hormone pollutants

Step-by-Step Estrogen Balancing Diet for Women

You can follow a diet like this for 1–6 months. Add more variety by including your choice of fresh, seasonal organic produce whenever possible. Choose free range meats and seafood from uncontaminated waters as much as possible. Note: Pesticide residues on commercially grown foods can disrupt your hormone balancing efforts, so stick to organic foods whenever possible. On rising:  take lemon juice in water with 1 tsp. maple syrup. Add 1 tsp. of royal jelly or one vial Red Ginseng Royal Jelly for extra hormone balancing help. Breakfast: Have some fresh fruit, nuts and low fat yogurt or kefir; or have my personal breakfast of champions: brown rice, with steamed cruciferous vegetables, sprinkled sea vegetables and a little tamari sauce and fresh ginger. Midmorning: have a mixed vegetable juice with carrot, dandelion greens, beet, cucumber and parsley for a liver detox; or Liver Cleanse Flushing tea (highly recommended); or a high mineral Potassium broth. Lunch:  have a green leafy salad with lemon/flax oil dressing; or a turkey, avocado and baby greens sandwich (gluten-free read) or salad; or a light oriental soup and salad, with sea veggies and rice crackers. Midafternoon: Have another cup of Liver Cleanse Flushing tea (highly recommended). Dinner: have a Chinese stir fry with dark greens and mushrooms, and miso soup with sea greens chopped on top. Or, have baked or poached seafood with vegetables and brown rice or couscous; or a black bean or lentil soup and small salad. Before bed: have a glass of mineral water, or a relaxing herb tea like chamomile tea or Crystal Star Stress Arrest tea.

Ongoing diet tips: Have a fresh green leafy salad with your organic veggies of choice every day. Add more fish and seafood to your diet. Add sea veggies like wakame, nori and dulse regularly. Algin, a gel like substance in sea veggies, protects against chemical overload (often involved in breast cancer) by binding to chemical wastes so they can be eliminated safely from the body. Choose hormone-free chicken and turkey, and hormone-free dairy foods, too. Eat cruciferous veggies like broccoli regularly to improve estrogen metabolism. Add nuts, seeds and avocado for essential fats.

To your best health,

Linda Page

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All About BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)

With celebrity endorsements from Suzanne Somers and Oprah Winfrey, today bioidentical hormones are an incredibly popular approach to relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and low libido. One reason is bioidentical hormones avoid high doses of estrogen common to conventional HRT drugs like Prempro. Early research suggests they may even be safer with less breast/uterine cancer risk than traditional drugs. Common side effects like weight gain and mood swings are often dramatically reduced, too. How are bioidentical hormones unique?

Bioidentical hormones are synthesized from plant sources and are chemically identical to what is produced in the body. Estradiol, estrone, estriol, DHEA, progesterone and testosterone are all available. Some bioidenticals are FDA approved and sold in a standardized dosage. However, most are produced on a case-by-case basis. Your physician tests your blood or saliva in order  (sometimes at different times of day) to develop the formula for you to reach a targeted level of hormones. A compounding pharmacist then produces a customized hormone Rx in the exact proportions that your body needs.

Natural physicians recommend a few follow-up hormone panels to make sure you are getting your relief at the lowest, safest possible dosage. Some men are also using bioidentical hormones like DHEA and testosterone for help with andropausal issues like low energy, loss of muscle mass or sexual dysfunction.

The best source for information on bioidentical hormones: I like www.salivatest.com. and www.johnleemd.com

Update: Wyeth pharmaceuticals has petitioned the FDA to ban bioidentical estriol (most think to boost sales of its HRT drug, Prempro). However, no adverse event had ever been associated with its estriol.  As of this writing, the proposed ban is not in effect.

