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Hey there, hey everyone!
I’m Kendra Perry, I am a functional diagnostic nutritionist and i specialize in female hormones, GI health and heavy metal detox so if this is your first time joining me it’s very very nice to meet you, and I’m pretty excited about today’s video because I’m actually gonna be going over the case study of a GI map which is a very very important GI panel that i use with pretty much all my clients and i honestly get so much in so many questions about the gi map.
So a lot of people with chronic GI issues they’re doing a ton of research and ultimately they’ll end up coming to the gi map which is a very effective panel for identifying infections, leaky gut, inflammation, immune function and stuff like that. So I actually want to go over a case study of one of my clients Lacey we’ll call her Lacey.
So you can see what her test initially looked like when she came to me, the symptoms that she was initially experiencing and how we worked through the different protocols to actually a hundred percent resolve her chronic GI symptoms. This is an amazing test and if you want to copy up the case study that I’m going to go through today you just have to type amazing in the comments below, and I’ll just send it to you through facebook messenger, I have all the entire protocol that I used in this document plus copies of the lab tests so you can get an idea of what it would look like.
Okay, so I am actually going to share my screen so here we go and I’m going to take you through this. So Lacey was a client who came to me just over a year ago, she was a 36-year-old female she was an IT consultant and she was having a really rough time, she was currently eating a standard American diet so unfortunately, she was eating a lot of processed food she thought she was eating healthy but she was eating a lot of things that came from a box that came from a package and because of that her sugar consumption was much higher than desirable she was eating lots of unhealthy fats she wasn’t getting enough protein, which is pretty common with many of the woman who I work with they don’t like eating a lot of meat so they’re just not getting the protein that they need.
She wasn’t getting enough sleep either she was staying up really late she was doing a lot of her work late at night and then she was getting up pretty early in the morning and she was pretty stressed out, overall she didn’t like her job she was you know really stressed out with work she had a bit of a relationship stress and she kind of dealt with that by doing a ton of different exercise so she would she would go to CrossFit she would go to spin classes and she would do this five to six days a week and she would actually get up early and deprive herself from even more sleep just so she could do this really intense exercise.
She was trying you know she was doing her best she was taking some supplements but yeah, magnesium citrate really low, form of magnesium because her main complaints were bloating and gas. She was doing ghee, membrane, peppermint. She was also taking a multivitamin and some vitamin D and she was taking quite a few over-the-counter pain meds just because she was having so much pain with her month of migraine so her, main complaints are right here she had chronic fatigue she had horrible constipation where she just couldn’t eliminate at all.
She would only go once or twice a week sometimes which is pretty bad. So you know reabsorbing a lot of the toxins she was being exposed to, she was also severely bloated pretty much everything she ate was just bloating her she said, even water would bloat her.
And then she was having you know migraines a few times a week so she was having a really really hard time. So we ran some tests with her but I do want to show you her first GI Map, so this is a gut panel that I use it is amazing it’s very sensitive it uses a more cutting-edge type of technology than a traditional stool analysis and so because that is very sensitive it’s very good at picking up different infections, parasites, bacteria, yeast, viruses, worms which is a cool new addition to the test plus it will look at inflammation, digestion, detoxification and a few other things a, well so, this was the first page of her tests so right off the bat down here these are some major issues like really really major so these parasitic pathogens here I like to call these the big bad three because these are the most damaging parasites that you can get.
Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica and giardia and she does have two of them, I’ve actually had all three of these but that’s me so this one right here the entamoeba histolytica this is the most dangerous parasite that you can get. Most doctors know about this it causes a lot of disease basically, it is a parasite that doesn’t stay in the GI tract it travels into the brain into the lungs and into the liver and in the liver it has the opportunity or possibility of creating a liver abscess and that’s what can actually kill people, so this is a potentially fatal infection so it’s no wonder she was having so much fatigue while she was having so much of gi Issues because this is a really really serious infection and this is actually a good lesson for why it’s so important to test because you know I come across so many people who are just you know they think they have a gi infection so they’re just taking like some anti microbials they’re taking different herbs that they’ve heard of that will help,
Well in the case of this one in the case of entamoeba histolytica, It does not respond to her mo protocols this is probably the only infection where I will send someone to their doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics a very specific antibiotic a lot of antibiotics don’t touch this but there is a couple specific antibiotics that will get rid of this and it will generally get rid of it within two to three weeks of treatment so if you know and that’s why I’m such a proponent of testing I think you should always test not guess and yeah this is because with this one you know if you didn’t test you would never know that you have this and this can actually exist in you for years and just cause so much sickness, okay so pretty, big deal right there.
Giardia is another parasite for some people also can cause fever but you get it from drinking contaminated water or swimming in like a contaminated lake or pond, you know it’s nasty it causes a lot of toxins to be released in the body it will cause a lot of dysbiosis so you know right here she has two of the three big bad parasites right so no wonder that she feeling the way that she’s feeling, okay on top of that sheso has h pylori so helio factor k pylori is a little spiral shaped bacteria, It likes to burrow into the lining of the stomach and typically the stomach is very acidic and that’s what allows you to break down and denature protein but h pylori actually changes the ph to alkaline so when the ph is alkaline you actually can’t break down protein so you have a lot of protein malabsorption and then you have these large chunks of protein traveling through the gi tract and getting fed on by other types of bacteria it will cause a lot of purification a lot of gas production hence bloating right, so this is a really nasty infection and unfortunately she does have this Vac A Virulence factor, which just, means that she has a strain of hp laura that is more likely to lead to something like stomach ulcers and stomach cancer so this infection is actually a primary cause of stomach cancer.
So yeah right off the bat we’re seeing, some major infections, it’s not going to be a quick fix but we can definitely help her okay, and then as I scroll down here we can see her this is her normal flora which some of it is looking a little bit low. So, I did put her on a probiotic and then we’re also seeing some of these potential autoimmune triggers so these are bacteria that have been shown in some research to potentially trigger certain types of autoimmunity. This one is specific to rheumatoid arthritis and this one is just specific to autoimmune conditions in general so yeah, some pretty nasty opportunistic bacteria this is gonna crowd out her friendly flora so definitely an issue definitely something we want to address.
And then she also has one of these parasites not as nasty as the two other parasites she has but you know, not favourable we don’t want to see parasites in people so we’re gonna address this parasite as well and then finally she does have Candida. She doesn’t have candida albicans this is the strain of candida most people are familiar with she has a different strain of candida it’s in moderate amounts and she also has micro spur idiom which is considered a parasitic fungus really, really nasty fungus causes a lot of pathology causes a lot of symptoms a lot of fatigue so you know we’re seeing a lot of infections in Lacey and its really validating how she feels right.
