Are plastics playing Hormone Havoc with you?

Are plastics playing Hormone Havoc with you?

Last week I went to watch my son at his swim carnival.  I had run out of my water and had to reluctantly buy some water.  I really hate having to buy water.  Not only because it usually is so overpriced, but more so because I don’t know what I am getting. 

Once again, the quality of the water is a whole new post, but this one is about the plastic the water is contained in.  The bottle could be made from BPA plastic – and we’ve all seen the advertising stickers on the kid’s plastic containers – BPA Free – but did you know that the alternatives are not much better either. 

I tell all my ladies, no plastic.  It must go.

Let’s get into this a wee bit deeper.

First of all, why not plastic?

Plastic is just one form of a huge number of endocrine disrupters.  What does that mean, endocrine disrupter?  Well, when this part of the plastic gets into your body it will create hormone havoc.

Anything from blocking your natural hormones, to making them go either faster or slower.  And when I say hormones – I’m talking about all of your body’s hormones that run you.  Not just the sex hormone, Oestrogen.  And by the way, did you know that oestrogen hormones have a protective role on your brain?

So, this is an important right, because after menopause, when you think you’re ‘done with all that it’s important to keep your brain clear and vibrant, after all, it rules the rest of your body.

So, it seems that BPA, Bisphenol A can be found in plastics used for food and drink packaging, water bottles, infant bottles, CD’s, impact-resistant safety equipment and medical devices, and thermal receipt paper.  Who handles their receipts or works in a shop?

BPA is also epoxy resin and it can be found in coatings in food cans, bottle tops, water supply pipes and some dental composites and sealants. Please ask your dentist next time what he is putting in your mouth, be prepared for what you will hear.  I do recall actually having porcelain used on my teeth instead of composite for this very reason.

But, there has been a big push to change the use of BPA for a non-BPA alternative.  You would have seen the stickers like on the kid’s school lunch boxes and drink bottles saying they are BPA free.  This is BPS plastic.  According to a pubmed article of 2018, this area is totally unregulated in replacing BPA, and it has been detected in water, sediment, sewage sludge and stool, urine and blood, of people, at concentrations that are generally lower than BPA, but still as abundant and widespread. 

While it hasn’t been long enough for a lot of studies, there is some evidence that these are still an issue as an endocrine disrupter.

So what to do?

Remove as much plastic as possible, go for stainless steel, glass or bamboo. 

Don’t cook or heat in plastics, and certainly don’t use plastic wraps on food when you microwave them.

If you’ve bought a water bottle like me, because you couldn’t last another minute without water, then dispose of it after the first use, do not wash and recycle, they are one use only.  Heating can start to break down the plastic.  Also, when buying that nice cold water, just think that possibly it was on a hot truck driving across the Nullabor and is already potentially heat damaged.

Store cooked items in glass or stainless steel. If you need to use plastic for storage, then make sure your food is completely cooled down first.  I do recall reading how even freezing can impact your food that has been frozen in plastic.

The bottom line, get rid of it as much as possible.

f you’d like to know more, you are welcome to join my free membership on facebook. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

 

Inspiring Wellness

Beth 

 

 

References:

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/index.cfm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5821402/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5821402/

A Wonky What? COMT Gene & Oestrogen

A Wonky What? COMT Gene & Oestrogen

This gene can be quite the problem with both your adrenals and your most well-known female hormone, Oestrogen. 

Before I jump in, what is a gene?

A gene tells the body to make an enzyme which then directs a chemical reaction. If that’s a bit too much to think about, then in a more simplistic way, visualise one of those domino cascades that you see.  You start the push over with your finger (that’s the gene) then the dominos (the enzymes) and at the end the last domino it sends a ball rolling and that is like the chemical reaction.

I’m going to jump straight into the nitty gritty of this particular gene, because I hear it often expressing itself in the symptoms of my clients. 

If you have had horrible experiences with your periods, heavy periods, I mean, change your pad or tampon every 30 mins or wake to find you have slept in a blood bath and have to put your sheets on soak in the middle of the night.  Or when you go to the toilet, there are big clots left on your pad or fall into the bowl.  That kind of heavy.

And your belly feels as if it’s dragging on the ground and the pain is unbearable.  You just wanna lie on the couch with a hottie and cancel your day.  You may have even been told you have fibroids or endometriosis.

Also you have lumpy sore breasts, fluid retention and weight gain before your period and you’re also feel low and moody.

