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What Women Need to Know About Hormones: Part 1 of 4

Robyn Openshaw - Jun 27, 2012 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

This blog series is to educate you about female issues with hormones, and your alternatives to drug solutions. However, it should not be taken as medical advice. Please seek competent medical advice from a holistic practitioner.

But read this if you have two X chromosomes, or love someone who does! We women are loaded for risk, at every turn in the modern world, and our endocrine system is fragile. I believe that depression, fragile bones, reproductive cancers, and rapid aging are highly preventable, with a little education and a little good health care that deals with the whole organism. Hormones are never actually “corrected” with a synthetic chemical solution. Quite the opposite, in fact.

We have to be educated about what is happening to us, in an environment where thousands of chemicals have been approved for use by our government, and many of them damage our hormone balance.

(Men, too, are affected by hormone imbalances, and endocrine disruptors in our environment. Prostate cancer is heavily linked to testosterone imbalance, for instance. But this series focuses on female hormone issues.)

In the briefest possibly way, we’re going to talk about why women have more hormone issues than men. Why synthetic hormones are harmful and bioidentical hormones (and/or sometimes herbs, high-iodine plants or other natural substances) are not only helpful, but critical. We’re going to talk about what elements in our environment create hormone imbalance.

The vast majority of hormone imbalance in women is estrogen dominance. The ratio of estrogen to progesterone is critically important to maintain balance. Because of so many xenoestrogens (pronounced zeno-estrogens) in the S.A.D. and environment, most women have too much estrogen and too little progesterone.

Xenoestrogens are “foreign” estrogens that cause the body to overproduce estrogen. They are derived from petrochemicals, and they include pesticides, lawn and garden and insect sprays, soaps, plastics, meat and dairy products (since livestock is fed estrogenic drugs to fatten them), ground water, car exhaust, and smog.

These chemicals we’re all bombarded with bind to estrogen receptors in our bodies, and damage egg follicles, causing problems with ovarian function.

These xenohormones do not degrade over time. We are affected by the false hormones our mothers were exposed to when they were pregnant with us! Many species in our environment have been damaged or killed off by these chemicals, but they are reducing sperm count and reducing fertility in women.

Alcohol and prescription drugs also affect our estrogen dominance, because the liver is heavily taxed, which compromises the liver’s ability to filter out excess estrogens.

And guess what else causes to over-produce estrogen. Fat cells! They store the fake “xenoestrogens” as well, which continue to cause problems as long as they’re held there.

Tomorrow we talk about the kinds of foods known to protect against xenoestrogens!

Posted in: Health Concerns, Supplements

17 thoughts on “What Women Need to Know About Hormones: Part 1 of 4”

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  1. Thank you for this information! Can’t wait to read more. Did you eat the way you eat now during your last 3 pregnancies or are there others out there following 12 steps who are pregnant now? I am and have for over a year) and I also read A LOT about pregnancy and childbirth, but there seems to be so much conflicting information on what is most important for nutrition during pregnancy, but it is very apparent that nutrition is the #1 most important thing to focus on for optimal prenatal care and prevents so many complications. I have tried giving in to cravings (including sugar–BAD idea), eating more free-range organic eggs, and had some organic chicken, thinking surely I wasn’t eating well enough (enough protein) for pregnancy. I’ve tried adding supplements. All of these things tend to make me feel horrible. The more I shift closer to raw and strictly following 12 steps, the better I feel, the better I look, etc. Anyway, is there anyone else out there pregnant and following 12 steps?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Could you please tell me the holistic Dr. that you have recommended before, who is located in Utah? I would love to have his name and phone number. I have to tried to find that info in your past blog entry with it in it, but was unable to locate it. Your help would be appreciated! I’m very interested in this blog series about hormones. Thanks for all the info you share with us all!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I, too, am excited to read the rest!! I am a 12 stepper wanting to be pregnant, so I think all this info will be extremely helpful. I go back and forth every day with whether I want to go through with invitro or not. I am very holistic, but nothing so far in my natural quest for pregnancy has seemed to help. I do not want to fill my body with synthetic medication in order to become pregnant. It’s just doesn’t seem right, but it helps so many women get pregnant. Such a dilemma … Looking forward to the rest of the info!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Due to “un-bearable hot flashes” I was put on an estrogen patch a year ago. Although, I have mixed feelings about it, it has stopped the “hot flashes” for the most part that I have experienced for 17 years-and I just couldn’t take it any more and had to do something!

