Hormones have a tremendous amount of influence on the way our bodies work — both women AND men. Hormonal imbalance affects mental health, metabolism, sleep cycles, sex drive, and much, much more. In this webinar, you can learn about the science of hormones, why hormonal balance is important, and what you can do about it. This is information everyone needs to hear, both women and men. We’ll cover new, groundbreaking information and you’ll leave with a strategy to promote balance in your life, immediately. You’ll learn…
- What women AND men need to know about hormones
- The signs and symptoms of menopause and manopause
- The prevalence of endocrine disruptors and how they harm your health
- How hormonal imbalance negatively affects your health
- Natural ways to balance your hormones
…and much more!
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Hormonal Imbalance Video Transcript
If you find yourself feeling fatigued, run down, depressed, or having trouble losing weight, a hormone imbalance may be the culprit. Hormones can become imbalanced due to age, diet, lifestyle, harmful chemicals, metals in the environment, and stress. Basically, we all need a proper hormonal balance so we can experience good health.
Health, as we perceive it, isn’t just the absence of problems. True health is a focused mind, healthy habits, calm nerves, and balanced biological chemicals. It means we’re at our best — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is the combination of all of these states that allows us the freedom to create and live our ideal life.
What Are Hormones? How Do They Work?
Let’s first discuss how hormones work, how they are disrupted, and natural ways to balance these critical biochemicals for maintaining overall health.
- Hormones are chemical messengers that facilitate the communication between the multitude of biological systems and glands within your body.
- They are a part of the endocrine system  which consists of the pineal, hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and the ovaries and testes.
- These endocrine glands produce the hormones that regulate growth and development, reproduction, weight, mood, and dozens of other functions.
Remember: men and women have the same hormones, just in different ratios. Women have more estrogen and less testosterone, and vice versa. Of course, we all have adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones, and so on.
When your hormones are balanced, your body is moving along as it should. You’re full of energy and you feel good. But, when they’re out of balance, you can experience health concerns. It’ll affect your mood, energy levels, sex drive, and overall well being.
What Exactly is Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormone imbalance is exactly what it sounds like: an imbalance of hormonal equilibrium.
- For women, it typically means estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. Specifically: too much estrogen is produced and not enough progesterone is synthesized. This is known as estrogen dominance,  and presents a number of concerns.
- For men, when they’re younger, they’re full of testosterone. As they age and begin to experience andropause, testosterone levels can drop. Now remember, men have the same hormones as women, and this includes estrogen; the ratios are just different. When a man’s testosterone levels decrease—whether it’s from age or another variable—he can also experience the effects of estrogen dominance.
The concern we are seeing in current times is that hormonal imbalance, especially estrogen dominance, happens as a result of exposure to industrial pollutants and chemicals. As we’re going to get into, there are a ton of environmental toxins that can really amplify the concern of estrogen dominance.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance?
Because hormones affect our bodies in so many ways, hormonal imbalance can produce a wide range of symptoms that vary significantly from one person to the next.
Here are some of the more common symptoms:
- Skin concerns—outbreaks and blotchiness, premature wrinkling
- Hair loss or unwanted hair growth
- Weight gain, especially in the belly—a big concern for many people as they get older
- Lack of energy
- Diminished libido and sex drive
- Sleep Disturbance—especially if you’re having hot flashes and night sweats
- Cognitive Function—obviously, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you are probably going to have impaired thinking
Mood Disorders Related to Hormone Imbalance
Hormones and mental health are closely related,  especially when we’re discussing thyroid hormone. We’ve got an antidepressant epidemic in this country, and part of the problem is that most doctors believe women are depressed and need antidepressants when they really just need to balance their hormones. 
Way too many women are being medicated unnecessarily simply because their hormones are imbalanced. This is completely the wrong approach! 9 times out of 10 it’s not “depression” that’s the concern. The root issue to the depressive-like symptoms may simply boil down to one thing: hormone imbalance.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Two Questions – One Answer:
- So why exactly are we having such a problem with hormone imbalance today?
- What exactly is going on that throws us out of alignment?
Well, a massive concern. A HUGE concern—Endocrine Disruptors.
What are Endocrine Disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that are either man made or naturally occurring; although, most of the time these chemicals are synthetic and made by humans. These man-made chemicals are what interfere with endocrine function, thus aptly termed “endocrine disruptors.” 
Endocrine disruptors impact hormones in many ways. Here are just a few:
- They can reduce the production of hormones by the endocrine glands.
- They can influence when, how much, and if the endocrine glands release hormones.
- They affect the organ or tissue that most hormones communicate with, reducing proper signaling, production, and efficiency.
- They might speed up the metabolism of hormones and reduce their action.
- One of the most common attacks is that not only do they block hormones, they can also mimic hormones, especially estrogen.
As their name implies, endocrine disruptors are hugely disruptive to the endocrine system.
Some people might say, “Well, there’s not that much pollution out there. Sure, some of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors, but only in large doses. What’s out there is all trace amounts, one part per million.”
The truth is—it doesn’t matter!
Hormones operate at very minute amounts and can be disturbed even by low-dose exposure  to hormonally-active chemicals.
What Are the Effects of Endocrine Disruption?
Here are some of the effects that can be experienced when the endocrine system is disrupted:
- Bad for the environment. It’s been proven they harm wildlife, reproduction, growth, and development.
- They may contribute to reproductive disorders in humans.
- They influence infertility in males and females.
- They’re linked to many types of cancer.
- And we now know without a doubt that exposure to EDCs (endocrine disruptors) during early development—in the womb and during childhood—may cause permanent effects.
The scary thing is that the effects of endocrine disruptors may take some time to fully surface and are very hard to pinpoint.
Source of Endocrine Disruptors
Unfortunately, many of the most used industrial chemicals are endocrine disruptors. Because of poor regulations and terrible oversight, not to mention flat out corporate irresponsibility, a lot of these chemicals are either released into the atmosphere or have made their way into our water and food.
