Show Notes on How to fix hormone and fertility troubles:
Thank you for listening to Wholebeing RN Radio! Join me for this episode how to fix hormone issues and fertility troubles.
In this episode, we are talking about these key fertility and hormone points (you can scroll down to read the article if you prefer - will be added later today) :
- Hormone basics
- How do we spot hormone and fertility trouble?
- Where do fertility problems and hormone troubles come from?
- What does this bad estrogen do?
- How to fix it fertility, PCOS, and hormone troubles
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Free Wellness Tribe
- Wellness Tools (Supplement Brand Recommendations)
- Migraines Help
- Meditation Quickie
- 7- Day Spark (find freedom from food)
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If you need one-on-one help, please click here to select an appointment option.
How to improve your fertility and hormone balance...
It’s been a while since I have fully introduced myself, so I will take the time to do that now before we dive in head first into baby making. I’m a holistic wellness practitioner. I help people get to the root cause of their issue or illness or chronic disease and heal it. We don't do band-aids here. I have a master's degree in nursing and education and a whole host of other certifications (you can check out the list here). I follow the theory that optimal health is an experience of the mind, body and spirit.
My solutions and recommendations are rooted in science and evidence-based, no peddling snake oil here. I help my clients get off their blood pressure meds, turn around their diabetes, lose weight, get fit, get pregnant, get rid of acne, psoriasis, dandruff, dermatitis. I help get rid of chronic pain, heal autoimmune diseases, asthma, allergies, sinus troubles, migraines, candida, manage seizures, autism, epilepsy, mood disorders, Alzheimer's, acid reflux, and a whole host of other troubles.
One of the biggest questions I get asked is, "What's the difference between seeing you as my wellness practitioner and seeing a traditional allopathic M.D.?" The difference is that if you have high blood pressure, and you go to the doctor they're gonna put you on blood pressure medication and they'll keep you on that blood pressure medication forever. What I do is help you get off that blood pressure medication forever by finding out why you have high blood pressure to begin with. Th thing is, even simple issues like headaches, seasonal allergies, or skin issues aren't normal, so let's get to the bottom of why you are having that trouble. Enough about me, let's talk baby-making!
Let’s dive into today’s topic of fertility and how you can make sure you maintain your fertile myrtle business for optimal health. In order to get to the juicy stuff, I need to teach you a little about hormone basics, because it can be hard to understand some of the information around fertility if you don't have a base understanding of hormones in general. We are also going to talk about hormone troubles and how to spot them before you are at the “hey we are trying to get pregnant and can’t!” place.
Hormones are a combination of a bunch of things, but they're primarily fat and cholesterol based. When I say fat and cholesterol based, I mean the molecular chain of a hormone is cholesterol and fat. There are several different types of hormones, for our purposes, today we will be talking about androgens, estrogens and a few vitamins.
Let’s start with androgens, an example of an androgen would be testosterone. Testosterone is traditionally thought of as being a male hormone, but it's actually produced in both sexes in the adrenal gland. Some of the uses of androgens are to stimulate muscle growth and bone growth.
Also, there is estrogen, and estrogen is sometimes considered the opposite of androgen. Estrogen is traditionally thought of as a female hormone, but again, it is actually produced in both sexes. In both sexes, it's involved in the growth of long bones and of course in women, it's involved in menstruation and fertility and all kinds of lady-parts functionality.
Lastly, there are these vitamins that we call vitamins but are more accurately hormones. They are vitamins K, A, D, and E. An easy way to remember these are vitamin KADE. These are your fat-soluble vitamins and your body needs them for building healthy cells and producing hormones. Vitamins K, A, D, and E are very important for lots of functions in your body. Not just with hormones but also with essential minerals like magnesium and calcium and zinc. It's really important that you optimize the levels of these vitamins.
It's also important for you to know that as women it important to have a balance of estrogen and progesterone. They have to be counterbalanced, or balanced with each other. When estrogen gets too high, you get estrogen dominance, which leads to bloating, and decreased sex drive, irregular periods, headaches, mood swings. We’ll dive deeper into this in a little bit.
You also must understand that just like testosterone is only one type of androgen, there are also many types or sub-types of estrogen. There's not just estrogen. There is actually good estrogen and bad estrogen, or healthy estrogen and unhealthy estrogen. In fact there is much more than that but unless you want a fully advanced physiology discussion, I’ll strive to keep it simple.
