Estrogen is a very important hormone for sexual and reproductive development. It is present in everyone but it is the main female sex hormone. Women have higher levels of estrogen, while males have higher levels of testosterone. Estrogen is a group term that encompasses all chemically similar hormones such as estrone, estradiol, and estriol.
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, also in the adrenal glands and by fat cells. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle and plays a huge role in the development of secondary sex characteristics during puberty. Not only does it control lactation, but it is also instrumental in bone formation, blood clotting, and hair and skin health.
If you’re noticing a change in your moods lately, struggling with infertility, have been experiencing weight gain or low libido, you might be dealing with an estrogen imbalance. Here are 5 common things that you don’t know might be causing your estrogen imbalance.
Our modern diet consists of meat and produce obtained from farmed and genetically modified foods. Fish are farmed in waters that might be laden with concentrated antibiotics or have a high concentration of heavy metals. Meat and poultry farms injects their lot with growth hormones and antibiotics. Fruit and vegetable produce are sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. All of these endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with and affect our hormone balance) make their way into our body via our food and drinks. Eat clean to reduce the amount of toxins that you might ingest.
Run-off water from farms, golf courses, and agrarian lands that are heavily treated with pesticides and fertilizers make its way into our water supplies. That’s not the only source of harmful chemicals. Some even come from the air. Coal-burning plants emit mercury into the air and that settles into water and finds its way into our water supply. Filter your water, and not only your drinking water but also consider installing a filter for your shower head
Personal care products
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic the behaviour of estrogens. These can come in the form of parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates and other compounds that are found in our personal care products. Common personal care items such as lotions, creams, toothpastes, soaps, and shampoos can contain harmful chemicals that contain endocrine disruptors and may cause hormonal imbalance. Use non-toxic products and please read the labels carefully.
BPA and other plastics
All plastic products contain xenoestrogens that could leech into your food or drink. Their effects could be compounded or enhanced by microwaving, dish-washing, or even by leaving them out in the sun. The truth is, even BPA-free plastic products aren’t all that safe. Your best bet is to switch to using glass or stainless steel containers.
Stress produces another hormone called cortisol, which is the flight or fight hormone. To produce this hormone, you will need the other sex hormone called progesterone. This depletes your progesterone and increases your estrogen levels, leading to estrogen dominance. There’s no way around it - manage your stress through rest and relaxation. Make sure you get restful sleep to allow your body to detox throughout the night.
Check your diet and your lifestyle. Can you pinpoint the things that could be causing your hormonal imbalance? Learn where your hormonal imbalance might come from and take steps to prevent it.