The Most Common Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are abundant in our environment. Here are just a few of the most common:
- Fire retardants
- Organophosphate pesticides & glycol ethers
- Glyphosate is an Organophosphate & Endocrine Disruptor!
- Xenoestrogens are a type of xenohormone that imitates estrogen. They can be either synthetic or chemical in nature.
Let’s examine each one of these endocrine disruptors:
#1: BPA (Short for Bisphenol A) (Xenoestrogen)
- Bisphenol A is a chemical used in plastics. In your body, it imitates estrogen. Think of how much plastic you’re around every day and how many food containers are plastic.
- Your body identifies BPA as the real thing, and this can lead your body to behave as if it’s loaded with estrogen.
- BPA affects fertility, breast health, and causes reproductive cancers, obesity, diabetes, and early puberty.
- We’ve made some progress in reducing the use of BPA, but it was mostly a cover up and divergence, focusing mainly on baby bottles and not on common food packaging sources.
- In 2008, Canada banned baby bottles that contain BPA. At the time, Wal-Mart even volunteered to pull them off the shelf in the USA despite assurances from the FDA that the bottles were safe.
- In 2010, the FDA finally admitted that the National Toxicology Program studies were correct and that BPA was damaging to the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses and children.
- In October of 2011, the Harvard School of Health published a study in the journal Pediatrics that found that pregnant mothers’ exposure to BPA correlated with behaviors of hyperactivity, anxiety, aggression, and depression in their children. Could this be the missing link to the dramatic rise of ADD/ADHD?
- Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine demonstrated that when female mice were exposed to levels of BPA before and during pregnancy, their offspring experienced measurable behavioral and neuronal changes. The genetic changes were detectable in the second, third, and even the fourth generation. In theory, that’s the same as saying exposure to BPAs could affect your great grandchildren! 
- Shocking, but true: 90% of us have detectable amounts of BPA in our urine on any given day.
- BPA is also found in receipts and even on money.
How to Avoid BPA
Follow these steps to reduce your BPA intake:
- One of the best ways to reduce BPA exposure is to avoid canned food, as almost all cans (even milk and other cartons) are coated with BPA.
- Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2, and #4 on the bottom of the product are safer choices and do not contain BPA.
- Avoid plastics marked with a ‘PC’ (for polycarbonate) or recycling label #7. Be careful of bottled water!
- Do NOT microwave food or store food in plastic containers! It’ll leech chemicals right into your food during cooking.
- Try not to handle paper cash register receipts. Don’t store them in your wallet or pocketbook.
- Avoid drinking from soda and beer or other aluminum cans—they are lined with BPA.
- Avoid cheap plastic toys.
#2: Dioxins (Xenoestrogen)
Dioxins are industrial chemicals that interfere with male and female sex hormones.  They also affect sperm quality and count. Even worse, dioxins build up in the body and damage the immune and reproductive systems. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 90% of human exposure to dioxins come from the diet. 
- Fats of meat and fish
- Cigarette smoke
How To Avoid
It’s rather hard to avoid dioxins today, simply because industrial use has contaminated much of the American food supply. The few things you can do is:
- Consume less animal fat
- Avoid cigarette smoke
#3: Atrazine (Xenoestrogen) (Syngenta)
Atrazine is a toxic herbicide primarily used on corn. Because so much corn is grown, and atrazine is so heavily used, it’s not surprising that atrazine is also a major drinking water contaminant.
- According to the EPA,  Atrazine is estimated to be the most heavily-used herbicide in the U.S.
- Approximately 75% of the field corn acreage grown in the U.S. is treated with atrazine.
- Research, mostly done by the EPA, shows that hormonal activity, specifically testosterone, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen, and thyroid hormones, are all affected by atrazine.
In 2010, the University of California – Berkeley reported that atrazine has gender-bending effects on frogs.  Low levels of atrazine—levels below what the EPA considers safe—have even been shown to transform male frog genitalia into female genitalia. It’s not just that male frogs start looking like female frogs. We’re talking a complete transformation, with previously-male frogs laying completely viable eggs. The compound is also linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty, and even prostate cancer.
How to Avoid
The best way to avoid atrazine is to buy organic produce. Also, get a good water filtration system and avoid unfiltered tap water.
#4: Phthalates (Pronounced “thal-ates” – Xenoestrogen)
Phthalates are chemicals used to carry fragrances and soften plastics. They are also used in sealants, cosmetics, perfumes, cologne, nail polish, water bottles, coated medications, body care products, plastic flooring, and adhesives.
How They Work: Your body has a way of signaling when a cell should die. Now, when this process is occurring normally, you are constantly regenerating new cells. The problem is that phthalates prematurely trigger the death-inducing signal. The cells in the body that are most vulnerable are testicular cells. Phthalates affect hormones, lower sperm count, cause reproductive system birth defects, and thyroid irregularities. They can also affect fertility and reduce libido.
While the Food and Drug Administration requires most cosmetic ingredients to be listed, the agency offers a loophole for fragrances. Their formulas are considered proprietary secrets, so the manufacturer may simply use the generic term “fragrance.”
The unfortunate thing about phthalates is that they’re a common ingredient in air fresheners, a household product many people spray all over their home. 75% of U.S. households use some sort of air freshener. Not long ago, a group known as the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at 14 air fresheners from the shelf of a Walgreens, including those labeled “all-natural” or “unscented.” They found that all but two had varying amounts of phthalates, including phthalates known as DEP and DBP. 
Other facts about phthalates:
- The California EPA warns that phthalates are developmental toxins and harmful to female and male reproductive health.
- The FDA doesn’t have rules regarding phthalates and doesn’t require labeling of phthalate content.
- The European Union banned phthalates in cosmetics and toys in 2004, and 14 other countries have followed suit.
