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5 Simple Detox Strategies for Healthier Hormones

"Take out a pen and your journal and keep reading!"


In this guide, I am going to share 5 of the simplest, gentlest, most effective things I learned that help support and detox the body from this incredible burden. By doing this type of detox, you are supporting your liver and other detox pathways, so your body resets and your health finally has a chance to improve and balance. Let’s get you feeling great and vibrant again!




WARNING SIGNS


If you’re like me, there are things that you may think are totally normal… things that you have put up with for so long that they seem fine, and things that you figure you just have to accept because nothing you’ve done has changed them. What happens when we shift and reframe those little things into flashing warning signs that the body creates to let us know that something is out of balance or that our health is in danger? Just like warning lights on the dashboard of your car, symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know that something needs attention.


Let’s take a look at some of the signs your body may be expressing. Keep track as you run down the list. I’m going to have you write down your score below.


Do you experience:

  • Low energy and feeling sluggish

  • Mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability

  • Painful, irregular, or heavy flow periods

  • Tender breasts

  • Bloating

  • Skin problems

  • Weight gain

  • Low sex drive or libido

  • Hot flashes

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Trouble getting pregnant or complications in pregnancy

  • Estrogen Dominance

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Endometriosis or PCOS

  • Hair loss or excessive body hair

  • Muscle or joint pains

  • Intense cravings

  • Recurrent Yeast infections

  • Headaches

  • Trouble sleeping, falling asleep or staying asleep

  • The need to get up at night to urinate


Write your score here: ______ out of 21


If you are experiencing 3 or more of the symptoms listed, then your body might benefit from a detox!



"WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SYMPTOMS GO UNCHECKED?"


Okay, you ran down the list and checked off your symptoms.


Now what?


Left untended, any one of those symptoms could lead to a bigger imbalance. Symptoms are an expression of an underlying imbalance or issue; your body is trying to tell you something. Regardless of the cause, a body that is out of balance is a stressed body… and a stressed body is at greater risk of developing health issues.


If we put on our detective hat and dig a little, we are likely to tease out at least one possible root cause. For example, low energy and weight gain can be symptoms of thyroid hormone imbalance. They can also be a result of poor sleep and an imbalance in cortisol or something like hypoglycemia.


Without intervention, thyroid hormone imbalance can impact your heart, lungs, mental status, bones, eyes and metabolism. Hypoglycemia and blood sugar imbalance can put stress on your pancreas, heart and liver and potentially lead to diabetes and other serious illnesses (Alzheimer’s is one.) In fact, a study done in 2018 found that people with elevated blood sugar have a higher risk of cognitive decline and of developing Alzheimer’s. The higher the blood sugar, the higher the risk.


When the female sex hormones are imbalanced and the body becomes estrogen-dominant, many health problems can arise.


Conditions caused by imbalances in the sex hormones, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids and endometriosis, are very common in women but are often very challenging to live with (sometimes there are devastating effects like infertility) and to recover from.


The health issues stemming from hormone imbalances are not limited to the reproductive system. As mentioned above, hormone imbalance can also increase the risk for autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are much more common in women than in men. According to the NIH, of the 8% of people affected by autoimmune disorders, 78% are women! If keeping hormones balanced can be part of keeping the immune response in check, then let’s do it!


Our job here is not to diagnose or play doctor, our job is to begin to be more mindful of the body so we can make necessary shifts and supports that are needed to bring balance back and restore our good health. Make sense?



"HOW TO DETOXIFY YOUR BODY FOR HEALTHY HORMONES?"

It may seem like a daunting task, but I assure you, there are some simple steps you can take right away to help your body!


What everything boils down to is reducing or eliminating the burden on the body (especially the liver). The liver naturally eliminates many xenoestrogens and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals, but a lot of junk can get lodged in our system when the liver gets overworked.


Here are my 5 favorite tips for getting started on the path back to hormone balance and better health:



STEP NO. 1: CHANGE YOUR DIET


If you do one thing, make it this: eat whole/unprocessed, seasonal foods… mostly organic.


The Environmental Working Group evaluates produce every year and creates a list they call “The Dirty Dozen” – and another called “The Clean Fifteen.” Use these lists as a guide and focus your $$ on choosing organics for anything on the current dirty dozen list. Here’s a link to that list for reference: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php


Eating organic can be expensive, but at least during your detox, try your best to buy as organic as you can. Pesticides are known to be endocrine disruptors, and many are estrogenic, meaning they increase levels of estrogen in the body. Since we’re striving for balance, pesticides need to go!

Experts recommend that you consume at least 3 to 6 cups of vegetables (especially the green ones) in your daily diet. Garlic, kale, ginger, carrots, beets, broccoli, artichokes and onions are highly recommended.


Processed foods can contain harmful substances either naturally or as additives. Nitrates found in deli meats and hot dogs help stabilize and flavor the product while wreaking havoc on your hormones. Hormones in meat, chicken, cheese and dairy (both naturally occurring and added in feed) will add to the hormone load in your body and can easily tip the balance out of favor.


Let go of Gluten! Even if you’re not having gastrointestinal effects from gluten, try letting it go to give your body a break. There are studies that show Gluten hinders thyroid function… which is enough to trigger hormone imbalance. There’s no way to know if gluten is a factor for you without expensive testing – or using this elimination technique and some journaling to record how your body responds!


