Hormones are like a dance party in your body - when everything is balanced, you’re in the groove and perfectly in step. But when hormones become imbalanced, or you experience hormone dominance (estrogen dominance is most common for women), the natural flow of your body will feel the impacts. Estrogen dominance can lead to a number of symptoms ranging from mood swings to irregular periods and issues with breast health. The good news is there are natural ways to balance your hormones and address estrogen dominance outside of hormones replacement therapy.
Supplements for Estrogen Dominance:
One supplement that helps balance hormones is DIM, short for diindolylmethane. DIM works by helping with estrogen metabolism and specifically helps the body to produce “good estrogen” (2-hydroxyestrone) and reduces the unwanted estrogen (16 alpha-hydroxyestrone.).
A person can get DIM in their system by eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. To get 100mg of DIM, a person would need to get 500 grams of broccoli a day, or about a pound. An easy and effective way to add DIM to your diet is through supplementation. It’s recommended that a person should take between 100 and 300mg of DIM daily for estrogen balancing.
While DIM can help to promote good estrogen and clear bad estrogen, it’s very important that the liver is healthy. Excess estrogen is detoxified through the liver, so ensuring proper detox function is occurring is key. Calcium, D-Glucarate, Milk Thistle, and Burdock all support liver health, which is essential when addressing estrogen dominance. Excess estrogen is detoxified through the liver, so ensuring proper detox function is occurring is key.
Foods to Eat for Estrogen Dominance:
Eating a diet rich in whole foods and healthy fats can also help balance hormones. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain compounds that can help regulate estrogen levels in the body. These compounds can help reduce the activity of the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, which can help balance hormone levels. Flaxseeds are a rich source of lignans, which are compounds that can help regulate estrogen levels in the body. Foods like wild-caught salmon, sardines, and chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support a healthy inflammatory response and support overall health. They can also help regulate estrogen levels and support hormone balance. Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks, as these can disrupt your hormones and worsen estrogen dominance. Hormone imbalance, specifically estrogen dominance, can lead to insulin resistance which makes it harder for the body to regulate blood sugar levels.
Lifestyle Changes for Estrogen Dominance:
Lifestyle practices and exposure to certain toxins also play a role in hormone balance. Chronic stress can disrupt hormone balance and contribute to estrogen dominance. Finding ways to manage stress, such as practicing meditation or other relaxation techniques, can help support hormone balance and reduce symptoms of estrogen dominance. Supplementation with Ashwagandha and other adaptogens is another way to modulate stress. Getting enough sleep is important for hormone balance, as lack of sleep can disrupt the body's natural hormone production by contributing to an increase of cortisol. One of the biggest changes you can make is finding ways to avoid endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals found in many household and personal care products, as well as in food and the environment, that can disrupt hormone balance. To manage estrogen dominance, try to avoid products that contain phthalates, parabens, and other endocrine disruptors, and opt for natural, chemical-free alternatives whenever possible.
Lab Work to Request for Estrogen Dominance:
If you're experiencing symptoms of estrogen dominance, it's a good idea to request lab work from your healthcare provider. Getting a solid read on your hormone levels requires a lot more than a single test, though. A hormone panel is a great place to start. It measures levels of various hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and cortisol. A full thyroid panel along with adrenal function tests will help identify imbalances in thyroid hormones as well as levels of cortisol and DHEA. Both thyroid and adrenal function can contribute to other hormone imbalances in the body.
Balancing your hormones naturally is a process that takes time and effort, but it's worth it. Incorporating supplements, whole foods, and lifestyle practices can all help reduce estrogen levels in your body, support detoxification pathways, and bring you back to homeostasis. And by working with your healthcare provider to identify any underlying imbalances, you can get a more personalized approach to how to navigate hormone balance that meets your unique needs. Take care of your hormones, and they’ll take care of you.