Do you ever feel like you can’t get enough snacks in the day or that you’re never full?
Did you know that your hormones can be the culprit?
Many of us think of hormones as substances in the body which are uncontrolled. The definition of “hormone” in the book, Lick the Sugar Habit, by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. is as follows: “a chemical produced by a gland and secreted into the blood that affects the function of distant cells or organs.” Our endocrine system is largely responsible for our hormone production. Did you know that endocrine glands and their hormones do not only target reproduction, growth, and development, but also help to regulate metabolism and digestion, electrolyte balance, blood pressure, body temperature, and elimination?
Good fats to eat anytime!
So how does food impact hormones and what can I do to help regulate my body?
The easiest place to start is to eliminate white sugar and refined foods which spike blood glucose and insulin. In the book, Life Without Bread by Christian Allen Ph.D. and Wolfgang Lutz MD, it is emphasized that “carbohydrate consumption has a direct effect on hormonal balance.” We have been taught the following falsehoods, 1) to eat many small meals or snacks during the day and 2) that it does not matter what type of calorie you eat. The truth is that when we follow those two rules, we are eating increased carbohydrates and sugar, and decreased healthy fat and protein. Carbohydrates bring about a much larger production of insulin. Insulin’s job is to transport glucose to be used immediately as energy, or to store it as fat for later use. When we do not continuously snack, and our insulin levels are low, our body has the opportunity to use a different hormone, glucagon to metabolize fat. But, if we keep snacking, we do not allow our body to switch to fat metabolism. This yo-yo effect on our blood glucose keeps us addicted to all varieties of sugar and especially processed refined snacks.
If you find that you constantly feel hungry, this may be why! To reduce your cravings, start with the first meal of the day, breakfast! Be sure to increase your healthy fats and proteins, and reduce or eliminate processed foods and refined sugars.
Healthy living and proper nutrition are essential for overall health and well-being. If you haven’t started on your journey to overall health, call and schedule your new patient evaluation today!
It is extremely common these days for women of all ages to suffer from hormonal imbalance. More and more we see women ages 25-35 with pre-menopausal symptoms; while this is common it is not normal. Considering the toxicity of our environment, it isn’t hard to understand why young women are experiencing hot flashes, weight gain, infertility, heavy periods, painful periods, fatigue and PMS. Here are three possible contributors to why your hormones could be out of balance:
GMO’s—Genetically Modified Organism’s
More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. Male rats and mice fed GM soy had changed testicles, including altered young sperm cells in the mice. By the third generation, most hamsters fed GM soy were unable to reproduce.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
Resolution: Within weeks of following non-GMO diets, patients at the Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor (NHCAA) report improvements in digestion, energy and overall vitality.
Chemicals and metals all share a reputation of mimicking or disrupting hormones; these findings have been tied to certain types of cancers and are known to cause harm to unborn fetuses.
When cell’s exterior get ‘gummed up’ with toxins they can no longer give and receive messages. As a result, women end up with premenopausal symptoms, infertility issues and endocrine disruption.
Resolution: At the NHCAA we identify the source of toxicity, educate the patient how to reduce their exposure and use supplementation to support the body so the toxin can be flushed from the system.
Refined Foods and Sugar
Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance – some hormones become underactive and others become overactive. Sugar can ruin the sex life of both men and women by turning off the gene that controls the sex hormones.
Sugar suppresses the immune system. The average American consumes between 300-500 grams of carbohydrates per day, all of which convert to sugar in the body. The average person’s immune system thrives between 75-100 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Resolution: Diet is a huge part of helping patients regain their health. At the NHCAA we use nutritional supplementation to help support the immune system while educating the patient about how to eat healthier, more nutritious food.
In order to determine what the most appropriate intervention strategy for you to employ, we often recommend testing. Early detection and correction of risk factors can be one of your biggest allies in reducing your risk. If any of the following apply to you, you may be at high risk:
How to test: Have your serum ferritin level drawn Common in women after they stop menstruating, elevated iron levels can be indicative of a heightened cancer risk. Excess iron in the body works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals thereby raising your risk. If you are a post-menopausal woman or have been diagnosed with breast cancer you will certainly benefit from having your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80 ng/ml. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce high ferritin levels and cancer risk.
