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Should You Worry About Estrogen Dominance in Menopause? 

 August 10, 2020

By  Dana LaVoie, LAc

Should You Worry About Estrogen Dominance In Menopause? 

Worry?  No, but estrogen dominance does tend to occur more frequently as hormones change during menopause, so it's worth knowing about and here's why...

If you're experiencing estrogen dominance during perimenopause you want to do something about it, and if you're not, the steps below will help support a healthy estrogen to progesterone ratio helping to prevent your hormones from becoming estrogen dominant as you pass through menopause. 

I'm doing a series of blog articles on individual symptoms that can be caused by estrogen dominance: Breast tenderness, Abdominal bloating, and Brain fog with specific solutions for each one...

But this article is an easy-to-understand overview of

  • what estrogen dominance is
  • why it's common during menopause
  • and the best natural strategies you can use to prevent it.

Get customized next steps on how to using diet, lifestyle, and supplements to balance hormones for menopause relief and healthier aging - all based on your FREE Hormone IQ Quiz results. 

What is estrogen dominance and why is it common during menopause?


What is estrogen dominance

Estrogen dominance happens when your estrogen levels are too high relative to your progesterone levels. (The ratio of estrogen to progesterone is off.)  It can happen with high estrogen or with low estrogen as long as progesterone is even lower than wherever your estrogen level is at.  

When this happens, when progesterone gets too low relative to estrogen, your body knows it!  Your body has sensors in place to watch out for this.

So when it happens the body sends out messages that say - raise progesterone or detoxify a little estrogen to correct it.

The problem happens when your body is unable to follow through on those messages.  Because during and after menpause it's common for your body to struggle to make as much progesterone as it would like.  And it's easy if your liver function is off or your exposure to xenoestrogens has been high, for certain types of estrogen to accumulate in your body. 

So everything we're going to be talking about will help your body raise progesterone levels and detoxify excess estrogen out of your body more efficiently.  This helps reverse or prevent estrogen dominance and many other uncomfortable symptoms of menpause like belly fat, brain fog, fatigue, and more. 


What does estrogen dominance feel like?

It often feels like things are backed up, stuck, bloated, swollen, and puffy.

You know that feeling you get (or used to get) at the height of PMS when you just feel like a bloated blob ready to burst?  It's that feeling.  And in perimenopause you can get that feeling, then skip a period, and stay that way without relief for weeks or months.  It's not a good feeling.

And it really is things being stuck, not flowing and moving around your body well.  In Chinese medicine we call this stagnation. 

And if things stay in this stuck, stagnant state for too long, the energy that's stuck can turn into actual physical accumulations of stuk energy like lumps and nodules - think fibrocystic breasts, cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, nodules, and even tumors - all can be related to estrogen dominance.


Why is estrogen dominance common during menopause?

During the menpausal transition your estrogen and progesterone levels are both dropping.  It's common for progesterone to drop first and estrogen to drop later on.  If progesterone drops too low too fast and estrogen stays high, you get the type of high estrogen to low progesterone ratio that can cause estrogen dominance symptoms.


What symptoms can estrogen dominance cause during menopause

Common signs of estrogen dominance during menopause are low libido, irregular periods, mood swings, brain fog, breast tenderness, cold hands and feet, hair loss, and bloating 


What causes estrogen dominance in menopause and perimenopause? 


Any of the things on this list can contribute to estrogen dominance:

Look over this list and make a note of any that apply to you in a significant way. 

  • High chronic stress
  • Any of these in your diet:  Processed foods, sugar, meat raised with growth hormones, pesticides from non-organic produce, or unfiltered water
  • Your diet is less than 1/3 vegetables and fruit
  • You don't drink enough water each day
  • Poor liver function &/or poor estrogen detoxification
  • Using personal care products that contain hormone-disrupting chemicals (also called xenoestrogens) - think deodorant, makeup, skincare, haircare, toothpaste etc. with artificial colorings, flavorings, or preservatives
  • An unhealthy digestive system (gut dysbiosis)
  • Food or drink packaged in plastic
  • Using hormone replacement therapy or birth control that contains estrogen without enough progesterone
  • Increased levels of inflammation

Section Summary:

Estrogen dominance happens when your levels of the hormone progesterone fall too low relative to estrogen.  If feels like things are backed up, stuck, or swollen, is related to stagnation, and can be made worse by a number of easy to change diet & lifestyle factors. 


What can you do to do to help correct estrogen dominance during perimenopause? 


Getting things moving helps with stagnation quickly

Since estrogen dominance symptoms are often related to stagnation and things not moving freely through your body, getting things moving can help.  

