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Overcoming Estrogen Dominance with Magdalena Wszelaki

On Friday March 26th I interviewed Magdalena Wszelaki, author of the book Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, and below is the written transcript. If you would prefer to watch the interview you can access it by clicking here [1]:

Dr. Eric:

Hello everyone. This is Dr. Eric Osansky and I have with me Magdalena Wszelaki and she is the author of the brand new book Overcoming Estrogen Dominance. So why don’t we start by talking about why you decided to write the book Overcoming Estrogen Dominance.

Magdalena:

So with a lot of us, the same way you started doing Graves’ disease, it’s a personal story. And I struggled with estrogen dominance for as far as I can remember, having terrible PMS as a young girl, and struggling with a lot of bloating, but when I talk about PMS, you’re talking about, it was probably borderline PMDD when you’re in a fetal position on the floor, with painkillers on both sides of your bed, and canceling out one or two days out of the month for school or work because you really can’t get up, and then coupled that with a lot of other things started cropping it including for example, developing lumpy breasts, and sometimes it was just one lump, sometimes it was lumps on both sides.

And I think any woman who finds lumps on her breasts, it’s one of the most the scariest moments that you have in your health history. And you remember that for a long time because first, you go and Google it, and you are convinced it’s breast cancer, and then it’s also like how do you get it properly diagnosed, you’ve got this contradictory information about the different diagnostic tools, and then you have to wait for the results.

And so it was always a very scary moment, but also, a tendency to put on weight around my buttocks and my hips, it was an interesting one. Developing thyroid nodules, having a history of Hashimoto’s disease. So all of those put together and then finding out later with my DNA testing that I am highly predisposed towards being a very slow estrogen metabolizer. If I did a DNA testing for another reason, and I wanted that to be interpreted to tell me whether that area is a problem, and I’ll never forget how the person who did the interpretation, the consultants emailed me and she said, “Your problem is estrogen, not the other things.”

So and not surprisingly, on both sides of my family, there are estrogenic cancer deaths. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer run on both sides of my family. So it was a personal story, but then I also started realizing that estrogen dominance is so prevailing with a lot of other hormonal imbalances, so like Hashimoto’s, women generally with thyroid conditions tend to have it, menopause, perimenopause. It always is coupled up with something else, and yet, no one was really talking about it. There was information that’s a bite away thing or it’s all over the internet, or is informal blog posts, or research that no one has interpreted to layman language.

And let alone turn it into recipes, and so I decided, “You know what? I’m going to do this.” And that was the result of creating a 400-page book. That’s not just a health book, but it’s also a cookbook.

Dr. Eric:

And one of the great things about the book is even though it’s 400 pages, I found that you don’t have to read every single chapter. Probably the first few chapters, but there’s a number of chapters in between. So thyroid nodules, which I’d love to talk to you about, fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids. So again, if someone wants to go through the entire book that’s awesome. But if they want to just cover some of the book, I guess you would say maybe the first few chapters and then in the middle they could pick and choose, and then at the end you get into the diet and the recipes and the supplements.

Magdalena:

That’s correct. So you’re absolutely right. The first few chapters is what I call the estrogen reset foundation. So you’re resetting your ability to metabolize estrogen in the first few chapters, and that really takes care of your gut, your liver function and your blood sugar levels, and I’m sure those are all the three areas you talk about a lot as well in your own protocols. And so that’s the foundation and I was talking about that it’s really paramount to get that right and do that first.

It’s very tempting to jump onto the feather chapters like go into the thyroid nodule protocol and tinker around with some essential oils on your thyroid and stuff like that. But if you don’t cover the foundation, and really fix your gut, stabilize your blood sugar levels, detox your liver gently, these nodules, they’re not going to go away just because you’re putting Frankincense on it. So that’s how I wrote the book. But if somebody has done the foundation, and then after that, for example, the thyroid nodules persist, or your breasts are still very painful and fibrocystic, then add on that protocol as you’re going through things. Do you want to talk about the giveaway of the book?

Dr. Eric:

Yeah. For anyone who trickled in late I’m chatting with Magdalena. I have her book as well, Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, and she’s going to be giving away a book during this Facebook Live.

Magdalena:

Yeah. So we decided to do that, based on a question we’re going to pop sometime towards the end of the interview, so we mustn’t forget.

Dr. Eric:

Yeah.

Magdalena:

And the question is gonna be based on something that we’re going to be talking about. So we’re going to quiz you guys here a little bit. And whoever gets it right, we’re going to select one person and contact you for your address and mail the book over to you.

Dr. Eric:

All right, that’s awesome. So that’s exciting. So what are some of the common symptoms associated with estrogen dominance?

Magdalena:

I’m so glad you asked that because that is one of the most underestimated, I think, hormonal imbalances, same as with Hashimoto’s, a lot of women go undiagnosed, misdiagnosed. I think when it comes to estrogen dominance, it’s really not even on the radar of most practitioners. And yet, it’s something that almost every woman experiences to some degree in her life. And so let’s go over the list. So first of all, women who are still menstruating, having irregular periods, heavy periods, absent periods, periods that are incredibly painful, so PMS, PMDD, dysmenorrhea.

