For most women, menopause occurs between the ages of 48 and 52. In the lead-up come the hormonal changes of perimenopause, which often last between four to ten years. Though some women sail through these hormonal shifts, many experience symptoms that come and go or occur daily. During this time most women feel they are chasing their tail as symptoms come and go. But how do you know if low estrogen is to blame when it comes to your hormones?
Symptoms of Low Estrogen
Estrogen is closely linked to how you feel, your mood, and your general well-being. So, you can imagine that if your estrogen levels were low, you would experience some noticeable symptoms such as:
If you’re looking to naturally control these symptoms, you might try foods high in phytoestrogens. Part of what makes phytoestrogens a bit tricky is their ability to both mimic estrogen & act as an estrogen antagonist.
The way these phytoestrogens work is interesting:
If there is too much estrogen present in the body, phytoestrogens attach to estrogen receptors & prevent the natural hormone from overproducing.
When natural estrogen levels are too low, phytoestrogens take on the role of raising & balancing the natural level of this hormone.
Naturally Increasing Estrogen
Red wine – the active constituent that makes drinking red wine so beneficial (in moderation) is resveratrol. Not only helpful for balancing estrogen, but also for lowering inflammation in the body.
Flax seeds – flaxseed contains the highest amount of lignans, a form of polyphenols, which are high in phytoestrogens. When plant lignans are ingested, they can be metabolized by the intestinal bacteria in the large intestine into enterolactone. Enterolactone is the bioactive form of phytoestrogen. It is enterolactone that binds to estrogen receptors, blocking and competing with estrogen, based on if your body is too high or too low in estrogen. Think of flaxseeds as the perfect estrogen balancer!
Red clover (herb) – is one of my most favorite herbs for balancing estrogen levels and a very powerful phytoestrogen. You can find it in a supplement form or make a tea out of it too.
Soy – is probably the most studied phytoestrogen-rich food. It’s the isoflavone content that makes it stand out nutritionally. The research shows that isoflavones may be able to counteract decreasing estrogen levels during menopause and reduce flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms.
There are certain foods I can’t stop eating even though I suspect they’re bad for me.
I crave sugar like crazy.
Diets that work for others don’t seem to work for me.
I lose five pounds, and then I regain seven.
I’m tired of and frustrated with weight loss.
Do those statements also resonate with you? If so, you might not know an important secret: the reason you struggle with your weight is that your hormones are out of balance.
As a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, I am uniquely qualified to understand the private suffering that women experience with weight gain and body shame. Although hormones are complex, when out of balance, they make losing weight close to impossible particularly for women. During my lecture, I’ll share which hormones are to blame, how they affect your weight, and at least one simple action you can take to bring each hormone back into balance.
Please join me on May 18th at 2pm, as I help you understand the ins and outs of your complex body, with natural solutions for weight loss.
On this auspicious day we celebrate not only the beginning of Spring, but also the Iranian New Year.
One of my absolute favorite times of the Year. The flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. The sun warms our bodies and homes. A time of rebirth which t is reflected in many areas of our lives.
In this picture we see what is referred to as the Haft-seen. In Farsi, it refers to the seven “s’s”. Each table setting represents 7 different items that start with the letter (Seen “س”) in Farsi which serve a particular purpose. An intention for the New Year that is beginning.
So what do they symbolize?
“Sib” (Apple) : symbolizes health and beauty.
“Sabze” (Grass) A symbol of nature and rebirth.
“Senjed” (Sea-buckthorn): Holistically Senjed was utilized to invigorate the brain and memory, and symbolizes wisdom.
“Serkeh” (Vinegar): symbolizes age and patience.
“Samanu”: is a sweat paste made from germinated wheat, which is specially prepared for Nowruz. It is a symbol for affluence.
“Somaq” (Sumac): Sumac is a symbol for patience and tolerance.
“Seer” (Garlic): symbolizes health.
There are other items added to the haft-seen which bring together the full intentions for the New Year ahead. Some include:
A few coins represent prosperity and wealth.
A basket of painted eggs represents fertility.
A goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year.
Rose water known for its magical cleansing power.
A mirror that represents a field of possibilities where the creative force reflects and makes everything possible.
May this New Year be one that brings all of your most desired wishes come true with much health and love!
Naturopathic medicine is a science-based medicine steeped in ancient healing practices that promotes wellness by identifying the unique aspects of each patient. Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that addresses the root causes of illness. Naturopaths treat the whole person (not just the symptoms), looking at all of the systems at work in the human body. Our mental state, feelings, emotions, hormones are equally important as our blood work and physical being.
