After lots of personal research, and finally talking with a functional medicine Dr., I've come to the conclusion that a lot of my lingering health problems stem from estrogen overload in my body.
The doc I talked to said that he has an estrogen detox protocol of supplements, including two by Metagenics, Calcium-D-Glucarate, and something else...like CT+ something? He said you'd take them 2 weeks on, then wait a month, and do it over again. This will apparently cost about $350 if I go through him. I'm willing to pay the money if its worth it!
What do you all think? Are these good supplements for detoxing estrogen? Anything else you'd add? Right now, I do have Progest-E but haven't been using it much. I'm not sure if it actually helps detox estrogen, or just balance estrogen:progesterone. I also am doing the daily carrot a la Ray Peat, which is supposed to prevent it from being reabsorbed in the gut I think. But based on the major estrogen overload symptoms I have (MS, amenorrhea for last 3 years since stopping hormonal B.C., acne on and off, many "small cysts" in my ovaries, digestive issues--bloating etc.) I don't think just the carrot is going to be enough.
My diet is along the lines of the Perfect Health Diet, with probably a little more fruit, and only white rice for starch because anything more fiberous gives me bloating and gas.
I will also be getting the Metametrix GI Panel test, to hopefully figure out what is going on in my colon that's causing all this gas and bloating--not sure if its related to the estrogen issue or not, but just thought I'd mention it.
Thanks in advance for any advice, paleohackers! <3
asked byIka_1 (123)
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on April 12, 2012
at 01:16 AM
I was through amenorrhea for many months. I also think estrogen excess was involved in my case, but it is probably helpful to think that more stuff in the body is out of whack when the menstrual cycle is missing. Getting rid of estrogen is one thing. But you also want to increase your progesterone. One way is to make sure your T3 is high enough. If your metabolism is low and your liver is struggling with estrogens, your liver will have a hard time producing enough progesterone. Your glycogen storage capacity in the liver will probably be messed up.
Like you, I was following PHD diligently during amenorrhea. I have great respect for Paul Jaminet, and think it is a very good diet for most people. But when your body needs all the fertility support it can get, you probably want to up your carbs from fruit quite a bit and possibly lower starches, as well as do a few other tweaks. I mostly did a 12-13 hour fast during my amenorrhea, but I do not think it is helpful. You want to send a signal to your body that there is abundance of food.
I did the following for six weeks, and I got my period back:
Eating frequent meals - do not let it go more than 3 hours between meals (except when you are sleeping of course). Have some protein/fat with carbs.
Reduced fat and increased carbs compared to PHD, but did not make an effort to go very low fat.
No supplements (except thyroid), but nutrient dense foods (included liver, oysters etc.). I was taking all the PHD supplements before.
Not afraid of sugar. Had dessert several times a week, typically ice cream, panna cotta, creme brulle, rice pudding. I still do from time to time, but not as frequent.
Just a little bit of vegetables (well cooked) and lots of fruit (OJ and tropical fruits, apple sauce).
Eating less meat than I did on PHD - tried to eat muscle meats with gelatinous broth. Eat more shellfish and seafood for selenium and iodine.
No exercise (except a bit of daily walking and very easy body weight strength training for 20 min x 2 per week). This was very, very hard for me, but progesterone can be converted to cortisone during stress, so you want to keep stress low.
Lots of diary.
No fermented foods, except a bit of not very sour yoghurt (ate a lot of fermented foods on PHD). Fermented foods can be hard on your liver and promote lactic acid.
No cruciferous vegetables, which are anti-thyroid.
Raw carrot (do not know if it helped, but does not hurt).
Small dose of desiccated thyroid in the morning (my TSH was never high, always under 0.8, but my T3 was low, I had antibodies to the thyroid, but this could be due to estrogen elevation).
Like you, I had high hopes to the Metametrix GI Effects. I typically looked like I was pregnant after meals, and often constantly. I finally got it done while I changed my diet along the lines above. It came back showing no parasites or excessive bad bacteria. I had low level of good bacteria. My bloating has slowly improved, but I do not think there is any magic bullet. My main goal was to get my period back and feel better, which I do.
on April 10, 2012
at 08:51 PM
I'm in the same boat. I've been doing the carrot a day and somehow it has helped me, whether it's to do with estrogen or not. I finally bought some vit. E-oil (as Ray suggests) today that I hope isn't made from soy, but I haven't tried it, so nothing to report yet. What I think has helped me is dairies. After reading that having dairies increases progesterone, I was no longer afraid of milk, cheese, etc. I think someone mentioned here on PH that acne caused by dairies actually means the progesterone is working, but I have no idea if that could be right. I do notice less estrogenic effects now, though. I don't think my "mustache" is noticeable anymore. I suffer less pms, and instead of going pale the day before, I actually think I look better a few days before my period. To me that seems to mean finally having more progesterone to estrogen on the 4th week of my cycle. The funny thing is just that I have been trying SO MANY things at once, that it's hard to tell what does what, LOL!
The group measured salivary progesterone levels in 17 male volunteers at baseline and 24 hours later after consuming three servings of high-fat dairy foods (2 tablespoons butter, 2 ounces cheese, and a quart of premium ice cream) between morning and afternoon. The procedure was repeated a week later. Salivary progesterone increased 22 to 116 percent in all subjects both times after 24 hours of a high-fat dairy product diet. (Average progesterone in men is 0.181 ng/ml, while the average progesterone in a healthy early pregnancy is 32 ng/ml, so an additional 0.2 ng/ml is probably insignificant). Dr. Goodson said males were chosen because their normal concentrations of progesterone are lower and less cyclic than in females and hence an effect would be easier to measure. Because progesterone dissolves readily in fat, it should be absorbed more efficiently in high-fat products. Foods that were 70% to 80% dairy fat contained 175 to 300 ng/mL of progesterone (.175 to .3 mg/liter; oral progesterone is usually prescribed in 100 mg to 200 mg doses), they found. The amount of progesterone in 200 mL of ice cream would be approximately one-one-hundredth of a pharmacological adult dose of 2 mg.
on April 06, 2012
at 09:49 PM
I know the Calcium D-Glucarate method is always recommended by Robb Wolf. I doubt you need the $350 version though. I'd just get the supplements at a trusted place and take them, no need for a real program that costs that much.
on April 12, 2012
at 01:28 AM
Exercising, Paleo-ketogenic diet, and a pomegranate/grapeseed/trans-veratrol extract, plus D3 and C, are doing it for me. Additionally, curcumin and green tea extract also help to balance estrogen.
on April 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM
Good to know that Robb Wolf reccomends the Calcium D Glucarate. I'll definietly be trying that one!
I have been reading up on some of Dr. Kruse's work, but his blog posts are rather hard to follow for me...:-/
I've tried a low-carb ketogenic diet before, and didn't really feel very good on it...I got lightheaded alot, and lost too much weight. However, I am trying to gradually change over to the PHD version of a keto diet--lots of coconut oil, plus about 200 calories of starches per day for carbs. Hopefully I can try this once I'm tolerating more nutritious starches like sweet potatoes better.
I've heard good things about CT as well--I don't have a bathtub, so I can't do it there...but my parents do have a pond, and its probably pretty chilly this time of year. Maybe I'll have to take an early spring dip! I do turn the water almost to all cold after every shower I take, for a few seconds, but I only shower about once a week.
Shah--do you have any info/links telling more details about HOW exactly keto diets and CT help detox estrogen?
on April 06, 2012
at 10:01 PM
The women(and some men) over at Kruse "Korner" are consistantly raving about their estrogen detox by cold thermogenesis +ketogenic diet. It's free,free,free,free. CT+KD has been good so far for me in many other ways.
on April 12, 2012
at 10:17 AM
Progesterone cream worked for my hormonal imbalance. It's natural.
on April 10, 2012
at 04:25 PM
There are other, less expensive supplements that are available thru [defense nutrition]
: http://www.defensenutrition.com/affiliates/jrox.php?id=4696. These supplements are 100% natural. They even have a supplement that helps block estrogen intake.
on April 07, 2012
at 01:57 PM
Eat cruciferous veggies. I believe that is a popular method to up-regulate your body's own detoxification methods.
on April 07, 2012
at 01:06 PM
The liver removes excess estrogen from the body, so supporting your liver with adequate protein is a good idea.
Milk thistle and dandelion root are herbal remedies that support liver function. They are easily taken in tincture form.
on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
i'd be interested in knowing if you have had any resolution to the problem. i've been doing low carb primal then paleo (as of the fall) and i am starting to border on hypothyroid. i heard carbs are good for hypothyroid and estrogen/hormonal balancing. i also developed type 1 diabetes in 2010. so, i am a bit hesitant to add in carbs, but, considering the hormonal issues, i might just begin to experiment. i have no energy to do even the easiest of workouts. some days, just walking up hill makes me feel like i am running in quicksand. bleh. i eat tons of mixed greens, leafy greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and yellow squash/zuchinni. i do have onions and garlic here and there, same with fruit, always berries, also here and there. i get fat from grass fed butter, avocado, coconut oil, homemade mayo, and of course, meats. pastured eggs, bacon, turkey, grass fed beef, and pork roasts. i used to eat whatever and no calorie counting, but, i have put on over 20lbs since switching to paleo, and it isn't muscle, my clothes are starting to get uncomfortably tight, even my stretchy workout out clothes are digging in. i was doing mma, and when i finally became elligable for the PCIP gov't insurance, i had to give that up to pay $300 a month for insurance. i was ok with it at first because i thought maybe i had adrenal fatigue or something. so, i thought this would open up a chance to take it easy and do all of these healing things. so i started drinking broth and walking almost every day for an hour and doing yoga. i started meditating. i got heavier and bigger, ugh. finally got in with an integrative medicine dr. found out i am off the charts low on VITD 22ngl(ngl?), borderline hypothyroid, a1c of 6.1. i take lantus at night, i'm at the highest dosage i've been since i was diagnoses, i've also had to add in meal time insulin (humalog), i'm taking onglyza per her recs, i think it's been pretty benign. we are going to also be adding in metformin. i take 5 mcg/day of cytomel, she wants to hold off on upping that dosage. oh, i did a round of progesterone to get my cycles normal. the first round was just before memorial day, 200mg a day for 10 days, got my period on the 5th day of taking those. now, i am on round two at 100mg a day for ten days. we are doing the progesterone because i started going about 3 months in between periods. between that and being constipated, i feel like that is huge part of the weight gain. i mean, my body thinks it is pregnant for three months and i have a sorry excuse for a period, does that make sense? constipation speaks for itself. and the vitd and hypothyroid thrown in the mix, oy vey. so, yeah, i wonder if an estrogen/liver detox would help me out any.
on April 26, 2012
at 07:09 PM
I've actually been doing extensive research over the past two years into estrogen imbalance (mainly dominance) in men and women. While my first approach was looking at supplements that raise androgen hormones to balance estrogen dominance (Pine Pollen, Chinese Ginseng, Tribulus, Nettle Root, et cetera), I've more recently been interested in how the body actually detoxifies estrogen and how to better enable it to do so. There are several compounds which do this, but care needs to be taken as to not reabsorb the estrogen and also to prevent its metabolic re-uptake. I'm compiling this into on the blog www.estrogendetox.com, it is non-commercial--not selling anything. The protocol I have listed is 100%, but the rest of the blog is getting more info, ie. sources of xeno-estogen, symptoms...