The 3 BIG Mistakes Women Make When Trying to “Balance their Hormones”
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The 3 BIG Mistakes Women Make When Trying to “Balance" their Hormones
“Balanced hormones” is a trendy couple words these days. Everyone and their dog is telling you this balances your hormones and that balances your hormones!
If you actually want to “balance” your hormones…make sure you aren’t making these BIG mistakes..
Hello. Hey everyone. How's it going? How is everyone doing today? Welcome to another fantastic and opposite episode of High On Energy TV. I am your host, Kendra Perry. I am the high energy nutritionist, and I cannot wait to help you get more energy. In today's episode, episode number seven, we're going to be talking about hormones and what are the three biggest mistakes that I see women make when it comes to balancing their hormones.
The word balanced hormones is a little bit trendy these days. I think like every woman and her little dog is trying to balance their hormones. But what does balancing your hormones actually mean? It may not actually be what you think it is. If you're wandering, "Well, hey Kendra, I came on this podcast to get more energy. Why are we talking about hormones?" Well, because you actually need to have balanced hormones to have good energy.
Your hormones are the chemical messengers of the cell, so that means that they tell your body what to do. They basically are like, "Do this. Do that. Do this," and your tissues are like, "Okay." If they are not balanced, then they're running around giving the wrong messages, maybe they're giving outdated messages, or maybe they're giving partial messages, so your tissues are like, "I'm sorry, what? Can you please repeat that." In the end it can actually really affect how we feel on a day to day basis in terms of our vitality, in terms of our energy, in terms of our mental clarity.
I want to talk today about the three biggest mistakes that women make when they want to balance air quotes their hormones. Number one, and this is a big one, this is one I see all the time. The first mistake that women make is that they try to balance their hormones by taking bioidentical or synthetic hormones based off of the blood tests that they're getting from their doctor. Big mistake. Why? Well, let's talk a little bit about blood testing for hormones.
Yes, blood testing for hormones is accurate, but it doesn't really give us a good comprehensive picture of what's actually going on with hormones deeper in the body or at a tissue level, because hormones, what they do is they affect cells at a tissue level. So we want to know what they're doing there because if we don't know what they're doing there, then I don't think it's very effective to actually be employing bioidentical hormone therapy or synthetic hormone therapy if you actually don't know what's happening on a cellular level. With the blood, when you test hormones in the blood, what you're seeing is kind of an overall total or basically you're seeing hormones that are in transit.
When hormones are in transit, they're actually inactive. They're tied to transport binding proteins, and they're not ... They're inactive. So they're just moving around. But we don't know. Like when hormones are in the blood, we have no idea if they are going somewhere to be used or maybe they're going to be detoxed. So it doesn't really give us this overall picture. If you have been taking hormone therapy to try to balance your hormones based on blood tests, you might be throwing your hormones further out of whack, you might actually be causing damage. This is something I see quite a bit.
The test that I use to run hormones is The DUTCH hormones test. It's from a company called Precision Analytical. Very cool test. But it will actually show you what your tissues have available to use in terms of hormones. I see this very often. I actually had a client recently who was found to have low estrogen on a blood test, but when we looked at her DUTCH test, her DUTCH urine hormone test, what we saw is that her estrogen was through the fucking roof. It was like off the charts.
And that my friends is dangerous. That my friends is a precursor for estrogen dominant cancers. You do not want to have estrogen that high. Estrogen is a very important hormone, but when it gets out whack, when it gets too high or excessive, it can cause DNA damage to your cells, it can cause tumor growth, it can be very much implicated in a lot of those estrogen dominant cancers. I was like, "Holy crap. You need to stop taking this bioidentical," whatever it was, the estrogen. I can't remember if it was synthetic or natural, but both ways, I was like, "This is not appropriate."
Another situation that I've seen. Recently I had client, so did blood testing, was found to have low DHEA in her blood. So she started taking DHEA, but when we looked at her DUTCH test, her estrogen wasn't high, but the way she was metabolizing it was a mess. There's two phases of estrogen metabolism. There's phase one and phase two and both phases were poor. Even though her estrogen was within a lab range, because she was metabolizing it really poorly, that is a really bad situation to be taking something like DHEA.
