Do you know the signs of estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency? Many women experience these symptoms and don’t even realize it!
Estrogen dominance can cause a variety of problems, including weight gain, PMS, infertility, and more. Progesterone deficiency can also lead to a number of health issues. It’s important to be aware of these symptoms and get checked out if you think you might be experiencing them.
In this blog post, we will discuss the most common signs and causes of estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. We will also look into Ayurvedic natural remedies to reverse Estrogen dominance at the root cause level. Let’s begin!
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen dominance is a condition that results when there is too much estrogen in the body relative to progesterone.
Although estrogen and progesterone are both female hormones, they have opposite effects in the body. Estrogen promotes growth and development of female sexual characteristics, while progesterone has a calming effect and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle.
When there is an imbalance between these two hormones, it can cause a variety of symptoms. There are two cases where estrogen dominance shows up:
Estrogen dominance can happen in two ways:
- Absolute high or too much estrogen in your body. In this case your progesterone levels may be normal. This means that your body has much more Estrogen than it should normally have.
- Estrogen is normal, but Progesterone is very low. This really leads to high Estrogen levels relative to Progesterone. And this kind of hormone imbalance often leads to its own set of inconvenient high Estrogen symptoms.
Estrogen Dominance during Adolescence
Estrogen dominance can happen during puberty, when ovulation and menstrual cycles are not regular. During adolescence soon after menarche (the onset of the first period), it is quite common to “skip” ovulation, which results in low progesterone, and relatively high estrogen.
This results in typical symptoms of estrogen dominance as heavy periods, cramps, acne, and crazy mood swings in teens.
During adulthood, this hormonal imbalance often leads to irregular ovulation and skipped or absent periods.
Some of the common problems of Estrogen dominance in adulthood are Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Breast Lumps, Endometriosis, Cysts and Fibroids. All of these hormonal health issues point towards elevated estrogen and low progesterone levels in women.
Estrogen Imbalance during Menopause
Your hormones start to shift in the 40’s during the perimenopause time, leading to fluctuating estrogen and low progesterone.
As hormone levels start to decline, progesterone levels can fall out of balance with estrogen, leading to estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. So, even though both Estrogen and Progesterone are low, it is Progesterone that has become relatively lower to Estrogen.
Some of the typical signs of Estrogen dominance in menopause are heavy periods, weight gain in menopause, worsened PMS, sleep problems and hot flashes.
Now, let’s dig in the reasons of high Estrogen levels inside your body:
What is the root cause of Estrogen Dominance?
The exact cause of “estrogen dominance” can vary from person to person. However, there are some common causes that contribute to this condition.
Estrogen dominance often occurs when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. This can be due to a variety of factors, including your diet and lifestyle.
Estrogen dominance is often caused by exposure to environmental toxins, stress, and poor diet. It can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as birth control pills.
Exposure to environmental toxins
We are exposed to many different toxins on a daily basis, including pesticides, herbicides, chemicals in personal care products and cleaning supplies, and heavy metals. These toxins can disrupt the endocrine system and lead to hormonal imbalances.
High levels of Stress
Stress can cause a number of problems in the body, including hormone imbalances. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol. This increases estrogen levels and can eventually lead to estrogen dominance.
A diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can also contribute to hormonal imbalances. These foods can increase inflammation in the body and disrupt the delicate balance of hormones.
Insulin and cortisol imbalance
These two are the primary hormones that regulate blood sugar levels and stress responses in the body. If their function is disturbed, they can influence other hormones in the body, particularly the ovarian, thyroid, progesterone, testosterone, and sleep hormones.
The Birth Control Pills or Hormone Therapy
The birth control pill prevents ovulation. If you do not ovulate, you do not produce progesterone, which can lead to higher levels of estrogen. HRT delivers high amounts of synthetic estrogen, making it more difficult for the body to eliminate than natural hormones.
Poor liver function
The liver detoxifies estrogen, which is then eliminated via the bowels. If our livers aren’t functioning properly and we are unable to eliminate the estrogen, a buildup can occur.
