Welcome to the wonderful world of Hormones! Today I am going to try and break down the complexity of hormones and distill them into the essential points you need to understand.
Hormones are the messengers of life. They communicate with your body and tell every cell what to do. When to open up, when to grow, and when to function. There are a lot of different types of hormones. There are happy hormones, sad hormones, stress hormones, growth hormones, arousal hormones… and they are all related to our emotional states and how we deal with life.
A lot of these hormones are related to our ability to fight and to pull through challenges and events in our lives. And sometimes under the wrong conditions they get exhausted or out of balance. That's why we need to pay special attention here. It's a subject many doctors try to avoid because it's really complex, but if you have a cancer related to any hormone dysfunction, it's crucial to be aware of these issues.
Let's take a brief look at the thyroid for example. These hormones need to be converted in the liver to active form. And therefore all cross related functions, like the liver conversion, need to be working. In the same way I can not say to you “be happy” if your body functions don't support any happy hormones.
Hormones are a serious balancing act and especially for females. A doctor who was explaining hormones to me used a good analogy.
He said that males are testosterone driven like those big monster cars. With big bumpers and tyres and solid diesel engines, and with just a little adjustment here and there they can run for a long time. They are not something that is very complex, plus they are strong with good resilience.
Now females he compared to luxury cars such as a Maserati or Lamborghini.
They have these hot and sexy curves and look and feel really great as long as they are well adjusted and finely tuned, but once they are a little bit out of balance they get really out of whack!
They can become really dangerous and difficult and temperamental. This is why females usually learn to balance hormones a lot earlier in life and are a lot more interested in health. They have to be.
There are many factors involved with hormones. Nutrition, how you handle stress and how you deal with daily situations all influence your hormones. If you have too much stress or too many emotional situations that you cannot resolve or deal with, or you have totally unrealistic expectations which are never fulfilled, you eventually encounter adrenal burnout or a thyroid dysfunction.
Keeping these hormones in check is a constant balancing act. I've found the difference between males and females to be true in our workshops. The attendance of females is about 70%, for them it's usually about the fine adjustments, they turn up and want to make a difference one step at a time. With males they usually have to be dragged along, and only when it hurts will they want to make the effort to make a difference.
Let's go through some hormones. When I first started looking at them, hormones were just a bunch of long complicated names. I didn't know where to start! So I thought I would break them down into their respective categories while paying special regard to the ones that are related to cancer.
I've incorporated this into our Truly Heal app. Within the app we have all of the different types of hormones and their related information. It shows you which symptoms are related to which hormones. It also shows you which tests you can perform to check for any imbalances.
Tests allow you to explore and confirm your present situations and correlate how you feel to your hormones. The great thing about this is that once you have confirmed these issues you can actually start dealing with them in a systematic way. You can test your levels, start medication or treatment, and then test again three months down the track to see whether the treatments have actually had an effect.
Being able to identify, test and resolve these issues really bring up feelings of progress and success. You actually fix a problem that you might never have known you had. So many of the patients that come in to our workshops try so many things. They try this and that! However when I ask them "Is it getting any better?", they almost always respond with "I'm not sure really… I haven't checked." Being unsure and not checking leaves the fear factor there. Whereas if you actually test, you can assess whether you are doing the right thing, and be happy if you are or change the treatments if you're not.
With regards to the thyroid you can have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, which is too much or too little. It really depends on how exhausted you are and how much counter effects are there. As we know, every organ is related to deficiencies. It's the same with your hormone production. If you don't have the right minerals then your hormone glands can't work. In the same way, if your hormone glands are deficient or weak and can't produce the hormones, then your uptake of minerals is impaired.
The thyroid is responsible for over 400 enzymes that have to do with your digestive fire and energy production. If you aren't producing them you aren't absorbing minerals. If you don't absorb them, then you don't have the minerals you need to activate your thyroid! These things are always co-dependent. You cannot separate one from the other, and that's why we try to really bring all the factors together and show them to you in the groups they are.
Causes for hormonal problems are very important to identify because they can give you an idea of where the damage is coming from. It could be as simple as using a certain perfume or cosmetic that contains chemicals that mimic oestrogen, which in turn suppresses your system. From there we can look at which tests we need to perform to find out, and which treatments we can utilise to help us resolve the problem.
I'm going to go through thyroid and adrenals in a bit more depth now so that we have an understanding of how to approach this subject, and how your doctor should be doing exactly the same!
The thyroid. The thyroid is really important. It's a very important gland that sits in front of your oesophagus, and it's responsible for so many bodily functions you wouldn't believe. In the chart to the side, you can see it affects every single area of your body. If there is just a little bit of it out of balance then your skin could be damaged, you might have mood swings, depression, digestion and malabsorption… all of these things are related to the thyroid in some way. In fact, thyroid hormones are used by every cell of our body to regulate metabolism and thus provide us with energy! Knowing this, it's scary to think that an estimated 40% of Americans have sub-optimal thyroid functions. Needless to say we need to take care of our thyroid production!