All of those can be due to estrogen dominance. Then you also have something almost every woman struggles with and that is fibrocystic breasts, some women can have it throughout their entire cycle. Some women it is regardless of the cycle that just have it, having lumps on your breasts, having really painful breasts, so much so when putting on a bra or trying to exercise especially anything that requires balancing is extremely painful and uncomfortable. Fibroids, 80% of African-American women will develop fibroids at one point in her life. A lot of times, we don’t even realize we have a fibroid, very correlated with women with heavy periods. Uterine polyps, something that a lot of women get diagnosed with and Western medicine’s perspective on it as to remove the uterus.

Speaking of thyroid, thyroid nodules as well as thyroid cancer can also be estrogenic and oftentimes are. In fact, the estrogenic cancer category is estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer, lung cancer, non-smokers is also a form of estrogenic cancer, and a little bit more benign things, but can be also annoying for a lot of women putting a lot of weight around their hips. So fat and cellulite around the hips and thighs and buttocks. And no matter how much you exercise, it just would not go away. And so this is as I said, at the beginning, I’m highly estrogenic, I can be highly estrogenic if I don’t take care of myself.

So if I do put on weight, it all goes down there and that’s typical. So your pear-shaped women tend to be very estrogenic, women who put weight around their abdomen tend to be more in the metabolic spectrum. So high testosterone, high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance potentially. So I would say those are the main ones. Sometimes, this also can be correlated with other things like having varicose veins on your face, melasma which is also a super annoying thing is a brown spotting for a lot of women will be above your lips, it might be around your forehead around here, in the temples. Some women would even get melasma on their breast and chest.

So I would say those are the main ones. I would also just throw in here that having things like mood swings, terrible mood swings can be also due to estrogen dominance, especially before your period. Women with infertility problems, this is especially due to low progesterone levels. So there are different types of estrogen dominance. Maybe we can mention that in a second, but one type is that when you’re low on progesterone and that infertility or early miscarriages in the first trimester can be correlated with that.

Yeah, I would say those are really the main ones. Actually, there’s more. Oh, let me also not forget. Since you’re a guy, and I’m sure you have some men following, prostate problems in men and prostate cancer can also be due to high estrogen levels. Men have estrogen too, it’s just a lot less than women. But you still depend on the same mechanism as women and that is how do you metabolize it. How do you break down those estrogens is also dependent on your diet, on the health of your liver and your blood sugar levels.

Also man boobs. I was just reading the other day that one of the biggest corrective surgeries for men, for women it would be facelifts and botox and breast implants and stuff. For men, it’s actually breast reduction. And so again, men boobs are due to estrogen because estrogen is what makes women, women. And so X is estrogen. This is super common for men who like to drink a lot of beer. Beer, especially hops-based beer, hops are highly estrogenic. So that’s part of the reason. So one of the questions I get a lot is, “If I do your protocol Magdalena, can my husband and my kids do it?” And the answer is absolutely, yes.

There’s nothing in these protocols that will make your man grow boobs. In fact, it’s the other way around where we have a lot of women telling us that when they implement the protocol for the whole family is that their guys sleep better, they snore less, they have less sleep apnea, less restless legs. They have better mood, they have more energy, they’re just much more pleasant to be around with and they lose weight.

Dr. Eric:

You mentioned the surgery and it’s sad that a lot of men will go ahead and get the surgery, yet it’s not doing anything to address the cause or the problem and the estrogen dominance. And speaking of the cause, as you mentioned, the foundations, healthy gut, healthy liver, blood sugar, but you also did mention genetics. It looks like your dog is in the background.

Magdalena:

I’m so sorry. I forgot to…

Dr. Eric:

…excited about this presentation here too.

Magdalena:

Yeah, woohoo.

Dr. Eric:

No, that’s okay. We have two dogs as well here.

Magdalena:

I’m so sorry. Yeah. Would you just hold on a second? Let me just ask them to come over here and-

Dr. Eric:

Sure, sure. And in the meantime, if you have any questions… Magdalena, will be right back. Just taking care of her doggies. But until then, if you have any questions let us know. She does have another interview right after this for her book. But again, if you popped in late, we’re talking about Magdalena’s book, Overcoming Estrogen Dominance. So if you have any questions, feel free to put it in the chat. And we will try our best to get to your questions. We’ll definitely get to a few questions and hopefully we’ll be able to answer all of them. But yeah, definitely check out her book Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, a really good book… I think she’s back here. So let me add her back.

Magdalena:

Sorry about that, that’s what happens when we have two very lively young terriers.

Dr. Eric:

Yeah, no, no, no worries. I think we’re all used to it. If it was two years ago, maybe it would have been a little bit different. But now, with everything going on-

Magdalena:

It’s just so much more real, right?

Dr. Eric:

Exactly. So what I was going to say as far as the causes. You also mentioned genetics. So it sounded like you had some genetic issues. You talk about COMT, a slow COMT being a big cause of estrogen dominance?

Magdalena:

Yes, that’s the biggest one correct. There are a few other ones and I covered them in the book that make an impact, but it’s more of an indirect one. The direct one is the COMT gene. And just to tell you how bad it was, when I went to see a colleague of ours, Dr. Jill Carnahan, she was my physician here in Boulder, Colorado. When I went to see her for the first time about three years ago, and I brought my whole print out of my labs with me as she was going through it and as she’s flipping through it, she didn’t really know me as a person. We were not really friends back then yet.

