Estrogen Dominance: The most common hormone imbalance

Updated: Aug 20

Estrogen dominance is the most common hormonal imbalance challenge for women before menopause – as well as to a good number of men. It is an imbalance and can be treated. You can change that!


Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance include the following:

  • Bloating

  • Water retention

  • Weight gain

  • Strong premenstrual symptoms (e.g. cramps)

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Extreme emotional sensitivity

  • Insomnia

To be able to treat it, we must find the root cause. Estrogen dominance can happen due to different reasons. I usually find that the cause includes at least one of the following:


1. Poor estrogen detoxification

The body gets rid of excess estrogen every day. There are many factors that can contribute to the low clearance of it:

  • Constipation

  • Low liver detoxification (phase 1 and/or phase 2 processes)

  • Low nutrient diet

2. Low/insufficient progesterone Estrogen dominance will not always mean excess estrogen. When we have low or insufficient progesterone, we can have estrogen dominance symptoms, even though having normal estrogen levels.

Progesterone may be low due to many reasons. Just to name a few: low intake of healthy fats, low weight, chronic stress/high cortisol, hypothyroidism, high insulin, birth control pills, natural reduction through perimenopause.


3. Stress

Our adrenals start making more cortisol due to high stress and lower their progesterone production, leading to low progesterone to balance the estrogen throughout the body.

Stress also impairs T3 thyroid hormone, immune function, increase inflammation.


4. Excess estrogens

Modern life puts us in contact with many xenoestrogens that can overload the liver and increase estrogen activity. Hormones in food, estrogen chemicals, birth control pills, body fat, high insulin.


5. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroid state slows metabolism, detoxification, ovulation, amongst others.


6. Inflammation

Inflammation in the body increases stress hormone (cortisol) and can affect hormone receptors, hormone balance and thyroid function. Inflammation can be anything like insulin resistance, excess weight, pains, toxins exposure, food sensitivities, use of oral birth pill, gut issues, pro-inflammatory diet, and so on.

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The root cause of estrogen dominance can be one of those, or more than one. The important thing is to find YOUR root cause for estrogen dominance and take care of it.

I usually recommend to my clients a hormone test called DUTCH test. It analyses our hormones and the detoxification pathways so we can have a better picture of what is happening in that unique body.

What you can already start doing to improve your estrogen metabolism? I listed below a few good first steps do be taken until you find the root cause of YOUR hormone imbalance:

  • Drink water and eat fibre to avoid constipation.

  • Work on stress reduction.

  • Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol intake, as both will impair the liver detox pathways.

  • Diet rich in nutrients.

  • Clean up personal products and household products to avoid chemicals.

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