What is Estrogen?

Estrogen is a female sex hormone that naturally increases at the beginning of your period. Premenopausal women produce estrogen primarily in their ovaries. However postmenopausal women (and men) produce estrogen in their adrenal glands.

What is Progesterone?

Once ovulation occurs your body moves into the luteal phase. Progesterone is the sex hormone that steals the show during this phase. Estrogen and Progesterone work in opposition, meaning when one is high, the other is low. Estrogen dominates during the follicular phase: first half of the cycle. Progesterone dominates during the luteal phase.

What happens when estrogen dominates throughout the entire cycle?

Estrogen Dominance often causes PMS, weight gain, low libido, heavy bleeding, acne or other uncomfortable symptoms.

Why does Estrogen Dominance occur?

  1. Hormone-disrupting xenoestrogens are in our personal care, makeup, cleaning and household products.
  2. Stress is at an all-time high which can increase estrogen.
  3. Gut issues are rampant which means estrogen is not being eliminated properly and we are surrounded by packaged foods which contain inflammatory vegetable oils.

Is Estrogen all bad?

No! We NEED it for brain health, bone health, libido and so much more. Low estrogen symptoms are just as uncomfortable, frustrating and potentially dangerous as estrogen dominant symptoms. Which is why it’s so important to ensure estrogen is nicely balanced with progesterone.

What causes high estrogen?

  1. Scenario one: Estrogen in excess while progesterone is normal. The good news here is that ovulation has occurred since we know we’ve ovulated only when progesterone is adequate. The bad news is that the body is absorbing too many exogenous estrogens. It is time to clean up those products! Or you’re having a hard time detoxifying or eliminating estrogen. A detoxification issue is important to address right away. If estrogen is being detoxified down a ‘harmful pathway’ it can increase the risk of estrogen-dominant cancers, fibroids and other conditions. In this scenario, we look at nutrition, gut health, stress, xenoestrogens, liver support and more!
  2. Scenario two: Estrogen is normal, while progesterone is low. We don’t know if ovulation has occurred and it is important to understand why. Could PCOS be a possibility? How is the health of your pituitary gland? How are stress levels? Are you under-eating? Over-exercising? The supplementation plan would look different than in scenario one. However it’s still important to understand how that estrogen is being detoxified. Is it going down a healthy detox pathway, or is it getting re-circulated in the body and causing symptoms. 

Start with these hormonal hacks if you aren’t sure which scenario you fall into but you KNOW you’re not Flourishing:

  1. Start tracking your menstrual cycle and any symptoms that you experience throughout. Use a traditional calendar or download a free app to help. Keep in mind these apps will predict when you may be ovulating, but it doesn’t always mean you are. Write down cervical mucous changes and consider a Basal Body Temperature (BBT) tracking. Taking your temp while you’re still in bed can indicate whether ovulation has occurred. Rising progesterone levels following ovulation will increase BBT temperatures by 0.5 F.
  2. Ditch inflammatory foods like vegetable oil (canola, soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower and grape seed) and refined carbohydrates. These will impact metabolism, blood sugar and digestive health.
  3. Get enough protein, which looks like 25-35g per meal, or 0.75g per pound of body weight. We need those amino acids for healthy liver detoxification, blood sugar balance, sleep and hormone production. While we’re talking about macronutrients on the plate, don’t skimp on those healthy fats either. Fats are the building blocks of our sex hormones!
  4. Swap out your conventional personal care, makeup, cleaning and household/kitchen products for safer alternatives. If you see ingredients like fragrance, parabens (methyl-, propyl- and isobutyl-), BHA, BHT, PEGs, run the other way girl! Check out Beautycounter, one of our favourite clean beauty lines and stay tuned for the Ditch and Switch Guide coming soon.
  5. Level up your sleep hygiene. Sleep is a master hormone regulator and we need 7-8 hours! Consider a sleep mask to support melatonin production. Block out all ambient light and turn screens off at least 1 hour before sleeping.

Flourish Your Hormones 1:1 Program

If you’re ready to take it to the next level and FINALLY get some answers when it comes to your hormones check out the Flourish Your Hormones 1:1 Program. Led by me, Lauren Naderi with help from N.D.’s on the Flourish team. We utilize DUTCH testing to find the root cause of your symptoms and develop a customized supplement and health plan to heal for good!

Learn more about the Flourish Your Health Program through a complimentary discovery call with me HERE!