Blog

Exploring the Menstrual Cycle: Common Concerns & How Birth Control Methods Work

Annex Naturopathic

Menstrual Cycle Facts | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Womens Health

Women often have many concerns surrounding their menstrual cycle.

Many women seek interventions and guidance to avoid pregnancy.

Other women may need support conceiving.

Some women struggle with painful, long periods, while other women go months to years without a period at all.

Needless to say, there are many physiological, anatomical and biochemical factors that contribute to a healthy menstrual cycle.

Too add to the complexity, there is variability in what is considered “normal” amongst women’s menstrual cycles.

Therefore, an individualized approach to care is essential in determining what factors may be problematic- and- what type of support will create the conditions for optimal women’s health.

The naturopathic doctors at Annex Naturopathic excel in helping women understand and regulate their cycles naturally.

This is especially helpful given that with conventional medicine, options may be limited to synthetic hormonal contraceptives.

The birth control pill is an effective form of contraception, however, it may not always be in line with patient preference or address the root cause of a women’s menstrual concerns.

Common menstrual cycle concerns and why they may be happening

  • Heavy period flow which may be caused by a relative excess in estrogen.
  • A woman does not get her period. Lack of menstrual cycles can be the result of various mechanisms.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Periods are infrequent, often spaced out longer than one month apart. A combination of factors which includes elevated testosterone and high blood sugar and high insulin which reduces ovulation (egg release) and frequency of menstruation.
  • Dysmenorrhea: painful periods which may be caused by a general inflamed state and a relative excess of estrogen.

Differentiating contraceptive methods

  • The Oral Contraceptive Pill. Most are estrogen and progestin containing. Ovulation is inhibited because of the synthetic hormones. The pill also allows for thicker cervical mucus which makes the the uterus impenetrable to sperm. The placebo pills (at the end of the pill pack) cause uterine lining to shed due to drop in hormones in the body.
  • Transdermal Patch: Same mechanism as pill. The patch is worn for 3 weeks and taken off for one week.
  • Nuva Ring. Same mechanism as the oral contraceptive pill. The ring is put in for 3 weeks, removed for one week.
  • Mirena IUS/ Jaydess IUD (Intaruterine Device/System). This device sits in the uterus, and a low continuous dose of progestin is secreted. Ovulation may or may not occur. The progestin thickens the cervical mucus (which makes the uterus impenetrable to sperm), and the presence of the IUD makes the uterus inhospitable to fertilization and implantation.
  • Copper IUD. There are no hormones secreted by this IUD. It works by making the uterus inhospitable to fertilization and implantation.
  • Barrier methods. Prevent entry or sperm.
  • Fertility awareness. This involves consciously tracking the timing of the menstrual cycle combined with temperature and cervical mucous monitoring.

Birth Control Concerns | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Womens Health

Factors that affect your cycle and contraceptive methods

  • When cortisol, the stress hormone is high, the hypothalamus in the brain sends signals to decrease sex hormone production.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances. Estrogen is recycled back into circulation in the gut by healthy gut bacteria. When there is a significant change in gut flora- which can happen because of antibiotic use, or gastrointestinal infection- the hormone balance can shift and the menstrual cycle may to.

REMEMBER: The best contraceptive method

  • Is the one you use consistently.
  • Encourages enjoyable sex and reduces stress.
  • Resonates with you and has minimal side affects.

For any reason you have concerns regarding your menstrual cycle, birth control methods or fertility, come see one of the NDs at our clinic.

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


To get additional information on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: downtown toronto naturopath

Advertisements
Uncategorized

How to Make Suppositories

Take a jar of coconut oil and place the jar in a bowl of hot water if it is solid and if it is not in a liquid state already.

Pour the coconut oil into a bowl and begin adding powdered herbs to the oil until a dry pie dough consistency is reached.

Do not pour all of the powder into a bowl and then pour your whole jar of coconut oil in because you could either have too much or too little oil and have to order more powder or go back to the store for another jar of coconut oil.

Neither use all of your coconut oil or all of your powder, so you can always add more of either.

Once you have your mixture in a consistency that is easy to shape, form the herb mixture into the size and shape of the suppository you desire.

Take into consideration the size of the opening into which it will be inserted and shape one end into a rounded point for easy insertion. A bullet or acorn shape is good and allows you to have one end flat.

