Could your morning toast be messing with your estrogen levels?
The short answer is, yes. In this episode, we were blessed with not one, but two experts on the subject.
First ([1:20]), Dr. Tom O’Bryan (one of my earliest guests on this show) lists common side effects of gluten sensitivity – a topic garnering a lot of attention these days. He also shares a little-known factor that led him to explore all things gluten-related: the link between gluten and fertility – with some really astounding results.
Next, Andrea Nakayama, functional nutritionist and founder of Replenish PDX, a holistic nutrition practice based out of Portland, launches us into the complex and fascinating world of estrogen ([8:23]).
Her journey began abruptly upon receiving her husband’s brain tumor diagnosis…when she was just seven weeks pregnant. Including a full immersion into holistic and complementary treatments, she and her husband went gluten-free and delved into the connection between stress and hormones.
According to Andrea, no one is exempt from the impact of estrogen dominance ([12:08]). Like a solar system or a house of cards, she says, every hormone is intricately tied to each other, so an imbalance in one area upsets the whole system.
Still, most people don’t think estrogen dominance is an issue for them – because they are not overtly symptomatic. The symptoms are subtle, but, when combined, they mean you just aren’t functioning at your best. Basically, you don’t know how good you could feel – your symptoms are your “normal”. These can include PMS, polycystic breasts, PCOS, brain fog, and fatigue.
So what causes estrogen dominance?
([15:22]) Like anything related to our health, it’s a combination of toxins – in our environment, our food, and even our own minds and emotions. Over time, this increasing toxin load has weakened our bodies’ natural filtering and defense system.
There are several methods to find out if you are estrogen dependent ([20:20]), including a “food, mood, and poop journal” – all super-important factors in identifying your levels of estrogen and how they might be affecting your overall health.
Andrea is also a fan of detoxing ([27:35]) on whole foods, and she generously shares what this means and what delicious foods you get to add into your diet during the process. (Add in? Yes.) High-quality fats, fiber, and protein make the short list. “Detox should never be about deprivation,” she says. To that end, she gives clients recipes for Replenish PDX-approved scones and cookies.
She even provides a step-by-step tool with her EstroZen program (check out www.replenishpdx.com for all the juicy details).