hormones

Herbs That Will Rock Your World with Jane Barlow-Christensen

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Jane Barlow Christensen is a master Herbalist and co-founder of Barlow Herbal. Her father, Max G. Barlow, worked with Dr. ET Krebs Jr and Dr. Hulda Clark, inventor of the Essiac formula.Jane loves everything natural, holistic, wellness, fitness, and nutrition oriented. In this episode we talk about herbs, Lomatium, virus infections, and Jane's supplements.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:25 Introducing Jane Barlow
Min 05:10 The art of putting herbs together
Min 09:35 Jane's Lomatium formula
Min 16:00 Munityboost 
Min 23:35 Jane's turmeric formula
Min 26:55 Chlorella & spirulina
Min 31:35 Heartlove supplement - includes cayenne pepper, cinnamon, & slippery Elm
Min 36:35 Brain Glow 
Min 42:15 Jane's parasite products & resources

To learn more about Jane Barlow, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Instagram 
YouTube 

Resources:

WWC Supplement Shop
Webinar with Dr. Mariza Snyder
Spring Cleaning Pack
Glowing Vitality Skin serum
Munityboost 

Here's the video version of the interview with Jane Barlow.


The Five-Day DIY Detox Guide

Do you wake up groggy and tired, turning to coffee or pastries to get you going?     

Add in a simple 5 minute routine to have more energy for the day!    

Grab our High Energy Morning Guide and get some spring back in your step, naturally.  


 

Your Period After 40 with Dr. Lara Briden

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Dr. Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the period revolutionary—leading the change to better periods. Her book Period Repair Manual is out on its second edition with new sections on perimenopause, how to come off hormonal birth control and the different options for birth control. In this episode, we talk about the new book, perimenopause, managing heavy periods, and histamine intolerance.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:10 Dr. Lara Briden's new book

Min 03:45 Feedback from Dr. Briden's first book

Min 04:30 What is perimenopause?

Min 05:55 The connection between hormones and symptoms of perimenopause

Min 11:10 Dr. Briden's rescue prescription for perimenopause moods:

  • Magnesium

  • Natural Progesterone

  • Taurine

  • Magnolia

  • Ziziphus

  • Ashwagandha

  • Vitamin B6

Min 20:20 Pregnancy in perimenopause women
Min 23:35 Managing heavy periods/flooding

Min 29:30 Going into perimenopause with health conditions

Min 35:35 Histamine intolerance

Min 44:15 Dr. Lara Briden's resources & help for teenagers

To learn more about Dr. Briden, visit her website here and follow her on social media: 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

Resources:

Period Repair Manual book
Perfect Periods Facebook Group
Hormone Balance After 40 summit
Prof Jerilynn Prior's article prescribing progesterone for heavy periods
Lara's article "The Curious Link Between Estrogen and Histamine Intolerance"

Here's a video version of the interview with Dr. Lara Briden:

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We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

 

How Your Digestion Affects Your Hormones with Bridgit Danner

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I'm your guest in this episode where I talk about steps involved in the digestion process and how your digestion affects hormone production and detoxification. This is an excerpt from a training I did about digestion and hormone health.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:20 Steps in the digestion process
Min 03:45 What can hamper digestion
Min 07:10 The large intestine & its functions
Min 08:35 Symptoms of indigestion
Min 10:28 How hormones are made & the nutrients required
Min 13:30 Inflammation
Min 14:35 The immune system
Min 16:15 How to support your digestion
Min 17:50 Using essential oils

Private Coaching with Bridgit

You can view our current coaching options on our website HERE.

Resources:

TAKE OUR FREE “IS A GUT INFECTION CAUSING MY HORMONAL IMBALANCE?" QUIZ BELOW.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Living Low Tox with Brodie Welch & Alexx Stuart

Alexx Stuart is the founder of Low Tox Life and she’s our guest this week talking to Brodie Welch about toxins and good eating habits.

Click here to download an mp3 of "Living Low Tox with Brodie Welch & Alexx Stuart."

Here's what you'll hear: 

Min 03:00 Introduction to Alexx Stuart

Min 06:10 Alexx's introduction to naturopathy

Min 09:45 Fragrances, phthalates & hormone disruptors

Min 14:50 The skin & absorption of chemicals

Min 17:00 3 steps to reducing toxin exposure & Alexx's recommended products

Min 25:50 Other sources of toxins

Min 30:00 Substituting plastics to reduce toxin exposure

Min 31:15 Endocrine disrupting chemicals

Min 33:30 Alexx Stuart's work & coaching programs

Min 34:30 Thrive - improving children's eating habits

 

Brodie Welch is the host of the podcast ‘A Healthy Curiosity’. You can find her on her website here and on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

To learn more about Alexx Stuart, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

This episode was originally featured on Brodie Welch's podcast "A Healthy Curiosity" here.

 

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Healthy Fats for Happy Hormones

Blackbird.jpg

In this article, we’ll be focusing on fats that increase the production of prostaglandins, which are not hormones, but are powerful, hormone-like agents that do important jobs such as regulating inflammation and stimulating hormone production. (1) So if you want to have regulated hormones and managed inflammation, read on to learn about your helpful prostaglandins and how to support them.

Are you dealing with symptoms like:

  • Hot flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Irregular periods

  • Heavy periods

  • Anxiety

  • Weight Gain

  • Menstrual migraines

These are all potential symptoms of inflammation and hormone imbalance that may benefit from the prostaglandin lovin’ you’ll learn about today.

