Endometriosis is a disease that occurs when the uterine lining appears outside the uterine cavity. High levels of oestrogen and low progesterone levels are often detected in women with endometriosis. Normally the troubles lessen or even vanish after menopause as the body produces less hormones, in particular, oestrogen.
Endometriosis is activated and fed by oestrogen – this is well understood and documented. Women with endometriosis need to get their levels of oestrogen to a natural balance along with progesterone and other hormones produced in the body.
Hormones are very powerful substances. It takes only microscopic amounts of any given hormone to activate a host of changes in the body.
Oestrogens and your diet for Endometriosis
For all of us, it’s important to understand that there are different sources of oestrogen.
Oestrogens: they are primarily made in the female ovaries. These essentials molecules influence growth, development and behaviour (puberty), regulate reproductive cycles (menstruation, pregnancy) and affect many other body parts (bones, skin, arteries, the brain).
xeno-estrogens: chemically based compounds that enter the body and can cat-like or interfere with the body’s own oestrogen hormones. They enter the body via the food chain.
Avoid xeno-estrogens by cutting out from your menu:
- Processed foods This group includes meats and any non-organic fruits and vegetables. Avoid any chicken, turkey, or other meats not labeled as “Hormone-free.”
- Drinking Consuming large amounts of alcohol on a frequent basis changes the way your body produces estrogen. Excess drinking can raise the levels of estrogen produced while lowering your progesterone levels.
Phytoestrogens: They are plant-based compounds that act like oestrogen in the body and are found in many foods we eat. Phytoestrogens are found in herbs, grains (soya beans, wheat, and rice), vegetables (beans, carrots, and potatoes), fruits (dates, pomegranates, cherries, apples) and drink (coffee). Most of us are exposed to many of these natural compounds through food. The aim here is to take in phytoestrogens so that they block the pathways and stop your body from absorbing xeno-estrogens. If you eat too many foods containing phytoestrogens then you are defeating the object – you will end up with too much oestrogen. It is all about balance.
How to protect yourself and try and balance your hormones:
- Avoid all foods that have been polluted and contain compounds (xeno-estrogens) that act like oestrogens in your body. These compounds are stored in body fat so they will not be excreted out of your system.
- Avoid toiletries that contain chemicals that mimic oestrogen for the same reason.
- Include in your diet the foods that contain phytoestrogens.
Low progesterone can be caused by many things, including stress, age, menopause, pollution, diet, and excessive exercise. Each of these causes can lead to a hormone imbalance, meaning the amount of progesterone is unequal to the amount of estrogen being produced.
Most of us don’t realize the importance of progesterone and its impact on keeping the reproductive system healthy. We often fail to truly understand the significance of hormonal imbalances on the overall health of our bodies and our general well being.
The truth is that hormones are always changing due to our menstrual cycle, diets, environmental changes, stress levels, and underlying medical conditions. Any abnormal influence on this delicate balance can cause our hormones to go out of sync which often results in unpleasant side effects.
Symptoms of low progesterone levels
When progesterone levels are too low, the body might be unable to support the complex processes that occur during menstruation and pregnancy.
Signs of low progesterone levels include:
- abnormal menstrual periods
- missed or late periods
- spotting or cramping during pregnancy
- Aging also causes the levels of hormones, including progesterone, to decline. This can lead to irregular ovulation and periods.
Managing Oestrogen Dominance
A simple way to increase progesterone levels is through your diet. While food doesn’t contain progesterone itself, some foods can promote production, including:
- Brussel sprouts
- Whole grains
What Foods Increase Your Progesterone Levels?
There are 4 ways to naturally increase your progesterone levels:
- Eat foods that support your body’s production of hormones.
- Avoid foods and external substances that can knock your hormones out of sync.
- Reduce the amount of stress in your life.
- Reduce your level of body fat.
You can also try eating food with vitamin B-6 and zinc. Vitamin B-6 has a role in keeping hormones balanced and regulated, while zinc helps your ovaries create more progesterone and oestrogen.
Foods that are rich in vitamin B-6 include:
Zinc has a role in fertility and the development of the body during pregnancy and is an important nutrient for progesterone.
The following foods contain high levels of zinc:
- cashew nuts and almonds
- kidney beans
Consume enough magnesium
You will find magnesium in whole grains, almonds, legumes, pumpkin and chia seeds, quinoa, mackerel, salmon and leafy greens. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and helps ease the pain.
Have a diet rich in antioxidants
Increase your intake of red and blueberries, goji berries, beans, prune, spinach, pecan, walnuts, apples, green tea. Foods rich in antioxidants will increase the levels in your blood and binds free radicals and consequently prevents cell damage.
Excessive stress can raise the body’s stress hormones, which can also affect the ovaries and sex hormones. This is why a person may miss a period when they are experiencing high levels of stress.
Finding a way to manage stress is important. Meditating, exercising, and journaling can all be very useful, but what works can vary from person to person.
We should always remember that that adrenaline and cortisol are in fact hormones, and our hormones are all interconnected. When you are stressed, your body releases more cortisol and adrenaline than is healthy. That has other implications for your health and disrupts your other hormones. You can help your body by adding some small moments of calm – short breathing exercises or meditation, calming teas.
Carcinogens, neurotoxins, reproductive toxins – they are all in your bathrooms.
The problem is that a lot of these toxins mimic Estrogen, which isn’t good full stop let alone for someone who suffers from Endo (endometriosis and high levels of estrogen have been linked). Some are referred to as an endocrine disruptor, meaning hormone-altering crap lol. If your body is already high in estrogen, and then you add an estrogen-mimicking chemical to your body – your hormones are going to sky-rocket causing your symptoms to worsen!
Educating yourself on how your endometriosis can worsen is a big deal and its little things like using toxin-free products that are going to help you!
It’s not hard at all to find toxin-free products, you’ll be able to find them at supermarkets and chemists and stuff, not just health shops or online. Plus they aren’t even more expensive than those products that do contain it!
Whether you know you have low progesterone levels or merely suspect you are, remember that this is can be mitigated with a few simple changes in lifestyle.