    With that being said and having a hysterectomy 17 years ago…is there anyone out there that has the same problem and addressing it with whole foods?

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is very timely for me as I am new to green smoothies and starting to have some hormonal changes now that I am 47. I am looking forward to the next parts! Thanks for the info Robin!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have found 2 doctors whom I really love and who offer wholistic and functional medicine views on health. Dr. Lam ND, has a website with his name in it (google!) and Chris Kresser L. Ac. Both have been very helpful to me with hasimoto’s, adrenal fatigue, and estrogen dominance.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Kim, where are those practitioners?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey Robin, I have a question about a green smoothie feast. It’s a lil embarressing but need to ask. Will a diet of mostly green smoothies with a bit of solid food (ie. a salad) make your stools ‘really’ loose. I do not have the diarria but it is not solid either. I do have digestion issues and I’m trying to reboot my system to heal things up. I’m trying to figure out if it’s my digestion problems or a lot of green smoothies. I hope the further I get eating this way I will see success and more ‘normal’ stools. Any one else have this problem or maybe it’s just me! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 🙂 Pam

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      yes, you’ll have looser stool eating mostly raw green or plants….very normal and not bad. Diarrhea (liquid) and gas and bloating is bad. Looser stool is representative of lots of fiber. Cleaning out.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey Robyn! Thank you for talking hormones. I started bio identical

    s about 1-2 years ago. I’m 39. I started them because I just wasn’t feeling well. I was estrogen dominant and low on dhea. I started the progesterone and dhea and later added testosterone to see if it would help with moodiness and low sex drive. It was borderline low. I tried going off of them for 3 months and by the 3rd month my family was begging me to get back on them. I was really bitchy and not tollerant. Do you think that I will need to be on them forever? I eat very little animal products and try really hard to stay away from xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens. I am a hairstylist part time and am exposed to those chemicals several times a week.

  9. Very excited about this series Robyn! And for the ladies asking about dealing with hormonal issues through diet I can attest to it. I’m high-raw vegan now but as I entered peri-menopause I would have terrible bouts with depression, anxiety, migraines, and food cravings. The more raw I eat, the less the symptoms. I use a cream called Balanced Woman from Hallelujah Acres, and if I sense symptoms coming on I’ll swing into a juice feast for a few days, or juices and smoothies. It makes all the difference for me!


  10. Anonymous says:

    THANKYOU! I appreciate your input. I guess I’m not so odd. I do have gas but that’s one of the problems I’m trying to get rid of. I’m going gluten free, mostly sugar free (only berries) and trying to clean out the yeast over growth. I’ll keep going and see what happens 🙂 Thanks for letting me poke my head in with a question 🙂 Pam

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thankyou!!!! I guess I can relax. 🙂 I’m also gluten free and have Candida issues so alot of issues are going on. Gas is one of my digestion issues so hopefully I’ll get to higher ground with the green smoothie feast! Any recommendations on the length of a green smoothie feast? Pam 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    I”m 52 and was starting the hot flash phase, (i was taking sublinguel compound hormones). Then I started drinking my green smoothies, stopped my hormones, cut way down on my gluten…lost weight and the hot flashes have stopped. I feel great! I never put the weight and hot flashes together. Thanks Robyn!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I also suffer of hot flushes, I also afraid of synthetic hormones, Help!

  14. For more information on this topic, here is a talk on bioidenticals and their advantages over synthetics. The talk is 40 minutes, the Q & A session is a little over an hour. Lots of useful info on the topic of bioidentical hormones. I also have added a breast cancer prevention video, Keeping A Breast, that may be useful.

    Bioidentical Hormone Optimization

    Keeping A Breast – Natural Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

  15. Robyn,

    I have been prescribing and individualizing bio-identicals (adrenal, thyroid, vitamin levels) treatments for several years in South Florida. Of course nutrition is a major part of the treatment plan too.Just thought I’d let you know.


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