Estrogen dominance, what it is and why you need to know about it!
So whilst women have been focusing on counting / burning calories in and out of their bodies for decades, mainly seeing success as being a certain size or perhaps completing a running event, women have been forgetting something big. Something that I believe is the secret to optimum health and weight maintenance but also being the catalyst for many modern diseases and lifestyle issues. And it’s estrogen dominance.
The more I research the impact of too much estrogen in women (and men!), the more I realize that women need to be hormone savvy, they need to be striving for homeostatis (the correct balance of hormones – which so many don’t have) and I passionately believe that women should be educated more about the impacts of too much estrogen so that they can make better choices.
Thankfully pretty much all of the things I’ve advised over the last decade or so regarding eating, exercise and lifestyle impact estrogen in a positive way, especially the Tummy ATTACK. But today I wanted to share some important points regarding estrogen and women’s health in hope that women can become even more self-motivated to take control of their hormone levels and be consistent with positive lifestyle choices!
Here’s a summary that I hope you find useful and inspirational…
- Hormones are the body’s messengers. They are super-chemicals, like intrinsic lock and keys that tell various parts and processes in the body what to do. When a single hormone is heightened or reduced, it has a massive effect on the body. The hormones directly work with the nervous system, kidneys, gut liver, reproduction, growth and development AND responses to stress and environment.
- Main hormones include adrenaline, estrogen, insulin, testosterone, progesterone and melatonin. Nearly all cancers are hormonally driven, so it’s important we understand the power of them. The best way I explain to my clients about how they work in simple terms is to think of them all as part of an inter-locking list impacted positively or negatively by one another:
Hormones – fat – excess estrogen – liver – toxins – gut health – food – thyroid – hormones disrupters – weight gain – estrogen dominance – stress – sleep – age – gender – reproductive health
- Hormones are typically impacted by what people eat, feel and have, in and around their environment. Over time (and it can build up over months or years), an imbalance in the body (or lack of homeostasis) occurs.
- Hormone disrupters are substances that aren’t naturally found in the body that interfere with the production, release, transportation, metabolism, binding, action or elimination of the body’s natural hormones.
- Hormone disrupters (and ultimately an estrogen pool created as a result) are found in foods that contain pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones. This is why it is essential to eat organic fruit and vegetables and only eating organic dairy and meat (ideally keeping these right down too) and of course to limit processed foods and toxins.
- Plastics, packaging, make up, cosmetics, hair dye, computers, technology and wifi all contribute to further imbalances in the body where hormones are concerned. That’s not to say you can’t use or enjoy these things but we need to use them with care and be aware of the impact of them on our bodies, especially if food and stress isn’t managed.
- Excess estrogen and synthetic hormones that mimic estrogen (found in HRT and the birth control pills) have such a negative effect on the body, yet many women are not aware of this so continue to mess around with their estrogen levels (for decades in some cases). Excess estrogen is also found in tap water and can also affect men (as well as all the other things I’ve mentioned above, estrogen is not just a woman’s issue, far far from it!). So properly filtered water also makes a massive difference to homeostasis.
- The link between fat and estrogen and estrogen and fat is scary. This is why women with excess estrogen a) find it hard to lose weight and b) need to be estrogen AND fat cell savvy! High estrogen activates fat storage enzymes, so the higher your percentage of body fat, the more estrogen you produce. Therefore estrogen balance is essential for maintaining fat loss. Too much estrogen causes toxic fat weight gain, water retention and bloating.
- There are ONLY 2 ways to accumulate too much estrogen – we produce too much of our own or we acquire it from out diet and environment. More toxins also (as well as more fat storage) fuel the production of more estrogen from our fat cells. More weight gain then leads to insulin resistance and guess what that means, more estrogen dominance. See, it’s that intrinsic link again!
- There is a HUGE relationship between your liver and estrogen dominance too and this is because the liver breaks down estrogen (as well as alcohol and fructose etc). If your liver is not working properly, you have a fatty liver or onset of liver disease, this can also create a further estrogen pool. Too much estrogen can also impair the liver function.
- Your gut and digestive tract function also plays a huge part in estrogen. Good bacteria such as lacto bacillus acidophilus can metabolise estrogen in the gut and if you have a imbalance of gut bacteria that compromises digestion, that negatively impacts the elimination of estrogen from the body.
