Hormone Health Part Three
Hormone Health Part Three is predominantly about how to eat well for hormone balance, as well as identifying the key nutrients, that we all tend to be deficient in, but are crucial for hormone health.
This article is the third in the series of articles about the importance of hormone balance. As with this article, The Introduction To Hormones has been published in the Wild As The Wind blog.
It’s not essential to read all of the articles in this series, nor is it necessary to read them in any order. But, there’s really valuable information in every article and so I recommend reading them all.
A lot of the information in these articles is really cutting edge, and so you aren’t going to get the insights that are presented in the Wild As The Wind Blog in a lot of other places. People have been publishing information on the internet for decades now, but there have been a lot of new discoveries made in the field of hormone balance in the last couple of years.
So, if you are going to rely on information published elsewhere, just remember to check the date.
Here’s the link to Hormones Part Two – Hormone Health
In this article:
- Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
- Minerals & Hormone Balance
- Bath Salts
- Genetics & Hormonal Imbalance
- The Gut & Hormonal Imbalance
- Inflammation & Hormonal Imbalance
- Obesity & Hormonal Imbalance
- Toxicity & Hormonal Imbalance
- Insomnia, Obesity & Inflammation
- Diet & Hormonal Imbalance
- Vitamin K2 7
- Vitamin D3 & Vitamin K2 & Hormonal Imbalance
- Resolving The Vitamin K2 & Vitamin D3 Issue
- Health Benefits Of Healthy Fats
- Health Benefits Of Animal Proteins
- Anti-Inflammatory Fats
- Fat Doesn’t Make Us Fat
- How Vitamin K2 Is Made & Obtained
- Inflammation Causes Endocrine Disruption.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids Reduce Inflammation
- Sources Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Other Sources Of Omega 3
- Omega 6 & 9
- Hormone Health Part 4
- Hormone Imbalance Causes Stress, Anxiety & Depression
Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
As you will have realised by reading Hormone Health Part 1 and Hormone Balance Part 2, hormonal balance is a rarity these days. And, by contrast, hormonal imbalances are widespread as they are caused by a whole host of different causes.
Sadly, because of this there’s no single therapy that’s going to rectify our hormonal imbalances.
However, stress is one of the biggest causes… and this comes in various forms:
Mental & emotional stress: toxic relationships with family and friends , as well as the media and TV etc. Overworking, challenging deadlines and targets, being under-valued and underpaid as well as being given a lot of responsibility but very little power to make decisions to alieveate the sense of responsibility, (i.e being expected to work within a system that isn’t ideal and which invites criticism from the public, for which you have to apologise, without having the ability to change what’s wrong, so the story keeps on repeating.)
Physical stress: eating disorders, exercising excesses or insufficiencies, violent relationships etc…
Toxic stress: including environmental toxins and cosmetic toxins, as well as smoking, alcohol, most recreational drugs and pharmaceutical drugs etc…
The most common hormone disruptors are:
- Sustained use of perfumes and big brand skincare products
- Dietary deficiencies
- Sustained stress
- Associated medical issues
- Sustained environmental exposure to endocrine disruptors
*Genetics only accounts for about 5% of the story!
*95% of our hormone balance story is to do with what we eat, where we live and how we live!
In each of the previous articles I have mentioned a number of environmental hormonal disruptors, or Xenoestrogens, and I promised to specifically mention some more in Hormone Health Part 3, so here goes…
- Children’s toys
- Adult toys (oh yes, ladies)
- Tap water
- Everydyay cosmetics and personal care products – check for things like Parabens + Phthalates in the ingredients
- Artificial food additives
- Spin dryer sheets
Xenoestrogens have been extensively used in agriculture, manufacturing of resins, textiles, plastics, cosmetics, and insulation. They even arise as a consequence of industrial processes as a by-product.
Because hormones and neurotransmitters are the two ways in which the body communicates with itself the existence of foreign, synthetic oestrogens in our body means that the signalling going on, as a consequence, is often a stream of misinformation. The Xenoestrogens are lying to us on a systemic level and on a grand scale!