What are Prostaglandins?

Prostaglandins are lipid compounds produced throughout the body, derived from fats and produced by an enzymatic process. They are made from Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, plus some micronutrients and minerals are needed in their production as well.

Prostaglandins can both initiate and reduce inflammation. (2) Inflammation is a normal process in the body, but too much inflammation causes pain and hormone dysregulation. 

Since prostaglandins can be inflammatory or anti-inflammatory; one way to reduce symptoms is to increase anti-inflammatory prostaglandins by consuming the fats that are needed to make anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

If you’re nutritionally savvy, you may have learned that Omega 3 fats are good and that Omega 6 fats are bad. This is somewhat true, but there’s more to it.

The Fats

Omega 3 and 6 fats are both polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the numbers 3 and 6 refer to the location of a double carbon bond within the structure of the molecule. Omega 3 and 6 oils are considered ‘essential’ to consume because the human body cannot make them.

The Omega 3s

Omega 3 oils are anti-inflammatory which means they reduce the unwanted symptoms of inflammation like headaches and acne. Their anti-inflammatory effect even helps in treating the autoimmune diseases that are becoming so common in women by regulating the immune system.  

The three types of Omega 3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA comes from plant sources and DHA and EPA come from marine sources.

ALA sources of omega three can be converted in EPA and, less efficiently, to DHA. There has been some debate about the rate of this conversion.  It appears that women, as a result of higher estrogen levels, convert ALA to EPA at a higher rate than in men. (3)

EPA is what we are focusing on in this article, as it is converted to a prostaglandin.

From the Omega 3 category, consume foods such as:

  • Wild, fresh salmon

  • Grass-fed beef and lamb

  • Pastured chicken or duck eggs

  • Fish eggs

  • Sardines

  • Tuna

  • Oysters

  • Shrimp

  • Anchovies

  • Flounder

  • Bass

  • Mackerel

These vegetarian sources of Omega 3s are awesome additions to your diet:

  • Fresh ground flax seed

  • High lignan flax oil (use for dressing, not for cooking)

  • Walnuts

  • Chia seeds

  • Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Sea vegetables

  • Hemp seed and oil

As a supplement, you can take 1,000 mg /day of high quality fish oil, like this one we carry from Designs for Health.  You can also find an algae-based Omega 3 oil as well, like this one from Nordic Naturals.

 

The Omega 6s

While all clean sources of Omega 3's are good, Omega 6's are more of a mixed bag. 

Omega 6 oils include linoleic acid (LA), an essential fatty acid, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).  Similar to the conversion process of the Omega 3 ALA into EPA, it is possible to CONVERT LA into GLA, but there can be snags in the process.  Another downside of linoleum acid is that too much is inflammatory.

So it’s best to get your linoleum acid from clean sources, and also to add in the lesser-known and potent GLA oils below.

The Bad Boys

Some Omega 6 fats are dangerous, like the ones coming from canola, corn, safflower oils. These processed vegetable oils often are derived from non-organic, genetically-modified seeds, and the oil can only be extracted from a series of complex steps.  In other words, they are not real food. The resulting product is inflammatory, can contribute to leaky gut, and can actually block normal hormone production and function, contributing to things like cramps and infertility. (4)

These oils are prevalent in processed foods like bakery items, margarines and most prepared foods, whether from the grocery store shelf, the deli section or a restaurant. When you use these oils to fry things like french fries, they become really bad, as the extra heat exposure creates even more free radicals.

Please do not use vegetable oils in your home cooking and avoid all margarines.  Minimize processed foods and cook at home much more than you eat out.  

The Good Girls

Clean sources of linoleic acid (LA) include:

  • Avocado

  • Almonds

  • Brazils nuts

  • Pistachios

  • Pecans

  • Pine nuts

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Organic organ meat

Great sources of gamma- linoleic acid (GLA) include:

  • Borage oil

  • Evening primrose oil

  • Flax oil

  • Olive oil

  • Hemp oil

  • Spirulina (5)

As mentioned earlier, LA can be converted to prostaglandins, but too much compared to Omega 3 ALA can be a problem. (6) So watch your ‘bad boy’ oil consumption. And do get your extra special GLA fats, as these are not inflammatory and tend to be the most overlooked in our diets.

It can be easy to increase good fats in your diet.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Drizzle hemp, flax or sesame oil over your cooked food or salad.

  • Buy raw nuts and mix with coconut flakes and dried berries for a trail mix/ easy snack. (Store in fridge.)

  • Add nuts and seeds to your morning smoothie.

  • Make a chia/ seed porridge.

  • Find a clean source of fish and learn to cook it!

  • Learn about sea vegetables and how to use them.

References:

  1. Before the Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause by Ann Louise Gittleman, Harper Collins 1998

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081099/

  3. http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Omega-3-ALA-intakes-enough-for-EPA-DPA-levels-for-non-fish-eaters

  4. https://wellnessmama.com/2193/never-eat-vegetable-oil/

  5. https://wellnessmama.com/4738/spirulina-benefits/

  6. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-the-omega-3omega-6-ratio-may-not-matter-after-all/

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP  Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

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.

Hormone Myths vs. Facts

How well do you understand hormones and their affect on your body? Unfortunately, many myths about hormones abound, and with those myths come a slew of“old wives' tales" about how to handle hormone conditions. Understanding the truth behind these myths is a key component in taking control over your health. Here are some of the most common myths surrounding hormones, and a little more about the truth behind those myths.