The main causes that affect your thyroid are:
- Stress, stress, stress, stress! I can't say it often enough. Really get your stress under control! Remember, stress is related to not knowing how to handle and resolve a situation.
- Environmental toxins. You should know this by now! Plastics, heavy metals etc.
- Bromides, chlorines and fluorides are also very dangerous. If you go swimming every day in a highly chlorinated pool that can affect your thyroid. I should also mention here that having water filters in today's world is a must. Grab a filter for your drinking water, but more importantly your shower. You don't want to be breathing in those chemicals in and absorbing them directly through your lungs.
- Iodine deficiency.
- Gluten and food sensitivities. Everything you eat that causes a bodily reaction or sensitivity is perceived by your body as stress!
With regards to tests, you need to check your TSH levels and always include free T4 and free T3 in the test because that shows the conversion rates. This is important because you could have plenty of hormones, but if they are not being converted into active form in your liver then it may not be your thyroid that's the problem, it could be a liver condition that's causing the imbalance.
To assist you with healing, ensure your medication includes desiccated thyroid (Armour), instead of the synthetic Thyroxin, because it contains the active forms (T3, T3, T2, T1.)
With regards to iodine, use Lugol's solution. It comes in topical as well as droplet form that's very easy to get into your system.
Zinc and selenium are required in your liver in order to convert T4 into T3. So it's really crucial that you have high levels of zinc and selenium. We've spoken about this many times before. In our app we have lists of all the functions, and if you look at these two minerals specifically it's quite amazing how often they pop up. They are used in almost every body function.
Using liver supporting herbs such as milk thistle and dandelion will help with transforming all of the thyroid hormones and help you metabolise and use them in your body properly.
On to the adrenals! These are the little tiny hats sitting on top of your kidneys that are famously responsible for the fight and flight mechanism. They also activate the brain so that you can deal with stressful situations quickly, but if they are active all the time, then they will slowly exhaust. That's what we call adrenal fatigue. The problem is that those organs are really hard to revive and energise. The danger here is that you will experience too many highs and lows, and not enough neutrals. If you are always having your adrenal glands activated, you really do start to wear yourself out and you eventually crash and have to sleep it off for a while. That's what we call the Yo-yo effect.
It is really difficult to coerce your body back after you've completely exhausted it. There are herbs from Chinese medicine shops that help, but really you want to try and ensure that you don't have to experience the Yo-yo at all. This requires some clever thinking. Do things in moderation, and have dedicated breaks. Have dedicated relaxation and regeneration time. To help us with this, here at Truly Heal we love using the TH Pro glasses. They are so helpful because you just sit down, bring your mind into the theta state, reduce your stress, and then get back to work stress free.
There are so many factors that affect the adrenals:
- Life issues such as marital stress and emotional stress
- Body issues such as allergies and infections
- Lifestyle issues such as lack of sleep and lack of relaxation
- Diet issues such as having too much caffeine or sugar
And all of these issues stem from not knowing how to handle situations well which just leads to stress.
Adrenal fatigue is measured with cortisol. Cortisol can also be tested from your saliva or urine. The blood test for cortisol will NOT provide you with your daily cortisol curve, which is what you need.
When you conduct the test and get your results, you should see a rise in the morning providing you with a lot of energy and slowly fading over the course of the day so you can sleep at night. If you have adrenal fatigue, it could be that the rise in the morning is not there at all, you could start at a level of cortisol and energy that most people go to bed with and then, even worse you might have that rise in your cortisol in the evening that doesn't allow you to fall asleep. There are many things that you can learn from your cortisol curve, and that's why doing the tests in succession over the day will give you a much better picture of your cortisol and energy levels.
Some things that can help you deal with adrenal fatigue include:
- Eating regular meals (I know I'm stressed when I'm hungry!)
- Vitamin C
- Magnesium (relaxes muscles, nerves and helps hormone glands)
- Essential fatty acids (omega 3 + 6 which help with inflammation)
- Vitamin D (regulates all the pathways in your body)
- Zinc and selenium (To assist with liver function and almost everything else in the body!)
- Acupuncture (To help with meridian flow)
- Herbs such as ashwagandha, eleuthero, rhodiola, rehmannia
- Stress minimization techniques
- Relaxation methods
- Avoid caffeine and caffeinated beverages
- Avoid TV and computers before bed
And remember, when taking supplements keep the Yo-yo effect in mind. If you feel great then that's great! But don't overdo it. You don't want to burn out and be left feeling drained for a long time.
This brings us to some of the equipment you can use to help heal your adrenals. PEMF and acupuncture are very powerful treatments that can help resolve adrenal issues, and the 810 Near-Infrared Nasal Laser is great for stimulating nerve repair and ATP production.