Daria Bailey, FCP
Navigating Estrogen Dominance
We all know estrogen is a very important hormone when it comes to the female reproductive system. But, did you know you can have too much of it?...Well it is totally a thing and can cause major issues in your body. So allow me to take you on the journey of how I am navigating my Estrogen Dominance.
I had my last baby back in 2021 and I started cycling again when she was 15-16ish months old. For the first few cycles things looked kind of weird but I knew it was going to take some time to get "back to normal" so I did not think anything of it. Our family then had a very difficult fall of 2022 and my cycle was still out of wack, so I just attributed it to stress. Now comes winter and I am out of excuses, something is definitely off. I did what no one should do and tried to fix it myself.
As a practitioner I have a "vast" knowledge in certain subjects and about certain issues women may face with their fertility. It's my job to know about these things, but I am not a doctor. I went back to my roots, back to what I did when I tried to correct my hormones when I was trying to conceive a baby. I started taking some old progesterone I had from a previous pregnancy thinking I could look for the signs in my chart to see if it was working. Then I started to take more and more supplements that are supposed to support the health of your hormones. But nothing was working, in fact my cycle was getting worse and I was getting way more frustrated. So I finally made myself an appointment with a NaPro Physician.
Honestly, I should have done this from the very beginning. When I was trying to fix all these issues on my own I did not really know where to start. I was really just guessing. But my physician knew exactly what to do, to start working out all the kinks in my cycle. First and foremost, she started me on 2 antibiotics to clear out potentially having endometritis . Now you may be asking, why this first? Well I was having very long periods (ummm 14 days to be exact) and a lot of those days it was brown spotting. This was indicating I may have had an infection in the lining of my uterus and she wanted to clear that up right away.
Secondly, she had me do various blood draws to check my exact hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone. This was a complete eye opener to exactly what was happening to my body. My estrogen was way higher then it should have been in my post-ovulatory phase (that's when she had me go in to get my blood drawn) and my progesterone was pretty much nonexistent. That is when she told me, "you definitely have Estrogen Dominance". I knew this was a possibility, but boy did it suck hearing it.
The reason I was dreading to work through Estrogen Dominance is because it is pretty hard to treat and it can cause numerous issues (I am just being really honest). After having my last baby I have had a horribly hard time losing weight. No matter what I did or what "diet" I tried, nothing was changing. But knowing, officially, that my hormones were totally out of wack; it completely explained why the weight was not coming off.
Next question is, what can you do to reduce all the estrogen in your body? That is a very good question, but the answer is a bit tricky. Honestly, what it comes down to is trial and error. I know we've said it a hundred times, but every women's body is different. What works for one woman may not work for another.
My first step in correcting the issue was upping my does of progesterone. My body is in desperate need of help in its production so my NaPro physician upped the amount. Secondly, I did my research (with the help of my physician and other very knowledgeable individuals) and discovered little ways I can reduce my exposure to more estrogen. Did you know storing your food in plastic containers effects your estrogen levels? Also, have you check your beauty products lately? The beauty industry will throw in hormone disrupters all willy nilly without even thinking about the ramifications it may have on their costumers.
Needless to say I am still figuring this all out. Having Estrogen Dominance is not fun. This can be the cause, like I said previously, of a lot of issues. Such as, infertility, bad PMS symptoms, unexpected weight gain, or the inability to lose weight. It can effect your mood and amp up your depression and anxiety. And a slew of other things. Now I am not saying it is impossible to reduce your estrogen levels. But I am also not saying it is going to be easy. I am currently having to make a lot of lifestyle changes and it is really hard. It all comes down to, I want to feel better and I want my cycles to be healthy. So as I continue on the rollercoaster of correcting my hormones I hope touring you all along with me and be able to say, "hey this worked for me". And maybe it can work for someone else.
As always if you or someone you know may be fighting through Estrogen Dominance do not battle the fight alone. We can help you get started with charting to know exactly what's going on and help you get in to see a NaPro physician to really work through those issues. It takes a village friends, we are always here to support you.