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What Causes High Levels of Oestrogen & How to Address Them

February 28, 2024

Reduce High Oestrogen levels with foods like cruciferous vegetables as shown in image

Conditions Where You Have High Oestrogen Levels

Excess or high oestrogen levels can develop for many reasons.

Hormonal imbalances, obesity, certain medications, and environmental factors are common contributors.

Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and estrogen dominance, where estrogen outweighs Progesterone, can also elevate oestrogen levels.

Understanding these conditions is crucial for developing effective strategies to address excess estrogen.

How Oestrogen Dominance Develops

Remember that having oestrogen dominance doesn’t necessarily mean you have extra Oestrogen but that there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.

As the P2 levels are low, your body can behave like you have excess oestrogen.

Estrogen dominance can occur due to various factors, such as:

  • Impaired Hormone Metabolism: Your body may struggle to metabolize estrogen efficiently, leading to an accumulation of the hormone compared to Progesterone. 
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to xenoestrogens, synthetic substances that mimic estrogen, can contribute to an imbalance. We also refer to xenoestrogens as “environmental estrogens” because they occur commonly in the environment and can enter the body through various sources.
    • Here are some examples of xenoestrogens: 
      • Bisphenol A (BPA): Found in certain plastics, we use BPA commonly to produce water bottles, food containers, and the lining of cans. It can leach into food and beverages, leading to human exposure. 
      • Phthalates: These are a group of chemicals that soften plastics, and you will find them in products such as vinyl flooring, shower curtains, and personal care products like fragrances, lotions, and cosmetics. 
      • Dioxins: Environmental pollutants, dioxins can be released into the air through industrial processes and accumulate in animal fatty tissues. They can enter the human body through the consumption of contaminated animal products. 
      • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs): Formerly used in electrical equipment, PCBs are persistent environmental pollutants that can accumulate in water and soil. Although banned, they persist in the environment. They can enter the food chain, particularly in fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon. 
      • Pesticides and Herbicides: Certain chemicals used in agriculture, such as atrazine and glyphosate, can act as xenoestrogens. Residues of these substances may be present on conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains. 
      • Parabens: You will find these in common use as preservatives in cosmetics, skincare products, and personal care items. They are xenoestrogens due to their estrogenic activity. 
      • Industrial Solvents: Some solvents used in industrial processes, like ethylene glycol ethers, may exhibit estrogenic effects.
  • Stress: Chronic stress may impact the production of both estrogen and Progesterone, potentially leading to estrogen dominance.
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle: Poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep can contribute to hormonal imbalances, including estrogen dominance.

Symptoms of Excess Oestrogen Levels

Identifying symptoms of high estrogen is essential for timely intervention.

Individuals with elevated estrogen levels may experience irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, breast tenderness, and difficulty concentrating.

Additionally, symptoms like weight gain, bloating, and changes in libido can indicate hormonal imbalances.

Apart from affecting general well-being, they may also contribute to fertility issues. Recognizing these signs helps early detection and prompts individuals to explore methods for reducing excess estrogen.  

How to Reduce High Oestrogen

Natural Approaches:

  • Dietary Changes: Include cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, kale) that support estrogen metabolism. Fibre-rich foods aid in the excretion of excess estrogen.
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity helps regulate hormone levels and improves hormonal balance.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can disrupt hormonal equilibrium; incorporating stress-reduction techniques like meditation and yoga is beneficial.
  • Environmental Safety – To minimize exposure, individuals can opt for “BPA-free” products, choose organic foods, and use natural or chemical-free personal care items.

Medical Interventions: These will depend on the causes and associated symptoms.

  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs): Medications like tamoxifen may be used to block estrogen receptors, managing excess estrogen.
  • Surgical Options: In extreme cases, surgical procedures like oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) may be considered, but this is typically a last resort.

Balancing estrogen levels requires a holistic approach, combining lifestyle modifications with medical interventions when necessary.

Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance based on individual health conditions.

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. 

The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a health practitioner or reach us directly.

Image Credits: Canva

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