- This is where the US should be leading the problem-solving charge by banning phthalates. We shouldn’t be the one bad example.
- In one human study, infant boys born to mothers with high phthalate urine levels were more likely to have smaller penises, scrotums, and undescended testicles.
- Boys born to mothers with the highest levels of phthalates were four to ten times more likely to have reduced genital development. One study in Puerto Rico found that phthalates caused premature breast development in girls younger than 8.
- A 2005 study, for instance, suggested that phthalates could affect the genital development of boys, and other research has associated the chemicals with the early onset of puberty in girls.
- According to Greenpeace, testing by an independent laboratory found phthalates in 21 out of 30 samples of children’s products purchased from China. A common way many infants and young children are exposed to phthalates are by putting these toys in their mouth and chewing.
How To Avoid
Simple ways to avoid phthalate exposure include:
- Regular body cleansing
- Avoid toxic, chemical-based air fresheners—use essential oils, instead
- Minimize your exposure to plastic toys, plastic wrap, and food containers
- Body care, cosmetics, and hygiene products are a big source of phthalates—look for phthalate-free alternatives
Just like you check your food label, check your shampoo label, lotion label…everything. If you see that it says “fragrance,” it’s likely to contain phthalates. Only choose bodycare products that contain natural essential oils for fragrance.
#5: Perchlorate, a.k.a. Rocket Fuel
Perchlorate, a xenoestrogen, is chemically similar to the harmful halogens. It competes with iodine and can disrupts thyroid hormones by causing harm to iodine transporters. Not only that, it can also throw your metabolism out of whack and even affect brain and organ development in children. Perchlorate has been found in 93% of the nation’s milk and lettuce supply in an FDA study.
The chemical has also been found in the drinking water for at least 22 states, and at extremely alarming levels. Perhaps the scariest statistic is that perchlorate has been found in the breast milk of 97% of the mothers who were tested. According to the EPA, perchlorate is detrimental to the thyroid gland, metabolism, and hormonal balance. 
How to Avoid
Get enough iodine to load your receptor sites so your thyroid is protected. Perchlorate contamination in water is a massive issue, so drinking purified water is a must. Also, be sure to eat only organic foods.
#6: Fire Retardants
Fire retardants contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs.
- PBDEs disrupt hormone activity by imitating thyroid hormones.
- They can also hurt cognitive function.
Flame retardants are in a lot of building materials. One way most people are exposed is when removing carpet or reupholstering furniture, as PBDEs are typically used in foam padding in pillows, seat cushions, and mattresses.
As of July 2007, mattresses sold in the US are required to be flame retardant to the degree of not catching on fire if exposed to a blowtorch. This means manufacturers are dousing them heavily with toxic flame-retardant chemicals.
How To Avoid
Ask the manufacturers what type of fire retardants they use. Also, avoid products with brominated fire retardants and be aware of “natural” latex foam and natural cotton, both of which are flammable and, depending on the product, may be required by law to have some type of fire retardant.
#7: Perfluorinated Chemicals, or PFCs
PFCs are often used to make non-stick cookware and waterproof coatings. Chances are that not many people would suspect their frying pan would disrupt their endocrine system, but PFCs have been linked to poor sperm quality and thyroid disease.
The real tragedy: Besides the fact that 99% of Americans have these chemicals in their homes is that one PFC (termed PFOA) is essentially resistant to biodegradation. It will NEVER break down in the environment, so its toxic effects are here to stay. Microwavable food bags are a common source.
How to Avoid
The best way to avoid PFCs:
- Avoid non-stick cookware and waterproof coatings
- Cleanse your body
#8: Glycol Ethers
Here are a few facts about glycol ethers, another common endocrine disruptor:
- Solvents used in paint, cleaning products, and cosmetics.
- Animal studies have shown that glycol ethers shrink testicles.
- Humans aren’t safe either. The European Union already acknowledges that glycol ether affects fertility and reduces sperm count.
How to Avoid
One of the best way to decrease exposure to glycol ethers is to avoid toxic cleaning products. Use Branch Basics.
The absolute toxicity of lead isn’t much of a secret. It’s harmful to your whole body. Lead may contribute to:
- Brain damage
- Lowered IQ
- Hearing loss
- Premature birth
- Increased blood pressure
- Kidney damage
- Nervous system problems
Lead reduces sex hormones and it disrupts the hormone signaling process that controls how our bodies handle stress.
A 2013 study found that lead exposure can have disastrous effects on the reproductive system.  In 2012, Turkish research found that chronic lead exposure was possibly responsible for some erectile dysfunction cases.
Sources of exposure are:
- Toys and household items painted before 1976
- Toys made and painted outside the United States
- Bullets, curtain weights, and fishing sinkers
- Pipes and sink faucets, which can contaminate drinking water
- Paint sets and art supplies
- Jewelry, pottery, and lead figures
How to Avoid
Chemical and metal cleansing seem to be the best way to reduce accumulation of lead, among other heavy metals. A water filter can help eliminate lead from drinking water.
Arsenic contamination in food and water is rampant. Arsenic affects hormone functioning in the glucocorticoid system, the system that controls how your body processes carbohydrates and sugars.
When these processes are disrupted, it may lead to:
- Weight gain/loss
- Immune system suppression
- Increase diabetes susceptibility
- Elevated osteoporosis risk
- High blood pressure
Dartmouth Medical School found that even at very low concentrations, arsenic has a huge impact on thyroid receptors. 
Sources of exposure include:
How To Avoid
Drink clean water and eat organic food to avoid arsenic. Also, use a shower filter to avoid exposure.
Mercury has contaminated a massive portion of the seafood supply, and new warnings have just been administered concerning the dangers of seafood for pregnant women as well as its effects on fetal brain development. Mercury also binds to hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Believe it or not, this hormone interference damages the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, an aspect that can lead to diabetes.
