The hormone estrogen is responsible for maintaining and driving weight loss in our bodies; however, having an excessive amount of estrogen, also known as “estrogen dominance,” can cause weight gain in the form of water retention and bloating and has been linked to a number of other health problems.
While there are many factors that can lead to estrogen dominance, the two most common causes are poor nutrition and environment. While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one of the best methods for treating and correcting hormone imbalance, there are several other steps you can take from a nutrition and lifestyle standpoint to reduce your body’s estrogen levels.
Common causes of estrogen dominance
Though estrogen dominance can result from one or more various health problems such as being overweight or having high blood pressure, the foods we eat can often contain toxins with estrogen-like compounds. Eating foods that have been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, and growth hormones can all contribute to the rise of estrogen in our bodies.
Synthetic pharmaceutical hormones used in birth control pills and conventional hormone replacement therapies can also result in estrogen dominance, since in most cases, these therapies adapt a one-size-fits-all approach and do not address patients’ individual estrogen needs.
Signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance
Since the signs of symptoms of estrogen dominance are similar to those of many other health problems, sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether your body has high estrogen levels. Common signs of estrogen dominance include PMS, varicose veins, gallstones, endometriosis, cervical dysplasia, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and cancer. You may also have difficulty losing weight, and could carry excess weight specifically around the hips.
Methods for correcting estrogen dominance
- Begin taking bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT uses hormones derived from natural plant sources to replicate the body’s normal hormonal levels, whereas synthetic hormone replacement therapies are derived from horse urine, which is incompatible with the human body and can cause estrogen imbalance and other health problems.
- Maintain good liver health. The liver breaks down estrogen, so any lifestyle behaviors that impair your liver could result in estrogen dominance. Drug abuse and excessive alcohol consumption are examples of factors that can impact liver health.
- Resolve poor gut health. A bacterial imbalance in the gut can prevent estrogen from breaking down properly. Take a probiotic supplement or eat foods that contribute to good gut health, such as yogurt.
- Eat organic meats, dairy, and produce to reduce your exposure to toxins that can drive your body’s estrogen levels.
- Treat stress. Stress can result in excess estrogen when progesterone is used to produce stress hormone cortisol. Ease stress through daily exercise, relaxation, and deep breathing techniques.
- Maintain healthy sleep habits. Poor sleep habits inhibit the production of sleep hormone melatonin, which protects against estrogen dominance. Aim for up to eight hours of sleep per night to battle estrogen dominance.
Rock Creek Wellness offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to help you rebalance and sustain your hormone levels. Our pellet hormone program is designed for patients seeking a quick and affordable entry to bioidentical hormone therapy in Kansas City. Contact us today at 913-727-7700 to request a free consultation.