Hello Eco Chic fans! Super honored to be guest posting here and so excited to share some information with you that I hope you will find useful and relevant for you or someone you know.
First off I need to make a friendly disclaimer:
I am not a doctor, and I don’t specialize in the endocrine system or female hormones. I am a Holistic Nutritional consultant student, and more importantly I’m a girl with a story. We all have one, and I am incredibly grateful for mine. The loss I experienced was profound, and the battle I fought was hard, but the redemption, healing, and purpose that preluded the darkest of days shines brighter than anything I could have ever imagined. And that’s just life isn’t it? It’s hard to have vision for peace when we are in the midst of war.
I am an overcomer of cervical cancer. You can read my full story here. After I was healed I began an intense pursuit to cleanse my body and educate myself on how to nourish and care for this amazing gift I have been given to house my soul.
What started off as a “study,” transformed into a newfound passion that had me buzzing with purpose and joy. My new knowledge reveled just how mal-nourished I really was and although I will never really know the how’s or why’s of my developing cervical cancer, I discovered several key factors in my life that I believe could have contributed. One of them being Birth Control.
Stop! If you are on birth control I am NOT saying you are going to get cervical cancer, and even more crucial…I am not trying to instill fear in you. I wrote this post to share a bit of my personal experience and educate women who have decided to come off of oral contraceptives on how to effectively detox their body and bring it back to balance. That being said, I’m not going to go into great detail about why birth control (BC) doesn’t excite me, that’s another post for another day. But I will say that birth control causes a significant shift in your body that can contribute to imbalance and deficiency. I mean…you don’t have to detox from broccoli or spirulina right?! We detox from the things we want removed from our body because of their potential to cause us harm. If you have decided to forsake BC, I am going to assume you are well educated and have already come to your own conclusions of why the pill may not be right for you.
So…you decided to take the plunge. Maybe you found an alternative form of contraception or a way to ease your acne or PCOS apart from BC and you are now enjoying a plethora of post BC symptoms that may include some of the following:
• Irregular periods
• Weight gain
• Mood swings
• intense cravings
• Tender breasts
•Absent or irregular ovulation
There are no “quick fixes” for the things you may be experiencing, but there are many things you can do to love on your body in this time of transition, and support it as it works hard to recover and purge itself of all the excess hormones you have been feeding it.
First thing I want to say, and I say this every time I offer any kind of therapeutic advice, is that NOTHING can substitute a clean diet, drinking lots of purified water, and a good nights sleep. So don’t expect to see results if you are doing the things I outline religiously, but forsaking these foundational “basics.”
So here is a good place to start…
1.) Say NO to XENO’S!
Xeno is Greek for foreign and xenohormones are petrochemical, non-biodegradable, fat soluble, antagonistic containments that are making their way into our body through the environment and our food supply. The crazy thing about these foreign invaders is that they are actually behaving like hormones in our body and binding to estrogen receptor cites causing major hormone disruption (1)!
Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Some of the once non-existent or rare medical conditions that have become common place over the last 50 years since the introduction of petrochemicals include: PMS, fibrocystic breast tissue, infertility, and breast and uterine cancers (1). One of the best things you can do for your recovering body is to steer clear from these shady xenohormones that will further exacerbate existing post BC symptoms.
Here are a few ways to best avoid exposure to xenohormones:
- • Choose organic meat and dairy whenever possible. Xenohormones tend to accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals through the pesticide-laden food they eat and the growth hormones they are given.
- • choose glass water bottles over plastic and do not heat your food in the microwave using plastic Tupperware (better yet, ditch your microwave all together J).
- • Avoid petro chemically derived herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. You will find these primarily on conventionally grown produce, lawn and bug sprays.
- • Be aware of car exhaust and try and shield yourself from breathing it in as much as possible.
2.) LOVE your Gallbladder
Despite what your doctor might tell you, your gallbladder is actually awesome and DOES serve a purpose in your body. It’s a 4-inch sac that hangs out under your liver whose job is to store and concentrate bile for you (2)! What a pal! Your bile is important for many reasons, mainly for the proper utilization and absorption of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K. The estrogens in BC suppress bile acids (2). This could leave you unable to metabolize fats efficiently and lacking in fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. BC can also contribute to the formation of gallstones as estrogen increases the amount of cholesterol in the bile, which eventually forms to stones if the bile salts are unable to keep with dissolving it (3). It’s a great idea to give your gallbladder some love after all the hard work it has been doing and nip and problems in the butt before they wreak havoc on your system! I want you to keep your sweet gallbladder!
Here are a few ways to LOVE your gallbladder:
- • If you are already experiencing any symptoms of gallbladder distress, I like BiliVen (Gallbladder Complex) from Premier Research Labs.
- • Drink A LOT of water! Add lemon juice as lemon softens bile.
- • Eat gallbladder supporting foods like beets, green apples, radishes, greens, and sea vegetables.
- • Try some liver-gallbladder supporting herbs like milk thistle, dandelion root, artichoke leaf, burdock root, barberry, and yellow dock. You can find many of these in a tasty tea form or a tincture (2).
3.) LOVE you liver!
Your liver has so many functions in your body, it’s mind blowing! A few being to form and secrete bile into the gallbladder, filter out our blood, detox from yucky drugs and chemicals, and….metabolize synthetic hormones(2)! Yes, that’s right, your liver has been overworked and underpaid trying to find something to do with all the crazy hormones you’ve been ingesting through BC. Over time your liver can become overloaded and burnt out, leaving one of your best detox systems tired and sluggish. I think we can all agree your liver deserves some extra LOVE and TLC right now.
Here are a few ways to LOVE your liver:
- • If you are already show signs of liver distress (tenderness on right side, intolerance to fats, poor functioning after meals, headaches, ect.), I like Amino-D Tox from Designs for Health to help up-regulate phase 2 detoxification of your liver.
- • Eat liver supporting foods like citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, beets, radishes, onions, garlic, artichokes, and asparagus (2).
- • Limit exposure to chemical toxins-eat organic, avoid shampoos, lotions, and makeup with yucky ingredients.
- • Try liver-gallbladder supporting herbs mentioned above.
4.) Try VITEX
This fun herb has been shown to promote and regulate ovulation when used for 6-12 months (4).
Birth control makes it difficult to absorb many vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C, b6, b12, folic acid, riboflavin, zinc, and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are essential to a happy healthy body and replenishing your stores of these micro- nutrients would be a great support for your body. Try a whole foods multivitamin from Megafood or Vitamin Code.
Since detoxing from birth control years ago, I have had the most regular periods of my life! While everyone is different in relation to healing time and response to different remedies, I encourage you to try some of these ideas out, listen to your body, and find what works for you!
It’s been a pleasure sharing with you, and I hope you will check out my blog, cheerstohealth.org for more articles on health and healing, hypoallergenic recipes, and anecdotes from my own personal healing journey…all made with LOVE.
(1) Bauman, E. (2010). NC101 Eating for Health. Foundations of Nutrition.
Penngrove,CA: Bauman College
(2) Bauman E. NC 102.3 Digestive Physiology (power point slides). Retrieved from Bauman College; http://dashboard.baumancollege.org/course/view.php?id=6
(4) Greer, Michael. “Herbal Allies Offer Non-Invasive Options for Couples Struggling to Conceive.”Holistic Primary Care. N.p., 18 June 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.