Today we are going to talk about the hormone estrogen.
Here's the thing...we could go into a TON of detail about the hormone estrogen including the different types of estrogen (Estradiol, Estrone, Estriol), how the body processes it, etc. but it is important to first have an understanding of what estrogen is and what it does.
We often think of estrogen as only a female hormone, but men have some estrogen too (in much smaller amounts, of course)! During puberty in girls, estrogen is a big contributor to the start of the menstrual cycle, and estrogen continues to contribute to menstrual cycle health through childbearing and into peri-menopause. Estrogen also has an effect on your cholesterol, it protects bone health, and it affects your brain, mood, bones, heart, and skin.
In a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen rises as the follicle develops leading up to ovulation during what is called the follicular phase of the cycle. The highest or peak level of estrogen is right before ovulation occurs. It is also normal to have some estrogen present after ovulation, however, progesterone levels should be higher than estrogen levels during this part of the cycle.
The term ‘estrogen dominance’ refers to having excess estrogen during the time of the menstrual cycle after ovulation (the luteal phase). This means that the estrogen levels are higher than those of progesterone and thus estrogen is dominant over progesterone.
Symptoms of Estrogen Excess Can Include:
Headaches especially after ovulation
Water retention and bloating
Tender and painful breasts
Heavy menstrual flow
Tips for Natural Estrogen Balance
Estrogen is metabolized (processed) by the liver, so it is important to support liver health so that your body can get rid of excess estrogen. To support liver health, avoid foods high in processed fat, sugar and salt and focus instead on fresh, whole foods. Eliminating Toxins that you put IN your body can also improve liver health so try to eat organic whenever possible! Foods that are rich in vitamin C, sulfur, and B vitamins are also great for liver health.
Ditch the toxins that you put ON your body and that you are exposed to in your environment for another layer of support. Try to use products that are clean and free of harmful chemicals. These can include but are not limited to makeup or skincare products. Try to use organic products made from natural ingredients. Check out the "ThinkDirty" App and the Environmental Working Group for more information about getting rid of products that can wreak havoc on your hormone health!
Want to try something yummy that can also support hormone balance?
Try this Estrogen Detox Smoothie:
Blend the following ingredients until the mixture looks smooth and creamy!
3 cups kale/ spinach
Half of a peeled cucumber
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Peeled knob of ginger
2 stalks celery
2 cups mango
1 handful fresh cilantro
3 cups of water
1-2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 to 2 scoops of healthy protein powder (optional)
Want to know more about hormones and how to improve your hormone health?
Join The Cycle Restoration Academy today!