Healthy estrogen is from our ovaries and it's either from our ovaries in a neutral state called estradiol or from our ovaries in a pregnancy state and then its called estriol. It's what gives women curves and breasts and youthful looking skin.
Unhealthy estrogen actually comes from our fat cells and/or it is absorbed by our body from external sources. Unhealthy estrogen causes bulges, mainly in the belly area also known as excess belly fat and its called estrone. This isn't new science or news that unhealthy estrogen causes us to fatten up. Farmers have known this for years and that's why they use synthetic estrogen to fatten their cattle and pigs for slaughter.
Often times women say, "Well, I don't take estrogen, so why do I have too much?" The truth is, and it's actually kind of sad, is that we are doing it to ourselves. It comes from what we put in our body and what we put on our body
How do we spot hormone and fertility trouble?
Moreover, how do we spot troubles, before they start or when they happen? How do we know that what we're experiencing, one, is not normal and two, is related to estrogen or related to our hormones?
Here are some clues:
Chronic inflammation is when your immune system finds something it doesn’t know, like, or trust and begins to turn itself on to fight it off, and the switch get stuck to the on position.
One, are you full of energy? Do you have skin trouble? Maybe it's cysts, maybe it's acne, maybe it's rashes, bumpy skin, sebaceous cysts even. Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Do you have headaches? Do you have mood disorders? Are you anxious, depressed? These are all signs of inflammation, believe it or not. These are signs of chronic low grade inflammation. And so, it's inflammation that's been hanging around for a while and it's starting to affect other areas of the body other than what it originally started for.
Irregular or absent periods
If you're not menstruating regularly and you are missing periods (and you aren’t pregnant or taking a medication to stop them), then this is a sign of hormone imbalance.
Getting all revved up and sweaty for no reason? Kicking the covers off all night? That is a sign of an brain starving for good estrogen. Well, actually it is starving for the glucose that estrogen used to help shuttle to the brain.
If you're waking up in the middle of the night and it looks like: you fall asleep and you stay asleep until two or three in the morning and then you wake up wide awake and can't go back to sleep or have a lot of trouble going back to sleep...generally that is a progesterone dip, which causes a quick flash of estrogen dominance and wakes you up. Good news it's a simple fix - so let me know if I can help!
Carrying weight in your lower half, around the midsection or below our belly button is a big sign there is some hormonal issues going on.
If you have migraines, this can be a sign of a hormone imbalance, especially if it is combined with some of these other symptoms. If you have migraines and you haven’t tried my Body Wisdom Method™to fix them, then grab this free Migraine download here to get rid of those migraines!
Dark Facial Hair
If you're somebody who gets dark facial hair. Even if you have dark hair, if you have dark facial hair and you have to wax your upper lip or your chin, those are cues that you are experiencing hormone imbalance.
Thyroid troubles can be a big red flag you are having some hormone issues. If you have symptoms of thyroid dysfunction would encourage you to have your doctor check your thyroid, and then look closer at that lab report because thyroid trouble is actually indicated by a much broader spectrum than say LabCorp's "normal range" would be. Just because your doctor says, "Nope. No, you're really ... your thyroid is within normal limits," I would deeply suggest having that looked at by someone who is more holistically and functionally minded.
Eating Too Much Fructose
Eating too much fructose (no matter the variety) causes your body to waste minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also interferes with the metabolism of copper. This leads to infertility among other health hazards.
Trouble Getting Pregnant
If you're having difficulty getting pregnant or if you have been told you have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) then that is a really big overt clinical sign that you're having a hormone imbalance. That means you have ignored all the other signs and landed here and now it's really time to stand up and take action.
Where do these fertility problems and hormone troubles come from?
Sugar, Carbs, Fructose
Our bodies make more estrogen when you eat too many processed and/or unbalanced carbohydrates. When you over consume carbs, insulin is excreted from the pancreas in response to sugar and carbs ingested. Insulin tells the body to store the carbs as fat, which causes our body to make more of the unhealthy estrogen or estrone for those fat cells.
Hormone troubles and infertility also comes from pesticides, so if you're eating a lot of non-organic produce, herbs, spices, coffee and using non-organic essential oils you are contributing to hormone troubles.
Anything that is non-organic contains pesticides which act as xenoestrogens in our bodies. Xenoestrogens are a subcategory or subclassification of endocrine disruptors that specifically act like estrogen in the body. This can come from pesticides and a few other sources I describe below.