Myths About Hormones and Age


The thyroid is part of the endocrine system that is often misunderstood. Some mistakenly believe that thyroid disease affects only women. While only 2 out of every 10 cases of thyroid disease occurs in men, the condition can clearly affect both genders. The symptoms are similar as well, so it's important that both men and women understand the truths about thyroid function and thyroid disease.

Getting the Truth About Hormones

Do you believe any of these common hormone myths?

Arming yourself with accurate hormone and endocrine system facts will allow you to be proactive with your health. If you are still not sure what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the endocrine system, talk to a qualified health care provider, preferably an endocrinologist.

This infographic was provided by Hormone Health Network. Hormone Health Network focuses on helping educate people on the topic of hormone health.

 

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Finding the Root Cause of Your Hormonal Complaints With Rich Jacobs

Today's guest Rich Jacobs is a great classic example of functional medicine in practice.

Rich Jacobs was a Strength and Conditioning Coach for 8 years. He studied physiology, anatomy and movement before getting into functional medicine. He got into functional medicine after he got really sick and found himself in a state of fatigue, allergy to most foods, bloating, insomnia, depression and low libido. His doctor said everything looked good despite not feeling well and was advised to try using Viagra while at 35 years old. 

Not satisfied, he went online and did research to help himself and got directed to functional medicine. He started with Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) and went through their educational program. He also had a mentor who used the program on him to help him get better. They found that he had stage 3 adrenal dysfunction and gut bacteria and other issues that were causing all the problems. They fixed them and Jacobs learnt how to help other people. That was four years ago. He's continued with his education through The Institute for Functional Medicine and The Kalish Institute Mentorship Program he's currently enrolled in now.

We talk about Rich Jacob's process on how he uncovers the root causes of hormonal imbalances and how they can be corrected. We also talk about:

  • The big 5: weight gain, depression, fatigue/insomnia, gut issues and female hormone imbalances. 
  • Interconnection between female hormone imbalances and other issues like PMS, skin issues, gut issues
  • What’s normal about PMS and dealing vs eliminating PMS; some quick tips for PMS like making dietary changes, managing stress, getting adequate quality sleep and hydration and blood sugar control
  • Menopause and balancing hormone stressors
  • Some of the root causes of hormonal imbalances like emotional stress, dietary stress and internal inflammation
  • Rich Jacobs' own experience in healing his gut and adrenal glands and the supplements he used and lifestyle changes he made
  • Effects of sing too much antibiotics especially growing up

To learn more about Rich Jacobs, you can find him on his website here, where you can also sign up for his free eBook and get more tips on how to increase energy and reduce fatigue.

Follow Rich Jacobs on:

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Thanks for listening.

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative.

To get a new interview delivered to your phone weekly, subscribe to our podcast atiTunes or through most podcast players.

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Is Your Blood Sugar Taking Your Hormones for a Ride?

Come to me, my sweets!

Come to me, my sweets!

If you're like me, you have a sweet tooth. And if not a sweet tooth, a love of starches, like pasta or chips. And even if you're trying really hard to avoid carbs, you might still be taking your blood sugar for a ride with stress, coffee or lack of sleep.

When I first started to learn about functional medicine, I didn't get how shifts in blood sugar levels were a stress on my hormones. Sure, I knew devouring a giant cookie wasn't a good choice, but I didn't get how it was a bad choice.

For me, knowing how and why are important. This knowledge helps me say no to giant cookies. And when I make healthy choices, my skin is clear and not greasy, my period is not painful, my mood is more even, and my weight is easy to manage.

I'm going to give you a quick summary of the blood sugar roller coaster, and then give you a helpful eBook so you can take action to manage your blood sugar, and tame your hormonal symptoms.

Your body likes a steady supply of glucose (sugar). It uses this glucose as energy for thinking, walking, breathing...pretty important stuff. If you don't have a steady supply of glucose, you can develop symptoms. Some of these can be immediate, like a headache or feeling irritable. Some of these are more long-term, like a lack of hormone production.

So why would you not have a steady supply of glucose? There are two main reasons: low blood sugar and high blood sugar. These two reasons may appear to be opposites, but they are more often connected.

When you raise your blood sugar by having alcohol, a cupcake, a nice chunk of bread, etc., you often take your blood sugar too high, and your cells block any more sugar from coming inside. That sugar that got shut out will usually be stored as fat, and extra fat makes excess estrogen. Meanwhile your cells, which have blocked sugar, won't have their fuel, and you'll feel fatigued, brain dead, etc.

So now you are gaining weight and dragging ass, and you just want a cookie to pick yourself up...but then the cycle starts all over. And your hormonal system, once again, is getting an unsteady fuel supply for its functioning.

Ok, but what if you have good eating habits? Well coffee and stress spike your blood sugar, and excess protein will turn to glucose too. Chronic stress can lead to a long-term state of low blood sugar, as the adrenal glands (your stress/energy glands) also regulate blood sugar and turned stored energy into real-time energy.

In summary, all this blood sugar wonkiness can prevent your body from making hormones, or can produce excess estrogen, leading to symptoms like heavy periods, acne, low sex drive or brain fog.

Does this issue affect you if you're menopausal? Yes! Steady blood sugar is especially important for you as you weather hormonal changes.

Here's that resource I mentioned, my How To Balance Your Blood Sugar eBook:

Have you noticed the connection between your blood sugar and your hormones? Feel free to share below!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

A Holistic Approach To Adrenal Healing With Kelly Graham

Kelly Graham

Our topic this week on the Women's Wellness Radio is adrenal health. Our guest is Kelly Graham, a nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP) who works with patients to bring them back to the basics, that is guiding them on nutrient dense foods and providing good recommendations on supplementation.

