When woman have unusually elevated estrogen levels, they may suffer menstrual irregularities, gain weight or endure the pain of chronic headaches. High levels of the hormone can also lead to breast cancer or fibrocystic disorders. Various lifestyle changes have shown to be effective in correcting the problem.
Alcoholic beverages put added stress on the liver. The organ is also responsible for metabolizing estrogen. When having to perform both tasks, the liver cannot effectively deal with estrogen, which keeps the hormone circulating in the body. Under normal circumstances, women are advised to enjoy no more than one drink a day. However, women having high estrogen levels should avoid alcohol.
Milk makes up to 80 percent of the dietary estrogens consumed. Cows are commonly milked while pregnant, which causes elevated hormone levels. If consumed on a regular basis, estrogen-rich milk consumption may contribute to the development of abnormal breast or reproductive organ tissue. Women might consider switching to non-dairy milk products that might include almond or rice milk.
Sulfur containing foods help detoxify the liver, which enhances the organ's overall efficiency. The liver is then better able to reduce estrogen levels. The list of recommended foods includes egg yolks, garlic, dark leafy vegetables, onions, lemons and limes.
Estrogen binds with bile acids from the liver and travels through the intestines. Insoluble or soluble fiber helps keeps the bowel healthy and hastens evacuation. Consider adding flax seeds to the diet. In addition to being a good source of fiber, the seeds contain chemical compounds known as lignans, which interfere with estrogen production. The versatile seeds are delicious in baked goods, added to salads or stir-fry dishes. However, limit consumption as flax also contains plant-based estrogens. Other good fiber sources include fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains.
Many are turning to organic foods as the products are specially grown without pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Besides having carcinogenic effects, these compounds also have a tendency to cause estrogen-like characteristics when consumed. Caffeine, high-fat or refined sugar all contribute to increased estrogen production. Four cups or more of coffee in 24 hours elevates estrogen levels by up to 70 percent. Avoid caffeinated beverages and an excess of carbohydrates.
Research suggests that by regularly engaging in moderate to high intensities of exercise or some type of physical activity, women successfully reduce estrogen levels. Start by taking daily walks, jog or ride a bike. Learn a new sport. Get a friend to join you in your endeavors. Health specialists advise combining cardiovascular and strength training for better overall health.