Women’s Hormonal Health

Our endocrine system consists of many different hormones that regulate our biological processes. Our hormones are susceptible to disruption caused by stress, poor sleep, or nutritional deficiencies. These disruptions can, over time, cause hormonal imbalances which can impact women of any age.

Prior to menopause, imbalances are linked to excessive estrogen and low progesterone levels, which may result in irregular periods, heavy menstruation, low libido, infertility, uterine fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis and excessive PMS.

Estrogen dominance can result from a variety of factors – here are some of the most common.

Environmental Pollution
  • Often referred to as “endocrine disrupters”, estrogen-like substances can be found in chemical-laden cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, food grown with pesticides, plastics, as well as air pollution and our water supply.
  • When we are stressed, our cortisol levels increase, and this stress hormone increases our blood sugar levels which converts into fat storage. Weight gain, for any reason, increases estrogen dominance as fat cells produce their own estrogen.
  • Prolonged stress can reduce our progesterone levels, creating an even larger imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.
Poor Liver Function
  • A poorly functioning liver, lack of fibre and dysbiosis of your gut bacteria can prevent the body’s natural process of estrogen detoxification.
Luckily, there are choices we can make and habits we can build that will help keep our estrogen and progesterone balanced.
  • Reduce your exposure to external estrogens. This can be as simple as swapping your shampoo or body wash to a natural body-care product.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Include lots of fibre and proteins in your diet to reduce spikes in blood sugar. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, collard greens, kale, cauliflower etc) help detoxify estrogen. Avoid pesticides by adding foods grown organically to your diet.
  • Manage your stress. Get outside, exercise, find whatever works for you to keep your cortisol levels from being chronically high.
There are great supplements that can help reduce high levels of estrogen. Chaste Tree/Vitex, help support the body’s production of progesterone, Black Cohosh and Dong Quai may act as mild phyto-estrogens, that can block much stronger environmental or body generated estrogens.

Supplements that foster balanced adrenal function and prevent the excessive release of cortisol are an excellent for hormonal support. Adaptogenic herbs such as Relora, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Siberian Ginseng, Schisandra and Rhodiola, as well as Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C are often combined to help the body regulate its stress response.

This can be a lot to take on and manage, so make sure you are talking with your doctor, or naturopath about any concerns you have. Managing our hormones sets us up for successful transition into peri-menopause as well as through menopause and beyond. Our wellness team is knowledgeable and always willing to talk with you about what herbs or supplements can meet you where you are at and support you best.