Once you have finished shaping your suppository, stand the flat side on a piece of wax paper, stainless steel, or glass plate and refrigerate them.

Refrigeration will make them hard. Once they are hard you can quickly put them into a cold jar and return them to the refrigerator for storage. A pre-refrigerated jar is perfect and will prevent a melt.

Just before bed, take one suppository out of the refrigerated jar returning the others immediately to the fridge. Hold the suppository between your fingers for just a few seconds (the coconut oil will begin to melt).

Lubricate the opening of the body orifice and insert the suppository into the area you want to benefit from the herbs and coconut oil.

The herbs will disperse as your body temperature causes the coconut oil to melt. If you are in a reclining position, the herbs will tend to stay in the area where you placed them whereas if you are standing, gravity will tend to allow them to run out.

Use one suppository each night until your condition is corrected.

Organic Herbs, Oils and Natural Products for Healthy, Natural Living

Starwest Botanicals is who we trust as our on-line supply source for bulk herbs and natural products. Dried herbs, organic herbs, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas, organic essential oils and aromatherapy supplies are part of the nearly 3000 natural products to choose from at Starwest Botanicals.

Great herbs, oils and other natural products at great prices from a name we here at NHH trust! Learn more about StarWest Botanicals!

Save

Blog

Having Irregular Periods? You May Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Annex Naturopathic

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome | Annex Naturopathic Clinic Toronto Naturopath

As one of the top naturopathic clinic in Toronto, we have a special focus in treating women’s health issues.

We often discover that a significant amount of women today find themselves having irregular periods.

The cause can be for many reasons.

Although today we are going to discuss one important cause that women should be aware of – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS is a “syndrome” which is different than a disease. A disease is a pathological process that is well defined by what is causing it and the symptoms it causes.

On the other hand, a “syndrome” is a collection of symptoms we see together that are not necessarily caused by the same problem.

PCOS has symptoms relating to hormonal imbalances and problems with metabolism (how our body uses it’s fuel).

PCOS is very common in women of child bearing years. As many as 1 in 10 women fit the criteria for diagnosis.

Women with PCOS will have a varying degree of symptoms.

Symptoms of PCOS

1. Irregular periods. Few or no menstrual periods over a the span of a year.

2. Changes in hair growth. Excess hair on the face, chest, back, stomach. Thinning head hair.

3. Breakouts that become inflamed.

4. Women who have PCOS may have difficulty getting pregnant.

5. Weight gain. Difficulty achieving ideal weight, even with diet and exercise.

Why does PCOS happen?

These are a few of the factors that influence the development of PCOS.

1. There is several genes associated with PCOS. If a pregnant mother had PCOS, her daughters have a significantly higher risk of developing PCOS.

2. Insulin resistance and obesity. When blood sugar is high, insulin (the hormone responsible for helping the body use and store sugar) doesn’t work well.

The ovaries are very sensitive to insulin resistance and in response they don’t produce the appropriate amount of hormones necessary for ovulation and the body has too much testosterone circulating.

3. Exposure to “Endocrine-disrupting” chemicals. Chemicals like BPA found in plastics alter the activity of sex hormones.

BPA is know to interact with estrogen receptors which will decrease the bodies ability to ovulate.

Irregular periods and PCOS | Annex Naturopathic Clinic Toronto Naturopath

Treatment of PCOS

Conventional Approaches include regulating the cycle through use of oral contraceptives, regulating blood sugar with medications like metformin and fertility treatment if the individual is having difficulty conceiving.

How Annex Naturopathic Clinic approach PCOS

Naturopathic doctors look at addressing the root causes of PCOS and treatment is revolved around naturally restoring hormonal balance through:

  1. Dietary and exercise recommendations that reduce insulin sensitivity and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.
  2. Nutritional supplementation that encourages insulin sensitivity and hormone balance.
  3. Herbal medicine that gently and effectively balances hormones and metabolism.
  4. Bioindentical hormones therapy if appropriate.

If you’re concerned with hormonal irregularities, come see us at Annex Naturopathic Clinic for a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan to help your body get back in balance.

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


To learn additional info on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: ontario naturopath

Blog

Botanical of the Month – St. John’s Wort

Annex Naturopathic

St. John's Wort | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

As a naturopathic clinic and dispensary, we like to educate our patients on how to take in local herbs and foods as part of their lifestyles for long term health.

