Is your estrogen making you fat?

May 5 | Hormones, Weight Loss | 1615 Views
Picture of woman standing on scale

5 signs of estrogen dominance and what you can start doing to lose weight.


Estrogen is the main female sex hormone everyone knows about. It’s important for giving us our feminine characteristics and helping to regulate our cycles. However, there is such a thing as too much estrogen.


Estrogen dominance is a term used when either your estrogen is too high OR your progesterone is too low, tricking your body into thinking your estrogen is actually high when it’s not.


Estrogen and progesterone need to be in perfect balance to one another to have regular and healthy cycles.


Key signals your body will give off if your estrogen is out of whack are:


      Weight gain, especially around the thighs, hips, belly and breasts.

      Heavy bleeding


      Breast tenderness

      Painful periods


      Headaches or migraines

      Red face


      Mood swings prior to your period, much like you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster


Estrogen isn’t typically high because you’re making too much, it’s often high because you are having high levels of exposure in your environment from things like plastics, personal care products, makeup, and canned food.


It’s also possible to be high due to poor detoxification through the liver or elimination through the bowels – meaning if you aren’t having a regular bowel movement you are at a higher risk of having excess estrogen.


Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with weight gain and excess estrogen you are riding a carousal that nobody wants to be on.


Meaning the estrogen is making you fat, but your fat is also increasing your estrogen. Overweight menopausal women have 50-100 times MORE estrogen than a lean menopausal women – simply because the extra fat cells are pumping more unnecessary estrogens in your system.


So what can you do about it?


First and foremost you should always test – you will not know if your symptoms are due to high estrogen or low progesterone unless you do dried urine hormone testing or saliva testing. Find a functional medicine practitioner or naturopathic doctor who is well versed in hormones and testing.


Second, you can start doing the following to help balance your hormones:


  1. Reduce your alcohol consumption to fewer than 4 servings per week. Alcohol increases inflammation and stress on your liver leading to more estrogen production and more estrogen detoxification.
  2. Avoid environmental estrogen exposure, or xenoestrogens, in your home and workplace. Take an inventory of things around the house that may be disrupting your hormones; such as canned food, plastic containers, plastic wrap, makeup containing sodium lauryl sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, fragrance, phthalates, and eat organic produce from the Environmental Working Groups Dirty Dozen to limit pesticide exposure.
  3. Increase your fiber intake to 25-30g per day by eating more avocados, hemp hearts, chia seeds, whole grains, and green veggies. Fiber helps to bind excess hormones and remove them through your poop.
  4. Exercise regularly. This will not only help your stress levels and your mood – which also contribute to hormone havoc – but will help to reduce your estrogen levels and improve detoxification.
  5. Use DIM to help make more good estrogens and decrease your danger estrogens. DIM is a nutraceutical present naturally in cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Often a higher dose is needed to detoxify estrogens then what you can get in veggies, so talk to your healthcare practitioner to find out if this is right for you.


If you’re ready to find out what’s happening with your hormones and start on a plan to get you feeling well – contact the clinic today to get set up with an appointment. If you’re not sure if HHA is right for you, set up a discovery call with our clinic coordinator and she will answer any questions you might have.