When necessary a Naturopathic Doctor integrates natural healing methodologies such as Nutrition and plant-based natural remedies. They will also use conventional medical treatments such as extensive laboratory diagnostic testing.
What training do Naturopaths have?
Naturopathic Doctors are trained as general medical Doctors specializing in Natural Medicine. They cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate (AANP, 1998).
When Would Someone See a Naturopathic Doctor?
The primary reasons patients seek out Holistic and Integrative Medicine from Natural Medicine Doctor are:
Preference for natural health and wellness
Seeking an alternative to drugs or surgery
Seeking treatment for complex auto-immune or other long-term, chronic conditions
Supportive therapy for any surgery, cancer treatment or other intensive procedures
Desire to preserve optimal wellness and prevent illness.
How can Naturopathic Medicine benefit your health and well being?
Naturopathic Doctors are often successful at treating chronic conditions that don’t respond to conventional medicine. This includes, but is not limited to: fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, and digestive disorders. They are able to respond to the individual needs of patients and develop a treatment plan that includes nutritional supplements, botanical medicine, and nutritional modifications.
Naturopathic Doctors understand the art of healing, which is more than dispensing an herbal remedy or nutritional supplement. To understand the context of a patient’s illness, the physician must take the time to listen to the patient’s story. Effective Naturopathic treatment requires patience and good communication. Most patients know what is wrong and what needs to be done, but they don’t know how to translate this into an action plan. The Naturopathic Doctor can translate the patient’s story and assign priorities among the several options that may emerge. They also take time to answer the patient’s questions.
What should I expect in the initial Naturopathic appointment?
The first appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor tends to be much longer than a conventional medical office visit-anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes. In addition, patients often complete extensive paperwork before the visit to guide the Naturopathic Doctor during the interview. Much of the initial consultation involves listening to the patient’s story. This story may have many twists and turns and involve multiple conditions or diseases. Naturopathic doctors recognize the importance of this process and allow the patient the time and space necessary to share their story.
Naturopathic Doctors use laboratory tests and other objective data in combination with the patient’s subjective story to determine the most effective treatment. A Naturopathic Doctor works to find the best treatment to fit the patient’s medical needs holistically, realizing that each person has different needs requiring a customized approach. This is a genuine practice of Naturopathy. Follow-up visits are common to assess how well the plan fits and to make any necessary changes.
In my previous article, I wrote about a persistent myth in our current culture: that LDL cholesterol leads directly to a higher risk of heart disease. I discussed why this is not necessarily the case and possible explanations. So where does heart disease come from and is it directly related to our diet and the high rates of obesity? And is body size or weight related to higher risk for heart disease?
Lipoprotein(a), is a particle in your blood which carries cholesterol, fats and proteins. The amount your body makes is inherited from one or both parents and is determined by the genes passed on from your parent(s) when you are born. It does not change very much during your lifetime. Diet and exercise seems to have little to no impact on the lipoprotein(a) level. Some cholesterol and Lp(a) in your blood is normal. A high level of LDL cholesterol increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Lipoprotein(a) is a type of lipoprotein/cholesterol and high levels increase your risk for atherosclerosis (build up of fatty deposits in the wall of the artery, also called atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or CVD). About 20% or one in five people have high levels of Lp(a) which is anything greater than 50mg/dL. This is based on genetic factors they inherited from their parents, and most don’t know they have it.
As high levels of Lp(a) travel through the bloodstream, it collects in the arteries, leading to gradual narrowing of the artery that can limit blood supply to the heart, brain, and kidneys as well as the legs. It can increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack or stroke. This is why you don’t have to be overweight to have heart disease. Genetics sometimes can be just as important as the efforts put behind a healthy diet and lifestyle. Susan Lucci’s most recent incident of a cardiac event, is an excellent example.
Causes of High Cholesterol
Protein intake has been a bit controversial in recent years—while it sounds like a good idea to eat a protein-rich diet, studies have found that too much protein, especially from certain sources, is not so good for long-term health. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland finds that men who eat a high-protein diet have a slightly increased risk of heart disease in middle age. But again, not all proteins are created equal. For animal and dairy protein, the risk was higher.
Diets high in saturated fats and white flour, white sugar, white rice, and vegetable oil also have a higher risk for heart disease. A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet is not the answer to decreasing heart disease. In fact, this diet has been shown to increase triglycerides, decrease HDL, and increase small dense LDL and inflammation – all of the factors for a heart attack. Avoiding processed foods and focusing on whole natural foods means giving yourself a better chance of avoiding heart disease.
