How Does The Stress Hormone Cortisol Sabotage Weight Loss
How is this overproduction of cortisol related to weight gain? First of all, heightened cortisol is linked to overeating. Ever notice how you eat when youre stressed? A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that higher than normal cortisol levels were linked to overeating and weight gain. Another study links elevated cortisol levels to an increase in belly fat.
Ways You Can Balance Your Estrogen Levels Naturally
Estrogen is a dominating hormone when it comes to womens health. The term collectively describes three similar chemical hormones namely estrone, estadiol and estriol. While low levels of estrogen are associated with heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis amongst other issues, high levels of estrogen can make you vulnerable to cancers of various types. Balancing estrogen levels is imperative for a womans wellbeing.
Your gynecologist or endocrinologist can prescribe hormone replacement drugs like birth control pills, thyroid supplements, hormone creams etc and these prescriptions can balance your hormones instantly however, you should strive to balance your hormones naturally for a simple reason that you must not depend on these unnatural hormones for the rest of your life.
To balance your estrogen levels , the most important thing as per experts is detoxification of your body. Here are 3 ways you can balance your estrogen levels naturally:
1. Drink Lot of Fluid
Drink clean filtered water, juice your greens, drink green tea with lemon, coconut water and so on to gulp down lot of fluid through the day. The more fluid you have, the less toxins will be! By juicing your green veggies, you are not just quenching your thirst but also pumping in phytoestrogens in your body, similarly, green tea and lemon lend you antioxidants and vitamin C that reduce oxidative stress from your body.
2. Say yes to Anti-Inflammatory Diet
3. Become Active
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What Is Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a condition wherein levels of the hormone estrogen are higher compared to progesterone in the body. That means even if estrogen is within normal range, you can have estrogen dominance if progesterone levels are low.
A common misconception is that estrogen dominance affects only women, but thats not correct. Just like men have estrogen, they can also have estrogen and progesterone dominance.
You see, mens adrenal glands and testes produce progesterone. In males, this hormone is necessary for the production of testosterone and sperm. Progesterone in women is necessary for pregnancy and preparing the uterus lining for the baby.
On the other hand, the presence of estrogen in the male body was detected over 90 years ago. The main form of estrogens in men is estradiol, which plays a role in male sexual function by modulating libido, spermatogenesis, and erectile function. It also plays a role in liver health.
A domino effect may ensue when hormones arent in balance, and youre bound to experience various problems. The same happens when estrogen levels are higher than normal or when progesterone is too low you may develop estrogen dominance.
The whole story of estrogen dominance started in 1996 when John R. Lee and Virginia Hopkins published a book about estrogen dominance and menopause. Some women may have it due to birth control, such as ethinylestradiol, which can affect their menstrual cycle.
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Foods That Lower Estrogen Levels Naturally
One could say that these foods base the foundation of an anti-estrogenic diet, you know, a normal mans diet with anti-estrogenic foods along with androgenic testosterone boosting foods.
That would base the foundation for the ultimate anti-estrogenic androgenic testosterone boosting diet. A diet that would boost muscle-mass, improve workout-performance, stimulate beard growth, increase confidence & libido.
Without further rambling, here are 18 anti-estrogenic foods:
Diet And Lifestyle Tips For Healthy Estrogen Levels
Even though certain factors like diet and physical activity can help support healthy estrogen levels, there are certain things that can influence estrogen that are out of your control.
These include your age and certain medical diagnoses. Its impossible to know whether or not your hormone levels are considered healthy without appropriate testing.
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Talk With Your Doctor If You Suspect You Have High Estrogen Levels
You should never self-diagnose a hormone imbalance. Certain symptoms that you may associate with high estrogen levels like pelvic pain or irregular periods may be caused by something completely unrelated. And that something could be serious.
If you suspect you may have high estrogen or another type of hormonal condition, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and concerns.
Beware Of Medications And Birth Control
Are you aware of your medications side effects? Some can disrupt your hormone balance, leading to side effects like fatigue, appetite changes, altered sleeping patterns, low libido, sadness and even depression.
Some medications that can mess with your hormone balance include corticosteroids, stimulants, statins, dopamine agonists, rexinoids and glucocorticoids. Beware of your medications, talk to your doctor about the side effects and research natural alternatives whenever possible.
