I talk a lot about the organ when I speak with clients. Many women don’t know that their livers play an important role in their hormonal health. If your hormones are all messed up, then it is most likely that your body is not as hot as it could be.
How The Liver Impacts Your Hormones
The same way a pool filter works in a pool, your liver does the same thing in your body. As a pool filter cleans a pool by catching the dead leaves, dirt and insects, the liver also cleans our bodies from harmful chemicals and toxins found in food and our environment. This is done in two phases and requires certain vitamins and minerals.
Too much booze, drugs, pesticides, refined sugar, chemicals, and environmental pollution can cause your lovely liver to get bogged down, and too little nutrition can cause it. It ends up working all day long to remove the excess toxins that we are exposed to, instead of doing the more important jobs in the body.
Excess hormones can be broken down and removed from your body through the liver. Estradiol is one of the hormones in question. Estradiol helps build the uterus, it keeps our vaginas lubricated, and even helps keep our moods elevated, as you know.
There are two different phases of the body’s detoxification process. Fortunately for many of us, our phase 1 cleanse works well so we can get on with our lives quickly. It tends to be much slower in phase 2 where we run into problems. A lot of the not-quite-broken-down toxins spill back into our system because the liver can no longer accommodate them because of the backlog.
How The Liver Affects Estrogen Levels
- Estradiol is sent to the liver to be broken down and removed from the colon after it has done its job in the body. Estrogen can be reabsorbed back into the body if your body is gunked up with excess toxins and unable to function properly.
- There are other factors to consider even if a woman’s liver is functioning properly. Lack of fiber is the reason for chronic constipation. It would make sense that too little fiber would be a problem as the excess estrogen is sent to your colon for removal. Estradiol can get reabsorbed back into the bloodstream if your bowels are not moving. It was no good.
- If you are consuming a diet with too much fat, such as the Standard American Diet, your estrogen levels could go up. Excess fat encourages reabsorption of estrogens from your gut into your blood stream, rather than the excretion of excess estrogen.
There is a build-up of estrogen in the bloodstream. This results in a condition called estrogen dominance, where the body’s hormones become more dominant in relation to one another. The store is like a store where there are no sales but the owner keeps buying new stuff.
Estrogen Dominance Symptoms and Conditions
- Swelling and tender breasts are caused by Fibrocystic breasts.
- Bloating and painful periods.
- Emotional symptoms like anxiety, depression and snappiness are related to the symptoms of PMDD.
- Right before your period is when you get Migraines.
- Heavy bleeding and periods that are irregular.
- Endometriosis is caused by an overstimulation of the uterine lining.
- Fibroids are similar to how endometriosis begins.
- Many of the symptoms above are related to infertility.
How To Test For Estrogen Dominance
Lets Get Checked is my go-to provider for at-home hormone testing kits for myself and clients. You just order them online, have the kit shipped to you, then do the tests at home and send the kit back in the mail.
One and done.
A member of the nursing team will call you to deliver the results and discuss treatment options after the team of physicians reviews your results.
I recommend getting their Female Hormone Test which will give you a clear picture of your estrogen levels and overall hormonal health, with online results in 5 days. Be sure to use discount code Hormones20 to get 20% off the price of the test.
There are biomarkers covered in the test.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone is a reproductive hormones.
- Luteinizing Hormone is a human growth hormone.
Remember: use code Hormones20 to get 20% off!
Causes of Estrogen Dominance
1. Stress. I said it! Chronic stress can cause chronically high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Read more about all that here. Cortisol actually blocks progesterone receptors which can lead to low levels of progesterone in relation to estrogen. This results in symptoms of estrogen dominance.
2. Xenoestrogens. These are synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen. They are found in plastics, and many many other products that we use in everyday life. We live in a pretty toxic world. Did you know there are over 80,000 chemicals currently on the market and the majority of them have not been tested for safety, much less proven safe. Xenoestrogens act like estrogen in the body making it seem like you’ve got more estrogen than you do. They are total impostors and wreak havoc on your delicate hormonal balance. BPA and phthalates are two of the worst offenders.
3. Alcohol. Do you know that alcohol consumption raises estrogen levels and slows down fat burning? Not cool! Just two servings a day for four weeks has been shown to raise estrogen levels by 22 percent!
Natural Solutions for Estrogen Dominance
1. Get that fiber in! I know, sounds so boring right? However, it has been proven that women eating higher amounts of fiber have lower levels of circulating estrogen, so it’s worth a try! Less estrogen wreaking havoc on your hot bod – what’s not to love? Try getting 25 grams of fiber a day into your diet. What does 25 grams of fiber look like? Here it is: 1 apple-5 grams, 1 pear-4 grams, 1/2 cup of kidney beans-6 grams, 1 cup of brown rice-4 grams, 1 cup of mustard or collard greens-5 grams. That’s 24 grams of fiber! So easy right?
Or you can bring up your fiber intake with supplementation. I recommend taking Metagenics MetaFiber or Thorne Research Medibulk.
2. Cut back on the zin. Alcohol impairs your liver’s functioning so much that circulating estrogen levels increase significantly with just two drinks a day. If you are struggling with any of the estrogen dominance issues above then reducing the amount of alcohol you drink could really help. The same goes for the men in your life. Liver impairment caused by too much alcohol can cause a condition called gynocomastia, which is characterized by enlarged breasts in men. The cause: elevated levels of estrogen.
3. Reduce exposure to Xenoestrogens. As if we needed any more estrogen! PCB’s, pesticides, chlorine, you name it; they all have this effect on us. And let’s not talk about the ingredients in shampoo, body lotion and makeup. There are some serious offenders out there. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to find out how your products rate. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ Start replacing your toxic products with products that contain more natural ingredients and less chemicals. Your body and your liver will thank you.
4. Eat foods that cleanse your liver. Dandelion greens contain many compounds that aid in the cleansing of the liver. I used to be scared to try new greens but they are seriously the best thing I ever incorporated into my diet. Avocados have been shown to protect the liver against toxic overload and turmeric has been found to protect the liver against toxins. In fact, turmeric is one of the most powerful liver cleansers out there. Sulphur-rich foods like brussels sprouts and cabbage are also awesome along with beets too.
5. Take supplements that will increase your glutathione levels. Glutathione is the master of all antioxidants and it is required by your body so it can properly detox every day. Basically it just mops up all the mess and helps your body get rid of it. The problem is poor food choices, stress, and a genetic inability to adequately detoxify leaves us very depleted. Boost your glutathione levels with this glutathione supplement 450mg/day, or try N-Acetyl Cysteine which is a precursor to glutathione. Integrative Therapeutics NAC or Thorne Research Cyste Plus – 500mg/day. These supplements speed up phase two detoxification in the liver which is super helpful in preventing the bottleneck I described above.
Here’s another brilliant option: You can get my Fix Your Period 14-Day Cleanse, A 14 day detox for your hormones!
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- The Pre-Cleanse Guide – get prepared with this handy guide
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- A Detox & Feel Good Tips handout – top 10 tips to get the most out of your cleanse
- Supplement recommendations – You’ll get my list of recommended supplements to enhance your body’s detox process during and after the cleanse.
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