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Do you have Estrogen Excess?

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If you are suffering from heavy periods, PMT, fibroids or endometriosis then estrogen excess may be contributing to your discomfort.

Estrogen excess is a term that can be a little complicated to interpret but one of the main reasons you may have estrogen excess is because of your liver. The liver metabolises your hormones and for estrogen it will metabolise it into three different metabolites, called hydroxyestrones. Of these metabolites two are considered harmful and one is consider protective, so obviously we want to support the liver to metabolise these estrogens into the protective pathway. How ever if the liver is metabolizing estrogens into the harmful pathways this can contribute to estrogen excess.

The other area to consider is the level of progesterone in the body. Progesterone levels rise in the second half of a women’s menstrual cycle and should be higher than estrogen. If you are not producing efficient amounts of progesterone then you will have a relative estrogen excess in relation to low progesterone levels. But it is important to note that estrogen will be higher than progesterone during the first half of the menstrual cycle and this is normal.

Did you know that your gut bacteria are also responsible for detoxifying your estrogens? If your gut bacteria is out of balance this can cause your body to reabsorb estrogens. So it is important to make sure that you have a good balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

What can you do about it? Well here are some simple tips that you can incorporate into your diet and lifestyle today to help you on the road to hormonal balance.
  • Eat plenty of brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Make sure you have these veggies lightly cooked to reduce their goitrogen content, which can disrupt thyroid function.
  • Ensure you eat good quality protein with every meal – organic meat, chicken, fish and eggs are complete proteins or make sure you eat legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrains as vegetarian sources of protein. Quinoa is a fantastic complete vegetarian protein.
  • Increase consumption of ground linseed/flaxseed as this is a phytoestrogen and can help to support estrogen metabolism. Have 1 tablespoon of ground linseeds per day added to breakfast or into smoothies.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of water and herbal tea each day.
  • Avoid too much alcohol; if the liver is dealing with alcohol every day then it doesn’t prioritize metabolizing estrogens or other toxins. Have a think about your alcohol intake and consider only have a drink at a special occasion instead of every week.
  • Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles or storing food in plastic containers.

If you are doing a blood test to assess your level of estrogen and progesterone then it is very important that you know on what day of your cycle the test was performed. This makes a big difference when interpreting your results as these hormones fluctuate through out the menstrual cycle. One of the best ways to know if you have estrogen excess is to look at your periods, are they heavy? do you experience flooding? do you notice blood clots? then it is very likely that you have estrogen excess.

Nikki xx