Not only that, but when Xenoestrogens latch onto receptor sites, they then refuse to let go… ever! Yes, that’s right, they cling onto the dwindling number of receptor sites and continue to whisper the same old lies to our body forever…!
Now do you see why we are in so much trouble?
But there are things we can do to get the Xenoestrogens to let go… it’s why Essential Oils are going to become indispensably critical for all of us in future… Although, truth be known, many of us have already realised they are already vitally important for the maintenance of our health and to achieve hormone balance!
You can refer to Hormone Health Part Two for a list of the essential oils to help rid our bodies of Xenoestrogens
Minerals & Hormone Balance
But for now, we need to take a look at mineral and vitamin deficiencies that are causing a whole host of hormone issues.
A hefty 90% of us are deficient in minerals. The main reason for this is they are missing from the soil due to mono-cropping. And, that includes mass produced organic food!
Without minerals our immune system is compromised, we lack energy, and our mood changes from sunny to cloudy pretty quickly. Our metabolism becomes pretty sluggish as all functions in the body become less efficient. Toxins begin to stack up and the potential for developing a serious illness goes up…
*Mineral depletion is one of the key root causes of all disease.
We advocate bathing in Himalayan Rock Salt, Dead Sea Salt and Epsom baths to replenish the minerals that we are losing daily through our sweat and elimination processes.
There are also excellent, plant based, mineral supplements available on the market that are very effective.
Taking a salt bath is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity as each year passes because our food is almost completely lacking in the mineral content we need. Follow the link provided in the title of this this paragraph to learn just how serious the situation has become.
Genetics & Hormonal Imbalance
The understanding of the role of genetics has advanced in recent years. Medical papers have been abuzz with the term ‘epigenetics’, all of which have been confounding the accepted wisdom around gene expression and revealing that we are all living in a genetic state of constant flux. This means that our genes are frequently switching on and off depending on the stressors we are exposed to.
Our gene expression is extremely susceptible to stress, both physical and mental. The level of toxins in our environments, our diets, and how much movement / exercise we have in our lives etc are all critical to hormone balance and general health.
The Gut & Hormonal Imbalance
Is hormone balance a thing of the past?
Some of the major contributors to hormonal imbalances include some of the things we do every day, whether we do them actively or passively…
As mentioned in Hormone Health Part Two, the role of gut health is vital where our hormones are concerned. Because the gut regulates, as well as produces, hormones, things like food allergies and other gut problems, either brought on by mental stress or toxic overload etc, will wreak havoc with our endocrine system.
*The endocrine system is all of the parts of the body that form our hormonal system.
So, the low-down is that things like leaky gut and insufficient beneficial bacteria in the gut, along with things like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), or an outgrowth of Candida Albicans etc, will make us more susceptible to developing hormonal problems, including skin outbreaks, hot flushes, chronic obesity, (often accompanied by an inability to lose weight), and diabetes etc.
But, perhaps more alarmingly, it can lead to breast cancer in the upper left quadrant, where 80% of breast cancers occur, which is where the gut drains!
Inflammation & Hormonal Imbalance
Did you know that inflammation affects hormone balance?
Inflammation usually starts in our gut and a domino effect occurs. Poor gut health, and the inflammation it creates, impacts on practically every aspect of our health.
Gut issues are reaching pandemic proportions! This is why so many of us are suffering from systemic inflammation… which is a very significant nail in our coffin.
Obesity & Hormonal Imbalance
Surely being overweight can’t affect hormone balance?
Being overweight is not a problem in itself, per sae… but, if you carry a lot of belly fat then you’re definitely in trouble… as you will read later on in this article, belly fat is capable of producing hormones all on it’s very ownsome!
Whilst obesity also tends to be an indicator of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, people who eat a poor diet who are active are also as likely to be in trouble… slim people can have inflammation too!
