You may or may not have seen bloggers and wellness practitioners posting about Dr. Sherrill Sellman of late as she has just wrapped up her Australian tour on womens health and hormones, but having had the pleasure of meeting her and hearing her speak last week, I cannot keep this information from you all!
Sherrill is a Naturopathic Doctor and having gone through her fair share of womens issues, she is now an expert on the matter. So without further adieu, here is everything I learnt in a jam-packed 2 1/2hr lecture...
Root causes of Hormonal Imbalance:
1. Adrenal Exhaustion
3. Toxic Liver
4. Insulin Resistance
5. Poor digestion/Bad gut flora
6. Vitamin, mineral, protein, and fatty acid deficiencies
But the number #1 mess-er-upp-er-a is STRESS
Woman are cyclic beings; we need time out otherwise we pay the price. Taking time our for a walk with a girlfriend or an afternoon in bed reading are not luxuries, they are necessities.
So let's look at all these in closer detail.
1. Adrenal Exhaustion
Our adrenals are key too:
- hormonal balance
- blood sugar balance
- ideal weight
- anti aging
And they need vitamin C like no other organ. And lots of it! In fact if you are totally depleted (Sherrill had tester sticks that we pee'd on - yep - and whether or not they changed colour, you could see where your vitamin C levels were at), a dosage of 2g, 4x daily is recommended. If you know anything about dosages, that's a whopping dosage. So if you are to take this amount of vitamin C you're going to want to buy a product that will not irritate your gut as most store bought vitamin C products do. Check out this one.
If we continue to run the rat race, put everyone else first, push ourselves outta bed for that bootcamp when we really need the extra sleep, work overtime everytime, socialise all weekend, eat a poor diet, don't supplement when it's necessary, over-exercise or not exercise at all, and never give ourselves a break, this is what we might be getting ourselves into...
The effects of High/Prolonged Cortisol Levels:
- Hormonal imbalances (eg. estrogen excess)
- Progesterone and testosterone deficiency
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Lowered immunity
- Lowered thyroid function
- Increased abdominal fat
- Impaired cognitive function
- Decreased bone density
Sounds fun right? Stress leads to visceral fat which is dangerous. Struggling to lose weight with diet and exercise? Look at your stress levels.
This means low thyroid function and the symptoms can look a little like this:
+ Hair thinning
+ Feeling the cold more than usual or when it's not actually cold
+ Weight gain
+ Dry skin
+ High cholesterol
3. Toxic Liver
+ Blood clots during menstruation = liver impairment
+ Very dark coloured blood during menstruation = liver impairment
+ We get more toxicity from our own home than we do from walking through the city these days; get rid of toxic chemical laden cleaning products, skin care products, fake candles, perfumes, etc Would you eat these? Then why are you rubbing them in your skin (to absorb) and spraying them around you (to inhale)? It's your liver that has to work to get these out of you again
+ Broccoli seed extract and milk thistle = liver support and help break down oestrogens
+ 95% of cancers are caused by environmental and dietary toxicity
4. Insulin Resistance
+ Don't eat any carbohydrate-rich foods after dinner if you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or sleeping troubles; deep sleep is less likely to happen if you do eat carbs before bed, and therefore you will not be having restorative sleep needed for your hormones
+ Sugar and cocaine light up the same areas of the brain when ingested
+ Sugar and wheat make the brain addicted (to it/them) the same way cocaine becomes addictive
+ Wheat; increases appetite, increases weight, is so highly hybrodized these days and is completely addictive
+ If you have high cholesterol you need to get off the sugars and the (shitty processed) carbs; these both lead to inflammation in your arteries causing your high cholesterol in the first place
5. Poor Digestion / Bad gut flora
+ Antibiotics cause bad gut flora
+ Steroids cause bad gut flora
+ The Pill causes bad gut flora
+ Healing your gut lining (if you have leaky gut syndrome) should be your first priority if you have an autoimmune disease (and it's highly likely you do)
6. Vitamin, mineral, protein, and fatty acid deficiences
+ Eat good quality protein daily
+ Coconut oil daily is highly beneficial for hundreds of things including weight loss, preventing breast cancer and preventing Alzheimers disease; aim for 2 Tbsp daily
A little more about Hormone Health...
+ BPA mimics hormones messing everything up internally; it can also lead to early puberty and obesity. Ditch BPA by ditching plastic bottles and containers (ESPECIALLY plastic bottled water), saying NO to receipts at the shops, not buying tin canned foods and enquiring about dental sealants if you've got any
+ HRT (aka. Hormone Replacement therapy) which we usually only see in women over 50yrs is now being used in younger women, and is made up of TWO KNOWN CARCINOGENS (ie. cancer-causing ingredients)
+ Optimal vitamin D levels should be up around 250 (not 75 like some GP's will say). The more weight you carry the less vitamin D your body will have. Get in the sun at midday, everyday, for 15minutes, with 40% of your body exposed to the sunlight to get your fix.
+ 1 in 6 Australian girls are hitting puberty younger than ever before; the average age is now 10 1/2 years. This alone increases their breast cancer risk down the track.
+ Women in their 20's and 30's are now being diagnosed with breast cancer; a disease once only seen in women aged 60 yrs +. This is alarming as breast cancer is more aggressive in younger women, treatments are not as successful in younger women, and the side effects are often worse in younger women.
+ Weight gain increases your risk of breast cancer. 2-10kg of weight gain after menopause increases your risk by 30%. A 25kg weight gain increases your risk by up to 40%.
+ Oestrogen's message is to GROW (secondary sex characteristics like female hips and breasts in puberty, but also CANCER cells). Progesterone's message is to PUT THE BREAKS ON estrogen. So these two must be in balance.
+ Oestrogen is in fact HIGH in perimenopause, and in EXCESS in menopause
+ Blood serum testing for hormone levels is FLAWED and a saliva test is the only real indicator of where your hormone levels are at. A blood test for hormones will always show up low, due to they way they test them.
+ Our MOBILE PHONES are increasing estrogens, increasing insulin, and decreasing progesterone (just to name a few) Go here to have a look at some products Dr. Sellman suggested to reduce EMR around you.
And The Pill...
Used for contraception once upon a time... I'm not going to debate this right now, but the pill is being prescribed by doctors these days to treat acne, menstrual pain, irregular periods, no periods, weight gain, excess bodily hair, you name it, left, right and centre. And this is causing us big big problems.
The potential effects from taking The Pill look something like this -
+ Blood clots
+ Birth defects
+ Cardiovascular disease
+ High blood pressure
+ Cancer (breast, uterine, and colon)
+ Depression and sleep problems
+ Weakened immune system
+ Loss of libido
+ Weight gain
+ Vaginal yeast infections
The Pill decreases our levels of vitamins E, C, B12, B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, selenium and tyrosine. It also works like an antibiotic and therefore contributes to poor gut function (Check out The Pill Problem for more info).
Are you on it? Perhaps chat to your local Nutritionist, Naturopath or Chinese Medicine practitioner about how to get off it and what to use instead. Your doctor will convince you it's fine so seek information elsewhere. After all you wouldn't pop a carcinogenic-pill everyday would you? I hate to break it to you... that's exactly what it is.
All in all it was a hugely informative talk and bumping into fellow students, colleagues, customers, shop owners and friends always makes it a tonne of fun learning together.
Did you get to see Dr. Sellman on her Aussie tour? What did you think?
!! All hormone imbalance is a symptom of poor health !!