Hormonal imbalances are so incredibly common these days- so much so that even young kids are dealing with them! A majority of doctors or natural practitioners out there approach hormonal imbalances with actual hormones. I approach this issue by always identifying the root cause.
What is the ROOT CAUSE of hormonal imbalances?
If your hormones are out of balance, adding in all of the separate hormones you are deficient in makes absolutely no sense to me. Besides the fact that this is not how we’re meant to keep our hormones balanced, this can be extremely hard on the body, especially the liver and adrenals. Hormonal imbalances have 3 main root causes: a sluggish liver, stressed adrenals, and a copper<> iron imbalance (and these 3 are all connected too!).
Why is the Liver so important in hormonal health?
Our livers have about 500 different functions in the body. One of the main functions is to keep our hormones balanced, both by creating hormones as needed and filtering out excess hormones that we either make or are exposed to. Our livers also make a majority of our cholesterol but can only do so if it is functioning properly. ALL OF OUR HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL.
ALL of the hormones that run the adrenals need cholesterol to be made. The lie that cholesterol is bad for us is a primary reason why we are all so deficient in hormones. We need cholesterol to create pregnenolone, which in turn can be used to make the rest of the hormones like estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and aldosterone. But we need healthy livers to regulate cholesterol. We have a completely obvious root cause here to address, but most docs/practitioners will go straight to the individual hormones (again, “natural pharmacology” or “allopathic natural health“: treat the symptoms, not the cause). If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is more likely that your liver, gut or thyroid and adrenals are under functioning, resulting in your body having trouble clearing the excess estrogen- if you add progesterone to antagonize/balance estrogen, you are placing stress on an already imbalanced body. The problem in the first place was that the body couldn’t get rid of the excess estrogen. Heal your liver, gut, thyroid and adrenals to fix your hormones.
How is copper<>iron imbalance related to hormonal health?
In the mineral balancing world, we know that estrogen and copper go hand
in hand, just like zinc goes along with testosterone and progesterone. Women
are copper dominant and men are zinc dominant. When the liver and adrenals are
stressed, they have a VERY hard time keeping copper and zinc balanced.
I mentioned above how adding progesterone to “fix” and estrogen dominance issue makes no sense if the liver has obvious mineral imbalances in the first place: Messing with the individual hormones or nutrients doesn’t solve the root issue, which is that the liver is under functioning and the minerals aren’t able to balance.
Balancing copper/iron is one of the main things I focus on for most of my clients. I RARELY see someone with a balanced copper<>iron metabolism. That is how common this issue is. Keeping copper balanced involved happy adrenals and livers, as well as true vitamin A (from cod liver oil, beef liver, eggs, and butter- all things that many people didn’t eat growing up as there has been fear mongering on each of these foods!). Those that have been vegetarian/vegan, been on birth control of any sort, had copper pipes in their house, or women that just recently had a child are the most common people to be effected by a copper<> Iron imbalance.
When we are dealing with a sluggish liver and stressed adrenals, it is hard for the body to utilize vitamin A, which is one of the keys needed for making ceruloplasmin, the copper binding protein. When ceruloplasmin cannot be made, copper can build up in the body (as excess, unbound copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well). This creates a huge issue in the body: and results in a lot of symptoms.
How are the adrenals related to hormonal health?
When people start to feel fatigued or just not as well as they used to, most people will automatically tell them to go test their thyroid. In reality, the adrenals play an even bigger role in overall health as they are higher up on the totem pole in the endocrine system (AKA the HPA Axis!). The adrenals play a big role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.
The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!
This fight-or-flight response can becoming chronic for many people, and eventually the adrenals can get into burnout
How to truly fix a hormonal balance
1) Heal your Liver and get that bile flowing!
2) Heal your Adrenals. Copper<>iron dysregulation
3) Balance your minerals. As mentioned above, copper<>iron dysregulation is involved in hormonal issues. Get an HTMA and a blood panel details of recommended blood test are available from Thermography Clinic Ireland. HTMA also can give us insight on how well your adrenals, thyroid, and liver are working which also plays a big role in hormonal health.
4) Reducing environmental toxins is also an essential step to healing your liver and hormones.
5) SLEEP!!!! Sleep is perhaps the number 1 most critical thing needed to heal from every illness.
“You cannot pour from an empty cup.” If you are healing from any illness, you have to focus on yourself as much as you can in order to truly heal. This may be hard for a lot of people but it is crucial!