I am 38, and have oestrogen dominance. I also have fatty liver. Please help.

The liver stores excess nutrients, filters blood coming from the digestive track before it goes to the rest of the body, and converts harmful toxins (drugs, alcohol) or metabolites into waste products that then get excreted. Some hormones and vitamins are activated in the liver. It breaks down and removes excess hormones from the body and aids in digestion of fats by producing bile.

Consumption of medicines, alcohol, pesticides through foods, and less of essential nutrients overburdens the liver, due to which some toxins that are not broken down continue to circulate in the blood.

Oestrogen dominance is when the levels of the hormone oestrogen in the body are higher than a normal range. This disturbs the delicate balance of the female hormones oestrogen, progesterone, luteinising hormone, which are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle.

The liver helps in excretion of excess hormones. If liver function is compromised, excess oestrogen will remain in blood and the hormonal balance is disrupted. Oestrogen is normally excreted through the faeces. So with long-standing constipation, the elimination of excess oestrogen is hampered. Symptoms of excess oestrogen in blood are migraine (just before period), fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis, infertility, irregular menses with heavy bleeding, and PMS.

[Ayurvedic cure for migraine]

Oestrogen dominance is also seen in men. If the body is unable to excrete excess oestrogen efficiently, it leads to infertility, enlarged breasts (Gynecomastia or man boobs), and sexual dysfunction in men.

Here are a few tips to counter this:

1. Include plenty of fibre in your diet – figs, prunes, apples, clementines, bananas, berries, almonds, walnuts, beans, whole pulses, green leafy vegetables, chia, flax and sunflower seeds.

2. Exercise elevates endorphin (feel-good hormone) levels, improves blood sugar stability, decreases stress hormones, reduces anxiety and helps regularise oestrogen levels.

3. Sex hormones are fat-based and so the quality of fat you eat will determine the quality of hormones produced in your body. Include good-quality fats found naturally in nuts, avocados, olives, wild fish, grass-fed meat, organic ghee, free-range eggs and coconut oil.

4. Stress management is crucial for hormone balance and overall homeostasis, and will let the endocrine glands release the right hormones and the endocrine system will be more sensitive towards the levels of these hormones.

5. Hormonal contraceptive pills create havoc in the endocrine system. Oral contraceptive pills are a common cause of oestrogen dominance.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.