When it comes to women’s health, I truly believe that it is not as complex as most people think. The conditions and symptoms that women go through include fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, PMS, infertility, early onset menopause, anxiety, etc. The truth is that none of these conditions is any different from the other. All of these conditions can be traced to the same root – estrogen dominance.
What is estrogen dominance?
As women, we need to pay attention to many hormones and these include cortisol, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA. Estrogen is either misunderstood or thought of as something bad.
Estrogen is a hormone found in both men and women. Estrogen dominance can happen if there are higher levels of the hormone in your system, if your body is unable to release the metabolites, or there is excess estrogen with respect to progesterone levels. This makes the estrogen dominant and you can experience it as PMS, allergies, poor digestion, cellulite, heavy hips, fat in the thighs, irritability, mood swings, bloating, and more complex conditions mentioned above.
This is not a pretty picture and I don’t want any woman to struggle with any of this.
What leads to estrogen dominance?
The first thing that you should know to reassure yourself is that estrogen dominance has specific roots and there can be solutions as well. Belly fat can be a big reason as this visceral fat can produce estrogen.
Having poor liver health or consuming a diet that has high amounts of bad fats, sugars, starches, and alcohol can all make you more estrogen dominant.
Having a poor microbiome from a history of antibiotics or eating a diet low in fibre can all influence this as well. Stress is probably the biggest reason as your body cannot produce progesterone when you are inundated with stress.
Being on birth control pills is another major reason. Sadly, most women who do have conditions like PCOS and fibroids are put on these very oral contraceptives as a means to manage the condition. That approach is flawed and puts so many women at risk of other conditions.
If you are already estrogen dominant, eating large amounts of soy can raise estrogen levels even more. Farmed meat and dairy that is full of hormones and antibiotics are triggers as well.
What can you do to counter these problems?
The good news is that the solutions originate from the same space as well. You do not have to view PCOS or fibroids or any other condition by itself. You have to look at reducing estrogen dominance so that you eliminate the reason for these conditions altogether. The reason millions of women fail in their attempts and intentions towards good health is viewing their condition in isolation, labelling themselves with it, and researching and attempting fad diets.
Reducing exposure to stress or finding ways to reduce the impact of stress should be the first thing that you do. It is remarkable how a daily practice of yoga can reduce cortisol and therefore, improve progesterone levels in your body.
Eliminate all starches and sugars for a period of six weeks to two months, and prioritise proteins and vegetables. Just this one step improves blood sugar balance. When blood sugar is stable, then the adrenal function is more stable. When cortisol is stable, you have less inflammation and better hormones.
Support digestion if you have minor digestive distress. Improving digestion and elimination helps to release estrogen metabolites. Bring in soaked chia, plenty of leafy greens, okra, buckwheat, and anything else that helps with the digestion.
Prioritise exercise as it improves lymphatic movement and waste disposal, allowing your own body to restore its state of balance.
Get sleeping! What matters is not how much you sleep but the key is when you sleep. One hour of sleep before midnight is equal to three hours of sleep after midnight. Most women who test high in estrogen have very poor sleeping habits. Even if you get nine to ten hours of sleep after 1 AM, it is not enough to rejuvenate your liver or help your hormones.
Finally, cut the blue light. Anytime that you look at your phone after the daylight ends, your screen should have a very low light overall and you should turn your screen red. Exposure to blue light impacts circadian functions, and every hormonal rhythm is linked to this.
Embrace amazing health
It might seem like these are simple things to do, but trust me, I see women who are moving from one protocol to another without having the core basics in place. They get frustrated because their health does not keep up with them.
The biggest mistake is to go down the rabbit hole of google research and discussions with friends. The best thing to do is to begin simple interventions with which you can watch your body transform slowly but surely. As you feel better, you will be motivated to do something more.
Women’s health does not require fad diets or starvation. It requires loving your body enough to do the little things that make a big difference.