She’s flipping through the whole material, and she says, “Have you had breast cancer?” I’m like, “Whoa, no. Why would you say that?” It’s just because with these kind of genes, I see women your age and that time I was 45, women your age, with these kind of genes I would have seen breast cancer by now. So I think I dodged it just because I do this work. Well, I did this work, but I also live this life. And if you ask me what is my biggest fear in life, my biggest fear is that I’ll develop breast cancer and go down the path of my aunts on both sides. And it’s not a good quality of life. And before they even had cancer, they just never really had a happy, healthy life, a vibrant, there’s always stuff going on.  There was all this female stuff as my family will call it, female problems. I don’t want to have female problems. I just want to be a healthy, vibrant, individual. So I’m 48 today, and I always joke about that I feel better than when I was 28. So it’s completely manageable, in spite of what your genes are, you just have to put a little bit more work towards it.

Dr. Eric:

And I don’t think you mentioned in the beginning, maybe you did, but that you also had the antibodies for Graves’ and Hashimoto’s. And then also by reading your book, I didn’t know you also had thyroid nodules. Correct?

Magdalena:

That is correct.

Dr. Eric:

To shrink them I assume by addressing the estrogen dominance, the estrogen metabolism problems?

Magdalena:

Absolutely. And a couple of years ago, I went to get a sonogram on my thyroid and the technician and I were chatting, and she had some sleeping problems. So I started giving her advice. So we became fast friends while I was on that bed. And she said, “I’m not supposed to comment on what I’m seeing. But I will just tell you off record that somebody with a history of Hashimoto’s and Graves’, I’ve never seen such a healthy tissue.” So it was a colored version, the latest kind of scans that you can get. And she says it was beautiful pink. Nice one.

So anyway, it’s completely reversible, it’s completely manageable. I think for a lot of people with thyroid nodules … what happens when you go and see a doc, right? Your typical endocrinologist will tell you just wait and see, come back in six months’ time. And then if they biopsy that, and they consider it inconclusive, they will recommend surgery from which they also make a lot of money from insurance. But to your point, and this is why we do this work, it doesn’t address the root cause of a problem. It’s an autoimmune problem, or it’s an estrogen dominance problem with nodules, with autoimmunity, and so really addressing that, it was something that I’ve always been on a mission to do.

So completely reversible. I don’t have them anymore and I think a lot of a lot of people go like, “Well, let me ask you this, if you had a nodule right in here under your skin, you do something about it.” I feel like when something is inside here, we don’t really see it. Very few people know how to go and look for it. Because we’re not really trying to do it. Then it’s like, “We just let it be.” But it’s not about putting anyone in a state of panic, it’s just your body’s way of saying like, “Hey, I’m really struggling here with metabolizing this estrogen.” And I just happened to be depositing that estrogen into your thyroid, and so do something about it.

So those are your early signs that something needs to be done. The other symptom I forgot to mention is gallbladder. So many women suffer from gall bladder problems. And it’s an interesting one between estrogen dominance and gallbladder because you can have estrogen dominance that causes gallbladder issues, or rather, the thickening of the bile that then builds up the gall stones and in the tracks and that’s what causes the problems of releasing bowel and demount when we need it. But you also have the other way around where the removal of the gallbladder let’s just say you’ve had a poor diet before you join this community. So you had a poor diet, you haven’t been eating all that great.

Dairy sensitivities are a big cause for gallbladder problems. But then you have the gallbladder removed and are told that nothing changes, you don’t really need a gallbladder to function. We have 250,000 surgeries of gallbladder removals in the United States and Mayo Clinic said that apparently, 70% of them are unnecessary, it can be reversible. The problem for women with gallbladder removal, something that your doctor doesn’t tell you, and most women don’t connect the dots is that after gallbladder removal, depending on that person about between six months and what supplements you’re taking, six months to two years later, suddenly the woman starts developing really severe symptoms of estrogen dominance, any of those that I’ve mentioned, and we don’t make the connection that was because of the gallbladder removal.

The reason why that happens is because the bile is not just there to emulsify your fats and help you digest fatty foods. But the bile also binds up your dirty estrogen. So I’m hoping that we can talk a little bit about the different forms of estrogen dominance and why that happens because I don’t want to demonize estrogen.

Dr. Eric:

Yeah, I know you said low progesterone. So that’s an example where you don’t have to necessarily have high estrogen. So why don’t you talk about this? You said there are three different types of estrogen dominance.

Magdalena:

Yeah, I’ll cover the main two ones because I think those are the most adjustable ones. I have all the three in my book, but so the first one is what I call the unbalanced partner since we are on that. This is where your estrogen/progesterone ratio is unfavorable. And the interesting thing is that even when you are in menopause or perimenopause, when all your hormones start slowing down, especially the reproductive organ hormones, estrogen and progesterone. So you could be low on both of them. But even though you’re low on both of them, still the ratio between estrogen and progesterone might be unfavorable.

