Living with MTHFR: Estrogen Dominance
Weight gain, bloating, crazy mood swings, abnormal periods… no, it’s not just part of ‘being a woman’. These unpleasant symptoms are far from normal and are certainly not something that any woman should put up with.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what many women do. We blame ourselves for our symptoms, even when we’re doing our best to eat a healthy diet, live a clean lifestyle, and exercise regularly. And if we’re not doing these things, we feel doubly responsible.
Well, here’s the important news: hormonal imbalances are not our fault. In many cases, our discomfort and suffering come down to estrogen dominance and MTHFR.
And guess what, guys? You’re affected, too.
What is estrogen dominance?
Symptoms of estrogen dominance in women
- Recurring PMS
- Weight gain, particularly around the tummy, hips, and thighs
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Low energy and/or fatigue
- Reduced sex drive
- Low mood or depression
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Brain fog
- Sleeping problems and/or insomnia
- Cancer: High levels of estrogen can put women at a higher risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer.
- Autoimmune conditions: Elevated estrogen can increase your body’s inflammatory response, causing your immune system to produce antibodies that attack your own tissues.
- Thyroid issues: Excess estrogen can block thyroid hormones from reaching their receptor sites in order to do their job.
- Diabetes: Progesterone is a natural diuretic and helps to stabilize blood sugar. When estrogen is dominant, however, your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes may increase
Symptoms of estrogen dominance in men
- “Man boobs” - softer tissue or inflammation around your chest and armpits.
- Increased body fat in the upper chest and obliques
- Abdominal weight gain
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Low libido
What causes estrogen dominance?
What determines which metabolic pathway will be used?
How to treat estrogen dominance
- Improve your diet
Cut out foods that are likely to contain hidden estrogens from added hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers used in conventional farming methods. This includes processed meats, dairy products, and produce.
Stick to grass-fed meats and organic foods whenever possible. Drink only pure filtered water.
- Ditch the toxins
Check the labels on your skincare products and avoid those with synthetic compounds. Use glass or stainless steel bottles and containers for food.
- Minimize stress
Take some time out for yoga or meditation, or at least 30 minutes of gentle exercise. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep at night to allow your body to recover from daily stresses.
- Support methylation and detoxification
Healthy liver function is the first step in correcting and/or preventing poor estrogen metabolism and rebalancing estrogen levels. Specific nutrients can help to clear excess estrogen from the body and restore hormonal balance, while also supporting optimal estrogen metabolism and detoxification.
Recommended nutrients for balancing estrogen
This form of calcium promotes phase 2 glucuronidation; a phase II biotransformation reaction that helps to make molecules more water-soluble. It’s also believed to be a beta-glucuronidase inhibitor, which helps prevent the reabsorption of detoxified estrogens through second-pass metabolism.
Simply put, calcium-d-glucarate binds to circulating estrogen that would otherwise be reabsorbed by your body, then allows it to be flushed out.
- Diindolylmethane (DIM)
Diindolylmethane is a compound formed in the body from plant substances of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.
DIM supplementation helps to metabolize estrogen into more good metabolites than the potentially harmful metabolites. It also appears to help destroy cancer cells and reduce inflammation.
- Glutathione promoters and/or cofactors
Proper glutathione function is essential for the removal of harmful free radicals inside cells which can damage DNA. Mutations can lead to insufficient DNA repair, a major risk in the development of cancer.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) and resveratrol are two important antioxidants that can help reduce the formation of estrogen-DNA adducts and prevent several cancers. Vitamin D supplementation is also effective in inhibiting breast cancer cell growth.
MTHFR enzymes are crucial components of glutathione synthesis. Proper function of glutathione also requires mineral cofactors such as selenium (to form glutathione peroxidase) and magnesium (to activate the glutathione synthetase enzyme). Several B-vitamins play a central role here, especially vitamins B6 and B2.
- Additional herbs and nutrients
Milk thistle, dandelion, Alpha-Lipoic acid all support healthy liver function and the safe detoxification and clearance of excess estrogens.
- Methylation support
As explained previously, certain MTHFR mutations compromise the methylation cycle, leading to hormone imbalances – as is the case in estrogen dominance. MTHFR and COMT mutations can reduce methylation activity and result in the accumulation of harmful estrogens.
To ensure efficient methylation in the body, supplementation with L-Methylfolate is highly recommended.
A comprehensive methylfolate supplement can go a long way in supporting proper liver detoxification and the methylation processes involved in repairing DNA, turning genes on and off, estrogen clearance, and getting around the MTHFR gene mutation.
Methyl-Life’s™ Methylated Multivitamin is a delicious Chocolate Raspberry chewable multi that contains many of the nutrients required for optimal methylation in the body.
Methyl-Life’s™ Methylated Multivitamin contains the purest L-Methylfolate available: Magnafolate® PRO. This form of L-Methylfolate the closest to the pharmaceutical version of methylfolate and has been tested as three times purer in a recent study.
This research-based formulation includes methylfolate and hydroxocobalamin to promote your body’s production of glutathione, your most powerful antioxidant.
This special formula helps to support healthy hormonal balance and methylation processes by:
- Supplying L-Methylfolate (active B9) and active B12 (as well-tolerated hydroxocobalamin)
- Supporting energy and healthy detoxification with other active B vitamins and methylation cofactors
- Boosting serotonin, an important neurotransmitter
- Reducing harmful homocysteine levels in the body
- Supporting fertility, pregnancy and fetal health
- Helping repair the myelin sheath for nerve health