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Why Your Estrogen Levels Matter

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

What is Estrogen and What Does it Do?

Ladies, do you know why estrogen levels matter? Today I am going to give you the facts on why estrogen matters and how to maintain balance! There are 3 types of Estrogen: estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Estradiol is the most potent of all three of these. 95% is produced by the follicle at the beginning of your menstrual cycle.

Estrone is the one that gets a bad rap because it has the propensity to cause growth in the breast and uterus and even if you have no ovaries you still make it, from the adrenals, by way of DHEA. Estriol is not produced in quantity unless you are pregnant, it’s a metabolical by-product. The balance of these 3 estrogens affects one another.

Good things Estrogen does for us: It is protective against heart disease until we get into menopause because it starts to decline. It helps keep our bones strong and helps regulate cholesterol levels. Estrogen gives us brain protection and brain power. Estrogen also contributes to the production of collagen, which we need to keep our skin looking young, plump, and wrinkle-free.

This is why we get wrinkles as we age because we stop making as much collagen, due to decreased estrogen, and other lifestyle factors! It is also the precursor to serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for keeping you calm, happy, and feeling satisfied. All of the bad news we hear about estrogen is mostly based on the data we have on synthetic estrogens, which are not the same.

When Do We Make Estrogen?

Estrogen is climbing days 4-10 of your cycle, peaks around day 14, then comes down around day 18, and goes back up again around day 24. Depending on the length of your cycle these days could vary a bit.

What happens is your brain sends a signal to grow a follicle, an egg drops, you start making progesterone mid-cycle, and your body gets ready for pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t happen all your hormones fall and you start bleeding. Estrogen goes up, comes down, and goes up. The “normal range” is too wide and fluctuates too much to give a “normal” range number.

With Perimenopause you have old eggs that don’t hear the signal from your brain to drop, this is why you start missing periods. Perimenopause can start as early as 35 years old and last for months to years. Sorry ladies, Menopause happens, it can’t be prevented.

Why Estrogen Levels Matter

Estrogen dominance is when you have more estrogen than progesterone and this is very common among women. Some of the symptoms include heavy bleeding, anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, and migraines. Elevated estrogen can also inhibit thyroid function by increasing SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), which binds to hormones and makes them unavailable. The issue here is the ratio of estrogen to progesterone and the metabolism of estrogen.

Estrogens must be detoxified and removed from your body. And your gut bacteria actually play a very specific role in helping your body break down and eliminate estrogen, which is absolutely essential when it comes to preventing excess estrogen. When your microbiome is damaged, estrogen is recirculated in a toxic form. So having a diet full of high-fiber vegetables and fruits, low in sugar, and no unhealthy fats will yield a healthy microbiome so you can achieve balanced estrogen.

High Estrogen also increases weight gain and blocks progesterone which can lead to fertility issues, miscarriage, mood disturbances, and sleep issues. When you aren’t sleeping you are not able to detox hormones such as estrogen. Lack of sleep along with excess body fat is a recipe for disaster with estrogen. Fat aromatizes testosterone into estrogen, so excess fat causes excess estrogen. And Estrogen promotes fat storage in breasts, hips, butt, and legs. But the good news is, it actually decreases abdominal visceral fat!

Causes of estrogen dominance are obesity and excess weight gain, low testosterone, Lavender and tea tree oils, Xenoestrogens found in plastics, household chemicals, and personal care products, excess alcohol consumption, certain medications such as diuretics, statins, anti-depressants, NSAIDs, and contraceptives, Kidney disease, Liver damage or cirrhosis.

Likewise, low estrogen can also result in weight gain and also increase your risk of injuries, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Low estrogen is common after menopause due to the natural decline of progesterone and estrogen.

Causes of low estrogen include chronic low-calorie diets, anorexia or malnutrition, chronic strenuous exercise, chronic stress, insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction, pituitary gland dysfunction, autoimmune conditions, kidney disease, removal of ovaries, PCOS, aging, and perimenopause.

How to Maintain Balance

There are things you can do to help you achieve a better estrogen balance. Ways to decrease estrogen levels are moderate weight loss, physical activity, increasing fiber intake, eating cruciferous vegetables, reducing alcohol consumption, and avoiding xenoestrogens and Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are all ways to safely lower estrogen.

Ways to raise estrogen levels naturally: Consume sesame and flax seeds, achieve normal vitamin D levels, consume foods with B vitamins, supplements such as red clover, chaste berry, black cohosh, and Dong Quai, healthy body weight, boron supplementation 3 mg/day, Inositol 1-2 grams twice per day.

No one should be guessing what their estrogen and progesterone levels are. Even if you have all the symptoms, levels need to be assessed by a medical practitioner. You should never start supplementing with something until you know your body needs it.

A great place to start is with The Dutch Complete Test. If you need help making changes with your nutrition and fitness book a FREE CALL HERE.

-Coach Missy

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