“The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. “ Chris Kressler



STEP NO. 2: CUT OUT THE TOXINS


In the same way that pesticides and additives in processed foods add burden to your liver and act as hormone disruptors, so do other toxins. The unfortunate thing is that toxins are found in almost everything, so you need to take a good look at what you’re using on your body, in your body, and in your environment and then change what you can.


Common offenders are household products and makeup. Water bottles and food storage containers are also things to look at.

  • Synthetic fragrances (in personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, perfume, soap, and even tampons and sanitary pads.)

  • Formaldehyde (in nail polish, personal care products, keratin treatments)

  • Parabens in beauty products are very harmful

  • Toxic chemicals in household cleaners


Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) and while there is currently no direct link between formaldehyde and endocrine disruption, formaldehyde has been shown to have long-term effects on ovarian function, is damaging to sperm, can cross the placenta and cause widespread changes to how cells are able to use hormones! Interestingly, there is no guideline or restriction on the amount of formaldehyde that can be present in cosmetics sold in the United States! Wild, right?


You should also avoid any scented products and using plastic containers. There’s a whole list of things to avoid and more information here if you’re interested in digging deeper: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm


Eliminating or, at the very least, reducing, toxins is critical for hormone detoxification. Your liver, while an amazing and exceptional organ, simply cannot process the incredible load of chemicals and toxins that most of us are exposed to on a daily basis. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for our bodies (and therefore, our livers) to be bombarded by hundreds of different environmental toxins that disrupt the hormonal balance which keeps us healthy and happy.




STEP NO. 3: SWEAT


Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It is the primary barrier between you and the world. According to a study published by the NIH, “The skin plays an important role in the biotransformation/detoxification and elimination of xenobiotics and endogenous toxic substances” – this means that all those endocrine disruptors and toxins have a way OUT of the body through the skin.


While the skin does this naturally, there is another great way to help facilitate detox. Sweating, either as a result of exercise, sun exposure, sauna, or even a bath, can help your skin push out harmful toxins. My favorite way to break a sweat is in the sauna, but if you don’t have access to one or if you’re not keen on tons of exercise, try rebounding. Rebounding is the perfect exercise because it is easy on the joints, can be done assisted if someone is too ill or weak to do it on their own and it helps move lymph while also inducing sweat.


You can also enjoy sweating out the toxins in a relaxing bath. An Epsom Salt Bath or Magnesium Mineral bath can be drawn several times a week in a tub or moderately warm water (not too hot, for safety).


Take advantage of the ease and relaxation that Epsom salt baths offer. Something that feels great, is stress relieving and has a host of health benefits – Win/Win/Win!


Epsom salt baths and Magnesium, in general, is wonderful for:

  • Lessening muscle cramps

  • Aiding sleep, healthy bowel and healthy brain function

  • Improving nutrient absorption

  • Easing stress and improving concentration


My favorite Epsom salt mineral bath:

Add 1 cup of Epsom salts, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup sea salt, and ¼ cup Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar to a warm bath. You can also add a few drops of therapeutic grade essential oil (not fragrance oil), such as lavender or cypress; if you do this, mix 2-3 drops of oil into the Epsom salt/baking soda/salt mixture and then add to the water so the oils get evenly dispersed. Swish everything around before getting in. Soak for 15-20 minutes.


Create a beautiful ritual each week, where you take a detox bath and sweat out those toxins!



STEP NO. 4: BREATHE DEEPER


Deep breathing resets and calms your Central Nervous System, which calms your mind and has a direct effect on the rest of your organs as well. Without diving too deep into the science, let’s note that deep, rhythmic breathing helps:

  • Oxygenate cells

  • Calm the mind

  • Relieve tension

  • Stimulate lymphatic movement


Take at least 5 to 10 minutes from your busy life to focus on your breathing and your thoughts so you can organize them and feel calmer throughout the day. Even if you make your breath slower and deeper for 60 seconds, your body will benefit.


For deeper breathwork, try this Ujjayi breath practice: https://chopra.com/articles/learn-the-ujjayi-breath-an-ancient-yogic-breathing-technique This yoga breathing technique will not only provide mental clarity but, will also aid your lungs in releasing the metabolic waste from your body.



STEP NO. 5: MAKE JOURNALING A HABIT


At the end of the day, journal. Write down your thoughts. Let everything out, without any fear of being judged. Let everything out that you’ve been holding.

Stress is known to impact health. A stressed body has more difficulty with sleep, weight, blood sugar management, cardiovascular health, clear thinking, etc… the list goes on and on.


Letting out your thoughts will help you let go the stress that gets bottled up.

Just as you empty your bladder and your bowels to release the things that no longer serve your body, empty your mind and heart of the things that need to go. This mental detox should not be underrated. Therapists and psychologists have known about the benefits of journaling for years. Tap into the power of this practice yourself and enjoy the benefits.


By following the five steps provided above, you will be able to gently detox and reset your body. Incorporate one or all. Make it a personal challenge to practice all five steps for a weekend… then for a week, then double-dog dare yourself to push it to 14 days! The more you make these things happen, the easier they will become habit.


Incorporating healthier habits into your practice doesn’t mean that your health will be perfect because practice doesn’t equal perfection. Practice, however, does equal progress and that’s how you further your journey to hormone health and balance!


Good luck with your journey towards a new and healthy body.



References:-


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