Toxicity & Hormonal Imbalance
High levels of inflammation are the result of elevated toxicity, which is caused by a number of stressors:
Physical stressors including, under-exercising, overworking, overeating, over-exercising, allergies and pathogens, such as viral, bacterial and fungal infections, and last but not least, hormonal imbalances born of environmental and dietary toxins etc…
Mental stressors, which include abusive relationships, too much pressure at work, concerns around family and friends, money worries, job insecurity, injustice, bereavement and noisy neighbours etc…as well as generally dealing with the information age, which is providing us with the unique pleasure of the trauma of information overload… This type of ‘overwhelm’ is often referred to timeline fatigue…
As well as the invisible toxins, like the synthetic hormones in our water supply and the heavy metals from pesticides and silver fillings, there’s the consciously consumed toxins in the form of cigarettes, alcohol, and copious amounts of sugar.
*Cigarettes also contain metals like Cadmium.
Other toxins, (including the 85k chemicals we’ve unleashed into our environment since the beginning of the 20th century as well as naturally occurring toxins such as lead and radon etc.)
Viruses, which are often chronically affecting our health because they hide behind heavy metals so we never get rid of them…
Insufficient sleep, which is a key symptom of the menopause, is also really debilitating and leads to a plethora of problems…
Are you getting the picture why hormone balance is so rare these days?
Insomnia, Obesity & Inflammation
An inability to get to sleep, or the propensity to wake up several times in the night can slow down our metabolisms, which predisposes us to put on stubborn fat, often on our bellies.
*Did you know that belly fat manufactures it’s own hormones independently?
On top of that, insomnia can elicit intense food cravings, which is why poor sleep can pretty much sabotage the healthy gains we make from eating a good, balanced organic diet.
So, basic sleep hygiene is a must for hormonal health as well as general health.
- Avoiding blue screens for at least one hour before sleep. (Computers, mobile phones and television are all blue screens.
- Avoiding other sources of blue light, including recharging lights on digital and other battery driven devices, and any LED or strip lighting you have in your home.
- Sleeping in total blackness, so the room must be shrouded in darkness from the inside and out.
- Eliminating any exposure to WiFi
- Placing all devices, including mobiles and tablets, as well as gaming devices, in airplane mode before going to sleep.
- Switch off all computer equipment like laptops and desktops.
- Practice engaging the parasympathetic nervous system before going to bed. You can find out how to do this by reading the final section in Morning Detox Protocols.
- Practice telling your mind to be quiet when it attempts to fixate on problems that cannot be solved by worrying. The best thing you can ever do about your problems is have a great nights sleep!
- Using an ionic diffuser, (with the LED’s turned off), replete with Lavender Essential Oil, Hyssop Essential Oil or Clary Sage Essential Oil will also have a great effect on your ability to fall asleep. it’s all in the power of the purple flowers.
Find out all the steps for preparing for a good nights sleep in Evening Detox Protocols.
Diet & Hormonal Imbalance
Nutritional insufficiencies are also a key player in the endocrine conundrum… hormone balance really is a very fine balancing act…
I don’t want to rattle on about our depleted soil as I have mentioned it too often already, (just read Hormone Health Part Two for more info), but, suffice to say, there’s a lot of nutrients that are vital to our hormonal health that have been stolen from our soil in the last few decades due to intensive farming, like iodine and selenium which are essential for Thyroid health for example.
We are all pretty much deficient in magnesium these days as well… but this has more to do with how much sugar or alcohol we are consuming than anything else, although excessive exercising or excessive water consumption, and even cigarette smoking can negatively impact magnesium levels.
I also believe that a nutrient we are all deficient in is vital to our hormonal health. This is Vitamin K2, and more specifically Vitamin K2 7.
Vitamin K2 7
We need Vitamin K2 to absorb other vital nutrients, but sadly, practically all of us are deficient in the vitamin that the K2 is needed to absorb.
The second vitamin we are deficient in is actually not a vitamin at all, even though we all refer to it as one… The reality is that it’s an hormone, and it’s called Vitamin D3!
So… we cannot absorb Vitamin D3 without Vitamin K2.
Vitamin D3 & Vitamin K2 & Hormonal Imbalance
We mainly get Vitamin D3 from the sun, but UK dwellers, and anyone on the same latitude on the map, are deficient in Vitamin D3 for half of the year. This is because the sun is not high enough in the sky for us to obtain the beneficial rays of sunlight that deliver the D3 we need.