And then that could be one reason why we are estrogen dominant. Especially, we are talking here about the comparison of progesterone to estradiol, E2, which tends to be the more aggressive form of estrogen. Then you have another form of estrogen, which is also incredibly common, and easily manageable to be perfectly honest. And that is what I call ugly breakup. So ugly breakup is basically … Shows you and you can test for it on their test to show you how you break down estrogens into clean estrogens and dirty estrogen. So if you’re a practitioner, it’s what we call antagonistic metabolites.

Now, I don’t want to demonize estrogen because if you’re a woman listening to this, the only reason why you’re listening to this and comprehending things and absorbing information, you’re sitting straight, and you have some muscle strength and healthy bones is because you have estrogen, that makes us women, that gives us cycles, healthy bones, healthy skin, hair, mental cognitive function. And so estrogen is not bad in itself, we need it to function. The problem is how you break down estrogens into metabolites. Think of it this way. Imagine standing on a side of a river and this river is flowing, and right in front of you is this beautiful, whatever, Rocky Mountains river and you have this bank in the middle of the river, and this bank will separate the water into a clean stream and a dirty stream.

So in the body, the function of that bank is your liver. That’s what happens, that’s where the metabolism of estrogen happens. Not only the liver, the gut also, there is some mechanism there when it comes to gut bacteria that break down estrogens as well. But the liver really plays a huge role in this. And there are a couple of pathways, the methylation pathway, the sulfation pathway and the glucuronidation pathway. They’re responsible for breaking down those estrogens. So how healthy and clean your liver is, this is going to be hugely correlated with how estrogenic you could potentially be. And again, the same thing, even if you’re low on estrogen like women, one of the funny emails that we get on a regular basis, even we try to fix it with a copy somehow doesn’t work is that there was a quiz on my website.

And then women take the quiz and they say, “Your quiz doesn’t make any sense.” It says I’m low in estrogen, and I’m in menopause.  Correct. But it also tells me that I’m estrogen dominant, and that doesn’t make any sense. And we explained it in the copy, but a lot of people don’t read it. And so that’s what I’m trying to explain that even though you’re low in estrogen, the little that you have how you break it down, it can make a big difference. So not surprisingly, my whole cookbook, my whole book, and the recipes are very supportive of using fruits, vegetables, fiber that are specifically targeting liver health.

Dr. Eric:

All right. So we also just want to remind anyone who came in late, we probably should let them know that. First of all, we’re discussing Magdalena’s new book, Overcoming Estrogen Dominance. And then we’re also giving away a book… We’re going to ask a question towards the end. So for one lucky winner who will answer that question, that person will … We’re going to randomly choose, is that how we do it… I’m new to these book giveaways.

Magdalena:

Yeah, my team generally picks someone randomly, unless you have … Sometimes we pick somebody who’s very active, ask a lot of questions.

Dr. Eric:

Okay. Speaking of questions, I just want to get to this question because it does lead to one of the questions I was going to ask you. So one of the Facebook groups asked, “What tests can you take to find this out or is it just based on symptoms?” So I know you have an answer for that and I know the answer, but we’ll let you give the answer.

Magdalena:

Okay. So symptoms are obviously very telling and it depends, if you’re really on a tight budget, then going with symptoms and helping yourself by making changes to your diet and adding a few supplements will definitely help. If you have the funds and especially, I do recommend it for women who have a history of estrogenic cancers, managing and or by identical hormones, I hope you’re not taking any synthetic hormones. Then breaking down, managing that element of how you’re breaking down estrogens is going to be really, really important. So for that, I really like the DUTCH, D-U-T-C-H that shows you your estrogen metabolites. This is going to be really helpful to see and understand that. Do you do interpretation of DUTCH?

Dr. Eric:

I do. If someone just wants the adrenals tested, a lot of times I still will do salivary testing. But for looking at sex hormones, I agree, dried urine testing, and specifically the DUTCH test is something I recommend.

Magdalena:

Yeah. And I will also say that blood testing is completely useless when it comes to certain markers. Some people might say that morning cortisol is helpful. Cortisol is not my gig, but I can tell you right now from an estrogen/progesterone perspective, if your doctor has done blood testing then it’s not going to tell you pretty much anything. I remember when I was in private practice, I’m not anymore, but when I was, I used to have women walk into my office and say, “Look, okay, those are my labs, this is my estrogen, my progesterone. My doc says everything is perfect.” And fair enough, it was all within ranges.

Nobody asked her which part of the cycle she was in. And then yet, this person, when you look at her intake form, has got a history of fibroids, she’s got terrible, heavy periods running for 20 days at a time, history of breast cancer in the family. Screaming estrogen dominance, and her physician is telling her that her labs look great. So blood is completely useless. I agree with you. I like saliva, also, for another reason that I feel like it’s a better marker of progesterone. DUTCH estimates progesterone where the saliva actually shows you more … I think it’s just another really great market to look at with that. So saliva and urine for sure.