DHEA if you don't know, is the precursor, so it's the building block for estrogen, and it's actually contraindicated, meaning that you don't want to use it when there's estrogen dominance. Even though her estrogen was normal, it was out of balance with progesterone and then she was metabolizing it really poorly. She was like, "I felt okay, and then I took this DHEA and like my health went off the records. I felt horrible, all these symptoms developed." She's like, "Why is that?" I was like, "Well, because you're estrogen dominant and because you're poorly metabolizing estrogen, so you're basically," by taking that DHEA, she was adding fuel to the fire that was already there and burning. So this imbalance was already there, but the DHEA aggravated it and it made it worse.
If you are considering taking bioidentical hormone therapy, wherever you are in your life, in your hormone life, whether you're premenopausal, perimenopausal, or postmenopausal, you should not be taking that without doing something like a DUTCH test. I would say a saliva test at a minimum. But even that's not quite good enough because we can see what the free hormones are doing on a saliva test, but we don't see the metabolites or those break down products. Like I said, you could have normal in range estrogen, but if you metabolize it poorly, you're going to have all those symptoms of estrogen dominance and high estrogen.
This is a really big mistake that women make. This is something else. I'm going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here. I just want to mention something else, is like the fact that I think women think that after they go through menopause that they need hormone support in order to be balanced. I feel like the medical community has spent a lot of time telling women that they cannot make their hormones like progesterone and estrogen naturally after menopause. The ovaries make hormones and then of course they shut down at menopause and then you're up a creek with no paddle. You have nothing. You have no organ making your hormones.
But this actually isn't true. Your adrenal glands make hormones. Yes, menopause is a big transition. Yes, even in the healthiest people like you should notice that shift. It's not like you just don't notice this massive shift happening in your body. But it shouldn't be unpleasant the way that we think is normal. I think that we think that when women go through menopause, they're going to gain weight, they're going to have hot flashes, they're going to have night sweats, they're going to have all this weird shit going on, and we're just like, "Well, that's normal, because now we don't have hormone production." But if your adrenal function is strong and you put the work into balancing your hormones within the proper way before going into menopause, then you actually shouldn't need bioidentical therapy, hormone therapy, or any sort of hormone therapy at all. Those hormones should be working fine, and you should go through that transition with relative ease, obviously like noticing some stuff going on, maybe a few things are going to pop up because it's a big ... this is a big shift in life.
Yeah, I just wanted to mention that. I feel like the medical community has spent a lot of time fear mongering women into the fact that they need to be taking hormones in menopause, and that's not always necessarily true. Yes, it can be helpful when monitored properly with something like a DUTCH test, but it's not a guarantee that you're going to need hormone support. If you can keep your adrenals healthy, then you shouldn't need that at all.
So that's number one, is number one to recap is the big mistake that women make is they take recommendations for hormonal therapy, so like bioidentical hormones, synthetic hormones based on blood testing only, which typically is going to lead to more imbalance because the blood testing doesn't give us enough information to even be able to responsibly employ something like hormone therapy.
Mistake number two is women look at their hormones in a vacuum and they fail to see the deeper underlying causes. You know when your dog gets a cut or like, and they have to put that big plastic thing around its neck so that it doesn't lick its cut. That's what I see a lot of women doing. They're putting that plastic funnel thing on, or what is it? Yeah, I don't know what it's called, those plastic like funnel thing, and they just see hormones, hormones, hormones, and they don't actually see the landscape, everything going on around them that is affecting those hormones.
The most important thing, if you want to balance your hormones, you need to stop thinking about your hormones. I know that's weird and confusing, but that's because hormones do not go out of balance on their own. They don't just one day be like, "I'm going to stop working," or, "I'm going to work too hard or less hard." They are very much affected by everything else in the landscape of the body. If you are like, "I want to balance my hormones. Kendra says run a DUTCH test. I'm going to run a DUTCH test. And then I'm going to get my protocol from Kendra and now I'm going to follow that and that's going to balance my hormones."
That actually won't balance your hormones. That's going to help support your hormones. It may reduce the symptoms, but running a hormone test by itself does not go deep enough. You might get some indications as to what could be going on in a deeper perspective on a DUTCH test. I can typically see if there's gut issues, if there's inflammation, if there's detox issues on a DUTCH test, but you need to go deeper. Running just a DUTCH test alone with nothing else isn't going to fix the issue because it's not going to give you that deeper root cause approach.
