Difficulty losing weight
Menstrual irregularities including:
PMS: fibrocystic (swollen, painful, lumpy) breasts, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, heavy bleeding, intense abdominal cramping, mood swings
You might be experiencing a hormonal imbalance known as estrogen dominance. Estrogen and progesterone are the major female reproductive hormones. They counter and balance each other. An estrogen dominance may mean that estrogen level is higher than the normal range OR it is within normal range but progesterone levels are low, causing a relative excess in estrogen and the symptoms associated with it.
Estrogen dominance can be caused by environmental factors, poor diet and lifestyle choices or stress. The most commons causes include:
1. Consumption of commercially raised meat, poultry, fruits and veggies
- These contain estrogen-like hormones, antibiotics and pesticides which are all hormone disruptors
2. Exposure to industrial solvents and xenoestogens
- Synthetic materials with chemical structure that is similar to estrogen. These maybe absorbed through the skin or otherwise ingested
- Stress shifts adrenal hormone production favoring estrogen production
4. Liver disease
- Excess alcohol production or liver congestion/toxicity due to poor diet
5. Obesity/lack of exercise
- Excess fat stores trap and produce estrogen; lack of exercise reduces fat metabolism
6. Low-fiber, high sugar processed foods
- These cause increased fat gain and storage and decreased processing
If any of these sound familiar, fear not! There are ways to reduce estrogen levels naturally!
a) Choose organic, lean meats and poultry. Minimize red meat.
b) Choose organic whole grains, fruits and vegetables (See the Dirty Dozen for more info on which foods to beware of pesticide reside)
c) Exercise regularly
d) Drink plenty of pure water.
e) Eat foods that support liver function: greens, beets, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, artichokes etc.
f) Adopt a nutritional supplement and herb regiment to provide adequate B vitamins, minerals and liver supportive amino acids
(Be sure to speak to your primary health care provider before implementing any new supplements or dietary changes.)
Here's to your health,