How to test: Get your estrogen ratios checked Researchers have found that the body metabolizes estrogen into several different metabolites that can impact cancer development. One metabolite, 2-hydroxy-estrone, tends to inhibit cancer, whereas another 16-a-hydroxy-estrone can actually stimulate tumor development.A woman’s “bio-mechanical individuality” and liver metabolism determines which of these metabolites predominates. Studies have shown that measuring the ratio of these two metabolites provides an important indication of risk for future development of estrogen-sensitive cancers, including breast cancer.
Low Glutathione Levels
How to test: Get a Glutathione level test Glutathione is the key protective molecule of your immune system. It is the cell’s most important antioxidant and is needed in detoxification. Research now demonstrates the correlation between a decrease in this molecule and increased risk of disease including cancer. Therefore, ensuring you have optimal glutathione levels can reduce your risk.
Elevated Breast Inflammation
How to test: Get a breast thermography A breast thermography is a diagnostic tool that uses in to detect the potential for cancer. By identifying areas of high inflammation, you can address the underlying cause of the inflammation before cancer has a chance to develop.
How to test: Iodine Loading Test Get sufficient Iodine – other than the thyroid, the highest concentration of iodine is found in women’s breast tissue. When the level of iodine is low, the risk of acquiring breast cancer is greater. Actually, it is estimated that 95% of the world’s population is iodine deficient. You can see what your iodine levels are with Iodine testing. Iodine testing is simple. It is a 24-hour urine test.
You can also do an iodine patch test on the inside of your arm with tincture of iodine. Check to see how long it takes for your body to absorb it. If the patch is gone in 24 hours you are iodine deficient. The body’s deficiency is proportionate – the faster the iodine is absorbed by your body, the more deficient you are.
You can increase your iodine level by eating iodine-rich foods like seafood, kelp, seaweed, dulse, Himalayan sea salt or taking iodine supplementation (make sure your supplement contains iodine and iodide). However, there’s significant controversy over the appropriate dosage, so you do need to use caution here and look at your personal medical history and other factors. If any questions, please talk to us.
What else can you do to REDUCE your risk?
The steps we recommend taking to reduce your risk of Breast Cancer are also those of reducing your risk for many other diseases. In an effort to help you live a healthier life, we invite you to take note of which areas of your life need a little extra attention. Even small changes can lead to healthy habits, and can dramatically impact your future health.
In part I, of our Breast Cancer series we addressed how important your diet is in reducing your risk. Your diet can nourish your body, aid in detoxification, and support the following breast cancer prevention strategies:
Maintain a healthy balance of Estrogen
Estrogen is produced in fat tissue, which is the primary non-ovarian site for production. Consequently, women with excess weight have higher levels of estrogen which are associated with a greater risk for breast cancer. It is imperative that you maintain a healthy body weight if your goal is reducing your risk.We recommend and believe in reducing your weight and balancing your hormones, by adopting a nutritious diet and engaging in regular, physical activity to help prevent breast cancer.
Apply this advice today by structuring your week, so you log 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you have a hard time getting a solid 30 minutes, try breaking up your workouts to two shorter 15 minute bouts. When it comes to weight loss and exercise, weight training can have the greatest impact on your metabolic rate. In other words, when you build muscle, you’ll burn more fat calories throughout the day (even when you aren’t exercising). Over time, building muscle can have a big impact not only on losing weight but maintaining it.
Optimize your Vitamin D
Optimizing your Vitamin D will radically reduce your cancer risk. Levels that are over 50 ng/ml are satisfactory, but levels 70-100 ng/ml are ideal. Vitamin D is produced in the skin, as a response to sunlight and many factors come into play when it comes to producing it efficiently. In the Chicago-land area, and other temperate regions supplementation may be especially helpful in the winter months. We advise getting your Vitamin D levels checked at least once a year to ensure they are supportive of good health.
Get Proper Sleep
Proper sleep relies on getting enough sleep and sleeping between certain hours. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the ideal hours for sleep are between 10 pm and 6 am. Modern research has confirmed the value of this recommendation as certain hormone fluctuations occur throughout the day and night. If you engage in the appropriate activities during those times, you’re ‘riding the wave’ so to speak, and are able to get the optimal levels. Working against your biology by staying awake when you should be ideally sleeping or vice versa, interferes with these hormonal fluctuations.