But, discussions about Vitamin D3 are rendered moot by the fact that without Vitamin K2 we can’t absorb any of the Vitamin D3 we get at any point in the year. And, the Western diet is all but devoid of this essential vitamin!!!
So, if you think you tanked up on Vitamin D3 during the latest heatwave, then you’re sadly mistaken. What high exposure to Vitamin D3 actually does is use up all of our meagre Vitamin K2 reserves, which can also contribute to acute liver issues, but also long-term bone issues… like Osteoporosis…
Vitamin K2 is needed because it decalcifies the body. It’s the only nutrient that can do this.
It’s needed in the liver to create the clotting cascade within the body so when we are wounded we don’t bleed to death.
The liver absorbs all the Vitamin K it needs and the rest goes to extra-hepatic tissue, which simply means the rest of the body beyond the liver. It’s in the extra-hepatic tissue that the Vitamin K deficiencies occur, leading to bone, arteries and cartilage deficiencies… and, as I believe, to significant endocrine disruption!
But, we also know that Vitamin D3 is vital for bone health… so, we can surmise that the amount of Osteoporosis so prevalent in Western societies, is a big indicator of the D3 and K2 issues we are suffering from.
Resolving The Vitamin K2 & Vitamin D3 Issue
One of the best ways of resolving the Vitamin K2 deficiencies is to eat less carbohydrates and replace them with healthy fats. Eating a variety of foods which are high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is vital for hormone health.
For example organic butter contains 14.5mcg of K2 per 100g serving as well as vitamins A and D… although we need around 50mgs per day, and it’s unlikely that anyone is going to eat over a block of butter per day.
Cheese is another fatty food with Vitamin K2
Here’s a 7.5 minute video with a lot of advice on where to find K2 in our food.
Health Benefits Of Healthy Fats
And, it’s not only Vitamin K2 that can be found in healthy fats. Other nutrients that are critical for the healthy functioning of our hormones can be found in saturated fats and cholesterol.
Plus, there’s another bonus; these essential fats are not only the fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they also keep inflammation to a minimum, whilst also boosting our metabolisms which leads to healthy weight loss.
Refined carbohydrates, like sugar and anything that quickly converts into sugar after it’s been eaten, like white bread and alcohol, will very quickly lead to inflammation in the body.
Sugar is also the most pernicious neuro-toxin there is. But, it’s the inflammation we are primarily concerned about when it comes to hormones, because inflammation can really disrupt our endocrine system.
Healthy fats, on the other hand, have the opposite effect because they contain small amounts of K2 for the assimilation of the hormone Vitamin D3, (I know, it’s confusing isn’t it!?!), as well as reducing inflammation in the body.
Health Benefits Of Animal Proteins
Then there’s pasture raised organic meats, eggs and fermented foods, all of which contain Vitamin K2.
But, eating chicken liver pate three times a week is the best source of Vitamin K2 we have.
*This is something that Terry Wahl advocates for rectifying the mitochondria, and I believe she’s absolutely right.
Chicken liver has good amounts of Vitamin K2. There’s a recipe for dairy-free chicken liver pate on the Recipes page.
Here’s a 50 minute video on Vitamin K2
And, a very useful 9 minute video on Vitamin K2 if you don’t have time to watch the more lengthy video above.
Anti-Inflammatory fats are vital for our health. These include; avocados, coconut oil, ghee and fatty fish like sustainably sourced line-caught wild Alaskan salmon.
Fat Doesn’t Make Us Fat
There’s no reason to worry about eating fat because fat doesn’t make us fat…!
It’s sugars, poor sleep and environmental toxins that makes us fat…
Coconut oil even helps with burning off our fat!
Avocados also have lots of health benefits, like improving heart health, lowering inflammation, and controlling appetite, thereby averting weight gain in another way.
