One of the top seven root causes I see in women, and men, with hormone balance is poor detoxification function and toxicity, to include over exposure to xenoestrogens.
Estrogen is a vital hormone and every day we are learning more about its role. The role we'e most familiar with is the part it plays in reproduction, but it does a lot more than that.
Estrogen helps to bring about the physical change of girls during puberty by encouraging the growth of breast and pubic and underarm hair along with kickstarting a female's menstrual cycles.
However, it's also been found to be important for keeping cholesterol in check and bone health in both men and women. And has a role to play in heart, skin and other tissue health.
It also affects your mood and your brain in significant ways.
Your body produces estrogen in your ovaries, adrenal glands, liver, fat tissue and can convert testosterone into estrogen when needed in the brain.
3 Major Forms Of Estrogen
Estrone (E1): This is the primary estrogen produced during menopause, and is produced mainly in your liver and fat cells. Since toxins are most often stored in your liver for processing and fat cell for storage when the liver cannot process them, individuals who are unable to detoxify naturally will often have a higher level of contaminated forms of Estrone.
Estradiol (E2): The major estrogen made in the ovaries, and is the form of estrogen that drops off during menopause the most. Estradiol plays a huge role in energy production, sleep, pleasure, sex drive, and healthy bones, skin, & hair. It also supports mucous membranes health; skin, lips, eyes, GI tract, and vagina. However, excessive Estradiol is linked to greater risk of breast, uterine or ovarian cancers due to its greater ability to stimulate cell growth.
Estriol: (E3): Estriol is made in the liver, breast cells, and the placenta during pregnancy. It is believed that Estriol regulates cell growth triggered by Estradiol and other estrogens.
As women enter menopause and estrogen production decreases, and their overall level of estrogen can drop leading to uncomfortable symptoms;
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Disturbed sleep
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Dry and itchy skin
To counter these symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common course of action. However, if your detoxification system is not functioning properly you can find yourself experiencing symptoms of high estrogen levels:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Headaches / Migraines
- Hair loss
- Foggy brain / Poor memory
- Tender breasts
- Weight gain; especially in the waist, hips and thighs
- Fibrocystic breast
- Uterine fibroids and Ovarian cysts
- Thyroid nodules / Thyroid disruption
- Cancer (Breast, Uterine, Ovarian, Prostate and Colon)
There are several reasons why you may become estrogen dominate, even though your estrogen has dropped;
- Progesterone drops significantly (can be caused by chronic stress)
- Poor HRT management
- Excessive stress
- Misuse of drugs and alcohol
- Poor diet and digestive function
- Lack of exercise
- Overuse of Estrogenic foods
- Constipation â€“ estrogen being flushed by your body can reabsorb it
- Degraded liver function
- Overexposure to Xenoestrogens
The Need To Detox Estrogens
When you review the list of causes for estrogen dominance, you can see many overlaps, and detoxification plays a crucial role in most of them. To avoid estrogen dominance, you must be able to clear excess and used estrogen, and xenoestrogens from your body through natural detoxification. Estrogen clearance is critically important as estrogens, to include xenoestrogens, that are not properly metabolized and cleared by the liver and are not properly flushed from your body can become highly toxic and lead to estrogen dominance.
The Liver's Role
Your liver performs hundreds of key functions to keep you healthy, and is your primary means of filtering nutrients from foreign substances. Anything that enters your body through your digestive tract if filtered by your liver. When a substance enters your intestinal tract and is small enough to enter your blood stream, it goes to the liver first.
Your liver is also responsible for filtering out excess and metabolized, or used, hormones. Once hormones have accomplished their task, they report to your liver, where they are broken down and deactivated – this prevents a hormonal imbalance from occurring. A person with a sluggish or clogged liver will notice symptoms related to hormone imbalance.
Though you have several detoxification organs; skin, lungs, kidneys, digestive tract and, of course, the liver. They can become overburdened and are unable to remove all the substances your body would rather not hold on to.
In this case, your fat cells become critical for storing toxic material. However, toxins can still find their way to slipping out of storage and create chaos.
If a substance is properly filtered and converted to a safe form for release, yet is not flushed from your body in a timely manner, it can be reabsorbed into your system. For instance, this can occur if you have a low-fiber diet or suffer with chronic constipation.