Sarah Abernathy

Herbal Consultant

All About Male Hormone Problems

I've been talking a lot about women's health issues lately, and my male clients are starting to ask: "What about men? Are male hormone problems prevalent? If so, what can be done to help?" Today's blog post addresses male hormone issues, and the signs to watch for that you might be affected Did you know low testosterone affects an astounding 1,000,000 American men? Yet in a recent survey, 68% of men cannot name a single symptom caused by low testosterone. Only 15% named low sex drive as a symptom of low testosterone; 6% named fatigue; 3% named a decrease in muscle mass; and less than 1% linked low testosterone to men’s osteoporosis. Clearly, many men are in the dark about how hormone imbalances affect their health.

Men’s hormone changes have been much less publicized and researched than women’s, but hormone disruption is as much a part of a man’s life as it is a woman’s. Some men are more attuned to their hormonal fluctuations than others. Some report clear monthly changes in their energy levels, mood, work and sports performance. Blood levels of testosterone fluctuate at different times in life- from 250 to 1,200 nanograms, and these changes affect a man’s performance, mood and sexuality.

While a man’s hormone fluctuations are less dramatic than a woman’s, testosterone levels start to decline around age 40, falling up to 10% each decade. This phenomenon called “andropause” is now recognized by almost eight in ten family physicians as a real condition that affects quality of life for men. Doctors are becoming increasingly interested in TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) for andropausal men, but I find most men benefit more from a lifestyle program emphasizing natural foods, bodywork therapies and supportive herbs and supplements designed to meet their changing needs.

If you're a man, here are a few signs your hormones may be out of balance:

• You have prostate pain and inflammation with poor urinary control. • A pouchy stomach with poor abdominal tone. • Reduced sex drive and/or impotence. •Low energy, unexplained fatigue or moodiness. •Premature balding or hair loss. •Loss of muscle mass or bone loss (osteoporosis).

What Causes Male Hormone Problems?

1) Synthetic steroid use. 2) Chronic stress, which leads to adrenal exhaustion (the adrenal glands produce most hormones). 3) Severe dieting, serious body building, surgery or long illness. 4) Poor diet with nutrient deficiencies (especially protein, calcium and iodine deficiency), low B Complex or EFAs. 5) Heavy alcohol use or prescription drug use. 6) Excess exposure to hormone disrupters in the environment. 7) Having a vasectomy can be involved in some men.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

What causes PMS?

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PMS is by far the most common women’s health complaint. For some women, it disrupts their whole lives. PMS seems to be partly a consequence of our modern lives. In times past, our diets consisted of more whole and fresh foods than they do today. Our environment wasn’t full of chemicals, nor our foods full of junk. The modern woman’s lifestyle seems almost made to order for stress and imbalance. Today’s foods and our environment are full of chemicals that clearly affect hormone balance. 90% of premenopausal American women experience some degree of PMS. Over 150 symptoms have been documented - new ones are being added all the time. Symptoms like headaches, adult acne, food cravings, bloating, irregular bowel movements, and mood swings can last anywhere from 2 days to as long as 2 weeks! Some women say their cycles make them feel out of control most of the month! While most women try to grin and bear PMS aggravation, up to 10% have symptoms serious enough to seek professional help.

What's happening to our bodies?

The hormone shift in estrogen/progesterone ratios during the menstrual cycle is the major factor in PMS symptoms. (Women report the most symptoms in the two week period before menstruation, when the ratios are the most elevated.) Low brain serotonin, low thyroid, excess estrogen along with prostaglandin imbalance because of poor liver malfunction, and a diet loaded with too much salt, red meat, sugar and caffeine are all implicated in PMS. Most women who get PMS don’t get enough regular exercise. Many have low B vitamins, don’t get enough quality protein and have several mineral deficiencies. Stress or long term emotional distress can be a big factor.

But drugs and chemical medicines to take care of the symptoms, standing as they do outside a woman’s natural cycle, usually do not bring positive results for women. The medical establishment, with highly focused “one-treatment-for-one-symptom” protocols, has not been successful in addressing PMS. For example, contraceptive drugs, regularly given to reduce symptoms, make PMS worse for some women. Antidepressant drugs, the new rage for PMS treatment, mean insomnia and shakiness for many patients instead of relaxation.