How Vitamin K2 Is Made & Obtained
Whilst Vitamin K2 7 may be converted from K1, which is a lot more abundant in our diet, it’s believed this doesn’t significantly contribute to our Vitamin K2 stores. (The conversion from Vitamin K1 to Vitamin K2 7 occurs in the colon, using Escherichia coli bacteria. So, there needs to be good quantities of this friendly flora for this process to occur.
However, a lot of us suffer from diminished gut bacteria because of the use of antibiotics, the chlorine in our water and the poor quality of our diets.
Inflammation Causes Endocrine Disruption.
Chronic inflammation within Western society has reached epidemic proportions.
We are eating a madly inflammatory diet which is drenched with sugar, grains and saturated fats, all of which cause persistent inflammation. And, chronic inflammation leads to physical disability and pain which then leads to it’s ultimate conclusion, Early Onset Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Reduce Inflammation
Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for reducing inflammation within our bodies. Inflammation not only causes debility and pain… it also causes endocrine disruption.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also a significant constituent of brain-cell membranes and thus they are important for cell-to-cell communication within the brain, thus protecting against hippocampal neuronal loss.
Despite the vital function of Omega-3 fatty acids in our diets Westerners tend to be chronically deficient.
Sources Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, along with Mackerel, and, to a lesser extent, Sardines.
However, there is a real benefit to eating smaller fish for the omega 3 content as it isn’t economically feasible for small oily fish to be farmed.
Because small oily fish, (which are full of the vitally important Omega 3 fatty acids), live shorter lives than larger Omega 3 rich fish, like Salmon, they have less time to accumulate the increasingly burdensome toxic load from the sea.
*Fatty fish are known to lower inflammation and help with our cognitive function.
** Peppermint Essential Oil is being used to boost immunity in farmed fish to help them deal with everything from the stress of living in horrendously cramped living conditions to fighting off the large parasitic lice that infect factory farmed fish populations.
***Factory farmed salmon in Scotland, which is often farmed in open water using netted areas, are so toxic to migrating wild salmon, means that they die in huge numbers from just swimming past the netted dungeons of the factory farmed fish!
Other Sources Of Omega 3
Fatty fish are the best source of Omega 3, but Flaxseed, Walnuts and Organic, Grass-Fed sources of animal protein are also good.
Chia Seeds provide a good supply of Omega 3 as well, but Steven R Gundry reckons that seeds in the diet are causing a lot of our problems!
Omega 6 & 9
The other Omega Fats, (Omega 6 and Omega 9), are important, but a balance needs to be struck. This is very far from the reality of the modern Western diet, which is hopelessly high in the wrong kind of Omega 6 as well as Omega 9, whilst being woefully deficient in Omega 3.
Omega-6 fat that’s good for us is called GLA and it’s found in Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, and Hemp Seeds. GLA, (gamma-linoleic acid), is vital for healthy progesterone levels.
Hormone Health Part 4
In the next article in this Hormone Health series I will cover more dietary requirements for hormone health as well as the major role Adaptogenic Herbs can play in helping to restore hormone balance… and eliminate stress, anxiety and the depression that hormone imbalance inevitably causes…
Hormone Imbalance Causes Stress, Anxiety & Depression
Hormone imbalance causes feelings of:
Hormone imbalance could be the reason behind your outbursts of rage and your inability to keep your temper in check.
It can also be the root cause of anxiety and depression.
Adaptogenic Herbs are becoming more of a necessity than they have even been before.
Learn how to restore your hormone balance using adaptogenic herbs very soon..
Please also share your personal experiences, and tell us how the advice you are finding in this blog is helping.
I really want to encourage an open discussion about hormone health so that we all don’t feel so alone in our suffering.
Please comment and get involved!
The information provided is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider. This information is not meant for the diagnosis of health issues. If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils or associated products. If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.
Deepen your knowledge by using the Wild As The Wind Recommended Resources
Another resource you may find useful can be found by following the link below. *Please note, I use sources from the Recommended Resources list as well as sources from the Healthcare and Skincare Information Sources list when researching articles for the Wild As The Wind Blog.
Wild As The Wind use a number of resources when deciding which formulas to put together for optimal healing and efficacy, as well as to support any health claims we may make.
We owe a particular debt to GreenMedInfo