Love Your Gut + Liver
Your gut health and liver health play a big role in hormone healthparticularly estrogen production and metabolism, and cortisol balance.
In fact, the gut is often called the estrobolome because your gut microbiota regulates and balances estrogen levels in your body .
Although estrogens in women, are produced primarily by the ovaries in response to FSH telling them to make more, estrogens are activated by your gut bacteria. This happens through the secretion of -glucuronidase, an enzyme that mobilizes estrogens into their active forms. However, if you have gut dysbiosis or low gut bacteria diversity, this impairs estrogen balance, resulting in a reduction of circulating estrogens. On the flip side, low levels of estrogen can also influence your gut health in a bi-directional relationship .
As for your liver your liver plays backup to your gut microbiomeintercepting the activated estrogens through a process called glucuronidation. Glucuronidation basically entails the liver prepping hormones for circulation in the body and elimination.
Once estrogens are activated by the gut bacteria, its the livers job to prepare them for transportation around the body as well as clear and eliminate them. The liver also does the same thing for cortisol it helps both mobilize cortisol if needed to help you fight against stress, as well as clear excess cortisol out of your system if you have too much.
Love Your Gut Basics
Love Your Liver Basics
Final Thoughts On Hormonal Imbalances
- Some of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalances include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, and changes in hair, skin, and nails.
- Root causes of hormonal imbalances include compromised gut health, elevated inflammation, and high stress levels.
- Natural ways to balance your hormones include eating anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fats, reducing your exposure to endocrine disruptors, getting adequate sleep, and using supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps related to gut health and vitamin D levels.
Consider Supplements And Alternative Medicines
There is some evidence that alternative therapies or supplements may address some hormonal issues.
For instance, a found that a Chinese herbal therapy routine resulted in doubled pregnancy rates among female participants with infertility when compared to Western, drug-based treatment.
A reports that Nigella sativa, known as black seeds or fennel flower seeds, helped raise estrogen levels in an animal model.
If studies in humans confirm these findings, the supplement may be beneficial for people going through menopause.
The following tip may benefit males:
The Effects Of Estrogen Overload
Normal estrogen levels may cause some breast swelling or nipple tenderness in the few days before the onset of your period. Its often the way you know its coming. However, when you have an overproduction of estrogen, often called estrogen dominance, those estrogen symptoms are magnified.
In addition to stress-triggered estrogen production, we are seeing women with out-of-whack hormones related to environmental estrogens, known as xenoestrogens.
We have seen xenoestrogens wreak havoc in wildlife and fish affecting sexual development and fertility. Its only in the past decade that we turned the magnifying glass on ourselves and found sperm abnormalities and serious female fertility issues created by xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens most often enter the body through the food supply such as meat and dairy products from hormonally-enhanced animals.
Thats why recent Italian research showed that women with the highest consumption of meat and dairy products increased their risk of endometriosis by 80 to 100 percent, while those who ate a diet rich in green vegetables and fresh fruit reduced their risk by 40 percent.
Why Have Magnesium For Your Periods
Reduces period cramps & painful periods: Magnesium works as a muscle relaxant meaning it will help your uterus muscles to relax and reduce period pain experienced.
PMS: Magnesium works to reduce PMS symptoms including breast tenderness, mood disturbances as well as irritability, and anxiety.
Digestive support: Magnesium is important for peristalsis to occur. Magnesium therefore may help to reduce constipation experienced.
Stress support: Magnesium helps our body cope with stress
Sleep: Magnesium promotes restful and restorative sleep. Sleep is vital in having happy and balanced hormones.
Balances blood sugar levels: Magnesium helps to lower your blood sugar levels and improve your insulin response making magnesium the perfect supplement for people suffering from PCOS.
Balances hormones: Magnesium is vital for the production and balance of healthy hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Thinking its time to invest in a magnesium supplement? Ensure you buy magnesium in the form of magnesium biglycinate as this form is better absorbed than others.
Want to learn more about how magnesium supports your menstrual cycle?
Recommended Reading: Hormonal Imbalance After Tubal Ligation
Hormone Imbalance: What Are The Symptoms And Treatments
When youre browsing social media or watching TV, you may have come across ads telling you to ask your doctor to check your hormones as the first step toward diagnosing and relieving a troublesome set of symptoms. Its true that hormone imbalances can be associated with many problems, such as period problems, unwanted hair growth, fertility struggles, weight gain, and even difficulty sleeping. You should absolutely talk to your doctor about these things. But you may be surprised when your doctor tells you that they cant just give you a hormone check.
A hormone check sounds simpleafter all, we check cholesterol to get a handle on our heart health. However, your doctor cant just give you a hormone test because a single test to check all your hormones doesnt exist.
So if there isnt a simple hormone test, how does your doctor discover hormone imbalances? And how can you learn what could be causing your symptoms?
Lets look at problems caused by hormone imbalances and how your doctor could potentially determine which hormones may be responsible for your symptoms.