Okay, and then if we go down we can see secretory iga, which is a marker for immune system you can see how depressed it is so the range is five to ten and considering how many infections she has you would actually expect to see this really elevated that would show you that the immune system is on high alert and actually responding to those infections that she has but it’s so low so these infections are really wearing on her immune system and it’s possible that these infections have actually been going on for a really long time and that’s why her immune system just simply isn’t mounting a response anymore.
Okay, so anti-gliadin, IgA is the section of the immune system that reacts that responds to gliadin which is a component of gluten that people react to and this is really high so I don’t often see ones this high, anything over 300 can show that your body is mounting an inflammatory response to gluten but this is so high I actually was like this could be a sign for something like celiac disease I don’t diagnoseI’mm not a doctor so i sent her to a doctor to get tested for celiac to see if that was something she had but regardless even if she doesn’t have celiac we still need to follow a very certain free diet because her body is having a pretty negative nasty response to that protein.
Elastase-1 this is a marker for pancreatic enzyme function and you can see it’s quite low 200 or above is the range I like to see 400 or higher from a functional standpoint, so she’s at 110 so pancreas is a bit sluggish she’s not getting good enzyme production so she’s not breaking down her food very well and then calprotectin is a marker for inflammation in the gut and this is really high and considering how low her immune function is this is very high because it’s like she’s barely being able to respond, her immune system is not responding. And then she has this in high inflammation so this is actually a lot higher than it looks because of that so I know this isn’t some another situation where I sent her to a gastroenterologist just to get her checked out for something more serious of course those infections that she does have they can definitely cause a lot of inflammation but I always like to be safe I want to make sureI’mm within my scope of practice so I did send her to a doctor to get that checked out as well.
Okay, so what did we do to help her?
So we’ll go up here and so we actually we had to do a lot of work with Lacey, just because you know she wasn’t eating a super healthy diet, she wasn’t living a super healthy lifestyle so, we put her on 100% gluten-free diet Paleo I had her eliminating, grains, dairy, legumes, beans, sugar a lot of those things can be hard to digest and we could just tell that she clearly wasn’t digesting so i really had to clean up her diet.
We got her eating four to seven tablespoons of added fat daily of healthy fats these are the ones I usually recommend and I really upped her protein content so we had her starting to eat a little bit more meat we also added in a really high-quality protein powder to just get her some of some more of that protein, we started introducing some really healthy carbs like roux feds root vegetables and some low sugar fruit and I also significantly upped her cooked veggie intake I’m a big fan of cooked veggies because they do increase mineral content and when your body is having trouble digesting raw veggies just aren’t your friend because they are hard to digest.
Okay, so when I work with clients I like to use DRESS-D protocol so dress stands for Diet Rest Exercise Stress reduction Supplements and then I also added another D for Detoxification. that’s really important so it really is a holistic approach when i work with clients it’s very important we can’t just give people supplements, we can’t just give people, you know, tell them to sleep we can’t just clean up their diet really, we need to address all those things, okay?
So, we also got her resting warm we got her going to bed early in bed by 10:30 every night, started getting her to prioritize that seven to nine hours of sleep and then avoiding screens and bright lights before bed just so that she wasn’t affecting her melatonin. Which is her sleep hormone which can be affected by bright light so we had her sleeping better which is really helpful, i did have to tell her to slow down on her exercise because she was exercising way too hard for her energy level she was exhausting herself and as you go through a healing program especially when you’re killing off infections they do dump their toxins so it is pretty hard on the body so you really do need to rest so we had her doing more restorative workouts, walking, pilates, yoga stretching and avoiding all that intensive cardio for the duration of the program.
So she was a little resistant to that but once she started resting more and taking more time for herself she did see how much it helped. So, we had her implement some stress reduction techniques Daily, gratitude journal meditation practice more restorative yoga and journaling I referred her to a couple’s counsellor for relationship issues which I know she did find helpful and you know she just wasn’t doing enough things that were fun for her so you know. I really encouraged her to get outside to do things with friends just to spend more time doing things that made her happy.
I got her on on some foundational supplements and so this was for the duration of all the protocols that she ended up having to go on Ashwagandha to mitigate the stress response I got her on some high dose magnesium glycinate so I’m a big fan of magnesium for everyone, GI Revive is a really great gut rebuilder. So I gave her some of that megaspore biotic is a really potent probiotic,
So to just support that sort of friendly flora and microbiome I had are taking some interphase and Biocidin this helps address the biofilm this is actually really really important for any Infection elimination because the biofilm is like this sticky
Polysaccharide matrix that bacteria produce between them and they can actually physically kind of hide under it as a barrier but they also use it to kind of communicate among each other so that’s how they kind of resist and adapt to some of the treatment you might giving it so a big part of getting rid of infections is disrupting the biofilm so these are biofilm disruptors we also gave her some colostrum which will help improve her immune response,
Someday just some bitters to help her produce more enzymes and some Boswelia as an anti-inflammatory and for this protocol I actually Had to put her on five Separate protocols just because she had so many infections this was definitely a bit of a worst-case scenario I mean not all of the ones I see her this bad but it’s not uncommon so first I wanted to address the entamoeba histolytica. If you’ll remember that’s that really dangerous Potentially fatal infection. That a lot of people that just won’t respond to hurled protocols so I referred her out for an antibiotic and fortunately the antibiotic that kills the entamoeba histolytica will also kill giardia so this Was kind of like a two birds with one stone, we had her on three weeks of those antibiotics prescribed By her physician and after those three weeks.
We started the second protocol so the whole time she’s taking all these foundational stuff foundational supplements. So the second protocol was 60 days and the next thing i prioritized was the h pylori, because that is the reason she’s not digesting any of her food so these are the products I use pylori it’s mostly mastic gum, mastic gum seems to be the thing that kills off h pylori. DGL synergy Which I deglyzerized licorice roots of licorice root without the effects that they can have on hormone so very good for the stomach and then mutula tea which is a really really healing tea it’s a combination of different flowers and herbs that are picked at very specific times of the year but it’s pretty awesome at getting rid of h pylori, if i have h pylori with a client and there aren’t those of ireland’s factors or those factors pointing to having the type of h pylori that leads you to stomach ulcers and cancer i may not add in mutulu tea but because she had that more serious strain of hp laurie i did add in maturity
So then, we knew that third Sixty-day protocol for that last parasite that penta chromis hominis and so amazon ap, this is a great product that’s rain, forest botanicals so really effective herbs are getting rid of parasites i really really love, these products We did that for days. And then we did the fourth protocol for sixty Days to address the bacterial infection so I put her on another product with rain forest botanicals but More specific to the bacteria and then alison is just really high dose concentrated garlic
So, that’s really really effective for addressing, bacterial infections and then the fifth protocol. The final protocol is for the yeast for the candida and the micro spur idiom so i did another product with rainforest botanicals for fungus and then candid x which will help address that candida, that she had for detox we had daily coffee enema coffee enemas I know those are probably sound scary but they’re very effective for detox. We had her during regular castor oil packs in sauna therapy and then of course i did send her to her Physician for celiac testing to see if that was something that she had because of that really Elevated immune response to the anti-gliadin, iga, okay?
