Estrogen Metabolism and Hormone Imbalances

There is an epidemic of estrogen dominant health disorders and chronic hormone imbalances in humans today - particularly females. In this blog I'm going to explain how we end up with excess estrogen and that it is not a natural state for us to be in, plus how to balance your hormones and remove excess estrogen. I believe that once you understand the mechanisms of disease states, then you can address them simply and effectively.  

There are many symptoms and variations of hormone imbalances.

They come in the forms of :

~ premenstrual syndrome (which is the worsening of symptoms before menstruation like breast tenderness, acne, depression & anxiety) 

~ weight gain around the abdomen 

~ cysts & fibroids in both breasts, uterus and ovaries 

~ estrogen fed cancers .... 

to name a few.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis are extremely complicated disease states and have been linked to autoimmune behaviour. In this particular blog I will not be going into detail of these, as I will be focussing on estrogen dominance and metabolism. Endometriosis though, does involve estrogen dominance.

The first thing we need to understand is where estrogen comes from in the environment and our diets, and the second thing we need to understand is why we hold onto it and it becomes toxic. Synthetic estrogen or things that mimic estrogen are artificial perfumes that come from your body care, cleaning products and, pesticides, that are laden in all non-organic food.

Natural forms of estrogen that we eat too much of, are NOT soya products which contain phytoestrogens that do not bind to our estrogen receptors. In fact, phytoestrogens actually protect us from harmful estrogen, therefore surprisingly excess dietary estrogen comes from chicken meat and eggs. Did you know that female chickens have human identical estrogen in their flesh and eggs?? Excess consumption of chicken and eggs, particularly the eggs (which are like our giant ovum) are the primary sources of estrogen in our diet. 

So the next thing to consider is why do we hold onto estrogen and why does it become excessive in our bodies?

There are two things to understand here, one is liver function and the toxic load in general & the excess to be metabolised to removed from the bowel. To put it simply liver health and bowel health need to be at their optimum function for not just the ability to metabolise toxins out of the body but also to assimilate nutrition. There is an action in the liver called glucuronidation in which it prepares toxins like oestrogen for excretion through the bowel. Sometimes the liver is not doing this effectively and sometimes this bonding gets broken by beta-glucuronidase therefore rendering the oestrogen free again where it can be reabsorbed back into the body. Beta-glucuronidase becomes excessive in low fibre diets and high red meat/processed meat consumption. 

 Once we have understood all of the above factors, then you can start being proactive in detoxing excess oestrogen from the body and reducing oestrogen dominant disease. 

The first thing to do is to reduce, as much as possible, exposure to environmental estrogen as listed above. 

The second thing to do is to improve glucuronidation. There is a supplement that specifically does this called Calcium de-glucarate, but this nutrient is also found in the following foods; 

~ broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli sprouts, spinach, apples, cherries, oranges and grapefruit 

High fibre diets like properly soaked and cooked legumes (which removes the lectins and phytates), brown rice and oats etc have been proven to reduce estrogen excess by improving excretion through the bowels. 

Increasing fibre and consumption of organic fruit and vegetables and reducing toxic exposure in processed and fast foods, also ensures the liver and bowel are at their optimum functioning capacity.

Please also note that the body will use progesterone to manufacture cortisol during stress. This is why stress influences hormones. If you don't have enough progesterone especially in the premenstrual phase, you will have estrogen dominance and therefore PMS.  You can increase progesterone naturally with Vitex/Chaste Tree, plus zinc, B6 & magnesium. Another medical consideration in hormone imbalances is thyroid ad adrenal function.

I really hope this makes sense and you got something out of it. This is just general information for we are all unique individuals and have our own unique way of presenting symptoms and biochemistry.