Hormones + Detoxification - Part 1
Hormones + Detoxification
Haaaaayyyyyy! Guess what? We are going to talk about hormones and detoxification.
I think its important for ALL of us to know that EVERYONE has hormones… it is not just a “woman thing”. AND hormones are involved in just about every function of the body.
Their balance is critical for our health and wellbeing.
For stress hormones, we have adrenaline and cortisol. When something is stressing us out, our brain tells our adrenal glands (that sit on our kidneys - also known as our HPA axis) to release these two hormones.
1st - adrenaline boosts blood pressure and heart rate, and cortisol shoots glucose to our muscles for ENERGY. This is great IF we are running from a bear or someone trying to rob us! BUT, today, in the midst of our busy, frantic lifestyles with endless distractions, our bodies are quite often in constant fight or flight mode.
Things like financial stress, not enough time in the day, a bad work environment, negative relationships, working out and exercising really hard on top of an extremely hectic day, and of course what we are putting in our mouth (because blood sugar imbalance and inflammatory foods stress the body) can ALL cause our adrenal glands to undergo an enormous amount of stress. All of this stress can be extremely hard on our hormonal system – which can attribute to things like insomnia, weight gain, lack of sex drive, hair loss, extreme fatigue, fertility issues, and also can increase the risk of conditions like stroke and heart disease.
THEN, we have our thyroid - which is in charge of our basal metabolic rate, direct to our blood pressure, heart, breathing rate, and oxygen consumption into our cells. Thyroid and parathyroid also monitor calcium levels in our bones. Thyroid is very sensitive. It can easily get off whack from things like too much sugar (yes this includes fructose from fruit), sleep issues, toxic chemicals, and contaminants in water we drink.
BUT guess what? Since thyroid IS so sensitive, it can be supported and maintained fairly easily, simply by us being careful about the food and drinks we consume and the lifestyles we lead.
So I want to say this about excess weight or fat – when I have excess fat on my stomach (because if I am going to gain weight, that’s where it will go) – I don’t look at fat as something like, Oh my gosh, I need to lose this fat to be thin and look good.
What fat means to me is this… 1st - I obviously haven’t been careful about balancing my blood sugar, 2nd - my stress hormones are probably pretty high, & 3rd - my estrogen is high – because FAT on the body is hormonally active tissue that pumps estrogen into our blood. AKA fat means excess estrogen is present, k? AND 4th – this also tells me that my liver is being overworked if it isn’t clearing out excess estrogen.
So in short – fat tells me a lot of things.
There is SO much in terms of sex hormone balance, but I am going to do my best to go over the main points because I get way too excited and I love digging deeper and deeper to find out how ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is connected in the body. Fascinating is an understatement…
For the ladies, there are four phases of the menstrual cycle:
First, the follicular phase, which lasts 7-10 days, leading up to ovulation. This is when beneficial estrogen should increase. Next, the ovulatory phase, lasting 3-4 days (this is when women get pregnant) – estrogen is high, as well as a rise in follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. Testosterone also jumps up for a hot second. All of these hormones are preparing to release and egg to hopefully be fertilized. After our ovulatory phase, next is the luteal phase, which lasts 10-14 days. Here, progesterone rises on one of two occasions – either leading to menstruation, or an egg was fertilized for pregnancy. Right before menstruation, testosterone also rises quickly, estrogen rises and then drops, and progesterone drops. Then our menstruation occurs, lasting 3-7 days. This process should happen every single month. But, it can’t happen if our hormones are jacked up and if we are using birth control.
When our hormones are off (imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), our menstrual cycles can cause us to have a lot of discomfort and pain, irregularities, anxiety, sleep issues, constipation, depression, infertility issues, and this list goes on.
When our cycle is ON track, women will ovulate with the full moon and have their period with the new moon - no joke here. My sister and I are in sync with the moon phases. We both used to be complete opposite with the moon, but with a little help and care put into our body, our cycles shifted back on track.
