Originally published: 30.NOV.2020
Last updated: 20.SEP.2023
Responsible for maintaining sexual and reproductive development in women, estrogen is one of the two main female sex hormones. Nutrition, weight, stress, and even caffeine intake can impact estrogen levels. However if your estrogen levels are high over a long period, it may indicate a hormonal imbalance which can result in a whole range of undesirable symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with high estrogen levels, your treatment will be dependent on the underlying cause. However in some cases, lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on helping naturally decrease estrogen levels, these include:
- Losing excess body fat
- Decreasing stress in your life
- Ditching caffeine
See also: Estrogen Dominance: Signs and Symptoms
How to Naturally Decrease Estrogen Levels
Excess estrogen occurs when estrogen levels are increased relative to progesterone levels in the blood. This can lead to several symptoms from low sex drive to irregular periods.
Estrogen levels are known to vary depending on many factors. So while your estrogen levels may be high because of certain medications, hormone therapy, or your body making too much estrogen, some other factors can impact estrogen levels such as weight, stress, and alcohol.
Remember, treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your high estrogen levels, however, there are some lifestyle changes you can incorporate into your day-to-day life that may help decrease and maintain estrogen levels.
Magnesium and B vitamins are essential in the metabolism of estrogen in the body. Incorporate these minerals into your daily diet by eating dark leafy greens and vegetables which are high in both to support the processing of estrogen and your estrogen receptors. Some vegetables to consider include cruciferous vegetables, collard greens, bok choy, and mushrooms.
Try to incorporate fresh, organic fruits and vegetables into your diet. In a previous article: Foods That Increase Estrogen | Do They Exist? we spoke about phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are said to exist in processed foods, especially processed soy products.
Try to incorporate natural sources of protein into your diet for slow-release energy as opposed to processed soy products or laboratory proteins, think eggs, and nuts if you’re not a meat-eater and think lean cuts of meat if you are.
Eating more fiber deserves special mention. Estrogen is excreted both in the urine and through bowel movements. If stool takes a long time to wind its way through your bowel, estrogen will be reabsorbed by your body in the process. The best way to avoid this is to eat a diet high in insoluble fiber.
Studies have shown that the regulation and metabolism of hormones are influenced by sleep. Sleep disturbance, or a not-so-good quality sleep, can impact hormone rhythms and metabolism which are associated with diabetes, obesity and you guessed it, hormonal imbalance.
Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone and it plays a role in overall hormone balance. Adequate melatonin helps to ensure that female sex hormones remain balanced. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each evening as an adult.
#3 Stick to a healthy weight
Adipose tissue secretes estrogen which means having a high level of body fat can impact estrogen levels and often lead to high estrogen levels.
Aim to reduce your body fat percentage below 28%. By losing excess weight through a proper diet and exercise, you will also lose the body’s ability to store and produce excessive amounts of estrogen via the process of aromatization in which the body’s excess fat cells produce more estrogen than is necessary for healthy function.
See also: Signs of High Estrogen in Women
#4 Decrease stress in your life
Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” or “fight or flight hormone”. Cortisol is produced in response to our body feeling under threat. Our body uses progesterone to create cortisol. The more of your life you spend in “fight or flight” mode, the more progesterone your body will use - resulting in increased estrogen relative to progesterone.
Don’t be afraid to say “no” if you’re feeling run-down, invest in the hobbies that make you feel good, and allow for more experiences that help you to reduce stress and increase your sense of well-being and calm.
#5 Ditch the caffeine
Many studies related to caffeine and estrogen have been carried out, and they have shown the effect caffeine can have on estrogen levels largely depends on your genetic makeup.
Caffeine can have varying effects on your estrogen levels depending on what part of the menstrual cycle you are in, and how much caffeine you consume. It is clear that caffeine does affect estrogen levels, and if you would like to balance your hormones, avoiding this may help keep your estrogen levels healthy.
What can I drink to lower estrogen?
When it comes to increasing estrogen levels, studies suggest that caffeine can affect estrogen levels and others suggest that sugary drinks such as sodas can increase hormone levels.
In terms of lowering estrogen levels, there is no surefire evidence that any particular drink can help women balance or lower their hormone levels. In saying that, research from the U.S. National Institutes of Health that drinking green tea daily could be linked to lower levels of estrogen in post-menopausal women.
It’s important to note that everyone’s hormone levels differ and there are so many factors that can impact your estrogen levels including lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. If you are concerned about a hormone imbalance or would simply like to know more, you can check in from home with our Female Hormone Test.
Can I check my hormone levels at home?
A blood test is the most accurate way to gain insight into your hormone levels. This can be done with your healthcare provider or at home with LetsGetChecked’s range of Female Hormone testing options.
LetsGetChecked’s range of Female Hormone Tests provides a broad picture of a woman’s hormonal health. This can provide you with an insight into your current fertility status or potential shifts in hormones with online results available in just 5 days and medical support available over the phone for support and guidance.
You should consider taking a female hormone test if:
- You’re looking to start a family
- You’re thinking about pregnancy down the line
- You’re interested in knowing more about your hormone levels
- You’re experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance