It is well known that endometriosis is fed by estrogen and many women with endometriosis seem to develop estrogen dominance. It is not difficult to become estrogen dominant considering there are many chemicals in the environment that mimic estrogen and many foods contain compounds that act like estrogen called phyto-estrogens. Even the toiletries and household cleaners you use can act like estrogens which are known as xenoestrogens.
Estrogen dominance is simply an imbalance in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
Symptoms of high estrogen:
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to watch out for xeno-estrogens, which are man-made estrogens found in many places, including:
These xenoestrogens mimic the function of our natural estrogen, but in a much stronger or more powerful way. Hormones are very powerful substances and it only takes microscopic amounts to have powerful effects on the body. As well as giving our bodies too much estrogen, xenoestrogens will also disrupt the delicate estrogen-progesterone ratio.
To help address this imbalance of hormones in your body there are certain supplements that are known to help reduce estrogen dominance. Some of these supplements are tried and tested and women with endometriosis are having success using them to help rebalance their hormones and reduce estrogen.
Supplements that can help reduce estrogen
DIM is one of the best-known supplements for helping to reduce estrogen and has got much favourable feedback from those with endometriosis.
Made from vegetable extracts from the brassica family (which includes broccoli and cabbage) DIM helps maintain safe estrogen levels by aiding the conversion of damaging estrogen fractions to more favourable metabolites and by promoting restoration of healthy hormone ratios.
DIM also supports the detox process which is performed by the liver, and is connected to efficient estrogen breakdown. Additionally, DIM has a protective role and is able to reduce the effects of xeno-estrogens from the environment.
Peruvian Maca root, or Amazon Ginseng as it is sometimes referred to, is a vegetable root or tuber, related to the potato and the Mexican Wild Yam. Maca root has been used by the native Peruvians since before the time of the Incas for both its nutritional and medicinal properties. Maca has had success in being able to reduce estrogen levels.
This herb has been traditionally used to increase energy, vitality, stamina and endurance in athletes, promote mental clarity, address menstrual irregularities and female hormone imbalances, including menopause.
Some women have obtained good benefits from Maca, while for others it has upset their hormonal balance. Therefore, it is advisable to experiment and start with a low dose.
Chaste tree berry (Vitex)
This berry supports the pituitary gland to produce progesterone and luteinizing hormone — both of which are necessary for your body to ovulate, for regular menstrual cycles and to avoid symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Maintaining a healthy ratio of progesterone to estrogen is important for female reproductive function, and vitex acts to regulate the levels, which can support fertility and menstruation.
Snippets of reviews for Vitex from those with endometriosis:
'It helped me so much and then I stopped taking and regret it so starting again. It regulated and extended my cycle'
'I use Vitex (Chasteberry) for balancing hormones, anxiety, depression, acne, and raising energy levels.'
'I have stage 4 endo and have been on vitex capsules for nearly 2 months and a lot of the pain.. not all.. but a lot of the pain has eased.'
An excess of estrogen can be re-balanced by taking B6 which can help to boost your natural progesterone production. B6 supports the development of the corpus luteum (The corpus luteum is a temporary endocrine structure in female ovaries and is involved in the production of relatively high levels of progesterone).
B6 also specifically works with liver enzymes to remove excess estrogen from the body and boosts the immune system to prevent autoimmune response.
The mineral of magnesium is responsible for hundreds of enzyme responses that impact natural hormone balance. It aids in liver detoxification that detoxifies excess estrogen from the body. Try using magnesium chelate (natural form found in the body) or magnesium glycinate.
A little known supplement that is commonly used for acid reflux is d-limonene. This is a compound that is found in cirtus fruits, especially in the skin. This compound can help to lower your levels of estrogen. It is recommended to take 500–1,000 mg of limonene per day or every other day.
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About the Author
My name is Carolyn Levett, the Founder of endo-resolved - I am an Integrative Health Coach having studied nutrition, naturopathy, aromatherapy as well as being a published author. I used to suffer from severe endometriosis and was able to regained my health and heal from the disease with the support of nutrition and natural therapies.
My motivation is to help other women with endometriosis to heal their bodies so they may overcome this awful disease without having to rely on toxic drugs and surgeries which can cause further damage - with healing thoughts, Carolyn.