069 // Estrogen and Hashimoto’s: 3 Simple Solutions for Women’s Health

Health with Hashimoto’s is your free weekly podcast to discover true, simple, and sustainable tips to improve your energy and health.

Women, especially those with estrogen dominance, struggle with Hashimoto’s. Have you ever wondered why? In this episode, you’ll learn about estrogen, estrogen dominance, and what you can do about it.

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Estrogen and Hashimoto’s: Navigating the Intricate Connection

Welcome to another episode of the Health with Hashimoto’s podcast. I’m your host, Esther, a registered nurse, holistic health educator, and a fellow warrior in this Hashimoto’s journey. Today, we will unravel the complexities surrounding estrogen, understand its impact on Hashimoto’s, and equip ourselves with actionable strategies to support holistic well-being.

Estrogen and Hashimoto’s: A Complex Interplay

The prevalence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is notably higher in women than in men, and interestingly, many women find themselves grappling with this autoimmune condition during pivotal life stages – puberty, pregnancy, and perimenopause. This raises a crucial question: what role does estrogen play in the context of Hashimoto’s, and how does it influence the course of the disease?

Understanding Estrogen: Beyond Reproduction

Estrogen, often associated with reproductive health, is a multifaceted hormone secreted predominantly by the ovaries. While its primary role involves preparing the body for pregnancy, its influence extends far beyond the realm of reproduction. Estrogen actively participates in bone development, supports cardiovascular health, modulates mood, shapes brain structure, and contributes to neurotransmitter production, including serotonin and dopamine. Women do not have a 24-hour hormone cycle like men do, instead, our hormones rise and fall over the course of about 28-days. Estrogen is one of our primary hormones and it rises and falls over the menstrual cycle, influencing various physiological aspects of a woman’s body.

Not only is Hashimoto’s more common in women, there appears to be a link to those with estrogen dominance. This occurs when there’s an imbalance, with an excess of estrogen relative to progesterone during the latter half of the menstrual cycle. In theory, our body should be able to process estrogen and remove it from the body in a timely fashion. What can happen, though, is that there is a back-up in the liver and estrogen is not removed. While it isn’t removed, we continue to get more estrogen from our fat cells and external factors such as exposure to xenoestrogens from chemicals in our environment.

Identifying Estrogen Dominance: Decoding the Signs

Recognizing potential estrogen dominance involves paying attention to your body’s signals. Symptoms during the second half of your menstrual cycle, such as swollen and tender breasts, congested breast tissue, heavy or clotty periods, heightened PMS, menstrual cramps, and negative mood swings, could be indicative of estrogen dominance. While comprehensive testing is an option, you don’t have to have testing in order to support your body’s detox pathways.

The Liver’s Crucial Role: Detoxifying Estrogen

Central to estrogen management is the liver, acting as the primary detoxifier responsible for breaking down estrogen for elimination. However, congestion in the detoxification pathways can lead to estrogen recycling, contributing to dominance. To support your liver, consider minimizing exposure to “liver loaders,” which include alcohol, refined sugars, and chemicals found in skincare products. Additionally, reevaluate non-essential medications, with special consideration for the potential impact of birth control as a significant liver loader.

Seriously, let me jump on my soapbox for a moment. If you are on birth control for any reason other than not getting pregnant, please re-evaluate this with your provider. Birth control has significant long-term side effects including infertility and leaky gut (aka “increased intestinal permeability.) Not only that, but birth control isn’t addressing any of the root causes of what’s causing your symptoms.

Strategies to Support Your Liver: A Holistic Approach

Enhancing liver health becomes a cornerstone in managing estrogen effectively. Dr. Libby Weaver, in her lecture about hormones, liver health, and weight, advocates a simple yet potent approach – doubling your vegetable intake, with a focus on liver-friendly options like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These vegetables, especially broccoli sprouts, offer essential micronutrients crucial for optimal liver function. Furthermore, consider supporting your body’s antioxidant production through Protandim NRF2, promoting a remarkable 300% increase in glutathione production.

When you are looking at a backup of anything, including estrogen, you have to address the “exit ramps” of your traffic jam. To do this, ensure open detox pathways by prioritizing regular bowel movements, hydration, sweating, and embracing quality sleep.

Empowering Your Health Journey: A Comprehensive Approach

By adopting these simple and sustainable strategies, you empower your body to manage estrogen effectively, diminishing the likelihood of estrogen dominance. Your health journey is a dynamic and personalized experience, where listening to your body’s signals and making informed choices play pivotal roles.

Conclusion: Embracing the Holistic Path

In conclusion, estrogen and Hashimoto’s share a complex dance, and understanding this interplay equips you with the knowledge to navigate your health journey more effectively. Your body is resilient, and by incorporating these strategies into your lifestyle, you take significant steps toward embracing a holistic approach to wellness. Remember, your health is an ongoing journey, and each choice you make contributes to the vibrant tapestry of your well-being.

Images used in this post include those from Unsplash: Photo by Karl Magnuson on Unsplash Photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

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