Each month we’ve been highlighting a local, seasonal, Ontario herb in order to help you understand and familiarize yourself with useful medical herbs and foods that grow in our backyards.

Last month we looked at Red Clover

This month we take a look at St. John’s Wort.

What is St. John’s Wort?

St. John’s Wort is a common plant that has been naturalized in North America, and can be found in Ontario (easier to find in North of Toronto).

Hypericum perforatum displays beautiful yellow flowers from June to August.  It grows up to 1 meter high and has small, oval leaves which may have small black dots.

The flowers contain glands that when the fresh flowers crushed, will stain a dark vibrant red-purple colour, representing one of the key chemical ingredients of the plant, hypericin. 

This colour is greatly represented in tincture and oil extracts of St. John’s WortI saw an abundance of this gorgeous plant on a relaxing camping trip in the Lake Superior region, and is one of the most common herbal remedies I use in practice.

Parts Used: Aerial parts, bud and flowers (dried and fresh)

Uses of St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is not typically eaten but is used for medicine.  It has a number of different medicinal uses and has a strong affinity to the nervous system.

Traditionally, when taking internally, St. John’s Wort has been used as a sedative to treat nervous anxiety, and also is used to treat neuralgic pain.

Externally it’s used as an anti-inflammatory to treat sunburns, promote wound healing, treat bruises, and viral skin eruptions (ie Shingles).

Hypercum perforatum has been traditionally used to “clear liver heat” making it a useful remedy for liver inflammation (hepatitis).

Depression

There has been extensive research on the anti-depressant properties of St. John’s Wort, with many clinical trails exhibiting the benefit of this herb in the treatment for depression.

This plant has been found to provide anti-depressant actions, and though hypericin, pseudohypericin, and hyperformin are the most-studied chemical constituents of St. John’s Wort, many other constituents in this herb have also been found to have this property.

Isolating and administrating one constituent alone does not seem to provide the same anti-depressant effect as using the whole plant.  It is possible the combined (synergistic) action of many chemical constituents in this plant is what is responsible for the strong influence on the neurological system.

Flavonols and xanthines are other constituents found to have anti-depressant activity.  This is a beautiful representation of the importance of wholism where the entire plant is the of value, not only one microscopic ingredient of the plant.

St. John’s wort has been found to affect neurotransmitter activity by inhibiting reuptake of serotonin, GABA, noradrenaline, dopamine and L-glutamate.  Hypericum perforatum also inhibits binding of these neurotransmitters to their receptors.

This is a similar mechanism to how prescription anti-depressants work – inhibiting reuptake and binding.   Hypericum perforatum also appears to inhibit the activity of enzymes important in mood, such as monoamine oxidase (MAO-A and MAO-B), and catechol-O– methyltransferase (COMT), both involved in neurotransmitter processing and elimination.

St John’s Wort also is considered an anti-inflammatory –  increased levels inflammation have been strongly associated with  depression, and the anti-inflammatory action of St. John’s Wort presents another reason for the strong anti-depressant property of this herb.

Infections

Hypericum perforatum has been found to be active against a number of  bacterial microorganisms, but it’s most powerful effect appears to be against viruses.

The anti-viral action  is specific to enveloped viruses, possibly through preventing the fusing of the viral envelope to the host cell.

Enveloped viruses include herpes viruses, varicella zoster (chicken pox and shinges) virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-bar (mononucleosis, “kissing”) virus, hepatitis virus, HIV and many other viruses.

St. John's Wort Botanical | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

Ways to take St. John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum is commercially available to take in a standardize capsule containing an alcohol extract of the herb, typically with a specific dose of the constituent hypericin.

This is the form that has been used in many clinical trials that have shown great benefit of this herb in the treatment of depression.

It is also efficacious in tincture form.  This is my preferred method, as less processing of the herb, preserves the essence and energy of the plant.

An oil can be made fresh flowers and leaves and to be used topically as an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.

Teas and decoctions are also made from this plant and may be best used for its anti-inflammatory, astringent and pain-relieving effects.

Clinical trails have shown alcoholic extracts of St. John’s Wort being most efficacious for treating depression, so the tea may not be the best choice if being used for this condition.