Dr. Eric:

Like you said, the big advantage of urine testing is that it looks at the metabolites. Saliva doesn’t do that, blood doesn’t do that. So if you want to look at the two hydroxy, four hydroxy, 16 hydroxy… There are other urine test that look at these. I know DUTCH isn’t the only one, but it’s the most common one, it’s the one I use and it sounds like the one you use. So yes, anybody looking for symptoms to start out with maybe like you said, if they can absolutely afford the DUTCH test, and this test also looks at the adrenals, looks at melatonin and looks at some organic acids.
So it’s really a good test. So I’m just looking, we got those questions, I think you triggered a bunch of questions coming in with that. So all right, “Is there a link between hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance?”

Magdalena:

Perfect question Madeline. And the answer is yes, absolutely. So they often go together and in fact, I said it earlier in our interview that I hardly ever see women having just one hormonal problem and typically comes in sets of two or three. So yes, and the mechanism behind it is that when you have high estradiol or you have high metabolites, dirty estrogen is what I call those metabolites, unfavorable metabolites. What happens with estrogen dominance is that excess estrogen binds up thyroid binding, it binds up your thyroid hormone basically.

And so even though you might be producing a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone, the excess estrogen is going to bind it up and up and hence causing or making you feel like you have hypothyroidism. So yeah, definitely. The other thing that happens is that estrogen dominance also can cause the growth of thyroid nodules. And that’s an interesting one because a lot of women who are really hypo suddenly also have bursts of being hyper during that time.

So for those of you who have been swinging between those two, I used to have that swinging happening. I think there are different theories why that happens, but one of them for sure is the fact that thyroid nodules can also produce additional thyroid hormone making you hyper even though you’re hypo so you’re just swinging between those two. Lastly, estrogen dominance just causes a lot of inflammation. And since most hypothyroidism cases are Hashimoto’s, and if you haven’t been tested, I highly recommend for you to get tested for Hashimoto’s antibodies, and when you have Hashimoto’s, you already tend to be on the inflamed side of things.

And so estrogen dominance is like adding fuel to the fire. So all around, yes, absolutely. That’s why a lot of women who have hypothyroidism also have fibroid issues, lumpy breast issues, painful breasts, terrible PMSs and periods, etc.

Dr. Eric:

All right. Great. Thank you for that explanation, and we have a bunch of questions here. Marina asks, “Can IVF cause Graves’?” I don’t think so Marina as far as I know, I don’t think in vitro fertilization will cause Graves’. I don’t know if you have any opinion on this.

Magdalena:

No, I really don’t know much about that.

Dr. Eric:

Okay.

Magdalena:

There’s a question on birth control. I don’t know if you want to do that one. I think it’s a good question.

Dr. Eric:

This one here?

Magdalena:

Yeah. “Also, my surgeon recommends I go on low dose birth control of estrogen, but I don’t want to as it has synthetic hormones and I’m sure will increase estrogen. Should I really stay away from birth control?” So I’m curious what your take is, but I’ll just tell you mine. First is that one thing that I find really amusing on one hand and really frustrating on the other, is when your doctor tells you that it’s a low dose birth control. Have you ever heard of a high dose birth control? A normal dose birth control?

So it’s marketing … First of all, there’s a marketing spiel that’s been created by the pharmaceutical companies on birth control pills that just make you believe that you’re on the lowest dose possible. They don’t even test your hormones to determine the dose that you need. Okay. Our colleague Jolene Brighten has written a great book called Beyond the Pill, and it’s a really wonderful book about getting women off birth control. So for those of you who have younger kids or younger women who struggle with it, I highly recommend to get that book.

But what I have learned from her, just a short version of this is that first of all, when you go on birth control, birth control pills are nutritional muggers. They mug you of Vitamin Bs, magnesium, zinc and guess what? All these minerals, all these vitamins and minerals are essential. For example, B vitamins are essential for detoxifying your liver, and you’re basically impairing the ability or just you’re basically flushing them out of your body, depleting yourself of B vitamins, impairing your liver’s function, and hence, your estrogen metabolism is not going to be as effective.

Magnesium, how many of you here are craving chocolate? It’s almost like a women’s thing. It’s like, “I love chocolate. I can’t live without chocolate.” And it’s like a cultural, joke kind of a thing. But actually, there is a reason behind it. Cacao is high in magnesium, every time you have chocolate, your body’s like, “Oh, thank goodness, I’ve got some magnesium here. I love you for this. Bring on more chocolate.” Problem is there’s sugar in that. So yeah, so all around and most importantly, a lot of times, doctors put us on birth control pills without addressing the root cause of the issue.

So you ask yourself why is your surgeon putting you on birth control pills? Is it really because of contraception? Because there’s a lot of other things you can do with contraception.  Or is it some other reasons? And is it to regulate your periods? Because that’s not stated here. Is it to regulate your periods? Is it to make the periods less painful? What is the reason? For example, let’s just say your periods are irregular, that’s not the way to fix a problem. Okay. So, and actually, your periods tell you a really great story on your overall health, the same way your hair tells the story of your health, your skin tells the story how healthy are you on the inside.

Your periods tell you how healthy of a woman are you. So I think I just want to congratulate you on your intuition to consider staying away from that. And so I would definitely work with somebody like Dr. Eric Osansky to really uncover what is the root cause of your issue. And yes, it will increase estrogen and I will tell you right now, one of the early symptoms that I already knew that I had problem with estrogen was that I’ve been on birth control pills for six months. It was the worst six months of my life. Worse. I felt so off, my breasts were so painful. I used to play a lot of tennis. I couldn’t play tennis.

