Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers traveling throughout the body balancing and coordinating appetite, growth, sleep, metabolism, body temperature, fertility and much more. When our hormones are out of balance, it can influence our ability to lose weight, interfere with sleep, weaken our immune system, affect our behavior and make natural processes like menopause incredibly challenging. Balancing hormones is a lot to cover in one newsletter article or blog post; however I can offer a healthy place to start on that path.
What does the liver have to do with our hormones? Well, there are two phases of detoxification the liver manages brilliantly. In the first phase blood carries toxins to the liver where they are converted and prepped for phase two. The second phase of detoxification includes six processes, three of which are called: glucuronidation, methylation and sulfation. These three processes directly affect our hormones.
When the liver is healthy and toxins are coming in and being detoxified in a timely fashion, our hormones are balanced and we feel great. However when the liver becomes overloaded from taking in more toxins that it can process such as heavy metals, toxic chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, poor diet choices, excess alcohol, xenoestrogens (I’ll explain xenoestrogens shortly), etc., it processes what it can and then to protect us, the liver stores excess toxins in our fat cells and tissues. When this happens we begin to experience symptoms of toxic overload and because the liver is overloaded, it may be unable to fully complete phase two detoxification which contributes to our hormones becoming imbalanced.
Xenoestrogen mimics estrogen in the body, meaning the body does not recognize it as something other than estrogen. This fake estrogen competes for estrogen binding sites, but since xenoestrogen isn’t estrogen, when it attaches to those estrogen binding sites, healthy estrogen is unable to attach and is prevented from providing the essential functions our body needs to receive from true estrogen such as strengthening bones, cholesterol metabolism, collagen production, mood regulation and reducing the risk of heart disease.
How are xenoestrogens getting into our bodies? Microwaving food in plastic containers, drinking water out of plastic water bottles, soaking up chemicals through sunscreen, parabens, glycol and sulfates in makeup and hair care products, contraceptives , BPA (in many plastic containers), insecticides, and chlorine are a few of the common ways we take in xenoestrogens. Removing and avoiding these will enable estrogen to provide its essential health benefits.
This was a lot of information, but I want to reassure you there are healthy ways to balance your hormones. It begins with helping your liver function at its best by removing xenoestrogens and estrogen inhibitors such as heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides from your diet and lifestyle. It is also extremely important to empower your liver to do its job with ease by doing a healthy cleanse or detox program. These are the best first steps you can take toward bringing your hormones into balance and feeling your best!