Monday, May 25, 2015

7 Steps to Healthy Hormones - Step 3: Supplement With Adaptogen Herbs

Healthy Hormonal Balance requires Healthy LifeStyle choices. We have been talking about the 7 Simple Steps to Healthy HormonalBalance. This blog we are on Step 3: Supplementing with Adaptogenic Herbs.

Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protect
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the body from a wide variety of diseases.

In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research has shown that adaptogen herbs enhance hormone balance by:

·        Improving thyroid function
·        Lowering cholesterol
·        Reducing anxiety and depression
·        Reducing brain cell degeneration
·        Stabilizing blood sugar
·        Supporting adrenal glands


Scientists in the former USSR laid the groundwork for adaptogenic research, publishing more than 1,000 studies on the herbs during the 1960s and ’70s.

3 Properties of an Adaptogenic Herb: 

  1. It’s nontoxic, meaning it’s safe for everyone. 
  2. Its benefits are nonspecific, meaning it improves the entire body’s resistance to stress, not just one particular system or organ.
  3. It balances bodily functions, regardless of where the disruption may originate.

 In other words, an adaptogen works like a tuning fork on your body: It helps bring your system back into harmony after a day of discord. This is why Adaptogenic herbs are so powerful in bringing the body back into a healthy hormonal balance.

If you would like direction in finding which adaptogenic herbs your body has a biological preference for schedule a Complimentary LifeStyle Education appointment and learn how to use our Supplement Compass to point you in the direction of health. 
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Monday, May 18, 2015

7 Steps to Healthy Hormones - Step 2: Fix Your Gut

Creating Healthy Hormonal Balance is a series of steps. After we have looked at LifeStyle Habits (see last week's post), we then want to look at our guts.

The digestive system is really the corner stone of our wellbeing, as it is involved in so many processes. New research is showing that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation so if you have leaky gut or a lack of probiotics lining your intestinal wall it can also cause hormone imbalance.

If your gut health is poor, you can end up with impaired immune and nervous systems, and it can also wreak havoc with hormonal function throughout the body. This is because our gastrointestinal tract is loaded with neurons that release the same neurotransmitters found in the brain. This is why you have "gut feelings" and any upset to this equilibrium can throw your body and mood into chaos.

To adopt a new approach to the eating for hormonal balance, this can be done by starting with the "Four Rs" - Remove, Repair, Restore, and Replace.

          Step 1: Remove
 In this first step, remove the offending foods and toxins from your diet that could be acting as stressors on your system. This means caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, bad fats, and any other foods you think may be causing issues, like gluten and dairy. All of these all irritate the gut in some form and create an inflammatory response.

Step 2: Repair
 The next step is to begin to repair the gut and heal the damaged intestinal lining. You do this by consuming an unprocessed diet and giving your body time to rest by providing it with substances that are known to heal the gut, like L-glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, antioxidants (in the form of vitamins A, C, and E), quercitin, aloe vera, and turmeric.

Step 3: Restore
 This involves the restoration of your gut's optimal bacterial flora population. This is done with the introduction of probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium lactis. A probiotic is a good bacteria and is ingested to help reinforce and maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and to help fight illness. In general a healthy lower intestinal tract should contain around 85% good bacteria. This helps to combat any overgrowth of bad bacteria. Unfortunately in most people these percentages are skewed and this allows for the gut health to drastically decline. The human gut is home to bad bacteria like salmonella and clostridium, which is fine as long as they are kept in order and don't get out of control.

Step 4: Replace
 This involves getting your bile salts, digestive enzymes, and hydrochloric acid levels to optimal levels to maintain and promote healthy digestion. This can be done by supplementing with digestive enzymes and organic salt to help make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid.




Monday, May 11, 2015

7 Steps to Healthy Hormones - Step 1: LifeStyle

STEP 1: LIFESTYLE


Take inventory of your lifestyle to find out whether poor eating habits, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, your environment or stress may be affecting your hormone balance. Make a list of things you can change that will have a positive impact on your health. Pick one thing from the list and write down the steps you would need to take to make that change. 

In Dr. Christiane Northrup's Hormone-Balancing Food Plan, she asks patients to eliminate refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, white rice, bread, alcohol, and foods made with white flour, such as muffins, bagels, pasta, pretzels and other snack foods. 

If you reintroduce a certain food, do it one at a time, journal your symptoms, and see if you should stay away from that food permanently.

Endocrine Disruptors:

Your environment can also be the boogie man there to rob you of healthy hormonal function. Endocrine disruptors are the hidden toxins that are ruining everyone’s health. In men, endocrine disruptors enlarge breasts, reduce sperm count and increase the chance of prostate cancer. In women, they affect pap smears, encourage early onset of puberty and increase the chance of breast cancer.

In both sexes, they slow down the thyroid.

Endocrine disruptors are common in many traditional building supplies and environments, including polyvinyl flooring and wall coverings, wall-to-wall carpeting (a carcinogen magnet), high VOC paints, stains and sealants, and poor indoor air quality as a result of insufficient ventilation. 


Xenoestrogens are another invisible culprit; they hijack your natural hormones and have reproductive and developmental consequences. In a typical day, we are exposed to more than 700; in toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, food preservatives, the lining of cans that hold food, and many kinds of plastic.

You can start making positive changes to your lifestyle now. We have made it easy. Visit with our LifeStyle Educator to learn how you can make positive LifeStyle changes that will improve your hormonal health.


Take that first step!
Positive change happen one step at a time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

7 Steps to Healthy Hormones

If you’re just beginning the journey to optimal health, naturally balancing your hormones can seem like a daunting and confusing road to travel. Just take it one step at a time! I will be posting about some simple steps that  can help set you on the path to optimal hormonal health. But first of all, let's talk about what hormones do.


WHAT ARE HORMONES?


One of my colleagues gave this great description in explaining hormones. She refers to the three main hormones for women “Charlie’s Angels” – they are cortisol, thyroid and estrogen. Men have got the “Three Amigos” – cortisol, thyroid and testosterone. These hormones regulate metabolism, sleep cycle, energy levels, mood and sex drive. 

Think of them as a well-connected family that works together to manage all the important processes within the body. When they don’t work together well, it is as damaging as a dysfunctional family.

Hormones, such as estrogen and insulin, are chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your health as they travel in your bloodstream throughout your entire body.  Organs and glands like your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas regulate most of your hormone production and if your hormones become even slightly imbalanced it can cause major health issues.

COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF HORMONAL IMBALANCES:

·                                        Infertility

·                                        Weight gain
·                                        Depression
·                                        Fatigue
·                                        Insomnia
·                                        Low libido
·                                        Hair loss and hair thinning


Unfortunately, modern medicine has taught doctors to throw a prescription at these problems and leave it at that. Learn to take responsibility for your own health. That is the first step towards making lasting changes to your hormonal health. Be educated, be informed. Put yourself in the driver’s seat of your own health and engage informed practitioners who will support your health goals. Know what your part is and what part you need help with. Then partner with trusted practitioner's who will work with you in supporting your goals for Healthy Hormonal Balance.