You’re in your 30’s and 40’s and suddenly you don’t even recognize yourself anymore…
You start gaining weight, especially around your middle.
Your PMS hits you like a bag of bricks, and you seriously think you’re going to kill someone. Heavy bleeding, intense cramping, and uncomfortable bloating become the norm for your period (and you may even have uterine fibroids).
Your breasts feel SO heavy, tender, and fibrous.
You can’t sleep.
You feel tired all day long…
Before I get into the what’s and why’s, I want you to hear this: you are not alone. This doesn’t have to be your secret struggle. This is not how you are destined to feel for the rest of your life.
There is a real change happening in your body, and meeting these hormone shifts head-on is the best way to get you back to your rockstar self as fast as possible.
I’ll be honest…when I was in my late 30s and feeling so not like me, I was devastated. I had migraines that pinned me down on the day my period started, crazy PMS symptoms, bloating, and heavy bleeding. I suddenly couldn’t get out of bed and show up for my family and clients in a way that I felt like I needed to…I really couldn’t show up for them at all. But instead of letting myself stay in this place, I dove into the research headfirst and discovered not only what was wrong with me, but also what I could do to heal my body and get myself back, and that is exactly what I want for you, too! I wanted to put a name to what I was feeling, and that’s when I found it…estrogen dominance.
DO YOURSELF A FAVOR
While the culture may tell you these symptoms are a normal part of aging and that you just need to live with them, this is not the case. PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THESE SYMPTOMS. Do your future self a BIG favor and pay attention now so your symptoms don’t worsen.
The crazy periods, PMS, bloating, breast pain, etc. are your body’s beginning warning signs. If your estrogen dominance goes unchecked and unaddressed, you are setting yourself up for even worse struggles in the future.
Even in your late 30s and 40s, your period is your 5th vital sign. Even though your hormones are changing and your cycle looks different, it is still an indicator of what’s going on in your body and it deserves your attention.
When you bleed through a multitude of tampons each day of your period or your breasts just hurt as you’ve never experienced before, or your PMS suddenly makes you unrecognizable to yourself and your loved ones, or migraines strike and leave you desperate for something to take the pain away…
It’s time to listen. Let’s dive in to get to know estrogen dominance a little more so you can know what you’re facing…
WHAT IS ESTROGEN DOMINANCE?
Just about EVERY woman 35 and over is going to deal with this at some point during perimenopause. Essentially, estrogen dominance happens as your ovaries decline in their ability to produce progesterone to balance out the estrogen that is circulating in your body. It’s all about the ratio: you can have low estrogen and still be estrogen dominant if your ovaries are not producing progesterone to keep up! We have this belief that terrible periods and PMS, hot flashes, irritability, sleep problems and other “menopausal” symptoms are normal. Culture tells us that as we age, we naturally get cranky and un-sexy, but that doesn’t have to be the case. We have been led to believe that at the slightest symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, we should run out and get hormone replacement, but that is not going to heal what’s behind your symptoms in the first place.
Addressing your estrogen dominance is the key to getting your energy back. It’s the gateway to rediscovering yourself and finally getting relief from your symptoms. It’s the answer to easing the transition into perimenopause.
WHY YOU BECOME ESTROGEN DOMINANT
Estrogen dominance begins in your liver. As your body’s filtration system, your liver has a big job to sort out the toxins, excess hormones, and junk that builds up in your body over time. There are a lot of different paths that lead to you become estrogen dominant, but they all center on the fact that your liver gets worn out and is unable to detoxify the excess estrogens that are circulating in your body.
Here are the most common root causes:
Increased toxic load. Exposure to pesticides in food and water, harsh chemicals in your personal care and cleaning products, and any other environmental toxins you encounter in your daily life will add up over time and tax your body, leading to estrogen dominance.
Xenoestrogens are chemical compounds that act like estrogen when you consume them, put them on your skin, or are exposed to them. Things like plastics, conventional skin products, nail polish, industrial waste, car exhaust, and more contain these compounds that add extra stress on your liver to cycle them out.
Synthetic hormones (like the pill) suppress ovulation, which means you don’t produce progesterone to balance out the estrogen. In theory, when you stop these, your body returns to normal, but unfortunately that’s not the case in many instances.
Liver congestion. When you’re stressed, or your toxic load is heavy, or your liver is overworked, it can slow down on its efficiency, causing the bad estrogens to stay in your body for too long.
Nutrient deficiencies. Your liver relies on certain vitamins and minerals to detoxify your body. Stress and the typical Western diet deplete your body of these key nutrients, leaving you lacking what you need.
Digestive issues. Following your liver, your digestive system takes over to expel the hormones from your body. There are particular bacteria in your intestines that are responsible for metabolizing estrogen, and if you have an unhealthy microbiome or excess inflammation, you won’t be able to get rid of estrogens effectively.
Chronic stress or unresolved trauma strain your liver, thyroid, adrenals, and more. It keeps your HPA axis on overdrive, releasing more cortisol into your body and blocking progesterone from doing its job.
Lifestyle and diet choices like inflammatory foods (grains, dairy, and sugar in particular), prescription or over-the-counter drugs, smoking, and alcohol increase your estrogen concentration.
Genetics. Some women are just genetically predisposed to estrogen dominance. COMT or MTHFR mutations which impact methylation or metabolism in your body make you less able to break down estrogens and remove them from circulation. If your mother or grandmother struggled with the transition to menopause, it’s likely you may too if you don’t take precautions now before it sets in.
If you identify with one (or more) of these, that is going to illuminate the direction you should go to find healing. Just treating your symptoms isn’t going to bring the radical healing you deserve — getting back to the root is the answer.
4 KEYS TO RESTORING BALANCE
Eliminate toxins and xenoestrogens in your food and home. You can’t expect your body to heal if you’re still pumping it full of the things that are slowing you down in the first place! Eat organic, filter your water, switch out your cleaning and personal care products for natural alternatives, and detox your body regularly to prevent toxins from building up in your body.
Support your liver. Your liver is the key to hormone balance! The liver HAS to be involved in your healing process. You simply cannot heal unless you’re also supporting your liver to get rid of waste. It’s that simple. One of the best ways to support your liver is with supplements.
Reset your stress response. Chronic stress is absolutely behind your estrogen dominance. Stress is a toxic force that causes your body to go into survival mode and suppresses essential progesterone production. Using stress-interrupting essential oils like Lavender, implementing daily self-care, and setting effective boundaries are vital parts of your healing.
Heal your gut. Removing hormone-sabotaging foods and replacing them with nutrient-dense vegetables, healthy proteins, and quality fats will help remove the inflammation that is ravaging your body. Supporting your microbiome with fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics will allow your digestive system to effectively break down estrogens and eliminate them from your body.
If you feel overwhelmed by this list of steps, please stay tuned as I will soon be launching my Hormone Balancing Peri-Booster Program!!