Hormones: Alive & Kickin’

Many women seem to have a favorite ‘empowerment’ song, whether it is Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor or another personal favorite. While these songs provide triumph and confidence, rarely does an anthem focus on the jubilation of health. Rather, there are causes and support groups, such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure. These groups provide resources, support, and encouragement to those who have been afflicted with an illness, personally or relationally, but rarely do they get to the ‘root’ of the health issues. Well, today we will briefly touch a few vital topics of women’s health to provide clarity, resources, and solutions that can prevent disease.

Let’s Talk About Hormones-
What exactly is a hormone? A hormone is a vital, chemical substance found in humans and animals. Often referred to as “chemical messengers,” hormones carry information and instructions from one group of cells to another. In the human body, hormones influence almost every cell, organ, and function. They regulate our growth, development, metabolism, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, the way our bodies use food, the reaction of our bodies to emergencies, and even our moods.

The term “estrogen” includes a group of chemically similar hormones: estrone, estradiol (most abundant in women of reproductive age) and estriol. Overall, estrogen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat tissues. More specifically, the estradiol and estrone forms are produced primarily in the ovaries in premenopausal women, while the placenta produces estriol during pregnancy. Now, more than ever, balancing female hormones and estrogen is important for your overall health. Estrogen levels that are too high or low mean your body is significantly compromised. Some examples of too much estrogen include tender breasts and heavy menstrual flow, which often results in life-altering hysterectomies. Other indications include spider veins throughout the legs and hemorrhoids.

Q. How can we balance our estrogen?

A. There are many simple solutions to help keep it balanced. The first is to eat your Dr. Bob’s ABC’s-1/3 cup of organic beets, 1/2 a red apple (Gala, Fuji, etc.), and 4 or 5 organic baby carrots everyday. Next, is to make sure you are taking a whole food B vitamin.

Here are some additional recommendations when dealing with hormones:

– Reduce/eliminate sugar: I suggest Biotics Research Cr-Zyme to help with cravings

– Begin eating organic, whole foods: No herbicides

– Avoid canned food that is lined with BPA and causes an increase in estrogen levels

– Exercise regularly with weights, bands, and a large ball

– Eliminate partially hydrogenated fats, and synthetic sweeteners. Use stevia instead.

– Avoid Synthroid. It can create mineral and bone loss.

– Avoid soy since it throws off estrogen balance (soy milk, soy sauce, soy lecithin).

– Limit or eliminate dairy. Use unsweetened rice, almond, oat, or coconut milk.

The thyroid gland is  an important organ of the endocrine system and is located in front of the neck below the larynx consisting of two lobes on either side of the windpipe. The thyroid gland produces hormones from the thyroid tissue cells called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (4) that regulate our metabolism and oxygen consumption of tissues. These hormones are comprised of iodine and amino acids from proteins.

Dr. Ruchi Mathur, is another doctor who stresses the importance of iodine. Iodine is especially important for women’s health because the major function of the thyroid gland is to produce thyroid hormones. And, to make the thyroid hormone, the thyroid uses iodine. If iodine is not available in the diet, the thyroid may produce an insufficient amount of hormones. Thyroid deficiencies can result in anxiety, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, hand tremors, heat intolerance, insomnia, menstrual irregularities, muscle weakness, nervousness, palpitations, protruding eyeballs, rapid heartbeat, separations of nails, sweating, and weight loss. The recommended daily consumption is low in the US. To determine your personal iodine needs, there are two methods available. A Urine Iodine Loading test, and a TSH T3 T4 test.

To monitor your thyroid, take your armpit temperature periodically if you have the following body signals:

– Cold hands and feet

– Coarse hair

– Morning headaches

– Thinning hair on the outer part of your eyebrows.

To complete this test properly, have a thermometer ready by your nightstand. When you first awake, put the thermometer in your armpit, and lay there for ten minutes, with the optimal temperature being 97.8 degrees. Celtic Sea Salt is an excellent source to add minerals to aid your thyroid gland.

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