Many of you probably know by now, after reading some of my blog that I am not a fan of “playing god” with our hormones for Endometriosis, by using Progesterone Creams, Phytoestrogens or any plant food specifically taken for regulating our hormones imbalance. I know there are heaps of websites out there that recommend that these natural plants are the way to reduce your Oestrogen in the body. Vitex is often recommended for Endometriosis. I can see how they would help temporarily but I also have an issue with the concept of deciding what levels of any of these plants or creams we need to take.I am still researching this approach to help Endo but for me, I feel it is still not getting to the root cause of the condition and merely regulating a hormone imbalance and not the source of the hormone imbalance. Make sense?
Well, I discovered a completely different way of lowering our excess Oestrogen, cos as we know this is the main reason Endometriosis spreads and becomes worse and is possibly there to begin with….. not proven but a very likely source :)
I researched this information from David Wolfe. You have probably heard of him by now. He is a well-known Raw Food Advocate and knowns a heap about herbalism and natural sources of healing foods. He highly recommends DIM for Oestrogen dominance and I can see why.
See, the thing is that we don’t live in a natural environment. We consume large quantities of bad oestrogens in our diet without even realising it. Just about everything has been sprayed, processed and manipulated in some way, which unfortunately adds to the oestrogen levels in our body. This goes beyond diet and includes everything from Shampoo’s to Soaps and cleaning products. They are called DDT’s and they are all winding up in our body. These bad oestrogens are also found in the contraceptive pill – by the way :) So, all these extra Oestrogens are going to add to our already out of balance Oestrogen with Endometriosis. Naturally, we cut out as many of these bad oestrogens where we can, such as eating organic, cutting out processed foods, avoiding “bleached” products etc etc – read further blog posts for specifics on those……
However, they inevitably land up in our body or are still there from stuff we have done in the past…..
So, though we can regulate the natural hormones, we need a way to flush out the bad ones. This is where DIM comes in…..
How does it work?
DIM works on flushing excess Oestrogen from the body, rather than trying to minimise or control it with Prosterone hormones or phytoestrogens.
DIM also induces certain P-450 enzymes in the liver to block the bad Oestrogens (called 16a-hydroxyestrogen) in the body. It also works to enhance the production of the good Oestrogens in the liver.
What is it?
DIM is a phytonutrient or plant nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables. I would personally love to eat 50-60 servings of broccoli per day but I think I might grow tired of it pretty quickly :)
You can find it in cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale - you know the ones I mean now.
DIM is not an estrogen or a hormone.
Why do I recommend it?
It is not going to play havoc with your hormone balance but flush out the Oestrogens you don’t want in your body.
Why is DIM suggested for Endometriosis?
It essentially flushes out the excess and bad Oestrogens from the body. Endometriosis is made worse by too much Oestrogen in the body. By flushing it out, we can clean out the excess and focus on healing the liver, which regulates the Oestrogen levels and toxins in the body. Once we heal the liver, we can get back to a normal level of toxin removal and oestrogen removal by the liver. At the moment our livers are simply not coping, which means many toxins still remain in the body.
How long should I take it for?
I don’t recommend taking DIM indefinitely. Gage your duration by the hormonal symptoms you experience. You know the ones: sore breasts, headaches before your period, diarrhea before your period, cramps from your period, moodiness…. pretty much all the PMS symptoms. Once these start to go away, you need to focus your healing on the liver and not just on the hormone imbalance. There is more to this Endometriosis than just your hormones :)
I would recommend an initial time of one month and then give it a break for a month and see how you feel. It is not a bad thing to take this on and off as you need to.
Why? Well, we have Oestrogen Dominance….. now. If we keep flushing out Oestrogens, we will eventually get to a point where we flush out too many. This is never a good thing cos we do need Oestrogen – even if you hate them right now :)
How is this different from taking Phytoestrogens or prosterone creams?
Phytoestrogens work by trying to give the body more Oestrogen, it recognising the plant oestrogen as oestrogen and then reducing its own oestrogen production. Prosterone creams work by increasing the prosterone levels in the body, which essentially reduce the oestrogen – that is their job. DIM works on mainly the bad oestrogens and excess oestrogens and flushes them out. We are not manipulating the level of natural oestrogen in the body but flushing out the excess or bad oestrogens. See the difference?
What about Maca Root? You keep recommending that one, how do they fit together?
Maca works differently to DIM. DIM flushes out the bad Oestrogens and the “too many” Oestrogens. Maca doesn’t do that at all. It focuses more on regulating all hormone levels in our body. It is a balancing food with all it’s other benefits.You can take them together without any issues. Read more about how Maca can help with Endometriosis here.
* Update 19/11/2011 – I have recently learnt that it is not a good idea to combine DIM with Maca as it interferes with Maca’s ability to regulate hormone imbalances. Choose one or the other or do one for 3months and the other for 3 months but never at the same time :)
Where can I find this DIM product?
You can find DIM at My Natural Fertility or at your local health store. It will also describe the ideal dosages.
DIM is the only thing I have found so far that I would really recommend to regulate a particular hormone – Oestrogen. It works on a completely different playing field to many of the other plants recommended for Oestrogen dominance, so I feel confident that it won’t cause any long-term imbalances in other areas. Just don’t take it for too long :)
If you have any questions on this article, please feel free to ask me in the comments as I know many of the terms and explanation in this article may be quite complex if you are new to this site :)