doTERRA

Do You Have Low Hormone Levels?

Though usually undiagnosed, I’d say ‘low hormone levels’ is an epidemic these days. Let’s learn about what that term even means, how you can be diagnosed, and what you can do about it!

10 Ways I Use Essential Oils Everyday

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You may be interested in essential oils, but don’t really know how you would use them. Let me walk you through a day of mine and I’ll show you how you may use essential oils for digestion to enhance your life.

  1. Meditation / Journaling

I am not consistent about doing a morning practice, but when I do, it sure helps set a great rest of the day.

Using essential oils for meditation during a morning reflective practice can help wake you up, focus your mind, or set a mood or intention.

I like to use a diffuser for these sessions. Which oil you put into a cold mist diffuser for this practice is very flexible. Here are a few ideas:

  • Lemon*: Lemon is a very clean scent that can focus your mind and wash away the sleepiness of the night

  • Cedarwood: This woodsy aroma is somehow grounding and uplifting at the same time

  • Citrus Bliss*: This blend is one of my favorites as it is energizing and gives me a feeling of joy

2.    Shower/ Hair

I think the use of pure essential oils in home-spa/beauty routines needs to be discovered! It is so powerful.

If you shower in the mornings, why not use that time as natural therapy! During the shower, you can use oils aromatically to open your lungs or wake up your brain.

You can also use essential oils with your shampoo and conditioner to beautify your hair while inhaling them for aromatherapy.

  • Peppermint*: this is a great one for both a wake-up call and for hair care. Shake a few drops of peppermint essential oil into your palm and inhale deeply three times. Then add your shampoo and wash. Peppermint will detox your scalp, controlling dandruff and oil, supporting hair growth and adding volume.

  • Breathe*: My friend uses Breathe in the shower regularly. Rub a few drops on your chest and inhale the scent as you bathe. Breathe essential oil opens up your lungs when congested or just anytime. Encouraging a deep, full breath at the start of the day will energize and balance you all day long.

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3.  Skin Care

Skin care is another area where essential oils shine.

  • Frankincense* is the ‘king of oils’ for several reasons, one of which is skin. It helps prevent skin sagging and wrinkles. Its antioxidants nourish the skin. Add a drop of oil to your palm before mixing in your moisturizer and applying.

  • Other oils I use on the skin are ylang-ylang and cedarwood.

4. Hormone Balance

Life has become busy and toxic, making it harder and harder to maintain hormone balance. There is a simple way to support your hormones with a pre-blended oil.

That blend is called ClaryCalm and it comes in a ‘rollerball’ that you simply uncap and roll over your lower abdomen liberally. Use twice a day and see what happens! This blend can be used at any age, even after menopause.

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5. Digestion

One of my favorite oils to help calm digestion is DigestZen. You can put a few drops under your tongue, or you can use the handle roller bottle version of DigestZen and rub it directly on your belly when you need support.

6. Cravings

After lunch is when my energy tends to drop and I want something sweet. Slim and Sassy to the rescue! You can use it before a meal to prevent overeating, or after a meal to prevent a trip to the cupboard or Starbucks for sugar and caffeine.

Use a drop of Slim and Sassy on your tongue. You can also rub it on your belly twice daily with a carrier oil to help reduce weight in this area.  

  • Peppermint* can also be used for cravings, to freshen breath and to provide natural energy.

7. Cleaning

Ah, cleaning: a necessary evil. I don’t love cleaning but I also don’t like crumbs everywhere or sticky drips of who-knows-what on the counter. I know germs can be lurking in this debris.

Cleaning with essential oils is non-toxic and gives peace of mind that your kitchen is really clean.

Many, many essential oils are antibacterial. This is because oils protect their plants in this way in nature. To make a cleaning spray, and ½ water to ½ vinegar and about 20 drops of essential oil.

Some to consider:

  • On Guard*: a classic germ-killing blend by doTERRA

  • Oregano*: a spicy, strong antiviral and antibacterial

  • Orange: a more pleasant smell but still kills germs

8. Fatigue

As I mentioned, afternoon is my sleepy time, so I look for natural ways to pick myself up. I’ll mention a few non-oil methods first.