Growing up, Kelly's gut health started going down in her late teenage years. She also had amalgam/mercury filings which negatively affected her health. She worked as a chef and on many occasions worked till late which was chaotic to her body! She had excess weight, her lymph glands were frequently swelling, and was constantly feeling tired even after sleeping for almost 12 hours! She was misdiagnosed and told that she had hypothyroidism and possibly Hashimotos while in fact she had adrenal fatigue.

In this episode we talk about:

  1. How one's eating environment when growing up can affect gut health
  2. Adrenal glands - what they are,what they do, how to find them (where they are located)
  3. Adrenal hormones and their functions including cortisol,sex hormones like DHEA, pregnenolone,progesterone, and testosterone
  4. Taking hormones - when there are low levels in the body

Kelly also talks about symptoms to look out for like:

1. Feeling overwhelmed - having a hard time making decisions, constipation, diarrhea, low sex drive, low blood sugar, mental fog
2. Increased cravings for some foods e.g sugary and salty foods
3. Difficulty getting started in the morning
4. Sleeping for many hours but still feel exhausted

Listen to this podcast to get some tips on recovering from adrenal deficiency like the importance of quality sleep, good dieting, body shaming and so much more.

For more resources on adrenal health and adrenal fatigue from Kelly Graham, you can find her on:

Twitter
Facebook Page
Facebook Group
Website

Thanks for listening.

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative.

To get a new interview delivered to your phone weekly, subscribe to our podcast atiTunes or through most podcast players.

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

You Don't Have Adrenal Fatigue by Maria Claps

AdrenalFatigue

There are too many people walking around thinking that they have adrenal fatigue. This diagnosis was handed to them after a saliva test and a visit to a holistic clinician. I admit, I used to use this method of testing. I’ve ordered saliva tests on my clients and have coached them in recovering from the maladies of modern day lifestyles, and at that time I too called it adrenal fatigue. It was a good way to learn and it had some value, but the science of lab work is changing.

Many of my clients got better, because when we get adequate rest, deal with our stressors, eat nutrient dense food and take high quality supplements, our bodies usually respond well. But this didn’t mean that they had adrenal fatigue.

So if you don’t have adrenal fatigue, what do you have?

Most likely, you are experiencing a mismatch between your biology and your lifestyle. This shows up in two main ways. The first is nutrition. For the vast majority of our time on earth, we’ve consumed wild game, fish, vegetables, starchy tubers, nuts, seeds and fruit in season. Nowadays, the 6 most common foods in the modern diet are pizza, sugar sweetened beverages, beer, bread, grain based desserts, and fried chicken. This type of diet is inflammatory and is a factor in our modern day chronic unwellness.

The second, lesser known, mismatch between our bodies and our lifestyle is the activation of our stress response system. Our stress response system has two components, the sympathoadrenomedulary system (SAS) which is responsible for our immediate or short term stress response and the HPA axis, which is responsible for our intermediate or long term stress response. The HPA axis consists of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (in the brain) and the adrenal glands (in the mid back). It helps us process threats to the body (whether those threats are a car accident or refined, nutrient poor food.)

Both of these stress response systems exist for our good. But the protective mechanisms they produce can become harmful over the long term if continually called upon.

Here’s the perfect scenario for understanding this: Imagine you're a hunter gatherer out for a walk on the savannah and all of a sudden a wild boar charges you. It's a good thing that your heart rate, blood pressure increase. It’s a crucial part of your physiology meant to ensure your escape and this your survival. But at the same time these survival mechanisms activate, your digestion and sex hormone production plummet. This is how it’s supposed to be, but it’s a problem when it rarely or never calms down.

Enter the modern lifestyle….traffic, work deadlines, inflammatory food, over-exercise, or its opposite, couch potato syndrome, smoking, OTC drug abuse, lack of rejuvenating activities. The list goes on…I’m sure you get it.

The constant activation of the stress response via the SAS and HPA pathways erodes resilience and paves the way for metabolic breakdown.

The loss of resilience is associated with the modern day disease epidemic and is why stress contributes to so many conditions.

SOME CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CHRONIC HPA AXIS STIMULATION:

  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Excessive exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Central obesity
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Eczema
  • PMS
  • Thyroid disease

If you’ve gone to a holistically minded doctor and you’ve got any number of these problems and a saliva test, you’ve probably been handed an adrenal fatigue diagnosis.

The adrenal fatigue model is loosely based on the work of Hans Selye and his general adaptation syndrome theory. Selye explained the progression of stress over time in 3 stages: alarm, resistance and exhaustion.

THE ADRENAL FATIGUE MODEL WITH THE THREE STAGES OF ADRENAL BURNOUT IS LOOSELY BASED ON THIS MODEL:

  • Stage 1 of adrenal fatigue is high cortisol with DHEA on its way down.
  • Stage 2 of adrenal fatigue is falling cortisol (which is sometimes in the normal range) and decreasing levels of DHEA
  • Stage 3 is even lower cortisol and lower DHEA.
But is the adrenal fatigue concept really accurate?
— Maria Claps, HHC, FDNP

Not really. Consider two problems with the “adrenal fatigue” diagnosis:

Most people with “adrenal fatigue” don’t have low cortisol levels. The assessment of adrenal fatigue has depended on saliva measurement of cortisol taken at 4 distinct points throughout the day. Cortisol measured in saliva is only 2-5% of our total cortisol production. The vast majority (around 70%) of our cortisol is excreted in urine. This measurement is called metabolized cortisol. Free (salivary) cortisol is NOT the best marker for cortisol production. Metabolized cortisol, however, is a good marker for overall cortisol production.

