How to Safely Eliminate Estrogen

Last week, I talked about the estrogen production in the body and how the enzyme aromatase was a key player in regulating how much estrogen your body makes.  Once it’s made, it needs to be transported to the tissues and cells, for example reproductive tissue, bone, and brain, where it functions in a number of signaling pathways.

Estrogen (in the form of estradiol, and testosterone) is transported by a large protein called SHBG.  Think of SHBG as a school bus carrying lots of children (estrogens) to where they need to go, letting them get off when they should get off.  If the number of school buses is too low, then there are children loose all over the street­–this is not a good thing, so it’s important that we make enough SHBG.

What are some of the factors that result in not enough SHBG?  Fat fat cells.  Believe it or not, fat cells can be too fat, and when they are, they don’t work. If you remember, last week, I wrote about how VAT increases inflammation, which stimulates aromatase to make more estrogen.  When VAT cells are too fat, they contribute to insulin resistance and a rise in insulin levels, resulting in less SHBG (and chaos on the streets!). This means that excess fat can both increase estrogen and decrease SHBG.

If estrogen does arrive safely and does its job, in the liver, it then needs to be converted into an intermediate form, which is actually more dangerous to the body than free estrogen, and then it’s transformed into its final, safer form to be eliminated from the body through the feces.

The conversion process is one place where a surprising number of people can have problems.  For example, a process called methylation is carried out which adds a methyl group to estrogen.  Some people are poor methylators, either because of genetic variations in the genes responsible for this, or because of poor diet and the lack of nutrients needed.   As a result, besides the BRCA1 and 2 genes that are risk factors for developing breast cancer, genes involved in detoxing estrogen (COMT, CYP17, CYP1A1, GST) have also been implicated as risk factors for breast cancer.

If estrogens are safely neutralized, they’re transported via the bile to the feces to be excreted; however, the story is still not over.  Gut bacteria can produce an enzyme called b-glucoronidase that can transform the inactivated estrogen back into an active form that’s taken back up into the body.   The enzyme is more active in an unhealthy gut and constipation will also increase the chances of reuptake, which is why good digestion and elimination is so important.   Stress will also increase the activity of this enzyme.

So how do you ensure that you’re detoxing and removing estrogen safely?  Here are a few tips:

  • eat your cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower – they’re sulfur containing and produce something called I3C that is involved in estrogen detoxification and balance;
  • take high quality supplements  that support processes like methylation.  I carry a number of supplements that support healthy detox.  Contact me for recommendations;
  • eat a plant-heavy diet with lots of fiber to keep your digestion running smoothly and get any animal sources of protein from grass-fed, organic,  animals;
  • keep your gut bacteria healthy with a good probiotic.  I can offer you a number to choose from depending on your health situation;
  • keep or get your weight at ideal levels so that your fat cells work to maintain a positive impact on insulin, blood sugar, and inflammation.

If you’re struggling with your health because of hormone imbalances, I can help you make changes that will transform your health now and help you move into a healthy future.  Contact me to see if my support is a good fit for you.

Why Acne is More Than Skin Deep

The other day, I was on the elliptical machine at the gym and an infomercial came on for acne medication. When I went to the company’s website, it noted that there was no cure for acne.  If someone with problem skin read that, they may conclude that they’re doomed to years of breakouts and treating their skin with washes and creams and medications.

Well, have you ever heard the expression by Tony Robbins, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”?   This holds true for skin breakouts!

Because in most cases, I believe there is a ‘cure’ for acne and it begins with a mindset shift–from thinking it needs to be treated on the outside to understanding how to prevent it from the inside–and then making the changes necessary to prevent it .

Years ago, I had bouts of cystic acne and no matter what I used on my skin it didn’t help.  It wasn’t until I cleaned up my diet that the breakouts stopped.  And now if they ever show up again, I know it’s because of what I’m putting inside my body.

If not triggered by allergies to outside sources, many skin conditions like acne and eczema are usually caused by food sensitivities that irritate the lining of your gut, causing it to leak.   The rash or the breakout is simply your body’s way of detoxing and is a message that something is wrong inside.   The offending foods may also be contributing to hormone imbalances that can also trigger a breakout.

In addition, like so many personal care products, many acne creams have ingredients like parabens, BHT, fragrances, and propylene glycol that themselves can cause allergic reactions or even act as xenoestrogens and increase your body’s toxic load. While there are some acne treatments that are relatively safe, the Environmental Working Group’s site Skin Deep, lists a number of products that scored as high as 9 out of 10 with 10 being the highest for concern.

To minimize the occurrence of breakouts once and for all, there are four steps that need to be taken:

1.  Remove the offending foods from the diet

2.  Heal the gut

3.  Replace offending foods with gut-friendly foods that also balance hormone levels

4.  Replenish the bacterial flora and feed them to keep the gut strong and healthy

It sounds like a simple process; however, it can sometimes be a challenge to identify the foods and/or eliminate them, especially if they’ve become part of your everyday life.  Whether you’re struggling with a skin condition like acne or eczema, or know someone who is, I bet you or they would be thrilled to take control of the condition.  It begins with a conversation to determine where you’re at and where we need to go from there.   To learn more, contact me and we can talk about whether my support will give you the relief you need, once and for all.   You have nothing to lose and clear, beautiful skin to gain.

Image courtesy of Africa