When the body’s hormones become unbalanced, the body starts to experience problems. There are many factors that can contribute to an increase or decrease of certain hormones, and knowing the causes and symptoms can help you to identify when something isn’t quite right, and figure out how to deal with the situation.
Estrogen is a hormone class produced in the ovaries in females (a smaller amount is present in males). This class of hormones is vital to keeping a woman’s body working properly. It drives the developmental process and reproductive abilities of all women, and it also has a strong impact on mood. Estrogen levels fluctuate based on age and menstrual cycle phase, but levels that are too high or too low can cause problems or changes in the body.
High estrogen levels are considered over 200 pg/ml. Levels rise naturally during puberty and pregnancy, but the body also produces more estrogen in women who are overweight (fat cells can produce estrogen), or have high blood pressure or diabetes. Excess estrogen in the body can result in a higher risk of breast and uterine cancer.
Causes of Excess Estrogen in the Body
- High Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Excessive Alcohol Intake
- Environmental Toxins
- Foods High in certain types of Phyto-Estrogens (such as Soy)
Common Signs of Excess Estrogen in the Body Include:
- Mood Swings
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Decreased sex drive
- Tender breasts
How to Decrease Estrogen Levels
If you’re experiencing several of the above symptoms, consult a health care professional to determine if your body is producing too much estrogen. There are many natural ways to decrease your estrogen production to balance out your hormones. Consider these lifestyle changes to reduce your symptoms and get your body back on track.
1. Avoid Alcohol
The liver is responsible for metabolizing estrogen. Excess alcohol will impair this process, resulting in an accumulation of excess estrogen in the body. More than one alcoholic beverage per day is also linked to an increase risk of developing breast cancer.
2. Choose Organic
Many chemicals and pesticides found in non-organic foods act like estrogen in the body. Whenever possible, choose organic food to ensure that your body isn’t absorbing unnatural chemicals, antibiotics and hormones.
Moderate to intense exercise has been shown to cut excess estrogen by around 7%. Weight loss or fat loss as a result of exercise will also help reduce the effects of excess estrogen. Cancer.gov recommends four or more hours a week of exercise to reap the benefits of decreased estrogen.
Using rosemary in the form of an essential oil can help manage estrogen levels by stimulating blood flow in the brain, strengthening the immune system and encouraging thyroid function. It is an antioxidant that can also improve memory, relieve muscle pain and even stimulate hair growth. Research has shown that rosemary has the ability to inactivate estrogen hormones safely and naturally.
5. DeFatted Flaxseed
Consuming defatted flaxseed meal can have an anti-estrogen effect, causing the body to produce less active forms of estrogen. This can protect women from estrogen-receptive cancers such as breast, uterine and ovarian. Mix a tablespoon of defatted flaxseed meal into oatmeal or cereal, or sprinkle it onto some yogurt.