Belly Fat or Hormonal Belly
Fatty tissues are capable of generating natural Estrogen in the form of Estrone.
And when you have high levels of belly fat (also called as visceral fat), it leads to excessive Estrogen in your body.
You may be exposed to high levels of Estrogen as a fetus. Or the genetic factors may be passed down to you from your parents.
Constipation and Gut Problems
Excess Estrogen from the body is flushed out primarily via the digestive tract.
If you are not taking in sufficient fibre in your diet or you are struggling with constipation, then it is highly likely that your intestines will have excess Estrogen and other toxins lying in the digestive tract for long. Eventually, they are reabsorbed and create hormone imbalance symptoms as Estrogen dominance.
Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen dominance in women
Either way, the result is the same – an imbalance that can lead to a variety of problems and symptoms.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
- Weight gain, especially around the hips and thighs
- Cyclic breast tenderness, pain or fibrocystic breasts
- Depression or mood swings
- Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
- Headaches or migraines
- Severe PMS or other menstrual cycle irregularities
- Heavy periods with clots, Short cycles, Spotting
- Fibroids or Endometriosis
- Brain fog
- Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS)
- Acne Breakouts
Who should check for Estrogen Dominance?
You may be more likely to have elevated estrogen and low progesterone if:
- You have PCOS
- You aren’t ovulating regularly
- You’re in your 40’s and are going through perimenopause
- You have signs of low progesterone
Estrogen dominance can also lead to an increased risk for certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
They can order tests to check your hormone levels and determine if estrogen dominance is the cause. There are also a number of natural ways to treat estrogen dominance, which will be discussed below.
Here’s How You can Naturally Balance your Hormone using Ayurveda
High Estrogen level can be handled at its root by making suitable changes in your diet and lifestyle.
When you start taking in foods that naturally up your levels of Progesterone and help you get rid of the excess Estrogen in your body, then you can treat your hormone imbalance. Here are some steps for you:
1. Ayurvedic Diet to Support Estrogen & Progesterone Balance
- Eat natural, healthy, and wholesome food that is freshly prepared.
- Focus on foods groups and nutrients that support liver health and fat metabolism. Here you will find list and guidelines on liver healthy foods.
- Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a well-balanced diet that supports natural hormone balance. They are lower in calories, provide essential micronutrients such as Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants.
- Consume plenty of complex carbohydrates. they will keep you full and provide B Vitamins and essential minerals. Some examples are root vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils and green vegetables.
- Additionally, cruciferous vegetables such as Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Broccoli are great to include as they are rich in proteins and antioxidants. These vegetable inhibit the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat and provide body with ample fibre to bind the excess estrogen out of the digestive tract.
- Eat healthy fats such as nuts and seeds in moderation. They will reduce inflammation, naturally balance hormones and support loss of belly fat.
- Take probiotics and fermented foods in your diet.
2. Worst Foods to Avoid when struggling with Progesterone Deficiency
- Remove sugar in the form of white sugar, artificial sugar and all sugary processed foods.
- Reduce and remove caffeine. It leads to quick spike in your activity level, but eventually causes energy crashes. This makes you eat more sugary foods.
- Remove alcohol and smoking altogether. Both of these have similar stimulating effect as caffeine on the body, a quick energy boost and then crash. Also, alcohol and smoking cause and make hormone imbalance worse.
- Avoid excess table salt. It causes water retention in the body and thus may contribute to increasing weight.
- Remove fruit juices, sweetened beverages, carbonated beverages and flavored waters. All of these contain lots of sugar which disturbs insulin sensitivity and hence creates conditions for high Estrogen in long term.
- Avoid processed foods and quick meals. They push in empty calories and devoid you of essential nutrients from your meals.
- Reduce your intake of simple carbohydrates and fast foods.
- Vegetable oils that are highly refined and hydrogenated are number 1 source of inflammation in the body besides sugar. Avoid processed foods, fried foods, snacks and dietary consume of oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil and many other processed varieties.
3. Ayurvedic Lifestyle to Beat Progesterone Deficiency
If you suspect that you may be suffering from estrogen dominance, there are a few things you can do to address it. First, it’s important to identify any potential root causes.
