Estrogen And Gut Health In Women
There are trillions of bacteria and other organisms living in your gut, and together they make up your gut microbiome.
Having a healthy gut microbiome with a variety of beneficial bacteria is important for overall health and has been associated with lower risk of heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, overweight, and type 2 diabetes.
Studies suggest the changes that happen through menopause, including decreased levels of estrogen, may be linked to changes in the makeup of your microbiome.
Unpublished research by ZOE scientists also found that womens post-meal blood fat and blood sugar responses change significantly during menopause.
ZOEs PREDICT program, the worlds largest in-depth study of nutrition and menopause, looks at the relationship between your gut microbiome, your health, and how your body responds to food. And its shown us that everyone is different.
Our at-home test analyzes the makeup of your unique gut microbiome, together with your blood fat and blood sugar. Based on your results, you receive personalized nutrition advice to help you find the best foods for your body.
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Foods Associated With High Estrogen Levels
Several studies have discovered that our Western-style diet patterns containing a lot of processed foods, red meat, dairy, refined grains, and desserts are usually associated with higher estrogen levels. These dietary patterns also typically correspond to increased obesity and breast cancer risks.
The good news is that there are also plenty of options for anti-estrogen foods too.
Change Your Environment To Curb Heavy Metals
Heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium have qualities that mimic estrogen. This causes them to disrupt your hormonal system.
If you eat fish caught from water infested with heavy metals, this might be interfering with your estrogen levels.
Estrogen dominance in women also comes from inhaling paint or other chemicals that have the heavy metals. Interior designers and people who work with such products may fall victim.
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How Low Estrogen Can Affect Your Body
Estrogen is a very busy hormone for women throughout their lives. Men have some too, but women have more. Estrogen is primarily active in reproductive development and health for women, but its role is far greater than that.
Estrogen is actually a group of sex hormones, each of them performing different roles in womens health and development. Estrogen helps make women curvier than men by making their pelvis and hips wider, and their breast grow.
Estrogen is part of your menstrual cycle, helps you get pregnant, and plays a role in helping you develop bones and grow hair. It also helps regulate your moods and impacts your brain development and structure.
If you suspect you have estrogen dominance, this article will show you how to reverse estrogen dominance in women.
If you have an unexplained spike in weight or cannot lose weight despite adopting healthy lifestyle habits, the problem could be estrogen dominance.
Estrogen is a vital hormone in womens reproductive lives. It regulates the menstrual cycle, leads to breast growth and intermittent swelling during different times of the month. It controls your mood and regulates bone growth.
If this hormone goes out of whack then all of the above signs will intensify.
Estrogen dominance in women leads to weight gain or obesity, according to research.
This condition causes formation of lumps around your uterus and breasts and irregular or heavy periods.
Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
Estrogen plays a critical role in your reproductive health, but its also important for bone health and the production of mood-stabilizing hormones.
The most common reason for low estrogen is perimenopause, the natural transition to menopause.
This usually occurs in women in their 40s, though it can vary. During this time, your body may have sudden surges and production, which can cause symptoms including:
changes in metabolism
If you notice symptoms, consult a doctor before making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
They may recommend hormone replacement therapy . Studies have found that HRT is safe for many but not all women.
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Foods That Make Estrogen Dominance Worse
You should avoid foods that slow down estrogen detox in the gut or in the liver, which are generally the components that make up the Standard American Diet, like:
- Ultra-processed foods
- Non-organic soy, meats, and dairy
Estrogen-like chemicals are also found in some plastics, so avoid using plastic containers for food or water storage.
Tips For Reducing Estrogen Levels
Its important to note that many factors beyond your diet, including your age and health status, can affect your bodys hormone levels.
This is why its important to speak with your healthcare provider if youre concerned about estrogen dominance.
In general, the following tips may help promote healthy estrogen levels.
Leading a healthy lifestyle by following a nutritious diet, getting enough exercise, and losing excess body fat can help promote healthy estrogen regulation.
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Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar plays a significant role in causing estrogen dominance due to its association with insulin.
If there is too much insulin in your system, your body produces too much sex hormone-binding globulin . This hormone helps to keep estrogen balanced by binding with it. If there is too much of it, then estrogen production will rise and lead to dominance.
In this research, female rats experienced a surge in pre-ovulatory hormone when they ate a high sugar diet.
To undo estrogens harmful effects, stay away from foods with added sugars. These include cakes or pastries, cookies, granola bars, soda, bread, breakfast cereals and other refined foods.
White starches still fall under this category because when you ingest them, your body quickly converts them into glucose, which is a simple sugar.
Youre better off eating whole wheat grains and fiber-rich, natural starches like sweet potatoes, yams, corn on the cob, stevia or honey.
Why Do We Need Estrogen
Beyond its importance for developing and maintaining the reproductive system, estrogen is necessary for childbearing and a healthy, regular menstrual cycle. We also need estrogen in order to maintain bone density, positive mood, and healthy cholesterol levels. Furthermore, estrogen contributes to cognitive function and overall vitality.