Caution

Do not use St. John’s Wort without consulting a physician who is familiar with herbal medicine.

Never combine St. John’s Wort with anti-depressant medication as this can potentiate the effect of the medication, potentially leading to overdose symptoms.

This plant increases the activity of a liver enzyme called CYP3A4, involved with phase 1 liver detoxication so should not be taken if on medication that is metabolized by this enzymes as it can reduce the efficacy of the medication.

Hypericum perforatum can potentially (though rarely) cause photosensitivity in susceptible individuals, causing skin redness, so be cautious of this effect and discontinue if it occurs.

If you’re curious about whether this herb might be suitable for you, feel free to contact us for an appointment.

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


References: 

  1. Hoffman D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2003.
  2. World Health Organization. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants, Volume 2, World Health Organization, 1997
  3. King, J. King’s American Dispensatory. Ohio Valley Company, 1898

To read additional ways about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: naturopathic

Blog

How To Treat Chronic Headaches With Diet & Lifestyle Changes

Annex Naturopathic

how to treat chronic headaches | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

I can’t count how many times a patient has come in to our naturopathic doctor clinic with one complaint, and only when asked, they non-chalantly mention they suffer headaches on a daily basis: “but I just take Tylenol and it goes away”, or “it’s normal for me”, or “I’ve had them all my life”.

Let me just set something straight: Headaches are not normal, and the source should be treated.

What are headaches?

A number of medicine-based websites define “headache” as any pain of the neck and head area.

Simple definitions equals simple treatments right? Pain=painkiller?

If I were to rewrite that definition, I would probably add that “headaches are a symptom of a underlying cause.”

Even reputable medical resources don’t recognize the cause for common headaches, only really delving in to what drugs may suppress the pain.

Finding the cause of any symptom is the essence and root of treatment, and finding and treating cause may enable one to be rid of all these nasty symptoms.

What are the causes of headaches?

We want to make sure that the causes are not life-threatening or serious.

Your healthcare provider will determine this through a thorough intake of the history and character of the headaches,  as well as a physical examination of your neurological system.

If there are any warning signs, you will be referred for blood tests and possibly CT or MRI scans of the head.

If everything is clear, your healthcare practitioner will categorize your headache based on its characteristics.  These include:

  • Cluster
  • Tension
  • Migraine
  • Chronic daily headache – Types included in this are: chronic migraine, chronic tension-type, new daily persistent, and hemicrania continua, all defined by the type of pain.

Chronic daily headaches are the most common headaches experienced by people and are the focus of this article.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 1 out 20 adults suffer from these types of headaches every day.

Its causes can be broken down to the basics: diet, lifestyle and nutrition.  Some causes of common headaches include:

  • Stress
  • Poor dietary habits, and conditions associated such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure)
  • Smoking
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle tension – posture
  • Eyesight
  • Poor sleep
  • Food allergies

Now does it make sense that popping 4-8 painkillers a day would target these causes?

It may temporarily decrease the pain, but the underlying causes are still there.  Diet provides the basis of the environment by which your body functions, and a poor diet only causes poor bodily function.

Things like coffee, soda, pop, and fast foods are not only dehydrating and lack nutrients, but can spike blood sugar levels after consumption, and consequently cause insulin levels to rise.

When insulin rises, it causes a massive drop in blood sugar, leading to blood flow changes to the brain, causing headaches.

A poor diet also makes one susceptible to high blood pressure (a leading cause of headaches), thereby increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Refined sugars can also cause hormone imbalances (such as cortisol and epinephrine) leading to problems with stress, sleep, and energy.

Stress can also cause tightening of the neck and shoulder muscles, as well as increasing blood pressure, both of which contribute to recurring headaches.

Headaches can be a good indicator that it may be time to improve your dietary habits to prevent chronic disease.

A diet full of junk not only has negative effects on blood sugar, but also causes havoc on your gastrointestinal system.

The intestinal lining is often damaged due to poor nutrition, leading to food sensitivities and decreased nutrient absorption.

Also, the good bacterial flora is often compromised, and the increased sugars feed unwanted microbes such as yeast, allowing them to grow and cause gastrointestinal problems.

Food allergies can manifest in a number of different ways, such as skin conditions, asthma, allergies, and more.

