Hormones play a major role in your mental, physical and emotional health. Hormones are chemicals produced in the endocrine glands that travel through your bloodstream to different tissues and organs, delivering messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it. Hormones are essential to our overall health – impacting how we feel, how we look and how women experience their monthly menses. Hormones help to control many of your body’s major processes, including:
- Metabolism and appetite
- Sleep cycles
- Mood and stress levels
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Reproductive cycles and sexual function
- General growth and development
Normally, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body. However, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common due to the many environmental toxins we are exposed to today. Additionally, certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.
A hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a certain hormone in the bloodstream. As the body is so dependent on hormones for instruction, even small changes in hormones can have serious effects throughout your entire body.
Signs & Symptoms of A Hormonal Imbalance
The symptoms of a hormonal imbalance depend on which glands and hormones are affected, but common symptoms of hormonal imbalances in women include:
- heavy, irregular, or painful periods
- osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones)
- hot flashes and night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- breast tenderness
- constipation and diarrhea
- acne during or just before menstruation
- uterine bleeding not associated with menstruation
- increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, or back
- weight gain
- thinning hair or hair loss
- skin tags or abnormal growths
- deepening of the voice
- clitoral enlargement
There are many diverse symptoms that can occur from a hormone imbalance, as hormones affect so many different organs and systems of the body.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
There are many different factors that can lead to a hormonal imbalance:
- chronic or extreme stress
- type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- hyperglycemia (overproduction of glucagon)
- hypoglycemia (more insulin produced than there is glucose in the blood)
- underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- over- or underproduction of the parathyroid hormone
- poor diet and nutrition
- being overweight
- hormonal replacement or birth control medications
- abuse of anabolic steroid medications
- solitary thyroid nodules
- pituitary tumors
- Cushing’s syndrome (high levels of the hormone cortisol)
- Addison’s disease (low levels of cortisol and aldosterone)
- benign tumors and cysts (fluid-filled sacks) that affect the endocrine glands
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia (low levels of cortisol)
- endocrine gland injury
- severe allergic reactions or infections
- chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- iodine deficiency (goiters)
- hereditary pancreatitis
- Turner syndrome (females with only one functioning X chromosome)
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- phytoestrogens, naturally-occurring plant estrogens found in soy products
- exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides
One of the greatest causes of a hormonal imbalance is a buildup of toxins in the body—especially in the liver, the body’s major detoxification organ. To balance your hormones, it can help tremendously to reduce incoming toxins and to help your body more effectively eliminate chemicals, hormones, toxicants, and other environmental compounds.
While other organs participate in the detoxification process, ground zero for detoxification is your liver. While you’re detoxifying, you want to go out of your way to show your liver some major love. Giving your liver love means eliminating anything that potentially stresses it out and giving it the right nutrients and compounds to work efficiently.
Detoxification is mainly carried out by the liver, as everything that we consume is first filtered through the liver. Unfortunately, the liver may become overwhelmed if our toxic load is too high. This can lead to improper liver function, which can result in a number of negative health effects such as hormone imbalance, high blood pressure/high cholesterol, low energy, poor metabolism, and excess weight gain among other ailments.
For this reason, one of the greatest ways to support the body’s detoxification is to focus on detoxifying and restoring the health of the liver. The most important factor for any form of detoxification is to avoid toxic substances in the first place. It is not possible to truly detox if we keep “re-toxing,” so do your best to educate yourself on what you consume, and avoid substances that are filled with toxic chemicals and preservatives or grown with pesticides and genetically modified ingredients.
The body has a natural tendency toward healing and repairing itself when it is no longer affected by harmful toxins and is given the proper nutrients to heal. For this reason, it is important that you nourish your body with the proper nutrients during or after a detox depending on the type of detox that you do.
While the exact length at which you should do a detox varies based on your symptoms and history, 21 days twice a year is a pretty good guideline to follow. But exactly when should you do a detox? You'll know you need a hormone detox if you’re experiencing any or many of the following symptoms:
- Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood swings, irritability, depression, and/or anxiety
- Bloating, weight gain, or breast tenderness
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness or atrophy
- Sluggishness, fatigue, or exhaustion
- Fertility struggles or pregnancy loss
- Ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis
- Acne breakouts, eczema, or psoriasis
- Hair loss or excess body hair
- Stiff, achy joints or muscles
The Liver: The Body’s Major Organ of Detoxification
Before going deeper into how to detox the body and balance hormones, let’s get a deeper understanding of this major organ of detoxification—the liver. The liver is an organ about the size of a football. It sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances.