This would not matter if free and metabolized cortisol was the same. But often, they are quite different.

It’s possible to have low free cortisol and high metabolized cortisol.

Some conditions with associated with low free cortisol and high total (aka metabolized) cortisol:

  • Obesity
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Active stress response
  • Long term glucocorticoid use

Also, it is possible to have high free cortisol and low metabolized cortisol. This is commonly seen in liver damage and hypothyroidism.

***Special note for hypothyroid sufferers: If you get a DUTCH test and it shows up as high free cortisol and low total (aka metabolized) cortisol, you might be getting overdosed on your thyroid medication***

Therefore, a saliva test is an incomplete picture of true cortisol production.

Even when total cortisol is low, it's rarely because the adrenals are tired and unable to produce it. The control mechanisms for cortisol production reside in the brain and central nervous system, not the adrenal glands themselves. The adrenals produce cortisol but the regulatory mechanisms are primarily outside the adrenal glands. Therefore we should not be calling the problem of low cortisol adrenal fatigue, but instead it should simply be called “low cortisol mechanisms”.

Here are two reasons why cortisol production can drop:

1) Down regulation of the HPA axis – when we are exposed to stress for a long time, there can be a down regulation in cortisol receptor sensitivity. This is the body’s attempt to protect itself from the damaging effects of chronically high cortisol levels. The problem with this is that it actually ends up hampering the body’s ability to produce cortisol. This is an adaptive short term mechanism that becomes harmful in the long-term.

 

2) Impaired cortisol signaling – High cortisol levels will lead to cortisol resistance. This can be caused by a decrease in cortisol receptor sensitivity and/or a decrease in cortisol receptor expression.

With the DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) method of testing, which tests both free and metabolized cortisol, we have a greater understanding of the health of the adrenal glands. (We also get to look at sex hormone production and estrogen metabolite breakdown.)

True adrenal fatigue, if the term is to be used at all, should be reserved for those who have Addison’s disease, an autoimmune inability to produce cortisol.

But for the vast majority of us, our “adrenal fatigue” is simply a miscommunication between the brain/adrenals exacerbated by how we were designed to live (nutrient dense food, infrequent activation of the stress response, plenty of exposure to sunlight, connection with nature) and how many of us actually live (too much exposure to electronic screens, nutrient poor food and go-go-go lifestyles).

So what’s a woman to do?

You can get your adrenal hormones accurately (key word here!) and this is called the DUTCH test. This test uses dried urine to measure hormone levels. Precision Analytical laboratory in Oregon is the maker of this test.

Maria Claps, HHC, FDNP

Maria Claps, HHC, FDNP

Found This Interesting? Want To See More?

Sign up to get my guide on fixing your perimenopause hormones because knowledge is power.

This guide has everything I wish I knew when I went into perimenopause. Stuff even your holistic and integrative doctor may not be telling you.

You can get it at www.mariascopes.com.

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A Better Approach to Perimenopause

This is a guest blog article from our friend Dr. Anna Cabeca, MD, OB/GYN.  Learn more about Anna and her resources at the close of the article.

HORMONES IN BALANCE ARE GOOD, HORMONE IMBALANCE IS BAD. 

What do I mean by that?  In healthy menstruating females, hormones cycle on a monthly basis.  Our first day of our period is cycle day one, progesterone and estrogen is at their lowest; this is the follicular phase.  At around cycle day 12 - 14, ovulation occurs and our progesterone levels increase awaiting a pregnancy, this is the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, if pregnancy does not occur, progesterone drops and our period occurs again.  

Commonly, in our thirties, our progesterone levels start to drop, more than our estrogen levels, creating something called estrogen dominance. This gives us irregular menstrual cycles, possibly heavier bleeding, increased pain with the menses and PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, irritability, bloating, etc.  

We may also begin to lose our sex drive and vaginal lubrication.  Our skin may become itchy, noticeably more wrinkled - sometimes this seems to appear overnight - welcome to hormone imbalance!

What can you do about hormone imbalances?  

The answer is not just one thing.  I always recommend a balanced head to toe approach.  My head to toe approach encourages every woman to take control of her health!  So, where should the focus be for women at this time?

Focus on the spiritual:  What is the mental atmosphere that you find yourself in and what can you do to gain some perceived control of it?

Environment: What are your personal and work environments; and what could be interfering with your ability to achieve happiness? How much nature are you experiencing?  Are you getting enough sunlight? When was the last time you walked outside barefoot?

Nutrition:  Your body is your temple and what should you be ingesting to nurture it? Is the food you are eating promoting ketosis or fat-burning?  Is it alkalinizing? These two principles are key.

Digestion:  No matter how well you eat, you have to ensure that you have appropriate digestion - that means adequate acid and digestive enzymes in your stomach and healthy bacterial flora in your intestines to absorb the nutrients. A surprising number of women have poor digestion.

Detoxification: Since the 1950's, corporations have introduced greater than 500,000 chemicals into our environment.  Additionally, no matter how we get our hormones, whether it is from what our body naturally produces or from the xeno-estrogens from the environment from pesticides, herbicides, food we eat, air we breathe, etc.;  how our body gets rid of it is even more important.  All my patients are introduced to my nutrient and protein base detoxification program that includes a modified elimination diet to remove foods, etc., that are likely to produce allergies.

