I talk a lot about the liver every day when speaking with clients. Many women (myself included in the not-so-distant past) don’t know that our livers play an integral role in our hormonal health. Let’s just put it this way…if your hormones are all whacked out, then it’s most likely that your liver is not feeling so hot.
How The Liver Impacts Your Hormones
Your liver functions in your body in much the same way a pool filter functions in a pool. Just as a pool filter cleans a pool by catching the dead leaves, dirt and insects, the liver detoxifies our bodies from harmful chemicals and toxins found in food and our environment. This is done in two phases and requires certain vitamins and minerals to do it effectively.
Too much booze, drugs (illegal and legal – xanax has to be processed by your liver too), pesticides in foods, refined sugar, chemicals and environmental pollution (your liver doesn’t like smog), and too little nutrients can cause your lovely liver to get really bogged down. It ends up working all day long to remove these excess toxins that we’re exposed to, instead of doing it’s main jobs in the body.
One of the most important functions of the liver is to break down and remove excess hormones from your body. One hormone in particular is estrogen. As you know, estrogen is a big player in our menstrual health – it helps build the uterine lining, it keeps our vagina’s lubricated and even helps keep our mood elevated!
There are two phases of liver detoxification. Fortunately for many of us, our phase 1 detox works really great so things get moved through pretty fast. Where we run into problems is phase 2 – it tends to be much slower. This creates a bit of a bottleneck and eventually a lot of the not-quite-broken-down toxins spill back into our system because the liver can’t accommodate them anymore because of the backlog.
How The Liver Affects Estrogen Levels
- Once estrogen has done its job in the body, it is sent to the liver so it can be broken down and removed through the colon. Unfortunately, if your liver is all gunked up from the excess toxins it is exposed to then it is unable to function optimally and thus cannot remove estrogen at it’s normal rate. Estrogen is not metabolized properly and can be reabsorbed back into the body.
- Even if a woman’s liver is functioning properly there is another factor to consider. Chronic constipation because of lack of fiber. Fiber increases the expulsion of excess estrogen so it would make sense that too little fiber would be a problem. As I mentioned above, the liver sends that broken down estrogen to your colon for removal. If your bowels aren’t moving then that estrogen can get reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. Ah, no good.
- In addition to all of this, if you are consuming a diet with too much fat, such as the Standard American Diet, your estrogen levels may go up. The reason for this is that excess dietary fat encourages reabsorption of estrogens from your gut into your blood stream rather than excretion of this excess estrogen.
And so it begins – a build-up of estrogen in the bloodstream. This results in a condition called estrogen dominance, where estrogen becomes dominant in the body in relation to progesterone. It’s like a store where there are no sales but the owner keeps buying new products.
Estrogen Dominance Symptoms and Conditions
- Fibrocystic breasts, tender and swollen breasts
- Bloating and painful periods
- PMS & PMDD – especially emotional symptoms like anxiety, depression and snappiness 🙂
- Migraines, especially right before your period
- Irregular periods and heavy bleeding
- Endometriosis – from an overstimulation of the uterine lining by too much estrogen
- Fibroids – similar to how endometriosis begins
- Infertility – caused by many of the symptoms above
How To Test For Estrogen Dominance
Lets Get Checked is my go-to provider for at-home hormone testing kits for myself and clients. You just order them online, have the kit shipped to you, then do the tests at home and send the kit back in the mail.
One and done.
And after processing, their team of physicians will review your results and a member of the nursing team will call you to deliver the results and discuss treatment options.
I recommend getting their Female Hormone Test which will give you a clear picture of your estrogen levels and overall hormonal health, with online results in 5 days. Be sure to use discount code Hormones20 to get 20% off the price of the test.
Biomarkers covered in the test:
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
Remember: use code Hormones20 to get 20% off!
Causes of Estrogen Dominance
1. Stress. I said it! Chronic stress can cause chronically high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Read more about all that here. Cortisol actually blocks progesterone receptors which can lead to low levels of progesterone in relation to estrogen. This results in symptoms of estrogen dominance.
2. Xenoestrogens. These are synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen. They are found in plastics, and many many other products that we use in everyday life. We live in a pretty toxic world. Did you know there are over 80,000 chemicals currently on the market and the majority of them have not been tested for safety, much less proven safe. Xenoestrogens act like estrogen in the body making it seem like you’ve got more estrogen than you do. They are total impostors and wreak havoc on your delicate hormonal balance. BPA and phthalates are two of the worst offenders.
3. Alcohol. Do you know that alcohol consumption raises estrogen levels and slows down fat burning? Not cool! Just two servings a day for four weeks has been shown to raise estrogen levels by 22 percent!
Natural Solutions for Estrogen Dominance
1. Get that fiber in! I know, sounds so boring right? However, it has been proven that women eating higher amounts of fiber have lower levels of circulating estrogen, so it’s worth a try! Less estrogen wreaking havoc on your hot bod – what’s not to love? Try getting 25 grams of fiber a day into your diet. What does 25 grams of fiber look like? Here it is: 1 apple-5 grams, 1 pear-4 grams, 1/2 cup of kidney beans-6 grams, 1 cup of brown rice-4 grams, 1 cup of mustard or collard greens-5 grams. That’s 24 grams of fiber! So easy right?