Your liver is your body’s primary filtration system, converting toxins into waste products, cleansing your blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications to provide the body with some of its most important proteins. Your liver works tirelessly to keep you healthy, performing over 500 tasks to support your body’s well-being. Being such a fundamental part of the body’s overall regulation, it is essential to keep your liver healthy and to avoid overconsumption.
One of the most important roles of the liver is to detoxify the blood to get rid of harmful substances. These harmful substances are most commonly due to lifestyle factors such as alcohol, tobacco, beauty products and processed and fried foods, especially when consumed in large quantities. Other taxing chemicals are harder to avoid, like pollution, prescribed drugs, viruses and natural by-products of metabolism.
Unfortunately, due to poor diet and lifestyle factors, and a constant exposure to harmful toxins, the average American is walking around with only 50-60% of their optimal liver function. The side effects of poor liver function are endless and can include hormone imbalance, high blood pressure/high cholesterol, low energy, poor metabolism, and excess weight gain among other ailments. Virtually everything your body digests has to be filtered and passed through the liver, so supporting the detoxification and health of your liver is crucial to vitality and long-term health, and it is essential if you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance and wish to detox your body and restore balance to your hormones.
Detoxifying the Liver
Many people argue that there is nothing you need to do to detox the liver, as the liver already functions as an organ of detoxification. While it is true that the liver is an incredible detoxifier, it requires sufficient quality nutrients to carry out this function of removing toxins from the blood.
In the modern world, we are presented with many environmental toxins on a daily basis that often overburden and strain the liver. Xenoestrogens, for example, are environmental toxins that interfere with our hormone balance. They’re found in PCB’s - man-made chemical compounds - such as BPA in plastic water bottles, parabens and phylates in skincare products, makeup and sunscreen. They are also added to our food supply in the form of pesticides and herbicides.
Normally our bodies would process these extra toxins out through the liver. But due to nutrition choices, increased stress levels and liver-loaders such as alcohol and caffeine, our liver function is often compromised and we struggle to clear it.
On the other side of the coin, often our nutrition choices and modern-day stress levels contribute to nutrient deficiencies. Without adequate nutrients, the liver is unable to successfully detoxify toxins from the body.
There are two main phases of the liver that work to detoxify toxins and excess hormones from the body. For most people, the first phase of the liver works efficiently, but it is the second phase that is commonly sluggish. This means that molecules pass through the first phase easily and are backed up in the second phase. The liver then recirculates the half-detoxified molecules in the body, leading to problems. If these half-detoxified molecules are hormones (which a lot of the time they are), this contributes to hormonal noise at the receptor sites, which in turn contributes to a hormone imbalance.
Below, we will discuss 10 key ways you can support your liver and help it detoxify toxins and excess hormones.
- Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables
Eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables is one major way that you can support your liver function. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, swede, turnips, kale and watercress contain liver supporting phytochemicals that are released when chopped, chewed, fermented, cooked or digested. They are especially rich in diindolylmethane (DIM), which is effective in detoxifying excess estrogen.
Avoid plastics as much as possible
Plastics contain xenoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body, working to interfere with the balance of estrogen in relation to your other hormones. These toxins in plastics—such as BPA—are prone to leaching into what they come in contact with, so it’s especially important to remove plastics that come into contact with your food and drink. It is highly recommended to consider swapping out your plastic drink bottle for a glass or stainless steel one.
Choose natural skin care and makeup.
Our exposure to chemicals, toxins and xenoestrogens found in makeup and skincare products contributes to our liver loading. Chemicals that enter the body soon enter the lymphatic system and bloodstream and travel to the liver. This then affects our ability to absorb, store and use nutrients from our food that can help support healthy hormones.
Cut back on coffee and alcohol
Coffee and alcohol are some of the biggest liver loaders and while your liver is busy detoxifying caffeine and alcohol, it won’t have the nutrients to detoxify other toxins and substances in the blood.
Support your liver with the nutrients it needs
The liver requires adequate nutrients to process toxins out of the body. B-vitamins, selenium and vitamin E are key cofactors for these metabolic reactions (as are carotenes (vitamin A), Vitamin C, copper, zinc, manganese, coQ10, and bioflavonoids). When you are detoxing the liver, you want to make sure you are giving it all the nutrients that it needs to carry out this taxing process of detoxification. Consider supplementing with a good B Vitamin complex, as well as a Trace Mineral formula, and seek out foods that contain these other primary nutrients.
Include rosemary and turmeric in your diet
Rosemary and turmeric are incredible for liver detoxification and work to up-regulate the three phases of the liver to assist in clearance of toxins. Rosemary and turmeric are common culinary spices, so you can find a variety of ways to include them in your meals. Turmeric is also the major component to curry, so eating a delicious curry soup could be one way to include this healthy spice in your diet.