But more often than not, symptoms could be as unclear as fatigue and headaches.

ways to treat chronic headaches | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

Ways treat headaches

As you can see, these are several reasons why headaches may be a good indicator of your overall health.

A good diet not only prevents and treats all that was mentioned above, but also improves the health of your adrenal glands (and cortisol release) allowing you to cope with stress efficiently, decreasing your future risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Naturopathic doctors are skilled in determining these causes as well as implementing treatments that can reverse these effects, without the use of synthetic pain killers.

Diet and lifestyle modifications are essential to all aspects of health, and while they improve, so do the headaches.  Here are a few tips for preventing headaches during the day:

  • Keep hydrated – drink AT LEAST 6 cups of water a day
  • Decrease snacks and drinks loaded with refined sugars (candy, pop/soda, etc)
  • Make sure to be replenished with proper electrolytes, especially after strenuous exercise
  • Reduce coffee consumption to 1x/day and replace extra cups with lower-caffeinated teas such as green tea
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Relieve stress through mediation, exercise, spend time with those whose company you enjoy
  • Take breaks from your computer during the day to relieve eye strain
  • Get fresh air
  • Ensure your digestion is working optimally – weak digestion equals poor absorption of nutrients, where deficiencies can lead to headaches

Naturopathic doctors can also perform treatments that provide symptomatic relief to headaches while we are improving the diet, such as acupuncture, botanicals and homeopathic medicines.

Please contact your healthcare provider if:

  • If you experience an abrupt, severe headache (feels like a Thunderclap)
  • If you’re present with fever, stiff neck, numbness, tingling, visual disturbances, confusion, trouble speaking
  • Associated with seizures
  • Progressive headaches, associated with cough, or exertion
  • Progressive headaches after a head injury

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


References:

  1. World Health Organization [homepage on the Internet]: World Health Organization (WHO); c2010 [updated 2004 March; cited 2010 Feb 2].Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/
  2. The Mayo Clinic [homepage on the Internet]: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER); c1998-2010 [updated 2009 June 23; cited 2010 Feb 2]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-daily-headaches/DS00646/DSECTION=symptoms
  3. Beers MH, Porter RS, Jones TV, Kaplan JL, Berkwits M, editors. The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. 18th ed. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck Research Laboratories; 2006.
  4. Gardner, L. and Reiser, S. “Effects of Dietary Carbohydrate on Fasting Levels of Human Growth Hormone and Cortisol.” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. 1982;169:36-40.
  5. Wright RJ, Frier BM. Vascular disease and diabetes: is hypoglycaemia an aggravating factor? Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2008 Jul-Aug;24(5):353-63

To see additional information on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: holistic naturopath

Blog

How To Treat Estrogen Dominance Through Diet And Lifestyle

Annex Naturopathic

How to treat estrogen dominance | Annex Naturopathic Clinic Toronto Naturopaths

Estrogen dominance is a sinister hormone imbalance that typically isn’t caused by one single factor.

Our previous two articles – What Are The Causes of Estrogen Dominance?, and Estrogen Dominance: The Hormone Imbalance You’re Told You Don’t Have – outlined the main reasons why someone may have estrogen dominance and the health conditions associated with having poor estrogen metabolism.

Understanding that liver health, diet, inflammation and environmental exposures all play a crucial role in your estrogen health, here are a few simple changes you can make in order to optimize your estrogen status

1. Support liver health

We have a whole article on why liver health is important, and now we know that liver health is also important in preventing estrogen dominance.

Improve your liver health by eating clean, emphasizing consumption of bitter leafy greens, drink a good amount of water and reduce your toxin load by reducing preservative-laden foods.

2. Eat Brassicae family (Cabbage) vegetables

This food group is particularly important in estrogen dominance.

Brassicae family vegetables contains a compound called Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which has been found to favour healthy phase 1 conversion of estrogen to 2-OH-estrogens in women, which we know is protective against estrogen dominant conditions, while decreasing other metabolites (16-OH-estrogens), known to exacerbate estrogen dominant conditions (1-3).

This group of veggies are a great source of fibre, which is also great for binding and clearing estrogens, contain tonnes of antioxidants that help protect the liver against oxidative damage.

Members of this family include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kale
  • Rutabaga
  • Rapini
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bokchoy
  • Collard Greens

I always suggest lightly cooking these vegetables before consuming – raw forms can be hard on the stomach and can also slow down thyroid function.

