Q—CHARLOTTE’S BOOK READER
I suffer from a wide range of hormone-related issues. Is there anything I can take—any supplements—to rectify these problems?
A—CORINA CRYSLER, CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST
Hormonal imbalances can cause many problems in the body and aging process in general. The very basic internal support that you can do to help the endocrine system, which produces most hormones, is to control/reduce stress and protect/cleanse the liver. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the major belief is that if the liver is in harmony then the whole body is in harmony. The liver has to process everything and it is our main organ to detoxify the body. It also regulates hormones: when the liver is in disharmony it may not be able to process the excess hormones or regulators causing imbalance.
Stress can have a major effect on the production of sex hormones, because essentially cortisol takes over and suppresses them. Treating major hormonal imbalances should be supervised by a health care professional, but there are little things that you can do to support your hormonal system and reduce the negative effects that can happen when these imbalances occur.
These are the supplements I recommend:
These botanicals can do wonders not only for hormonal imbalances but supporting the aging process in general. Maca, holy basil, and ashwagandha (in powder or pill form) are all adaptogens that help with adrenal fatigue and reduce stress. Our adrenal system stimulates hormones so when we have adrenal fatigue or dysfunction caused by stress, our system can be affected due to the overproduction of cortisol, which decreases the sex hormones causing imbalance. I typically mix them up, as they have different benefits. Maca and ashwagandha are easy to add to a shake or to a drink however holy basil is better to take as a capsule or tincture.
This is also another adaptogen that is used specifically to support the female hormonal system but it has been shown to increase glutathione in the liver as well which acts as a powerful anti-oxidant.
These are both herbs that specifically cleanse and detoxify the liver but also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to support the function of the liver. Milk thistle specifically has a compound called silymarin which has been clinically shown to block toxins from harming certain cells in the liver. They can be taken in capsule or liquid forms, but are also beneficial to drink as a tea for supportive measures.
This is a supplement that can be used more to support menopause as it in rich in phytoestrogens and isoflavones that bind to certain receptors to modulate and stabilize hormones.
Just remember this is something you have to be patient with. It could take serval weeks before an equilibrium can occur. Remember food, alcohol and sleep can also play a large role in hormonal imbalance.
Interested in more reader questions? Check out our Ask CB series: Dr. Sophie Bartsich weighs in on getting breast implants before or after kids and celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman tells us if french fries are really all that bad.
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