Combating Estrogen Dominance Naturally
The breast cancer-estrogen connection is clear. Over 60% of all breast cancers are estrogen receptor-positive. What does this mean? This means that estrogen aids in the process of growing that particular tumor.
So, one critical question you should get answered is: Are you estrogen dominant?
Here’s how to answer that question.
Testing for Estrogen Dominance
When we look at someone’s breast thermography results we often find that there is a hormonal influence or an imbalance and suggest further testing to properly access this well known risk factor. When a woman’s breast thermography images show a high level of hormonal activity it will display with vascular dilation of her breasts.
Now, there are a number of ways to test for estrogen dominance and I encourage readers to do so.
Saliva Test called "Estrogen Quotient" (or EQ). It’s a very simple test that is extremely useful. You can get one from most natural healthcare practitioners. This test calculates estriol over estradiol plus estrone, or E3/E2 +E1. If the ratio is 0.5 to 0.8 EQ, you have an elevated risk of breast cancer. If the ratio is greater than 1.2 EQ, you actually have a lower risk for breast cancer.
Urine Test called “Estronex Test” which looks at the ratio of good to bad estrogen (E2:E16). I’m using the terms good and bad loosely because there’s no such thing as good or bad estrogen; rather, some estrogens are more cancer prolific and others are more protective. When the results come back and the ratio is less than 2 that means there is an increased risk for breast cancer.
I like and recommend urine and saliva tests because they are very simple.
Blood Serum Tests are another form of testing you can do through your medical doctor. These can be very useful tools if they are done properly. The problem is that your hormones fluctuate and blood tests give you only a snapshot view of your hormonal balance on a given day.
See, hormones will fluctuate over your cycle of 28 days so if you get your test done on Day 5, you’re going to get that particular picture, which may not be accurate. I always advise women to do blood tests between Days 18 and 21, during the luteal phase when you really want to see your progesterone being active. Also, 90% of hormones are actually bound in protein and that plasma (blood) is not the best transport. Therefore, hormones are really not biologically active or detectable in plasma.
Ways to Lower and Balance your Estrogen Levels
Introduce plant-based estrogens–– phytoestrogens––and iodine into your diet. This will help to establish a proper EQ ratio. Phytoestrogens are a thousand times less potent than naturally occurring estrogens in your body. Phytoestrogens are your friends. They help in the conversion of E2 to E3.
Progesterone Supplementation. Progesterone is essential as it acts to counterbalance the effects of estrogen. Progesterone is necessary for many aspects of a woman’s health: during pregnancy; it is anti-spasmodic and relaxes smooth muscle, is anti-inflammatory, protects your breast, protects your colon, protects your lungs, bones, and thyroid. Progesterone is also a natural diuretic. If somebody has a problem with some excess water retention, they should be looking at progesterone supplementation. Progesterone also blocks the aromatase enzyme.* It stabilizes blood sugar. Caution, synthetic progesterone, unlike natural progesterone or bio-identical progesterone will not even transport into the cell. There’s a big difference between synthetic and natural.
Also remember that post menopause, all hormones will drop. After the fertility years, naturally occurring levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone drop. The problem is that estrogen levels are not dropping as fast as progesterone levels because we’re exposed to estrogen in our environment and through our diets. So estrogen levels may be lower but progesterone levels are non-existent. In that case, now we have an estrogen dominant state, so supplementation and appropriate therapy if necessary is a good idea.
Liver detoxification. Berries and citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, all of them are really good in terms of detoxifying your liver and helping with regulation of estrogen metabolism. Frequently Melatonin and Iodine supplements are useful in many cases. One of my favorites that I’ve been using for many years is Indole-3-Carbinol, also made from cruciferous vegetables. I also recommend Calcium-D-Glucorate, which should not be confused with calcium supplementation. It’s just calcium that’s bound to a molecule, d-glucorate. I also recommend using ground flaxseed on regular basis, which is a bulking agent.
Gastrointestinal Cleanse. It is important to get estrogen out of your gastrointestinal tract and to maintain proper evacuation. All foods rich in fiber are going to help.
Additional Estrogen-Modulating Agents: N-Acetylcysteine for liver support, and quercetin plus nettles, are excellent supplements that will help with proper estrogen function. Vitamin C and vitamin D are crucial. Hemp, maca, turmeric, red clover can also be introduced to your diet quiet easily.
While this is not a complete list it gives you a good point of departure to get you on your way to test your estrogen levels and begin to balance them.
* “Aromatase enzyme” All hormones can actually convert from one to another, a process called "aromatizing". Even progesterone and testosterone can convert to estrogen. When somebody drinks coffee or alcohol, his or her naturally occurring testosterone is converted to estradiol, a cancer-prolific hormone. We can stop aromatizing by supplementing with passion flower, chamomile, resveratrol, which is from grapes—I’m not advocating people start drinking wine at this point (see Breast Cancer and Alcohol Consumption) — nettle root, olive oil, saw palmetto, chrysin and piperine. Tribulus terrestris is a useful herbal extract and has been very effective. Good old zinc actually works as a great aromatase inhibitor. The pharmaceutical industry has discovered this a long time ago and created non-natural synthetic drugs, such as Arimidex, Aromasin, and Femara, which I do not recommend.
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