3. Reduce stress

Practicing stress-relieving activities is good for overall health.

The stress hormone cortisol, when secreted in excess, will alter blood sugar metabolism – increasing glucose and insulin.

High insulin states perpetuate inflammation, and promote obesity, two risk factors for estrogen dominance.

Imbalanced cortisol on its own has been linked to higher inflammatory states.  Progesterone, the hormone that balances estrogen and regulates its effects, is also lowered by high cortisol and inflammation.

Try reducing stress by exercising, practicing mediation and mindfulness.

You can read more about how to reduce stress from a previous article.

How to treat hormonal imbalance | Annex Naturopathic Clinic Toronto Naturopaths

4. Eat clean meats and reduce meat consumption

Diet full of poor quality saturated fat and trans-fats promote inflammation – poor quality meats tend to be riddled with high amounts of these type fats.

Animals fed grain and corn aren’t as lean and tend to be fed antibiotics and injected with hormones to increase their weight for greater profit.

These added chemicals not only increase the chemical load on our body when we consume these foods, the added hormones add estrogen to our bodies, promoting estrogen dominance!

Go with grass-fed, pasture-raised meats, or at least try to pick meats that are raised hormone and antibiotic-free.

Compounds found in well-cooked meat (heterocyclic amines and metabolites) can bind to and active estrogen receptors (4).To control levels of inflammation related to increased meat consumption, try eating 4-5 ounces, high quality red meat 1-2x a week, poultry up to 3x/week, and fish 2-3x/week.

Focus on legumes and eggs to fill the protein for the rest of your meals.  If you go with soy, pick organic soy, and eat 1 cup cooked 1-2x/week for a balanced phytoestrogenic effect.

Dairy should be avoided as many people are sensitive to dairy and it’s proteins (not just lactose), and milk from pregnant cows are very high in estrogen.

If you choose to eat dairy, go for ethically raised, organic cheeses and yogurt as they are better for the digestion, and stay away from liquid milk forms as a whole.

5. Avoid chemical products

As we saw, there are a number of chemical compounds that mimic estrogen in the body, increase aromatase, are liver toxic, and in general are carcinogenic.

Chemicals specifically found to lead to estrogen-dominant conditions, specifically cancers, include (4):

  • Found in cosmetic products and soaps:
    • metalloestrogens such as aluminum salts
    • parabens
    • cyclosiloxanes
    • triclosan (found in hand sanitizer)
    • phthalates
    • musk
    • UV sunscreens
  • Plastic packaging:
    • Styrene – a widely used plastic for food packaging
    • Bisphenol-A (BPA): the WORST – found to activate aromatase, lower progesterone effect, bind and activate estrogen

6. Balance your progesterone

Many women are walking around with low levels of progesterone, typically due to stress – which could be the biggest reason why estrogen dominance is present.

Symptoms of low progesterone include

  • PMS symptoms such as depression (intense), breast tenderness in the upper outer quadrants of the breast, acne, migraines and night sweats
  • Pre-menstrual spotting or spotting throughout the cycle (breakthrough bleeding)
  • Many women come in feeling that their PMS symptoms start long before 1 week before their menstrual flow – typically starting right after ovulation. This is a classic sign progesterone deficiency.

If you suspect that you might have estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency, or you’re unsure, book with one of us – we are able to provide a thorough assessment on your hormonal health.

We also offer testing to assess estrogen dominance through measuring the different estrogen metabolites (such as 2-OH, 4-OH, 16-OH) through urine testing.

If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1
https://goo.gl/maps/uVRBvcyoUa62


References

  1. Rogan EG. The natural chemopreventive compound indole-3-carbinol: state of the science. In Vivo. 2006 Mar-Apr;20(2):221-8.
  2. Michnovicz JJ. Changes in levels of urinary estrogen metabolites after oral indole-3-carbinol treatment in humans. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1997 May 21;89(10):718-23.
  3. Reed GA., et. al. A phase I study of indole-3- carbinol in women: tolerability and effects. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1953-60.
  4. Fucic A et. al. Environmental exposure to xenoestrogens and oestrogen related cancers: reproductive system, breast, lung, kidney, pancreas, and brain. Environ Health. 2012 Jun 28;11 Suppl 1:S8

To see more ideas about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: holistic doctor toronto