We’re all aware that perimenopause and menopause bring about noticeable hormonal shifts. One commonly observed imbalance during this period is an excess of estrogen, which can give rise to a range of symptoms and health concerns. Typically, it’s during the latter phase of the menstrual cycle (from Day 14 to 28) that the effects of estrogen dominance become most apparent. During this timeframe, estrogen levels decrease, and the body actively eliminates it through bowel movements and urine.
What Triggers Estrogen Dominance?
- Declining Progesterone Levels: As women approach menopause, the production of progesterone dwindles, creating an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.
- Sluggish Liver and Compromised Gut Health: Maintaining optimal liver function is pivotal for estrogen metabolism. A sluggish liver may impede proper estrogen breakdown, resulting in symptoms as unconjugated estrogen circulates in the bloodstream.
- The Impact of Stress on Hormonal Balance: Stress can contribute to estrogen dominance by redirecting resources away from progesterone production. Cortisol, the stress hormone, prioritizes the stress response over sex hormones, affecting the hormonal equilibrium.
- Environmental Factors: Exposure to xenoestrogens, synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen, can also play a role in estrogen dominance.
Symptoms of Excess Estrogen
- Irregular periods and heavy bleeding.
- Breast tenderness and soreness.
- Mood swings, anxiety, and irritability.
- Weight gain, especially around the abdomen.
- Fatigue and reduced energy levels.
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Vaginal dryness and discomfort.
- Estrogen can interfere with calcium absorption, potentially increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Cardiovascular Issues: Estrogen dominance may contribute to cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Osteoporosis: Excessive estrogen can interfere with calcium absorption, potentially increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Mood Disorders: Prolonged hormonal imbalances can impact mental health, leading to anxiety and depression.
- Elevated Cancer Risk: If left untreated, estrogen dominance can elevate the risk of estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as breast and uterine cancer.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): In some instances, HRT can help restore a balance between estrogen and progesterone. However, it’s crucial to discuss this option with a healthcare provider due to potential risks and benefits.
- Lifestyle Adjustments: Maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, and effective stress management can make a significant difference.
- Dietary Modifications: A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale), fermented foods, and flaxseeds can promote hormone balance. In general, adopting a diverse and colorful diet can support a healthy gut.
- Regular Detoxification: A detox program can reduce the burden on your liver temporarily, allowing it to process toxins and waste more efficiently, ultimately promoting overall liver health.
- Supplements: Some women find relief from symptoms with supplements like magnesium, vitamin B6, pre- and probiotics, and evening primrose oil.
Please consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options regarding hormonal imbalances.
I hope this information has given you some more insights into the fascinating world of our female hormones. If you are interested in learning more, check out my article about PROGESTERONE IN MENOPAUSE.
If you would like personalised menopause diet and lifestyle support, please get in touch with me.