Updated: May 3, 2021
Hormones don’t go out of balance for no reason.
In a healthy, functioning person, hormones will be regulated and operating as they should, so when they are out of whack, it is a sign that something is not working properly.
Modern lifestyles filled with nutrient poor diets, chronic stress and little down time can wreak havoc on hormones.
Hormones play such a big role in how you feel day-to-day. As women, our hormones are constantly fluctuating throughout the month, and when they get out of balance, the ups and downs become more pronounced, which can be overwhelming.
SYMPTOMS OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE
Reduced sex drive
Irregular cycles, heavy bleeding/painful periods
Thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism
WHAT CAUSES HORMONE IMBALANCE?
1. DIGESTIVE ISSUES (gut infections, low stomach acid, gut bacteria imbalance, stealth pathogens etc)
Did you know the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle are influenced by your gut? Your intestinal bacteria (and their genes), called the microbiome, have so many important functions for your body. The microbiome synthesizes nutrients and assists with digestion. It releases chemicals that regulate mood and metabolism and immune function, and it also helps to control the level of estrogen. An unhealthy microbiome is called dysbiosis. What I see most often in practice is dysbiosis being the common culprits of hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance that often go unaddressed.
How the microbiome affects estrogen
Estrogen is made primarily by your ovaries. It then circulates through your body to your uterus and breasts and other organs, until it reaches your liver where it’s inactivated. Inactivated estrogen is then sent to the intestine where it is supposed to stay inactivated so it can exit the body through the stool. That is normal, healthy estrogen metabolism.
When certain intestinal bacteria are present, something very different happens. Unfriendly bacteria make an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which re-activates estrogen in your gut. That’s a problem because re-activated estrogen then re-enters your body and causes excess estrogen. That is impaired estrogen metabolism, and leads to estrogen dominance.
2. BEING OVERWEIGHT OR INSULIN RESISTANT
Your body produces estrogen in the adrenal glands, brain, and in your ovaries or testes, depending on your equipment. Another place both men and women produce estrogen is in adipose (fat) tissues. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen you will make. Which can lead to estrogen dominance, and throw off your hormonal balance.
Poor Diet/ Nutritional Deficiencies will also contribute to hormone imbalance.
Stress has a massive impact on the production of your sex hormones, and chronic stress will throw off your hormone balance and contribute to estrogen dominance if you don’t get a handle on it.
The reason for this is because we have a multi-tasking hormone, pregnenolone, that is a precursor to both stress hormones and sex hormones, and it will go wherever the demand is.
When everything is fine, pregnenolone helps make progesterone and just enough cortisol. When you’re stressed, your body snaps up the pregnenolone that it would otherwise use to make progesterone, and instead makes a substantially more stress hormones like cortisol. That means progesterone comes up short.
Progesterone keeps estrogen in check, so if you don’t have enough of it, estrogen can go haywire. That’s when you end up with weight gain, PMS, and the other symptoms of estrogen dominance.
4. TOXIC LOAD
Whether it’s heavy metals, hormone disruptors from toxic personal care products, a moldy house, or eating processed packaged foods, toxic load contributes to estrogen dominance by burdening your detoxification and elimination systems. Your detox systems — particularly your liver and kidneys — can only handle so much over the course of a day. If your body is constantly dealing with heavy metals, mold toxins, plastics, cleaning products, fragrances…all of those things and more compete with estrogen for its place in the elimination line. The key here is to minimize toxins when you can, which leaves room for your body to deal with the toxins that you can’t control.
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES
1. Stop Taking The birth Control Pill
The Birth Control Pill is not the answer.
The Pill’s hormone-like drugs are not the same as the body’s own hormones.
These drugs are designed to shut down your entire reproductive system. They stop your brain from talking to your ovaries and stop ovulation.
It is well documented that birth control leads to nutrient depletions, mood symptoms and scarier side effects like cancer, blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. There is evidence that birth control pills may disrupt normal gut flora and create an environment that allows for overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast, and may even lead to leaky gut.
The synthetic chemicals in the Pill are molecularly similar to human hormones, but they are not identical. To an exquisitely fine-tuned hormone receptor, similar is not good enough. Even the tiniest discrepancy in hormone structure can make a big difference in the body’s response.
Talk to your health practitioner about non-hormonal birth control options.
2. Get A comprehensive stool test
You have learned that dysbiosis is a major factor in wreaking havoc on your hormones and has implications for disease not limited to the gut. Sometimes, there is more than just an imbalance present in your microbiome - there an infection. A pathogenic bacteria, yeast like candida or parasite is on board. (I personally had numerous gut infections that I eradicated, naturally)
I like the GI-MAP Test by Diagnostic solutions. It can help you identify if you have any gut infections or issues with estrogen. Find a Health Practitioner that can run this test. (Resister for my 21 DAY RESET and I can have this test shipped to your address for Free).
3. Support Your Liver and Open detox pathways
Start by Optimizing Liver Health; If your liver is overworked and overburdened, then your hormones will suffer. Natural herbs and supplements like milk thistle, dandelion root tea, dandelion greens, glutathione, and calcium d-glucarate support the liver and help get rid of excess estrogen and all the other day-to-day toxins we run into.
Your liver is responsible for processing metabolic waste, environmental toxins and hormones from the body.
it is the liver’s job to ready hormones for removal by your gut. What happens if your liver can’t do its job? You end up with way more hormones than your body was expecting, resulting in hormonal fluctuations and symptoms galore!
Eat Liver Loving Foods
Beets, carrots, dandelion root, burdock root, broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, and kale are all foods I encourage my patients to get plenty of daily. During times when you especially want to show your liver some love, I recommend juicing some of these foods and mixing in 1 tablespoon of grass fed collagen. Other recommended supplements are NAC, calcium D Glucarate, DIM, Milk thistle and Burdock are excellent supplements that aid in liver detoxification and hormone balancing.
4. Eliminate Sugar and control your insulin
You can start by using my 21 Day Reset program to clean up your diet while crushing cravings.
When you avoid sugar and refined starches, your blood sugar tends to stabilize and the levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin drop. This increases fat burning and makes you feel more satiated, reducing food intake and causing weight loss and hormone imbalances.