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Women's health

How to Flush Out Excess Estrogen-Doc Explains

It is possible to take charge of your estrogen levels, here's how.

By Courtney Leiva
How to Flush Out Excess Estrogen-Doc Explains

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Estrogen does a lot more in the body in the body than you think. Not only do these hormones regulate reproductive health, but they also have huge impacts on bone health, cardiovascular health, cholesterol levels, and metabolism. While it's entirely normal for estrogen levels to fluctuate throughout a person's lifetime, when your estrogen levels become unbalanced — either too high or too low — you might find yourself dealing with weight gain, mood swings, and, sometimes, a higher risk of breast cancer.

However, it is possible to take charge of your estrogen levels. We spoke with Dr. Shirin Lakhani, a general practitioner, aesthetic physician, and cosmetic doctor, to find out how to flush out excess estrogen from your body. Dr. Lakhani explains the various types of estrogen, the warning signs of high estrogen, what estrogen dominance is, and how it affects health. She also discusses the potential treatments and lifestyle changes that can help manage high estrogen levels.

Are There Different Types of Estrogen?

Dr. Lahkani explains that three types of estrogen are in the body, each playing a different role depending on the stage of life or condition of the body. She tells Today's Parent, "Estrone (E1) is the primary form of estrogen in your body after menopause, and Estradiol (E2) is the form of estrogen in the body during your reproductive years, and Estriol (E3) is the main form of estrogen in the body during pregnancy."

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What are the symptoms of too much estrogen?

Estrogen levels fluctuate; sometimes, they can become too high or too low. When estrogen levels are too high, it can be due to factors such as high body fat, certain medications, poor liver function, and stress, as per The Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Lahkani explains that an excess of estrogen can lead to symptoms such as weight gain, low mood, and intense premenstrual tension among women. She continues, "Breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, and decreased sex drive may also be experienced."

Neglecting to manage high estrogen levels properly can lead to some severe health issues. According to Dr. Lahkani, these may include breast cancer, ovarian cancer, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis pain, uterine cancer, and the growth of tumours on the ovaries and adrenal glands.

How to flush out extra estrogen (and do I need to?)

If you find yourself with an abundance of estrogen, there's no need to panic. There are simple steps to balance your hormones, starting with your diet. "Reduce your intake of processed sugar first because it has a major effect on blood sugar dysregulation, which raises estrogen levels and lowers progesterone levels," says Dr. Lahkani. "This also helps lower the workload on the liver, which plays a big role in detoxifying and metabolizing our hormones to flush them out of the body."

Next, Dr. Lahkani suggests adding more fibrous foods to your diet. "Incorporate cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale) and probiotic-rich fermented foods into your diet. These foods also support the liver and the gut, which produces a key enzyme to help metabolize estrogen. Maintaining sufficient protein intake at every meal is essential, as protein impacts hormone regulation."

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Exercising regularly is another method to eliminate excess estrogen from the body. Dr. Lahkani emphasizes its significance: "Exercise strongly influences hormonal health and can aid in lowering insulin levels. Managing stress levels and ensuring adequate sleep each night are also recommended to regulate hormone levels."

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How is excess estrogen removed from the body?

While it is possible to decrease excess estrogen through dietary modifications and specific medications, Dr. Lahkani suggests seeking medical supervision before doing so independently. She tells Today's Parent, "It's imperative to make sure you do have an estrogen issue before you begin attempting to lower your estrogen levels. A medical professional can help you address a hormone imbalance based on what's causing it. For example, if it is caused by medication, you can adjust your dosage. If it is due to your lifestyle, you can change your diet, exercise, and the amount of sleep you get and alcohol you drink."

How long does it take for excess estrogen to leave the body?

If you're wondering how long it takes for your body to get rid of excess estrogen, Dr. Lakhani says it depends on how you're treating the excess estrogen. However, during perimenopause and menopause, Dr. Lakhani points out that estrogen will naturally decrease in the body, and only estrogen will be present after menopause. She also adds, 'We have estrogen receptors in almost every single cell of our bodies, so when there's less estrogen to go around, it affects nearly every part of us — from our vulvas and vaginas to our brains, bones, heart, joints, skin, and hair, and everything in between.'

What is Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen dominance can occur when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, two vital hormones in the female reproductive system. This imbalance can result in a range of symptoms, such as reduced sex drive, insomnia, weight gain, breast tenderness, and hot flashes. Other symptoms of estrogen dominance include mood swings and exacerbated premenstrual syndrome, according to Dr. Lahkani.

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FAQs

How can an estrogen detox be done at home?

Detoxing from estrogen might seem tricky, but Dr. Lahkani says it can be as simple as changing what you eat and steering clear of synthetic estrogen. "You can flush out excess estrogen through adopting a healthy lifestyle and paying particular attention to the liver and digestive health," she says. "You should also avoid synthetic estrogen such as that found in birth control pills and eat meat and dairy in moderation, as they may also contain estrogen. Additionally, you can try using green tea, which aids in hormone balance."

What are treatment options for excess estrogen levels?

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According to The Cleveland Clinic, there are various treatment options for excess estrogen levels. One method is making lifestyle changes, including managing stress, eating healthier, and limiting alcohol consumption. You can also take medications to remove excess estrogen from the body. These include inhibitors and Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.

Regardless of the treatment you choose, Dr. Lahkani consistently advocates discussing your concerns with your doctor. She states, "If you have any worries, it's always advisable to seek a doctor's advice to identify the problem and commence treatment accurately."

Can exercise help in flushing out excess estrogen?

Adding more exercise to your routine can reduce the amount of estrogen in your body. Dr. Lahkani explains, "Exercise can assist the body in eliminating excess estrogen through sweating, which is one of the body's natural detox processes. Additionally, it can help you lose weight and improve your general health."

Are there any foods that can help lower excess estrogen levels?

To reduce estrogen in your body, Dr. Lahkani suggests changing your diet. She recommends adding more high-fiber foods, such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, which contain enzymes called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM) that help break down hormones. She adds, "Whole grains, lentils, and chickpeas can also assist the body in eliminating harmful substances."

Additionally, Dr. Lahkani suggests that adding seeds to your diet can help lower high estrogen levels. For instance, flax seeds can lower estrogen levels, and sesame, pumpkin, and chia seeds may have similar effects. She continues, "Chia seeds are also rich in fiber and lignans, which support healthy estrogen levels."

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Experts

  • Dr. Shirin Lakhani MBBS, MRCGP, DRCOG, a general practitioner, aesthetic physician, and an award-winning cosmetic doctor

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