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How do you balance out estrogen?

Estrogen is one of the main female sex hormones that is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system. It plays a vital role not just in reproduction, but also in various other processes in the body including bone health, cholesterol levels, skin health, and more. However, when estrogen levels are too high or too low, it can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms and health issues. Therefore, it is important to keep estrogen levels balanced. This article provides an overview of estrogen, its functions in the body, symptoms of estrogen imbalance, causes, risk factors, and most importantly how to balance out estrogen levels through lifestyle changes, diet, supplements, and medical intervention if required.

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen refers to a group of hormones that play a key role in the growth, development, and functions of the female reproductive system. The three major types of estrogen in women are:

  • Estradiol – The primary estrogen during reproductive years. It is produced by the ovaries. Estradiol levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, with the highest production occurring just before ovulation.
  • Estrone – Low levels are produced after menopause by fat tissues and the ovaries.
  • Estriol – The main estrogen produced during pregnancy by the placenta. It helps support fetal development.

Some key functions of estrogen in the female body include:

  • Regulates the menstrual cycle
  • Maintains the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle
  • Contributes to breast development during puberty
  • Regulates cholesterol production
  • Aids in regulating mood and memory
  • Maintains bone strength
  • Promotes healthy skin

Symptoms of Estrogen Imbalance

When estrogen levels are too high or too low, it can cause a range of symptoms:

Estrogen Excess (High Estrogen)

  • Weight gain especially around the hips and thighs
  • Bloating and water retention
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Mood swings, anxiety, irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

Estrogen Deficiency (Low Estrogen)

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Mood changes like depression
  • Memory problems
  • Insomnia
  • Accelerated skin aging
  • Loss of breast fullness
  • Bone loss

Causes of Estrogen Imbalance

Some potential causes for estrogen imbalance include:

Low Estrogen Levels

  • Menopause
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Over-exercising
  • Eating disorders
  • Excess stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Surgical removal of ovaries
  • Pituitary disorders

High Estrogen Levels

  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Ovarian tumors
  • Obesity
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Eating high estrogen foods
  • Exposure to xenostrogens (environmental estrogens)

Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase a woman’s risk of developing an estrogen imbalance:

  • Genetics and family history of hormone disorders
  • Obesity
  • High stress levels
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet – high sugar, processed foods, alcohol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Exposure to endocrine disruptors like BPA in plastics
  • Advancing age

Diagnosing Estrogen Imbalance

If experiencing symptoms of high or low estrogen, its important to see a doctor for proper evaluation. Diagnosis typically involves:

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • Discussion of symptoms
  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood tests to check hormone levels – FSH, estradiol etc.
  • Pap smear
  • Ultrasound
  • Genetic testing in some cases

Based on the results, the doctor can determine if estrogen levels are too high or low. Treatment can then be tailored accordingly.

How to Balance Estrogen Levels

Here are some effective ways to help balance out estrogen levels naturally:

Lifestyle Changes

  • Exercise regularly – Moderate exercise for 30-45 mins daily helps improve estrogen metabolism and maintain healthy levels.
  • Manage stress – Chronic stress can disrupt hormone balance. Try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing.
  • Sleep 7-9 hours daily – Lack of sleep can affect hormone balance.
  • Achieve or maintain a healthy weight – Excess body fat produces more estrogen, leading to imbalance.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking – These unhealthy habits can interfere with estrogen levels.

Dietary Changes

  • Eat fiber-rich foods – Fiber helps eliminate excess estrogen through bowel movements.
  • Increase phytoestrogenic foods – These plant foods like flaxseeds, soy, oats contain weak estrogens that help occupy estrogen receptors, preventing stronger estrogens from exerting stronger effects.
  • Eat cruciferous vegetables daily – Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage contain Indole-3-Carbinol that helps metabolize and eliminate excess estrogen.
  • Choose organic foods – To avoid xenostrogens from pesticides that act as environmental estrogens.
  • Avoid added hormones – Choose organic dairy and meat to avoid added hormones.
  • Eat fermented foods – Fermented foods like kimchi, miso, kefir, yogurt contain probiotics that support healthy estrogen metabolism.
  • Ensure adequate iodine intake – Iodine is essential for proper estrogen detoxification. Eat sea vegetables, yogurt, eggs.
  • Limit sugar and alcohol – These disrupt estrogen balance.


Certain supplements can also help regulate estrogen levels naturally:

  • Maca – Herbal supplement shown to balance female hormones and alleviate symptoms.
  • Black Cohosh – Alleviates hot flashes, night sweats associated with menopause.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Helps lower circulating estrogen levels.
  • Vitex or Chasteberry – Relieves PMS and breast tenderness caused by excess estrogen.
  • Calcium d-glucarate – Assists liver in estrogen detoxification and excretion.
  • DIM – Helps metabolize and eliminate excess estrogens from the body.
  • Probiotics – Support healthy microbiome for improved estrogen metabolism.

However, consult a doctor before taking any supplements to ensure safety and suitability.

Medical Treatment

If lifestyle measures are not effective in balancing hormones, doctors may prescribe certain medical therapies:

  • Birth control pills – Can help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms like acne, excess hair growth in PCOS.
  • Vaginal estrogen – Low dose topical estrogen creams, suppositories or rings that supply estrogen directly to vaginal tissue for dryness.
  • Hormone replacement therapy – Estrogen alone or with progestin to relieve menopausal symptoms.
  • Aromatase inhibitors – Medications that lower estrogen production in postmenopausal women.
  • GnRH agonists – Medications to block estrogen production in conditions like endometriosis.
  • Surgery – Removal of ovaries may be done in some cases of estrogen-secreting tumors.

The risks and benefits of each treatment will need to be discussed with the doctor.


Estrogen is a vital hormone for women’s health. However, both high and low levels can lead to distressing symptoms affecting quality of life. Thankfully, there are many effective natural ways to help balance out estrogen – through a healthy lifestyle, diet, targeted supplements, and sometimes necessary medical treatment. While individual needs may vary, eating a clean, plant-based diet, exercising, reducing stress, and avoiding environmental estrogens can go a long way in maintaining optimal estrogen levels. But be sure to see a doctor if troubling symptoms arise for proper diagnosis and treatment. With a proactive approach, women can enjoy balanced hormones and glowing health.