Testing is not cheap. It's expensive. If you are going to spend your money on testing and you don't have buckets of money growing on your money tree, then I probably wouldn't even recommend running the DUTCH. I would actually recommend running a gut test with a mineral test or at least one of the two. Because the cause of imbalanced hormones is typically stuff going on in the gut but also in the mineral system.
Minerals can directly affect the hormones. You've probably heard me talk about copper. Copper will stimulate estrogen production. A lot of women have estrogen dominance and then they're taking things like DIM, they're taking Calcium D-Glucarate, they're taking all these estrogen lowering herbs and supplements, and they're taking them for a really long time. Yet when they retest, the estrogen hasn't shifted. If that's the case, it might be being driven by a copper issue. It could, the estrogen dominance can be being driven by iodine deficiency. There's actually a nerdy little calculation I can do on a DUTCH test to get an idea if somebody is iodine deficient.
In terms of the gut, so hormones are activated, they are downregulated, they are upregulated, they are created, they are destroyed in the gut. So if your gut is unhealthy, then you may not be able to make hormones properly. Maybe you can't ... A precursor for all your fat is or for all your hormones is dietary fat, but if you have gut issues and you can't break down dietary fat, then you might not be able to make hormones properly, therefore you might have low hormones. If your liver is sluggish, you may not actually be able to move hormones out very well and so those hormones recirculate.
Gut bacteria plays a big role in estrogen dominance. I see that all the time. You need to take your little funnel collar off and start looking at the hormone landscape because if you're only focusing on hormones and running hormone testing and taking stuff to address the hormones, you won't get any results. You won't actually balance your hormones. You may help your symptoms, but the issue that's causing those hormones to go out of balance, you're not going to be really addressing that. That's number two, is looking at hormones in a vacuum and not seeing the deeper root causes.
I see that there's a few of you guys. We've got, it looks like, six people online right now, which is freaking awesome. If you're here, say hello, say hi, let me know you're here, because otherwise you're just an eyeball with the number six next to it and I don't know who the heck you are. But I'm really glad you're here regardless, even if you're too shy to say hi.
Number three, three, the third biggest mistake women make when trying to balance their hormones is not addressing the detoxification of hormones. This kind of like this is a little similar to number two because the detoxification system is in the gut. The liver, the gallbladder do a lot of detox activities, and so do the enterocytes of your stomach.
Mary is here. She says, "Hi Kendra." Hi Mary.
The cells that line your stomach actually do more detox activities than your liver. I don't know why the liver got so famous and is the one that gets all the street creed for detoxification, because there's way more cells and organs in your body that do even more detox than your liver. We need to consider the detoxification piece.
Francine is here. Hello Francine.
Because when it comes to hormones, if you have something like estrogen dominance or androgen dominance, maybe you're producing too much testosterone, you have PCOS, or you have estrogen dominance, you have fibroids, you have endometriosis, something like that, or even cortisol that's too high because that's a hormone too, you might have cortisol that is too high, or DHEA that is too high, or maybe we have too much insulin, we have to be thinking is our body actually clearing these things because I think automatically our brain is like, "Okay, so I've high estrogen so my body makes too much estrogen," but it may be that your body makes a totally normal respectable amount of estrogen but it's actually just not getting cleared properly, so it's just not getting detoxed and moved out of the body. So it's recirculating.
That's an issue because hormones carry that message. If you remember, hormones are the chemical messengers of the cell, and they need to be cleared after they've given their message. After they head to the tissue and they're like, "Yo tissue. This is my message," and the tissue is like, "Thanks hormone. I'll get it done," that hormone it needs to go. It needs to get out of the body because it was created carrying that message and now that message has been given to the tissue, it's outdated, it needs to go. But if that hormone can't be cleared, then that hormone with the outdated message is still running around all the tissues being like, "Yo tissue. This is my message," and the tissue is like, "Oh, okay. I thought we already did that, but I guess we need to do it again," and now you end up with all this weird, these weird symptoms and weird malfunction because literally you body is getting all these mixed messages, all these kind of weird messages that aren't actually accurate or appropriate anymore. That can lead to a lot of issues.
