Mary first consulted with me because of gut health issues —she enrolled in The Happy Gut Program.

But after our first session together, I uncovered that some of her worst symptoms were caused by oestrogen dominance.

She had severe PMS for a week before her periods, heavy and painful periods, difficulty losing weight despite her best efforts, tender breasts, and terrible mood swings that she couldn’t control. She was also complaining about her foggy brain and terrible memory.

Sadly, many women I work with have similar issues!

WHY?

Because an unhealthy gut often goes hand in hand with hormonal issues, especially excess oestrogen.

Read more about the Gut-Hormone Connection here.

 

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF OESTROGEN DOMINANCE

 

  • Anxiety, irritability, anger, agitation, PMS, panic attacks
  • Cramps, heavy bleeding, prolonged bleeding, clots
  • Mood swings
  • Foggy thinking, memory difficulties
  • Tender breasts
  • Irregular periods
  • Low libido
  • Fat gain, especially in abdomen, hips and thighs
  • Water retention / bloating / cellulite
  • Fibroid
  • Endometriosis
  • Breast lump
  • Breast / ovarian / cervical/ uterine cancer
  • ​Thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches / migraines (especially around periods)
  • Insomnia
  • Acne (especially adult onset)
  • Sweet and alcohol cravings
  • Blood sugar instability / Insulin Resistance
  • Gall bladder problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Histamine intolerance

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE!

 

 

Oestrogen and progesterone work with each other either as opposites or as complementing hormones. Oestrogen is a stimulant (anxiety, insomnia, cellular proliferation at breast, uterus, etc) and progesterone is a calmer (patience, sleep, inhibits cell division).

Oestrogen dominance is a condition in which a woman can have deficient, normal, or excessive levels of oestrogen, but has too little progesterone to balance the oestrogen level.

It is the balance of the two that matters more than how much we have. A woman can have a low oestrogen but relatively lower progesterone and be oestrogen dominant.

 

 

1- Poor gut health. Read more about the Gut-Hormone Connection here.

2- Stress:  Excessive need for cortisol depletes progesterone as some of it is converted to cortisol to support stressed/tired adrenal glands. It’s often referred to as pregnenolone steal.

 

3- Nutritional deficiencies: Especially magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins.

4- Liver overload/ toxicity: The liver is responsible to metabolise oestrogen, when it is overloaded with toxins, you end up with excess oestrogen.

5- Xenohormone exposure: These mimic oestrogen in the body, and come from plastics mainly.

6- Adrenal Fatigue

7- Poor diet: Low in fiber, consumption of a lot of non-organic meat high in hormones.

8- High consumption of ‘bad fat’ from process food, margarine, and vegetable oil and low consumption of good fat — olive oil, omega 3 from fish.

9- Use of synthetic hormones: HRT and the contraceptive pill.

10-Too much body fat: In postmenopausal women, oestrogen is made in the fat cells; excess fat cells make excess oestrogen. This create a vicious cycle… too much oestrogen causes weight gain, excess fat causes excess oestrogen production.

 

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE OESTROGEN DOMINANCE?

 

Step 1: Do you have 4-5 symptoms on the list above? If so, there is a high chance you have some sort of hormonal imbalance.

Step 2: I recommend getting tested. This will help determine if you have too much oestrogen, too little progesterone, or both. The treatment approach will be slightly different.

Recommended test:

  • Female hormone saliva test (done on the 19-21st day of your cycle if still menstruating). This is what I use most often in my clinic as it is affordable and easily done at home.
  • Dutch test: More expensive but more detailed and more accurate.

 

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO RE-BALANCE YOUR HORMONES

 

1- Improve gut health

I can’t emphasize this enough: Gut health is absolutely crucial.

If you would like help to improve your gut health, discover your options here.

2- Diet

Increase fiber consumption — I especially like flax seeds for hormonal imbalance.

Swap ‘bad fat’ with good quality olive oil and fatty fish.

3- Improve liver health

4- Helpful supplements

  • DIM, Calcium D Glucarate and vit B6 (mostly if you have too much oestrogen, as it can help reduce excess oestrogen).

  • Liver support: will help to decongest the liver so that it can get rid of excess oestrogen more efficiently.

  • Mg, Vit C and zinc have also found to be helpful to balance hormones.

  • Chaste berry (Vitex)

  • Bio-identical Progesterone Cream: I use this to reduce symptoms while working on gut health, liver, diet, etc

5- Reduce stress.

Don’t overlook this aspect as it is just as important as diet and supplements 😉

 

Re-balancing hormones is truly life changing for many women I work with, and I hope it will be for you too!

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