There is a hidden enemy lurking in our environment and our bodies, and most of us don’t even know it’s there. Worse, most doctors don’t properly test the levels of this substance. What is this hidden enemy? Excess estrogen. Estrogen is necessary for the healthy function of both males and females, but too much of a good thing can make us sick, or worse.
The disorder that we are referring to is called estrogen dominance, meaning that too much estrogen is present and active in the tissues of our bodies. Estrogen dominance can be a confusing condition to diagnose, though. This is because levels of stored estrogen in our tissues, especially fat cells, can be up to 50 times higher than blood levels. In fact, it’s possible to have very low levels of estrogen in our blood, and extremely high levels of estrogen in our tissues.
Unfortunately, most doctors only test for estrogen blood levels. Many even mistakenly diagnose a patient with low estrogen despite the massive levels stored in tissues. This can lead to a dangerous misdiagnosis and treatment that adds even more unwanted estrogen to our taxed systems.
What Causes Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen does not just leave our bodies like other chemicals. It is stored in our fat. The more fat we have, the more estrogen we can store. The more estrogen we store, the more fat we gain. It’s a vicious cycle.
Additionally, the modern chemical toxins we are exposed to can both mimic the effects of estrogen and cause us to produce more estrogen than we need. One of the worst chemicals is BPA, which is present in canned food linings, hard plastics from soda bottles and even our water. Roughly six billion pounds of BPA are produced every year and this is just one of the thousands of pollutants that act as endocrine disrupters to our systems.
What Are the Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance?
Mild initial symptoms of estrogen dominance might include but aren’t limited to:
Heavier menstrual cycles
Muscle and joint pain
By the late 30’s, the condition can become more serious and include additional symptoms such as:
Anxiety and panic attacks
Once the condition becomes severe, we can suffer from:
Polycystic ovary syndrome
These symptoms often lead doctors to test for estrogen deficiency. Unfortunately, since most doctors only test for estrogen levels in our blood, they may miss the highly elevated levels of estrogen stored in our fat cells. This can lead to the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of the underlying condition, especially if they prescribe artificial hormone replacements.
If we are suffering from estrogen dominance instead of low estrogen, these supplements will add to the estrogen load and make the illness worse. The tragic result is a patient with thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, autoimmune disorders such as diabetes and lupus, or even severe, crippling obesity.
How to Treat Estrogen Dominance Naturally
A simple 3-Step Plan, combined with healthy dietary changes and exercise can help to clear up the symptoms of estrogen dominance and reverse the damage to our bodies. This plan works for both woman and men, whether the signs are just beginning or are very severe. The key to treating these problems is to end the overproduction of estrogen and help the body to clear the excess. This will help us return to our natural estrogen levels both in blood and in the tissues, restoring a healthier and more youthful state of well-being.
These steps are simple. Anyone can incorporate them into their daily routine:
Clear Excess Estrogen
Estrogen is removed from our bodies through the liver. The liver attaches glucuronic acid to the excess estrogen and excretes it through the kidneys. Carbohydrate deficiencies can make excretion more difficult as well because glucuronic acid is produced from glucose. This is not to say that sugar should be indiscriminately eaten. Carbohydrates must be from high-quality sources such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Additionally, boosting the active thyroid hormone, T3, with a quality supplement can help to jump-start our systems.
End Estrogen Overproduction
When a person becomes estrogen dominant, the aromatase enzyme over-produces estrogen. Aromatase is stored in fat cells and the levels increase because of age, cortisol from stress, and excess consumption of polyunsaturated fats. Alcohol abuse can also lead to higher levels of aromatase. Even if ovaries produce small amounts of estrogen, our bodies are still capable of producing large amounts through the hormones and aromatase stored in fat cells.
Aromatase inhibitors such as progesterone oil and Vitamin E can help to decrease these levels dramatically.
Dietary sources of aromatase inhibitors include:
Naturally fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut
Antioxidant-rich herbs such as turmeric and sage
Flavonones from citrus fruits
Healthy Omega-3 and saturated fats from coconut oil and salmon
Cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, and cabbage
Reduce Hormone Cycle Interference and Block Excess Estrogen Receptors
No matter our current estrogen levels, if estrogen activity in our bodies is too high, then the damage will ensue. When it comes to reducing this damage, the adage “first do no harm” comes to mind. This requires not letting the process get out of control in the first place. Inflammation reduces the ability of the glucuronic acid to clear excess estrogen.
Excess polyunsaturated fats in the diet bind to $ex hormone-binding globulin and keeps it from deactivating estrogen that isn’t needed. Lastly, if we have too many estrogen receptors, as is the case with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, increasing natural estrogen blockers will decrease estrogen activity. Vitamin E, zinc and grape seed oil extract all act as natural estrogen blockers our bodies.
These three simple steps to reduce estrogen dominance do require some discipline and effort. They can prove much safer than hormone replacement therapy, however, especially if hidden estrogen levels are much higher than they should be. Our bodies know how to heal themselves given the proper nutritional tools and care.