You Have Flaky Itchy Skin
Dry patches are one of the first signs that your thyroid hormone level is low. “These hormones help set your metabolic rate when you don’t have enough, all systems become sluggish,” says John Randolph, M.D., an ob-gyn and a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The rate at which your skin cells turn over slows, resulting in dryness, redness, and rashes.
Get back on track: See your doc if your skin is still desert-dry after a month of slathering it with moisturizer, especially if you notice any other signs of an underactive thyroid, such as unexplained weight gain, brittle nails and hair, or if your periods become irregular or MIA, says Dr. Isaacs. He or she will give you a simple blood test to diagnose the disorder, which is usually treated with a synthetic hormone medication that you will need to take long-term. “Skin symptoms should clear up within two to three months,” says Dr. Isaacs.
Read Also: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker
Supplements To Balance Hormones
Hormone balance is one of the most common reasons patients pay me an initial visit, and a common question is whether I recommend supplements to balance hormones. In recent years, focus on womens health has gone from just a yearly PAP smear and breast exam to discussion around optimal health and wellness. Women feel empowered to talk to their health care providers about topics that were previously perceived as normal- things like painful periods and PMS symptoms which includes cravings, mood changes, acne, and changes during perimenopause. Seeking treatment for hormone balance means that women are finally able to start the journey to optimal health and complete wellness.
I thought I would take some time to discuss some of my favorite herbs, nutrients, and nutrition options for hormone balance.
However, choosing supplements for hormone balance isnt always cut and dry. Depending on why your hormones are imbalanced can mean that is it time for a different treatment plan.
Engage In Regular Exercise
Physical activity can strongly influence hormonal health. A major benefit of exercise is its ability to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a hormone that has several functions. One is allowing cells to take up sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream, which are then used for energy and maintaining muscle.
However, a little insulin goes a long way. Too much can be downright dangerous.
High insulin levels have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Whats more, they are connected to insulin resistance, a condition in which your cells dont respond properly to insulins signals .
Many types of physical activity have been found to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin levels, including aerobic exercise, strength training and endurance exercise (
For people who are unable to perform vigorous exercise, even regular walking may increase these hormone levels, potentially improving strength and quality of life .
Although a combination of resistance and aerobic training seems to provide the best results, engaging in any type of physical activity on a regular basis is beneficial.
Performing strength training, aerobics, walking or other forms of physical activity can modify hormone levels in a way that reduces the risk of disease and protects muscle mass during the aging process.
Pms And Low Sex Drive
Low testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are all associated with a decreased sex drive in both men and women. This is especially common after age 50 when estrogen and testosterone production declines. Since estrogen is one of the main hormones regulating a womans menstrual cycle a decrease in production can also lead to irregular periods that are too long, too short, unpredictable, heavy, or painful, infertility, hot flashes, mood swings, or painful intercourse.
Get Balanced: Getting Your Hormones Back On Track
Katie and Megan of Prescribe Nutrition have a program starting September 30th entitled Get Balanced and are offering a 20% discount for 100 Days of Real Food readers. Read on to find out more.
For many individuals, changing their diets and eating cleaner, more real foods can help many ailments and such. Making an effort to eat whole foods, to include movement into your days and also drinking lots of water is a great thing, no doubt. But do you ever find yourself completely exhausted? Do you find yourself wanting to hit the snooze button multiple times? Or having constant cravings for sugar, not finding restful sleep, or face-t0-face with a scale that just wont budge, no matter how well you eat or how much you exercise?
Heres the scoop: It could just be a hormone imbalance. When cortisol levels are off, the whole body can be thrown off.
Functional nutritionists Megan and Katie from Prescribe Nutrition have a program that targets any and all of these areas. Get Balanced can get you back onto the path of balanced cortisol levels by addressing foods that support your adrenal glans. Live classes throughout the 15-day program will break down the how and why of whats going on with your body, how to target it, and how to get back to feeling good.
Click here to read more about the program, and to see all of the testimonials from those who have gotten themselves back on track.
Get The Help You Need
85 percent of women report experiencing symptoms of varying type and severity during menopause and the vast majority of them are either told its a normal part of aging or are given prescriptions to mask them. How is that ok?
The truth is its not.
When it comes to finding someone to help you navigate through the menopausal phase of life, you need to find a provider who specializes in hormones and managing menopause. And to do this, you need to know EXACTLY what to ask your medical team to help ensure you get the care you need.
Nothing is more empowering than taking control of your health and finding a provider who can help you co-create the health you desire.If you read my content or follow my work, you know that my mission is to help women feel comfortable in their bodies and confident in their skin. The only way to do that is to strip away the obstacles, bust the myths and reveal the truths about: how to eat, how to sleep, how to manage your mind and live so your glow radiates from physically, mentally and emotionally.
So what can you do when youre looking for support? Be equipped to ask the right questions of your provider so you can determine if they have the expertise you need and are a good fit for you.