We did that this took about six months is I think it took longer than six months this was a long protocol, we had five different protocol. So, that’s probably, about eight months So at eight months we checked in and she actually had experienced a lot of improvement so her fatigue had Improved she was still having migraines but they were becoming less intense and less frequent. She was experiencing less, bloating she was starting to have more regular bowel movements but they were so hard to pass is still a bit of constipation there she did notice that she was sleeping better.
And she was adhering to the recommendations and you know. No one’s perfect! She wasn’t perfect but she was doing a really good job. She did manage to cut down on some stress she cut down on work hours she was pursuing a new job opportunity Which she thought was feeling very excited about. She took up a new hobby and she cut down on her exercise which even though she was resistant she did find that that really helped and it turns out the celiac test was negative so she did not have celiac disease according to her doctor but because of the elevated response to it
Strict gluten free diet okay, so let’s look at what her second test looked at looked like okay so this is kind of interesting and this is actually a situation that i see a lot. Sometimes the retest you get rid of one round of infections and a whole bunch of new infections show up very common that’s just because you know the gut is a deep dark place.
There’s a lot of things that are in there and such small amounts and once you get rid of one thing you kind of make room, for these other things they kind of come out of hiding and show their face it’s not a bad thing it shows that the particle is working so it’s not uncommon to have to go through another round of treatment after the first. One or sometimes you just don’t get rid of those initial infections they need a longer treatment everyone’s different so this isn’t straightforward, there’s no cookie cutter approach.
What I do for you is very different for what i do for her or him. Okay, so the good news is we got rid of those big bad infections so we got rid of the entamoeba histolytica We got rid of the giardia and this is awesome we got rid of the h pylori the first round of treatment Which doesn’t always happen so that was awesome. But what we did see is this clostridium difficile or c-Diff so this is a very nasty Bacterial infection it’s very resistant to antibiotics and typically people get it from taking too many antibiotics and Lacey did have a history of antibiotic use plus it’s rampant in hospitals so if you spend any time in hospitals if you are a hospital worker a nurse a doctor there’s a good chance that you might have this and if you spent any time you know visiting relatives or friends in the hospital and she did have a sick mother so she was spending a lot of time in a hospital we never really know why people get these or when they pick them up or how long they had them for but those are definitely some risk factors.
C-diff if is nasty causes a lot of toxin production this one can be fatal as well although mostly in people who are immunocompromised or really elderly people but definitely not something that you want in your stomach okay. So this is a new protocol that we’re gonna have to put her through if we scroll down. We’re actually seeing some improvements in her bacterial flora which is good so that probiotic is helping and just the fact that we’re getting rid of these major infections is actually really increasing the rate at which your friendly flora can grow so we got rid of the citrobacter.
We got rid of the proteus so this is all awesome but we did have another parasite pop up and this is actually really common so the h pylori, that she originally had tends to travel with blastocystis hominis the two teams seem to come together. Although i rarely see them come up with the same task so usually I’ll see one on the first test and on the retest the next one comes up that’s pretty common although i did just have a client yesterday, where we saw both on the same test so it does happen so we’re gonna have to do another parasite protocol for Lacey. And then we did do a pretty good dent in the candida and microsporum fungus they were moderate before so now they’re low so yeah we just need she needs a bit of a longer protocol for this but what we’re doing is working.
We just need to do it for a little bit longer and then for these additional tests, we can see this is her immune system marker it’s coming back. I believe it was at 135 before and it’s at 526 so her immune system is starting to bounce back this is awesome. This is the immune system that is reacting to gluten. Excuse me and it’s gone down it was at 500 before but it’s still high so after we saw this she was eating a really strict glutenfree diet she’s doing really good with that so i had her go through all her personal care products and beauty products and check for
Gluten in the ingredients because a lot of these products do have gluten and that for people who are really sensitive. Okay, so we’re back on i think i just bounced off for a second as always i have super crappy internet. So enzyme production is back it’s it’s better it’s above the range now it’s still low from my perspective but we’re starting to see better pancreatic enzyme response, calprotectin, which is that inflammation marker has gone down a little bit too so we’re seeing a lot of really good things with this test
Which is awesome and then it’s showing it how she feels it’s showing in her symptoms. Okay, so what did we do so for the second test? We had to put her through another protocol so We had her continue with everything she was doing because her energy levels were up i let her Add a bit of resistance training, some interval training as her energy allowed we continued with all those foundational supplements but we did have to put her on a few more 60-day protocols so seed if that’s the nasty one. This one actually responds really poorly the antibiotics really poorly the herb it does really well with saccharomyces boulardii.
Which is a probiotic and i do a taper off protocol, which means we start with a high dose and we slowly decrease. Ok, we’re back on so i added in the ap, some gi microbe acts have been some more things and then we also added in i just a yeast protocol, we continued with what we were doing because it was working and then i added in some grapefruit seed extract, Some caprylic switch is from coconut oil to just really try to speed that protocol along and then we continued with everything, of course, we did have her assess her personal care and beauty products to look for those gluten-containing ingredients ok. So after this protocol she again experienced some significant changes she said she hadn’t had a migraine in a couple months which is awesome she was reporting better energy and more consistent energy throughout the day she didn’t feel bloated anymore her bowel movements were regular and only occasionally difficult to pass, her sleep was really good and she said she was following the guidelines but 90% so she was doing a really good job.
And well this is what, we saw on her third test. Okay so this, is test number three, we can see the c-diff is gone sorry guys having internet connections but i’m gonna keep going here all her bacteria was up which is awesome and this was all looking really clean the yeast was gone that parasite was gone. And then where we’re seeing so this these are actually there, was so in between the I’m just gonna, keep pushing, through, these tech issues guys and so this is where we’re seeing so many good things so alas says one, enzymes are way up there above 400 this is awesome pancreas is keeping up again we’re seeing that her immune response has really bounced back so it was 500 on the last one now we’re up to 1300 we’re,back in that range and she’s no longer mounting an inflammatory response to gluten that’s because she has completely removed it she’s got it out of her diet she had got it out of her personal care products she’s been really good with that so that is no longer an issue for her and then calprotectin this is the inflammation marker and that is way down so this is a really great success story and this is typically what happen when i work with clients it’s not always done after the first round like one test usually isn’t enough, we have to work through a couple. This probably took a full year to complete or just a little bit over a year.
Maybe about a year and a half but But it’s not a long time because these Issues were going on for years she had this going on for 15 years so 15 years a year and a half to heal i actually think that’s pretty good that’s why i love testing. You want a copy of this case study with everything that i did to help or you can just type amazing into the comments box and i’ll send it to your facebook messenger we’re just pushing through these tech issues hopefully i won’t have another i’ll be able to finish this before i drop off again but if you’re interested you can book a free appointment with me if you just want to chat with me, pick my brain and see if what you’re going through will be a good fit for my program and of course if you do want this case study you want to take a look at these tests and the protocol that i recommended for Lacey just type “amazing” in the comments box and ill send it to your FB Messenger.
You can learn more about me at kendraperry.net Have a good day, Bye!
Hello, how’s it going? I’m Kendra Perry from Kendra Kendra Perry Nutrition, and I’m coming to you from my very cold house.
It’s getting into October now and I didn’t feel like making a fire because I was lazy so I’ve got my toque on I got my … jacket on and I even got my booties on, those are my favorite little booties, but anyways, today we’re going to be talking about a very very important topic and also maybe a bit of a controversial topic because I know a lot of you ladies out there take the birth control pill and you’re getting a lot of benefits from it
You know you don’t have to think much and you’re not getting pregnant you don’t have to worry about that which is awesome.
But of course that does come with some side effects, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today; three unknown very very commonly unknown side effects that are very long-term and these side effects can affect you even if you were on the birth control years ago and you’ve been off it for years, so maybe it’s something you took in your 20s and it’s been five or ten years since you’ve been off of it.
Unfortunately, some of these side effects can still be affecting you and I’m going to get into that a little bit today. So if this is your first time joining in for one of my videos. Welcome, I’m Kendra Perry from Kendra Perry Nutrition like I mentioned before and I’m a functional diagnostic nutritionist and what I do is I help women generally in their 30s and 40s.
I help them balance their hormones so they can stop feeling fatigued, crazy overweight and super unsexy and they can start feeling awesome, so that’s what I do and if you haven’t already I have an awesome freebie right now if you are wondering what’s up with your hormones? If maybe you suspect your hormones have to do some of the symptoms that you’re experiencing lately,
I have a free self-test it’s pinned to the top of this page and you can use that to get a good idea if you might be at risk for a specific hormone imbalance and which imbalance that might be, okay.
So let’s get into it, but before we get started, I just want to ask you guys a question and please answer even if you’re just watching this video if even if you’re just watching the replay of this video.
I know there’s a bunch of you guys with me live today but even if you’re watching the replay I come back and look at these comments for weeks, so please answer so I just want to know and this is a bit of a personal question but sometimes
I like to get personal, let me know if you are currently taking the birth control pill and if so, what’s the reason that you are taking it is it to avoid pregnancy, or is it some other reason?
Maybe you’re taking it to regulate a hormone imbalance that your doctor said you have or maybe it’s to regulate a very irregular cycle?
Just let me know drop it in the comments box below, and that would be great, okay? So let’s first kind of talk about the birth control what’s actually kind of happening in the body so of course this like starts with what the female cycle is really supposed to look like okay, so in a woman who’s not taking any hormone, so no birth control typically what happens is estrogen is very dominant in the first half of the cycle so days 1 to 14.
Estrogen is what’s considered, it’s a growth hormone so it makes things grow and what it does is it grows the lining of the uterus it starts to grow that lining and basically, that’s your body preparing for pregnancy because if you were to say get pregnant or if there was a sperm and it connected with that egg in your body which is terrifying, but anyway is that they connect that egg will go into your uterus and implant on the wall, and that’s where it’ll start to grow and eventually turn into a baby.
So that’s what happens in day 1 to 14 is estrogen is pumping and then at some point around ovulation so that usually happens around day 14 middle of the cycle an egg is released from the ovaries and that ovary or that that egg basically is looking for a sperm to fertilize it and if it doesn’t get fertilized it actually starts to break down and degrade because we don’t need it anymore so your body gets rid of it.
And as that egg breaks down and degrades it actually releases a significant amount of progesterone, and that’s why progesterone is very important in the second half of the menstrual cycle, so estrogen goes down progesterone goes up as that a starts to degrade and then when it comes up to your period that’s actually when hormones drop super low so they’re at their lowest and that’s actually what triggers the menstrual cycle is a drop in both estrogen and progesterone, okay.
So what happens when you were on the pill? So basically the pill kind of hijacks your hormone control, so it dumps a bunch of synthetic estrogen and progesterone into the body in really high amounts which actually mimics pregnancy so when you’re pregnant your hormones are just pumping right, these things help maintain the pregnancy and keep a fetus healthy so the hormones are just kind of going off the radar they’re super high and that’s what hormonal birth control does is it lets these hormones become super high with synthetic hormones.
And it actually tricks the body into thinking that you’re pregnant so that’s why if you end up with another sperm inside your body because you’re still having sex there’s not going to be any eggs released because the body thinks you’re already pregnant.
So that’s what happens when you take that pill every single day and the same is true for IUD’s and also the patch or the ring I know there’s a lot of different types of birth control methods out there right now, but basically, they are pumping hormones and hijacking control of your hormones.
And then what happens when you get the period so that’s when you start taking those sugar pills, right? So what happens is you’re not actually getting a real period you’re actually getting what’s called sort of breakthrough bleeding. So you’re stopping those pills and that basically causes your hormones to drop and suddenly the body can’t maintain that lining anymore, so it starts to shed it so you’re kind of getting I guess what’s more like an artificial period you’re not actually getting a real period okay.
And this is a big reason why a lot of women take birth control pills even if it has nothing to do with preventing pregnancy so I know a lot of women take them because you know they have a very heavy period or maybe they have a very irregular cycle, maybe they have severe period cramps those are a lot of reasons people or women take birth control pills that really has nothing to do with actually not being, not getting pregnant, okay.
And the reason and so you know being on the pill is going to alleviate a lot of those symptoms because it does hijack hormone control and regulate things but it doesn’t actually fix the root cause so what a lot of women find is they feel really good on the pill.
But at some point they’re gonna want to go off it maybe because they want to get pregnant or they’ve just been on it. Too long and those hormone issues will come back and often with a vengeance because it’s basically just masking hormonal issues, so I think you know and that that I find quite unnerving.
You know I was like you I was on birth control for a really long time I think from the time I was 16 she about 23, so I guess what’s that 7 years? Maybe even longer than that and you know I got a ton of hormonal issues when I got off the pill and you know it’s because it sort of masks these hormonal issues, and they continue to persist in your body but unknown to you because you feel great while you’re on the pill, okay.
Anyways, I’m getting a bit off-track here But I want to get into those 3 reasons why? Or those 3 long-term side effects of birth control pills and again use can affect you even if you’ve been off the birth control pill for many years, even 10 or 15 years, and I’m gonna give you one bonus piece of info at the end.
So if you stay till the end, I’m gonna give you one complete and total shocker, it’s gonna blow your fucking head off! Seriously. It’s crazy when I learned about this I was completely shocked. Ok, so number one is it disrupts your gut flora, so the pill you know it doesn’t only have synthetic hormones in there, but it also has a lot of other synthetic additives and you take the pill in your mouth orally, and it actually kills your gut flora ok
And if you are someone who knows about gut health and knows the importance of the microbiome we know, this is a big problem so the microbiome is basically a bacterial community that you have living in your gut andwe have billions and billions and billions of these species in our gut and they play a huge role in our digestion our mood and pretty much a lot of our internal gut physiology and beyond. So it’s very very important to have healthy gut flora but you are taking a pill every single day that is killing the gut flora okay?
And this is probably one of the big reasons that women who are on birth control pills are significantly more likely to have issues with Candida.
Okay, so Candida is a yeast that naturally lives in the large intestine, and it’s always naturally there but when the gut floor is healthy it’s largely kept in check and it kind of just exists in those dark dark like deep corners of the large intestine but when that gut flora gets imbalance then the Candida can over grow and it can thrive and that can cause a lot of issues.
You know a lot of people are pretty familiar with the issues associated with Candida, but you know weight gain, fatigue, sugar cravings can be a really big one. It can cause a lot of issues because it causes a lot of inflammation it secretes a lot of toxins and it really does reduce your ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
So that’s a really big one so the way that it damages your gut flora and when your gut flora is not a good place so you just don’t have those healthy communities it puts you at risk for not only candida but also a lot of other gut infections so things like parasites and also other nasty bacteria because we are exposed to these things all the time, you know we don’t have to go to a third world country to get exposed to something like a parasite.
But when your gut flora is healthy it’s not a big deal because your immune system kind of deals with it it gets out you know overcrowded by the other healthy communities around it, so these things can tend to just get flushed out or at least kept …
There we go, sorry my timer, I need to put the turkey in the oven it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. And I had to set myself a timer so i got to get that turkey and we’re having a big big dinner probably tonight and my boyfriend will kill me if I forget anyways, okay, so talking about yeah, so you just put risk for a lot of infections when your gut flora is disrupted and once your gut flora is disrupted you know a lot of things can happen and it can really set the stage for you know long-term chronic health problems specifically mood and digestive problems.
So a lot of women you know they were on birth control pills in their 20s and they find in their 30s; they have a ton of GI symptoms, and they don’t really know what’s going on and a big part of that is the fact that they’ve spent many years depleting their incredibly important and sensitive gut flora.
So that’s the first way that birth control can really harm you for the long term.
Number two is relatively unknown, but this one is insane. Okay, so I see so I’m going to tell you about copper toxicity so birth controls really push up copper in your body, okay, and copper toxicity is something that I see in almost every woman is crazy and so when I work with women
I always want a hair mineral analysis. I’m really big into remineralizing the body right now. And so when I do this I tend to see in the results that their copper is completely imbalanced. It’s through the roof and copper toxicity can cause a significant amount of issues.
I’m just going to read you off some of the symptoms here because you might be able to relate to this but hypothyroid, mind racing, mood swing, diet, dry skin, depression, feeling of loss of control, chocolate cravings, constipation, adverse reaction to vitamin and minerals b12 deficiency, iron deficiency,haemorrhoids, osteoporosis, fatigue, anemia, decrease in white blood cells, problems of concentration, memory, acne, paranoia, arthritis it goes on and on and on and these are all issues of copper imbalance.
And it is crazy how much birth control pills can dis regulate your copper, and there are people out there so one of the experts that trained under for hair mineral analysis his name’s Rick Mulder it’s his opinion, and I mean he’s been doing this for 30 to 40 years, he’s tested tens of thousands of people and it’s his opinion that copper imbalance is the main cause of the majority of the health problems that we experienced because copper really needs to be tightly controlled in the body.
You don’t want too much, but you don’t want too little you have too much or too little you’re going to have health problems and so it’s really interesting, so sometimes so what happened so sorry I’m getting a little off track here, but I really want to tell you about this, it’s really interesting, so the birth control pill can put a lot of stress on the adrenals on the thyroid and when the adrenals and the thyroid are sluggish this actually reduces your body’s ability to make something called ceruloplasmin and ceruloplasmin is basically a compound in the body that allows you to use copper so you get into the situation where you know your thyroid and adrenal are sluggish from you know maybe they’ve always been a bit sluggish and now the birth control is making them more sluggish.
So and then on top of this the birth control pill is also pushing up copper so you end up in a situation where you’re totally copper toxic!
Because the birth control is pushing up copper but you’re also copper deficient because you have now a limited ability to produce ceruloplasmin and which means you have a limited ability to use copper and this is actually the most common situation i’ve seen and women who’ve been on birth control even if it was like 15 years ago is they have this severe copper imbalance where they’re totally copper toxic the body is storing copper in the tissues in the organs especially the liver and the kidneys and then because they can’t use it they’re completely copper deficient, so they have symptoms of both.
And it takes years to detox copper from the body it can take a really long time so I’ve seen this in women who have only been on birth control for a year and now we’re doing this test ten years later, but it’s gonna be even more crazy in women who’ve been on birth control pills for multiple years because it pushes up your copper and then another really interesting thing about copper is copper pushes up estrogen levels so when your copper is high your estrogen will be high, so taking birth control pills pushes up copper which can then push up your estrogen which leads to estrogen dominance.
And I’ve talked a lot about estrogen dominance I’ve written about a lot of it on my website Kendraperry.net but this is one of the nastiest hormone imbalances that you can have and it’s also one of the most common I see in women over 30 and even some women over 25 between like 25 and 30.
And so when your estrogen dominant it really does predispose you for estrogen dominant cancers things like cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, it also gives you crazy PMS, tender breast, bloating, acne, irritability, insomnia around your period, it just kind of makes you miserable.
And it’s just really crazy how much birth control pill can really lead to a long-term copper issue and thus estrogen dominant issue and sometimes this estrogen dominance won’t show up on a test and I’ve seen this again where we won’t see it in the test, but because it’s the copper that’s pushing up estrogen during certain times of the month we actually will never find the estrogen so we just have to go with the copper toxicity and assume estrogen dominance.
And I think another way that birth control can really affect your copper level is the fact that actually depletes a zinc so zinc is a very important mineral for the immune system, so when zinc goes down you start to have more issues with infections you get sick all the time and of course that does put you a bigger risk for things like parasites and candida as well.
But zinc and copper are antagonists so as one goes up the other goes down. So as zinc goes down copper goes up. So not only is birth control pushing more copper into your system but it’s also depleting zinc which naturally will make your copper levels more high and unless you address copper toxicity directly and you start to detox copper from the body. These issues and these symptoms and that list that I mentioned can affect you for the rest of your life
It’s crazy, so that’s a really big one, okay. So number three is magnesium deficiency so birth control pills deplete magnesium. It’s well known it’s been shown in a ton of research and magnesium and you might know that it’s super important, so it’s involved in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the entire body, you need it to relax the entire nervous system you need sleep you need it to feel calm and not totally crazy and stressed out and birth control pills actually deplete magnesium and so this is a really big issue as well.
Another thing that happens is because magnesium is an antagonist with cut with calcium so as magnesium goes down calcium goes up and if calcium gets too high in your system your body does start to store it in different parts of the body and it can lead to a lot of joint pain, and it can actually really change your personality and lead to a lot of mood disorders as well, so magnesium is huge. We’re already deficient in it, and then if you’re taking birth control pills. You’re gonna be even more magnesium deficient okay, so that’s number three is in the way that magnesium causes or sorry birth control causes magnesium deficiency.
So I just want to quickly recap and then I’m gonna give you the bonus side effect the one that’s gonna just like blow your head off. It’s crazy! I can’t even believe this is a thing but anyways, So number one is birth control pills will deplete your gut flora so it does lead to long-term mood disorders and GI problems, does increase your likelihood for getting a parasite or candida.
Number two is that birth control will cause copper imbalance so it can make you deficient and toxic at the same time that leads to a ton of symptoms, very hard to get out of the body if your body can’t use it, it can’t move it out and then you are just copper toxic and dealing with so many health problems that you can’t connect to anything for the rest of your life.
And number three is magnesium deficiency, so it does push down your magnesium, okay. And now for the bonus so the bonus so I heard this from dr.
Sarah Gottfried so she is an MD who does a lot of work with hormones, but more for women who are postmenopausal, But she said in a podcast that I was listening to that birth control pills reduce the size of clitores by twenty to thirty percent.
They shrink your clit. That’s crazy. It’s crazy, and I was pretty skeptical about this, so I looked it up, and I did find a research study on PubMed that did indicate that the birth control pill can actually shrink your clitoris.
Which is shocking, it’s just shocking like that is horrible right? I mean the reason we have sex is for pleasure and enjoyment and being on the birth control pillcan actually shrink your clitoris, and you know I was on the birth control pill for probably seven or eight years
I wish I had measured. I have no idea if mine is smaller than it used to be but I think that’s pretty significant and these are side effects that nobody is talking about and your you will never hear this from your doctor when you go on the pill they will tell you that maybe you have a higher risk for blood clots, but that you have a lower risk for certain types of cancer, and you know nobody’s gonna tell you about deficient gut flora, no one’s going to tell you about copper imbalance and nobody’s gonna tell you about magnesium deficiency, and I know nobody is gonna tell you about clit shrinkage, okay, so you know you really need to take these things into consideration when making a decision to go on the pill.
You know I understand that there’s times in your life where you absolutely do not want to get pregnant and I get that but you know 60 to 70 percent of women go on the pill for reasons that have nothing to do with avoiding pregnancy and they are not told about these side-effects.
They have no idea and you know as someone who works with women’s health, I mean it is crazy how often I work with women who have come off the birth control pill, and they are a mess. You know, it’s just it’s crazy, and we’re just not being given the proper information.
You know if you want to make the decision to go on birth control knowing those side effects that’s good, because you’re making an informed decision but most of us aren’t even making informed decisions because we never get the information to begin with okay, so I hope you found this video helpful
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I love these, it shows Facebook that you like my content and it will help me reach more women because my mission is to help as many women as possible heal from hormonal imbalance, so they can take control of their bodies again because when your hormones are out of whack you feel like you have no control, it changes your personality
You’re on edge and you know you’re fatigued you’re gaining weight and you just can’t live that incredible life that you absolutely deserve to live so give me a like and let me know if you’d like this video if you have any questions even if you’re not with me live today
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It’s my hormone imbalance self-test cheat sheet, and you can learn in five minutes or less if you might have a hormone imbalance and which imbalance you might be at risk for one more thing join my group. I have a free Facebook group called hormonal Imbalance with Kendra Perry
I give free weekly master classes. I answer all your questions. There are a ton of women in there we’re growing every day, and if you want to connect and get some support this is a great place
I know when my hormones were a mess I felt super alone I felt that nobody cared or understood what I was going through but in this group everyone understands what you’re going through so make sure to join my group as well.
That’s it for me. I hope you guys, if you’re in Canada Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you have a delicious turkey dinner, and if you’re elsewhere. I hope you just have a fantastic weekend
I will see you next week.
I’m going to be coming to you live four times next week Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday.
So I’m gonna be talking about lots of hot topics so I will see you guys all next week. Bye!
Last week I discussed endometriosis in detail. This condition should be taken seriously as it can lead to infertility and permanent damage of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries. It can also lead to cyst formation which puts you at risk for a ruptured cyst. If you want to learn more about Endometriosis and your risk, please read the article here.
If you have been struggling with Endometriosis, there’s a good chance you have been given little direction beyond surgery, birth control pills and pain killers.
I understand your frustration if you feel that these options are not right for you. Practitioners rarely discuss diet and lifestyle changes when it comes to this condition.
Thankfully, from a Functional Medicine prospective, there is a lot you can do to manage or even reverse your endometriosis. The first step to relief involves eating the right foods.
As you know, I generally recommend the Paleo diet as nutrition template for many hormone conditions. This recommendation mostly has to do with the fact that Paleo is a great tool for balancing blood sugar levels.
You can learn more about the Paleo diet and how it can help balance your hormones in this article.
Paleo isn’t your only option. Some women do better on different variations of Paleo (ie. less meat and more carbohydrates) or some women thrive with some gluten-free grains or beans and legumes in their diet. It really depends on your unique biochemistry, activity levels and carbohydrate tolerance.
The most important thing is that you eat real food. Your choices should be free-range, organic and local whenever possible. You food should not come from a box, bag or package. It should be chosen as you shop the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the nastiness of the isles in between.
Once you got the real food diet mastered, you can start being strategic with your food choices to optimize your body’s ability to prevent endometriosis from continuing to occur.
Cruciferous vegetables are a top choice when it comes to reversing endometriosis. The endometrial lining grows due to the effects of Estrogen (a potent growth hormone). Elevated estrogen is often at the root of Endometriosis.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radish, cabbage, Brussel sprout, collard greens and bok choy contain Diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM is a powerful tool in lowering estrogen levels.
When estrogen is broken down, it can head down the 2-OH, 4-OH or 16-OH pathways. The 2-OH pathway is thought to be a protective pathway. 4-OH is thought to be a damaging pathway, causing DNA damage and a possible cause of estrogen dominant cancers. The 16-OH is not damaging like the 4-OH but can lead to symptoms of estrogen dominance (ie. endometriosis).
DIM consumption actually shifts these pathways and helps you break your estrogen down that protective 2-OH pathway and away from the 4-OH and 16-OH. It also has the effect of reducing estrogen levels overall.
I find DIM to be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to dealing with estrogen dominance and endometriosis.
I have heard that fermented cruciferous vegetables are even more powerful in these effects. So eat your sauerkraut!
One way that estrogen can become elevated is due to poor liver clearance. It is the liver’s responsibility to clear excess hormones from the blood. The liver is one of the areas where the estrogen metabolism mentioned above occurs. In fact, 50% of estrogen metabolism occurs in the liver.
This means if liver function is not optimal, you might have excess estrogen floating around your blood, leading to nasty symptoms.
Liver friendly foods include:
Approximately 50% estrogen metabolites that enter the liver, are then excreted in the bile, sent to the intestine and then hydrolyzed by intestinal microflora. Following this process, hydrolyzed estrogen is either excreted via poop or are entered back into portal circulation.
From here it goes back to the liver for further metabolization. They are either sent back to the bile or pushed back into circulation.
Enter the Estrobolome. The estrobolome is a set of gut microflora that produce beta- glucuronidase, an enzyme that influences this metabolization. Claudia Plottel, MD, a Clinical Associate Professor at N.Y.U., and her team looked at how intestinal flora affects estrogen circulation
Plottel believes your microbiota species can create beta-glucuronidase that increase estrogen– allowing it to re-enter circulation in the body.
This makes your intestinal flora crucial to healthy estrogen levels. Some unfavorable microflora carry this enzyme and thus creating not only a dysbiosis in the gut but elevates estrogen levels.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt (if tolerated), pickles, kombucha and other fermented veggies contain a full spectrum of bacterial communities. Eating these foods on a regular basis can help repopulate your gut and increase the beneficial flora in your gut.
Another way your estrogen can become too high is due to something called aromatization. Aromatase is the enzyme which causes the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.
Inflammation can increase the presence of aromatase in the body leading to elevated estrogen levels. If you were to run a hormone panel and you had aromatization, you would see average DHEA with low testosterone and elevated estrogen.
Additionally, inflammation can negatively affect your adrenal glands leading to imbalanced hormones. It can also stress the immune system which is usually a reason excess endometrial tissue cannot be cleared from the body.
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods:
If the immune system is strong and healthy, the body should be able to fight off the overgrowth of endometrial tissue. This is at least the thoughts of many of the practitioners I have spoken with.
It appears that many women with endometriosis also have reduced immunity. Most of the research suggests that low immunity is a result of endometriosis rather than a cause. Both ways, boosting immunity can likely help improve this condition.
Top Immune System Boosting Foods:
You know what my favorite thing ever is? Roasting a whole chicken and having meat for an entire week! Unfortunately, this what not the experience I had last time I roasted a chicken. I used this tasty BBQ spice blend that I got from Organic Matters. It was so delicious that when the chicken was ready I ended up eating all the crispy, delicious skin off and then I savagely started to mow down on the meat alone in my kitchen. I pretty much blacked out and when I finally regained consciousness, half of my chicken was gone. Crap.
It wasn’t the prettiest site and I am grateful that I live alone and no one else was around. Luckily I did still have half my chicken left to last me half a week of meat. One of my favorite things to do is to make a big salad so I can just open the fridge and have ready to eat food. This is a perfect situation for lunch, which I have to say, is my least favorite meal. Grrrrrr lunch! Seriously, could lunch be anymore annoying? In the middle of the day and getting in the way of me running around and getting stuff done.
But lunch is important. I will give lunch that. The best way for me to succeed at my day and not to accidentally starve myself, resulting in a confused and flustered blood sugar crash, is to be prepared and have a nice hearty salad in the fridge ready to go. And that brings me to my latest creation. The Creamy Almond Chicken Salad. It’s tasty. I promise. Try it out.
As you may have noticed, I am a huge supporter of the Paleo diet. In the past few months, I have mentioned this diet as a therapeutic way to deal with hormonal issues such as estrogen dominance and PCOS.
There is some controversy surrounding the Paleo diet. Proponents of this style of eating discuss earlier times in human history when people were healthier and free of degenerative illness. Many believe the Paleo diet mimics that sort of diet, when access to grains, dairy and legumes was limited.
This may be true but many dispute this, saying that our current diets in no way represent foods that were available in prehistoric times.
The truth is, I don’t care much for either of these arguments. It’s true our food has changed significantly in the past few thousands of years. Nothing we eat today has much resemblance to the foods that were available to our ancestors. It has been modified many times over to be sweeter, bigger and to resist disease. Replicating an ancestral diet is virtually impossible.
That being said, we can rely on certain principles that helped our ancestors to be healthy and free of many of the diseases that plague modern society. These principles involve eating real, whole foods, reducing sugar, eating free range meat, growing our own food and reducing processed food as much as possible.
The reason I am such a huge supporter of the Paleo diet is due to it’s therapeutic qualities. When it comes to hormones, the Paleo diet can be extremely helpful.
The Paleo diet eliminates sugar. Sugar has a significant effect on blood sugar. Yo-yoing blood sugar is incredibly stressful to the body and is a main culprit behind imbalanced hormones. The adrenal glands, which produce stress hormones, also produce a significant amount of your sex hormones.
If you blood sugar is consistently crashing because you are eating a high sugar diet, your body will be stressed and the adrenal glands will pump out cortisol to deal with it. Since cortisol gets priority over your other hormones, your sex hormones can become depleted.
Too much sugar can also lead to weight gain. Excess weight becomes an organ of it’s own because fat cells can produce estrogen and upregulate an enzyme the increases the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This can lead to Estrogen Dominance. Sugar also stimulates testosterone production. Too much testosterone can lead to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and prostate problems in men.
Soy is a phytoestrogen, which means that it is shaped similarly to natural estrogen. When consumed, phytoestrogens can increase estrogen load in the bloodstream. Excess estrogen can cause weight gain, PMS, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, and mood disorders.
Estrogen Dominance is a huge issue in both men and women. To learn more about estrogen dominance, click here.
Like sugar, grains & legumes have a significant effect on blood sugar. They are broken down quickly and do little to give you long lasting energy. As we know, fluctuating blood sugar levels have a massive effect on hormonal health and energy levels.
Additionally, grains can be irritating to the gut lining. Many health practitioners implicate grain consumption in the development of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome can lead to GI infections, yeast overgrowth and autoimmune conditions.
A Standard American Diet tends to be high in Omega 6 fats such as canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil and other seed oils. Too much Omega 6 fats can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is an issue for most genders but for women it can increase premenstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms.
Too many Omega 6 fats can also negatively affect an infants brain during the last trimester of pregnancy, leading to decreased frontal lobe formation.
The Paleo diet encourages a high intake of Omega 3 fats such as coconut oil, animals fats, avocados and eggs which reduce inflammation and promote healthy brain development.
Conventional dairy products contain added synthetic hormones and traces of antibiotics. Synthetic hormones given to cows are still present in the dairy that you eat. This can throw off your own delicate hormone imbalance.
Antibiotic exposure depletes gut flora and increases the likelihood of developing leaky gut syndrome and other gastrointestinal issues.
In addition to eliminating problematic foods, the Paleo diet also focuses on including high quantities of nutritional foods; fruits such as blueberries are high in antioxidants, vegetables such as kale are rich in vitamins and minerals, and high quality animal products such as pasture-raised eggs deliver complete protein and nutrients different from those found in plants like choline, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K2. A nutrient-rich diet is critical for reducing inflammation, balancing hormones and having optimal reproductive health.
The Paleo diet is a great place to start if you want to significantly improve your health. You don’t need to get caught up in all the silly rules of Paleo. You can customize this diet to fit your needs. Some people can tolerate some grains and some people can tolerate some forms of dairy.
My advice is to start with the Paleo diet and all it’s restrictions for at least 30 days. After 30 days you can try adding some dairy or some grains back into your diet and see how it goes.
Watch below to see me talk about this article in a video!
The theme of the past few weeks has been adrenal fatigue. I also wrote about cortisol and it’s impact on your health when it is dyregulated. You can learn more about the important of balanced cortisol and how to manage your levels here. Finally, I talked about ten very important strategies you can start doing now to help heal your Adrenal Fatigue. To learn more about those ten strategies, click here.
To answer a few of your questions, I made a quick Q&A video and this is available on my Facebook Page. Head over there to check that out.
Today I want talk specifically about the foods to avoid and the foods to include in your diet if you want to shake Adrenal Fatigue and get back to feeling like a normal human being.
Caffeine: Don’t hate me for saying this. I mentioned this last week in the post I wrote about healing from adrenal fatigue but it’s worth mentioning again.
If you are fatigued and exhausted, caffeine is not your friend. While it may give you energy now to get through today, it will put you at a disadvantage for tomorrow. The more caffeine you use now, the more you will need later.
If your adrenals are producing cortisol all over the map, caffeine will push out even more cortisol and just add to the cortisol rollarcoaster.
Caffeine can also interfere with your sleep cycle which makes it hard for the adrenals to heal and restore themselves. If you absolutely must have caffeine, stick to one cup before 10:30am.
Sugar and Sweeteners: Anything that can profoundly impact your blood sugar levels can also profoundly affect your cortisol levels. Messing with your cortisol directly messes with your adrenal function.
You should avoid all refined sugar including high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
You should also be wary of eating too much fruit. While fruit is not necessarily bad in itself, you do need to beware of the quantity that you eat. It’s not hard to overdo it. Try to stick to 1-2 servings of fruit a day. Emphasize fruit that contains less sugar like berries, apples, pears and peaches. Grapes and tropical fruits are all very high in sugar and should probably be avoided on a regular basis.
Processed Foods: This is a no brainer but I have to say it. Processed foods not only contain added sugar but also contains added sodium and other nasty food additives. These will not support your adrenal function. Get rid of them and eat real food. Your adrenals will thank you.
Inflammatory Oils: Polyunsaturated oils, when eaten in excess, can cause inflammation in the body. These include canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil and vegetable oil.
In order to extract oil from foods that are no naturally high in fat, industrial processing is needed. Since foods that contain primarily polyunsaturated fats (like those listed above) are highly susceptible to heat and light, many of these oils are rancid and toxic before you even open them.
Stick to the healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, lard and tallow.
Commerical Meat and Dairy Products: Commercially produced meat and dairy products have a lot of issues. For one, the animals are generally fed a significant amount of hormones to fatten and increase their growth. And two, they are also fed antibiotics to keep them from getting sick in unsanitary conditions.
High amounts of hormones and antibiotics have been found in these products that sit on your grocery store shelves. One of the most important things you can do for your adrenals is to avoid factory farmed meat and buy organic and local whenever possible.
This is getting easier these days. I do a lot of road trips in Canada and the US and I have never had an issue finding some meat in the grocery store that was at least antibiotic and hormone free.
Alcohol: Alcohol in moderation may be fine for some people but in large qualities it can negatively affect your adrenals. Alcohol stresses the liver which is a problem for hormones. The liver’s job is to clear excess hormones from the blood. If the liver is unable to do this, it will interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize cortisol and your other sex hormones.
Poor liver function can lead to Estrogen Dominance, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and Thyroid Problems.
Once you start to eliminate foods from your diet that can hurt your adrenal health, you should consider adding in nutrient dense super foods that support healthy adrenals.
I feel like a broken record but one of the best ways to reset your adrenal glands is to effectively manage your blood sugar levels. This mean eating enough high quality protein and fat and determining your unique carbohydrate tolerance. You don’t want to eat too many carbs but you also do not want to eat too many. This is going to be different for each person.
The best way to determine this is with a glucometer. Taking your blood sugar readings throughout the day can be incredibly helpful for not only managing your blood sugar but for assessing your unique carbohydrate tolerance.
You can take a reading on an empty stomach prior to eating each meal. Ideally, your reading should be between 80 and 90mg/dL. If you are lower than this, it means that you waited too long to eat that meal. Make sure to have a snack in between this meal next time or shorten the time between meals.
You can also take a reading 2 hours after a meal. This is called a post-prandial measurement. Two hours after eating your blood sugar should be below 120mg/dL (ideally it should be below 100mg/dL). If it is above 120, it means you ate too many carbohydrates or sugar at the previous meal. Reduce carbohydrates and increase protein and healthy fat.
If you are struggling with Adrenal Fatigue, you need to get your diet dialed in. Eating a healthy diet is the basis for any healing protocol. If you diet isn’t healthy, then no amount of supplements is going to help you heal.
Start with diet and see how it makes you feel. You should hopefully notice a huge difference in your energy levels once you remove all the crap. Once you feel confident that you have found a healthy diet you can stick with, start to consider some of the other factors like sleep, stress reduction and supplementation.