Contrary to menopause, a time when women’s hormones drop, estrogen dominance can happen during puberty, through the fertile years and even into peri-menopause.
Estrogen dominance refers to the state where estrogen is high relative to progesterone. Estrogen can be very high, with normal progesterone levels or estrogen can be normal while progesterone is low. It’s the balance between the two that matters most.
With estrogen dominance, symptoms can include:
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Anxiety and depression
- Weight gain
- Water retention/swelling
- Irritability and mood swings
If this sounds like a regular monthly occurrence for you, you might want to visit with your functional medicine provider to take a look at your hormone levels. It’s interesting that in our culture we take these symptoms as part of the female experience, but I assure you that your cycle does not need to be painful or uncomfortable in the least!
A few reasons behind estrogen dominance include:
- Exposure to environmental estrogens: Chemicals in plastics, personal care products, and air fresheners can have estrogen-like effects in the body.
- Poor detoxification: Good gut function that includes a balanced microbiome and plenty of fiber helps the body get rid of excess estrogen. If you’re not balanced or have regular constipation, those estrogens can re-circulate in the body.
- Stress: When you are under stress your body prioritizes cortisol production (stress hormone) over progesterone production. After all, a stressful time isn’t a good time for reproduction from your body’s perspective, so this is why your body diverts resources away from balancing your hormones and producing stress hormones instead. Remember that when progesterone is low, estrogen becomes high in relation.
- Sugar: Sugar spikes insulin and over time this can lead to excess estrogen via changes in a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (2).
Here’s where the ketogenic diet and estrogen dominance comes into play.
The keto diet works on a couple of important levels. First, a High Fiber Keto diet can support detoxification by providing your liver the nutrients needed to detoxify excess estrogen and then supply and support your microbiome (gut) with the fiber necessary to remove the excess estrogen from your body.
Second, the keto diet removes sugar from the diet hence resulting in the balance of insulin and blood sugar. In turn, this greatly supports sex hormone balance and reduces inflammation in the body. In fact, I might go as far as to say that High Fiber Keto is the Estrogen Dominance Diet!
The ketogenic diet can’t clean up your personal care products, but if you are feeling well on keto, you’ll certainly have the energy for this project!
As you can see, High Fiber Keto diet plan for women offers a wonderful, nutrient-rich foundation for health and hormone balance, at any age. I’m so excited to share my new book, High Fiber Keto, with you – walking you through all of the details of this nutritionally complete, and scientifically tested keto lifestyle.