PMS symptoms tends to get worse for women in their late thirties. Hormone imbalances after taking birth control pills, after pregnancy, and just before menopause magnify symptoms. For some women, a PMS problem becomes an endometriosis diagnosis as they move into their thirties. Switch from tampons to pads if you are very congested. Some research also shows that tampons may raise the risk of endometriosis. Up to 60% of women with severe PMS also struggle with allergies, especially to yeast. When the immune system attacks an allergen it produces inflammatory prostaglandins that trigger menstrual pain. Clearly there is no one cause and no one treatment for PMS. A holistic approach is more beneficial and allows a woman to tailor treatment to her own needs. See next page, Liver Cleansing page 211 and Hypoglycemia Diet page 470 for more information.

Do You Get PMS? Check out the following most common signs of PMS to see if they apply to you.

  • Are you unusually irritable, depressed, argumentative or tense at certain times each month?

  • Do you experience cyclical water retention, bloating, and constipation each month?

  • Do you feel a noticeable energy drop before your period… to the point where you don’t want to get out of bed or do anything?

  • Do you get regular monthly headaches or lower back pain before your period?

  • Do you get sore, swollen breasts before your period?

  • Do you get nausea attacks and heavy cramping just before and during your period?

  • Do you get food cravings for salt and sweets before and during your period? Do you tend to binge during certain times of the month?

  • Do you get acne and skin eruptions before and during your period?

  • Do you get pre-period mouth sores? (Mouth sores with mood swings mean probable low progesterone or thyroid levels.)

To Life-long health,

Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath

All about plant hormones

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Plant or phyto-hormones are remarkably similar to human hormones. They can be accepted by hormone receptor sites in our bodies, and, at  only ¹⁄₄₀₀ to ¹⁄₁₀₀₀  the strength of human hormones, they are extremely gentle and safe, exerting a tonic effect rather than drug-like activity. Although used for centuries by both men and women, we are just beginning to understand their power. Studies on soy foods and herbs like ginseng, black cohosh and wild yam clearly show hormone-normalizing effects.Many Women Find That Herbs Are A Better Choice For Hormone Balance

Many of the phytoestrogen containing herbs, like black cohosh for instance, are not just natural (instead of chemical) estrogen balancers. As living medicines, they can work intelligently with your body. In many cases, these herbs don’t compete for receptor sites or have a direct estrogenic activity in the body. In fact, they work mainly as adaptogens which balance glandular activity and normalize body temperature fluctuations. They do what herbs always do best no matter what the problem is—they are body normalizers.

For hot flashes and night sweats: • Crystal Star Est-Aid capsules, 4 to 6 daily; •wild yam cream or Pro-Est balance roll on; • Vitex extract; vitamin E 800IU; • Evening Primrose Oil caps 3000mg daily.

For side effects from synthetic hormones or birth control pills: • Vitamin E 800IU; • B-12, 2500mg and folic acid 800mcg daily; •Ester C 550mg with bioflavonoids, 6 daily; •Maca caps.

To rebalance prostaglandin formation: (Prostaglandin imbalance can lead to breast and uterine fibroids, menstrual difficulties, and a tendency to gain weight.) Avoid saturated fats, especially from red meats and pasteurized, fatty dairy foods. Take • high omega-3 oils from cold water fish or flax seed oil 3x daily. Or use • Evening Primrose 3000mg daily.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath

Hormone Detox Plan for Women

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Try this 3-week detox diet to overcome hormone overload.Week 1: Detoxify your liver first…Gland function (especially adrenals) responds quickly to give you the best results for hormone balance (try Liver Cleanse Flushing Tea and Liver Renew caps for 1 week) Then, cut back on fat. Hormone disrupters accumulate in body fat… the reason a high fat diet is a major risk factor for long term exposure to them, and why it may lead to increased risk for hormone-driven cancers.