Hormonal balancing: We need to consider the hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal, and gonadal axis, i.e. the entire hormone web.  Additionally, each woman is hormonally unique and part of achieving your optimal health is in understanding this and achieving your own hormonal balance.

Structure and function: Physical strength and exercise are the final and very important aspects to achieving optimal health.

So, when I approach a woman who has symptoms of hormone imbalance, and this is my area of expertise for the last 20 years, we need to incorporate all of the above aspects into a balanced treatment program.  For hormone balancing, I consider the major hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and thyroid, and the hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA.  

Based on a given individual, I may recommend bio-identical hormone therapy for things such as for treating hot flashes, helping with bones, brain, and heart, improving our sex lives, skin, and energy, and for maintaining our optimal body weight.  

My approach has always been to prescribe the lowest doses in the most balanced fashion, based on a given woman’s specific medical history and symptoms, along with test results such as saliva and serum hormone testing.  Adding hormones may help, but there are a couple key physiologic lifestyle tips that we must incorporate for optimum success and optimum menopausal experience.  

Let me give an example:

Zoe is 43 years old and her periods had gradually becoming more frequent; she complained of more irritability prior to her periods and absolutely no sex drive.  And even worse than this – she just felt out of sync.  She said that she used to organize all 4 children’s schedules and keep her bills organized, and she volunteered a lot at the school; yet she suddenly felt that she couldn’t even organize her car pool.  She had 'lost her edge'.  

I took an extensive history, covering all 7 topics above, and did serum, saliva and urinary testing to evaluate hormones and detoxification.  She was definitely progesterone deficient, estrogen dominant and also was fatty acid deficient, i.e. she needed more healthy fats, especially omega 3's in her diet.  I prescribed a bio-identical progesterone cream and a testosterone cream and in 3 weeks she returned stating she was "feeling better than she had in years!"  She had "gotten her edge back".  She was also sleeping better, her sex drive returned and her focus and stamina returned.  I had also recommended a balanced quality multivitamin, omega 3's, calcium, and a few other nutrients based on nutrient testing such as Co Q 10, Alpha lipoic acid, and carnitine to improve her energy and weight as well.

Her periods became regular, in fact, she stated she couldn't even tell when her periods were coming - the PMS was entirely gone and her relationship with her husband became more satisfying and intimate again.

Dr. Anna Cabeca OB/GYN

Dr. Anna Cabeca OB/GYN

It is hard for women, especially because we have so many different roles and obligations, to take the time for ourselves that we need in order to feel our best and perform our best for all those that we love around us.  

I encourage each and every one of you to take that time…to remember to try and do as much naturally as you can towards the 7 areas above so that you can achieve your optimal health.

And if you are still struggling with haywire hormones, join me in learning more about the above principles. Download my free eBook, “3 Menopause Mistakes That Leave You Feeling Fat, Tired, and Stressed!”  

DOWNLOAD HERE

Guest Blog: 9 Things You Don’t Realize May Be Causing Your Thyroid Disease- With Heather & Damian Dubé

An estimated 27 million Americans alone have thyroid disease.  An additional 13 million are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and those numbers are on the rise.  Chances are, one out of five people you know have some sort of thyroid disease, are you one of them?

Diagnostic & Functional Nutritionists,   Damian & Heather Dubé  , are the Co-Founders of   e3 Energy Evolved™, a thyroid, adrenal &   metabolism restoration system   helping women & men create their lifetime-best natural wellness & metabolism for fat loss with ease vs. force.

Diagnostic & Functional Nutritionists, Damian & Heather Dubé, are the Co-Founders of e3 Energy Evolved™, a thyroid, adrenal & metabolism restoration system helping women & men create their lifetime-best natural wellness & metabolism for fat loss with ease vs. force.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland sitting just above the trachea in the throat.  Three of the major hormones it secretes are Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (T3) and Calcitonin.  Aside from vitamin D, the thyroid hormones are the only hormones in the body that affect every cell in the body.  It’s no wonder why under or overproduction of its hormones lend to so many symptoms, including weight gain/decreased metabolism, fatigue/insomnia, elevated cholesterol, intolerance to cold, poor concentration/mental fog, digestive issues, constipation, infertility, aches & pains, and much more.

In the modern world you live in, there are so many factors that could not only negatively influence your thyroid’s ability to function properly, but also affect how your cells utilize its hormones.  Some of these influencers can actually create additional issues which further influence function, creating somewhat of a snowball effect.  Below are some of the factors that affect the thyroid’s ability to perform as intended.

Nutrition & Nutrient Deficiencies

There are several nutrients that are necessary for the thyroid gland to function.  The minerals iodine, selenium, chromium and zinc, as well as tyrosine (an amino acid) are required for T4 production.  Selenium and zinc are also required for the conversion of T4 to the more active hormone, T3. If any of these nutrients are depleted, the thyroid will not function properly.

There are many factors that can cause any or all of these nutrients to be depleted.  First and foremost, a diet high in processed or refined foods is these nutrients because they’re destroyed in the refining process.  Also, eating conventionally grown fruits & veggies are missing many of these nutrients.

Studies have shown that conventionally grown produce contains less than half the nutrient quantity of organically grown produce.  In addition, genetically modified crops (GMO’s) contain chelating agents that leach to the minerals making them unable to be absorbed when ingested.  So, even if you’re eating a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies, if they’re not organic, you may not even be obtaining the nutrients that otherwise should be inherently available.

