PMS & MENSTRUAL ISSUES
28TH MAY WRITTEN BY FLORA CRICHTON
A lot of us in the western world will run into hormonal imbalances.
Keeping your hormones in balance can help prevent;
- Mood swings, anxiety
- Dizziness/feeling faint around your period
- Breast tenderness
- Hormonal acne
- Irregular periods
- Period pain
- Pelvic pain
Oestrogen is a vital hormone in our menstrual cycle - it helps build the uterus lining, in order to prepare for a potential baby.
Once we have used oestrogen in our menstrual cycle, it needs to be excreted out of the body, in our urine or stool. Otherwise, oestrogen can get reabsorbed back into the body, which we don’t want. This can cause too much oestrogen to build up in the body; we are likely to experience period pain, PMS, mood swings, anxiety and/or depression. Longer term, this may lead to oestrogen linked cancers e.g. breast cancer.
So, in order to remove oestrogen, it will first travel to the liver, where it will undergo two phases of detoxification. The first phase will break it down into smaller subunits, which are now toxic to the body. The second phase will neutralise the toxic parts and package them up (think of a parcel). The packaged up oestrogen will now travel back to the gut, in order to be excreted via our urine or stool. The oestrogen is wrapped in a parcel, so it can’t do any harm to the body.
We want our gut to be healthy with lots of bacterial diversity. This ensures we are excreting toxins in our daily bowel movements. If we do not have a healthy gut environment, unhealthy bacteria can overgrow; these bacteria produce an enzyme, which will actually pull the oestrogen parcel apart from its wrapping. Now, the oestrogen is left free floating to be reabsorbed back into the body. This causes excess oestrogen.
Seeking nutritional therapy and functional testing can help you to identify whether it is in your liver or your gut that is struggling to deal with detoxifying and excreting oestrogen. Through dietary and lifestyle modifications, and testing for greater understanding of biochemical imbalances, nutritional therapy is able to support bringing hormones into balance and reducing PMS. The next post will detail steps you can take to support each stage of oestrogen detoxification.