Feeling out of balance? Especially as women, we have experienced changes throughout our lives due to hormones and hormonal changes. But, long term hormonal imbalances can have a negative effect on your overall health and how we feel. Allowing your body to detoxify can help with numerous hormone related ailments, including mood swings and unwanted weight gain.
Our hormones regulate and change on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. For a familiar example, your menstrual cycle is regulated by a complex interaction of different hormones that change on a monthly basis. Factors such as toxins, diet, pollutants, chemicals and pharmaceutical medications (birth control) can alter the interaction of your hormones causing an imbalance. Introducing hormone balancing lifestyle choices, notably a hormone detox program can help you click the rest button!
Estrogen detoxification: How to know when you need to detox!
Estrogen dominance commonly occurs when your estrogen levels are much higher in relation to progesterone levels. Knowing when you have a hormonal imbalance is quite simple: excess estrogen and excess hormones are typically presented in undesirable ways! Knowing when to consider detoxification is dependant on the variety and severity of symptoms!
Common symptoms of high estrogen in women:
- irregular menstrual periods
- mood swings and anxiety
- trouble sleeping
- weight gain
- PCOS (irregular periods, acne, cysts)
- intensified PMS symptoms
- possible fibroid development and growth
If more than one of these symptoms occur regularly or have increased in severity, it might be a great time to consider detoxification! Although the word detox might seem daunting, the goal is to improve liver function, which can be achieved through diet changes and gentle estrogen detox programs.
Evaluate your diet and lifestyle to combat estrogen dominance
Estrogen metabolism plays a very important role in balancing your hormones. Improving liver function will help metabolize estrogen into inactive metabolites.
The best way to begin evaluating the reasons for increased toxins in the body is simple. Start with thinking about what you ate in the last week. Processed foods, foods high in sugar and hydrogenated fats exert a lot of pressure on your liver. Do any of these items sound familiar? If so, try to choose and include the following categories and nutrient-dense foods during your next grocery trip:
- Non-GMO products
- Grass fed meats
- Cruciferous vegetables (kale, arugula, collard greens)
- High amino acid content (quinoa, fish, eggs)
- Soluble fibre (prebiotic)
- antioxidant rich foods (berries, ginger, turmeric)
- Vitamin D rich foods
Optimizing hormone levels by choosing foods with excellent sources of micronutrients is just one of the many simple ways to achieve hormonal balance. Anti-inflammatory diets and plant-based diets can also be considered when trying to detox your liver. With a liver detox, quick weight loss shouldn't necessarily be the goal. The goal is to strengthen your metabolism, reduce cortisol levels and reduce stress to help maintain a healthy balance long term. The good news is hormone-balancing and estrogen clearance can be achieved, but only if you remember to listen to your body and make the appropriate adjustments!
Lastly, a great way to compliment changes in diet is to use a gentle and natural detox to help support all of your detox organs. Your liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and your skin, work together to detox your body!
Hormonal Bliss vs. Hormonal Despair
How do I manage my hormones in order to help promote a healthy balanced mood? This question can often have a very difficult answer. One step is to limit stress and improve sleep to help reduce the effects a hormonal imbalance. Simple right? The unfortunate reality is that for many individuals this isn't just your average walk in the park, but most likely an uphill climb!
Self-care in our day to day lives is sometimes forgotten. We are always on the go or taking care of others. Take some time to focus on your self and understand what is happening in your body in order to address your hormone imbalance. Stress and hormones are intertwined and heavily linked. Understanding both your reproductive hormones and your endocrine system can help you address lifestyle changes and incorporate new habits to balance your hormones.
The endocrine system is comprised of a network of glands, which excrete substances commonly known as hormones. Most of the time our "fight-or-flight" response receives the spotlight in understanding our endocrine system but it also includes the thyroid, the reproductive organs, hypothalamus, pineal body and the pituitary. This system of hormone controlling and excreting glands help regulate our mood, metabolism, growth and development and reproduction.
We live in a very fast paced and high stress environment where adrenal fatigue is very common, especially in women. Estrogen and progesterone levels are actually also made in the adrenal glands, which when overtaxed can contribute to your reproductive hormone related ailments. Knowing how to identify this depletion and deficiency, is the first step in treating it!
- Low energy levels, especially upon waking
- Trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep
- Poor stress response and mood regulation
- Brain fog
- Sweet and salty food cravings
- Overuse of caffeine or other stimulant supplements
- Compromised immune system
Although many of these symptoms on their own may be common, experiencing them long term is detrimental to your health. Considering extra help in this area can be achieved through the use of supplements. Common herbal remedies to help manage stress include, passionflower, valerian root, St. John's Wort, ignatia and avena sativa.
In order to help reach hormonal bliss, rather than hormonal despair it is important to listen to your body! Our body has more information than we think it does! Take a break, whether it be from processed foods or from other lifestyle habits, including simply doing too much! Improving sleep, diet, increasing exercise, knowing when to detox and introduce supplements will contribute to overall health and bring you into hormonal balance!