When most people think “hormone imbalance” they don’t think about detoxification. But if you don’t detoxify and clear your hormone load normally, those high levels can be just as problematic as hormone levels being too low. Symptoms can range from weight gain, fatigue, hot flashes and sexual dysfunction. Whether patients are struggling with infertility, perimenopause or low testosterone, we always need to assess hormone detoxification. The sheer number of chemicals that surround our bodies from before birth has increased exponentially in the past two generations and scientific publications pointing to the endocrine disruption caused by chemical exposures can no longer be ignored.
While there are many fundamental lifestyle recommendations that all patients can incorporate, for many of our patients, we want to know which chemicals or metals are causing the most significant disruption. Testing for these triggers helps us identify and treat the cause of hormone imbalance, rather than just adding more supplements or hormones to the treatment plan. By individualizing care, we can be more effective in a shorter time-span and at lower cost to our patients.
When patients can optimize their nutrition and exercise, aggressively support their detoxification and address any chronic stress then we can truly support the natural healing tendency of the human body. Our approach to hormone balance has to be holistic to be anything more than a band-aid. And while band-aids are necessary, they are rarely sufficient to really improve a person’s quality of life and reduce their risk of future chronic disease.
The first 3 recommendations that all patients who are worried about hormone imbalance should follow are:
#1- Increase your green leafy veggie intake. The antioxidants, fiber and liver detox support nutrients found in these vegetables make them a true superfood group! Aim for 2-3 servings per day of any and all leafy greens, the darker the better!
#2- Get enough water in to stay hydrated and balance out your caffeine, soda, or alcohol intake. No, you don’t need a gallon of water per day but you do need enough to at least prevent thirst. Start off the day with a cup of water, have another glass with each meal and if you find yourself feeling thirsty, reach for a glass of water before you pick up another beverage.
#3- Identify your chemical exposures. Are you heating up food in plastic containers? Eating non-organic fruits, veggies or meat and dairy? Did you spend time on a farm where they used pesticides and herbicides? Any and all of these sources make it more difficult for your body to properly detoxify your hormones and can, over time, contribute to symptoms.