Lisa D’ Eramo Chiropractor Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner
One of the most common nutritional deficiencies is iodine. Every cell in the body needs iodine. And, iodine is necessary for thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones.
So, it is no surprise that the thyroid is the most common organ that we find that needs support in our office.
When we find an organ weak with Nutrition Response Testing we are finding an organ under stress. This is very different from medical doctors find with blood work, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tools that they use. Medical Doctors are often looking for disease or pathology. We are looking for optimum function. An organ can appear normal to a medical doctor; but, still test weak with Nutrition Response Testing. This is an important difference. We can fix problems before they become a “diagnosis.”
The thyroid is easily affected by toxins in our environment (chlorine, bromine, and fluorine are especially problematic). So, supporting the body with detoxification is frequently part of a nutritional program for the thyroid.
Some common thyroid symptoms we see in our office are:
headaches (especially in the morning),
weight gain or loss
neck and shoulder pain
irritable bowel symptoms
heart palpitations or racing
poor circulation and feeling cold
Some foods that are good sources of iodine are kelp, seafood, seaweed, and pastured egg yolks. Iodine supplementation is often needed to restore good mineral balance in the body. Ask your practitioner to test you for an iodine supplement on your next visit.
If you or someone you know experience any of these symptoms come and see what the difference could be for you. Symptoms often occur before any blood work would show abnormal thyroid function. Let us help you to be your best!
How do you know you are having problems with your hormones?
In our office, we see a wide variety of complaints that are related to balancing hormones. Patients tell us about their fatigue, headaches, cycle irregularities, weight gain, depression, and anxiety.
All of these symptoms can be related to hormone balance.
Balancing hormones can be like walking a tightrope. One slight wobble and off the rope you go!
But, in our office balancing hormones is easy because we support the organ that is under stress.
The thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, pituitary, hypothalamus, uterus, and pancreas are all hormonal organs.
By giving the organ what it needs to function properly, hormonal balance returns.
Here are six simple things you can do to help create hormonal harmony.
Eat good fats. Fats are necessary for hormone production. Eating the right fats helps with metabolism and the function of many organs in the body (hormonal organs, brain, and heart). Good fats are coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, butter, fish and fish oils, nut oils, sesame oil, avocado and avocado oil, palm oil and organic grass-fed/pasture-raised meats.
Use Celtic sea salt. The minerals in sea salt help with fluid balance, adrenal, and heart function and balancing blood pressure. Sea salt is also good for the immune system and for preventing muscle cramps. Note: this is real, natural salt, not refined, iodized table salt.
Decrease your use of plastic. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical utilized in the production of plastics. Many plastic containers contain BPA; food and drink packaging, water bottles, baby bottles, canned foods, some dental sealants, and composites. BPA has hormone-like properties, and it is an endocrine disruptor. Many health problems, including breast and prostate cancer and infertility, can be associated with BPAs. Avoid microwaving in plastic containers and store food in glassware whenever possible.
Avoid soy. Soy disrupts hormone function and has the potential to cause infertility and promote breast cancer. It interferes with digestion. Soy can also cause deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. Find more information at Weston A. Price Foundation.
Eat organic food. Especially organic produce whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides and other toxins which can create endocrine and hormone imbalances.
Eat your veggies! Especially cruciferous vegetables that can help with liver function and detoxification. Cruciferous vegetables include kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and more.
These are just some of the simple keys to getting your hormones more in balance. If you feel like you are walking a tightrope and your moods and health are on a ‘hormonal’ roller coaster ride, come into the office and see us. We can help you get your body back in balance and improve your mood and your overall health.
Check your adrenals by ordering the Osumex Adrenal Function Urine Test today. This will give you a good idea if your hormones are out of whack. You can do this test in the privacy of your own home.
Call 734-302-7575 and we will ship it out to you or order it online at MindBody. You can pick it up in the office the next time you are in as well.
You do not have to be a patient here at The NHCAA to purchase this product.