It can come from plastics, and it is the same story as conventional produce, xenoestrogen mimics estrogen in the body and confuses the receptors for estrogen. It actually takes your natural estrogen's place causing build-up and leading to estrogen dominance. Avoid heating your food in plastic containers or drinking from plastic water bottles. If you must drink from a plastic water bottle, never drink it after you have left it in a hot car or the sun.
Another place you can get bad estrogen is consuming non-organic meat and poultry. More than 80% of cattle in the U.S. are raised with artificial hormones to help increase their growth rate and body mass, and these are a whole host of hormones like progesterone and estradiol and testosterone and a whole lot of other ones. They can actually cause serious health problems. They can lead to ovarian cysts and even cancers. Specifically ovarian, cervical and prostate cancer, just to name a few.
Soy, I can’t say enough times, “STOP eating soy.” Bad estrogen comes from soy, and I've warned you about this one before. Avoid soy. Avoid soy-containing products. Stop eating tofu, even if you're vegan. Get rid of the soy protein shakes (and stop giving them to your littles). Soy contains isoflavones which are changed in the body to phytoestrogens which again acts much like a xenoestrogen acts like the hormone estrogen in the body and leads to estrogen dominance.
Alcohol is a big source of the bad estrogen in your body. Alcohol increases the processing speed of androgens and estrogens in your liver. That's why men who are heavy drinkers often get gynecomastia and women who are heavy drinkers get what I call estrogen belly, which is a big bloated wine belly or keg belly. It's from drinking too much, and the over sped up processing of androgens into estrogens in the liver.
Household Products and Topical Products
Also, take a look at the topical products you use. There's lots of endocrine disrupters in topical products you find on the shelves of your laundry room and in bathrooms. I recommend using the Get Dirty app so that you can scan the labels on the products you use and find out which ones contain endocrine disruptors.
This is important for you. This is important for your mom. This is important for your kids, both males and females. A lot of people think that, "Oh, it doesn't matter if I wash my hands with this soap or if I use this shampoo or if I wash my clothes in this detergent." However, anything that comes in contact with your skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. Anything, so keep that in mind. Yes, that hand sanitizer you are soaking in 3 times a day is poisonous to your body.
What does this bad estrogen do?
We know what happens; you know, what are the signs and symptoms. We know where it comes from. How it's getting into our body. So what does the bad estrogen do?
Well, bad estrogen or excess estrogen causes PMS, excess fat around the midsection, around the hips. It causes difficulty in losing weight. It causes gallstones, varicose veins, uterine fibroids, cervical dysplasia, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, also PCOS. Infertility, facial hair, breast, uterine, prostate cancer. In short, it causes estrogen dominance.
I realize my audience is mostly women, but men can also have excess estrogen. It can cause some of these same problems, obviously minus the female organ problems. But it can also cause prostate inflammation, spare tires, gynecomastia in men and mood disorders in men, so that's something important to pay attention to in both men and women.
How do we fix hormone and fertility problems?
Eat a high fat, high in good fats, low carbohydrate, moderate protein diet. The reason why I say moderate protein is because a lot of people jump on the low-carb bandwagon and they eat nothing but meat all day in and out. Well, you know, meat, protein, once you go over a certain threshold which is different for every body, so if you need help with that let me know. But your protein threshold is different for every person, and so if you eat, if you get rid of all your carbohydrates and you're not eating enough fat and you're eating all of this protein then your body actually converts the leftover protein into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. Don't do that. You want to eat a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet.
You want to take care of your liver. Since the liver breaks down estrogen, alcohol consumption, drug use, that means over-the-counter or prescription, fatty liver disease and any other factors that impair healthy liver function also spur estrogen build-up. So take care of your liver.
You want to improve your gut health, and there should also be a bullet point there for supplements. You want to supplement for gut health and overall health. Bacterial imbalance in the gut and lots of other problems that compromise digestion interfere with the elimination of excess estrogen from the body via your digestive tract. The supplements you want to add for that; of course a good quality probiotic. You want to be at about 30 billion CFU on that probiotic. There are some specific strains that you can use to further enhance that, and then of course everybody's human suit a sufficient intake of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 as well as some other essential nutrients. Those not only support the breakdown and elimination of estrogen but they also aid in the function of the enzymes responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Be Careful What and How You Consume Things
You want to be mindful of what you consume and how you consume it. You want to avoid exposure to those xenoestrogens we talked about. Those come from plastics, cosmetics, even the birth control pill and of course those mimic the effective estrogens. They can be found in our water, our soil, and our food products, so use caution there. And of course avoiding soy, because there's a high concentration of some types of estrogen, so avoid any kind of soy that is unfermented like tofu, soy milk, and soy-based protein shakes.