This can be a sign of Oestrogen dominance.  If you have read my blogs on Progesterone you will have learned that Progesterone and Oestrogen cohabitate in a balance, and if progesterone is low, particularly due to stress, then Oestrogen will naturally be high. 

This scenario has a similar outcome, but the cause is different. It is a Gene with an acronym named COMT.

This stands for Catechol-O-Methyltransferase. 

This big name breaks down the two different ways that this gene works.

One way works on Oestrogen and the other way is with your sense of achievement and Adrenals.  I’ve covered Adrenals in another blog.

Before I continue, I just need to take you back one step. 

Each one of our inherited genes is a pair.  One half from our Mum and the other from our Dad. 

Research is amazing and has discovered that there are common faults in our genes.  This fault is referred to a snp.  Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. I prefer to call it a ‘wonky gene’ for ease.  They usually slow or speed up the function of the enzyme that they code to make.

What is interesting is that the same wonkiness is the same for many people and not only that, some genes can be wonky without having any difference to the functioning of the body and yet there are some significant ones, of which COMT is one.

So, what does COMT do?  Well, for the heavy periods, fibroids and endometriosis, I mentioned before, that is a sign of a slow enzyme.  This means that Oestrogen is not able to break down very well and is being backed up or becomes ‘dominant’. 

Usually clinical symptoms will let us ‘hear’ this enzyme. Testing your genes also gives us the exact outcome of the snp, and you can also find this information from a DUTCH, (Dried Urine test for Comprehensive Hormones), which is an optional test to consider in my Hormone Harmony Method. In the DUTCH test we can learn how your Oestrogen is clearing, by assessing the metabolites, which is the broken-down parts of Oestrogen that is cleared by the body.

Not only do you then have an issue with the self-regulating of your natural Oestrogens, throw into the mix a little bit (quite a lot usually) of stress which will then lower your progesterone, remember that when progesterone gets stolen to help make cortisol when we are stressed, then this gets lower.  Also, there is so many environmental factors these days that attribute to Oestrogen dominance, in that, once they are ingested, they accommodate the same receptor sites that Oestrogen normally do, with a net result of high Oestrogens.

Once Oestrogen dominance has been established, then look at…

  1. Is stress a major contributor?
  2. Are environmental toxins a major contributor?
  3. Do you have a wonky COMT gene?

If you’d like to know more, you are welcome to join my free membership on facebook. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

Beth 

The Worrying Impact of Stress on Female Hormones

The Worrying Impact of Stress on Female Hormones

I’ve spoken in my last post (Most common reasons Women have low Progesterone) how progesterone can be lowered and one of those reasons was because of a stress hormone called Cortisol and how extreme exercise and stress will lower Progesterone.

Having the odd Adrenaline surge is okay, oddly this can be good stress, is called U-Stress, it will get us into action and get us out the house on time, make a deadline or it may be a fun thing, like a ride at a theme park or extreme sport, people love it for a shot of Adrenaline.

An adrenaline surge is the natural bodies response to perceived danger, this could be from avoiding an accident, a disturbing phone call, an emotional threat, or anger, so instantly adrenaline is coursed through the body to trigger the fight or flight response to allow you to act to get out of that dangerous situation.

If the threat subsides in a short time, then your body will then begin to calm down and you may even feel a little shaky from having your sugar stores used up because of the need for instant glycogen for the body’s muscles released for energy. 

However, cortisol is your longer-term stress adaptor.  If the perceived threat is still lingering, say it is a work or emotional situation that is ongoing for days, weeks, or months even, then cortisol is released for an extended period of time which leads to a myriad of health issues.

The connection between cortisol and progesterone is another hormone called Pregnenolone. 

In the miraculous cascade of hormones, where Cholesterol is the master material needed to make Progesterone, there is a hormone called Pregnenolone, which comes a step between the two.  This is where Pregnenolone needed to make Progesterone can get taken down another pathway and get ‘stolen’ to make Cortisol leaving very little for the production of Progesterone.

This is an extremely common situation, where there would normally be enough Progesterone, it has been hijacked to make Cortisol instead. Because Cortisol is seen as a short term, “get me out of this situation”, nothing else matters but you being safe at this time and all aspects of living are put on hold, including digestion and baby-making, so all other hormones (including baby-making ones) will suffer under long term stress. 

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

 

Beth 

 

 

Most Common Reasons Women have Low Progesterone

Most Common Reasons Women have Low Progesterone

 

As a Woman ages, she uses up all of the potential eggs she was born with, and at roughly 37 years old begins to have cycles with no eggs. In my previous post, I said that Progesterone accompanies the egg so it can be released to make the uterus a great spot for a bub.