In addition, all medications prescribed by your doctor deplete the body of certain vitamins and minerals.  So, if you’re like most Americans who are taking medications, prescription or OTC, they may be causing nutrient deficiencies, and our bodies run on nutrients, not drugs.  Aside from medications, there are many other toxins in our homes and environment that also use up these nutrients, which will be discussed shortly.

Food Sensitivities

Not to be mistaken by food allergies, food sensitivities can have a huge impact on thyroid function.  When your immune system is compromised (if you’re having a thyroid problem, it likely is), the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract can become overly permeable, allowing partially undigested food particles to seep through into the blood.

Eating certain foods, whether “healthy” or not, can trigger an immune response, where the immune system will begin to attack those undigested amino acid strands. This can not only create further permeability, but also overwhelm the liver and use up many the nutrients needed for thyroid function like glutathione and selenium.

The immune system has a fantastic memory, so it remembers those undigested amino strands, which can resemble proteins elsewhere in the body, like the thyroid.  Then, the immune system may begin attacking the thyroid gland, causing autoimmune hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s.

Bowel Terrain

To piggyback off what was mentioned about food sensitivities, intestinal health can influence thyroid function in several ways. Aside from an overly permeable intestinal lining, a compromised immune system can also prevent the body from properly dealing with parasites, bacteria or fungus.  These pathogens emit toxins that cause further dysbiosis (imbalance in friendly bacteria) and further intestinal permeability.

An example is yeast.  When a dysbiosis is present, yeast can build up within the intestines.  Yeast emits very toxic compounds called exotoxins.  These exotoxins not only feed the bad bacteria like e. coli or enterobacter, but can also bind with cell receptor sites, making them think they’ve bound to a hormone (hormone masking).

Thyroid hormone receptor sites are extremely vulnerable to this type of masking.  Because the cells think they’ve received the thyroid hormone, a negative feedback loop is created, alerting the thyroid gland that it’s received the hormone, causing the thyroid to slow its production.  However, the cells never actually received the hormone, so hypothyroid symptoms appear even though the labs your doctor has run indicate your thyroid is functioning properly.

As the yeast emits endotoxins, more good bacteria is killed off, allowing the yeast to further thrive, potentially leading to yeast toxicity.  Ironically, symptoms of yeast toxicity are very similar to those of hypothyroidism, like weight gain, decreased body temperature, fatigue, constipation, decreased mental focus, and dry skin, nails and hair.

Enzyme Production

When we think of enzymes, we most often think of those necessary to break down food, like lipase, protease and amylase, but enzymes are catalysts in almost every metabolic pathway in the body.  Within the cells, enzymes bind with substrates, initiating changes in cellular metabolism.

Aside from assisting in the breakdown of food particles for proper absorption, enzymes also regulate cellular respiration, converting broken down food into molecules to be used as energy by the cells.  Enzymes are also required for the conversion of EFA’s to prostaglandins and act as messengers to help deliver hormones to the target cells.

Unfortunately, enzymes can be easily destroyed by different toxic substances; like heavy metals, drugs, household chemicals, personal hygiene products, pesticides, etc. Once destroyed or denatured, they cannot deliver the hormone “messages” to the cells, yet another reason why your thyroid panel may appear “normal”, but you still feel like garbage.

Two enzymes that are all too often destroyed are cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and iodothyronine deiodinase.  cAMP aids in the production of TSH, LH, FSH, ADH and calcitonin, so when destroyed or denatured, it’s going to affect the release of TSH, which will then affect the production of T4.
Iodothyronine deiodinase assists in the conversion of T4 to T3, and is very susceptible to destruction by mercury.  Are you one of every two Americans who have amalgam dental fillings, or have been bombarded with mercury containing vaccines?  If so, then this could partly be the reason for low T3 levels.

Well, we can’t leave out thyroid peroxidase, which is also affected by heavy metals; may also partly explain your Hashimoto’s disease.

Stress

Chronic stress not only affects the adrenal glands but also the thyroid. When under stress, the pituitary signals the release of ACTH, which instructs the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.  Cortisol requires tyrosine to be produced.

When that stress becomes chronic, and excess cortisol is produced, it depletes tyrosine levels, making it unavailable to the thyroid gland for production of its hormones.  Elevated cortisol also inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3.

Increased ACTH production also prevents the pituitary from releasing TSH.  In addition, chronic stress depletes chromium and zinc, both of which are needed for T4 production.

Mercury / Fluoride / Chlorine

Above we discussed mercury’s effect on Iodothyronine deiodinase and TPO.  Aside from this, mercury also directly affects thyroid function at a glandular level by over-stimulating the thyroid then decreasing its uptake of iodine, interfering with the synthesis of the hormones themselves.

Contrary to what your dentist may have told you, if you have amalgam fillings, every time you chew, it mercury vapors to be released from the filling, which is extremely toxic to not only the lungs, but easily crosses the blood brain barrier and can be catastrophic to the nervous system.

Another myth told by the ADA is that fluoride is needed to prevent cavities; not true.  Fluoride is also an enzyme inhibitor, replacing iodine in the thyroid gland as well as calcium in the bones.  Here’s a thought, if fluoride displaces calcium in the bones, how can that lead to healthy teeth?
Fluoride also is a neurotoxin and decreases melatonin secretion.  Question, do you also have trouble sleeping?  This may be one of the factors.

