1. Get tested- Hormone testing will help to determine the underlying causes of your hormone issues. Testing needs to include the following hormones:
Saliva: Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone, DHEA and morning/noon/afternoon as well as evening Cortisol
Blood: All 4 Thyroid hormones- TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPOab.
2. Detoxify the Liver- The liver is responsible for excessive hormone elimination from our bodies. As your body is continuously exposed to a myriad of environmental and dietary toxins, the liver can no longer properly cleanse our body. The buildup of toxins leads to conditions such as estrogen dominance, fibroids, ovarian cysts, PMS symptoms and hormone related acne as well as other skin conditions.
The following are some tips to detoxify the liver:
Start the day with ½ lemon squeezed into 1 cup of warm water.
Consume half your body weight in ounces of filtered water daily.
Increase fiber consumption to 35 grams per day to assist in the elimination of fat soluble toxins. Choose high fiber foods such as ground flax seeds, psyllium, apple pectin, rice bran, beet fiber, oat fiber, chia seeds and sun fiber.
Consume liver cleansing foods such as beets, bitter greens, apples, lemons, garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards and cauliflower.
Use liver cleansing herbs and nutrients such as Dandelion root, Artichoke, Milk thistle, Burdock root, Turmeric, Alpha lipoic acid, Calcium D-Glucarate, NAC, Selenium, Choline and Methionine.
Drink liver detoxifying tea with dandelion root, nettle root, red clover, licorice root, burdock root and cleavers.
Avoid toxic foods such as sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, pesticides, hydrogenated fats and artificial sugars.
3. Eliminate Xenoestrogens- Xenoestrogens are man-made synthetic compounds that are very similar to our own body's estrogen. The similarity is so close that our body actually absorbs them readily. The accumulation of xenoestrogens can lead to many hormonal imbalances especially estrogen dominance. By the time the average woman leaves for work in the morning, she has been exposed to up to 300 chemicals, most of which are hormone disruptors!
The following tips will help to reduce xenoestrogens:
Keep your beauty regimen as natural as possible because a lot of cosmetic products like nail polish, perfumes, hair sprays, anti-aging creams and lotions are loaded with formaldehydes and parabens that can have estrogen-like effects on the body.
Harmful cleaning chemicals are yet another way that the hormones can be thrown out of balance. Choosing all natural cleaners will ensure that the chemical content of your home is greatly reduced.
Go organic to limit the exposure of xenoestrogens through pesticides and hormone residue (most important are dairy, animal proteins and the Dirty Dozen- Celery, peaches, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes, grapes-consume in organic form when possible).
Add ground flax- 2 tablespoons of ground flax daily in the diet has been shown to reduce estrogen related cancers by as much as 70%!
Take estrogen detoxifiers: Diindolylmethane (DIM), Indole 3 carbinol (I-3-C), N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), Calcium D-Glucarate, Green tea extract and Curcumin.
Take progesterone-promoting herbs and nutrients: Chaste berry, Wild yam, Bupleurum root, Passion flower, Peony root and Coleus forskohlii.
4. De-Stress- De-stressing your life is the most important step you can take on the road to control female hormone imbalances. The adrenal glands are our stress glands that pump out cortisol and adrenalin in response to acute and chronic stress. The adrenals directly affect all hormone function. High or low cortisol levels will alter thyroid function, affect progesterone, estrogen and testosterone levels as well as insulin levels.
The following tips will support healthy adrenal gland function:
Mend Fences- harboring feelings of unforgiveness causes the body to become acidic. Excessive acidity has been implicated in many health conditions including hormone dysfunction and even cancer.
(Forgiveness means giving up the hope of a better past!)
Find an outlet for your stress (exercise, dance, art, music etc.).
Recognize and list your stress- learn to identify your stress before it consumes you.
Balance your blood sugar by eating every 3 hours.
Decrease the top dietary stressors-gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine and alcohol.
Take adrenal restoring herbs like Licorice root, Ashwagandha, Relora, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Siberian ginseng, Astragalus and Schisandra.
Take supportive nutrients such as Vitamin B-complex, Vitamins C and E, Magnesium, Zinc and Selenium.
5. Heal the Thyroid- Imbalances of the thyroid are connected into many female hormone issues. These can include breast cancer, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, infertility, postpartum depression, miscarriage, PMS, amenorrhea and menorrhagia. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is often linked with adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. A dysfunctional thyroid can affect almost every aspect of health. It is one of the most under-diagnosed hormonal imbalances in aging, together with estrogen dominance and metabolic syndrome.
The following tips will help to support thyroid function:
Get proper testing- TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and TPO.
Identify and eliminate hidden food allergies.
Treat any underlying adrenal fatigue before engaging in thyroid treatments as it is crucial to have properly balanced cortisol for thyroid function.
Take nutrients to boost thyroid function-Tyrosine, Iodine, Copper, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin D3.
Take herbs to restore thyroid function such as Kelp, Ashwagandha, Guggul, Blue Iris, Nettles and Forskohlii.
Treat any other underlying hormone imbalance such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.
Consult a health care practitioner about desiccated Armour thyroid.