Tips To Balance Estrogen Levels Naturally
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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.
The Effects Of Low Estrogen Levels In Women
Hypoestrogenism can affect the female body in several ways, based on the stages of sexual development.
- At younger ages, low estrogen levels can delay puberty, slow down or even prevent sexual development.
- In menopause and in perimenopause, it can lead to hot flashes, low sec drive, and painful intercourse.
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Take Care Of Your Thyroid
Estrogen dominance and estrogen imbalance can also increase your risk of thyroid issues. I recommend that you work with a functional health practitioner to test your thyroid levels. If you have thyroid issues along with estrogen imbalance, I recommend reading and following the recommendations in my other book, The 30-Day Thyroid Reset Plan: Disarming the 7 Hidden Triggers That are Keeping You Sick.
Try Herbs To Address Mood Sleep And Physical Concerns Related To Estrogen Deficiency
Estrogen raises serotonin, which helps with mood, sleep and appetite. When estrogen is low, women experience changes in mood and sleep, such as anxiety, depression and insomnia all common symptoms of estrogen deficiency.
Black cohosh and St. Johns wort, used together, are an effective herbal combo to address the mood and sleep concerns of estrogen deficiency, along with physical symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Valerian is another commonly used herb to help with sleep difficulties caused by estrogen deficiency.
Another effective herbal remedy for estrogen deficiency is the Six Flavor Teapills. Its a classic Chinese herbal formula to nourish the yin and strengthen kidney adrenal functions .
This gentle and well-balanced formula can help promote energy, improve moods, and reduce hot flashes, night sweats and sleeplessness.
In this post, Ive discussed 8 ways you can employ to treat estrogen deficiency and restore your bodys yin and yang balance through foods, supplements, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes.
I hope you find my tips helpful, and that theyll help address your concerns related to estrogen deficiency. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.
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How To Increase Estrogen: 6 Helpful Supplements And Foods
When youre wondering how to increase estrogen levels or ease estrogen deficiency symptoms, consuming the right diet and supplements can make a big difference.
Some research has suggested that a Mediterranean-style diet helps improve ovarian function, which can result in a more finely tuned balance of estrogen and progesterone . Fresh, unprocessed foods that dampen down inflammation are partly what makes the Mediterranean diet so healthy, and are also at the heart of a balanced Paleo diet. Many of our female patients find Paleo eating particularly helpful for promoting good hormonal balance.
Paleo has the added benefit of being good at controlling blood sugar and insulin levels, which is a key strategy in dealing with unbalanced hormone conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome .
Once you have a good diet in place, you can take extra steps to raise low estrogen levels and balance female hormone levels by introducing some key supplements. There are many that are touted as useful, but these six have the best research backing them:
Supplements To Balance Hormones
Hormone balance is one of the most common reasons patients pay me an initial visit, and a common question is whether I recommend supplements to balance hormones. In recent years, focus on womens health has gone from just a yearly PAP smear and breast exam to discussion around optimal health and wellness. Women feel empowered to talk to their health care providers about topics that were previously perceived as normal- things like painful periods and PMS symptoms which includes cravings, mood changes, acne, and changes during perimenopause. Seeking treatment for hormone balance means that women are finally able to start the journey to optimal health and complete wellness.
I thought I would take some time to discuss some of my favorite herbs, nutrients, and nutrition options for hormone balance.
However, choosing supplements for hormone balance isnt always cut and dry. Depending on why your hormones are imbalanced can mean that is it time for a different treatment plan.
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The Problem With Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are artificial compounds that have estrogenic effects but are different from naturally occurring estrogen. They are hormone-mimicking compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen and contribute to estrogen excess or prevent the beneficial effects of natural estrogen in your body. Xenoestrogens may be hiding in your tap water, pesticides, herbicidal, conventional cleaning, cosmetics, nail polish, hair dye, personal body care products, canned food, dental sealants, food dyes, birth control pills, medical devices, building materials, home furnishing, laundry products, and air fresheners. They are endocrine disruptors that enter your fat cells, are difficult to break down, but may increase your risk of hormonal and other health issues .
