If you find yourself bigger south of the belly button and have thicker upper arms, estrogen dominance could be the culprit.
Warning: This entry is a little longer and more technical than previous entries. This is a subject that I believe to be very important so decided the more information the better.
Estrogen dominance is when progesterone is low in relation to estrogen. Most everyone living in highly industrialized societies are estrogen dominant to some extent (men included……you may have noticed the wide spread epidemic of man-boobs even on thin men) due to chemicals called xeno-hormones. Xeno-hormones are pollutants that occur outside of the body causing estrogen like activities within the body. They are easily absorbed by ingestion, inhalation and by direct skin contact through pollution in the environment and substances/materials used on the body. Most common sources are:
· Conventional (non-organic) Meat and Dairy Products
· Vehicle exhaust
· Solvents/Adhesives (nail polish, paint varnish, dry cleaning)
· Everything Plastic (water bottles, food containers)
· Emulsifiers in cleansers and skincare products
· Petrochemicals (herbicides, fungicides, pesticides)
· Prescribed synthetic hormones (Birth Control Pills, Estrogen Replacement Therapy)
These xeno-hormones bind to our body’s estrogen receptors activating estrogen responses. They inhibit the liver from eliminating the excess estrogen as xeno-hormones are a foreign product and the liver doesn’t know how to detox them properly. All of these extra estrogens manifest in fat stores on the hips, thighs and back of the arms and throw off the ongoing balance of progesterone and estrogen creating numerous symptoms. Symptoms of estrogen dominance are:
· Weight gain
· Mood swings (usually depression or irritability)
· Breast swelling or tenderness
· Irregular or abnormal periods (usually excessive bleeding)
· Decreased sex drive
· Cold hands and feet
· Premenstrual headaches
Note: Women who are going through or who already have gone through the change of menopause may notice that these are the same symptoms of peri-menopause (pre-menopause). Basically, xeno-hormones ARE causing early menopause and infertility issues. Keep in mind if you are of menopausal age these symptoms are normal….to a degree. If you are experiencing harsh symptoms of menopause then consult with your M.D. or naturopath.
Estrogen dominance is dangerous to our health and if it becomes a chronic condition it can be blamed for many ailments and diseases, such as, infertility, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), fibroids, cancer of the reproductive tract, breast cancer, thyroid disease and birth defects.
How can you get rid of these nasty xenos and slim down those hips, thighs and tri’s???
Because xeno-hormones are in the air we breathe, it is impossible to completely avoid absorption of these big ‘downers’. It is imperative to your health to do everything you can to reduce the toxic build up of these chaos creating synthetic hormones. Below is a list of ways to clear the body of the excess estrogen:
· Drink a lot of water!!! We now need to drink more water than ever to flush our systems and help our liver clean out pollutants and excess estrogen.
· Stop all pesticides-eat organic (all food and coffee) and stop using bug and lawn sprays
· Stop exposure to solvents, cosmetics and soaps made with petrochemicals like mineral oil. Use natural non-formaldehyde nail polish and removers
· Do not use mineral oil on your body. Check all of your skincare products. Mineral oil comes from the stuff we make our motor oil out of and is as bad as rubbing plastic all over your body!
· Stop microwaving plastic…..Come on! You should know this by now. This will most definitely release xeno-hormones in to your food. Seriously, stop being lazy.
· Wear natural fabrics and stay away from synthetics like polyester
· Use air fresheners made from essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance
· Stay away from all synthetic hormones. Think about trying other forms of birth control other than the BCP. You will be healthier in the long run!!
Also, add these nutrients to your diet to help your liver detox the excess estrogen efficiently and drop a pant size or two:
· Extra greens and/or green drinks – Greens are alkaline forming and are great at ridding the body of excess hormones
· Milled flaxseeds or linseeds (build up to 2 tablespoons a day) – Bad estrogens attach to the lignans and then are excreted from the body
· Probiotics – Take after each meal
· DIM (Diindolylmethane) - A stable indole found in cruciferous vegetables which promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism
· Cal D Glucorate – Specifically helps the body excrete estrogens
· Resveratrol – Increases the production of an enzyme that destroys dangerous estrogen metabolites and is found in red wine (especially Spanish reds) but is best in supplement form
If you also carry extra weight on you abdomen as well as the hips, thigh’s and tri’s then there is a good chance you could be estrogen dominant due to insulin resistance. Insulin Resistance (the inability to break down carbohydrates efficiently) also creates estrogen dominance. If this is the case, follow all of the above and lay off carbohydrates for a couple weeks (even fruit) and then reintroduce thinned skin fruits slowly. After your abdomen is lean then start slowly adding low glycemic index carbohydrates back to your diet. [See the bellaCore blog on Carbs]
Sorry if this is a big bummer (pun fully intended) and sounds like a lot of work! But, just think about how long you have been using drug store bought cosmetics and skincare, driving around the city, cleaning your home with Mr. Clean and drinking out of plastic water bottles…..It will take some time to repair the damage. Be patient and start slowly adding one new thing per week. You will probably feel better, look better and live longer.
Good luck and let me know when your Apple Bottom Jeans start falling off your not- so-big hips so I can send you a high-five!!
Check out www.bellaCore.co.uk