That’s just the hormonal issues. The other issues with mercury, even the mercury contained in vaccines and flu shots, goes far, FAR deeper. Mercury may influence:
- Thyroid damage
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Impairs T4 to T3 conversion (thyroid hormone)
Sources of exposure are:
- Dental amalgams
How To Avoid
Following these tips may be helpful for reducing mercury exposure:
- Cleansing your body and drinking purified water
- Reduce or eliminate seafood from your diet
- Replace dental amalgams
- Avoid flu shots
One pesticide in particular, DDT, is especially damaging and has feminizing effects. While not as pervasive as it once was, it is still a HUGE PROBLEM.
In the 1950’s, two Syracuse biologists showed that DDT inhibited roosters from developing into normal adults. In the study, DDT was injected into rooster chicks. While they didn’t get sick or die, they did grow to resemble hens. Their growth was stunted and they had testicles 18% of normal size. The DDT, in a sense, effectively castrated the roosters.
DDT has also been shown to feminize sea gulls.  Another researcher at UC Davis found that injecting seagull eggs with DDE, a byproduct of DDT decomposition, and methoxychlor, a pesticide that binds to estrogen receptors, caused the gulls’ reproductive tract to become similar to that of female gulls.
Not only that, even the males’ testicles contained female cells. In addition, the male gulls exposed to higher doses of the pesticide combo developed the egg laying tunnel, something that only female gulls have.
#13: Herbicides and Pesticides
These products were developed by the Nazis for chemical warfare during World War II. After the war, American scientists used the same chemistry to create pesticides and herbicides, which are still in use today.
According to the USGS, more than 88,000 tons of glyphosate were used in the United States in 2007, up from 11,000 tons in 1992. Now, 2 billion tons of pesticides are used annually.
In 2009, Spanish researchers found without a doubt that glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic to the endocrine system. In humans, organophosphate exposure hurts brain development and fertility. Pesticides also lower testosterone and thyroid hormone levels. Even back in 1985, it was known that organophosphate exposure decreased testosterone levels. What’s more, organophosphates have been linked to lowered IQ and increased rates of ADHD in children.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers estimate that over 100,000 poisonings annually in America are due to pesticides. Industrial farming has made it so that we’re bombarded with chemicals, GMOs, and their associated herbicides every single day.
Glyphosate, also known as Roundup, is applied to corn and soy crops in the U.S. These two crops are in virtually anything, especially processed foods. Pesticides mimic estrogen, making them a huge problem for both men and women.
#14: GMO Foods
About 88% of corn and 94% of soy are now genetically modified. Corn and soy are in almost everything, at least processed foods, which is why it’s a good idea to switch to organic. While we’re talking about organic food, let me say something about GMO food: GMO foods exacerbate hormone problems by attacking the largest endocrine organ—the intestines!
The main genetically-modified foods are corn, soy, canola oil, and cottonseed oil. GMO foods can increase health issues because our bodies don’t process genetically modified foods the same way as non-GMO foods.
In 2012, there was a study that suggested sex hormones were vulnerable to GMO and Roundup treatments.  Think about that for a second. Corn is in everything we eat and almost all corn is both GMO and doused in glyphosate, both of which obliterate hormone stability.
We’re told that only insects are affected by Bt-toxin; however, it’s actually harmful to the human digestive system and causes leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is basically what it sounds like. Your intestines can develop tiny perforations that allow for estrogen and other hormones, among other things, to be reabsorbed.
#15 – Cosmetics
Cosmetics are a HUGE, HUGE problem for your hormones. The cosmetics industry has almost no oversight and is hugely at fault for hormone disruptors. Perfume, cologne…basically 99% of the fragrances used in the cosmetic industry are synthetic chemicals produced from a benzene ring or phenyl group. These rings fit right into estrogen receptors.
Cosmetics have a ton of xenoestrogen chemicals that mimic estrogen. They’re fat soluble and can be absorbed through the skin. Also, they stimulate estrogen receptors in the breasts and cause fibrocystic disease and even cancer. 
Cosmetics don’t only include makeup, but sunscreen, too. The thing that concerns me most about sunscreen is how so many parents, who want nothing more than to protect their kids, slather them up with sunscreen anytime they go outside.
Information published by the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland showed that many of the ingredients in sunscreen are endocrine disrupters.  In one test, a chemical common in sunscreens was mixed with olive oil and applied to the skin of rats. What’d it do? It doubled uterine growth. Who’d have ever thought sunscreen would disrupt their hormones?
Sources of exposure are:
#16 Laundry Detergent
Most people wonder how in the world laundry detergent could be harmful. Isn’t it suppose to clean?! Here are some shocking facts about laundry detergent:
- When detergents break down, they release alkylphenols. It has infiltrated the water supply in some areas and is suspected to have created hermaphrodite fish.
- In 2004, fish that were half male and half female — hermaphrodites — were discovered below sewage treatment plants in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Think about this. Eventually, people drink this water. Not good.
Sources of exposure include:
- Laundry detergent
- Dry cleaning
You have to realize that “new water” doesn’t really exist. The water supply is continuously recycled. Unfortunately, synthetic hormones from medications are being found in our drinking water at alarming levels. Every time a woman on the pill goes to the bathroom, minute amounts of hormones go down the toilet and into the water supply. This stuff is not filtered out at the water processing plant.
A study published in the British Medical Journal, revealed that countries where more women were on birth control increased their partner’s risk for developing prostate cancer.  Estrogen hormones being recycled through the water supply is at least one potential explanation.
Other Endocrine Disrupting Compounds
Industrial chemicals and medications aren’t the only things that disrupt the endocrine system and affect hormones. Here are some other common compounds in the diet that can disrupt endocrine function.
Soy is contained in practically everything these days, and most of this ingredient is genetically modified and riddled with pesticides. All soy contains phytoestrogens, compounds that can create a hormonal imbalance in men and women.
