Estrogen dominance is a situation where certain hormonal levels in a woman’s body go haywire (if YKYK!), which can lead to a bunch of different issues. Too much circulating estrogen can be a contributing factor for PCOS, PMS, PMDD, endometriosis and many more hormone imbalances. Evidence-based research here: PMID: 28778332. It’s like an orchestra playing that one instrument a bit too loud, and it’s messing up the whole dang song.

When you’re super stressed or going through big changes, your body starts producing a lot of hormones like cortisol (the stress one), and not enough of others like progesterone, which helps balance things out. Without enough of these supporting hormones, your estrogen can take over and cause trouble. We are ALSO seeing more and more studies being done on the fluctuation of estrogen during trauma; indicating strong correlations between childhood trauma, estrogen dominance, endometriosis and PTSD (PMID: 25796471). 

Why Does this Happen?

Why does estrogen dominance happen? Stress, big changes and trauma are likely causes. Other causes include: 

  • Eating foods with lots of chemicals: Some foods have special chemicals that act like estrogen, and eating a lot of them can make estrogen too strong.
  • Not getting enough exercise or exercising TOO much: Running around and getting your daily amount of movement in helps keep everything in your body working right. But if you already have an adrenal issue and continue to over-work the adrenals, your body will be prompted to store fat and not burn it. I love low-impact, cortisol-reducing exercises like yoga, pilates and barre. I don’t do 45 mins of intense exercise, either. I love 15 mins of burst training. 
  • Being around too many plastics: Some plastics have sneaky chemicals that act like estrogen too. Hello Phthalates and BPAs! 
  • Stress: When you’re worried or stressed, your body makes less progesterone, giving estrogen a chance to take over the seesaw.
  • Getting older: Sometimes, as we women get older, our bodies naturally make more estrogen compared to progesterone. Whomp whomp. 

What the Symptoms Look & Feel Like

This hormonal mess can make you feel all over the place, with emotions going wild, periods doing crazy things, and even your digestion not playing its part. It doesn’t stop there; your body’s look can change too, with acne, sudden weight around your belly, or your skin not looking its best.

Estrogen dominance FEELS like:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Zero seggs drive
  • Auto-immune disorder (in my case IBS) 
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular cycles

Estrogen dominance LOOKS like:

  • Thin hair
  • Acne
  • Belly fat
  • Dry skin 
  • Hyperpigmentation

How to Deal with Estrogen Dominance

So what can you do? The first step is to understand what’s going on inside, which means talking to a doctor and getting tests done. I always say TEST and don’t GUESS. Then, it’s about making smart choices, like avoiding things in your daily life that could mess with your hormones even more (get rid of all that plastic!). Supplements may also be able to help; they can help your body clear out the extra estrogen. Below are some of my faves. 

  1. DIM – to support detoxification of and a healthy estrogen balance; I like Indoplex from Integrative Therapeutics. 
  2. Sulforaphane – to support the detoxification of estrogen; I like BroccoMax from Jarrow Formulas.
  3. Calcium D-glucarate – to support the elimination of excess estrogen; I like Calcium D-glucarate from Integrative Therapeutics. 

You can also consider a daily dose of Ion Gut Support – I literally drop this into the whole family’s water bottles every morning to tighten up our gut lining. Remember, every woman is different, and so are our roads to recovery. What works for one might not work for another, and that’s okay. What’s important is you know how to listen to your body and understand its unique language. And most of all, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Work with a practitioner to test-not-guess. It’s the most direct route to Hormone Balance! 

Don’t forget to explore more of my blog posts and reach out if you have any questions.

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Dr. Francesca LeBlanc. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician. Do not use the information provided in this post for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. Please, do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.