Well, that stops when the eggs stop being released.  So, you may be feeling the symptoms of low Progesterone way before you even think you are anywhere near menopause. 

Along with a cycle that doesn’t produce an egg, there are other reasons that Progesterone can decrease:

  • Physical removal of the ovaries as in a Hysterectomy
  • Anorexia as you need nutrients and cholesterol to service the entire body
  • Having low cholesterol as cholesterol is the carrier of hormones around the body
  • Extreme exercise or stress that increases cortisol (I’ll be chatting about how cortisol is an issue in another post)
  • Hypothyroidism – progesterone increases the thyroid cell function.
  • PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is where a Women has higher amount of the male Androgens hormone and lowered Progesterone
  • Many other conditions associated with a Woman’s cycle – heavy periods, fibroids, endometriosis, PMS, menstrual migraines, infertility, peri and menopause
  • Some medications like Opioid pain medications taken in the last 6 months and NSAIDS, just after 10 days use
  • Having a Mirena/IUD/Coil can partially suppress ovulation therefore lower the need for Progesterone production
  • Birth Control will do the same thing

If this is starting to sound like you and you feel like you need to start randomly taking some nutrients or herbs, it is always best to check where you are at. 

As I mentioned last week in last post: 7 Reasons Progesterone makes Women feel Well, always having a full blood panel to show various body systems is always best to give a clearer understanding of what is happening in the body, as, everything is connected to everything and there is not one condition in the body that is not an isolated case when it comes to hormones. 

Progesterone is best tested with blood, and on close to day 21 as possible.

Another way to do it is through a dried urine test, it sounds yucky, but really is easier than coming up with saliva at the perfect time that’s needed for the test.   Both the Urine and Saliva Progesterone tests are normally included with an array of other hormones.  It is the relationship of hormones that too have a lot to say with how a hormone is acting out.

The test I prefer to use is called a Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones, DUTCH for short, and I interpret results for this test in my 6 month Master Hormone Harmony Method.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

 

Beth 

7 Reasons Progesterone Makes Women Feel Well

7 Reasons Progesterone Makes Women Feel Well

As Women we have a lot to deal with, and at certain times of the month, our perspective on reality can be quite distorted! After you are done with the ups and downs of monthly cycles it can be a smooth or rather ‘hot ride’ for the next few years while your reproductive years, and for some, filled of pain and misery, just fade away into a distant memory. 

This month I am going to be discussing hormones and when we think of Hormones, usually the major players usually come to mind like Oestrogen for a Woman and Testosterone for a Male.  

My topic today is Progesterone and how this hormone interplays with us as Women and how it is very easy to be low in this hormone, way before you even know it.

So, all hormones never really act alone and Progesterone is part of a hormone web that ebbs and flows depending on our daily and monthly cycles of nature that is a part of being a Woman.

Hormones are so powerful and the result of their imbalances are so far reaching through the body anywhere from physical changes to the way we feel and even digest.

What’s the big deal about Progesterone and what does it do for us Women?

It is quite an incredible hormone and sooo important to the making of babies that it actually accompanies the release of the egg during the monthly cycle to make sure the uterus an awesome spot for a that fertilised egg to begin to grow. This is where it got its name from, if we think of ‘Pro-Gestation”

There are also many other benefits of Progesterone too.

  1. You get better sleep, as Progesterone goes on to make, what is called, allopregnanolone or (ALLO) for short. That’s a neuro (brain) steroid that interacts directly with GABA receptors in the brain. You may have heard about GABA being used to calm the mind, so this is how Progesterone helps reduce anxiety.
  2. Progesterone also increases an enzyme, DAO, which is responsible to process histamines so anxiety associated with histamine intolerance is minimised, along with the other numerous symptoms that histamine produce, of which the most common is itchy skin with redness, hives, eczema etc.
  3. It raises the basal body temperature – so that is the temperature that you are at rest. This is why you know it is the right time to have a good time if you know what I mean, and if, of course, you are wanting to make babies, (as well as having a good time) lucky it also increases sex drive for that time too.
  4. It also boosts energy by stimulating the thyroid and heating up metabolism as there evidence suggests that progesterone has a positive effect directly on the thyroid cells.
  5. Progesterone nourishes your hair so it grows faster and results in clear skin with less oil secretion as it reduces the male hormones called androgens.
  6. Periods are not so heavy as Progesterone counteracts estrogen’s stimulation of the uterine lining.
  7. Builds bones and muscle by stimulating osteoblasts (bone-building cells) and the growth of new muscle and relaxes the body’s muscles – especially in the lungs and uterus.

