The Power of Our Hormones and How To Balance Them
To say that hormones have an incredibly powerful effect on our perception and therefore the choices we make is an understatement. Hormones are actually a part of how we see the world. We use hormones not just to sleep, to procreate, or to respond to danger, but for almost every function of the body.
Our body is designed to be ready for anything. Different circumstances require a different combination of chemicals. Fear needs adrenaline, of course. When we meet someone we like, there is a different set of hormones secreted than when we meet someone we dislike.
A poorly working, imbalanced hormonal system makes it much harder to get through life. How can it be easy when you’re receiving inaccurate messages of how the world is interacting around you. Pretty much everyone is familiar with how PMS can change a woman’s view on life. Relationships, jobs, and life in general just don’t seem to work right when our hormones are disrupted.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are liquid chemical messengers that regulate many activities of the body. They signal biological processes from metabolism, growth, and maturation to sexuality and reproduction (and everything in between).
The endocrine system secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream. The primary glands of this system include:
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary gland
- Thyroid gland
- Parathyroid glands
- Adrenal glands
These organs are not the only organs that secrete endocrine hormones; the digestive system, the kidneys, the liver and bone also excrete endocrine hormones. In addition, hormones are secreted by the exocrine system. Cells in the body use hormones to communicate.
The primary medical problems that we associate with hormones are sexual and reproductive problems (ovaries, testes, adrenals), a slow or overactive metabolism (thyroid gland), poor blood sugar regulation (pancreas), stress related problems (adrenals), and sleep disturbances (pineal gland).
What Is a Hormone Imbalance?
We typically think of a hormone imbalance as PMS, but other hormonal health problems include diabetes, cancer, bipolar disorder, and the other 6,000 endocrine disorders that result from hormones not functioning properly due to overproduction, underproduction or disruption in delivery or utilization.
Many manmade chemicals are known endocrine disruptors that can affect development, the reproductive system, the immune system, and the neurological system. They are associated with various cancers (breast, prostate, thyroid, etc.), birth defects (including deformed limbs and sexual organs), learning disabilities, ADHD, and cognitive/brain development problems including lowered IQ, and fertility/reproductive problems. The greatest damage is done in utero.
Hormone disrupting chemicals are found in many products we use on a daily basis including cosmetics, body care products (soaps, shampoos, perfumes, deodorants, sunscreens, etc.), detergents and household cleaners, plastic bottles and food containers, pesticides and herbicides, metal food cans, mercury (in food and in amalgam fillings), phthalates (used to coat medications), flame retardants, PCBs (found in many things including paints, adhesives, and caulks, and wood floor finishes), DEHP (in food packaging)–the list goes on and on.
All of the horror stories we hear about chemical exposure and subsequent damage to the body relate back to hormone disturbances and how the chemicals interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its hormones. Too much or too little of any particular hormone is going to have a significant effect on the body. And yet, knowing this, the FDA continues to allow the dairy industry to pollute the milk supply with a growth hormone (rBGH)even though it has been banned in many other countries.
Our modern world is filled with hormone disrupters in the air we breathe (especially indoors), the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we put on our bodies (which are absorbed into the skin), and the products we use on a daily basis.
What Can We Do To Reduce Exposure to Hormone Disruptors?
There are many things we can do to lower our exposure to hormone disrupters: diet, the body care products and cleaning supplies we use, and other choices which affect our environment.
Choose organic. Organic foods minimize ingestion of pesticides and herbicides and eliminate GMOs, all of which disrupt hormones. Do not eat unfermented soy. Unfermented soy has enzyme inhibitors that severely disrupt estrogen.
Body Care Products
Again, choose organic. Soap, toothpaste, fragrances, shampoo, hairspray, deodorant, shaving cream, facial masks, acne treatment, sunscreen, topical medications–all can be purchased or made at home as a chemical free alternative to the commercial chemically laden products.
Organic or chemical free cleaners can easily be found at health food stores, but in reality what do you really need to purchase? You can clean nearly every surface in your home with vinegar or baking soda. Why buy expensive alternatives? Make sure your laundry cleaner and dish soap are chemical free as well.
Do not use chemical air fresheners. They have been linked to depression! Set out a bowl of vinegar; it will absorb odors. Or boil some orange peels on the stove. Take the time to find nontoxic paint and other home improvement items that will not poison the air. Carefully choose carpets, cabinets, upholstered furniture and last but not least–carefully choose your mattress! Open your windows and let the fresh air in!
Teeth, Vaccines, Stimulants, Birth Control and Candida
Teeth with mercury fillings, root canals, and cavitations can disrupt hormones. An overabundance of Candida in the gut disrupts hormone production. Birth control wrecks havoc on the hormonal system. Vaccines contain heavy metals and other preservatives that damage hormone production.
Related: Best Supplements To Kill Candida and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Fungal Infections
How To Eliminate / Detox Endocrine Disrupters From the Body and Balance the Hormones
Again, diet is the foundation for all health and is certainly the foundation for eliminating any unwanted chemicals from the body.
Choose an organic, whole food, nutrient-rich diet with as much variety as possible. A full 80% of your diet should consist of fresh, raw, organic produce – more vegetables than fruit. Meat must be organic! No artificial colorings, flavorings, or preservatives. No MSG, trans fats, or GMOs. Avoid processed foods altogether. Eat real food. Real food does not come in a box or a package. As much as possible, avoid foods in plastic wraps. If your food is transported home in plastics, remove it. Invest in glass storage containers (glass jars work just fine!) Do not buy canned foods.
Tap water has hormone-disrupting fluoride, pharmaceuticals, and a ton of stuff you don’t want in your body. The cleanest water is distilled. Yes, it is more acidic. Yes, it is devoid of minerals. Even so, given a choice of water available, it only makes since to start with distilled water for the cleanest, safest water possible. Check out What’s the Best Water for Detoxifying and for Drinking? and Inexpensive, Easy Detox – The One Gallon Challenge.
The right foods and great nutrition will continually aid the body in eliminating foreign materials, whether they are parasites, viruses, bacteria, yeast, heavy metals, or chemicals.
Green Lifestyle Market has a host of supplements that help balance the hormones depending on the health issues at hand. Most everyone can use a Candida Detox, and either Shillington’s Male Energy Formula or Shillington’s Female Formula.
- Shillington’s Male Energy Formula
- Shillington’s Female Balance Formula
- Formula SF722 – Thorne Research
- FloraMend – Thorne Research
- Basic B Complex – Thorne Research
- Hormones – Green Lifestyle Market