Balancing Estrogen Naturally Balancing Estrogen Naturally

By Albert Vaca, L.Ac

In our Chinese medicine practice, we often speak about balance. Work/Life balance, emotional balance, and muscle balance/imbalance, to name a few. Chinese medicine isn't some new-age, tree-hugging lingo. As far back as 200 BC, syndrome differentiation theory was introduced to help identify patterns of disharmony. Hot vs. Cold, Interior vs. Exterior, Excess vs. Deficiency, and Yin vs. Yang. When there is balance, the body can be more efficient.

Many patients come to our practice to help balance their hormones. Estrogen is an important hormone that regulates the reproductive and cardiovascular systems and is suitable for bone health. Progesterone is essential in regulating the menstrual cycle and maintaining the early stages of pregnancy.

What is Estrogen Dominance, and why does it occur?

"Estrogen dominance" occurs when the ovaries produce a relatively consistent amount of estrogen while producing significantly less and less progesterone. The body may be making too much estrogen or not making enough progesterone to retain balance. In clinics, we hear concerns about weight gain, hair loss, mood swings, heavy or painful periods, short or irregular cycles, infertility, breast tenderness, and bloating. These could be signs of estrogen dominance.

One factor that may contribute to estrogen dominance is poor gut health which may prevent your liver from breaking down and removing excess estrogen. Estrogen levels can rise from exposure to toxic chemicals, such as xenoestrogens like BPA, and phthalates found in plastics, cleaning products, pesticides, and makeup. In addition, fat cells secrete estrogen, so having extra pounds on your body may be causing your estrogen levels to increase.

Natural ways to balance hormones

Eat a healthy diet with high-quality lean proteins, low glycemic foods, and less inflammatory foods to foster a quality gut microbiome. A healthy diet will also help balance insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Give your liver the support it needs to process excess hormones and toxins. Drink less alcohol and eat less processed foods. Supplements such as DIM have broccoli extract and diindolylmethane found in cruciferous vegetables to help maintain healthy estrogen levels. The bonus: It also helps to reduce belly fat!

Manage your stress levels. The stress hormone cortisol can be a significant factor in weight gain, insomnia, digestive issues, and anxiety. Not to mention, it can disrupt your normal function of sex hormones, leading to irregular cycles, more PMS, and missed ovulation. We often recommend CALM formula to modulate the stress response from your adrenal glands. Find what makes you feel good and give it attention daily.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are the safest and most effective ways to balance hormones naturally. Acupuncture works from the outside, so your body can function optimally to maintain balance. Chinese herbal medicine heals you from the inside out, giving you additional support. Along with balancing hormones naturally, acupuncture provides other benefits, such as reducing anxiety, reducing stress, and promoting relaxation. Ask your Tao of Wellness acupuncturist how they can help you today.

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