So, that’s all the good things that Progesterone do, we want to keep it right? 

Before you consider randomly taking some nutrients or herbs, it is always best to check where you are at.  Always a full blood panel of various systems is always best to give a clearer understanding of what is happening in the body, everything is connected to everything and there is not one condition in the body that is not an isolated case when it comes to hormones. 

Progesterone is best tested with blood, and on close to day 21 as possible.

Another way to do it is through a dried urine test, it sounds yucky, but really is easier than coming up with saliva at the perfect time.  Saliva is also another way to test.  Both the Urine and Saliva Progesterone tests are normally included with an array of other hormones.  It is the relationship of hormones that too have a lot to say with how a hormone is acting out.

Find out in my next blog “The Most Common Reasons Women Have Low Progesterone & Why That’s a Big Problem.”

 

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

 

Beth 

Belly fat can be a sign of high Oestrogen

Belly fat can be a sign of high Oestrogen

“I’ve put on weight”

“I can’t lose the weight around my belly.”

It is a vicious cycle. A low thyroid function will allow you to put on the belly fat, and the belly fat in turn will encourages low thyroid hormone

Oh my gosh, what chance do I have, I hear you ask???

You have a great opportunity to stop the cycle and here’s how……… but first, I need to explain a couple of things and will keep it as simple as possible, because really, you just want to lose the belly fat, right?
The big player here is Oestrogen. To make it slightly more complicated, Oestrogen is sub-divided into three types.

E1, E2 and E3.

The one that’s causing the problem with the belly fat is E1 (Oestrone). Fat cells make this stuff by a process called aromatase. The more fat, the more making of E1. This is great for menopause (after periods stop in a woman), but if you aren’t there yet, it is not good because you should already making plenty of E2 (Oestrodial) from your ovaries during your monthly cycle.

In this one scenario, two different things happen that stop the thyroid hormone from working
The E1 can bind to the thyroid receptors – therefore blocking thyroid hormone.

The belly fat also produces Thyroid-binding globulin – a carrier protein that takes the thyroid hormone around the body, however excess amounts will bind to free thyroid hormones and prevent them from being active.
So not only do you ‘feel fat,’ but you feel sluggish because thyroid receptors not able to accept thyroid hormone and you have lost your ‘mojo.’ Add to this scenario you are now producing more Oestrogen because of the production of E1 via the belly fat and the normal amounts of E2 via the ovaries and we are start to move into the subject about Oestrogen dominance.

From Oestrogen dominance more things affect the thyroid function
Inactive thyroid hormone, Thyroxine T4 can’t change into the active from Triiodothyronine T3 – which is the hormone you want plenty of!

The production of Reverse T3, (rT3) goes up. Reverse T3 is a mirror image of the active T3 hormone and binds to the same receptor. It stops that in its’ tracks and makes it inactive.

Normally some Reverse T3 is good, it is the natural way that Thyroid hormone self regulates. Incidentally this goes way up during stress, so that is why stress kills the thyroid function.

To make it more interesting, it is not just your body that makes these oestrogens, but the environment – man made that is – that is also throwing extra Oestrogens at you on a daily basis and these are called Xeno-Oestrogens. Without being too technical, they are Pesticides, Plastics, Petroleum products & synthetic hormones (OCP & HRT)

Where is this stuff found? Well, pretty well everywhere and in your food, so while you are living you are being exposed in one form or another, which is not really what you want to hear.

What can you do about it? Find out where your Oestrogens are. I strongly recommend a salivary female hormone test for every woman. The hormones free float in the saliva and are not bound by carrier proteins as in the blood. It is a simple saliva test in one little vial when you get up in the morning and you are done. It is best to do it on Day 21 for women still having periods and it doesn’t matter what day for women not having periods.
A saliva test is a simple and easy way to test your Oestrogens.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

 

Beth  

 

 

References
Sanesco NCAP Technical Guide (2014) Sanesco International Inc, Asheveille, NC 28804
Suzy Cohen RPh 2014Thyroid Healthy (1st Ed) Dear Pharmacist Inc, USA,
David Brownstein MD 2014 Overcoming Thyroid Disorders (3rdEd) Medical Alternative Press, West Bloomfield, MI 48323
Igor Tabrizian Dr Lecture Notes in Nutritional Medicine, Lecture 5, Introductory Course, NRS Publications Educations Series

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