Are You Estrogen Dominant?

by Angela Halderson

Estrogen dominance is having more estrogen relative to progesterone and it can occur at any age. In our modern world, estrogen dominance is a big problem. This is because xenoestrogens – estrogens found in our environment – are overly abundant. Xenoestrogens are found in water, food, household cleaners, pesticides, and personal care products. Common examples in your daily life may be water bottles, plastic food storage containers, nail polish, perfume, and cologne. Xenoestrogens are endocrine disruptors, meaning they cause hormone imbalance by blocking hormone detoxification or by binding to hormone receptors, creating an effect of excess hormones. Worse, xenoestrogens are not biodegradable. Instead, your body stores them inside fat cells.  


Xenoestrogens can cause excess estrogen. Having too much estrogen in relation to progesterone may lead to heavy periods, weight gain, acne, PMS headaches, uterine fibroids, decreased libido, and mood fluctuations.


To promote more balanced estrogen levels, opt for organic green-leafy fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, and raw nuts and seeds. Give your home and personal care products an overhaul. Read the ingredients list carefully and avoid things like phthalates, parabens, dyes, and BPA (a food preservative). Choose only natural ingredients that are petroleum free.


To help further manage a more balanced estrogen to progesterone ratio, reach for some of these supplements:


DIM: Diindolylmethane is a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts. DIM helps metabolize and breakdown estrogens in the body and can also shift 16-hydroxy estrogen to the more beneficial 2-hydroxy estrogen metabolite. One and half pounds of raw cruciferous vegetables can provide up to 30mg of DIM. The standard recommended dosage is 100-200 mg of DIM daily for women and 200-400 mg per day for men, so opting for a supplement form of DIM is a popular choice. 


Spanish Black Radish: Spanish black radishes have been found to increase Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification, helping not only cleanse the liver but also regulate hormone levels. This beautiful radish is a hard find in the grocery store, but can be grown in your garden, raised bed, or patio container and matures in about 55 days. Add this to salads, roasted vegetables, or enjoy with hummus!


Fiber: Diets high in fiber also help promote healthy estrogen levels. Fiber helps bind estrogen in the colon therefore increasing fecal excretion. Popular fibers that help the body remove estrogen are psyllium husk fiber, guar gum, flax seed, and acacia fiber. Women under 50 should aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day. Older adults should strive for 21 grams of fiber per day. 


I-3-C: Indole-3-carbinol is a plant compound found in high amounts in cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, and collard greens. It acts as an antioxidant and regulates estrogen levels by increasing the ratio of 2-hydroxy estrogen to 16-hydroxy estrogen. 2-hydroxy estrogens are less active than 16-hydroxy estrogens and can be eliminated from the body. Supplements for I-3-C typically provide 100-400 mg. Women struggling with estrogen dominance may find best results with 400 mg daily.


Progesterone: Progesterone is the calming hormone that balances the effects of estrogen. Natural progesterone creams can be applied topically to thin-skinned areas of the body. Increasing your progesterone levels can relieve symptoms of night sweats, heart palpitations, missed periods, heavy periods, insomnia, and even brain fog. Dosages of even 30 mg a day of extra progesterone can have dramatic effects, so more is not always better.  


The above information should not be used to self-diagnose or treat a medication condition. Always notify your doctor when you are taking supplements. Dietary supplements can be beneficial to your health when used correctly.