Thriving during the transition to menopause requires you to take an active role in your health, which includes finding a provider who can help you co-create the level of health, and hormone happiness you desire so you can regain your quality of life.
How Many Should You Be Having
Aim to start with ½ cup of cooked greens and increase this to 2-3 cups daily. If you notice you are struggling with your digestion of foods, cooked greens are easier to digest.
Try adding your greens as a base to your salad, mixing them into smoothies, mixing through curries or soups or adding them into stir fries.
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Potential Causes Of A Hormonal Imbalance
There are many things that can challenge your endocrine system, therefore disrupting hormone balance and function. The longer a system is out of order the more difficult it can be to bring it back into harmony. Identifying and correcting the causes of hormonal imbalance early on will help maintain your health and prevent the onset of chronic disease. Some of the most common underlying causes of hormonal imbalance include:
- Underactive thyroid
- Birth control or hormonal replacement
- Poor diet
- Cushing syndrome
- Exposure to endocrine disruptors
So how do you know if you have a hormone imbalance? Find out the signs of hormonal imbalance to look out for, and natural remedies that can help balance your hormones.
Ensure Enough Carb And Calorie Consumption
This is one of the most difficult recommendations for many of my clients, as frequently those dealing with post-birth control syndrome are also trying to lose weight. And more often than not, their weight loss attempt includes reducing their food intake and cutting down on carbohydrates.
While this strategy may help with short-term weight loss, its definitely not conducive to hormonal health to significantly limit food intake in this way. Its a well-known phenomenon in the medical world, called the female athlete triad, where women undereat and overtrain so much that they lose their menstrual function, and even put themselves at risk for osteoporosis.
Many women face hormonal imbalances if they are overly restrictive with food intake, and Ive worked with many patients who have lost their menstrual function after switching to a low-carb Paleo diet. Its not the Paleo diet that is the issue per se, but those who switch to Paleo often get stuck in an overly restrictive, low-carbohydrate approach that does not support healthy endocrine function through various effects on the hypothalamuspituitaryadrenal axis and thyroid hormone conversion.
Hormone Balancing Tip #: Get Off The Sugar Roller Coaster
Eating large amounts of processed sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance. This is where your body gets tired of receiving the signal that your blood sugar is high, and becomes less responsive to it. Excess insulin production causes inflammation in the body and increased production of testosterone from the ovaries. This can lead to irregular cycles, acne and hair growth on the face.
Biohack Your Way To Better Sleep
When life is busy, often the first thing we sacrifice is sleep. Sleep or rather inadequate sleep quickly throws our body off balance. This is why its one of the first things our doctors ask about when patients come in for their initial visit. In a small study testing the impact of prolonged sleep restriction, participants that slept only 4 hours versus 10 or 12 hours experienced an increase in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for appetite regulation, alongside a decrease in leptin, a hormone responsible for communicating satiation. For many of us, 10 or 12 hours might be hard to achieve. Thats why here at Parsley we recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. The benefits of adequate sleep will not only increase your glucose metabolism and leptin concentrations but increase your bodys secretion of growth hormones responsible for cell reproduction and regeneration, which all take place during periods of rest.
Recommended Reading: Can Having Your Tubes Tied Cause Hormonal Imbalance
+ Birth Control Withdrawal Detox Protocol
While I firmly believe in the philosophy of focusing on what you can add into your diet and lifestyle to help yourself feel better it should be noted eliminating the following can really help offset symptoms and rebalance your hormones.
If possible I recommend trying to avoid
+ Estrogen Mimickers or Xenoestrogens most commonly found in BPA , household cleaners, contaminated drinking water, medications and soy
+ Antibiotics these disrupt your gut flora and can cause estrogen to be recirculated in the body
As well as adding in
+ Cruciferous Vegetables
+ Your Fave Sweat Method When we sweat we excrete toxins naturally and safely through our skin. Add in exercise or try out an infrared sauna.
Learn How To Balance Your Unique Hormonal Imbalance Naturally
Balancing your hormones is a complicated process and takes time. It will often take up to 3 menstrual cyclesto fully experience the benefits of bringing your hormones back in to balance. Unfortunately, there isnt one quick fix or magic solution which will fix all of your period problems. Addressing diet, lifestyle, stress, exercise, mindset and emotional and spiritual health are the cornerstones to improving your hormone health.
In my 8 Week Hormone Harmony Digital CourseI teach the exact protocols that I use with clients to help them return to vibrant, balanced health. The protocols I teach are beyond the scope of this blog post and are aimed to educate and empower you to take control of your health. If you are truly ready to take back the reins on your hormonal health,learn more about Hormone Harmony Academy by signing up to my free Heal Your Cycle webinar and coming along live!
To get you started, Im sharing my top 6 tips to begin balancing your hormones naturally. These are a great place to start if you are new to hormonal imbalances, and will give you a taste of addressing your symptoms naturally.
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