Squeeze a whole or half lemon into water and drink. Take a ¼ teaspoon of sea salt with water (if you don’t have high blood pressure.) Take a 20 minute horizontal cat nap or reading session.

With oils, you can boost your adrenals with rosemary and basil. Rosemary is more stimulating, while basil is more blissful. 

9. Headache

If I’m going through an afternoon energy/stress roller coaster, sometimes I get a headache. Popping over-the-counter pills regularly is dangerous, so try essential oils.

  • Peppermint* distracts your body to relieve tension. Dilute with ½ coconut or grapeseed oil and apply everywhere it hurts.

  • Past Tense is a powerful blend already in a rollerball that you can carry in your purse and use as needed.

10. Sleep

Many, many women struggle with sleep and, although I’ve gotten better, I still do sometimes. Whether you are a full-time or part-time insomniac, having a sleep routine with oils is really beneficial.

Maybe you start with a walk, or some yoga, and move on to tea or reading. Using a diffuser in your bedroom is a great way to lower cortisol from the day and get sleepy.

If you don’t yet have a diffuser, you can shake a few drops of oil onto a tissue and put on your pillow.

A classic oil for sleep is lavender essential oil*, which lowers cortisol. You can optionally pair it with a grounding oil like vetiver.

My very favorite sleep blend is Serenity. I love the scent and so does my son, who uses it in his room most nights.

*= these oils are part of starter kits from doTERRA

Summary

Oils are very safe and beneficial when you know how to use them! I love educating you, and I have two more opportunities coming up. Please join me!

If you’d prefer a private opportunity to choose an essential oil protocol and get help ordering, you can schedule that here.

Learn More!

Check out my free guide on simple hacks for thyroid support with essential oils!

You want help for your thyroid symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining the exact techniques I use to help keep my Hashimoto’s in remission.

Let me help you start addressing your symptoms now!


Bridgit.jpg

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Most Bloating Is Caused by This...

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What Causes A Bloated Stomach and How to Get Rid of It for Good

According to Dr. Eric Regier, about 96% of cases of a bloated stomach are due to SIBO.

SIBO is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. There should be a very small amount of bacteria and the small intestine, and a large amount in the large intestine. Due to the reasons we’ll cover below, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can occur.

Symptoms of SIBO include: bloated stomach, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea.

What Causes SIBO?

1) Dysfunction of Migrating Motor Complex

This is the function that sweeps the small bowel, and dysfunction is due to, usually, food poisoning, but can also be due to hypothyroidism, c difficile, Lyme bacteria, opioid use, antibiotic use, or giardia.

In cases of food poisoning, the toxins produced by the poisonous bacteria damage the nerves that facilitate the migrating motor complex. The body can then create an antibody against this toxin. But unfortunately, at the same time, it will produce an antibody against a protein that helps keep the tight junctions of the intestine tight. When this protein is attacked, you can end of with chronic leaky gut.

2) Anatomical Blockages

These are often due to surgical adhesions, endometrial adhesions, fistulas, or diverticula.

3) Low stomach acid levels

Acid kills bacteria. Unfortunately, stress, hypothyroidism and use of acid-blocking medications can all hinder this process.

4) Ileocecal Valve Malfunction

If this valve between the small and large intestine is absent or not working, bacteria from the large bowel can backflow into the small intestine. The valve can be irritated by ‘stimulating’ foods like coffee, tea, soda, spicy food, sugar, chocolate, processed foods and popcorn.

According to Dr. David Williams, Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the form of lactic acid yeast wafers can help for diarrhea symptoms related to SIBO.

According to Dr. Craig Maxwell, Magnesium Chelate and a good probiotic can help.

Also local massage for a few minutes on your right lower abdomen about 15 degrees and down from your hip bone can help.

SIBO Has a Cousin…

SIBO has a cousin called SIFO (I’m not making this stuff up!) which stand for Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth. SIFO is similar to SIBO except it’s defined by an overgrowth of fungus in the small intestine.

