Many of you know my story of PCOS and how I suffered terribly as a young teenager with hormonal imbalances. It can be a lonely road, but it doesn’t have to be. I was too afraid to talk about it with anyone and there wasn’t the internet or blogs to help me. I’m seeing more and more women and teenagers (and men) deal with hormonal issues and this is why I am so passionate about helping. There are ways to heal your body! You no longer need to suffer with sleep issues like I did for years. The lack of sleep alone was a snowball of other issues! There is an amazing study on sleep and how it increases insulin resistance. They had Army Rangers change nothing food-wise but forced them to get only 4 hours of sleep. After one week they became 50% more insulin resistant. Their cells started to look like a type 2 diabetic! Could lack of sleep be causing your high blood sugars? Poor sleep is just one of the many issues caused by hormonal imbalances.
ESTROGEN DOMINANT CANCER
I work with many clients who are or previously have had cancer. Many cancers, such as breast, uterine, ovarian, thyroid as well as prostate cancers are estrogen dominant cancers. One of the causes of prostate cancer is excess estrogen in men (reference). Both androgen and estrogen have been reported to stimulate proliferation of cultured prostate cancer cells.
This diagram demonstrates estrogenic carcinogenicity in the prostate. The numbers refer to references supporting the corresponding pathway of estrogenic action. (To find the references and diagram click HERE).
Many people are concerned about changing their diet to help with cancer and that is very important! However, there are other things that are causing estrogen dominance that many people are not aware of.
Estrogen is produced not only internally but also produced in reaction to chemicals and other substances we are putting on our body. When it is not broken down adequately, higher levels of estrogen build up. This is true for both men and women, although the effects are more easily recognized in men. Alcoholic men with impaired liver function develop a condition called gynecomastia, with estrogenic characteristics including enlarged breasts, loss of male pubic hair, and belly fat.
Some signs of excess estrogen in MEN and WOMEN:
-Low back pain
-Weight gain secondary to insulin resistance
-Belly Fat Accumulation (A “Beer Belly” is really an “Estrogen Belly”)
-Fibrocystic breast disease
-Menstrual disturbances–irregular and heavy bleeding
-Interrupted Sleep and waking up too early
-Breast Cancer, Uterine Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Thyroid Cancer, Prostate Cancer
Correcting Estrogen Dominance involves many layers of issues. It is important to eliminate the factors as much as possible. Exposure to xenoestrogens (flax and chia), insufficient sleep, use of topical chemicals, poor nutrition (high carbohydrates, fructose and alcohol), and stress are some common causes of estrogen dominance.
This past Thanksgiving, my mom was telling me about my aunt who is suffering terribly from breast cancer and how my aunt eats so healthy (mind you that my definition of eating healthy is much different than my mother’s). My mom couldn’t get her mind around why my aunt got cancer. I started to tell my mom that many environmental factors and chemicals cause estrogen dominance and that causes many cancers. I don’t like pointing out things my mom is doing that causes her harm because I don’t want to be annoying; however, I do feel that knowledge is power. I would feel terrible if I didn’t tell my mom that many things I can see from where I was sitting are causing estrogen dominance, but if I didn’t and if she got cancer, I would feel terrible! She may not understand or believe me just yet, but I needed to plant the seed, so I did.
I told her that from where I was sitting there are many things that are increasing toxic estrogen. I also told her that if I didn’t say this, I would be terribly sad if she ever got sick. I asked her to walk around her house with me as I pointed out these toxic estrogenic chemicals. She still hasn’t changed anything, but I at least gave her the power to know how to change.
Are you “Keeping up with the Estrogens?”
Here are just a few estrogenic chemicals (515 listed here) that women (and men AND CHILDREN) are putting on their skin every single day!
Image Source: Daily Mail.
But that’s not all! Scented candles, dryer sheets… the list goes on!
Your liver can’t handle this abuse! The liver is a filter of sorts. It detoxifies our body, protecting us from the harmful effects of chemicals, elements in food, environmental toxins, and even natural products of our metabolism, including excess estrogen. Anything that impairs liver function or ties up the detoxifying function will result in excess estrogen levels. If your liver is tired and toxic, a special keto diet plan as well as eliminating topical chemicals will help. If you suffer with a thyroid disorder, know that T4 is converted into the activated T3 in the LIVER not in the thyroid; therefore, healing the liver with a keto diet and eliminating chemicals is essential to healing.
There was a time when I spent way too much money at Target on unneeded items like lotions, fake tanners, make-up, dryer sheets, scented candles. But now I find it so freeing and less expensive now that I only have a few things and I make sure they are free of these harmful estrogenic chemicals.
I highly suggest making a makeover of your bathroom pantry! Click HERE to find the products I love!
Sure, these products cost more, but I use so much less of them! I only wash my hair with shampoo once a week, if that. I only wear make-up on very special occasions, like a wedding or when I am on television. I no longer wear deodorant, and I tossed my perfume. I now use fake candles that are on a timer (which also helps me not to start a fire!).
Not only are we hurting ourselves when we use toxic topical chemicals like sunscreen, but we are also harming the environment. I took this photo at one of my favorite snorkeling spots in Maui. I have noticed in the past 10 years that coral reefs no longer are bright but are a drab white color and you can see in my photos through the decades that there are less and less fish swimming in the reefs. I don’t wear a lot of sunscreen but when I do wear it, I only wear THIS one.
I know this may be too much for some of you. I remember when my friend, Laura, brought all of this to my attention about 14 years ago. I wasn’t ready to hear this and I didn’t do much with that knowledge. BUT she planted the seed and the seed grew. Now I have changed my environment and my hormone balance and health have only benefited.