Sources of exposure include:
- Processed foods
Gluten has been shown to affect the thyroid. In fact, anyone who has (or suspects they have) thyroid disorders is probably gluten intolerant to some degree. Gluten has a molecular structure that closely resembles the thyroid gland. When its proteins pass through your gut and into your bloodstream, your immune system tags it for destruction.
Because it’s so similar to the thyroid, the thyroid gets attacked, too. Even worse, the immune system’s response to gluten can last up to 6 months each time you consume it.  This is why it’s absolutely vital to completely eliminate gluten from your diet. Being “mostly” gluten-free isn’t going to be enough.
Sources of exposure are:
- Oats (unless certified gluten free)
Fluoride was identified as an endocrine disruptor in a 2006 report by the U.S. National Research Council of the National Academies (NRC). This report states that fluoride affects normal endocrine function or response; although, not in the sense of mimicking a normal hormone. 
The following four endocrine glands can each be affected by fluoride exposure:
Sources of exposure are:
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
Sources of aluminum are:
- Aluminum cans
Studies such as those performed by the University of Pretoria, South Africa, show that aspartame is a potent neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor. A study from the University of Barcelona clearly showed that aspartame was transformed into formaldehyde in the bodies of living specimens.
Sources of exposure are
- Sugar-free beverages
Parabens are preservatives commonly used in deodorants, make-up, body lotions, moisturisers, and many other cosmetic products. Parabens have been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen.
Sources of exposure are
- Personal Care Products
Triclosan is widely used as a germ-killing ingredient in soaps, deodorants, and even toothpastes, but it’s being banned in Minnesota. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill to make Minnesota the first state to prohibit the use of triclosan in most retail consumer hygiene products. The Minnesota House and Senate passed it earlier last week because of health and environmental concerns about the chemical.
Sources of exposure are
- Psychotropic drugs
- Phthalates in drug coatings
Here are a few facts about alcohol and its endocrine-disrupting effects:
- Alcohol can make your endocrine system behave in a sloppy way, just like someone who’s had a few too many drinks.
- When alcohol interferes with hormone action, it affects blood sugar levels, reproductive function, calcium metabolism, and more.
- Alcohol consumption, especially if it’s regular, can interfere with the testes and ovaries, resulting in hormonal deficiencies, sexual dysfunction, and infertility.
- Alcohol is directly toxic to the testes and reduces testosterone levels in men. In one study, normal healthy men who received alcohol for 4 weeks experienced a decline in testosterone levels after only 5 days and the levels continued to fall throughout the study period.
- Animal studies have shown that alcohol affects the release of hormones from the hypothalamus and pituitary. Even without a detectable reduction of testosterone levels. Changes in these hormones can impair a man’s sexual and reproductive abilities.
For premenopausal women, alcohol contributes to:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Menstrual cycles without ovulation
- Early menopause
- Increased risk of spontaneous abortions
Postmenopausal women who drink have higher estradiol levels than those who don’t, because alcohol can increase the conversion of testosterone into estradiol.
Bottom line, alcohol is NOT good for balancing your hormones.
Another thing to mention is stress. It’s important to minimize stress in order to balance hormones. There are many things that cause stress:
- Skipping meals
- Over/under exercising
- Bad sleep
- Processed foods
- Refined sugar
Stress also increases stress hormones, namely cortisol. Cortisol interferes with your hormone balance as well as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that regulate mood, emotions, and cognitive function. Without hormone balance, we don’t have neurotransmitter balance. If we don’t have neurotransmitter balance, we’re just in a reactive, responsive, survival mode.
When it comes to stress, we’re not in control, we’re just getting by day to day—it’s no way to live. Stress will also decrease progesterone levels and make your body believe there is more estrogen. Why? Progesterone is the precursor from which all other hormones are created—adrenal hormones included.
A stressful situation prompts production of adrenocorticosteroids to defend against stress. But, if you’re constantly stressed, your body can’t produce enough progesterone and this leads to adrenal exhaustion.
Things You Can Do / Natural Solutions
First off, before you set out to balance your hormone levels, it’s not a bad idea to get a baseline of where they’re at. Blood, urine, and saliva tests are most common; however, tests vary after cleansing. It’s a good idea to perform cleansing and detoxification first and then test hormone levels. What we’re addressing here is the root cause of hormone disruption.
Hormonal imbalance isn’t something anyone should have to live with!
Hormonal balance is your fountain of youth, one that is important for women AND men. Our hormones don’t just decline because we age; we age because our hormones decline. Here are a few solutions that may be helpful for supporting hormone health.
Solution #1: Cleanse your body, Cleanse your body, Cleanse your body
Internal body cleansing is the best and most effective way to encourage hormone balance as well as fertility. Intestinal, liver, kidney, and chemical and toxic metal cleansing really should be on your radar.
There’s a couple reasons why it’s important to detoxify your liver.
- Over half of all T4 is converted to T3 in the liver. If that conversion is obstructed or otherwise compromised, your hormones are going to be out of sync.
- Most estrogen is metabolized in the liver. If it’s not metabolized, it lingers and just causes concerns.
The gastrointestinal tract is the largest endocrine organ in the body. Hormones are secreted by the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. That’s why your GI tract needs to be healthy. If you’re not having two bowel movements a day, be aware that improper elimination can cause estrogen to be reabsorbed back into the blood.
Solution #2 Regular Chemical and Toxic Metal Cleansing
Cleansing the body of these heavy metals may provide support:
Solution #3 Increase Exercise / Bodywork
Weight training increases adrenal hormones and hits the beta receptors deep in gut fat… assuming rest, recovery, and nutrition are part of the equation. You almost want to expand the definition of exercise to include any therapeutic bodywork…Restoring and recovering is extremely important. Meditation, massage, chiropractic, sauna–all of these things may provide support for hormone balance.