Drink teas that support liver health
Various teas can also support liver health. Among the best for liver health are milk thistle tea, green tea and spearmint tea. Milk thistle seed contains a compound called silymarin which is well-known for being able to support liver health and even to help regenerate damaged liver cells. Green tea contains many antioxidants and an EGCG molecule, which is a powerhouse of catechin that not only assists the liver with detoxification but also assists with weight loss and reduces inflammation. According to research, pearmint tea can help with symptoms of PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), a health condition that linked hormone imbalance.
Eat organic produce and avoid pesticides
It is crucial for hormone health that you eat exclusively organic produce. Many pesticides and herbicides are highly estrogenic, meaning they contain xenoestrogens and mimic estrogen in the body. Because of this it is best to grow your own produce, get to know your local farmers, shop at farmers markets and buy organic whenever possible.
Eat the right protein levels for you
Many detox diets recommend reducing protein intake, but this is not always a good idea, especially when your goal for detoxification is to cleanse the liver and support liver function. Amino acids, the compounds that form proteins, are essential for liver function and for detoxification. We cannot balance our hormones on a monthly level if we can’t balance our hormones on a daily level, and stable blood sugar levels are one of the keys to balancing your hormones on a daily level. Amino acids help to stabilize blood sugar levels, and they are also key to many different functions throughout the body.
Use A Supplement for Liver Detox & Support
One major way to support the detoxification of the liver is to use clinically studied herbs that are known for their ability to support liver detoxification. The herbs in our Liver Detox & Support Tonic, for example, have been carefully selected by our team of master herbalists, and are synergistically formulated to create a powerful tonic that may support liver detoxification and liver health.
Through the use of a unique blend of specific clinically-studied herbs, this formula may support the natural detoxification and removal of built up toxins in the liver, helping to improve liver function and the environment in the liver. This formula can be used regularly for the maintenance of liver health, helping to balance liver enzyme levels, provide antioxidants for the elimination of free radicals, and supporting the liver’s natural detoxification pathways.
Balancing Hormones with Herbs
One of the key ways to balance hormones is to detoxify the body. One of the major ways to detoxify the body is to cleanse and support the liver. When the liver is functioning properly, it allows our body to function properly, as the liver performs over 500 different tasks for the body.
Once the liver is detoxed and in good shape, the next best step for balancing hormones is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and to use natural herbal remedies for balancing hormones and restoring hormonal health.
Our Happy Hormones tonic is a unique formula that contains several medicinal herbs renowned for their ability to facilitate hormonal balance and women’s hormonal health.
Chasteberry, a key ingredient in this formula, is a traditional remedy for various women’s health issues and has been used to reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause, and may also help normalize estrogen and progesterone levels.
Evening Primrose has been studied extensively and various studies regard it as being highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
Shatavari Root is a traditional Ayurvedic herb that has long been used for women’s reproductive health throughout all stages of their life; it is also a potent adaptogenic herb that helps to regulate the endocrine system, enhance immunity, and helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress.
Wild Yam is a plant native to North America, Mexico, and parts of Asia that has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for treating menstrual cramps, PMS, rheumatism, and digestive problems.
Black Cohosh, a flowering plant native to North America, is an active ingredient in various women’s health products and has long been used in Native American medicine to help with menopause symptoms, fertility, and hormonal balance.
Together, these herbs work synergistically to create a one-of-a-kind women’s health product that may help to balance hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, provide PMS relief, and regulate and support the health of the endocrine system. Our master herbalist has formulated this product using only wildcrafted, organic, and biodynamically grown herbs, ensuring the highest quality and integrity that we can offer. We do not use any toxic chemicals, fillers, or preservatives in any of our products.
Hormones are chemicals produced in the endocrine glands that travel through your bloodstream to different tissues and organs, delivering messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it. They play a major role in your mental, physical and emotional health.
Normally, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body. However, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common due to the many environmental toxins we are exposed to today.
One of the greatest causes of a hormonal imbalance is a buildup of toxins in the body. To balance your hormones, it can help tremendously to reduce incoming toxins and to help your body more effectively eliminate chemicals, hormones, toxicants, and other environmental compounds.
Detoxification is mainly carried out by the liver, as everything that we consume is first filtered through the liver. For this reason, one of the greatest ways to support the body’s detoxification is to focus on detoxifying and restoring the health of the liver.
Following the steps laid out in this article, you can remove toxins from your liver and can help it function optimally again. This may help dramatically in balancing your hormones. Additionally, taking an herbal hormonal balance supplement like our woman’s Happy Hormones tonic can make a great difference in your hormonal health.