Chlorine is another chemical added to our water supply (like fluoride), as well as white flour and other food products.  Chlorine is also an enzyme inhibitor and displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.

Bromine/bromide is another highly toxic chemical that displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.  Bromine is used in bread making, as it helps the bread to rise.  Ironically, iodine used to be used for that purpose, but our government thought that people might get too much iodine, so they passed a law requiring bakers to use bromine instead.

Personal Hygiene Products

Most retail personal hygiene products are nothing more than chemical compositions that have catastrophic implications on your health, including your thyroid.  Whether it’s toothpaste/mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, perfume or even makeup, they’re all full of toxic chemicals that completely overwhelm the liver, are toxic to the nervous system and inhibit enzymes.

Many of them, like your contact lens solution and makeup you apply to your face contain mercury, which we’ve already addressed above.

Medications / Birth Control Pills

All medications, whether it’s Aleve or Advil for your migraines and joint pain, Statins for your elevated cholesterol, birth control pills to regulate your cycle or act as a contraceptive, antacids for your indigestion, allergy meds or any other drug in your medicine cabinet, they’re all highly toxic, inhibit enzymes and deplete essential nutrients.

Oral contraceptives are one of the biggest offenders, yet most Ob GYN’s will use scare tactics to force you into using them, like “They prevent breast cancer.”  In fact, the opposite is true, research suggests that they lead to breast and other female cancers.  As if your body is birth control pill deficient.

Oral contraceptives also deplete many of your anti-stress vitamins like vitamins B2, 6 & 12, and vitamin C, as well as tyrosine and zinc, which as stated earlier, are necessary for thyroid function, as is vitamin B6, and magnesium.

MedicationNutrients Depleted

Oral contraceptivesVitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C, tyrosine and zinc

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)Magnesium, vitamin B6 and zinc

AntidepressantsVitamin B2 and CoQ10 (a very powerful antioxidant)

TylenolGlutathione (the most powerful antioxidant, required for liver and thyroid function)

Anti-InflammatoriesFolic acid, iron, potassium, sodium and vitamin C

CorticosteroidsCalcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamins C & D and zinc

AntibioticsBiotin, inositol, lactobacillus acidophilus & bifidobacteria bifidum (both healthy gut flora), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 & K

Copper

Excess copper can be very inflammatory, affecting the joints, liver and even the thyroid.  Copper tends to build up in the thyroid gland, which can lead to a multitude of thyroid problems.

Copper is essential for the formation of the nervous system of a fetus.  Because an expecting mother’s need for copper is increased, most doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain more than twice the copper of other multivitamins.  That sounds logical, right?

Here lies the problem.  When a woman becomes pregnant, her body’s ability to absorb copper also increases.  Adding additional copper to her multivitamin can cause toxic levels to be circulating through her system, causing increased oxidation and leading to a slue of health problems like emotional & mental illness, brain fog, allergies, pain and inflammation, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, PCOS and amenorrhea, as well as liver and thyroid disorders and miscarriages.
If you’re using a copper IUD, you may want to reconsider.

What Should I Do?

As you can see from above, there are so many factors that can affect thyroid function, so the question is, “where should I start?”

You can start by incorporating some of the below.

  • Reduce stress.  Easier said than done, I know.  Try avoiding people who drain your energy, are negative, or just stress you out.  You can also try meditating, praying, etc.
  • If you’re on medications prescribed by your doctor, we cannot recommend you stop their use.  You can, however, talk to your doctor about potentially reducing your dose, and eventually weaning off if possible, including your birth control pill.  If this is not an option, you can try adding in the nutrients that the medication is depleting.  Always consult with your medical practitioner before doing so, however.
  • Remove all chemicals from your environment. Switch to natural household cleaners, including detergents, cleansers, etc.  Also switch to natural cosmetic products that are derived from oils, minerals, and herbs/flowers.  Throw out your synthetic fragrances like perfumes.
  • Filter both your drinking water and your shower to remove all chlorine and fluoride.
  • Avoid all processed foods.  You may also try eliminating foods you notice create inflammation within your body.
  • If you have amalgam fillings, you may want to consider having them removed. You may want to build your health before having them removed in order to better deal with the removal of mercury from your system.  If you have cancer, do not attempt to remove your amalgam fillings, as removal can be very toxic, which your system may not be equipped to deal with.

Figuring out for sure what’s causing your thyroid disease requires a great deal of detective work. Because your cause(s) are likely different than someone else’s, a truly bio-individualized approach is usually needed.

Unfortunately, not many practitioners, natural or conventional, fully understand all the factors that affect thyroid function in order to effectively reverse a thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic health imbalance naturally.

These are just some of the things we teach through our E3 Energy Evolved System  to our private online e3 Restore Members, that most doctors and natural practitioners aren’t considering. Restoring thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic health naturally is a bio-individual journey for everyone, that involves multiple applied sciences including experienced human body change leadership utilizing functional nutrition, and integrative mind-body-spirit work. 

If you’re in need of help, feel free to reach out to our team for information on how to schedule a Functional Nutrition & Metabolic Restoration Consultation + Labs Review.

We’ve personally & professionally corrected these health imbalances naturally, we’ve worked with 100’s of clients online, we accept a limited number of private e3 Restore Members each year during our open enrollment periods, and we would love to help you to restore your best thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic wellness to get your life back.

Damian & Heather

Hormones: A Women's Wellness Summit- Registration is Now Open!

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Just a few of our 35 features speakers!

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Love, Bridgit