Oestrogen dominance is a state in which a woman does not have sufficient progesterone to balance the amount of oestrogen in her body. Oestrogen and progesterone levels usually swing like a seesaw i.e. when oestrogen increases, progesterone decreases and vice versa. Check out my Women’s World Tonic.
Possible causes are; being overweight, the contraceptive pill, early puberty and menarche, and xeno-oestrogens (foreign oestrogen). These are found in pesticides, plastic (especially drink bottles), certain medications, lining of canned foods (BPA), polystyrene cups, personal care products (especially deodorant), cosmetics, artificial scents, air freshener, perfume, nail polish, Teflon and till receipts. To reduce xeno-oestrogen exposure, grow your own vegetables and eat organic/spray free as much as possible (or at least stay away from the dirty dozen and eat the clean 15), use glass and stainless steel instead of plastic, and use natural skincare/cosmetics.
Symptoms may include; period pain, menstrual irregularities (including clots), water retention, breast swelling and tenderness, cyclic headaches, mood swings, weight gain, excess fat around the hips and bottom, and infertility.
Conditions associated with oestrogen dominance are; period pain, cervical dysplasia, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), endometriosis, hypothyroidism and oestrogen sensitive tissue cancer e.g. breast, cervical, ovarian and endometrial.
Natural remedies to restore hormone balance:
Indole-3-carbinol/Diindolylmethane (DIM) supports oestrogen metabolism by shifting oestrogen from the harmful type to the beneficial type. It is naturally found in cruciferous/brassica vegetables e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, pak choy, kale, Brussel sprouts, radish, turnips, rocket and watercress. It is available as a supplement in a concentrated dose.
Evening primrose oil contains essential fatty acids. It may balance hormones and reduce symptoms associated with hormone imbalance. Evening primrose oil is taken in liquid or capsule form.
Phytoestrogens are plant-based oestrogens that have the ability to mimic oestrogen in our body. Phytoestrogens can act as an endocrine disruptor, although they are natural, so they are weaker than synthetic ones like xeno-oestrogens. Read my blog Phytoestrogens – good, bad or evil?
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This quote by Michael Pollan is very appropriate. Animal foods, especially meat, chicken and dairy products, have natural hormones which add to our own hormone load. Animal milk is particularly bad as the growth hormones are strong to enable a baby calf to grow into a large cow. These hormones are much stronger than what humans need, especially for fully grown adults who are no longer growing. To substitute dairy products, I recommend coconut cream/milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut yoghurt, coconut butter, coconut ice-cream, nut cheese and plant-based protein powder. Seafood and eggs are lower in hormones.
Exercise like weight training, sprinting and high intensity interval training (HIIT) boost human growth hormone (HGH). This helps to regulate oestrogen levels and favours positive body composition.
Breastfeeding helps the mother lower her oestrogen. Mothers who breastfeed for longer have a lower risk of oestrogen-related cancers. Breastfeeding is extremely health for the baby as well as the mother.