What is Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen, like every hormone that is produced in the body, is a much needed chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another.
Xenoestrogens are environmental estrogens that have the ability to change the rate at which estrogen is broken down by the body and it can also mimic natural estrogen and bind to its receptors. Both of these scenarios will result in an overabundance of estrogen and an increase in the overall effects that it has on the body and will lead to the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. When this foreign estrogen combines with natural estrogen, this can create a situation known as “estrogen dominance.” Some of the negative effects can include early-onset puberty, infertility issues, miscarriages, decreased sperm counts, mood swings, headaches, foggy thinking, fatigue, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, digestive issues, gynecomastia (which is the development of breasts in males), estrogen-fueled breast cancers, as well as prostate and testicular cancers in men.
Xenoestrogens are very prevalent in our environment, some examples include: exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Bisphenol A from plastic water bottles and containers used to store and heat food, exposure to herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, nail polish, makeup, perfumes, birth control, certain sunscreen ingredients, gasoline and automobile exhaust, etc.
How to balance your hormones naturally.
Reduce your exposure to the xenoestrogens that are playing a large role in the development of hormone related cancers, endometriosis, and ovarian cysts.
Support your liver- Why is it that two people who appear to be living similar lifestyles, eating the same foods and having similar exposure to xenoestrogens are not at the same risk of developing a hormone fueled cancer? The answer is not genetics, but it has more to do with the health of the person liver and its ability to metabolize and eliminate the excess estrogens from the body. You can support this process through diet, detoxing and the use of herbs and supplements.
Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet as described below.
- Eliminate all dairy products and red meats. The recommended diet for breast cancer is plant-based, but can include small amounts of organic eggs and wild caught fish.
- Fresh vegetables– are some of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. Some cancer-fighters include bok choy, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, onion, peppers, radish, scallions, mustard greens, Swiss chard, tomatoes, summer squash, mushrooms, etc. Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, arugula, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, radish, turnips, and watercress. If you have thyroid issues, then you can gently steam these to eliminate the goitrogenic properties.
- Fresh fruits -raw fruits have astringent like qualities that work to specifically target and cleanse the lymphatic fluids which is extremely important when you are healing from cancer. If you are excluding fruit from your diet, you are missing out on an abundance of antioxidants, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that can prevent an reverse cellular damage and reduce overall inflammation. Some powerful fruits to include are: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, pomegranates, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, lemons, limes, and oranges. Fruits are very easily digested, therefore they should be eaten separately, or about 1/2 hour before your main meals, or they can easily be blended into smoothies. One way to do this is to start your day with a big bowl of fresh fruit to cleanse the digestive system.
- Stay hydrated by drinking a minimum 1/2 ounce of purified water for every pound of body weight in order to help the body to flush away the excess estrogens and toxins.
- Juicing fresh vegetables. Read more about juicing
- Use herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and turmeric
- Making nutritious smoothies. Read more about smoothies
- Certain whole grains such as Ezekiel sprouted breads, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth.
- A variety of raw nuts such as walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds, along with nut butters (except for peanuts).
- A variety of seeds including hemp seeds, chia, and freshly ground flax seeds*. Learn how to sprout nuts and seeds to increase their enzyme and nutrient content.
- Acceptable fats can include unrefined coconut oil, organic butter, ghee, and unrefined lard for cooking purposes, while olive, sesame, avocado, hemp and flax seed oils are for cold uses only.
- Eat organic whenever possible as pesticides and herbicides can also promote estrogen dominance.
Supplements that can help to balance the hormones naturally
- Consider taking a quality iodine supplement such as Lugol’s Iodine Solution Adequate iodine supplementation helps the body to produce the hormones that it needs in the proper ratio. Many things can interfere with iodine absorption, some of these include goitrogens, glutens, fluoride, bromide, pesticides, viral infections. Read more about iodine here.
- Take a quality Probiotic to assist with digestion.
- Supplement with Maca Powder. Maca is not a hormone, but a food that helps the body to balance the hormones. It is adaptogenic, meaning it has the ability to adapt to the body’s needs to support normal hormonal health.
- Another adaptogenic herb is Ashwagandha, which has the ability to improve thyroid and hormone function and reduces inflammation.
- Supplement with Calcium D-Glucarate. The recommended dosage is 400–600 mg per day, taken in divided doses, but those with cancer can take 1000-2000 mg per day, taken in divided doses. Calcium Glucarate facilitates the removal of estrogen and other toxins from the body, and improves estrogen by-product formation so it may help with prostate conditions, PMS and other hormonal imbalances. Animal studies suggest that glucarate not only reduces cancer risk, but may prevent tumor growth in the skin, breast, liver, colon and lung. Women with estrogen-dependent tumors (and men with prostate cancer) may benefit from taking glucarate since it can reduce total estrogen load and improve estrogen metabolite ratios.
- Grapeseed Extract blocks estrogen synthesis by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. Link to study
- Quercetin– is a compound found in onions and apples is a potent aromatase inhibitor and reduces the metastatic potential of cancerous cells.
- Supplement with Liquid Chlorophyll this is what gives green plants their color. It is a natural detoxifier and helps the cells to transport oxygen.
- Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of magnesium, vitamin D3, vitamins B6, B9, and B12, along with selenium and zinc. These can be difficult to obtain from the diet alone, so taking a Bio-available Supplement may be needed.
- Liver Supporting Herbs assist the body in detoxifying a wide range of hormones, drugs and toxins, including xenoestrogens.
- Bio-available Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and also helps the liver to eliminate and detoxify cancer causing xenoestrogens. The recommended dosage is 600-800 mg per day.
- Supplementing with a high CBD/low THC hemp oil is recommended for those with estrogen positive breast cancers as research has shown that THC can cause estrogen fueled cancers to spread.. You can read more about that with this post.
- Do regular cleansing to get the liver functioning optimally. This is the most important organ for detoxing excess estrogen.
- Get moderate exercise daily- walking, yoga, biking, hiking
- Learn stress relieving techniques- such as Meditation or Emotional Freedom Technique