Hormones are powerful chemical messengers that control our mood, energy and stress levels, metabolism, sleep, reproductive function and many other vital bodily functions. In good health, all of our hormones work together in a delicate balance. Unfortunately, hormonal imbalances commonly leave many of us feeling stressed, tired and unwell. There are many causes and aspects of hormonal imbalance, but 3 key themes that I experience regularly with my patients are outlined below.
1. Estrogen Dominance – Support the Liver
It is now well known that one of the most prominent causes of PMS related symptoms, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease and breast, uterine and ovarian cancer is excessive estrogen exposure. This is often referred to as Estrogen Dominance. One of the main sources of too much estrogen in the body comes from xenoestrogens, which are environmental toxins found in plastics, pesticides, beauty products, cleaning products, detergents, the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy. Xenoestrogens are structurally similar to estrogen and have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body and cause an excess estrogen state. These “foreign” hormones can also create damaging by-products and metabolites putting a lot of stress on the liver and disrupting normal hormone pathways.
Calcium-d-glucarate, indole-3-carbinol, DIM and sulforaphane are important substances that support healthy hormone metabolism by promoting liver detoxification and excretion of harmful xenoestrogens. Milk Thistle is a well-researched botanical extract that contains potent antioxidants that protect liver cells from free radical damage and support detoxification pathways. Tumeric, Lycopene, Rosemary and Green tea are powerful antioxidants and have anti-carcinogenic properties thus protecting the body from environmental insult as well as reducing one’s risk of cancer. All these can be found in one formula called EstroSense® which I recommend to support the liver and balance hormones.
2. Not to be Forgotten – The Thyroid
In general, hypothyroidism or low thyroid hormone is a common condition in North America and affects between 20% and 25% of the female population and about 10% of males. In addition, approximately 30% of people over the age of 35 may have sub-clinical or mild hypothyroidism where the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland is within the normal range but they have many symptoms of low thyroid.
If you are tired, gaining weight, have cold hands and feet, hair loss, dry hair or skin, cracking in the heels and insomnia, consider low thyroid. Clinically low thyroid, as confirmed by your doctor, requires prescription medication. However, if your tests come back normal and you are still experiencing symptoms you can support your thyroid with a natural formulation containing L-tyrosine, ashwagandha, guggul, pantothenic acid, copper, manganese and iodine as found in ThyroSense®.
3. A Transitional Time – Menopause
When a woman’s childbearing years come to an end, she will begin to experience the first signs of menopause. During this time the body is adjusting to fluctuating hormone levels. Various signs of menopause include: irregular or absent menstrual periods, hot flashes/flushes or night sweats (80% of women experience this), mood swings, insomnia, depression, urinary problems and loss of libido. A woman’s risk of heart disease and osteoporosis are also increased during menopause. I recommend MenoSense® with black cohosh, chasteberry, gamma orzanol, hesperidin and dong quai to help balance fluctuating hormone levels and ease the transition through menopause.
Hormonal imbalance is a major contributing factor to a variety of women’s health concerns. I recommend WomenSense® products to reduce symptoms and help restore healthy hormone balance. Remember, whenever you buy WomenSense products you are supporting The Canadian Women’s Foundation and helping women and girls across Canada move out of violence, out of poverty and into confidence.
Dr. Marita Schauch BSc ND is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Canada’s premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine. Dr. Schauch’s health articles educate the public about health and wellness and have been featured in numerous print media. She currently resides and has her clinical practice in Victoria, B.C.
All information and tools presented and written within this article are for educational and Informational purposes only. Any nutrition, lifestyle and product recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before starting any new supplements, diet and exercise program please check with your doctor or practitioner.