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Do you know about estrogen detox? Yes, the female hormone estrogen that forms an integral part of the menstrual cycle. Since estrogen is so important for our hormonal system so why does it need a detox? When do you know that you need a detox? Or what are the presenting symptoms that indicate an estrogen detox?
Your each and every query will be solved at the end of this blog. Let’s start with the “What” part first.
What is estrogen?
Estrogen is one of the main female hormones that regulate the monthly cycle. Not just that, it impacts your cardiovascular health and well as bone immunity. Its deficiency or excessive levels disrupt the normal functioning of these systems.
Estrogen is stimulated by two hormones which are secreted by the pituitary gland, sitting inside the brain. The pituitary produces two hormones- namely Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), both of these hormones act on the ovaries to release estrogen.
Estrogen reaches its maximum levels during the time of the release of the female egg. That is a very crucial part of the cycle of females. Ovulation indicates whether the woman is having healthy periods or not. The absence of ovulation points out any pathology in the female reproductive tract or hormonal imbalance.
Without optimum estrogen, ovulation doesn’t take place. So, estrogen plays a really important role in the female menstrual cycle.
Moving on to the why part.
why estrogen detox is important?
Estrogen is a steroid hormone. It is derived from androgens. Estrogen is metabolized or inactivated in the liver. After that, it is excreted from the body through urine. Beta-estradiol is the active form of the hormone which is converted into estriol, the inactive form.
Likewise, If estrogen hormone is not metabolized in the liver due to a variety of reasons like excessive production of the hormone or impaired detoxification by the liver, then it freely moves in the blood causing devastating symptoms. further, it hampers the cardiovascular system too.
Signs that indicate a need for Estrogen detox
- Irregular periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Gastric discomfort, bloating, indigestion
- Hormonal acne
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings, irritability
Symptoms of estrogen dominance
Estrogen dominance is a phenomenon where estrogen crosses the upper limit of the optimal range and the estrogen: progesterone ratio becomes higher. That means estrogens increase more than progesterone in the body. It affects the hormonal system badly.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance are
- Weight gain
- Painful periods
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Fibroids- a common tumor of the uterus among females.
- Endometriosis - is a medical condition where the active bleeding sites (endometrial cells) develop in other areas of the body other than the uterus.
- Decreased sex drive
- Fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Symptoms of low estrogen
Low estrogen impacts the body differently rather similarly just like estrogen dominance. It hampers the hormonal regulation system in the body and produces symptoms that are serious and should be dealt with wisely. Mainly women after menopause experience such signs due to estrogen deficiency.
- Dry skin
- Hot flushes
- Weak bones
- Unable to concentrate
- Vaginal dryness
- Scanty menses
- Absence of menses.
This shows how damaging are the effects of both dominance and deficiency of estrogen. So, apart from optimal production of this hormone, its regulation and elimination from the body are equally important for maintaining good hormonal, bone as well as cardiovascular health.
Importance of superfoods in the detox pathway of estrogen hormone
The detoxification process occurs in the liver with two important phases.
1: this phase is highly controlled by a group of enzymes called cytochrome P450
Any alteration or modulation to these enzymatic groups can produce effects on the detox process.
2: this phase is called the conjugation phase where different enzymes perform
together to eliminate the toxins from the body in the form of urine and feces.
These detox enzymes are highly nutrient-dependent. It has been studied that those foods can modulate the detox pathway in the liver.
Many foods are found to be excellent in managing the activity of such enzymes. Hence, these are called superfoods. By inculcating them in your diet, you can manage the symptoms of your fluctuating estrogen hormone.
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