- If you are exposed to environmental toxins, try to limit your exposure as much as possible. This may mean switching to natural personal care products and cleaning supplies, eating organic foods, and filtered water.
- You should also aim to reduce stress in your life by incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine.
- Improve your diet. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Be physically active to naturally flush excess Estrogen. Exercise that involves sweating out is one of the best ways to flush excess Estrogen out of your skin, melt the body fat and improve the health of your liver and detoxification pathways.
- Get sufficient sleep. Due to lack of sleep, you end up disturbing the levels of Melatonin in your body. This is a sleep hormone that also directs the functioning of your menstrual cycle. Low Melatonin translates to irregular ovulation, which creates Estrogen dominance symptoms.
4. Ayurvedic Herbs for Estrogen Dominance
Here is a list of Ayurvedic herbs that can help you to balance hormones, prevent and reduce the intensity of estrogen dominance.
These herbs are not concentrated form of supplements, which often aggravate hormone imbalance symptoms.
Also, Ayurvedic plant based remedies remove the root cause of hormone imbalances by acting on specific body tissues. Thus, you also avoid the side effects that often come with generic medications.
However, these herbs are potent in nature. They can have deep effect on your body and mind. Hence, they should always be consumed under a trained Ayurvedic Physician. Please do not do self treatment with herbs.
- Aloe vera gel – Reduces Heat, Detoxifies, Improves circulation, stimulates uterus and thyroid
- Kapikacchu – Hormone Balance, Antioxidants, uterine tonic, improves mood
- Yashtimadhu (Licorice) – Promotes hormone balance, gut health and improves brain function
- Dashamula – Hormone balance thyroid and progesterone, improves circulation, detoxifies
- Saffron – Hormone Balance and Progesterone, Detoxifies
- Amla – Detoxifies, Boosts Metabolism, Reduces Heat and Inflammation
- Arjuna Bark – Reduces heat and balances Pitta, promotes hormone balance, uterine tonic
- Motherwort – Balances Pitta, reduces heat, prevents hot flashes, heavy bleeding and fibroids
- Lady’s Mantle – Balances hormones, prevent heavy periods and reduces period pain
- Shatavari – Uterine tonic, reduces heat, Hormone Balance, Improves Mood, Detoxifies
- Triphala – Detoxifies, Supports digestion, reduces heat and inflammation
5. Yoga Poses to Lower Estrogen Dominance
Yoga goes much deeper than just the physical movement of the body. Regular practice of suitable yoga asana help to tone the muscles thus increase strength, relax the mind to reduce stress levels and also increase bone density.
That’s why yoga is one of the best ways to naturally support your hormone balance and keep your detox pathways active.
Here are some yoga asana that you can practice to find relief from Estrogen dominance symptoms:
- Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Half Spinal Twist Pose)
- Natarajasana (Supine Dancing Shiva Pose)
- Chakki Chalanasana (Churning Mill Pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (One Legged Seated Forward Bend Pose)
- Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations)
6. Deep Breathing Exercises and Pranayama for Progesterone Support
Pranayama and breathing exercises support detoxification pathways as liver and lungs. It infuses sufficient oxygen in the brain and body, thus reducing inflammation and stress symptoms.
Here are the pranayama that are helpful for hormone balance:
- Kapalbhati Pranayama
- Bhastrika Pranayama
- Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
- Three Stage Deep Breathing
Treating Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Naturally
If you are concerned that you may be estrogen dominant or are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is essential that you see a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis.
Many women who are estrogen dominant are diagnosed as having hypothyroidism, digestive disorders or nutritional deficiencies. Proper diagnosis and hence required treatment will help you to find relief from your health issues in a timely manner.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from estrogen dominance, talk to your doctor or an Ayurvedic practitioner. They can order tests to check your hormone levels and determine if this is the cause of your symptoms.
Ayurveda offers multiple natural ways including herbs, diet and yoga therapy to balance your hormones and reverse Estrogen Dominance.
Head here, to learn more about how Medhya Herbals can help you to Hormone Balance with Ayurveda.