This is where seed cycling comes in and can be super helpful in balancing hormones. We eat two tablespoons per day of pumpkin seeds or flax seeds to boost estrogen during the follicular stage (between days 1-15 of our cycle) and then from days 15-28 in the luteal phase, consume two tablespoons of sunflower seeds or sesame seeds and take primrose oil each day to boost progesterone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can be a menstruating woman, going through menopause, or post- menopausal. Everyone can do this. So try it for a few months and see how things change for the better. If your cycle is off and your period is whack, just follow the moon phases by taking pumpkin seeds or flax from the new moon to the full moon and then taking sunflower seeds and primrose oil from the full moon to the new moon.
Some of you who know that estrogen dominance is a problem for many of us, you may be wondering, why add more estrogen to our body? Well, there’s a difference between beneficial estrogen verses high levels of harmful estradiol or also called E2 which is what has been linked to breast and prostrate cancer.
Flax and pumpkin seeds are great boosting beneficial estrogen and actually help suppress and metabolize estradiol properly – which can be harmful.
When we focus on boosting our progesterone with the sunflower seeds and primrose oil, it’s very common to start feeling better in a lot of ways - especially more calm because progesterone acts on our GABA receptors in our brain. Gaba is a SUPER calming neurotransmitter.
Think like this… when stress hormones like cortisol and sex hormones like estrogen are high, our progesterone production is blocked and drops low. Then our calming neurotransmitters like GABA are also prone to be low too.
So back to hormonal imbalances real quick…
How do imbalances in our fragile and important body systems show up?
Blood sugar imbalances - cravings, anxiety, jittery, dizziness, headaches, sweating, shaking, irritability, fatigue
Adrenals (HPA axis) overly stressed – brain fog, insomnia, difficulty falling asleep and waking up, anxiety, depression, low libido, and low immunity
Endocrine (hormonal) system imbalances - mood swings, PMS, cramps, irregular cycles, cysts and fibroids, breast tenderness, PCOS, infertility, heavy and painful periods, depression, anxiety, migraines, hair loss, endometriosis, fluid retention or feeling swollen
Organs of elimination congested – constipation, diarrhea, bloating, food allergies, pain under right rib cage after eating or drinking certain things, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, body odor, joint pain, inflammation
…And then all of these imbalances also attribute to weight gain as well. Also, all of those systems that I just talked about are connected. K?
Guess what? When we have these types of symptoms and imbalances going on, that’s our body screaming at us to take control of our health, to show love and care to ourselves, or else, our body will exhaust itself from not being able to keep up. That’s when it eventually turns into more serious things like disease and illness.
We have to listen. Constant headaches, skin problems, and constipation are way more than just an annoyance. YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU SOMETHING!
Alright, after going through all of this, the two big takeaways should be this:
What we put in our mouth MATTERS… and at the same time, how things are exiting (or not) our body also MATTERS.
What about elimination and detoxification? Tanda (Dr. Cook) taught us the analogy of “our body as a bathtub” several years ago. Think of the drain as our organs of elimination that get rid of excess hormones, toxins, and chemicals each day – by way of the kidneys through urine, the GI (big focus of gallbladder, liver, large intestines) through feces, the skin through sweat, and the lungs through breath). When the drain is clogged, we experience symptoms like what I listed above.
BUT WE CAN CHANGE THIS AND GET THINGS MOVING IN AND OUT APPROPRIATELY.
When we put our simple roots meals together, we think about all of this stuff. We create meals that we KNOW will benefit blood sugar, hormonal balance, and support our organs of elimination.
You can do this at home too.
First off, all of our fully prepared meals are free from gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, alcohol, and caffeine - all of which can cause stress and inflammation.
We do our best to keep our meals balanced by using low-carb/high fiber vegetables, healthy fats, and clean proteins. This approach helps keep our blood sugar stable and off to a good start – cuz remember, blood sugar has a domino effect through the entire body. The meals support hormone balance and aid in liver health so that we can detoxify properly.
We want the best for you. We have watched our bodies and lives transform by making beneficial decisions for our health, and we want that for you too.
Next week we are going to go over specific foods, herbs, spices, supplements, and regimens we use in our daily lives to support all of our systems.
Hey remember, as Tanda always says – this isn’t a perfection game, it’s a progression and consciousness game. Little bits at a time…
Oh ya, and I am not a doctor and I am not making any medical claims in this blog to treat or heal any diseases. This webinar is purely educational and we are just passing information learned from Dr. Tanda Cook (ND), Bozeman, MT, along to you guys! Find her info @ www.drtandacook.com