Some additional symptoms related to include: belching, nausea, confused thinking, headaches, fatigue and joint pain.

If your SIBO symptoms are not going away with treatment, SIFO could be the culprit, and an anti-fungal approach with a functional practitioner may be needed.

Diet for a bloated STomach

When you eat foods, the bacteria in your small intestine may be ‘fed’ as well, and the byproduct of their feasting can be gas.

The bacteria that has overgrown in your gut varies from person to person. Therefore the foods that irritate SIBO vary as well.

While you go through treatment, it’s important to find the foods that won’t aggravate your symptoms, and the amounts.For example, you may tolerate eating a few grapes, but not a whole bowl of grapes.

The diet I most recommend experimenting with is the low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

That’s a mouthful! Basically FODMAPs are foods that contain indigestible starches, and the bacteria in your body will ‘ferment’ them to break them down. The byproduct of that fermentation is gas.

If you want to avoid the gas, you can avoid the high FODMAP foods that irritate your certain bacteria, and instead choose low FODMAP foods.

Two great resources I’ve found for FODMAP information are:

Monash University - The researchers at this Canadian university developed and trademarked The Low FODMAP diet.

Kate Scarlata - Kate is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author who has developed some handy checklists and useful guides for avoiding high FODMAP foods.

Protocols for SIBO Symptoms and Bloating Remedies

The treatment of a bloated stomach (SIBO) can be a slow and winding road due to the different causes of SIBO and the different bacteria that may be involved. But if you don’t want to live with the digestive symptoms you’re currently experiencing, it’s best to start somewhere!

In my opinion, you’ll get the best results when working with a functional medicine coach. A provider can run a SIBO breath test, a stool test, and any other tests that may be needed in your case. She can get specialty supplements that may be difficult to get otherwise. And lastly, dealing with a chronic condition that may be slow to respond is emotionally draining, and having a coach to talk to can keep you moving forward.

Let’s look at a few supplements that can help with a bloated stomach / SIBO:

Oregano Oil- Oregano oil is the potent essential oil of the oregano plant. It can help for both SIBO and SIFO. It is often combined with other antimicrobial and anti-fungals like thyme oil and grapefruit seed extract.

This is a ‘hot oil’ so you’ll need to dilute it in a carrier oil if used on your skin or take in a capsule internally. We carry a blend of thyme, oregano and other supportive essential oils in capsule form in GX Assist in our doTERRA shop.

Atrantil- Atrantil is a mix of whole peppermint and extracts from the Quebracho and Conker Tree.

Together, these ingredients help to:

  • Relax intestinal cramping

  • Soak up hydrogen gas

  • Stop production of methane bacteria

  • Disable / kill troublemaking archaebacteria.

You can purchase this product on our shop.

Ginger- If you’ve managed to rid yourself of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, you need to keep it clear now! Ginger can help stimulate the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) we learned about earlier. I like this Chewable Ginger by Natural Factors. We also carry ginger oil (it’s so yummy) in our doTERRA shop.

Other substances that stimulate the MMC are: 5-HTP (OTC supplement) and LDN (low dose naltrexone- by prescription only).

Binders- While using good binders won’t cure your SIBO, it will sure help relieve it! Binders like activated charcoal and others (see my blogs on binders) can absorb the gas within its porous structure.

Probiotics- Not all bloating is due to SIBO. Bloating can also come from a sudden change in diet, like adding vegetables suddenly or eating beans for the first time in months. Since I now rarely eat gluten-free pasta and pizza, I find that I react strongly to it and become bloated.

I think the site PaleoLeap.com sums it up well, “Either you’re eating a type of fiber that you don’t have enough of the right gut flora to digest, or you’re eating a type that they like too well, so you get overgrowth problems. For example, this study found that flatulence was “associated with instability of the microbial ecosystem:” the gut flora of patients with bad gas actually responded differently to their food, potentially causing the problem.”