Week 2: Lay the foundation for a new way to fuel your body - from energy based on carbs to energy based on burning body fat. This week, add sea veggies like wakame, nori and dulse regularly. Algin, a gel like substance in sea veggies, protects against chemical overload (often involved in breast cancer) by binding to chemical wastes so they can be eliminated safely from the body. Eat cruciferous veggies like broccoli regularly to improve estrogen metabolism. Add fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, and yogurt or kefir and kefir cheese.

Week 3: Have a fresh green leafy salad with extra cabbage and radishes every day. Add more fish and seafood to your diet. Sushi is a delicious way to add more seaweeds. Add small amounts of whole grain breads, pita chips, crackers and pastas. Choose hormone-free chicken and turkey, and hormone-free dairy foods, too.

To Life-long Health,

Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath

Why are our hormones so imbalanced?

Estrogen Disrupting Chemicals may be to blame... Environmental hormones are so commonplace in modern society that there is no way to completely avoid them. They come from pollutants, hormone-injected meats and dairy foods, plastics, pesticides, and hormone replacement drugs for both sexes. Only in the last ten years has anyone realized how common environmental estrogens are in today’s world. Nearly 40% of the pesticides used in commercial agriculture are suspected hormone disruptors. All of the Earth’s waterways are connected, so chemical pollutants containing environmental hormones reach your food supply wherever you live.

Hormone disrupters can affect your entire endocrine system, including the system of your glands, hormones and cellular receptors in your body. They alter the production and breakdown of your own hormones, and the function of your hormone receptors — disrupting hormone balance at its developmental core. They can compete for hormone receptor sites in the body and bind to them in place of natural hormones, causing fluctuations in your hormonal levels. They are a serious concern for women in early pregnancy because a developing embryo is highly sensitive to estrogen disruptor toxicity.

Hormone imbalance disorders are epidemic through this country. We see hormone imbalance in women’s disorders like PMS, endometriosis and fibroids. Further, women with hysterectomies are only beginning to see the harm that removing delicate glands, or treating fragile hormones with drugs can do. Bone loss is clearly related to hormone imbalance. ). A poorly functioning liver (the liver metabolizes excess estrogen), and a high fat, processed foods diet (excess fat harbors hormones) are almost always implicated.

Environmental estrogens can wreak havoc on male and female fertility.  Multiple exposures to environmental estrogens disrupt conception efforts for both partners, affecting ovulation, and lowering sperm count and viability.

Other women’s diseases associated with long exposure to estrogen mimics in the environment: 1) reproductive organ cancer; 2) breast and uterine fibroids; 3) polycystic ovarian syndrome; 4) endometriosis; 5) PID (pelvic inflammatory disease); 6) gallbladder disease; 7) blood clots, stroke.

Are Hormone Disruptors Impacting You? Signs that you may have estrogen disruption:

  • Breast inflammation and pain that worsens before menstrual periods, usually followed by heavy, painful periods.
  • Weight gain: especially in the hips. Bloating, mood swings, low sex drive or vaginal dryness.
  • Head hair loss/facial hair growth. Dry skin or premature wrinkling.
  • Hot flashes: or early perimenopause.
  • Endometriosis: now linked to dioxin, an airborne hormone disrupter.
  • Breast and uterine fibroid development, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Breast, uterine and reproductive organ cancer: up to 60% more DDE, DDT and PCB’s, known estrogen disruptors, in women with breast cancer.
  • Early puberty: nearly half of African-American girls and 15% of Caucasian girls now begin to develop sexually by age 8, a clear indicator of estrogen disruption.

 

Are You At Risk Of Exposure To Estrogen Disruptors? You may be especially exposed if: 1)  you live in a high agricultural area; you eat a high fat diet (fatty areas of your body store pesticides and other agricultural chemicals); 2) you eat hormone-injected dairy foods or meats regularly; 3) you’re on prescription HRT drugs or birth control pills.

To Life-long Health,

Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath