Written by Angela Ysseldyk CNP, BA
What do the pimple on your chin, your energy levels, your libido (or lack thereof), your sleep, your mood and your cycle have in common? They’re all related to your hormones. You might be surprised to learn how some of your daily habits could be affecting your hormone health. The more you understand the impact of your hormones are in your life, the more empowered you will be to seek the right solutions for you.
What are hormones?
Hormones are special chemicals that carry messages from glands to cells within tissues or organs in the body through the bloodstream. Receptors all over the body (including the brain, heart and gut) receive important messages from these hormones. In other words, hormones play a role in controlling body functions from primary needs like hunger, to complex systems and functions like reproduction and emotions.
Hormones need support
Hormones don’t work alone. Organs and glands including the adrenals, the thyroid, the gut, the ovaries and the liver all support hormones. These body systems manufacture, deliver and convert hormones into different forms, or may help to detoxify and eliminate hormones once they have delivered their message.  It’s important that all of these systems are working properly, because hormones are powerful: Too much or too little of a hormone can cause imbalance that lead to symptoms.
Long live your liver
The liver is to critical to overall hormone balance. The job of the liver is to break down and remove excess hormones and their metabolites from your body. It is also involved in cholesterol manufacture, detoxification of hormones and other toxins we are exposed to, and conversion of hormones to other hormones. And on top of that, your liver produces a significant amount of sex hormones, namely estrogen. It’s busy.
Unfortunately, a lot has changed in the last 50 years concerning our exposure to drugs and chemicals that impact liver workload. For example, chemicals called xenoestrogens are found in the environment and in foods, cosmetics and cleaning ingredients we consume daily. Xeno-estrogens are foreign substances that are close enough in molecular structure to estrogen that they can bind to estrogen receptor sites and mess up your body’s rhythm. These xeno-estrogens wreak havoc on hormones and have been found in chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, dark hair dyes, and parabens found in soaps and cosmetics that we use daily.  BPA and phthalates are also well-known endocrine disruptors. 
The average woman uses 12 personal care products each day, with 168 unique chemical ingredients.
Being on the birth control pill (BCP) can also throw your hormones for a loop and give you symptoms that may seem like PMS. Developed in 1957, the BCP has been associated with hormonal side effects including intermenstrual spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches and migraine, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, decreased libido, vaginal discharge, and more.  Because the BCP uses synthetic hormones, they add to the liver burden.
There’s more. There are both “healthy” and “unhealthy” estrogens. It’s the role of the liver to de-activate those unhealthy ones. In fact, more than 50% of the metabolism and conjugation of estrogens takes place in the liver.  The liver metabolizes hormones and other substances using two primary Phases: The Phase I and Phase II pathways.  These phases rely on having an adequate supply of the right nutrients available for the liver to make the conversion happen.  Often, processed-food lifestyles can get in the way. When the conversion is hampered, estrogen imbalance results.
Poor estrogen metabolism (via our liver) can affect a woman’s cycle
Period problems are a barometer of overall hormonal health – so it makes sense that if you are experiencing hormone havoc around your cycle, it’s a sign you are out of balance
Research has shown that there are nutrients that can support phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways via the liver and help maintain the important estrogen ratios. Look for combinations of ingredients including Indole 3-carbinole (I3C), and more to help to promote healthy estrogen metabolism and estrogen metabolite ratios. 9 Foods such as cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage are a source of I3C. Estrosmart containing I3C and a unique combination of ingredients including calcium D-glucarate, DIM, Broccophane®, green tea, rosemary and turmeric extract can help to create balance by supporting liver detoxification, providing detoxification of BPA. Estrosmart helps support/promote healthy estrogen metabolism and supports/promotes a healthy estrogen metabolite ratio and maintaining a healthy estrogen-to-progesterone balance which is so important for many functions in the body. Women can start taking Estrosmart everyday to keep their hormones balanced.
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