Hormone balance is essential to healthy living. There is so much to understand about balancing hormones that it is difficult to know where to begin. Hormones are messengers in the body that travel through the bloodstream into the organs, lymph and tissues of our bodies. The endocrine glands secrete certain hormones in the body which includes to the pineal gland, pituitary, pancreas, thyroid, ovaries or testes, parathyroid, hypothalamus, adrenals and gastrointestinal tract. Just small hormonal changes can cause significant physiological changes in the body, including weight gain and forgetfulness.
Smart health is to have your hormone levels tested periodically, just like a mammogram or Pap smear. Imbalances have serious consequences and if not kept in check, chances of cancer increase, as well as other diseases like diabetes. Many cancers are hormone related. Estrogen dominance may be accountable for breast, prostate, cervix, endometrial, uterine, and ovarian cancer as well as fibroids. Estrogen deficiency can also cause bladder and urinary tract infections, especially in menopausal women.
Progesterone deficiency can cause cancer as well, including uterine cancer and fibroids. The thicker the lining of the uterus, the higher the chances of cancer are. Natural progesterone cream can help to reduce the lining of the uterine wall and eliminate fibroids in as little as two months; so the cream is not something that needs to be taken forever.
Maintaining a healthy liver is also extremely important to managing uterine fibroids, because it is responsible for eliminating toxins from the body. A healthy liver converts the strongest estrogen to “safe estrogen.” Remember that certain medications including birth control pills, fertility drugs and hormone replacement therapy can also create a state of estrogen dominance. Excess estrogen can be promoted by liver congestion, bowel toxicity, stress, hypothyroidism, inflammation, and many of the estrogens below.
Supplementing with DIM can help reduce the steady climb of estrogen. It has been reported that DIM or di-indolylmethane can reduce estrogen buildup. It does this by converting bad estrogen into good estrogen by-products. It is also said to help reduce a swollen prostate.
Many researchers also attribute the high incidence of cancers to the presence of environmental estrogens in our food and products today. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens and are consumed by eating phytoestrogenic plants. They imitate estrogen, but are not generated within the endocrine system; Phytoestrogens can be either synthetic (man-made) or natural chemical compounds.
Here are some examples of hormones, food or toxins that may alter balance:
- Xenoestrogens: artificial scents, air fresheners, food additives, preservatives, commercially raised poultry and cattle, household cleaners, detergents, car exhaust and indoor toxins, personal care products (shampoos, lotions, perfumes, make up, deodorants), oral contraceptives, prescription drugs, paints, lacquers and solvents, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, Styrofoam products, plant estrogens (soy, flaxseed), plastics, canned foods, GMOs and plastic food wrap.
- Naturally Estrogenic: alcohol, alfalfa, anise seed, apples, barley, beets, black-eyed peas, blue/black cohosh, cherries, chickpeas, clover, cucumbers, dairy, dates, dong quai, eggs, eggplant, fennel, flaxseed, flour, garlic, hops, lavender, licorice, meat, oats, olive oil, olives, papaya, parsley, peas, peppers, plums, pomegranates, poppy seed, potatoes, pumpkin, red beans, red clover, rhodiola, rose root, rhubarb, rice, sage, saw palmetto, sesame seeds, soybean, sprouts, sugar, sunflower seeds, tea tree oil, tomatoes, wheat, white rice., soy, canola, safflower and corn oil.
- Foods That Inhibit Estrogen: artichoke, asparagus, avocados, berries, brazil nuts, broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, celery, citrus fruits (except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates), figs, garlic, grapes, green beans, green tea, melons, nuts, onions, pears, pineapples, seaweed, squash, tapioca, white flour, white rice.
- Balancing Hormones:Moringa, carrots, chia seeds, coconut oil, cod liver oil, Diindolylmethane (DIM), false unicorn, gelatin, kelp, maca root, magnesium, olive leaf extract, parsley, quinoa, red raspberry, Vitamin D, flaxseed oil*.
- Increases Progesterone: beta carotene, chaste berry, dill, legumes, oregano, seeds, sweet potato, thyme, turmeric, vegetables, Vitamin B6, C & E, L-arginine, wild yam. There are also natural progesterone creams.
*A note about flaxseed oil… According to Dr. Sears, “Research shows that adding flax oil to foods rich in sulfated amino acids, such as cultured dairy products (i.e., cottage cheese), vegetables of the cabbage family… helps the essential fatty acids become incorporated into cell membranes.” In fact, The Budwig Center has a flaxseed oil and cottage cheese protocol that has been reported by their patients to eliminate tumors, degenerative diseases, balance hormones, cure Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Multiple Sclerosis, Heart Disease, Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne and more.
What about Menopause?
The average age that women go through menopause is about 51. Menopause can really cause havoc on one’s body and it’s not always the easiest thing to go through. Again, it is recommended that you be evaluated by your physician before self-prescribing for hormone-related problems.
Here are some symptoms of menopause:
- Hot flashes, night sweats (Consider using: Cod Liver Oil, Red Clover Tea)
- Loss of libido (Maca root)
- Allergic Reactions
- Food sensitivities such as gluten (Use only organic wheat)
- Hair loss (Castor Oil)
- Weight gain (Moringa)
- Bloating, indigestion
- Anxiety, depression (Brewer’s Yeast)
- Mood swings
- Sleep disorders (Moringa)
- Memory lapses (Cod Liver Oil)
- Osteoporosis (Cod Liver Oil)
- Uterine lining thickening, fibroids (Natural progesterone)
An interesting study from 2011 entitled: Estrogenic botanical supplements, health-related quality of life, fatigue, and hormone-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors: a HEAL study reported the following conclusions:
- Flaxseed oil users were more likely to have a better mental health summary score
- Ginseng users were more likely to report severe fatigue and several hormone-related symptoms
- Red clover users were less likely to report weight gain, night sweats, and difficulty concentrating
- Alfalfa users were less likely to experience sleep interruption
- Dehydroepiandrosterone users were less likely to have hot flashes