This can be as simple as exercise, deep breathing, and massage.  Walking or bouncing on a rebounder (mini-trampoline) and breast massage are particularly beneficial. 


Find and address the cause of the stagnation for long-term relief

While the above steps can help relieve the discomforts of estrogen dominance, you won't find true relief until you find the cause.  What's causing things to get stuck in the first place?  If you can figure that out and address it, you can cut off the discomforts at their root. 

Look at the list above, are there any that apply to you more than others?  That might be a good place to start


Practical steps you can take to help rebalance estrogen dominance

  1. 1
    Heal your gut and eat an anti-inflammatory diet
  2. 2
    Avoid hormone-disrupting xenoestrogens in makeup, skincare, haircare, bodycare, and food packaging
  3. 3
    Manage chronic stress
  4. 4
    Avoid being sedentary & avoid shallow breathing
  5. 5
    Support progesterone production and estrogen detoxification with herbal remedies

Your Action Steps For Preventing Estrogen Dominance:

In my next few blog posts in this series on estrogen dominance, I'll be giving simple powerful steps you can take to help your body keep estrogen and progesterone in balance.  

Here's an overview of how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.  Your action steps are to

  • Eat right
  • Manage Stress
  • Avoid the worst hormone-disrupting chemicals
  • Move enough & breathe deeply
  • ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE

For tips on eating right and managing stress, take the Hormone IQ Quiz, the results will give you personalized next steps to take based on what's mossing most in your diet and lifestlye including diet and stress management (it's completely free.)

Bonus Tip: Include some broccoli sprouts in your diet each day, they have special micronutrients that support estrogen detoxification.

Watch for a blog coming soon on the most important hormone-disrupting chemicals to avoid & where you'll find them.

Move!  If you're sitting, try to get up and move your arms and legs around and take some deep breaths every 30 minutes (try setting a timer!)  Try walking or bouncing on a rebounder (a mini-trampoline) a few minutes a day. 

Get to the root cause!  Make sure your hormones don't drop too low by supporting them with HRT or customized herbal remedies.  There's simply no substitute for something powerful enough to support your body in keeping your hormone levels, including progesterone, high enough.  

No hormonal care plan is complete without this hormonal support componenent.  If you're interested in using herbal remedies for this part of your hormonal care plan, they must be customized to your body and change with your hormones over time.  CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can do this with my online program on herbs (be sure to get on the waitlist if you're interested, it only opens for enrollment a few times a year.)

Section Summary:

Combine the right, hormone-friendly diet & lifestyle with either herbal remedies or HRT and you can keep your hormones supported and balanced for relief from menopause symptoms during menopause and signs of aging after menopause. 

Support Hormone Levels with Herbal Remedies

I recommend using herbal remedies for hormonal support, bcause they're the most powerful natural tool there is.

But to work, they need to be customized to your body at a particular moment in time.

So I dont mess around with generalized herbal recommendations.  (I find its just not worth it in terms of the results.)

So if you want those big results from customized herbs - learn more about my online program on herbs (& get on the waitlist for a special offer) by CLICKING HERE. 

Mange Stress With Meditation and Deep brething

Balancing hormones means keeping estrogen and progesterone levels high enough.  Like filling up a bucket inside you with hormones. 

Stress is like a big hole in the bottom of the bucket where hormones are leaking out as fast as you can make them.

You can repair that leak and start replenishing your hormone levels with just minutes a day of the right kind of smart stress management.  You'll learn exactly how to do this in my Master Your Stress in Minutes A Day online program.

Use Diet & Lifestyle to Support Your Hormonal Balance

Take advantage of the free resources on my website.  (There are always free resources on my website to help you with your hormones.)


At the time I'm writing this post,  it's a free Hormone IQ Quiz.  


And in your quiz results you'll get detailed steps you can take, based on your answers, to help your body balance your hormones quickly with diet, lifestlye, and supplements.


Plus with your results you'll get the chance to get my Essential Oil Recipe Book at a huge savings! 

Free Resources

 Start getting serious momentum in hormonal balance, menopause relief, and vibrant aging


GET STARTED WITH THE BEST DIET FOR YOUR HORMONES

hormone iq quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ AND FIND OUT WHAT YOUR HORMONES ARE MISSING


Thanks so much for joining me today!  Please put your questions & comments in the comments section below, I'd truly love to hear from you!

Or you can post them in my free private facebook group, or ask them during my live Q and As on my facebook page!



This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.  For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/


Dana LaVoie, LAc


Hi, I'm Dana, an Acupuncturist & Herbalist with over 15 years' experience specializing in women's health. I'm here to show you how to use customized Chinese Herbs supported by the best diet and lifestyle for your hormones to feel amazing during & after menopause.

Dana Lavoie, LAc

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