Written by Rhian Hunter
A healthy liver is essential as it helps package up and process oestrogen and its by-products. The liver needs plenty of nutrients to perform oestrogen detoxification (like glutathione, iron, zinc, magnesium and DIM). Still, it is also influenced by hydration status and can be slowed by a high toxic load or exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Healthy bowel movements (at least once daily) are also crucial as they help clear excess oestrogen in the digestive system, as does a diverse, healthy gut microbiome. An efficient hormone metabolism helps keep oestrogen levels within a healthy range, but it’s still heavily dependent upon oestrogen detoxification in the liver. If either of these systems aren’t working optimally, it could impact oestrogen levels, and you’ll likely notice symptoms of oestrogen dominance.
Include probiotics in your diet, such as yoghurt, miso and/or ferments.
Probiotics found in food such as kefir, yoghurt, crème fraîche, kraut, veggies, kombucha, and sourdough support the gut bacteria that make up the estrobolome, which helps process and metabolise excess oestrogen and other hormones. It’s essential to take care of your beneficial gut bacteria throughout your life, particularly for oestrogen detoxification. Recent research suggests there may even be a connection between probiotics and hormone balance.
Avoid processed foods that are high in endocrine disruptors
Processed foods and many restaurant dishes contain hormone-disrupting compounds like xenoestrogens and low-quality, oxidised fats. Xenoestrogens are synthetic compounds that mimic oestrogen but don’t perform the same in the body, making it harder to lose weight and contributing to symptoms of oestrogen dominance.
The liver has to work harder when these are present, and some data suggests they might even contribute to impaired detox function. Environmental toxins clog up the ability to process excess oestrogen and other hormones efficiently, which can lead to more problems down the line.
Eat more cruciferous vegetables and fibre-rich foods to move excess oestrogen through your digestive tract
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels spouts, cauliflower and kale contain fibre, diindolylmethane (DIM), and sulforaphane. Fibre can bind to oestrogen and help remove excess hormones. DIM and sulforaphane and have both been researched for their potential roles in supporting oestrogen balance. These hormone-balancing foods also promote gut health with prebiotic fibre.
Get quality sleep each night
Quality sleep is crucial for balancing hormone levels, particularly cortisol and melatonin. Inadequate sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances, causing symptoms such as anxiety and weight gain. It’s not just about sleeping for at least 7 hours; It’s also essential to do so at the correct times. The hours before midnight are the most restorative, especially for the adrenal glands that need this time to heal.
Cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenals, regulates other hormones in the body, and excess levels can negatively impact progesterone production, which is especially important during menstrual cycles. Quality sleep allows for a restful morning, which allows cortisol to peak about 30 minutes after waking up and affects other hormones like thyroid hormones and oestrogen.
Staying hydrated is a vital piece of the hormone balance puzzle. If you are drinking diet drinks or loads of coffee, both of which can dehydrate you and make oestrogen excess issues so much worse. Staying hydrated supports digestion and promotes liver detoxification. This keeps oestrogen levels in check. And use activated carbon filter remove harmful chemicals from the water.
If it is that time of the month, drink an extra glass of water. Oestrogen and progesterone influence your body’s hydration levels.
Take a hot shower, sauna or a bath with epsom salts
Once you step out of the steamy bathroom, your skin will be loaded with sweat and toxins drawn out through the pores. The heat can help improve overall detoxification pathways.
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulphate, a combination of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen. These compounds help reduce stress and anxiety, and may also aid in sleep by producing melationin.