Estrogen: I’m high hormone girl in a high hormone world
I don’t know if there is something in the water, but so many of my clients, colleagues and team having been asking a lot of about hormones lately – Actually, there may be hormones in our water. But I will save you the tirade on the marine species in the St. Lawrence River having both egg and testes like I did at the FGI panel. That was embarrassing. What was I thinking going on a self-righteous tangent about what we absorb passes through our urine and affects our Eco system to a crowd of the most fashionable people in the city while the charming rep to my right spoke about cute cosmetics which smell like pastries? I may as well have been wearing hemp.
Anyway, I was all set on doing a posting today about dry brushing, but instead I have decided to abandon that plan and start my new series on hormones and the skin. I think its important to talk about hormones because while most of us understand how important they are and how much they influence every action within our bodies, yet we know little about their nature or how to balance them. So today I will be starting with a hormone that is very dear to me: estrogen. I, myself, have high estrogen which makes my menses very irregular (did I really just post that on the Internet?).
Estrogen’s Effects on our Skin and Bodies
Estrogen also has a lot of sex appeal because it is what makes women women and what decreases dramatically when we go through menopause so it can also be connected to youthfulness. This drop in estrogen has be said to accelerate signs of aging in our skin and has spurred much fuss about how we can artificially sustain it.
But while this is a very popular view amongst beautologists, I think its very interesting to note that it is estrogen which breaks down collagen in our skin. Confused? Well, while estrogen does break down collagen, it also enhances the hyaluronic acid in our skin (hyaluronic acid helps our skin hold water and promotes a smooth texture). But as we all know, collagen is probably the most important player in keeping our skin pump, moist and healthy.
This is why estrogen also contributes to cellulite as it breaks down the strength of our cellular walls, making way for lumpy, bumpy fat. You will see many cellulite-reducing body products will focus on increasing collagen so our fat cells can retain a firmer structure. Furthermore, estrogen dominance will also result in water-retention also contributing to cellulite. This can also answer why some women have cellulite despite being slim and fit (comme moi) as well as why many women taking the birth control pill are predisposed to it.
So what do we do?
Eating for estrogen dominance: Well, we can start with avoiding estrogenic foods such as soy and hops (what beer is made out of – and also why men who drink too much of it grow man breasts). And we should consume only organic meats which are devoid of disruptive hormones if we choose to eat animal protein. We should also start to eat more estrogen decreasing foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, cauliflower cabbages, avocados and nuts. It has also been said to be important to examine your digestion because if digestion is impaired, hormone filtration will also be. This is interesting as Pitta governs digestion, and I find many estrogen-dominant clients also have Pitta imbalances.
Balancing Self-care: Topically, we should avoid chemicals which mimic estrogen in our skincare. Numerous chemical sun screening agents (why we are such sticklers about natural, mineral sunblocks despite their powdery texture and white-ish hue) as well as chemical preservatives imbalance our hormone levels as we absorb them into our bloodstream.
Another topical treatment I have done is use prescribed progesterone cream to limit estrogen production. Again, this demonstrates how deeply what we put on our bodies affects us. But while it did regulate my cycle, I still think of hormone creams as a band-aid solution (but a very useful band-aid).
Clear the mind as well as excess estrogen: This may be the most important factor (and hardest for me). Relax. High estrogen tends to occur in high-stress people (Pitta) and also contributes to more stress as it usually is coupled with low progesterone which helps regulate anxiety and stress levels… If you need a good RMT, email me. Remember, its not self-indulgence, its for your hormonal health.