Estrogen and PCOS go hand in hand, but sometimes not in a good way.
Estrogen is a very important hormone for every woman, not just us cysters. It is responsible for that energy, glow and confidence we have leading up to a during ovulation, when we basically feel our most fabulous selves. We need to learn about estrogen and PCOS and how it can have an affect on our symptoms.
Estrogen is one of two main sex hormones that women have.
The other one is progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for female physical features and reproduction, and helps initiate sexual development. It also regulates your menstrual cycle!
Estrogen dominance is a theory about a metabolic state where the level of estrogen outweighs the level of progesterone in the body. This is said to be caused by a decrease in progesterone without a subsequent decrease in estrogen
Unfortunately, we may run into some problems if:
- Estrogen is not balanced correctly with progesterone
- Our bodies aren’t doing a great job of detoxifying it or clearing it
- We are experiencing gut issues
- We have a few nutrient deficiencies
- Our genes affect estrogen metabolism
- We have high OR low estrogen
If any of these occur, then we can say hello to our own unique mix of PMS symptoms such as mood swings, low libido, body pain, fatigue and irritability.
We need to support our estrogen levels and ensure the metabolism is functioning properly. We can support balanced estrogen levels and PCOS through nutrition and lifestyle changes, it’s not rocket science trust me!
What are the signs of Estrogen Dominance?
You might assume this means you have high levels of estrogen, and that’s normally the case. Typically estrogen and PCOS is higher.
But when we talk about Estrogen dominance it’s actually in relation to progesterone. The 4 states which will produce the same symptoms are as follows:
- Elevated estrogen = Normal Progesterone
- Elevated Estrogen = Low Progesterone
- Normal Estrogen = Low Progesterone
- Normal Estrogen = Normal Progesterone but Low E/Pg Ratio
And what are the lovely symptoms that go with this? Where do we start…
- Heavy Periods
- Breast Pain
- Brain Fog
How do we actually get Estrogen Dominance?
Several root causes can impact our Estrogen, including –
- Gut Health – If you suffer with regular constipation or IBS you are not cleaning your Estrogen from your body regularly. It can recirculate creating gut bacteria imbalances. This leads to poor detoxification
- Genetics – having MTHFR or COMT gene can impact estrogen detox
- Inadequate nutrient intake – like B vitamins and amino acids hinder metabolism
- Alcohol, hormone induced meat and insulin resistance can also affect levels
- Dehydration – not drinking enough H20
- Low fibre foods – not enough veggies!
How do we lower our Estrogen levels?
These may seem simple, but controlling estrogen and PCOS is a marathon not a sprint. We need to make lifestyle changes that we STICK to over a long period of time to really notice differences.
Just a few to name are:
- A healthy, nutritious diet with an overload of fibrous vegetables full of vitamins and minerals
- Gut Healing – bone broth is a great place to start
- Managing Stress
- Mindful Movement
- Consider supplements if deficient in anything (I recommend a blood test)
Next week I dive deep into your menstrual cycle, how estrogen changes depending where we are and how it can have a huge effect on your mood, strength and motivation.
Any questions, you know where I am.
So much love,