How To Increase Your Estrogen Level Naturally
This article was co-authored by Lisa Bryant, ND. Dr. Lisa Bryant is Licensed Naturopathic Physician and natural medicine expert based in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and completed her residency in Naturopathic Family Medicine there in 2014.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 20,248 times.
Concerns over the potential increased cancer risk from prescription estrogen has led more people to seek natural alternatives. Raising estrogen levels naturally is possible, mainly by making dietary changes. There are also some over-the-counter herbs and supplements that you can try, but keep in mind that research is limited on the effects of herbal supplements, so its best to discuss taking them with a doctor first. Also, talk with a doctor if low estrogen levels are causing you discomfort or menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, or vaginal dryness. A functional medicine or naturopathic doctor may also be able to help by checking for conditions that can mimic low estrogen, such as low progesterone, testosterone, or DHEA.
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The Role Of Estrogen In A Womans Health
Estrogen is one of the sex hormones made in the body from cholesterol, which is one reasons its not a good idea to eat a very low-fat diet if youre concerned about low estrogen. Its responsible for the development of breasts and reproductive function during puberty . Estrogens roles include :
- Maintaining vaginal blood flow and lubrication
- Causing the regrowth of the wombs interior wall sloughed off during menstruation
- Keeping the vaginal lining elastic
- Helping preserve bone strength
- Regulating cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism, which protects women from heart disease
Focus On What Your Gut Is Feeling
As they say, your gut feeling is never wrong! Keeping a check on how your gut is feeling might help you point out hormonal imbalances. Signs like leaky gut, indigestion, and other stomach-related issues can be signs of reduced probiotic bacteria. Eating healthy and consulting your doctor for a better diet plan is the way to go.
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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.
Supplement To Fill Nutritional Voids
While a healthy diet is key for all aspects of health, its sometimes necessary to supplement in order to fill nutritional voids that can be leading to a hormone imbalance.
Here are the top supplements to focus on in order to balance hormones:
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, such as GLA, that support overall hormonal function. Supplementing with evening primrose oil can help relieve premenstrual and PCOS symptoms. It also helps to create a healthy environment for conception.
What is the best vitamins to take for hormonal imbalance? Vitamin D is definitely one of them, since it almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low.
This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight.
Most people should supplement with around 2,0005,000 international units daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter and on days when theyre not in the sun.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can actually improve your production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin. They can also aid in repairing your gut lining, which in turn can balance your hormones.
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Vaginal loosening Estrogen maintains vaginal tightness and tone, so without it, there will also be vaginal loosening as well as a weakness in the pelvic muscles. It could also cause a decrease in urine and fecal control.
Joint pain and broken bones Estrogen maintains calcium in the bones. Without it, there can be a decrease in calcium causing for brittle bones.
High blood pressure and heart palpitation A drop in estrogen causes the heart and blood vessels to lose their elasticity this can cause an increase in blood pressure and sometimes heart palpitations.
Reduced sex drive Vaginal dryness and irritation can cause painful sex which in turns decreases a womans libido.
Severe depression All of these symptoms can mess up a womans mood, especially when she doesnt understand whats happening with her body.
A decrease in estrogen levels could be caused by any of the following:
How Can I Prevent Low Estrogen Levels
You cant avoid drops in estrogen associated with getting older. You can put healthy habits into place that lead to overall balance in your life including more balanced hormones. These changes dont always require hormone therapy. For instance, exercising in moderation and meditation can help with sleep disturbances and fatigue associated with low estrogen. Getting enough calories and the right kinds of nutrients can improve every aspect of your health. Using a lubricant can make sex more pleasurable.
Depending on whats causing your low levels and the severity of your symptoms, you may need medicine to help. Speak with your provider about your options.
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Improve Your Gut Motility:
Improving bowel movement frequency and consistency is a key detoxification concept. If you arent moving your bowels well, you are recirculating bad estrogens and microbial endotoxins that drive up more inflammation and impair liver function.
Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet with good fiber sources such as chia seed and flax seed, using bone broths, fermented foods and probiotics will improve bowel motility. You should be moving your bowels a minimum of 1-2 times per day to clear out all the waste from the day before.
Your Gut Health Influences Your Hormones
When considering how to increase estrogen, the health of your gut is something to bear in mind. In particular, the quality of your gut microbiota can have an impact on the balance of female hormones .
Some signs of hormonal imbalances, such as PCOS and painful periods, have been associated with low microbial diversity and a leaky gut . A healthy gut may contribute to stable hormone levels , and stable hormones may improve gut health .
Plus, if youre taking phytoestrogens, healthy gut microbes play a large role in metabolizing them and transforming them into their bioactive forms, ideally helping to relieve menopause symptoms .
Though theres no direct evidence that taking probiotics can increase low estrogen levels, probiotics can help to correct gut bacteria imbalance , which means your gut is in a better place to support a healthy hormonal balance overall.
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Here Is A List Of The Best Supplements To Help Increase Estrogen In Women
Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Boron
- All three of these vitamins/minerals play an important role in the bodys production of estrogen
- If any of them are low, it can lead to a decrease in the bodys regular production of estrogen
- A hormone that is produced by the bodys adrenal glands. It is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone
- In regard to testosterone production, DHEA has only been found to work in older men. This may also be true of women who are looking to use DHEA to boost estrogen
- An herb traditionally used by Native Americans it has traditionally been used to treat a variety of feminine conditions including menopause
- Evidence suggests that black cohosh could increase estrogen when it is low
Chasteberry, Red Clover, and Dong Quai
- Chasteberry, Red Clover, and Dong Quai are herbs that are often used as traditional treatments for conditions such as menopause and PMS
- Researchers have found that all three herbs show effects similar to estrogen in the body
- A small shrub that grows in India, it is commonly used to help with stress or sometimes used as an adaptogen
- It has been shown in one study on older men to increase testosterone levels up to 22% and may have a similar effect on women and estrogen
Dong Quai Angelica Sinensis
Dong quai root is one of the most widely used traditional Chinese herbs for womens health, including for period pain, menopause and menstrual irregularity. Some women believe it is useful for hot flushes, but overall the evidence is not very supportive however, doses of dong quai used in research have been much lower than traditional Chinese medicinal dosage, and traditionally it is also used in combination with other Chinese herbs as powder or pill formulae.
Precautions: Due to the potential for oestrogenic effects, some test-tube evidence suggests women with breast cancer should avoid dong quai until further safety information becomes available. You should also exercise caution if you are on anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin, heparin or aspirin, as it can increase bleeding time. For this reason, you should stop taking it a week before any surgery to avoid bleeding complications.
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Estrogen / Progesterone Balance
Estrogen levels fluctuate throughout each menstrual cycle during a womans fertile years. They peak and fall dramatically just before ovulation and have a steadier increase in the second half of the menstrual cycle .
Meanwhile progesterone, an opposing hormone, stays lower than estrogen during the first half of the menstrual cycle , but is higher than estrogen during the luteal phase. Progesterones role is to get the uterus ready to accept and maintain a fertilized egg. If pregnancy doesnt happen, the womb lining sheds and progesterone levels fall.
Take Epsom Salt Baths:
Epsom salts are a powerful way to relax and cleanse the body and mind. Epsom salts are a fantastic source of magnesium and sulfur compounds that relax the muscles, ease stress and support liver detoxification.
I recommend taking a healing bath with Epsom salts and add in some essential oils such as chamomile and passionflower which are relaxing and have a hormone balancing impact on the body. Diffusing some of these essential oils your home while taking the bath in the evening to help wind down can be extremely helpful.
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