Understanding Oestrogen Excess: A Naturopathic Approach to Hormonal Balance - Healthful Wellness

Understanding Oestrogen Excess: A Naturopathic Approach to Hormonal Balance

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Estrogen is a group of hormones that play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of female reproductive tissues and secondary sexual characteristics (breasts, distribution of body fat, etc.) But what happens when you have an excess of Oestrogen?

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    The role of Oestrogen in the body

    Oestrogen is produced in conjunction with ovulation, leading into the menstrual bleed, then travels into the bloodstream to estrogen-sensitive cells (such as the uterine) to stimulate growth as we prepare the uterus for pregnancy.

    Oestrogen will remain in the body until just before your next period!

    It has an impact on

    • Development of Female Reproductive Organs

    • Regulation of Menstrual Cycle

    • Bone Health

    • Cardiovascular Health

    • Skin Health

    • Mood and Cognitive Function

    • Reproductive Function

    Importance of hormonal balance for overall health

    Hormonal balance is crucial for overall health as hormones play a central role in regulating numerous physiological processes and maintaining stability in the body. They influence processes such as

    • Metabolism

    • Reproductive Health

    • Bone Health

    • Immune Function

    • Mood and Mental Health

    • Stress Response

    • Thyroid Function

    • Blood Sugar Regulation

    • Cardiovascular Health

    • Sleep Regulation

    You can see why it is so essential to maintain hormonal balance!

    What is oestrogen excess, and how does it impact our health?

    When our oestrogen levels become out of balance with our progesterone levels, this can cause a range of issues and symptoms in the body. Oestrogen excess can occur when estrogen production is overstimulated or the aromatase pathway (this pathway turns testosterone into estrogen) is overactive, promoting an oestrogen-dominant state and too little progesterone from other factors.

    The Signs and Symptoms of Oestrogen Excess

    Oestrogen Excess can present differently depending on your phase of life.

    When Menstruating
    Signs and symptoms when you are menstruating:

    • Feeling bloated around ovulation

    • Slow weight gain around the hips and bust

    • Mentally, you may dread the lead-up to your period as you suffer from bloating, headaches and fluid retention.

    • You experience clots, heaviness or an extended bleed.

    • Mood Swings and irritability

    • Anxiety and depression

    • Decreased libido

    Peri or Post Menopause
    For Peri or Post Menopausal ladies, this oestrogen excess can still come into play with similar symptoms.

    • Weight gain around the hips and middle

    • Bloating

    • Enlarged breasts 

    • Heavy bleeds if you are still menstruating

    • Mood Swings and irritability

    • Anxiety and depression

    • Decreased libido

    Sometimes, symptoms might not appear obvious; we have clients living with symptoms for years without even considering there's a potential hormone imbalance happening!

    Common Causes of Oestrogen Excess

    Several different things can cause an Oestrogen Excess.

    Diet and Nutrition
    Unsurprisingly, processed foods and sugars can contribute to Oestrogen Excess by contributing to weight gain. Fat cells can produce and store Oestrogen, contributing to excess Oestrogen in the body. 

    Other diet and nutrition factors that can contribute to Oestrogen Excess include:

    • Diets high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (i.e. white bread, sweet desserts, many breakfast cereals.

    • A low-fibre diet which can impede the body's ability to excrete Oestrogen from the body. 

    • Deficiencies in certain nutrients like B6, B12 and folate

    • Excessive alcohol consumption which can interfere with liver function. This may increase the production of Oestrogen in the body.

    Environmental Factors
    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are one of the most significant environmental factors contributing to excess Oestrogen (these are natural or man-made chemicals that may interfere with the body’s hormones.) You’ll find these chemicals in plastics with BPA, pesticides and herbicides, and synthetic fragrances in cleaning products, air fresheners, beauty products, and certain household chemicals.

    Lifestyle Factors
    Stress is one of the most significant lifestyle factors impacting your hormones, including increased Oestrogen. It can cause things like

    • An increase in cortisol, which may interfere with hormones including Oestrogren

    • A disruption to your menstrual cycle 

    • Impaired ovulation

    • A tendancy towards unhealthy beahavious such as poor diet, lack of exercise and inadequate sleep. 

    How a Naturopath can help balance Oestrogen Excess

    We help so many women overcome this particular imbalance in the clinic. Our healthful practitioners will be looking out for what is driving the cause of excess oestrogen. They will devise a holistic treatment plan for your lifestyle and health needs.

    Testing
    There are several tests we can run to see what is going on. We find it is often associated with a sluggish tummy in the clinic, so we run tests for SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, Parasites and high beta-glucuronidase. Our naturopaths will also generally suggest DUTCH testing to give them a clear picture of what areas need support first and where to focus the attention to get the quickest results.

    There are several suggestions they will make / supplements they will prescribe:

    Dietary recommendations

    • Ensure you eat a balanced diet of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, whole foods etc. 

    • More fibre-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables

    • Limit processed foods and sugars - we aren’t saying to eliminate them altogether! Only to have them in moderation.

    • Ensure you are drinking plenty of water!

    Herbal Supplements
    Our Naturopaths will work closely with you to find a combination of herbal medicine/supplements to support you with your Oestrogen Excess.

    Lifestyle recommendations:
    Managing stress is crucial for overall health and can be beneficial in restoring hormonal balance. There are several things you can do to help reduce your stress levels:

    • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation.

    • Regular exercise, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes a day to get you started.

    • Getting enough sleep to help regulate your hormones. Turn your devices off before bed and wind down with a book or your chosen mindfulness/relaxation technique.

    If you feel like you may be struggling with possible oestrogen excess in your body, book a free 10-minute discovery call with our team, and we can look at a treatment plan for your specific lifestyle & health needs.

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