Restoring Hormonal Harmony: Understanding and Overcoming Estrogen Dominance

Are you struggling with mood swings, unexplained weight gain, or painful periods? If so, you might be dealing with a common yet often overlooked hormonal imbalance called estrogen dominance. Estrogen, primarily recognized for its role in reproductive health, actually influences various aspects of your well-being, including cholesterol levels, blood sugar, bone density, skin health, brain function, and more.

While estrogen is essential for your body to function properly, an excess of this hormone can lead to a range of symptoms and increase your risk of certain health conditions. In this article, we'll delve into the world of estrogen dominance: what it is, what causes it, and the natural steps you can take to restore hormonal balance. We'll also explore the significance of the role of a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDNP), in addressing estrogen dominance effectively.

What is Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen, often regarded as a female hormone, is present in both men and women, albeit in differing quantities. In women, it collaborates with its counterpart, progesterone, to regulate the menstrual cycle and prevent the uterine lining from thickening excessively.

During the first half of the menstrual cycle (the follicular phase), estrogen takes the lead role, while the second half (the luteal phase) sees progesterone reigning supreme, maintaining balanced estrogen levels. However, when there's insufficient progesterone to counteract estrogen's effects, an imbalance arises, known as estrogen dominance.

Estrogen dominance can occur through various mechanisms:

  1. Excessive estrogen production.
  2. Impaired estrogen breakdown or elimination.
  3. Inadequate progesterone production to counterbalance estrogen.

Common Causes of Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance can be triggered by multiple factors, often involving a combination of culprits. Here are some of the primary causes:

  1. Medications: Certain drugs, such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, can elevate estrogen levels.
  2. Excess Body Fat: Adipose tissue, or fat cells, also produce estrogen. Consequently, carrying excess body fat can lead to elevated estrogen production.
  3. Xenoestrogens: Synthetic chemicals known as xenoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. These substances, including BPA, phthalates, and PCBs, are found in plastics and are used in various products such as pesticides, cosmetics, shampoo, lotion, and more.
  4. Stress: Stress can disrupt hormonal balance by favoring the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) over progesterone—a phenomenon known as the "cortisol steal."
  5. Sluggish Liver Function: The liver plays a crucial role in breaking down and eliminating hormones, including estrogen. A sluggish liver can hinder the removal of excess estrogen, causing it to accumulate.
  6. Gut Dysbiosis: Certain strains of gut bacteria help regulate estrogen levels. Imbalances in gut health can lead to fluctuations in estrogen levels.
  7. Lack of Ovulation: Progesterone levels rise after ovulation. Irregular ovulation can result in lower progesterone levels, exacerbating estrogen dominance.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen's wide-ranging influence on the body means that symptoms of estrogen dominance can manifest in diverse ways. Here are common symptoms to watch out for:

In Women:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Heavy or painful periods
  • Weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, hips, and thighs
  • Increased severity of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
  • Reduced libido
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  • Fibrocystic breasts or breast tenderness
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Fertility issues
  • Poor sleep
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Hair loss
  • Brain fog or memory problems

In Men:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fertility issues
  • Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in males)
  • Low libido
  • Dry skin

Estrogen dominance is most commonly observed during perimenopause, typically in a woman's late 30s to 40s. However, symptoms can appear at any stage of life for both women and men.

The Risks of High Estrogen

Estrogen dominance is more than just uncomfortable; it can pose health risks when left unaddressed. Prolonged high estrogen levels increase the risk of several health conditions, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Blood clots and stroke
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Maintaining balanced hormones is crucial for your overall health and well-being.

How to Assess Estrogen Levels

If you suspect you're experiencing estrogen dominance, you can undergo lab testing for confirmation. Specifically, our "Stress and Hormone Profile," a saliva test, provides valuable insights into your hormone levels and their balance.

This comprehensive lab test assesses estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol levels, offering a holistic view of your hormonal function.

Addressing Estrogen Dominance Naturally

While comprehending the underlying triggers of estrogen dominance is vital, it's equally essential to take proactive measures to regain hormonal equilibrium. Here are some natural strategies for mitigating estrogen dominance:

  1. Increase Fiber Intake: Regular bowel movements are crucial for eliminating excess estrogen. Consuming fiber-rich foods can help prevent estrogen reabsorption in the gut.
  2. Support Liver Function: Enhance liver health by minimizing sugar intake, reducing alcohol consumption, and consider liver-loving tonics like dandelion or milk thistle tea.
  3. Stress Management: Manage stress through practices like gratitude journaling, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, and connecting with loved ones.
  4. Eliminate Xenoestrogens: Minimize exposure to synthetic estrogen-like chemicals by opting for glass and stainless steel food containers, using natural beauty products, and making DIY non-toxic cleaners.
  5. Prioritize Sleep: Ensure you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to support hormonal balance.
  6. Targeted Supplementation: Based on your individual hormone imbalances, an FDNP can suggest specific supplements to rebalance your hormones and support your overall health.

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and the Role of an FDNP

While the steps mentioned above can help restore hormonal balance, the guidance of an FDNP can be invaluable in identifying the underlying causes of estrogen dominance. Our philosophy centers on attending to the individual rather than exclusively concentrating on test outcomes. While we employ a variety of lab tests to uncover possible areas of concern and dysfunction, our approach transcends mere interpretation of data. We prioritize clinical correlation to precisely identify requirements and craft personalized plans for each individual's distinctive path to health. Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioners (FDNPs) excel at designing bespoke protocols tailored to individual requirements. Here's how an FDNP can assist you:

  1. Comprehensive Assessment: FDNPs conduct thorough health assessments, considering your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle factors.
  2. Functional Testing: They may recommend specialized tests, including hormone panels, to pinpoint hormonal imbalances and contributing factors.
  3. Personalized Protocol: An FDNP will create a tailored wellness protocol based on your specific needs. This may include dietary recommendations, targeted supplements, lifestyle modifications, and stress management strategies.
  4. Ongoing Support: FDNPs offer continuous guidance, monitoring your progress, and adjusting your protocol as necessary to achieve optimal hormonal balance.
  5. Education: FDNPs empower you with knowledge about your hormonal health, enabling you to make informed decisions and take control of your well-being.


Estrogen dominance can disrupt your life, causing a wide array of symptoms and potentially leading to serious health issues. However, with the support of a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDNP) and by implementing natural strategies to rebalance your hormones, you can regain control of your health and well-being. If you suspect you're experiencing estrogen dominance, don't hesitate to seek assistance and take the first step towards a harmonious hormonal balance. Your body deserves it, and you deserve to thrive.

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