The Fruitful Life

Healthy Hormones: PMS to Menopause

Healthy Hormones: PMS to Menopause

Today we welcome back Dr. Kalli as she introduces her new lectures series, "Healthy Hormones: PMS to Menopause." To learn more, attend one of her upcoming in-store lectures at a Fruitful Yield near you! We've also partnered with independent artist Justice Macklin to give us an artistic representation of hormone imbalance, using original photos.

Do you remember the video from middle school health class about periods? Were you taught that cramps, bloating, PMS, moodiness, etc., were all part of the normal menstrual cycle? Or were these things simply glossed over?

I come from a long line of women with “horrible periods." Growing up, my mother told me that this was just how things were in the family, so it would probably be my lot in life as well.  As women, we’ve been led to believe that symptoms during periods or menopause are normal because most people experience them. Those symptoms are not normal, but they are common. Somehow we’ve exchanged those two terms-- just because something is common does not mean it is normal.

"ummm" original photo by Justice Macklin.

 

For example, it has become more common for girls to get their menstrual cycles as young as age 7 or 8, but that doesn’t make it normal. What causes earlier onset of cycles is a problem more and more women are facing: estrogen dominance. In fact, most PMS and menopause symptoms are related to estrogen dominance.  The more estrogen in the system, the more imbalance with other hormones like progesterone. The greater the imbalance, the more that estrogen dominance symptoms pop up. 

Don’t get me wrong-- we need estrogen but in balance. It is the hormone responsible for the onset of puberty; it helps regulate your menstrual cycle, and it plays a role in bone health by limiting the breakdown of bone tissue. But when it is out of balance in the body and we have too much (or the body thinks it has too much), estrogen dominance symptoms set in.  Symptoms of estrogen dominance include mood disorders, brain fog and memory issues, blood sugar handling issues, fatigue, hair loss, fertility struggles, sluggish metabolism, PMS, weight gain, headaches, irregular periods, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes and more.

"Downloading" by Justice Macklin, illustrating feelings caused by estrogen dominance.

 

Why are we having this problem? Why are girls as young as 7 getting their first cycle? The answer: xenoestrogens. This is a term most women probably aren't familiar with (but need to be!). Xenoestrogens are foreign estrogen-mimicking compounds that fit into your own estrogen receptor sites and trick your body into thinking it has more estrogen that it actually has. These compounds are found in our water, soil, personal body care products, and household cleaners. Plastics are one of the major sources of xenoestrogen consumption in the body. Disposable plastic water bottles are a huge issue when it comes to xenoestrogens; simply using a glass or stainless steel bottle can make a huge difference in hormone health.

There are many things we can start doing today to help our hormones stay balanced or get back on track. A huge step toward healthy hormonal balance is eating a cleaner diet. Choosing organic as often as possible cuts down on pesticide exposure, but we also need to eat more leafy green veggies as well. Foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage have naturally-occurring compounds that help our body detoxify from excess estrogens and xenoestrogens.  We can also support our liver and healthy gut bacteria (which help our body with estrogen metabolism and detoxification) by drinking plenty of water, taking probiotics, and supporting detoxification of the liver with supplements like milk thistle and NAC.

"Paradise" by Justice Macklin, to exemplify the pursuit of a healthier diet.

 

Want to learn more? Between July and September, I am making my way around the 13 Fruitful Yield stores to give a more in-depth look at having healthy hormones naturally. We’ll discuss more of how the imbalances happen and what you can start doing to address your hormone health. 

As always, lectures are free and open to the public. Sign up at your nearest Fruitful Yield store (you can find the lecture schedule on our events page).

Below we've included Dr. Kalli's recommended shopping list for healthy hormones. Don't forget to leave your questions in the comments section at the bottom of the page!

Product

Benefits

 

Organic produce / Veggie Wash

Herbicide and pesticide act as xenoestrogens, limit exposure and clean off residues from foods.

 

Grass-fed and organic animal products

Conventionally raised meat, dairy and eggs are exposed to growth hormones on top of herbicide/pesticide in their food supply.

 

Tampons / Pads / Diva Cup

Bleached cotton products are saturated in herbicide and pesticide sitting right next to your female hormone producing tissues. Diva cup can cut down on consumable waste.

 

Nail Polish / Makeup

Some of the most common xenoestrogen sources women use. Chemical free nail polish and remover reduce exposure, makeup is commonly applied daily and the skin absorbs more of these chemicals than through digestion.

 

Glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic water bottles

Water that is not reverse osmosis will contain small amounts of birth control and xenoestrogens, plastic is one of the most common exposures.

 

Chemical-free cleaners / essential oils

Vinegar, castile soap and other cleaners lack damaging chemicals. Clean essential oils can provide fragrance in the home without added hormone exposure.

 

Multivitamin / B-complex

Multi’s provide baseline nutrition support for those not eating a plant rich or balanced diet, extra B’s are needed to combat excess estrogens.

 

Antioxidant Support

(Vitamins A, C & E, Minerals Selenium & Zinc) and Free Radical Scavengers

Antioxidants provide the body the ability to combat damaging free radicals, plus vitamins A and E are essential to proper hormone balance.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids

Good fat necessary for proper hormone production, balance inflammation in the body.

 

Maca / Chaste Berry

Hormone balancing support. Chaste berry can support normal cycle length and flow.

 

Progesterone creams

Measured dose, yam based progesterone, combats effects of estrogen dominance.

 

Magnesium

Necessary for many functions including preserving progesterone in the body

 

Probiotics

Support colon health which is how estrogen is removed from the body, without good bowel function, you can reabsorb excess estrogens

 

Restore

Liquid mineral defense against pesticide exposure in the food, water and air.

 

Liver Detox support

NAC and Milk thistle support normal liver function, which is the major detox pathway for estrogen in the body.

 

Indole-3-Carbinol / DIM / Calcium D-Glucarate

Support normal estrogen metabolism and detoxification.

 


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