What is estrogen dominance? Part 1

Estrogen dominance is one of those terms we know is bad because it increases our risk for certain cancers like breast & prostate cancer, but what else does estrogen dominance do to the body in terms of getting results and achieving optimal health?

toxicfood

  • Early onset of puberty, girls are developing faster then they should and getting their cycles earlier as low as 10 years of age
  • Endometriosis afflicting 10% of all perimenopausal women
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), rising and afflicting close to 30% of perimenopausal women
  • Uterine fibroids affecting close to 25% of women from age 35 to 50
  • As mentioned above breast cancer afflicting close to 10% of all women
  • Infertility problems
  • Ovarian cyst or tumors

The common denominator to the above conditions is estrogen dominance, or when the body has excess estrogen and is deficient in progesterone.  What blows my mind when I meet with clients and assess their nutrition  and they mention that they suffer from any of the above serious conditions they view it as normal because it is so common.  Often nutrition and lifestyle strategies are never given or overlooked by conventional health professionals or worse they resort to serious surgeries or other invasive procedures and synthetic hormone replacement therapies before they try to modify diet, supplement and make lifestyle changes.

Here are some signs that you may be estrogen dominant:

  • Holding fat in the upper thighs and back of the arms (men & women)
  • Man boobs (there I said it, but it is true)
  • Difficulty losing weight (men and women)
  • Excess cellulite (back of arms, thighs)
  • Hard time putting on muscle, despite your workout efforts you are still “soft” looking (men and women)
  • Breasts are swollen and getting bigger
  • Irritable (men and women)
  • Excessive cramping/PMS before cycle
  • Complete absence of period or they are missed frequently
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Cyst in my breast
  • Tired all the time (men and women)
  • Low testosterone (men and women)
  • Decreased libido :-( (both men & women)

What causes estrogen dominance?

The modern technology and poor food quality are the main culprits.

Food-we have taken our diets from clean and whole unprocessed foods to quick and fast processed foods.  The chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and pesticides in conventional foods mimic estrogen in the body making us estrogen dominant.

Xenoestrogens- typically found in cosmetics, creams, lotions, shampoos, room deodorizers, cleaning products, paint, nail polish, unfiltered water, etc.  This is probably the most scary of all estrogen mimickers, because we are exposed to chemicals, unfiltered water daily and the xeno estrogens are fat soluble meaning they settle into the fat cells of the body making it hard to lose weight and can also contribute to the above medical conditions.

Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy- birth control also counts in this category.  When I meet with clients and look at their labs and see that their body is basically NOT producing any hormones and they are getting synthetic HRT because they have “bad PMS” or “hot flashes” I cringe.  This is one of the worst things you can do for your body, if you have practiced all of the lifestyle, supplement and nutrition strategies  (don;t worry they are coming), and you still need some relief then see a doctor who specializes in bio identical hormone replacement therapies, this is a much better option.  Sure conventional practitioners may roll their eyes but that is because they are jaded, find a doctor with a holistic approach to your body.

Here are other things that contribute to estrogen dominance that I will dive into more later, but just to make you aware see the list below.

  • Increased consumption of caffeine, sugar, fast food, and processed foods (especially genetically modified soy products)
  • Deficiency in vitamin B6 and magnesium
  • Liver Disease
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Exposure to industrial solvents

What can you do to detox some of that estrogen dominance?

GO GREEN! Transition your house into a xenoestrogen FREE environment. * Please note this does not have to be done overnight, it can be overwhelming to try to do it all at once, and if your family is not on board you may hit a road block in regards to budget, etc. 

Start with what you put on your skin (the skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs everything!) Some specific cosmetics items to start with make-up (Hourglass is a safe brand), lotion, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, toothpaste, etc. (Jason and Burt’sBees is also a safe brand) but don’t limit yourself to those only check the ingredient list and do not buy it if it has anything with Phthalates, parabens, sulfates, to name a few.

Then move onto what you eat and drink out of, ceramic, stainless steel, or glass containers to cook with, store, and drink out of.  Avoid plastics, Teflon, cans and aluminum.  Especially avoid heating up foods in these containers.  Also look into getting a reverse osmosis water filter on your house or even kitchen sink and shower heads to start with.  This will reduce your exposure to xeno estrogens through our contaminated water supply.

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Finally move onto what you clean with- this was a tough one for me, sometimes the “green” products are not always the most efficient when it comes to getting the job done. The best brand of “green” cleaning supplies that I have found that still works is Method, you used to only be able to find it at Target but now Kroger and other big mainstream stores sell it.  There are other brands out there, shop around and use what you like.  You can also make your own.

Supplement with your core supplements to ensure you are not deficient in any essential vitamins or minerals that could contribute to estrogen dominance.

  • High quality multi-vitmain/mineral supplement
  • omega 3 fish oil (1000-2000mg of EPA+DHA)
  • multi-probiotic
  • vitamin D-3
  • calcium and magnesium

Specifically to address the estrogen dominance take DIM this is a natural blend of potent cruciferous vegetable extracts and herbs that naturally detox the hormones.  All of my clients who have tried DIM love it.

Part 2 of the estrogen dominance series will go over more specific food and meal recommendations.  Stay tuned :-)

In Health,

Dana

 

Is your food safe?

Food Safety

Dana Yarn, RDLD

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chicken 2

There is an alarming concern with the safety of our food supply in America.  It used to be that most Americans did not worry about the food they eat in restaurants and buy at the supermarkets.  Unfortunately due to America’s growing industrialized food system it is a necessary to consider the process by which food is grown, shipped, manufactured, processed and stored.  The food industry is an extremely productive business, but at what cost to our health?  These profitable methods are directly related to the increase in overall food recalls and food borne illness.  In the U.S. alone, 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses occur each year (and many of the cases go unreported).  E coli sickens roughly 73,000 American’s per year.

Aside from bacterial illness like E.Coli, the human body will become addicted to foods that contain excess sodium, sugar, saturated and trans fats.  This excessive amount of sodium, sugar and fat in processed and fast foods explain our country’s obesity epidemic, increase in the incidence heart disease, diabetes and cancer and the increase in overall healthcare costs.

Real food

Food in its purest form is best utilized by the body to prevent and manage disease – no chemicals, additives, dyes, steroids, hormones, or antibiotics.  According to the Natural Products Association, livestock on an all natural and/or organic farm cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones unnecessarily which is a common practice in conventional agriculture.  Other countries have established strict regulations against Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone.  It is banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and all 25 nations of the European Union due to concerns about human health effects; unfortunately it is currently still allowed to be used in the US.

An estimated 71% of all U.S. antimicrobials are fed routinely to beef cattle, poultry & swine for non-therapeutic purposes.  Experts agree that using antibiotics excessively may contribute to the rise of antibiotic resistance to drugs and “superbugs”.  My husband works in infectious disease and “sees superbug” cases daily, patients are unable to be treated with traditional meds because they have developed such high resistance to the drugs, putting others around them at risk for developing these horrible strands of viruses and/or bacteria too.

Food labels and advertising can be extremely confusing and misleading.  Don’t confuse “free-range,” “hormone free, “with certified all natural and/or organic.  That means the food is grown, harvested, and processed according to USDA standards that include restrictions on amounts and residues of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.  All natural foods cannot be treated with any sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.  The benefits of eating all natural foods include, higher nutrient values, better quality taste and the manufacturing is environmentally friendly.  The nutrient content of our food has decreased 1000% in the past 60 years.  Over 70,000 new chemicals have been introduced to foods, only time will reveal the impact these foods will have on our health. I have worked different events with local farmers and they have steered away from being certified organic simply because they cannot keep up with the paperwork, fees and of course the root of their business “farming,” other acceptable certifications for local farms are “certified all natural.

Lack of Food Inspections

 Imports account for nearly 60% of the fruits and vegetables we consume, and 75% of the seafood.  Yet only 1% of those foods are inspected before they cross our shores.  “Hundreds of scientists and inspectors responsible for food safety have personally experienced political interference in their work, and that’s bad for public health,” said Francesca Grifo, director of UCS’s Scientific Integrity Program.  Dean Wyatt, a USDA veterinarian who oversees federal slaughter house inspectors, said his agency regularly punishes inspectors for writing up legitimate safety violations. “Upper level management does not adequately support field inspectors and the actions they take to protect the food supply,” said Wyatt. “Not only is there lack of support, but there’s outright obstruction, retaliation and abuse of power.”  Look for companies that are doing inspections daily by the USDA to ensure the safety and quality of all our products.

Seafood certification (get ready)…

 

The Hidden toll on our environment

Despite natural food’s rising popularity, our main farming system that’s still heavily reliant on toxic pesticides (500,000 tons per year), pollutes our waterways and bloodstreams while gobbling up millions of gallons of fossil fuel.  Each year, 817 million tons of food is shipped around the planet.  The result is that a basic diet of imported products can use 4 times the energy and produce 4 times the emissions of an equivalent domestic diet!  A solution to this excessive shipping is to purchase food from local producers, this avoids long distance travel; overuse of plastic packaging; and chemical preservatives required for transporting food long distances.

The bottom line…

The above information is not meant to make you feel helpless and throw in the towel to healthy eating, it is to empower you to feed your family with the most chemically pure food you can find!

Find a company or farm with a certification to back up their claims.  like I have posted before, I started my chemically pure food journey with Service Foods Inc. there are several food co-op options out there that proudly advertise their food and manufacturing specifications.  If you do decide to purchase from a local farm or co-op ask a lot of questions about both the farming and manufacturing of the food.

In Health,

Dana