Birth control is another medication that alters hormone levels. The pill is a type of hormone therapy that raises estrogen levels to levels that can cause many complications.
Studies show that the health risks of taking them, especially long term, may include issues like:
- Breakthrough bleeding between cycles
- Increased risk of uterine bleeding, blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
- Breast tenderness
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Why You Need Estrogen
Estrogens main function is to control reproductive changes in women, but it serves other roles in both male and female bodies, including:
Each of these phytoestrogens has antioxidant properties. This means that in addition to the nutrients potential health benefits, they fight cell damage in our bodies linked to a wide range of chronic diseases.
The best dietary sources of phytoestrogens include:
Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans . Researchers believe they lower breast cancer risk. You can sprinkle flaxseeds on many dishes, bake them into bread and cookies, or blend them into smoothies and spreads.
Soy contains high levels of isoflavones, phytoestrogens that may mimic estrogens effects and reduce the risk of both breast and prostate cancer. Soy is also rich in a range of essential vitamins and minerals. It can support heart health as an alternative to red and processed meats. Its also extremely versatile you can include soy in your diet with foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soymilk.
Because of their high lignan content, studies show that eating two servings of peaches or nectarines a week reduces a womans breast cancer risk. Researchers find similar effects from consuming blueberries and strawberries.
5. Red Wine
6. Sesame Seeds
Tips To Balance Estrogen Levels Naturally
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Limit Or Avoid These Foods And Drinks To Naturally Regulate Estrogen In Your Body:
Limit to one cup or shot of espresso daily or replace with green tea to reduce the burden on your liver to metabolise caffeine
Just one glass of wine can dramatically increase estrogen levels in the body. This is because alcohol changes the way that the body breaks down estrogen. The effect is increased with the amount of alcohol you consume, to aim to limit alcohol to special occasions and stick to maximum 3 glasses in one sitting
Conventional meat and dairy products
Animal products that are not organic often use growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides in their products, some of which still remain in the final product you consume. Opt for organic, grass-fed or pasture raised where possible
Refined sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates
Products like cakes, cookies, white bread, white pasta and deep fried foods promote unstable blood sugar which contribute to and worsen hormonal imbalances due to insulin instability
If you choose to consume soy products, opt for strictly organic and unprocessed forms. Soy is one of the most heavily sprayed crops and has been shown to retain significant levels of pesticides and herbicides like roundup. Consume unprocessed, organic soy products in moderation . For most of my estrogen dominant clients and students in Hormone Harmony Academy, I find its best to avoid more processed forms of soy like soy milk, tofu and vegetarian meat substitutes.
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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Estrogen: Everything You Never Learned In Health Class
Estrogen is the female hormone, and testosterone is the male hormone. But fun fact: both men and women have both hormones. In women, estrogen is responsible for helping initiate sexual development, regulating menstrual cycles, and affecting reproductive systems.
Estrogen is the group of hormones that promotes the development and maintenance of female characteristics in our body. Usually, we probably think of estrogen as a good thing, right? Estrogen gives us that kick-ass attitude that we use to get everything done each day.
But unfortunately, like all good things , it is possible to have *too much* estrogen. High estrogen levels can cause extra PMS, headaches, and irregular periods. Over time, high estrogen can even lead to hormonal cancers.
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalance problems for women. According to some experts, about 50% of women over 35 are estrogen dominant. Now you wish this came up over brunch, right?
Other Natural Treatments For Estrogen Dominance
Get your sweat on!
Sweating is an alternate route of elimination for toxins and waste products. Reduce the load on your liver by engaging in activities that help you sweat like regular cardiovascular exercise, saunas and warm baths.
Deal with stress
Excess cortisol production from being in a chronic stress state can lower progesterone production and/or halt ovulation .
Find practices that support you to work through unavoidable daily stressors like meditation, breathing practices, massage, yoga, slow nature walks and journaling.
Ditch hormonal birth control
The ethinylestradiol in your pill is a form of xenoestrogen that is stronger than natural estradiol. This contributes to poor ability to clear natural estrogen in your body and can damage intestinal bacteria, further impairing your bodys ability to eliminate hormones.
