Signs of Estrogen Dominance: What That Means & How to Fix It

By Britni Vincent, RD, LD
August 3, 2020

estrogen-dominance.jpgIt seems like women are always dealing with hormonal changes and imbalances. Puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause—the changes never stop! I have a special interest in hormones, after struggling with hormonal imbalance in the past. Hormones are responsible for SO much in the body. Where do you start, and how do you know if your hormones are out of balance in the first place? Those are common questions I discuss with my nutrition counseling clients.

I always start by explaining estrogen dominance, which may be a completely new term for you (as it often is for my clients). Estrogen dominance means that your body has too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone. Unfortunately, it’s very common in women of all ages and occurring more even in men (and has been linked to prostate cancer).

Common Indicators of Estrogen Dominance:

  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS
  • Acne along jaw line or chin, especially cystic acne
  • Headaches/migraines that are triggered by period or ovulation
  • PMS
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain in hips and thighs
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Mood changes during menstrual cycle, and mood changes during perimenopause
  • Infertility

How Does A Body Become Estrogen Dominant?

Occasionally, estrogen dominance can be due to low progesterone production, which likely means you aren’t ovulating. This naturally occurs during perimenopause and can happen from being on a birth control pill. However, more often than not, estrogen dominance is because the body has too many unhealthy, artificial estrogens from xenoestrogens, chemicals in our environment that mimic estrogen in the body. Or in some cases, estrogen dominance occurs when you have both low progesterone production and too much estrogen in your body; the combination of the two makes symptoms even worse.

Xenoestrogens are found in many tampons, makeup, plastic, pesticides, and the list goes on and on. The good news is that you can familiarize yourself with where these toxic estrogens hide and reduce your exposure. If you want to learn more about this topic, we recommend reading “Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile” by Anthony G. Jay, Ph. D.

We have helped women and men of all ages rebalance their hormones through diet, lifestyle and supplementation. Our first recommendation is to eat real food.  Eating real foods and skipping processed foods all together will help your body eliminate these toxic estrogens through healthy, normal bowel movements. Real foods help by providing the nutrients needed to support your liver and your intestinal track to ensure you’re eliminating the toxins efficiently.   This may be difficult to do with just food alone. The supplements Estro I-3-C and Estro Rebalance have helped many women and even some men rebalance their hormones (and both products are on sale all August long!). Read on for specifics on each supplement and insight on if you may benefit from incorporating them into your routine. Also, I want to add that both Estro I-3-C and Estro Rebalance may reduce the effectiveness of the birth control pill if you’re using it for contraception.

Estro I-3-C
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a naturally occurring compound that comes from cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, bok choy). In addition to eating these vegetables, a concentrated form of these vegetable compounds can be found in Estro I-3-C. This supplement also contains DIM, a compound that I-3-C creates in the body. The combination of the two in supplement form has been found to be very beneficial. Here are particularly interesting insights from recent research and how I-3-C works in the body.

  • Studies have indicated that I-3-C prevents the development of estrogen-enhanced cancers. I-3-C may also kill or inhibit cancer cells directly.
  • Estrogen can be metabolized down one of two pathways, one that is healthy and one that can be harmful and increases the risk of certain cancers. I-3-C helps both the gut and liver metabolize estrogen down the healthy pathway.
  • I-3-C helps remove the unhealthy estrogen from your cells and helps your liver to remove them from the body.
  • I-3-C acts as an antioxidant and reduces levels of free radicals (molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases).

Could your body benefit from Estro I-C-3? If you have some of the signs of estrogen dominance listed above, I would say yes. It can also be beneficial for those individuals who have a family history of breast, cervical or uterine cancer.

Take 1 capsule twice daily. Typically, the symptoms caused by estrogen dominance will start to go away or improve after three to six months of taking I-3-C. I am always amazed at how quickly women notice a difference after they begin taking Estro I-I3-C.  One of my clients had such severe PMS she described it as having rage and not acting like herself. This went on for up to two weeks a month for her. Within a month of taking Estro I-3-C her mood and other PMS symptoms began to improve, and within three to four months she didn’t have any negative symptoms relating to her menstrual cycle. Hormones take time to rebalance, so I always recommend trying Estro I-3-C for at least three months. Some individuals may benefit from taking a higher dose and for a longer amount of time.

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Estro Rebalance

Estro Rebalance is an evidence-based formula providing highly bioavailable micronutrients, polyphenols, and herbal extracts that help support healthy estrogen balance in the body. Here’s how research suggests it works in the body.

  • The ingredients (isoflavones, carnosic acid, and curcumin to be exact) promote metabolism of the healthy estrogen pathway.
  • Provides antioxidants that are important for reducing free radicals.
  • Acts as a phytoestrogen, helping to prevent the negative effects of xenoestrogens.

Could your body benefit from Estro Rebalance? If you have some of the symptoms or conditions associated with estrogen dominance then yes, especially if you have perimenopause or menopause symptoms, such as sleep problems, hot flashes and weight gain. Many women who experience rosacea or adult acne may benefit, too. A client of mine experienced acne that flared around her chin and jawline, and Estro Rebalance did the trick.

Taking 2-3 capsules daily is beneficial for many people, but some people need more, so it’s best to talk to a nutritionist. Typically, the symptoms caused by estrogen dominance start to go away or improve after three to six months for our clients taking Estro Rebalance. Again, hormones take time to rebalance, so I always recommend trying Estro Rebalance for at least three months.

Many people benefit from a combination of Estro Rebalance and Estro I-3-C. If you are not sure where to start, perhaps it is time to talk to one of the nutritionists. Some individuals may benefit from taking a higher dose and for a longer amount of time because when it comes to hormones, there is no one-size-fits-all.

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Hormones are complicated! If you have a lot of the symptoms or conditions I mentioned in this article, you may benefit from a one-on-one counseling with me or another one of our nutritionists. During the appointment we would come up with an individualized food plan and recommend specific supplements to rebalance your hormones.

 

Resources 

Auborn, K. J., Saijun F., Rosen, E. M., Goodwin L., Chandraskaren A., Williams, D., E., DaZhi, C., Carter, T. H. (2003) Indole-3-Carbinol is a negative regulator of estrogen. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(7), 2470S-2475S.

Einbond, L. S., Wu, H. A., Kashiwazaki, R., He, K., Roller, M., Su, T., ... & Goldsberry, S. (2012). Carnosic acid inhibits the growth of ER-negative human breast cancer cells and synergizes with curcumin. Fitoterapia, 83(7), 1160-1168.

Aggarwal, B. B., & Harikumar, K. B. (2009). Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology, 41(1), 40-59.

Ta, N., & Walle, T. (2007). Aromatase inhibition by bioavailable methylated flavones. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 107(1-2), 127-129.

About the author

Britni is a licensed dietitian at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Britni once struggled with insomnia, acne and regular migraines that would force her to retreat to a dark room for relief. She tried several different approaches to feel better before she realized her diet was the culprit and changed her eating to a more balanced approach. As a result, her insomnia and acne are gone, and she rarely has migraines. Britni is a registered and licensed dietitian through the Minnesota Board of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her B.S. in dietetics from the University of St. Thomas and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Iowa. She has experience in nutrition counseling, leading seminars and motivating clients of all ages to make changes.

View all posts by Britni Vincent, RD, LD

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