I didn’t want to have sex, I had headaches all the time. And so I think it was because I’m such a bad estrogen metabolizer, and I had enough intuition, but though I didn’t know any of this back then was just not to do this. And congratulations on your own intuition and to ask this question, so thank you for that.

Dr. Eric:

Yeah, and this question relates to the birth control too in that Victoria wants us to repeat the correct test for hormones and we’re going to talk about dried urine testing with the DUTCH test, but if you’re taking birth control , you wouldn’t want to do the DUTCH test because it’s going to be throwing off those hormones. So if you’re testing for hormones while on birth control, it’s not going to give an accurate reading.

But yeah, dried urine testing is what both Magdalena and I use and recommend. And I definitely agree with what you said with the birth control and good point with the B vitamins and magnesium. B vitamins are also important for adrenals as well.

Magdalena:

And zinc. Zinc and magnesium are essential for progesterone production, for example. And for your immune system. And most of you guys are here probably because of Graves’ and Hashimoto’s and here you are depleting yourself of zinc. One of your immune system nutrients. So yeah, good question.

Dr. Eric:

All right, Rachel, thanks for bringing up the DUTCH test. And then here we have Diane, “Once one has testing in hand, is jumping to bio-identical hormones usurping the opportunity to address underlying causes naturally with diet?” Yeah, and I think you would agree. I forget if you mentioned this in your book. But in some cases, if someone has a complete hysterectomy, then maybe that’s justification for taking bioidentical hormones. But the problem is if someone goes to a doctor who prescribes bio-identical hormones, almost everyone will get a prescription for bioidentical hormones, even those who probably don’t need bioidentical hormones.

Magdalena:

Yeah, so you have a very good point. And women with a hysterectomy, women who are very stressed out during a certain period of time, let’s address this in a second. But I want to show you this pyramid I have in the book, let me just get this centered and it’s called, I call it the healing pyramid. The bottom of the pyramid is food. What it says is always first, then you have herbs. I’m an herbalist, so I love herbs and in culinary applications, and then the supplements which I call it often. So food is first and always, herbs are often supplements sometimes and medications.

And medication is only when needed and I consider bio-identical hormones in the RX staying on top and it’s not to say that you don’t do it. There are times when you do need your thyroid blocker because you’re just going completely berserk, right? But then you work on getting yourself out of it and the same thing. So the challenge is like what you said about going to a clinic that specializes in bio-identical hormones is they don’t get to ask and ever correct your diet. They’re never going to replenish and correct your nutritional deficiencies. And my challenge with getting DUTCH testing done, it will be like boom, okay, we’re going put you on estradiol, estriol and progesterone or DHEA or testosterone or whatever, you’re getting the whole combo.

And the challenge I find with that is that you are not addressing the biggest question which is why is your body not producing your own hormones properly in the first place? Or why are you not metabolizing these hormones in the first place? And by going on these bio-identical hormones, I think sometimes temporarily it’s really helpful just to get you settled and calm you down and enable you to focus. And so when you read books like mine, you can actually process it and get to the kitchen and have the energy to prepare something. But a lot of times, it’s something that we just take forever while we are magnesium-deficient.

A huge one, one of my absolute favorites when it comes to hormonal balance. So let’s talk about magnesium deficiency. Let’s say they don’t correct the magnesium deficiency, they don’t even test for your magnesium. They don’t look at the other symptoms like for example, the fact that you’re having sleeping problems. You’ve got a lot of cramps, you wake up in the middle of a night with massive pain around your shoulders or you’re cramping around, you’re constipated all the time. But they don’t address the magnesium deficiency.

They’d rather put you on a whole bunch of … Even if it’s by identical hormones, but you see then when you have this magnesium deficiency not addressed, then you go like, “Oh, then we’re going to give you stool softeners and then we give you something for the sleep.” And the next thing you know, you are taking 20 supplements and spending 500 bucks a month. And so this is where I think the challenge is and I will say if I had a complete hysterectomy, I definitely would consider going on certain hormones, although it’s really interesting that the body is so amazing certainly if you had a hysterectomy, you’re going to go into menopause sooner or later, but the adrenals step in, and guess what? The adrenals then when there’s an absence the adrenals step in and you’re in menopause, but you’re still producing your estrogen and progesterone through the adrenals which is really fascinating.

And so some women don’t even need to go on bio-identical hormones. But if you’re feeling like you’re brain dead, you got your bone density testing, it’s not looking great, your mind isn’t working particularly great then consider bio-identical hormones, but always in combination with some supplements and a really good diet.

Dr. Eric:

Right. And you bring up a good point about progesterone and estrogen. If someone has low progesterone causing estrogen dominance, they could take something such as chaste tree (vitex), but instead of bioidentical hormones, that’s sometimes an option I’ll give, but the number one thing I’ll try to do is try to improve the person’s adrenals. Just doing that could do wonders for low sex hormones as well.

Magdalena:

Yes.

Dr. Eric:

So now as far as some of the treatments, I don’t know if you want to talk more about food. Of course, the book goes into greater detail, but if you could give a few tips as far as either diet or supplements, I know there’s diindolylmethane, DIM, I’ll let you take over as far as what types of treatments do you recommend?

Magdalena:

Yeah, so let’s just talk about maybe the liver. Definitely a favorite organ when it comes to balancing your estrogen levels. I’ll give you three pointers on what you can incorporate right away today. It’s a Friday today, hopefully you’re going shopping over the weekend. First thing is that you want to surround yourself with really great cruciferous vegetables. So the brassicaceae family of vegetables will be things like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, arugula, radishes, turnips, we are going to spring now, radishes … It’s a really great time to buy young radish especially if you go to shopping in farmers market.

These cruciferous vegetables, so it’s the brassicaceae family, the cabbage family, they contain a number of different substances including DIM, diindolylmethane. They also contain some levels of sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts are amazing. By the way, they’re very high in sulforaphane. Sulforaphane kills your breast cancer stem cells, how amazing is that? So throw away the lettuce. There is nothing in the lettuce that’s going to be nutritionally beneficial for you. Okay? Maybe this summer, consider not growing a zucchini which also nutritionally speaking, the density in a zucchini, there’s nothing wrong with a zucchini, it just make you food you’re eating really nutritionally dense that it’s like a bowl of medicine that you’re feeding yourself.

Note: while iceberg lettuce doesn’t have any nutritional value, some other lettuces do have a good amount of nutrients, including organic romaine and green leaf lettuce.

So instead of doing lettuce, incorporate arugula or mustard greens, instead of doing lettuce or instead of doing zucchini, consider chopping up some broccoli or broccolini into your salad or if you can’t do it raw, then you can steam it lightly too. And so all of those are just absolutely wonderful. Your liver is going to love you for that. They also have slightly better quality to them. And the bitterness is something that the liver loves. So the next thing as I mentioned is bitterness. So the liver loves bitters period. In a lot of cultures, bitters are something that is drunk before or after a meal.

If it’s before, it’s an aperitif, if it’s after, it’s a digestif. The French have it, the Swedish have it, the Italians have it and it’s always there to prepare your digestion for receiving food and extracting the best out of your food. But guess what? The liver also loves anything that’s bitter. So you can do a couple of things. If you like digestive bitters, we just formulated our own. Have I sent you our digestive bitters?

Dr. Eric:

No, you have not.

Magdalena:

Okay, I’m going to do it after this call. We formulate a really good-tasting digestive bitter, something you take before a meal and we have another one that’s after a meal that really helps. But even doing things like burdock root tea or dandelion root tea. Today when you walk into most health food stores, if you can look at a tea section, back in the day like 10 years ago, there was two hippie teas kind of thing. Now you have 20 brands and 100 products out there that are non-caffeinated.

And just look for those ones that deliver support once and look for dandelion roots, artichoke or burdock root and have that after or before a meal. Most people will prefer to do it after a meal. That bitter quality is going to tremendously help your liver. The third thing that helps the liver in a huge way is fiber. And flax seed is really wonderful to incorporate into your daily diet. A couple of tablespoons of flax seeds freshly ground, I want to emphasize the word freshly so you don’t buy flax seeds as being per ground in the flax meal form. You can pre-grind it and put it in a little jar and keep it in the fridge for about a week or so.

Not only is it a great source of fiber for both soluble and insoluble fiber, but you have to remember that fiber not only is going to help you with your digestion as in help you eliminate and just a little pointer here. Anyone who’s constipated, not only are you taxing your liver, but you’re recycling all these estrogens, the dirty estrogens I talked about over and over again through your body. So incorporating some flax seeds can really be super beneficial. One of the questions that I get and I thought I mentioned that here that’s like, “Hey, why are you suggesting flax seed? Since flax seed contains phytoestrogens, naturally occurring estrogens. I’m already estrogen dominant. Why on earth would I be adding more estrogen to my diet?”

And that’s a valid question. But remember, your problem is not having too much estrogen. Your problem is most likely how you’re breaking down those estrogens or your level of progesterone to estrogen. So having some estrogen from foods, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, flax seeds in the studies helps you to skew the balance towards the clean estrogens away from the dirty estrogens and actually works on a receptor and it blocks the antagonistic metabolites from coming through. So it really helps you, it’s quite amazing. So those are some of the easy things that we can incorporate right away that your liver is just going to love you for.

Dr. Eric:

I grind my own flax seeds.

Magdalena:

You do?

Dr. Eric:

Yeah, I have a coffee grinder.

Magdalena:

You’re a different level.

Dr. Eric:

Yeah, and I’m pretty sure a few years ago I wrote an article on phytoestrogens and spoke about the studies…and it’s obviously different than xenoestrogens which we won’t get into here. You talk about those in your book, I think. But yeah, I definitely agree about the flax seeds. And I know you’ve got to go soon as you have another interview coming up. Do you have time for a few more questions?

Magdalena:

Yeah, let’s do it.

Dr. Eric:

Okay, great. So Michelle asks, “Graves and estrogen dominance as well?” Yeah. So whether it’s hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, Graves, you can have estrogen dominance.

Magdalena:

Shall we pop the question that we talked about so that we can find a winner for the giveaway?