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How To Reduce High Estrogen Levels
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormonal imbalances, this article will guide you on how to reduce high estrogen levels.
Excess estrogen can have a negative impact on the quality of your life and cause a great number of health issues.
If you have high estrogen levels, this article is for you. Youâll find out how to naturally reduce high estrogen levels and gain control over your health.
Estrogen dominance can affect both women and men.
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Reduce Your Body Fat & Exercise
Having a high percentage of fatty tissue is known to have a negative health impact. Studies show that increased body weight can promote breast cancer development. This is especially concerning for postmenopausal women because fatty tissue becomes the main source of estrogen production.
Having a high body fat percentage can lead to estrogen dominance. This may be fixed by having an active lifestyle and exercising regularly. Studies have pointed out that weight loss has the potential to reduce circulating estrogens, and the best results may be obtained by combining regular exercise with a healthy diet.
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Limit Consumption Of Alcohol And Coffee
The liver is responsible for clearing out the toxins found in alcohol and caffeine. When overconsumed, caffeine and alcohol can lead to a build-up of toxins in the liver. By limiting the consumption of these beverages, the liver doesnt get backed up and has more resources to flush out other toxins such as estrogen.
Additionally, alcohol triggers stress responses in the adrenal gland. These stress responses lead to an overproduction of cortisol which contributes to lowered progesterone. Lower progesterone levels lead to estrogen dominance.
Estrogen Dominance: Signs And Symptoms
When the levels of estrogen are chronically high , women are commonly diagnosed with estrogen dominance. Unfortunately, without proper balance from other sex hormones, estrogen dominance can lead to an array of unpleasant symptoms:
- Non-cancerous breast lumps
High levels of estrogen can also cause PCOS, uterine fibroids, irregular menstrual cycles, and thyroid dysfunction. Men may also suffer from estrogen-related issues too. Additionally, elevated estrogen is a risk factor for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer in women, as well as prostate and breast cancer in men.
The good news is, there are many lifestyle changes that can lower estrogen levels naturally. Beyond removing endocrine disruptors from your home, incorporating meditation and finding joyful ways to move your body are key. Furthermore, eating a low estrogen diet is a practical, sustainable way to help balance hormones.
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How Does Low Estrogen Affect The Body Of A Man Or Amab Person
People assigned male at birth with too much estrogen may experience sexual dysfunction. Still, they need some estrogen for their reproductive health and overall health. Research has shown that low estrogen levels may cause:
- Reduced sex drive.
- Bone loss and osteoporosis.
For transgender women or nonbinary people with penises, low estrogen levels may prevent their bodies from having the physical appearance theyd like. If this is the case, feminizing hormone therapy may be an option. This treatment involves taking estrogen to develop secondary sex characteristics like softer facial features, less body hair, breasts and hips.
About Dr Roohi Jeelani
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Womens Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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How Do I Know My Estrogen Level
There are three types of estrogen that your body makes. An estrogen test can measure all three: estrone , estradiol and estriol . Your provider will do a simple blood draw and send it to a lab for analysis.
- Estrone is the primary hormone your body produces during menopause and postmenopause. Its a weaker form of estrogen than estradiol .
- Estradiol is the primary hormone your body produces in your reproductive years.
- Estriol is the primary hormone your body makes during pregnancy.
Eat For Hormonal Health
A healthy diet can speed healing, no matter what ails you. You can eat certain foods to support hormonal health and help manage symptoms. Always eat as many whole foods as you possibly can and avoid the processed and sugary ones.
Organic veggies and fruits, lots of water and herbal teas, and fibrous foods like apples, pears, berries, avocados, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all beneficial for your body.
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Symptoms Of Estrogen Dominance
Likely, youll know if you have a hormonal imbalance. Estrogen dominance in particular has a range of unpleasant symptoms that can be hard to ignore.
Common symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
- Heavy or painful periods and/or fibroids, including the condition endometriosis
- Premenstrual syndrome, often characterized by cramps, fatigue, and mood swings
- Headaches, including premenstrual or menstrual migraines
- Weight gain localized in the abdomen, hips, and thighs
- Bloating around or during your period
- Tender or swollen breasts around or during your period
- Irregular or abnormal cycles
How Estrogen Levels Affect Your Body
Having consistently low levels of estrogen can affect your reproductive system as well as other systems in your body.
Estrogen is the hormone that’s mainly responsible for sexual development in girls as they reach puberty. Some of its other functions include:
The type of HRT therapy, the mode of administration, and the dosage that you are prescribed depend on many factors. These include the underlying cause, severity, and symptoms of your low estrogen.
Basic facts about HRT include:
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Normal Estrogen Levels In Men
These levels do not fluctuate throughout the month like they do for women, so the timing of the testing does not matter.
If you measure with the DUTCH hormone test you want to be in the range of 0.50 and 2.0, any higher than this means you have estrogen dominance.
The DUTCH test will help you identify if it is an issue with increased aromatase levels that is converting your testosterone to estrogen OR if it is an estrogen detox issue.
With blood testing, you want to make sure that your estrogen is below 35 pg/ml or 100 pmol/L and the units that the lab uses for testing will depend on which country you are in.
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Diets & Foods That Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Choosing the right diet to reduce estrogen dominance may be an easy fix and might have other benefits for your health. Studies show promising results concerning healthy foods, especially plant-based, and Mediterranean-type diets. Fiber-rich diets that support a good digestion process can also help maintain a healthy level of estrogen and other hormones.
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Foods That Lower Estrogen
The million-dollar question: Can you lower your estrogen levels through diet? The long-short is yesit is possible. Consuming these 10 foods, as part of a low estrogen diet, can aid in removing excess estrogen from the body as well as contribute to the building blocks of producing other necessary hormones.
Support Good Liver Function
The liver is responsible for clearing and flushing out toxins such as excess estrogen. From a TCM perspective, when the Qi in the liver becomes stagnant, it cant flow freely, and the liver is unable to clear toxins efficiently. Support your liver through a diet high in antioxidants by consuming foods like berries, grapefruit, and nuts. Dandelion can be consumed as tea and is shown to promote good liver health.
Liver Maintenance are natural supplements designed specifically to improve Liver function and Liver health. By improving Liver function these herbal blend supplements that are inspired by the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, gently improve metabolism, reduce Liver stress and symptoms of liver stress.
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What Medications Treat Low Estrogen
Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for low estrogen, especially during menopause and postmenopause. With HT, you take synthetic forms of estrogen and/or the hormone progesterone to boost your levels. There are two types of HT, estrogen therapy and estrogen progesterone/progestin hormone therapy . Providers prescribe the lowest doses possible to treat your symptoms while preventing side effects.
The only FDA-approved reasons for body-wide hormone replacement therapy are low bone mineral density and hot flash treatment, typically in the form of pills or patches. Vaginal estrogen in the form of rings, creams, and vaginal inserts are formulated to treat vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. Sometimes “body wide” estrogen can affect the vaginal tissue. Sometimes it doesnt. Vice versa, vaginal estrogen is not approved for the treatment of hot flashes.
Its not unusual to need vaginal estrogen in addition to body-wide estrogen if youre experiencing hot flashes and painful sex.
Youll take estrogen supplements only, with no progesterone. Your provider will only prescribe this therapy if you no longer have a uterus .
Estrogen progesterone/progestin hormone therapy
HRT isnt without risks. Research has shown that long-term use of combination therapy may increase your risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.
Use Herbs And Supplements
Polyphenols found in Green Tea are powerful antioxidants and beneficial in aiding hormone balance. One study found that frequent consumption of green tea reduced urinary concentration of estrogen thus, reducing the risk of developing breast cancer.
Herbal supplements to get rid of excess estrogens such as milk thistle, ginseng, turmeric, and ginger are also known to promote liver function and cleansing.
Dandelion is recommended as a herb to reduce estrogen in females. It does not directly limit the production of estrogen, but it works by supporting the liver to break down and flush out estrogen and progesterone byproducts.
Additionally, Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium have been shown to help balance hormone functionality and improve symptoms of PMS.
Probiotics help support a healthy gut microbiome and promote the flushing of estrogen from the body.
Natural Dandelion or Pu Gong Ying by GinSen is a high grade botanical extract which offers natural antibacterial and antiviral properties along with promoting natural detox. These dandelion supplements are powerful antioxidants, containing high diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties that promote digestion and strengthen the immune system. It works by eliminating toxic heat from the body.
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Research On Soy And Disease
Learn more about the research on soy and specific diseases or other conditions:
Soy protein took center stage after research showed that it might lower levels of harmful cholesterol. A 1995 meta-analysis of 38 controlled clinical trials showed that eating approximately 50 grams of soy protein a day in place of animal protein reduced harmful LDL cholesterol by 12.9 percent. Such reductions, if sustained over time, could mean a greater than 20% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or other forms of cardiovascular disease. In response to this finding, in 1999 the Food and Drug Administration allowed companies to claim that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that also contain soy may reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, a number of studies since have tempered that finding. According to a comprehensive update of soy research by the nutrition committee of the American Heart Association published in 2000, eating 50 grams of soy per day lowered LDL by only about 3%. In October 2017, after review of additional scientific studies since the health claim was authorized, the FDA proposed a rule to revoke the claim because numerous studies presented inconsistent findings on the relationship between soy protein and heart disease. Some of these inconsistencies may have resulted because soy was compared with a variety of alternative foods.
Another prospective study followed 1,954 American women who were breast cancer survivors for six years. Key highlights of the study: