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1. Good diet that’s heavy on organic foods and low in saturated fats

2. Vitex, or chasteberry, to increase progesterone naturally and help balance excess estrogen

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liver, making it unable to effectively metabolize those extra estrogens,” which are stored in body fat and brought into the body as xenoestro- gens. “At the end of the day, estrogen is a messenger, and its message is to tell cells to grow and proliferate. That’s what we don’t want.”

When estrogen becomes domi- nant, several things happen, including a more rapid release of insulin from the pancreas, which triggers sugar crav- ings. “It’s not a willpower problem,” Randolph assures. “Too much estrogen causes you to pack on the pounds in the belly area, and belly fat produces more estrogen. It’s a vicious cycle.” Lucille considers perimenopause the opposite of puberty and counsels, “While we are dealing with these changes, bringing some hormones on board for a short time can be a valuable tool.” However, she cautions, replacing anything isn’t the issue. “You have to look at the big picture,” she avers. “Put- ting hormones into a toxic body is like putting gas into a dirty gas tank. We have to restore function first.” Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has been a boon for millions. Results of the Women’s Health Initiative, a national study of women’s health between 1991 and 2002, involv- ing more than 160,000 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79, sparked more widespread use early in the 21st century, when research began to show the dire consequences of synthetic hormone re- placement. The Million Woman Study of British women also found that taking syn- thetic hormones at menopause doubled

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5. Stress management, as well as adrenal support via an adrenal glandular supplement

6. Regular exercise

7. Bioidentical hormone replacement, if symptoms become too uncomfortable

Source: Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Safe, Natural, Hormone Health, by Dr. Holly Lucille

the risk of breast cancer for women. Northrup calls bioidenticals “nature’s ideal design,” due to the prescription of individually tailored doses, custom-made by compounding pharmacies. Although these are rarely covered by insurance, estradiol-only patches may be; however, additional progesterone and testosterone may still be necessary, depending on test results, according to Northrup.

Menopause If a woman has had no menstrual pe-

Foods to Reduce Estrogen Dominance

d Cruciferous vegetables and green leafy vegetables with indole-3- carbinol to decrease xenoestrogens, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, celery and kale; two to three servings a day

d Any citrus fruits, which have d-lim- onene to promote estrogen detoxifica- tion; one serving a day

d Insoluble fiber as an estrogen binder, such as oats, berries, dried beans and apples; two servings a day

d Lignans as estrogen binders, such as flaxseed, sesame seeds and flaxseed oil; two to three tablespoons a day

Source: From Belly Fat to Belly Flat, by Dr. C.W. Randolph, Jr., and Genie James

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