- I’m always astounded as to how many women have bad sleep or not enough sleep and accept this or don’t change it. This has a HUGE impact on our endocrine system – in particular the hormone melatonin that we produce around 1.5 hours into our sleep. Good production of this helps to protect against estrogen dominance and a drop or lack of melatonin caused by lack of sleep has been proven to increase the risk of breast cancer. Melatonin also has anti-carcinogenic properties and acts as an anti-oxidant, Melatonin neutralizes free radicals AND has an ability to restrain the effects of excess estrogen. Now you know why I bang on about sleep to my clients and talk about it on all my online programs!
- Stress plays a huge part in hormone imbalances and estrogen dominance, for a few reasons. As our body responds to stress, it steals progesterone to manufacture cortisol and that then leaves an estrogen excess. Cortisol in excess is very dangerous and firing off our adrenals impacts the thyroid. Nearly all-modern day stress is self-created yet it’s the secret modern day killer in my view – ironic as our fight or flight system was created to help us survive. Stress also impacts food, stimulant and sleep choices, so manage stress better and food, stimulants and sleep usually improves ten fold.
- Most cancers are hormonally driven. Every day we create hundreds of pre cancer cells as a result of being a ‘normal’ human being and usually our immune system can neutralize them. But excess estrogen acts as a helper, to ‘fan the flames of cancer’. Of course acidic eating, bad gut health, stress and not enough sleep also impairs our immunity massively, so we need to be really clear about our choices and the impact of our long term health.
- When you have estrogen dominance it is hard to shift weight, you can often be stuck in a negative, uphill cycle as estrogen, fat, liver, gut, stress, tiredness, adrenals are so all intrinsically interlinked as I’ve said.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, our bodies are always trying to help us out and you know my view, I think we should make things easy for our bodies to work properly and function better AND make our lives easier too!
You can rebalance estrogen dominance and it can improve relatively quickly, but you need to look at your estrogen intake from food, the environment and what hormones your body is creating from the result of being stressed and/or being over weight. Your own personal hormonal intake from birth control pills/HRT both now and in previous years also can be considered and rebalanced.
Women need to be cycle savvy. I’m always astounded that women don’t know their cycle, what it means, what it tells you about your body and women just accept that PMT is bad and periods are irregular. If this is happening that’s a pretty good sign you don’t have homeostasis! Same for PCOS and endometriosis – these are classic symptoms of hormone imbalance yet the cause needs to be addressed, not the symptom fixed with medication (that typically further affects the body negatively).
Your stress levels and lifestyle choices are paramount to estrogen rebalancing, women in my view should be aiming for at least 7-8 hours of good sleep – especially if they are tired and/or think they have estrogen dominance and are wanting to balance their bodies.
One of the other ways to rebalance the body after estrogen dominance is to consider seeing a homeopath. I realize this isn’t for everyone, as many people don’t believe homeopathy works. But I’ve literally seen hormonal rebalancing miracles with so many clients in a relatively short period of time who chose this option after over-consuming the bad stuff for decades.
I’m so passionate about this topic and this is why my lifestyle advice around any aesthetic programs I create includes these things.
I believe everyone should read Oestrogen, the killer in our midst by Chris Woolams
Natasha Turner is another person to follow, her books the hormone diet and her website http://drnatashaturner.com , are all excellent reads
And for those who want some balanced, yet medically backed up alternative cancer advice, check out canceractive.com
Chris Wollams refers to women’s abdominal fat as their ‘personal toxic belt’. I have to say that whilst having some abdominal fat (after all we don’t need a six pack to be healthy!), too much excess tummy fat IS down to too many toxins, too much estrogen and typically too much stress and not enough sleep.
Sleep and stress management really ought to be at the top of all women’s agenda, eating clean foods that support the liver and help the gut to function properly.
We need balance, and estrogen dominance is the opposite of balance and something I want every woman to address if they’re serious about the way they look and feel and those who want to live well and long.
Live your life, but look after that beautiful body of yours!
The Tummy ATTACK program is currently on sale (and you can start any time!), it will help with balancing out hormones massively.
Let’s get real with health.
Let’s commit to make things easy for our bodies.
Let’s understand that our bodies will never do what we want until we give it what it needs.