Solution #4 Decrease Stress
Listen, stress is part of life, everyone experiences it. The important thing is minimizing the factors that cause you stress as well as knowing how to deal with it when it happens. What I find works best, aside from exercise, is meditation.
Meditation provides a dramatic boost in DHEA hormone levels. Stress, however, significantly lowers melatonin levels. People who meditate are able to maintain healthy levels of melatonin by reducing stress and restoring balance. As a result, they sleep more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed each morning.
Deep meditation dramatically boosts levels of human growth hormone (HGH) and serotonin. Cortisol is the one hormone you want less amounts of and meditation is proven to significantly decrease this harmful hormone. I recommend 20 minutes of meditation twice a day.
Solution #5 Get Restful Sleep
First and foremost, you need to get enough sleep. Too little sleep can produce many imbalances in the body that’ll hurt everything, not just your hormones. Sleep loss and sleep disturbance negatively affect hormonal balance.
Follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone are among the hormones released during sleep.
Other hormones, such as thyroid-stimulating hormone, are released prior to sleep. Deep sleep is when your body increases the release of human growth hormone.
A 2011 study found that infant growth spurts were associated with increased and consolidated sleep.  The increase of deep sleep directly correlates with a sharp increase in growth hormone production. Studies have found that individuals who were sleep deprived had elevated cortisol levels. When elevated, cortisol may increase the risk of developing diabetes and obesity.
Leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone, decreases after just a few nights of sleep restriction.
Similarly, ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone, increases after sleep restriction. The net result? People who sleep less seek out extra calories.
Solution #6 Eliminate EDCs
Here are some helpful tips to reduce, if not eliminate, EDCs (endocrine disruptors):
- Eat only organic foods, fruits, and vegetables — avoid pesticides
- Avoid Soy > If you take levothyroxine, the most common thyroid medication, be aware that the warning label says to avoid soy!
- Avoid Aspartame and artificial sweeteners
- Use non-toxic cookware
- If you drink coffee, Be careful of non-organic coffee, as 80% of the world’s coffee is not organic and sprayed with pesticides
- Avoid all GMO foods
- When eating meat, make sure it’s organic and hormone free
- Only get organic, free-range eggs
- I know these products command a little bit of a higher price but it really is a must
- Avoid sugary and processed foods — garbage in, garbage out
- Do not drink from aluminum cans
- Do not consume any canned food
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Cook with distilled or purified water
- Do not microwave your food
- Avoid food containers with BPA
- Ditch the plastic cooking utensils, plastic cutting boards and strainers
- It’s pretty easy to find alternative products made with silicone or sustainable bamboo
- For your dishwasher, find an eco-friendly detergent
- Avoid detergents that contain phosphates and fragrances
- Throw away all roundup or other chemical weed killers
- Avoid all antibacterial soaps, cleaning products, cosmetics, lotions, sunscreen and anything you put on your body or clean anything with. They may contain many endocrine disruptors. Use organic, all-natural alternatives.
It’s really difficult to change your whole life overnight. Start by replacing an unhealthy habit with a healthy habit once a week, once a day… and build that momentum until you maintain new habits.
Solution #7 Natural Supplements
Depending on what your hormonal imbalance is stemming from, there are different supplements you may want to look at:
- Iodine: First and Foremost. We’re not going to recap everything there is to know about iodine, I covered that in the last webinar, but… iodine, without a doubt, plays one of the biggest roles in maintaining balanced hormones. Your entire body needs iodine, but it’s used by three organs with heavy hormone activity–thyroid, breast tissue, and ovaries.
- Tribulus terrestris has been used for centuries to stimulate libido and promote normal testosterone levels.
- Suma has been widely used for hormone activity. it’s effective for improving libido and sexual response. It may help promote normal hormone levels in men, particularly testosterone.
- Ashwagandha, or indian ginseng, has been used for over 3,000 years. It can help relieve stress and encourage normal energy levels.
- Maca, or Peruvian ginseng, has been a favorite aphrodisiac and sexual endurance enhancer for thousands of years. It helps balance both female and male sex drive.
- Avena sativa may stimulate luteinizing hormone — the hormone responsible for activating the production of testosterone. It’s also known to promote a healthy sexual response and libido.
- Tongkat Ali, or Eurycoma longifolia Jack, is an herb that can inhibit the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Wild Yam and Cohosh may also be helpful. There are many other herbs that work for balancing hormones but the solution here is more focused on the root cause.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not a good idea, in my opinion. First off, it’s just putting a band-aid on the concern, and studies have confirmed that it can be dangerous to long-term health.
If your hormones are imbalanced, you need to get to the root cause of that imbalance without just adding synthetic hormones to the mix.
And that’s what bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is — it’s the use of pharmaceutical hormones with molecules that are “exact” copies of human hormones. But, remember, any hormone you’re taking from a pharmaceutical company has to be made synthetically.
They might say that synthetic hormones (HRT) are very similar to natural hormones. Synthetic hormones are not identical either in structure or activity to the hormones that are produced naturally within the body and they tend to fit less precisely on your hormone receptors. This is why there are so many ugly side effects to the therapy.
Have you seen the recent news about all the testosterone replacement lawsuits due to heart problems? What about the warnings of menopausal synthetic hormone therapy and and its cancer risks?
If you are on HRT, it’s imperative that your intestinal health is at the height of its game so you can eliminate toxins and prevent hormones from being reabsorbed in your gut. Again: probiotics and cleansing are a must.
And that’s what synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is — the use of synthetic hormones with molecules that are not bioidentical to one’s natural hormones.
Considering Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
A discussion about hormones would be incomplete if bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) was over-looked.