Consider a switching to a natural alternative to hormonal birth control like the Fertility Awareness Method or barrier methods . Speak to a holistic practitioner about natural alternatives.
Address underlying causes of excess weight or fat loss resistance
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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.
Dietary Patterns To Manage Estrogen Dominance
Men and women with estrogen dominance can manage their condition through diet. Various foods help manage this problem.
Instead of focusing on specific foods, you may want to consider changing your dietary pattern altogether.
The most important dietary patterns for the management of estrogen dominance include:
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How Does High Estrogen Affect The Body Of A Woman Or Afab Person
Its rare for your levels to be high because of the estrogen youre producing. Its more likely that your estrogen levels are high because of medications youre taking. For instance, you may have a low sex drive because of high estrogen levels, but this is most likely caused by your birth control pills not your bodys natural estrogen.
Keep In Mind We Need A Lot More Research In This Area
Even though some dietary patterns have been associated with healthy estrogen levels while others have been linked with elevated estrogen levels, theres still a lot to learn about how diet impacts estrogen in the bod.
Research on dietary impact on estrogen is pretty limited at this time and researchers are still investigating how food choices influence estrogen levels and the risk of estrogen-dependent health conditions.
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Estrogen And Your Health
Estrogens a hormone thats found in everyones body, but estrogen levels are much higher in people with ovaries.
When you have too much of this hormone relative to other sex hormones known as estrogen dominance it can lead to abnormal menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. Its also been linked to medical conditions like ovarian cancer and certain types of breast cancer.
FYI: Any type of hormonal imbalance should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.
Use Certain Essential Oils
To balance your hormones naturally, its important that you eliminate toxins in your body by avoiding conventional body care products that are made with potentially harmful chemicals, including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil.
The Environmental Working Group evaluated tens of thousands of products and ranked them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWGs Skin Deep Cosmetic Database today for recommendations for which products to use and avoid.
To replace toxic body care and cleaning products, use these hormone-balancing essential oils:
Clary sage helps balance estrogen levels because it contains natural phytoestrogens. It can be used to regulate your menstrual cycle, relieve PMS symptoms, treat infertility and PCOS, and even reduce the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer.
It also serves as a natural remedy for emotional imbalances, like depression and anxiety. Diffuse three to five drops of clary sage to help balance hormone levels and relieve stress.
To ease cramps and pain, massage five drops of clary sage with five drops of coconut oil into your stomach and any other area of concern.
You can rub two drops of fennel into your stomach or add one to two drops to a class of warm water or tea to take it internally.
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Getting To Know Ghrelin
You can think of ghrelin as your hunger hormone. Like leptin, it communicates with the brain in this case, telling your brain to eat. Every time your stomach becomes empty, it naturally releases ghrelin into your bloodstream. Ghrelin levels are lowest just after youve finished a meal. Theyre at their highest when the stomach is empty and youre ready for your next meal. This scenario is normal when a person is healthy and maintaining optimal weight.
An overweight person, on the other hand, will find that like the other hormones weve explored ghrelin levels are typically out of whack. In healthy individuals, ghrelin levels decrease in a way that satiates them and signals their brains to stop eating. But in obese individuals, ghrelin levels dont decrease enough after eating, which fails to send the brain the signal it needs to stop eating and feel satisfied.
Can I Check My Hormone Levels At Home
You can check your hormone levels at home with an at home hormone check that involves a simple self-blood collection.
It is now possible to check your hormone levels at home via female hormone checks that involves taking a blood sample at home. Blood samples are the most accurate way to check your hormone levels.
Taking a progesterone test will prove insightful if you suspect that you are living with estrogen dominance as it measures the volume of circulating progesterone in the blood.
LetsGetCheckeds range of Female Hormone Tests provides a broad picture of a womans hormonal health. This can provide you with an insight into your current fertility status or potential shifts in hormones with online results available in just 5 days and medical support available over-the-phone for support and guidance.
You should consider taking a female hormone test if:
- Youre looking to start a family
- Youre thinking about pregnancy down the line
- Youre interested in knowing more about your hormone levels
- Youre experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance
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