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The Dance Partners focusing in on Estrogen

So we are moving now to the bottom of the Hormonal Hierarchy - If you are really interested in supporting your sex hormones you should first begin by reading 'Its not you, its your Hormones" blog.

 

In this blog and the next - Let's get to know dance partners: Estrogen and Progesterone.

 

When we think about women’s hormones, estrogen usually comes to mind first.

Please note that Men also need estrogen, just as women also need testosterone - it's the amounts that matter here.


If you are reading this with an estrogen concern in mind please be sure that you have worked through the hormone hierarchy (first addressing oxytocin, cortisol, insulin, thyroid, plus gut health).

Also being mindful to save space for Progesterone. In the next blog, we’ll look in more detail at the complementary and overlapping roles of these two hormones.

 


The Importance of Estrogen

Estrogen receptors are found throughout the body – in the brain, muscle, bones, bladder, gut, colon, heart, lungs, blood vessels, eyes, and of course in the uterus, ovaries, and breasts.

I'm sure you can now see how having an estrogen imbalance can affect nearly every aspect of your body, including the way you think and feel.

 

We know there are over 400 critical functions in the body involving estrogen!

 

Estrogen contributes to the body’s regulation of:

 

  • Body temperature

  • Blood pressure

  • Mood 

  • Energy

  •  Mood

  •  Memory

  • Libido

  • Heart health

  • Bile production

  • Cholesterol

  • Eye Health 

  • Bone density

  • Cognitive reasoning

  • Skin smoothness

  • Many, many more…  

Estrogen affects the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing LDL and lowering homocysteine.

It prevents tooth loss and maintains bone density! Estrogen affects the water content of our skin and makes skin smoother and look younger. It’s easy to see how important balanced estrogen is for general health, and how a deficiency can affect the whole body.

 

In a nutshell, we NEED estrogen. Females tend to feel that powerfully if it’s lacking…

  

Back to the Goldilocks Principle - Estrogen is another “Goldilocks” hormone — it’s important that you have neither too little, nor too much. You want Estrogen to be “just right.”


It is also important to recognize estrogen will be naturally be higher or lower at different stages of life in a woman.



Estrogen Deficiency

Women can experience deficiency postpartum and can also experience deficiency after going through menopause.

Synthetic estrogen replacement with birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy with synthetic medications can induce a functional estrogen deficiency as well as low thyroid function.

In addition, insulin resistance and diabetes can cause a functional estrogen deficiency.

 

Premature ovarian failure (when the ovaries stop working) can be caused by chemicals in the environment. Many chemicals in our modern environment can act like estrogen in the body and disrupt the production of hormones so its important to also be aware of and remove any hormone-disrupting chemicals in our personal care and household products i.e. what you are cleaning with, breathing in (perfumes, fly sprays etc), drinking out of, washing your clothes in and applying to your skin.


Estrogen Excess

First a note re the onset of menstruation:

Estrogen is the first female sex hormone to be made in any great quantity in a girl’s body.

As beautiful as estrogen can be as a hormone, it can also wreak havoc when it is present in excessive amounts and/or without the buffering effects of progesterone.

An excess of estrogen is often what causes periods to be heavy, clotty and painful in the first place. When a girl first starts to menstruate, she can easily be in a state of estrogen excess (or ‘estrogen dominant’ in the later part of her cycle), until regular, cyclical ovulation is established.

Supporting both estrogen metabolism and progesterone production can assist in helping a newly menstruating female to innately balance her hormones and ease the symptoms of estrogen excess.


For Women:

While estrogen deficiency can be problematic for women, elevated estrogen can increase risks for certain cancers, decrease libido, cause ongoing heavy menstrual cycles, cause low thyroid levels, increase mood swings, and contribute to weight gain.


As food is medicine let's look at the foods well-known to support detoxification of hormones in the body.


  • Cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts)

  • Mushrooms (like shiitake or portobello)

  • Flax seeds

  • Green tea

  • Incorporate an organic green drink powder (powdered/ground green vegetables and herbs) that you add to water. Good quality, organic green powders can offer concentrated sources of some key active ingredients that help support efficient liver detoxification, particularly estrogen metabolism.

  • Plus don't forget pure water hydration - Your body weight X 30mls daily



How to test if you suspect you might have an Estrogen issue

The DUTCH test is the most comprehensive way to evaluate sex hormones function, as it evaluates metabolites and biomarkers derived from estrogens, progesterone, and androgens.

The estrogen analytes measured on the DUTCH Test indicate a patient's phase 1 estrogen detoxification status (also called hydroxylation) and phase 2 estrogen detoxification (methylation) status.

It is taken via urine sample multiple times during the day to gain reliable data.

I offer the DUTCH test at the Live Wild Studio for clients who need support with sex hormone balance or infertility concerns.


Understanding and managing estrogen levels is a vital aspect of maintaining vibrancy and well-being.

By incorporating nourishing foods, engaging in regular exercise, taking care of the hormones above estrogen in the hierarchy and being mindful of environmental estrogens, you can take meaningful steps towards balancing this essential hormone.


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