More and more it seems that the fear of a cancer diagnosis is a very important reason why more aging women and men do not choose to restore their hormones to more youthful levels. This fear originated by misconceptions driven by misinterpreted studies and research as well as media propaganda. But does this mean that the aging population should just simply accept hormone imbalance and/or a “natural hormone decline” and suffer in silence? Should they risk the possibility of disease from an endocrine system that is in a continual state of imbalance? My answer would be a resounding “no”. When one researches and studies what the real cancer risk factors are, it would appear that altering one’s lifestyle (healthy diet, exercise, supplements, herbs, cleansing & detox, etc.) at any age—including safely restoring physiological hormone balance—would result in significant reductions in disease. And the good part is that research and studies seem to agree. Also most of the medical community now agrees that the past research on estrogen replacement and cancer was flawed. So if testing indicates that you may benefit from estrogen (remember that estrogen should never be taken without progesterone), skip the synthetics and use bioidentical. It is very likely that it may help bring your body back into balance without increasing the risk of cancer.
BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) has proven helpful by providing clinical (measureable by testing) hormone balance. Every pre-menopausal and post-menopausal woman should get their sex hormone levels checked through saliva testing if for no other reason to provide a baseline. The results should be discussed with a knowledgeable bioidentical hormone practitioner. Sometimes the practitioner will also want to include urine testing, but saliva testing should always be included among any lab work.
Health concerns that occur before, during or after menopause have the very real ability to affect a woman for the rest of her life, especially in the absence of appropriate hormone balance. Unfortunately, as a woman gets older she is often told by her doctor to limit prolonged use of any type of hormones, using them only long enough to obtain relief from menopausal symptoms and then discontinue them for the rest of her life. This advice seemingly does not recognize the critical differences between hormones that are foreign to a women’s body (synthetic) and hormones identical (bioidentical) to those naturally produced by a woman’s body.
There is a great amount of scientific evidence indicating that natural progesterone (as opposed to synthetic progestin drugs) and the natural estriol form of estrogen may help protect against the very diseases caused by synthetic estrogen-progestin drugs. In fact, when one restores the body’s supply of bioidentical progesterone, multiple health benefits are often experienced. These benefits can include balanced blood sugar levels, restful & normal sleep patterns, reduced anxiety levels, and the stimulation of new bone growth.   Also, when discussing mood and emotional health, it’s important to realize that the brain is highly responsive to progesterone. In fact, progesterone concentrations in the brain have been shown to be 20 times higher than in the blood.
“A thorough review of the medical literature clearly supports the claim that bioidentical hormones have some distinctly different, often opposite, physiological effects to those of their synthetic [non-bioidentical counterpart] hormones. With respect to the risk for breast cancer, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, substantial scientific and medical evidence demonstrates that bioidentical hormones are safer and more efficacious forms of HRT than commonly used synthetic versions.” 
- Dr. Kent Holtorf, MD – specialist in bioidentical hormone therapy and anti-aging medicine
Sometimes herbs and supplements alone may not provide all the measureable balance a woman needs. They will often help with some symptom-relief especially in those women who are not experiencing debilitating symptoms. But symptom relief does not equal clinical balance, as any woman who is experiencing life-altering symptoms will tell you. The herb Vitex (chaste berry) comes the closest to providing some balance because it works directly on the pituitary gland, but because it usually takes from 3-6 months for Vitex to work, most women decide the waiting period is unbearable when they need relief asap.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is not synthetic in the same way as synthetic hormones. Yes, progesterone (not progestin which is synthetic and was first developed for use as a contraceptive agent.) is derived from a plant (Mexican Wild Yam Root or Soy) in a laboratory, but so are most supplements, etc. It’s not like we can squeeze bioidentical progesterone from the Mexican Wild Yam Root or the Soy Plant into a jar. However, if bioidentical progesterone was the same as synthetic progestin, then bioidentical progesterone would produce the same side-effects. And that is just not the case. There is very good documentation about the difference of side effects between synthetic and bioidentical hormones even though the pharmaceutical companies would love for women to believe that the body sees them as the same and producing the same results. The FDA has actually approved 14 different bioidentical progesterone products manufactured by pharmaceutical companies – without all those “gold standard” clinical trials – so they know BHRT works – and the pharmaceutical companies want to corner the market of an aging baby-boomer population. In fact, they have asked the FDA several times over the last 14 years to make bioidentical hormones prescription-only. So far, the FDA has not done so.
However, simply adding bioidentical hormones or herbal remedies may be a cop-out for taking some personal and total responsibility in lifestyle changes that will further aid the body towards hormone wellness and balance. Like most things in life, we must err on the side of caution. There is no one magic bullet when it comes to getting the endocrine system balanced and healthy. The use of herbs and/or BHRT are two of the safest ways to assist women with the bothersome symptoms of hormone imbalance — especially when they are combined with a whole body cleansing and balancing program.
- Considering Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy section by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, HHP, CH of ExhibitHealth.com
Question #1: Hi Dr. Group. What effect, if any, does iodine have on autism in young adults? I’ve read that iodine may be a helpful approach, but only in young children. Also, any advice for ADHD?
Answer: Research has shown that children with autism appear to suffer from iodine deficiency at much higher rates compared to children without the disorder. What’s more, mothers of autistic children also seem to suffer from iodine deficiency more so than mothers with children who do not have autism. Check out this article to learn more about the research.
In regards to your question, there has been very little research to date showing iodine’s effect on autism symptoms in young adults. That’s not to say there aren’t any effects, just that it hasn’t really been studied. Young adults with autism also seem to have lower levels of iodine, so it’s safe to say that the nutrient somewhat plays a role; researchers just don’t know how. When it comes to ADHD, an overactive or underactive thyroid can produce low energy or erratic states, leading to an ADHD diagnosis. Those who have been diagnosed should check to see how well their thyroid is working and should make sure they are not suffering from a thyroid deficiency. In my personal experience I have seen great results using iodine with autism.
Question #2: How does Quantum Biology play a role in healing? What are your thoughts about the healing effects about the 4th phase of water in relation to Dr. Pollack’s work?
