As beautiful and amazing as the female body is, keeping it healthy especially as we age can present a significant challenge. Most women fervently hope to avoid infertility in their younger years and to sail through their perimenopause and menopause years with the least amount of waves. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in our modern society. Stress, parasites, fungus, and yeast overgrowth wreak havoc with hormones and the detoxification system in the body creating confusing and often painful symptoms.
How can we float over these health problems rather than drown in their negative effects?
Parasite, Fungus and Yeast Overgrowth
These uninvited critters, regardless of how we've acquired them, make our bodies their home and change the landscape of our hormones to suit their needs. They can alter the healthy functioning of any digestive or detox organ in the body, but they don’t stop there. Parasites, fungus, and yeast can greatly impact the natural balance of the female cycle. They literally disrupt the normal “traffic signals” between our healthy cells and give their own in order to protect themselves from being discovered as a pathogen. They do whatever they can to increase in size and number! These altered traffic signals benefit them but are horrible for the host. Cystic acne and other skin manifestations, painful periods, infertility, disrupted sleep and estrogen dominance are a few of the harmful results these “guests” generate. One of the outcomes is usually an increase in estrogen. Estrogen helps them grow. ¹
The Vicious Cycle of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen is often demonized by women as the source of all their female related health issues. This important hormone has much more impact on the body than having a period. It’s only when out of sync with the other monthly cycle hormones that the natural gentle waves turn into erratic tsunamis.
Here are a few positive effects of healthy estrogen levels:
- Helps bones mature and lessens the chance of osteoporosis
- Promotes the uterine lining
- Helps with ovulation
- Correct levels can help libido
- Can have a beneficial influence on cognitive function
- Correct levels help maintain body temperature
- Helps the liver’s production of cholesterol and increases the chance of plaque in arteries
- Can help control hunger
With these positive effects, how can estrogen be an issue?
As with most parts of our health, there is a “U” shaped curve of benefit, a sweet spot. Without estrogen, all the positive effects mentioned would be reversed. But too much estrogen stimulates an entirely different storm of issues that capsize women from enjoying healthy, productive, vibrant lives.
Estrogen dominance is when estrogen is too high in proportion to the other sex hormones. When this hormone is on the other side of the “U” curve, serious health problems can arise such as:
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and depression
- Bloating and altered digestion
- Increased risk of certain cancers
Besides the female body producing its own endogenous estrogen (of course) we are being bombarded with exogenous estrogen (estrogens not produced by the body). These hidden estrogens come at us through several different ways. Consuming meats that have been given hormones to increase their growth, or drinking unfiltered water that would have trace amounts of prescription estrogen both increase the estrogen load on the body. Then there are xenoestrogens (chemicals that act like estrogen) from plastics that seep into the foods we eat. These fake estrogen-like compounds can also be in everything from body wash to cosmetics. The body cannot tell the difference between the real estrogen and the false ones, increasing estrogen yet again. These compounds, as well as those from pesticides and herbicides residues in our food, disrupt the body’s use of our own hormones.²
This brings us back to the pathogens. They love all this extra estrogen and hidden toxins. It’s like a spa day ending with the most decadent chocolate dessert. They feed on this toxic level of estrogen and then, in turn, release their own toxins. Speaking of chocolate, parasites, fungus, and yeast also love the Standard American Diet that’s high in carbs, trans fats, low in fiber and micronutrients.
Can you see the health storm crisis building in strength and speed?
It’s vital we usurp these horrible house guests!
Taking Your Body Back!
Fortunately, with some strategic supplements, synergistic tactics, and diligence with a good dose of patience, these little invaders can be eradicated. We’ve learned what environment they love. Now let’s look at how to make the environment hostile to them that will eventually create more smooth sailing for the host.