Or you can bring up your fiber intake with supplementation. I recommend taking Metagenics MetaFiber or Thorne Research Medibulk.
2. Cut back on the zin. Alcohol impairs your liver’s functioning so much that circulating estrogen levels increase significantly with just two drinks a day. If you are struggling with any of the estrogen dominance issues above then reducing the amount of alcohol you drink could really help. The same goes for the men in your life. Liver impairment caused by too much alcohol can cause a condition called gynocomastia, which is characterized by enlarged breasts in men. The cause: elevated levels of estrogen.
3. Reduce exposure to Xenoestrogens. As if we needed any more estrogen! PCB’s, pesticides, chlorine, you name it; they all have this effect on us. And let’s not talk about the ingredients in shampoo, body lotion and makeup. There are some serious offenders out there. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to find out how your products rate. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ Start replacing your toxic products with products that contain more natural ingredients and less chemicals. Your body and your liver will thank you.
4. Eat foods that cleanse your liver. Dandelion greens contain many compounds that aid in the cleansing of the liver. I used to be scared to try new greens but they are seriously the best thing I ever incorporated into my diet. Avocados have been shown to protect the liver against toxic overload and turmeric has been found to protect the liver against toxins. In fact, turmeric is one of the most powerful liver cleansers out there. Sulphur-rich foods like brussels sprouts and cabbage are also awesome along with beets too.
5. Take supplements that will increase your glutathione levels. Glutathione is the master of all antioxidants and it is required by your body so it can properly detox every day. Basically it just mops up all the mess and helps your body get rid of it. The problem is poor food choices, stress, and a genetic inability to adequately detoxify leaves us very depleted. Boost your glutathione levels with this glutathione supplement 450mg/day, or try N-Acetyl Cysteine which is a precursor to glutathione. Integrative Therapeutics NAC or Thorne Research Cyste Plus – 500mg/day. These supplements speed up phase two detoxification in the liver which is super helpful in preventing the bottleneck I described above.
Here’s another brilliant option: You can get my Fix Your Period 14-Day Cleanse, A 14 day detox for your hormones!
You’ll get everything you need to participate in this cleanse, including:
- The Pre-Cleanse Guide – get prepared with this handy guide
- 14-Day Cleanse E-Book with Recipes + Daily Activities – a full-on guide with recipes and everything!
- A complete shopping list & Meal Planner – with foods and cleanse enhancing supplements
- A Detox & Feel Good Tips handout – top 10 tips to get the most out of your cleanse
- Supplement recommendations – You’ll get my list of recommended supplements to enhance your body’s detox process during and after the cleanse.
Click here for all the details and to take advantage of this awesome deal!
10 thoughts on “How To Detox Estrogen: Cleanse Your Liver”
I am looking for a regiment that could help a friend who has been given a 3-4 month prognosis on a case of estrogen positive breast cancer that has spread to her liver, and am wondering if your program could potentially help, or hurt her? Thank you very much.
I’m so sorry for your friend❤I know this is unsolicited but I just read dr furhmans” super immunity” and I love everything on the Chris beat cancer blog. Maybe these resources could help your friend. They are plant based so lots of fiber and vitamins. I personally have used a whole food plant based eating regime to heal from autoimmune issues among many other things. Whatever she chooses to do I pray she finds peace ❤
How does no longer having a gallbladder affect the liver hormone detox cycle? I never had to worry about weight and weight loss till I had to have my gall bladder removed. Now I can’t lose weight, no matter how hard I try, and I am still slowly gaining weight. I have many of the symptoms of Estrogen dominance.
The gall bladder is what regulates your estrogen in connection with the liver. I know this bc I have been studying for year’s since I had mine out. Doing liver flushes by Dr Hulda Clark and ordering herbs from sensible health.com to cleanse the liver have saved me. I recently had a d&C and it messed my hormones up so bad. I’m about to do another liver cleanse. I swear by it. When you no longer have a gallbladder it not only impacts the balance of the gut brain diaxsis it impacts your hormones. So if you flush the liver and follow a Mediterranean Diet you can restore your liver and hormones
Tooth decay can be halted
When you are detoxing estrogen could it temporarily cause your estrogen levels to increase and with elevated estrogen then cause you to have heavier, longer periods?
What is your opinion on calcium d glucarate?
I just came across your Blog today doing some personal research into why my daughter has been the only one in the family who seems to be prone to cavities. I mean like 7-11 like almost yearly. two years ago the one tooth needed a root canal so we had the tooth removed instead and her still had 10 more cavities. We didn’t have to get all filled but the smaller ones now have turned in cavities that need to be filled. She is fourteen but this have been happening sense she was four. My husband and I have always felt like something more is going on there but we just didn’t know nor how to find answers. The dentist nor the health care doctors had answers. We even been taking her to a holistic dentist and orthodontist but still no answers.
My question is, what type of doctor did you see for your Human Genome testing, if you saw someone for your liver function and what type of doctor to see for hormone testing. She was having collagen and bone broth smoothies, doing oil pulls, taking probiotics along with other supplements. We been trying to eat organic but this isn’t working.
Tooth decay can be halted