Preventing Heart Disease
1.Test for Lipoprotein(a)
A simple blood test can measure your Lp(a) level; however, it is not included in most standard cholesterol or lipid panels. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies cover testing for Lp(a) at this time so check with your insurance company or provider.
2. Remove or Reduce Animal Products
Contrary to what people believe about “organic” consumption be
ing exclusively free of medications or toxins, in order to be bread for consumption, The National Organic Program, does permit the use of vaccines to be administered to livestock. These and other inflammatory toxins accumulate in the fat, brain and bone of the animal. Therefore exposing us to the same toxins and burdening the liver and heart from further damage. Eating whole plant based proteins is a far better alternative towards a healthy heart.
3. Curb your Sweet Tooth
And what about sugar? This culprit offers insignificant amounts of vitamins and minerals and simultaneously robs your body of nutrient stores. This can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease. High glycemic or refined sugar cause elevated glucose levels which gradually build up on the inner lining of your arteries developing plaques.
Lowering Lp(a) Naturally
Lipoprotein(a) attaches to the artery at the lysine binding sites forming atherosclerotic plaques. The higher the concentration of the free lysine in the blood, the more likely lipoprotein(a) will bind with this lysine, rather than the lysine strands that have been exposed by cracks in blood vessels; or the other lysine that has been attracted to the lipoprotein(a) already attached to the blood vessel wall. Linus Pauling showed that 6 grams a day were effective at lowering Lp(a) levels by two to five times.
2. Vitamin C IV Therapy
Vitamin C can reduce or prevent the development of atherosclerosis by lowering plasma lipoprotein(a), decreasing lipoprotein infiltration into the arterial wall, and preventing lipid peroxidation. Unfortunately oral dosing of vitamin C is not enough to effectively lower Lp(a) values. For this reason, I formulated a highly powerful Vitamin C IV that does.
3. Balancing Hormones
Estrogen has been found to lower Lp(a) levels in postmenopausal women. If you are a women, levels of Lp(a) increase as the natural estrogen level declines with menopause. Therefore, if you are older than 40, testing your hormones with my specialized hormone testing would be highly recommended to help prevent heart disease.
Often times when when practicing Functional Medicine, addressing a root cause can take time, investigation and patience to heal underlying issues. There is a balance between long term and short term solutions. Giving a patient a product that will help them feel better immediately, can ease physical symptoms, boost their spirit and their confidence in feeling well again!
So Why Take Enzymes?
Enzymes are essential to sustain life. They work together cooperating with vitamins and minerals and act as a catalyst to accelerate chemical reactions. Most chemical reactions in biological cells would occur too slowly, but when the body has an abundance of enzymes, it can protect itself and repair the damage from almost all degenerative disease disorders. Without enzymes, we age more quickly, get diseases earlier in life, and acquire physical impairments and mental retardation as our bodies degenerate. Neither a human being nor an animal can live without enzymatic function.
If we take supplements in the correct form, most people would assume that the nutrients are being utilized to give the body the support it needs. Wrong. Without the assistance of digestive enzymes, many of the nutrients from the supplements are going to be used just for energy by the metabolic enzymes to clean up the bloodstream. It will not support the body’s normal daily needs, creating another cause of deficiencies. Remember that lack of enzymes in the body, makes the blood dirty resulting in a cesspool of waste and toxins.
Another problem that arises from a lack of enzymes is that food particles are left undigested and therefore float inside the blood. These food bits which haven’t been digested make the blood sticky, resulting in red blood cells coagulating together. Thicker blood results in a clogged lymphatic system which includes problems with heart health and gall bladder efficiency.
Important Things to Remember:
The source of most health problems can be traced directly back to improperly digested foods.
The human body is designed to break down only half of the food we eat.
Cooked and processed foods overwork and drain the human body’s energy.
Improperly digested food particles in the bloodstream distract the protectors and repairers away from doing their job.
Fat is the best source of energy, fully digested fat is good fat.
It has been clinically proven that the more enzymes you take the more quickly your body can restore, repair and strengthen itself.
The combination of digestive enzymes, vitamins, ionic minerals and clean water gives your body the support it desperately needs.
We have a choice, to add to the body’s ability to protect or repair, or to continually and slowly drain the body’s energy and enzyme reserves. Your choice will be a determining factor in your long-term health.
Healing your gut is the first step and enzymes are one of the tools necessary to assist the process. If you need help balancing your diet or choosing a diet that fits your body type, contact the office to schedule your customized diet protocol today.