The first step in regaining control from pathogens is to open up all the systems for their removal. Cleansing these pathways will help regulate and alleviate symptoms as the pathogens are eliminated. The liver is where hormones are metabolized and then excreted by our elimination organs, the kidney, and colon. Taking specific herbal formulas to help them function at a higher level is critical in allowing the body to release and expel pathogens. Slaying the pathogens won’t help unless there is a pathway for them to leave the body. Besides the liver and kidneys, we must make sure our colons are moving well, and regularly to expel them. We literally want to “flush” them out!
We can also ease the burden on our organs by adopting a whole foods diet, low in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates feed yeast and congest the liver - the complete opposite of what we want. A diet lower in carbs, higher in fiber and packed with micronutrients, can help give our bodies the resources they need to successfully wipe out the invaders, and simultaneously send the pathogens a clear signal to get out by removing their food sources. A lower carb diet will also help eliminate unhealthy blood sugar fluctuations that leave us tired and craving stimulants for energy. Overconsumption of stimulants such as caffeine can overwhelm the liver that we are trying help run more efficiently. With healthier diet strategies, moving the intestines regularly, and the liver and kidney detox, we can move onto the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is a drainage network of vessels, organs, and tissues involved in balancing our fluids. Most people focus on the health of their cardiovascular system, not giving this subsystem a second thought. The lymphatic system has two times the amount of fluid in it than the cardiovascular. Because there is no pump for this system, its fluid can become stagnant. Pathogens can safely thrive in the lymphatic network undisturbed if this system is ignored. Think of the difference between a rapid river with clean water teeming with fish. Movement is life! Contrast that with a stagnant pond where the water doesn’t move. There are no fish, and algae are growing on top. You’d never swim in or drink that water because it would make you sick. A stagnant lymphatic system makes you sick as well. We need specific herb combinations to drain this system so those pathogens creating problems are dislodged from their previously safe hideout and are removed.
Once these detox pathways are flowing smoothly, it’s time to get serious and scrub the body clean of these invaders. Herbal formulas designed to support digestion that contains bioactive carbon get these ingredients far into the digestive tract so they can successfully remove parasites, fungus, and candida overgrowth.
During this time of “taking your body back,” it’s important to remember that there can be some fluctuations in your cycle. These are temporary. Periods may be a bit heavier, length of cycles can vary for a bit, as well as women who have been in menopause can have some spotting. This is normal, it’s an indication of the body reestablishing natural levels of hormones. Be patient, the end result will be worth the transition. Many women report a reduction and even elimination of perimenopause and menopausal symptoms. It can also lessen PCOS, and many have reported restored fertility.
A supplement that can support this transition to a healthy female cycle and help end estrogen dominance is iodine. The ovaries contain more iodine than any other organ in the body with the exception of the thyroid.³ Iodine can help promote ovulation. It also helps “clean house” of negative halogens (bromine, chlorine, fluoride) that have collected in our bodies and stripped away the iodine. These four halogens compete for receptors and most often, iodine doesn’t win the competition. This leaves our thyroids and ovaries with none to carry out their crucial functions. It is important to take both iodine and iodide in order to be most effective. Different organs require different forms. Combining the iodine and iodide with bioactive carbon helps both forms get to where they go. Then they can be used and restore the correct level of hormones to ovulate and keep our reproductive system healthy from childbearing years, transitioning to perimenopause and beyond.
All these methods of supporting the female cycle through detoxing and restoring healthy, natural hormone levels should help you sail your ship safely, even joyfully over life’s waves and progressive stages. After all, sailing is supposed to be exhilarating, not frightening or discouraging!
Cheng, G., et al. “Cellular and Molecular Biology of Candida Albicans Estrogen Response.” Pubmed, 5 Jan. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=cellular and molecular biology of Candida albicans estrogen response.
Mnif, Wissem, et al. “Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), 17 June 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3138025/.
Slebodziński, A B. “Ovarian Iodide Uptake and Triiodothyronine Generation in Follicular Fluid. The Enigma of the Thyroid Ovary Interaction.” Domestic Animal Endocrinology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 29 July 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15927769.