Estrogen is a hormone naturally released by the body in both women and men though in lesser amounts in men. Estrogen is mainly responsible for the development of female characteristics, metabolism, sexual function and reproductive function.
Women need sufficient estrogen levels to support such functions. Low estrogen levels due to aging is called menopause. It is characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, irritability, depression, osteoporosis, night sweats and hot flushes.
Menopause is a normal occurrence in women, though some may experience milder symptoms. Shifting to an active and healthy lifestyle may help menopausal women combat the annoying symptoms. For severe manifestations of the symptoms, they can opt for hormone replacement therapy.
To restore sexual health and lubrication, menopausal women can apply topical estrogen directly on the vagina. Products, such as HerSolution gel, for example, can enhance lubrication and sensations. They come in oral supplements, too.
Too much estrogen, on the other hand, has adverse effects, too. It can cause body fats accumulation in the abdomen, bloating, water retention, severe PMS, headaches, low libido and an increased risk of obesity in both men and women. Worse, obese people may develop insulin resistance,which puts you more at risk to estrogen dominance.
In several studies, estrogen dominance characterized high estrogen, and significantly low testosterone can cause estrogen-dependent types of cancer such as breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. High uncontested levels of estrogen occur for many reasons.
The use of synthetic estrogen contraceptives, unhealthy lifestyle, digestion problems,which can delay the elimination of estrogen, unresolved emotional conflicts and stress can all contribute to too much estrogen. The food you eat and the products you use specifically plastics, detergents and cosmetics contain xenoestrogen. It is a substance that mimics the function of estrogen in the body, therefore increasing estrogen levels.
Unlike the inevitable menopause, you can do a lot of things to prevent raised levels of estrogen in the body. To prevent estrogen overload, here is what you must do:
1. Love Your Liver
What has the liver got to do with estrogen? You might ask. For your info, the liver breaks down estrogen.
Anything that affects the proper function of the liver, such as excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, a fatty liver and other liver diseases can lead to abuild-up of estrogen. If you don’t want an estrogen overload, be a liver lover.
Alcohol, especially red wine has a positive effect, too. You just have to limit your consumption to one or two servings equal to a quarter of a wine glass a day. Don’t do drugs and avoid eating too much fatty foods. Detoxifying twice a year can help your liver restore its normal function.
2. Load Up With Fiber
After the breakdown of estrogen by the liver, it goes down to your digestive tract for excretion. While in the digestive tract, insoluble fiber binds to excess estrogen before the body eliminates it.
It also influences the composition of gut bacteria for proper digestion and waste elimination. Without enough fiber in your diet, it may lead to build-up or reabsorption of estrogen by the body.
Include fiber-rich foods in your diet such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans. To help prevent bacterial imbalance, you can also take probiotics in capsule form of 15 billion units of probiotics daily before meals.
3. Switch To Organic
Choose organic, local and in-season produce. Massed grown crops contain xenoestrogen from pesticides used by big companies. Also,large livestock businesses usually feed hormones to their animals to accelerate growth and reproduction.
Meats and crops produced by local small-scale farmers are likely to be free from hormones and strong pesticides.
Plan meals ahead and allot time to prepare them. This will help you avoid processed and fast foods that can cause chemical stress and may contain preservatives, a source of xenoestrogen.
4. Eat Non-Estrogenic Foods
You might have heard of foods that increases estrogen levels or has anestrogen-like effect, so you better limit your intake of such foods.
Foods high in phytoestrogen are soy, soy products, beans, and seeds. Phytoestrogenic foods will especially benefit menopausal women as they help supplement low estrogen.
However, if you aren’t estrogen deficient, include not so phytoestrogenic foods in your diet such as apples, barley, berries, flaxseeds, pears, pomegranate, oats and wheat germ.
5. Read Before You Buy
Before purchasing any beauty products, check out the ingredients. If it contains parabens, benzophenone, and 4-MBC, don’t even think twice of not buying them. A lot of DIY beauty regimen made from natural ingredients are available and may work well for you. For fragrances, choose essential oil-based varieties.
6. Deal With Stress Effectively
Stress is everywhere,at work, at a heavily congested highway, at home, family and relationships. You can’t avoid stress, but how you deal with it can have a huge impact on how it affects the body.
When stressed, your body releases cortisol,which binds with the hormone progesterone,which can then lead to estrogen dominance. Take things one at a time and take a breather in between.
7. Get Enough Sleep And Rest
Aside from causing stress and fatigue, constant lack of sleep can lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that influences the release of estrogen. This is because melatonin production only starts when your eyes are not exposed to bright lights.
Staying awake for most of the night results to low melatonin,this in turn will increase the production of estrogen.Make sure you get enough hours of sleep for six to eight hours at night.
8. Purchase And Use Products Wisely
Avoid the use of plastic containers and plastic wraps if possible. For storing food at home and for reheating food in the microwave, you can use glass or ceramic wares. If plastic water containers have been exposed to the sun, don’t drink the water.
For cleaning products, choose biodegradable detergents and chlorine-free and bleach-free cleaning items.
The body naturally produces estrogen, but the environment is laden with estrogenic substances too. The foods you eat and the products may contain estrogen that can lead to estrogen overload, and only you can prevent it.