When we think detox we often think of the latest juice cleanse or a program that restricts certain foods. Detoxes are often used to eliminate and cleanse our organs from harmful bacteria, parasites, environmental toxins, alcohol and medication. However, have you ever thought of a hormonal detox?
Hormones are the chemical substances that coordinate and control the activities within the body. They are secreted through the endocrine glands and each hormone influences certain organs and tissues. Hormones are responsible for growth, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, development etc. When the body releases too much or not enough this can result in hormonal imbalance.
Xenoestrogens (environmental estrogens) are environmental toxins, such as manmade chemicals, parabens, phthalates, BPA’s, pesticides and herbicides. Our body can absorb these environmental estrogens the same way it can our natural estrogen. This can lead to estrogen dominance, a condition where the body has a higher amount of estrogen to progesterone, this imbalance can lead to undesired health effects (1,2.)
Our liver is responsible for detoxification and flushing excess hormones and toxins from the body. However, due to poor nutrition choices, stress, caffeine and alcohol this becomes exceedingly difficult. Our liver function becomes compromised, sluggish and backed up. When this occurs these half detoxified molecules recirculate back into the system, which can lead to hormonal imbalance and toxic overload.
Let’s examine 5 simple ways to start detoxifying your body from excess hormones and in turn show your liver some love.
1. Avoid Plastics
Plastics contain toxins that are prone to leaching. Two of these chemicals BPA (bisphenol-A and bisphenol-S) and BPS mimic estrogen in the body and can throw off the balance of your natural estrogen (3.) These two chemicals are especially detrimental in extreme temperatures.
When possible choose a glass or a stainless steel water bottles. Make sure to remove plastics that come in contact with your food and store all leftovers in glass containers.
2. Natural Makeup, Skin Care and Household Products
If we look at the ingredient profile on our favorite skincare, haircare, sunscreen and makeup, we will discover most of our personal products contain parabens and phthalates. These chemicals enter the lymphatic system and our bloodstream then are processed via our liver. Make sure you always read your labels and reach for products that are clearly marked paraben and phthalate free, as many of the chemicals can be difficult to identify.
Then the next time you throw the laundry in the dryer make sure to read the label of your favorite, lavender, softener sheets. Many household cleaners and fabric softeners contain petrochemicals, which also serve as environmental estrogens. Ingredients in common household cleaners have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruptors and neurotoxicity (4.) Read labels and if you are feeling crafty you can try making your own with such ingredients as vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.
3. Eat Organic Produce, and Grass Fed Meat or Dairy.
Certified organic products are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones and antibiotics. These harmful chemicals can contain xenoestrogens and are used in plant and animal farming to boost production and protect crops from pests. When possible choose certified organic, buy local or wild caught and make sure to wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly.
In addition make sure your diet is rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and watercress. These are rich in both DIM (diindolylmethane) which is effective in detoxifying excess estrogen and additionally contain liver supportive phytochemicals.
Our skin is our largest organ and one way we can eliminate toxins is through perspiration and exercise. When other detoxifying organs are overloaded, toxins can cause a form of rashes, acne, blemishes, pimples and sores. Moving the body helps circulate blood and lymph, forces heavier breathing, circulation, improves digestion, and bowel movements. In addition, exercise and movement strengthen the heart and lungs which are responsible for expelling carbon dioxide.
It is recommended to aim for at least 30 min of movement each day and besides supporting detoxification and overall health and wellness, it also provides a great stress reliever.
Supporting our liver with additional nutrients to assist in processing hormonal toxins from the body can be beneficial.
Milk Thistle is known for its ability to repair and support the liver. This powerful herb assists in the body’s production of glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body, which optimizes liver function and detoxification.
NAC is a precursor to glutathione and can reverse failure caused by excess alcohol and pollutants and has been shown to heal the liver (5.)
Ginger has been proven for it’s anti-inflammatory properties has also been shown in the supplement form to reduce the risk of developing non-alcohol fatty liver disease (6.)
It is with these liver support ingredients plus Chaste tree, Resveratrol, Vit B6, B12 and Folate, create “Reset Hormonal Detox” by Aeryon Wellness. This product is designed to provide your liver with added support and balance out excess estrogen metabolites.
My own personal experience of breaking up with hormonal birth control after 20+ years resulted in painful heavy periods, mood swings, bloating, stubborn weight gain around my hips and thighs and horrible PMS. These are all symptoms of estrogen dominance. By applying these 5 strategies I finally found hormonal balance again and it is from my experience that Reset Hormonal Detox was created.
However, with all things health and wellness we must look at the overall picture. The liver is responsible for over 500 jobs and in todays world we are subject to a variety of hormonal disrupters in the body. Supporting this incredible detoxifier by reducing chemicals both on and in the body, eating organic, local, chemical-free foods, movement, and supporting with supplements are all steps we can take to show the Liver some Love.
1: Travis RC, Key TJ. Estrogen exposure and breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Research: BCR. 5.5. 2003:239-247
2: Schuster M et al. The role of estradiol in male reproductive function. Asian J Androl. 2016;18(3):435–440
3: CZ et al. Most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals: a potential health problem that can be solved. Environ Health Perspect.2011;119(7):989–996