Hormone balancing very much should be a detox program. There should be, like if you're thinking about embarking on a hormone balancing program with your doctor, with your naturopath, with whoever you found on the internet who knows a lot about hormones, there needs to be a detoxification thing in there. When I say detox, this is not just like, "Oh, I bought my 10 days wild rose cleanse and I did it for 10 days, so I'm detoxed. That's me. My name's Kendra and I'm detoxed. I have no issues with detox." It's not just that. We have to always be thinking because hormones are continually being created, our detox organs are continually feeling stressed out because we put a lot of crap, we give them a lot of crap, we're like, "Hey, like detox thousands of these chemicals that we get exposed to on a daily basis." We need to be thinking from a daily perspective is like what are we doing to help ourselves detox.
And maybe my three favorite ways to think about detox, bile is a big part of it. I think we should always be taking something to support our bile. I think we need to be taking something to support fiber. Certain fibers are really good, great binders. They will help move toxins and outdated hormones out of the body. If you have hormonal imbalance, if you have androgen or estrogen dominance, increase your fiber intake. Eat more veggies. Take something like psyllium husk or flaxseed, ground flaxseed. In terms of increasing bile, eat your beets, eat some dark leafy greens, have a small cup of high quality organic coffee in the morning, drink dandelion tea, any of those bitter foods are really fantastic bile stimulants.
And then finally, make sure you're eliminating. You need to be pooping every single day. If you're not pooping every single day and it's not a good well-formed poop, that's an issue. You are not eliminating properly and those toxins aren't going to be able to leave the body. Basically if you're not pooping, you've got to make yourself poop. It doesn't really matter how you do it. There's a bunch of different ways that you can use to stimulate a bowel movement, like taking high dose magnesium, or ascorbic acid, or making sure you're drinking enough water, drinking very salty water. There is a thing as a salt water edema. Don't drink too much, but definitely making sure you're getting enough minerals and sea salt can be very helpful. If it comes down to it, it may be that you need to give yourself an enema.
I've had clients that were so blocked up, they were only pooping once a week, and nothing we did actually helped them eliminate better. So we had a lot of gut work to do, but in the meantime we had to get them pooping. So I have these people doing a water enema or a coffee enema every single day because otherwise those toxins were not getting out of their body. You need to be eliminating and if you have to go and do that manually with an enema, that's okay. You just need to make sure that you are pooping.
Let's just quickly recap guys. Let's go over this one more time. The three top mistakes women make when trying to balance their hormones, number one, they're taking bioidentical or synthetic hormones based on information from blood testing only. Remember that we don't get enough information about hormones when we simply just look at the blood. You could actually make your hormones even more imbalanced and more out of whack by following this strategy.
Number two, we look at hormones in a vacuum or we're wearing our plastic funnel collar, you know those things that dogs wear, and we're only seeing hormones and we're failing to see the landscape around it which is always going to be issues in the gut and issues in the mineral system.
Then number three, we're not detoxing. If you want to balance hormones, you need to be thinking about detoxification, not just once a year in your 10 day wild rose cleanse or three week master cleanse or whatever detox program protocol you found on the internet. We need to be daily detoxing. We need to be thinking about bile, we need to be thinking about fiber, and of course my favorite, we need to be pooping.
I hope that was helpful guys. Let me know if you have any questions if you're on with me live right now. Happy to answer them. Typically we do these on Tuesday on Facebook Live, but this week was a bit crazy for me so I'm a little bit delayed, but we're going to be back on schedule for next week.
Remember guys, every ... the last Tuesday of every month is my Live Q&A that I do on my Facebook page. So if you have questions, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send them to my assistant. Or you can message them to my page, Kendra Perry Nutrition Facebook page, and I will answer them on live, or you can be extra awesome and you can actually just join me live and ask them to me live on air. That is going to be 4:15, 4:00. 4:15, 4:15 I think, 4:15 on Tuesdays ... So next ... Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm confusing myself, but next Tuesday we're going to do 4:15.
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I hope you guys have a great day. Thank you everyone who joined me live. Thanks Mary. Thanks Francine. Thanks Crystal. Hope you guys have a fantastic Thursday. Bye now.