What is Estrogen Dominance?
Peaked interest surrounding the importance of “gut health” has many talking about its role in chronic diseases. Modern medicine has finally begun to recognize the digestive system as a core component to the overall good health puzzle. Recent studies have shown a cause and effect relationship between the gut and many of our other organ systems (immune, neurological, endocrine, cardiovascular, etc). Could this be the missing piece of information surrounding the rise in hormone related disease and obesity?
Lets be honest, the reality is our hormones play a large part in our ability to gain and lose body fat. Both men and women can fall victim to imbalanced hormones. Elevated estrogen has specifically been linked to increased body fat and hormone related disease. It has not been until recent years that hormones and our gut health have been linked. One of the most common causes of weight gain and estrogen dominate diseases could be due to a condition called “leaky gut”. Despite the forthcoming research, nutritionists and physicians often overlook the link between unsuccessful fat loss, imbalanced hormones, and gut health; thus, leaving patients to do the research on their own.
Altered Gut and Estrobolome?
(Now hang with me as we get a little nerdy!)
When the gut is stressed or damaged it is no longer able to function efficiently. The lining of the gut becomes porous and is unable to act as a “micro filter”. Large particles begin to seep back into the blood stream, creating chaos and inflammation. An important part of our gut function is dependent on the health of our microbiome. This is our own unique “ecosystem” of bacteria that is much like our genetic fingerprint. When the good bacteria are disrupted, it creates a dysbiosis (bacteria imbalance) and is a major cause of leaky gut. All the bacteria within the digestive tract play an important role to keep the body functioning properly.
If leaky gut is present it can negatively impact the hormone balance, specifically the estrogen levels. When discussing estrogen dominance, there is a specific subset of bacteria to consider called estrobolome. This group of microbes are responsible for metabolizing estrogen. When dysbiosis occurs among these microbes it may affect the body’s ability to excrete excess estrogen which is then reabsorbed into the blood stream, therefore, increasing circulating estrogen levels.
When balanced, estrogen plays an important role in fat deposition, bone cell turnover, glucose, and lipid metabolism. Conversely, elevated levels of estrogen in the body can be an increased risk of endometriosis, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and obesity.
What Can Alter the Estrobolome?
The gut microbiome can be affected by numerous factors. What we consume directly impacts the health of our digestive system. It is important to keep a happy gut to have a healthy body. The estrobolome can be negatively affected by external and internal factors. A few specific items listed below can trigger dysbiosis and leaky gut. Be mindful of the following:
- Excess processed foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Excess sugar
Is this me?
If you are now wondering about your own estrogen, I have provided 10 common signs you could be experiencing elevated levels. If you are saying “yes” to any of the symptoms below, it is suggested you seek medical care to have your estrogen checked.
10 Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance:
- Irregular or abnormal periods
- Abdominal bloating or generalized water retention
- Mood swings
- Exaggerated premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
- Swollen or tender breasts outside of PMS
- Hair loss
- Trouble sleeping and fatigue
- Decreased sex drive
- Weight gain
Tips to Balancing Estrogen Levels Naturally.
If you are suffering from hormonal imbalances specific to estrogen there are ways you can help balance this naturally. It is recommended that you first consult a physician. The following are complementary tips to ensure the body is functioning optimally.
- Keep the gut healthy and balanced
- Partake in regular exercise
- Consume healthy fats
- Increase daily fiber to 25-30g per day
- Limit processed sugars
- Manage stress
- Consume a balanced diet for lifestyle (no over or undereating)
For more information see: https://www.oxygenmag.com/nutrition/feed-gut-11294
Embarking on any health and fitness journey can be scary and frustrating. No matter how you look at it, basic lifestyle changes take time and effort. And if you are suffering from estrogen dominance symptoms the journey can be even more difficult.
Making the important decision to invest the time and effort in your health is always worth it. When you decide the time is right to take on a lifestyle change it is important to ensure your hormones and gut health are in check. Always try to keep in mind the value of balance and nourishing your whole body- mind, body, and gut to live the healthiest life possible.