What You Can Do
To support your natural ability to detoxify and ensure liver health, start by improving in the following areas:
1. Eat the right foods
Research consistently shows us that a diet rich in whole foods including greens, cruciferous vegetables, berries, garlic, and spices like turmeric support detoxification. To reduce your toxicity load, choose organic foods and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
2. Support your gut
A healthy GI tract will minimize the burden of filtering out toxins and large food particles from your blood stream. You want to be aware of food sensitives and eat foods that support a healthy intestinal lining and mucus membrane and support your microbiome.
Add more of these into your diet; fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles and miso, greens like broccoli, asparagus and dandelion, foods rich with quality fiber like flaxseed, healthy fats like avocado, olive oil and olives, fatty fist, bone broth and other foods rich in collagen and grass-fed animal proteins.
3. Reduce stress
Stress also plays a role in your ability to detoxify. Chronic, elevated cortisol pulls resources away for other system to ensure you can survive the threat you are facing, and this runs down the liver's ability to detoxify discarded estrogens.
Chronic stress can also lead to a depletion of progesterone, because cortisol requires the same ingredients to make cortisol. When progesterone levels drop and estrogen stays the same, the ratio between the two changes resulting in estrogen dominance.
Balancing and detoxifying excessive estrogen requires removing and reducing sources of stress, external and internal. Examples of internal stress are chronic inflammation, undiagnosed autoimmunity, leaky gut, chronic infection or an undiagnosed pathogen infection to name a few.
4. Reduce inflammation
Toxicity contributes to inflammation, which leads to a heavier toxic load, stalling fat loss in the bargain. An anti-inflammatory diet includes wild-caught seafood, plant foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids including flaxseed and chia seeds, lots of non-starchy vegetables, and spices including turmeric.
5. Support natural detoxification with formal detox practices
Though your body is naturally detoxifying daily, you can help to relieve the burden by formally detoxify once or twice a year. When detoxing formally, you want to ensure the program you use does three things;
- Mobilization: This is the liberation of stored toxins from tissues and cells.
- Detoxification: This is the proper metabolism and biotransformation of toxins, so they can be effectively excreted and eliminated from the body.
- Excretion: This is the elimination of detoxified toxins from the body, so they are not reabsorbed.
For assistance finding the right program for you, contact my office.
6. Minimize exposure
Prevention is always your first line of both offense and defense, and our world is full of estrogens and chemicals, xenoestrogens, that mimic the behavior of estrogens in your body.
Constant exposure to these estrogenic compounds in the air, water, and surfaces you touch has a profound effect on your body's ability to clear estrogen properly.
Common sources of environmental estrogens to avoid:
- Plastics, especially when exposed to heat or acid (i.e., hot food in plastic containers and acidic soda and juice in plastic bottles).
- Nail polish and polish removers (solvents)
- Fabric softeners (petrochemicals)
- Most perfumes (petrochemicals)
- Surfactants found in many condoms and contraceptive gels
- Exposure to new carpet and certain flooring and fiberboard (noxious fumes)
- Noxious gases from copiers and printers
- Home use of all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides
7. Stay well hydrated
Drink 6 – 8 glass of clean water a day.
Hydration keeps your body functioning at peak performance to include your detoxification system, and water is crucial for excreting toxins.
8. Support natural excretion with exercise
Among its benefits, exercise regular exercise aids in estrogen clearance in multiple ways; it improves the body's metabolism and regulates fat storage, supports balanced blood sugar levels (assisting with stress management, and can help your body better excrete toxins more effectively.
Exercise is also a great way to sweat daily, an important component for excreting waste and toxins. As an excellent way to boost sweating, try an infra-red sauna.
9. Make sleep a priority
While you sleep, your liver remains very active filtering your blood you're your brain also under goes its own detoxification process. Therefore, making sleep a priority is not only critical for brain health, tissue repair, weight management, stress management and more – it's also critical for detoxification.
There are a lot of pathways you can take to support natural detoxification, chiefly through proper diet and health lifestyles habits. If you are feeling confused as to where to begin or need support getting started and sticking with the change you determine you want to make, I invite you to contact my office and schedule a FREE Hormone Troubleshooting Session.
Together we can determine what might be missing in your current routine, and where you can begin to get the best bang for your effort.
Whether you are interested in working with me, just curious or want some clarity, click on the button below and schedule your Hormone Trouble Shooting session at a time that is convenient for you.
You can feel like yourself again and avoid much of the discomfort of menopause by supporting your body naturally in a way that truly works for you.
Your partner in health,
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