This is why adding a good probiotic is helpful. Some probiotics will actually feed the bacteria in the small intestine and cause bloating. But spore-based probiotics will not. The probiotic that is our hands down favorite is MegaSporeBiotic.

This is a recent testimonial from a new MegaSporeBiotic user who had bloating for 20 years:

“I've had IBS for over 20 years and NOTHING has helped until NOW.

RESULTS: BLOATING, gone! I no longer have explosive diarrhea in the morning but have normal, well-formed stools that sink in the toilet, 2 to 3 times per day!!! AMAZING PRODUCT!!!!”

Antibiotics and Prescription Antifungals- If you’re not having success after using herbal treatments, prescriptive options are available as well through your doctor.

Conclusion

Though there can be a little trial and error on the road to healing your gut, the results are well worth it! Running to the bathroom, being too bloated to exercise or even move...this is not what life is about!

My Favorite Bloating REmedies

Get a curated kit of highly effective bloating products that work synergistically for chronic bloating. Us the coupon code HEALTHYGUT15 for $15 off now.

These three products work synergistically to eliminate the source of over 90% of chronic bloating! Each kit comes with an easy-to-follow PDF guide and 30 day money back offer through our shop.

 

Do you have questions? Do you have tips for dealing with a bloated stomach or bloating remedies? Comment below!


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Five Ways Essential Oils Support Your Hormones

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Adding Essential Oils to Your Routine to Balance Hormones

You may have heard of essential oils, and maybe you already use them. You might be wondering, “how do these really work?” In this article, I’ll explain five ways that essential oils work to powerfully affect your hormones in a positive way!

  1. Lower Stress and Benefit Sleep

There are several essential oils that have been shown in studies to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. (1) The speed of this reduction is what impresses me! You can feel calmer within seconds of inhaling a cortisol-reducing oil.

While you need cortisol for energy, immunity, and inflammation, you don’t need too much cortisol! Your cortisol tends to get high thanks to chronic stress.

Symptoms of high cortisol include:

  • Stubborn belly fat

  • Feeling high-strung

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • Being too keyed up to enjoy sex

  • High blood pressure

  • Increasing wrinkles and fatigue

Lowering excess cortisol with essential oils can help relieve the above symptoms. If stress and insomnia are chronic issues, I suggest using cortisol-reducing oils a few times a day, and especially in the evening as you wind down for bed.

Good sleep is important for another hormone, human growth hormone. This hormone helps you repair and rejuvenate at night; it’s how you get ‘beauty sleep.’ So lowering cortisol so you can sleep is key.

Common essential oils that lower cortisol are: lavender, basil, rosemary, orange and ylang ylang. The oil blend we use nightly in a diffuser is Serenity by doTERRA.

In a 2007 study, lavender and rosemary were both found to lower cortisol and prevent the free radical damage (hello, early aging) associated chronic high cortisol. (2)

       2. Reduce Appetite & Improve Metabolism

Having excess fat tissue contributes excess estrogen levels. Your fat tissue is an estrogen factory so, like cortisol, you don’t want an excess of body fat.

Avoiding processed foods and losing weight is challenging in our busy, toxic world! Luckily essential oils can give you a helping hand to make better food choices and to process calories efficiently.

Grapefruit oil is a cravings-buster when you place a drop on your tongue, as is peppermint oil. Grapefruit oil contains D-limonene, a compound that boosts metabolism and drains lymph (bye, bye puffy eyes and water weight). It can also be used externally along with a dry brushing technique to reduce cellulite. 
 
Cinnamon oil is a blood sugar balancer, and having balanced blood sugar will mean less cravings and better food choices. (3)

The cravings and metabolism blend I use regularly is Slim and Sassy by doTERRA. It has a dorky name but it works really well! It contains ginger, grapefruit, cinnamon, lemon and peppermint.

      3. Calm Emotions

Inhalation of essential oils directly affects limbic system, where you store emotions and memories. Taming negative emotions and painful memories can get you out of the sympathetic dominant mode that inhibits optimal hormone production.

