Is Estrogen Dominance Messing with Your Reproductive System?

EstrogenFor both men and women, reproductive health depends on balanced hormones.   For many couples, something called “estrogen dominance” wreaks havoc on their plans for a family. In fact, even those not yet planning a family or those who already have children experience issues stemming from estrogen dominance. It can cause PMS, cramping, endometriosis and ovarian cysts for example. In men, too much estrogen can cause low libido, low sperm count, low production of seminal fluid and erectile dysfunction.

There are a number of factors that can influence estrogen levels in the body:

  • Exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, non-organic detergents, perfumes, and lotions
  • Eating non-organic meat, which contain hormones
  • Stress, which taxes the adrenal and thyroid glands, in turn impacting the reproductive hormones like estrogen
  • Overburdened liver, which impedes the elimination of excess estrogen
  • Use of synthetic estrogens such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Overconsumption of phytoestrogens, found primarily in soy products
  • Obesity, since fat tissue produces estrogen

In very simple terms, when a woman’s estrogen levels are too high, progesterone gets out of whack.   When a man’s estrogen levels are too high, testosterone levels are impacted. Either of these scenarios may lead to the symptoms I mention above and prevent a couple from conceiving a baby.

So how can we prevent or relieve estrogen dominance? If you would like to go the natural route, there are some food choices that make a difference:

  1. Avoid soy products – soy products such as tofu and soy milk contain phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body. Fermented soy products such as miso, tamari and tempeh do not have this effect so if you eat a lot of soy, try switching to fermented.
  2. Eats lots of cruciferous vegetables – cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and turnip, contain a substance called indol-3-carbinol, which aids in the breakdown of estrogen.
  3. Buy organic meat and dairy – commercial farmed animals are fed estrogen-containing growth hormones, which are stored in the cells of the animal through processing and consumption. They are also fed antibacterial agents which can disrupt hormonal balance. Buy organic whenever possible as it does not contain hormones or antibiotics.
  4. Add detoxifying foods to your diet – the liver metabolizes excess estrogen. It is also responsible for detoxifying the blood of toxins, heavy metals, caffeine, alcohol, and prescription drugs. The more your body has to detoxify, the more work your liver has to do. And it can only do so much. Support your liver with greens, beets, apples, pears, green tea, garlic and ginger.

Regaining balance within the hormonal system does not happen overnight. It’s a slow process. But making small changes such as the ones above will make a difference in preventing estrogen dominance and helping to right the scale if it has already shifted.


    • […] my last post, Is Estrogen Dominance Messing With Your Reproductive System, I mentioned that eating more cruciferous vegetables helps the liver to break down excess estrogen […]

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