HOW TO LOWER ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
1. Cut the Flax, Soy and Chia!
These “foods” have phytoestrogens which increases bad estrogen in your body (remember there are 3 different estrogens that women can have). This phytoestrogen compound reduces sex drive, increase breast size in men and increases estrogen dominant cancers such as thyroid, uterine, ovarian, breast and prostate cancer in men. Read more HERE.
2. Cut the Alcohol
Alcohol stimulates appetite and decrease your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours and increases estrogen by 300%. The infamous “beer belly” is really just an “estrogen belly.” Biochemically, the higher your level of estrogen is, the more readily you absorb alcohol, but the slower you break it down. Read more on Alcohol and Ketosis HERE.
3. Stop using make-up that increases Estrogen Dominance
I wasn’t always so concerned about topical chemicals like make-up until about 10 years ago. The eye-opening moment for me was when many studies showed that teenagers who cut make-up for 3 days had their toxic estrogen drop by 78%!!!!
In this HERMOSA study, researchers at the University of California Berkeley examined the connection between personal care products and the presence of “hormone disrupting” chemicals in the body. The researchers decided to study chemicals commonly found in cosmetics due to their potential links to cancer, infertility, and developmental harm in children. Enrolling 1,000 Latina girls, the study found that when the teenagers switched to cosmetics that did not include these chemicals — like phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) — the presence of the chemicals in their bloodstreams dropped within THREE DAYS of abstaining.
4. Get rid of Obesogens
There are so many products sold on shelves today that contain Obesegens. They are chemicals that are hormone disrupters. Weight loss is all about hormone manipulation but if you are living in an estrogen dominant state (yes, even men can) you will have a hard time being successful with your weight loss, mood, PMS.
Steer clear of dangerous Obsesogen chemicals found in many products. Obesogens are found to affect cells in 3 ways:
1. By directly affecting adipocytes, or fat cells, by either increasing their fat-storage capacity or increasing their number.
2. By changing metabolism, by both reducing the number of calories burned at rest and promoting the storage of calories as fat.
3. By changing the way the body regulates feelings of hunger and fullness.
Phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals, are common in synthetically fragranced products. Besides being linked to obesity, high levels of phthalates can affect the growth of children. Take a quick look at the ingredients in your favorite personal care products for “fragrance” or “perfume” and toss them if you find those listed. Air fresheners and scented candles are culprits too!
What made me want to write this post is because of my last trip to my parent’s house. My mom always has fresh clean sheets, but the smell of the dryer sheet and softener was so intense I had a very difficult time sleeping. I told Craig, “I wish there was a healthy product out there instead of those chemicals for bedding.”
Craig looked into finding dryer balls to replace dryer sheets. He found the Dryer balls here [CLICK HERE].
5. Consider Supplements
There are many natural supplements and herbs that help detox bad estrogen and balance hormones naturally.
A supplement called Estrofactors helps detox this bad estrogen out of the liver which will in turn heal liver function and increase T3 production for thyroid patients. Click HERE to find.
I recommend doing a personal health assessment (click HERE to check it out) to get suggestions for your body since everyone has different needs.
6. Change your sunscreen, deodorant and other topical products
It is freeing not to use so many products like I once did. I have become a minimalist in many ways, including my bathroom pantry. I only have a few make-up items and lotions and they last me a long time! Click HERE to find the products I love and are happy to use on my children who have VERY sensitive skin!
7. Stop drinking from Plastic and Heating Foods in Plastic
When I see commercials for slow cooker plastic liners or steamer bags for veggies, I want to bang my head against the wall!
The industrialized world we now live in is filled with something called petrochemical derivatives. They are in the air, food, and water and include pesticides and herbicides, such as DDT, as well as various plastics found in baby bottles and water jugs, and PCB’s. These chemicals mimic estrogen and are highly fat-soluble, not biodegradable or well excreted from our body, and gather in our fat tissues. These chemicals have a mysterious ability to mimic natural estrogen and therefore are called “xeno-estrogens.” Even though they are foreign chemicals, they are gathered up by the estrogen receptor sites in our body, seriously interfering with natural biochemical activity. Drinking sodas out of plastic bottles is one of the leading causes of estrogen dominance.
8. Get rid of all the Chlorine
You may not realize it, but a lot of drinking water has chlorine in it. Chlorine is detrimental to your liver and thyroid health! What is even more shocking is how many teenagers I work with that are swimmers and have elevated liver enzymes due to the amount of time they are soaking in chlorinated water!
If you are soaking in hot tubs or pools, this may be one of the reasons that you are having poor liver health or why your thyroid is suffering.
Your skin is your largest absorbing organ and if you are bombarding it with chlorine all the time, your liver can’t keep up. Remember that T4 is converted into the activated T3 in the liver, not in the thyroid. After too much abuse of the liver, the thyroid hormones will suffer.
I love to swim, I just do it in rivers, lakes and oceans. I also have reverse osmosis filtered water to ensure I am not drinking chemicals. (CLICK HERE to find the one I use)
HOW TO LOWER ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
There are many things to consider when detoxing bad estrogen. Cutting out all of the estrogenic factors is extremely important (which I list in my book Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet).
I have been talking about this to clients for over a decade. These issues are bigger than most admit. I am happy to see this message get a wider audience as Dr Jay has also been spreading the word about estrogens in our environment. CLICK HERE for a podcast he recently did with Robb Wolf.
“Maria, I’m here in Maui and would give anything to meet you!!!! You have transformed my life in ways I never thought possible!
Thanks to you, I have learned so much about my body and how to eat healthy in ways I never thought possible. There is no way I could ever thank you enough!
I had no idea this lifestyle would allow me to get off all my anxiety and antidepressant medications. My skin has never been so clear and healthy. And I haven’t been sick once since I started.
Thank you so much for your help and guidance!”
Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my NEW Keto School!