According to the author of Healing with Essential Oils, Jodi Sternoff Cohen, the most powerful use of essential oils may be their value in emotional recovery and management:

“Fragrant substances pass on to the limbic system without being registered by the cerebral cortex. This powerful emotional reaction in the limbic system is triggered by nerve impulses which, in turn, trigger other areas of the brain that are responsible for secreting hormones and neurotransmitters and for regulating body functions.”

“This makes essential oils especially powerful tools for dealing with emotional challenges, like anxiety, depression, fear, worry, grief, trauma, anger and self-abuse.”

Some essential oils help you feel more grounded and others give you a sense of peace. The essential oil cedarwood helps me feel secure and confident, while essential oil of neroli makes me feel euphoric!


      4. Improve Digestion

Strong digestion is critical for healthy hormones. Within the digestive tract:

  • Nutrients needed to make hormones are absorbed

  • Neurotransmitters are produced

  • Hormone metabolites (used hormones) are cleared from the system

If the digestive tract is inflamed, these important processes won’t happen. Some symptoms of digestive distress include:

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Bloating

  • Multiple food sensitivities

  • Skin eruptions

  • An autoimmune diagnosis

There are many essential oils that can support proper digestion and help detoxify the gut. I’ll highlight three here:

Lemon oil has been shown to inhibit candida albicans infection. Excess candida yeast can cause sugar cravings and foggy thinking. (4)

Peppermint oil relaxes smooth muscles in cases of IBS, and it also helps break down the biofilms that protect chronic bacterial infections in your gut. ( 5, 6)

Essential oil of ginger promotes digestion, reduces nausea, and has been shown to help prevent and treat stomach ulcers. (7)

A product I love that combines several oils in one formula for both acute and chronic indigestion is DigestZen by doTERRA. I try to use in on my abdomen with a carrier oil at least twice a day, and I also inhale it and sometimes use a drop on my tongue.

I find the warming and bitter nature of the oils in this formula help me digest a meal and have healthy bowel movements.

      5. Lower Inflammation

Inflammation is a process in the body that is helpful and necessary at times. It gathers to do its job when you are injured, when you’re fighting an infection and more.

But chronic inflammation presents various problems, one is which is preventing proper hormone production and signaling.

Inflammation allows less hormone to attach to receptor sites on a cell’s membrane. This means that hormones may be knocking at the door, but they can’t get inside. With an inflamed cell wall, also toxins can’t get out and nutrients can’t get in.

Inflammation also dysregulates the immune system, which can lead to autoimmunity, in which the body is attacking its own tissue. You can use essential oils to lower inflammation, thus allowing your hormones to signal correctly.

Frankincense is an oil derived from a tree resin that contain a high percentage of boswellic acid. Boswellic acid is able to lower inflammation and modulate immunity. It has become a popular oil in autoimmune thyroid conditions for this reason. (8, 9)

Lavender reduces the inflammation of a bug bite or a sunburn but also the systemic inflammation that interferes with your hormones.

Conclusion

Many oils overlap in their functions; many simultaneously lower cortisol, prevent bacterial growth and lower inflammation. This is because the ‘essential oil’ of a plant protects it and keeps it healthy. Essential oils can provide some of the same protection to you as you endeavor to stay healthy through the changing seasons of life.

What I love about essential oils is that they are easy and enjoyable to use. There are some cautions to take, for instance some oils need to be diluted or they will feel hot or burning on your skin. A few oils can make you sunburn easier, so you need to avoid applying them on an exposed area before a day in the sun.

With a little education, essential oils are fun and creative to use, and you can reap benefits immediately in reduced stress or a calmer stomach, and you can enjoy long-term benefits in better periods, less hot flashes, thicker hair and more.


Learn More!

Balance Your Hormones with Essential Oils

 Join me for this webinar recording, where I explain my favorite ways to balance hormones with essential oils.

 

My Five Top Essential Oils for Thyroid Support

Free guide: You want help for your thyroid symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining the exact techniques I use to help keep my Hashimoto’s in remission.

Let me help you start addressing your symptoms now!

Questions? Please post below.

 


Bridgit.jpg

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.