This awesome post was written by Alina Islam, a wonderful Certified Nutritional Practitioner from Toronto, Canada. She is a writer, speaker, and nutritional consultant. You can read more of her work at AlinaIslam.com or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Estrogen dominance has become a hot topic, and while most people are learning to read the signs and symptoms of this condition, many are left to wonder what to actually do if they suspect they are suffering from this! The simple protocol below will help you bring your hormones back into balance, and can also be used by both men and women to prevent it in the first place.
Before we get to that, here’s a quick recap:
Top 10 Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance
- Abnormal menstrual periods
- Bad PMS (breast tenderness/swelling, mood swings, headaches)
- Low libido
- Weight gain (especially hips and abs)
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Sluggish metabolism
- Trouble sleeping
Step 1: Remove Xenoestrogens
Unfortunately, as a side-effect of greater industrialization and new innovations in technology, we’ve seen harmful chemical compounds enter into our day-to-day routine. One such chemical compound is called a “xenoestrogen,” which can mimic estrogen in the body. We’re being bombarded on a daily basis, so it’s no wonder so many people are suffering from estrogen dominance!
Here are some of the top offenders to swap out of your daily routine:
- Plastic water bottles
- Plastic Tupperware
- Cosmetics, makeup and toiletries (opt for natural lines)
- Non-organic dairy, produce
- Tap water
- BPA cans
- Dryer sheets
- Birth control pill
- Soy protein isolate
Step 2: Ensure Efficient Elimination
It’s all well and good to want to remove excess estrogen from your body, but what if you’re chronically constipated? That estrogen isn’t going anywhere! It’s simply going to re-enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body, continuing to cause problems. That’s why this step is crucial before beginning to take liver and estrogen detoxification supporting supplements.
Make sure you are having daily bowel movements. If you’re not, try out these tips:
- Drink 2-3L of water per day
- Fill up half your plate with vegetables at each meal
- Eat probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, plain yogurt and tempeh
- Add a scoop of fiber to your daily smoothie, oatmeal or parfait
- Supplement with magnesium citrate or Triphala (an Ayurvedic herb) to promote bowel movements
To support elimination through all the pathways in the body, make sure to do the following as well:
- Take deep breaths to support the lungs
- Go for a massage to support the lymph
- Work up a sweat through exercise or sit in a sauna to support the elimination of toxins through the skin
- Use a dry skin brush to remove dead skin cells
Not sure if you are detoxifying efficiently? Because we are constantly fighting against environmental toxins, as well as all of the toxins we eat, drink, and put on our body, it’s often helpful to give our liver a little bit of a break.
You can take this quiz to see how badly you might need to detoxify your liver:
Step 3: Support Liver Health & Estrogen Detoxification
A well-functioning liver helps us remove excess estrogen from the body. Here’s how it’s done in simple terms: during Phase I of detoxification, the liver turns harmful estrogen intro milder, weaker forms of estrogen. In Phase II, the liver turns that mild form of estrogen into a water-soluble form so that it can be excreted through urine and stool.
Clearly, supporting Phase I and Phase II detoxification is crucial. But there are two main instances in which this would not be possible:
- If the liver is not receiving the nutrients it needs to fulfill Phase I and Phase II
- If other chemicals are competing for liver function i.e. alcohol, drugs, junk food (there is only so much the liver can do without becoming overburdened)!
Here’s what you can do to support liver function:
- Each a real, whole-foods based diet (avoid processed food)
- Drink plenty of clean, filtered water
- Avoid overeating
- Avoid alcohol abuse
Eat plenty of foods that support liver health:
- Beets, dandelion greens, dark leafy greens, artichoke, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, eggs, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale etc.)
Supplement with botanicals that support liver health:
- Milk thistle, dandelion root, barberry, Oregon grape root, gentian, rosemary, licorice, ginger, wild yam, red clover, burdock
Supplement with nutrients that support detoxification:
- B-vitamins (in particular, B6, B12 and Folic Acid)
- A hormone balancing formula that contains one or all of the following: Calcium-D-Glucarate, Indole-3-Carbinol, DIM, sulforaphane
Estrogen Balancing: Give Your Liver Some Extra Love
If you’re looking to give your metabolism a jumpstart (and your liver a little love!), hitting the reset button with a professionally formulated 14 or 28-day detox program is a great way to start. My favorite detox programs are Affect Health’s combination of loose leaf tea and medicinal herbs that are made using 100% USDA organic ingredients and also laxative-free.
Boost energy, metabolism, and detoxification with:
- Matcha and Yerba Mate provide even, focused energy all day long without the crash.
- Dandelion Root and powdered Milk Thistle Seed are a potent liver loving combo to help improve detoxification.
Rejuvenate, replenish, and rebuild with:
- Valerian Root and Passion Flower help soothe anxious thoughts and help us relax for a good night’s sleep.
- Milk Thistle Seed provides continued liver support.
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