Answer: Quantum biology is a rather new field for scientific exploration. However I do believe that all life involves the unseen and the seen as well as the basic frequencies of life. Dr. Pollock’s work is amazing and I think that water is the most important healing agent known to man.
Question #3: I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS, or a hormonal imbalance. Reproductive endocrinologist says taking the birth control pill Kariva is the best approach to dealing with the issue. I disagree. DHEA level is 424, LH 3.5 & FSH 5.7. Any advice?
Answer: Your DHEA level seems to be higher than normal, obviously indicating that your adrenal function is imbalanced. Luteinizing hormone seems a bit low, but the follicle-stimulating hormones appears to be in the normal range–as long as you are still menstruating. The abnormality presented in DHEA and LH levels is clearly telling you that hormonal imbalance is a present issue.
Masking the symptoms of a greater issue with a pharmaceutical drug may not be the best option, especially when there is usually an underlying factor to hormonal imbalance. I would suggest having your thyroid checked to see how active (or under active) it is, and also check to see if you have an iodine deficiency. Supplementation may be necessary in your case, so it is always best to have this gland tested.
Be sure to also check out our article on PCOS.
Question #4: Hey Dr. Group, thanks for hosting this webinar! I wanted to ask how effective MegaHydrate is with purified or alkaline water when cleansing the body and balancing the hormones?
Answer: Thanks for watching! Both types of water are beneficial to use with MegaHydrate; however, distilled water is highly recommended during cleansing as it can be helpful for the removal of some toxic compounds that tend to accumulate in the body. Distilled water shouldn’t be used during fasting, however, because it can deplete essential minerals if these minerals are not added (I typically add raw, organic apple cider vinegar to distilled water). MegaHydrate is designed to enhance hydration in the entire body while providing antioxidant protection.
Question #5: I’ve been taking Androtrex for 1 week and 4 days. I’ve noticed extra energy during my workouts, but the past 3 days I’ve still felt really tired. I haven’t noticed libido and sexual drive increase yet. Also, I’m still stuck at 210 lbs. Will things change after 3 wks?
Answer: It can be somewhat difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of your tiredness, because the cause is typically multifold. I would need more information about your diet, your nutrition history, your lifestyle habits, etc. That being said, Androtrex seems to be working for your fitness routine; however, it can take a couple of weeks before you start seeing its full effects. Why? Balancing hormones after years, or even months, of imbalance simply can’t happen overnight; the body needs sufficient time to repair itself. I would also advise that you have your thyroid tested and see if you have an iodine deficiency. A lack of iodine can promote a sluggish thyroid, leading to decreased energy. If this is the case, you may need to supplement to restore your iodine levels. Also, look for any endocrine disrupting chemicals that you may be ingesting.
Question #6: I take 1 tsp. of Maca a day for hormone balance. Is that sufficient?
Answer: 1 tsp. of Maca powder is fine, but if you aren’t experiencing any results after a couple of weeks, I would suggest increasing it to 2 tsp. Combining Maca with other herbs like Suma, Ashwaganda, and Tribulus terrestris may also be helpful for balancing hormones safely and effectively. Androtrex contains many of these herbs, including Maca, which is designed to work together in a synergistic fashion for balancing male hormones.
Question #7: What do we do against chemtrails?
Answer: Sadly, there is very little we can do to stop chemtrails from happening. You can contact your local state senator and legislative branch, city council and even write to the president. However, we can certainly protect our health by cleansing our body on a regular basis. Cleansing helps to detoxify the chemicals we are exposed to from chemtrails and other sources.
Question #8: Do you know of anybody I can see in Houston that will help me naturally regulate my hormones and deal with PCOS?
Answer: Yes, contact OasisAdvancedWellness.com.
Question #9: Do you recommend reverse osmosis water?
Answer: Reverse osmosis can remove fluoride, a potential neurotoxin, from water. So yes, as a second option I do recommend reverse osmosis water over unfiltered, fluoride-containing tap water. My first choice is Distilled water which can be beneficial during cleansing, and there are many other filters out there that help remove not only fluoride, but chlorine and heavy metals as well.
Question #10: I have gone through menopause. I have no more big problems with menopause except for the lack of energy. I would like to know what I can do. I am pretty sure that my adrenals are contributing to my low energy.
Answer: Have you had your adrenals checked? You’re more than likely right that your adrenals may be the culprit toward your low energy levels. The thyroid gland can also act up after menopause, so I would suggest that you have this gland checked. See if you have an iodine deficiency, too, as this contributes to lower-than-normal energy levels. When is the last time you did a full body cleanse?
Question #11: My red blood cells run high from Testim 1% gel. I now combine your Androtrex with the 1 tube of testim gel. I also take 224 mcg of synthroid for hypothyroidism. Testosterone is in low 300. Have any advice on how to safely raise it higher?
Answer: This study shows that testosterone gel does raise red blood cells: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
That being said, here are a few things:
- If you are overweight (more fat than muscle), it may be helpful that you get your weight into a healthy range. Lose weight in a healthy manner by cleansing and eating a whole-foods diet with as much as raw food as you can.
- Intermittent exercise has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men. Engaging in quick, short bursts of energetic movement and alternating it with periods of rest and recovery may be helpful.
- Check to see if you have an iodine deficiency. Since you have hypothyroidism, the chances for a deficiency in iodine is very high. Speak to your doctor about supplementing if you find you are deficient in this nutrient.
The reason why I am hammering about talking to your doctor is that supplements may interfere with prescription medications in some people, making it imperative that this information be discussed with a trusted, licensed healthcare professional.
Question #12: What can someone do that has extremely bad periods? She is only 22 years old.
Answer: Less-common symptoms of hypothyroidism include heavy menstrual periods, so it may be important for her to receive thyroid testing. It is also important to know whether or not she is iodine deficient (if she has hypothyroidism, she probably is). Supplementation with iodine may be helpful.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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