Hormones, hormones, hormones gosh do I see a lot of complaints about these little creatures. The monthly curse, becoming a real B&$%^#*, being put on the birth control pills to try to control it!!!!! Goodness I hear you all and just want to tell you this is all way too common of a complaint! However there is light at the end of the tunnel once you understand why it is occurring.
As a Naturopathic Doctor I always look to support your bodies weakest organs and remove any insults, from there your body knows exactly what to do! Your body has such a brilliant innate intelligence no synthetic material could ever even come close to fixing the body the way that the body can fix itself. It would be like trying to heal a cut without your body producing a scab. It just doesn’t work!!
The majority of hormonal issues come down to digestion and liver dysfunction. Yes the foods you eat and the way your liver processes is the problem and essentially is causing you all of these symptoms, so I am not going to look at your hormone producing ovaries it really has nothing to do with your ovaries, they are just the innocent by standers trying to do their job !!! I am going to explain why your digestion and liver are the CAUSE of all of your issues and why we treat them instead of trying to mask your SYMPTOMS. If your confused at this point I get it please read on and it will all make sense!!!
We are going to start off talking about digestion and how yours may be compromised. There are two parts to how I look at digestion I believe there are the;
1) Digestive Insults
- Bad Foods: These are the foods that we choose to eat and drink that serve our bodies no nutritive benefits, such as the sugars, alcohols, highly processed foods, saturated fats, trans fats, simple carbohydrates and coffee. We as humans were not designed to eat these foods. Try to eat foods that are in their whole form as much as possible, these your digestive system can metabolize.
- Food Sensitivities, essentially what this means is that your body is producing anti-bodies or fighting against the foods you are eating instead of using them as nutrients. This means you can be eating foods that you innately feel are healthy like avocado and spinach but your body may be dealing with them as more work for the body to fight against instead of making you healthy!! This test is called IgG food sensitivity testing, I do it at my clinic on the majority of my patients again so we can understand what insults we can eliminate to get the body working as efficiently as possible
2) Need for Digestive Support
- Eat in a parasympathetic state; this is a big word meaning a relaxed state, all of your digestive juices and enzymes are secreted in this state. Don’t watch a stressful TV show while eating, try to take the time to smell your food, chew slowly, don’t eat on the run. As soon as we have stress while eating our body goes into a sympathetic state which is our bodies defense called fight or flight, when you are in trouble and trying to flee a scene you send blood to your muscles and don’t worry about digesting whatever is in your stomach.
- If you tend to have a lot of gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation you will want to consider seeing a Naturopathic Doctor to assess your digestion in more detail.
So we know all about digestion but really what does that really have to do with your hormones!!!!! Well your digestive system is filtered by your liver and in the process of digestion your body produces toxins, the cleaner you eat the less toxins you produce, the worse you eat the more toxins you produce and the more work the liver has to do in terms of filtering and the less available it is to deal with metabolizing your hormones properly resulting in you getting PMS symptoms.
Now onto your liver:
3) Liver Insults
- Poor Digestion as we have discussed above
- External environmental exposures, see my blog on xenoestrogens (http://dr.nataliegroenewoud.com/category/xenoestrogens/)
- Mercury: found in amalgam filling and vaccines is stored in your body and hides in your joints, brain and liver, they cling to sulphur which can be found in each of these areas, in your liver your second enzyme to break down toxins is called glutathione it contains sulphur and therefore mercury binds to it and inhibits it ability to neutralize any of the toxic peroxides that your first liver enzyme makes. Therefore your livers ability to rid toxins and hormones is compromised and peroxides spill into the blood lymph and kidneys causing other irritations.
4) Need for Liver Support
- Milk thistle; this will help both of your phase I and phase II enzymes in your liver to neutralize toxins
- Treating your digestion so that you take a load off your liver
- Chelate metals; this will enable the second enzyme in your liver to work properly and neutralize your toxins
- I3C: ensures your hormones are metabolized down the right hormone metabolism pathway
When the liver has to fight off all of its insults it cannot function as efficiently and in turn a build up of peroxides occur, these peroxides interfere with the breakdown of your steroid hormones. This can cause havoc!!! The ideal way for your liver to break down estrogens is through what is known as the C-2 pathway, in which the end products are mild hormones. The alternative breakdown pathway, which is more commonly used when there is a build up of peroxides in the liver, is known as the C-16 pathway. This pathway breaks down estrogens into products such as 16 alpha hydroxyestrones, which can aggravate the reproductive organs. The C-16 pathway creates nasty hormones that can cause:
- Irregular periods, menstrual cramping, PMS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, fibrocystic breast disease, endometriosis, depression, hair loss and unexplained infertility along with breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer.
So in understanding why you are feeling the way you are and how to treat the cause you can fix your imbalances without taking anything synthetic.
Yours in Health Always,
Dr. Natalie Groenewoud ND