Manage Your Stress
Of course, managing your stress because as the body responds to a high level of stress it sets a biologic cascade in motion that steals progesterone to manufacture the stress hormone cortisol which leaves an excess of estrogen and also increases your belly fat tremendously. And then of course sleep. Poor sleep habits cause a reduction in melatonin which is a helper hormone that can help protect against estrogen dominance, so you want to make sure you're getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Specifically About Fertility Issues
Many of the symptoms that go along hormone imbalance, estrogen dominance, or over estrogen production, or having too much of the bad estrogen in your body are some of the primary causes and associations infertility; inflammation, irregular periods, hot flashes, waking up in the middle of the night, belly fat, of course obviously difficulty getting pregnant, PCOS, migraines, dark facial hair, and thyroid trouble. If you're eating a bad diet, you're not producing enough progesterone, especially if you are eating a low fat and/or high carb diet.
As I mentioned, our hormones are molecules chained together by fat and cholesterol, they're actually made from cholesterol and fat. If you don't consume enough cholesterol and fat in the form of healthy fats, then your body actually pulls cholesterol from your endocrine system. When that happens, it's really impossible for our bodies to maintain normal levels of progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, DHEA and testosterone, which are all required to conceive or make a baby.
Let's talk specifically about PCOS, because that's probably one of the biggest complaints I see. Generally, signs that go along with PCOS ... most people have been diagnosed with this by their doctor, but are overweight. Generally, the weight is carried in the midsection, lower half of the body. They've tried to lose weight and they can't or it doesn't last. They have facial hair troubles, like we said. Dark hair on the upper lip and then of course irregular, absent menstruation. This happens, to be frank, because starch, sugar, caffeine increase androgen production which is a form of testosterone, or testosterone is a form of androgen. That's what leads to PCOS troubles.
So what do you do to fix it? Eat fat; coconut oil, quality animal fat, seafood, egg yolks. You cannot have, it just cannot happen, a proper hormone balance and certainly not one balanced enough to conceive without adequate amounts of saturated fat. Again, saturated fat and cholesterol increase the production of healthy hormones including thyroid hormones and it's the foundation of cell function. It helps us digest those fat soluble vitamins that I talked about at the beginning, KADE. Fat soluble vitamins K, A, D, and E which are essential to the formation of a healthy baby as well as your own health.
Most often people get themselves really wound up in the trying to make a baby process and the added sress does nothing but cause further imnlanaces. There are a couple energy medicine techniques you can use and you can always schedule an in-person or distance session.
The sacral chakra is home of all things sex organs and many hormones, using crystals and meditation is a great way to rebalance this chakra. It's important to note, that chakra balancing is a little like staying hydrated in that it is something you have to maintain and replenish. You can use citrus Essential Oils for your sacral chakra and think of crystals in the red to orange color category to work with your sacral chakra. This might be something like carnelian or orange calcite.
Often infertility and hormone imbalances are disturbances in the circulation-sex meridian, the triple warmer, and the kidney meridian. The flow can become constricted even by something as innocent as working hard to have a baby. You can energetically "loosen up" and re-tune these meridians by using sedating and then strengthening techniques with acupressure points and flushing of the energy flow.
A Note for when you get pregnant...
First off, CONGRATULATIONS! Send me a note and let me know! Second, many people think, "Well, okay. Great. So I've eaten this way for 90 days. I've taken all the precautions to get rid of bad estrogens. Yippe, now I've pregnant and now I can go back to eating crap." And that's actually not true. You gotta keep on having the fat and watching the sugar to have a healthy baby, okay?
To wrap up this fertility and hormones stuff...
Please know that you are not alone. I have given you the information you need to allow your body to heal. If you need any assistance, feel free to let me know. I can help. Balancing hormones is simple – no synthetic hormone replacement required.
Eat fat, sleep, move, take the supplements that your body requires to be healthy and if you can’t do it alone then get help. Oftentimes people struggle with the simple things like food cravings. There's a way to get around just about anything that you are struggling with in implementing this information.
As always, everything in life is a choice, you have the power in your life and existence to make that choice, you can choose to live better, to feel better, and to enhance your ability to make babies.
Ultimately you and the expression of you in your human suit is up to you and the choices you make, so work towards making good ones. In this instant gratification society, know that every choice you make in the right direction is progress, even if the two before or the one after isn’t the best choice.