic supplement.
*Crave more hormone help?*
If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started looking into what’s going on with your hormones. Alisa has designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
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