Hormones are always a hot topic when it comes to health and wellness, but do we ever consider our liver as a primary source of hormonal imbalance?
One thing is for sure, all our livers are working tirelessly to rid ourselves of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, medications and all the other hidden chemicals. A loaded liver is impacting how we feel, how we look and how women experience their monthly period and the associated symptoms such as PMS, bloating and skin blemishes.
So how does our hormone health relate to our liver health?
Fundamentally our liver is a factory that receives, filters and then packages all substances for use in the body, or for the safe removal of those that are harmful.
The liver is an incredible detoxifier, however, it does requires sufficient quality nutrients to do so.
The problem lies where we have extra liver-loaders such as stress, alcohol, caffeine, medications and excess chemical exposure such as xenoestrogens; environmental toxins that interfere with our hormone balance impeding the liver to work effectively.
The signs of a sluggish liver often go unresolved until bigger problems are created; particularly hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers, fibroids, endometriosis and PCOS.
Signs your liver may need some help;
Intolerant to fatty foods
Cravings for salty foods
Cravings for sugar
Sensitive to perfume or chemicals
Why is detoxification essential to hormone health?
The liver has long been recognized as the primary organ of detoxification but, there is now growing evidence that the gut also plays a central role in the detoxification process too.
Our liver works with 2 main phases including a 3rd phase involving the gut microbiome to detoxify chemicals and excess hormones.
Phase 1 - partially breaks down the chemical/toxin- preparing the fat soluble toxins for Phase 2. It's then pushed over into Phase 2
Phase 2 -making a fat soluble toxin into a water-soluble one, so once it gets to the gut and bile it can be eliminated. The liver packages up toxins as a nice gift, making them less harmful and ready to be removed from the body. This phase can be impacted greatly by nutrient deficiencies and Genetics
Phase 3 - takes everything phase 1 & 2 has wrapped up and packaged, dumps into the bile for excretion via the gut. A healthy gut microbiome is critical here.
If any of these phases are sluggish due to a loaded liver or nutrient deficiencies, it impacts the capacity of liver clearance resulting in re circulation of the hormone/toxin leading to further problems.
8 ways to support and encourage a healthy liver
1. Include lots of Broccoli, cauliflower and Cabbage - great for encouraging phase 1 detox
2. Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption
3. Eat Organic - No herbicides and pesticides
4. Include herbs such as turmeric, Rosemary - Phase 2 support
5. Drink 4 - 6 cups of Green tea daily
6. Eat Protein, it's essential for liver detoxification
7. Choose Natural products - Skincare and cleaning products
8. Take Liver support - Mg, B6, Choline, B Vitamins, Zinc