Dr. Eric:

Okay, so yeah, what question?

Magdalena:

Do you have a question in mind or do you want me to do it?

Dr. Eric:

How about naming one of the three types of estrogen dominance or should we make them answer two of them?

Magdalena:

Yeah, I think one is good. So I talked about two different types of estrogen dominance and so give out the answer for … Give us an example of one of them that I covered.

Dr. Eric:

Okay.

Magdalena:

And the winner is going to be … My team is going to approach you guys and then we’re going to send you a copy of this book.

Dr. Eric:

All right, so.

Magdalena:

Wow, a lot of comments are coming in.

Dr. Eric:

Okay. So for the book giveaway. Yeah, go ahead and name one of the three types of estrogen dominance that we discussed, two of them earlier. And one question while those responses are coming in …There was one about the Mirena IUD, “Can Mirena IUD cause estrogen dominance?” I would say yes.

Magdalena:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s supposed to work locally. And that’s what they tell you. But it’s the better of birth control pills if you will. It’s the lesser of the evil, but put it this way. If you are really struggling with estrogen dominance and you implement, let’s say you follow the protocol from overcoming estrogen dominance and you still are showing a lot of symptoms. Let’s just say five days before your period, your boobs are really, really painful, and you can’t even put on a bra or you’re struggling with your periods.

Then consider removing it. Not every person responds the same way to the same thing. So just honor that. But I think it’s worthwhile for you to hold on to it and make all these different changes and teach your body to metabolize estrogen a really healthy way, support your liver, do an anti-inflammatory diet. By the way, the whole book is based on an anti-inflammatory diet, an elimination-based diet. So it’s free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn. We don’t do nightshade vegetables, all that potatoes, tomatoes and stuff like that is out and is very low in sugar. There are still desserts, but it’s generally very low in sugar. And it completely redesigns your breakfast as well. I’m a big fan of savory breakfast and not sweet breakfast. So you’re going to learn a new way of eating your breakfast, it might change your entire day, maybe your life.

Dr. Eric:

That’s awesome. And let’s see. As far as some of the answers here. So yes, Patricia, this gets recorded. It’s automatically being recorded. And I’ll also be posting this on my YouTube channel as well. Did anybody actually get it?

Magdalena:

Yes, there’s a lot of people saying the right type of estrogen and I think they just mean it’s too high. And so that is one of the correct answers. Not many people got the estradiol to progesterone ratio. Correct. And really what we are looking for you guys is the different, not the symptom, but the different type of estrogens. So that one we’ve mentioned is estrogen and progesterone ratio. But there’s another one that we mentioned that I’ve been talking about.

Dr. Eric:

Yeah, and I guess I could see how they could get confused because there are three types of estrogen, there’s estradiol, estriol, estrone, but we’re talking about there’s three different types of estrogen dominance, not the estrogens itself.

Magdalena:

Should we pop another question?

Dr. Eric:

Okay, yeah.

Magdalena:

I’ve got one and that is name one of the three things that I mentioned that you can really do, start off today or tomorrow to support your liver health. Is that fair?

Dr. Eric:

Yes. I think that is fair. So yeah, one thing you could do to support liver health that Magdalena discussed. And this again is for the book giveaway. And so Jenny asked if you can please post your book information? So again, it is on Amazon of course, you could find Overcoming Estrogen Dominance. What’s your website as well?

Magdalena:

We actually have the book on overcomingestrogendominance.com, it’s available there as well. So that’s the website for now.

Dr. Eric:

Okay, all right. We got a lot of good responses here. Okay, so let’s see. I think it was more clear. I think that they were confused by the other question which is understandable.

Magdalena:

Great answers you guys, you’ve been listening so it’s awesome. Make sure that this weekend you go shopping.

Dr. Eric:

Oh wow, yeah. All right. So how do we choose the winner? Is that up to me or is that up to you?

Magdalena:

It’s up to you, it’s up to you and just let us know … I would suggest to reach out to that person and give them or you can pick now somebody and then ask them to email you their mailing address and then we’ll send the book there. Wow, so many of you got it right, so many good answers.

Dr. Eric:

Oh boy, yeah. This is tough. Let me just do it quickly because I know we’re running out of time.

Magdalena:

You want to do it after we hang out? Because you can do that too.

Dr. Eric:

Okay. Michelle Pilon, “Drinking burdock and dandelion teas, even artichoke.” Does that sound good?

Magdalena:

That sounds perfect. Yes. Artichoke leaf. Yeah, because it’s found in often is that it’s a very bitter herb actually, but it’s great. Yeah.

Dr. Eric:

It was hard to make the decision, but I know I had to just pick and choose. So thank you everyone for your answers. Thank you Magdalena for this interview, this discussion on overcoming estrogen dominance. Again, definitely go to Amazon or go to overcomingestrogendominance.com and pick up a copy of her book. And yeah, thanks again for chatting about this and thank you everyone. Thanks everyone for your questions and participation. We appreciate it. Hope everyone has a wonderful day and a wonderful rest of your weekend. And thanks again Magdalena for chatting.

Magdalena:

Thank you so much.

Dr. Eric:

Bye everyone.