When we talk about the liver, we usually focus on its role in detoxification. Your liver performs about 200 very important functions. These impact hormones, cholesterol, bile production, protein synthesis, blood purification, and more.
When your liver is working efficiently, it purifies the blood, regulates metabolism, stores vitamins and minerals, and even protects you from parasites and other infections.
But what happens when your liver isn’t working efficiently?
And do you understand how your gut health impacts hormone health?
It’s important to realize that the labs can still appear normal even when your liver is sluggish. A lot of people come to me saying their doctor ran their bloodwork and their liver is fine.
So if your lab tests are normal, how do you know if you are suffering from a sluggish liver?
What Happens When The Liver Functions & Malfunctions
The liver plays a crucial role in your body. But are you aware of the symptoms of a malfunctioning liver?
Gut Health: Digestive Problems
The liver produces bile that helps to aid in digestion. But what happens when the liver is producing less bile? Or when the gallbladder is no longer doing a good job of storing bile to use when you eat? If this occurs, you may experience bloating, constipation, and loss of appetite.
Are you tired of digestive problems controlling your life?
Gut Health: Blood Sugar Problems
The liver plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. So what happens when you have a sluggish liver?
If you are suffering from a sluggish liver, then your blood sugar levels will tend to fluctuate. This may leave you feeling weak and dizzy. Nausea, vomiting, and a total lack of energy are common.
Think of your liver as a filter for your hormones. When this process is not working efficiently, you may experience sleep disturbance, depression, irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, and fibroids.
Skin Related Issues
When clients come to me with any kind of skin problem, one of the first things to come to mind is the liver. This is because it plays a huge role in eliminating toxins from the body.
One of the ways we detox is through the skin. When the liver isn’t working efficiently, toxins can come through the skin, and you may develop rashes such as psoriasis, eczema, itching skin, or even acne and moles.
Our livers take a beating regularly due to the toxic world we live in. Several things in our environment expose us to toxins on a daily basis, including:
- Air pollution
- Toxic cosmetics and skincare products
- Home cleaning products
- Prescription medications
- Herbicides and pesticides in our foods
- Toxic cookware
- And even tap water
Aside from your liver, you can also detoxify through your skin, lungs, kidneys, and digestive tract. However, when one of those areas becomes overloaded, it can take a toll on your body.
So where does the gut-hormone connection actually come in?
How Your Liver & Gut Health Impacts Hormone Health
Clients often ask me to investigate their hormone health. To do this, I start by asking questions to determine whether the gut is playing a role in their hormonal imbalance.
In my years of practice, there have been client cases where diet and supplements alone improve the hormone imbalance. This was the case for Tanya, one of my younger clients.
She had debilitating menstrual cycles that would even land her in the hospital. The biggest change we made was upgrading her diet to include more natural and whole foods, and eliminating processed foods. Doing this cleaned up her liver. And with targeted supplements, we even repaired her gut lining.
Are you seeing how your gut health impacts hormone health? Contact me so that you can finally get back to the life God intended for you to be living.
Understanding The Phases Of Detoxification
Your liver goes through more than one phase of detoxification. That’s why it’s important to know what you need for proper detoxification to take place.
If you feel the temptation to grab a detox in a box, you might want to reconsider to avoid wasting your money. Unfortunately, the juice cleanse trends don’t offer true detoxification benefits, because they don’t have everything needed to truly allow you to detox.
During the first phase of detoxification, your liver makes the toxins more water-soluble using oxygen. Then your liver uses enzymes to burn up the toxins. This allows toxins to more easily expel through the liver and kidneys. This process stirs things up and causes the liver to produce more toxins. It sounds like we’re taking a step backward here, but it is a necessary step in the process.
In the second phase of detoxification, the oxidized chemicals combine with specific amino acids and organic acids. Then, they excrete through bile or urine.
There are six different pathways in phase two that are responsible for different substances, like estrogen, heavy metals, thyroid hormones, nicotine, bacterial toxins, caffeine, and more.
Other Detoxification Methods & Issues
Not all clients have it as easy as Tanya. When working with my clients, I use advanced hormone testing that looks at the pathways rather than just the hormone alone. This testing also looks at organic acids as well as methylation pathways.
It’s fairly common to see problems with methylation pathways. They are responsible for detoxifying estrogen, dopamine, histamine, and heavy metals. However, when methylation is slow, we can increase certain types of B vitamins to strengthen the pathway.
Sulfation also plays a role in the detoxification of neurotransmitters, thyroid hormones, and excess bile acids. It’s important to realize that over-the-counter anti-inflammatories negatively impact this pathway. We can, however, support this pathway with sulfur-rich foods and supplements.
When it comes to estrogen, detoxification pathway blockage can lead to estrogen excess. This can result in fibrous tissue in your uterus or breast, thyroid nodules, heavy menstrual cycles, miscarriages, infertility, hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, and fatigue.
Too many times, women have come to me after their doctors dismissed some of these as normal hormonal symptoms. That’s exactly what happened to Tanya. But when we completely assessed the situation, we were able to naturally balance her hormones and do away with her unwelcome symptoms – by addressing the root.
My Gut Hormone Connection
My own challenges spurred my interest in the gut hormone connection. As a child, I developed constipation issues. At the age of 12, I was put on birth control. This was followed by me dealing with fungal and candida infections for many years. I never made the connection between my symptoms and birth control. But by the time I was in my late teens, I received my IBS diagnosis.
In my mid-twenties, I lost my menstrual cycle for about three years.
Then at 27, I was diagnosed with perimenopause.
But even with the bioidentical hormones, my digestive symptoms never seemed to completely correct themselves. In fact, some of my symptoms even got worse. The cravings, weight gain, and inflammation in my body were still part of my daily life.
To be honest, I did feel slightly better. But I could tell the prescriptions were simply covering up my symptoms, just like birth control did for so long.
Turns out, I was being over-prescribed hormones. Under the guidance of a functional medicine doctor, I stopped taking those prescriptions. Instead, my new doctor was helping me to support my liver and detox my body in a way no one ever had. The funny thing is, I was suddenly feeling better than I had in years.
What I Learned From My Journey
Being a practitioner myself at the time, I took advantage of my resources. I started running the advanced assessments and labs that I use with my clients today. While looking at my digestive system, it was revealed that I had parasites.
So I started strategically working on those areas. By implementing a healthy lifestyle and a very specific supplement protocol, I brought my body back into balance. I was able to heal my IBS symptoms and rid myself of parasites.
The best part is, after years of struggling with hormone imbalance, from my first cycle at 11 through the age of 30, I was finally able to balance my hormones.
Heal Your Entire Body & Your Gut Health (The Liver, Gut, & Hormones) Will Follow
When you’re looking to heal or stop symptoms, it’s important to address the entire body. The problem you are aware of may not be the actual problem after all. Instead, it may be the result of a problem in another area.
It’s important to remember that the entire body is connected. One area can greatly impact another. And it’s understandable if you’re not sure how it’s all connected or not understanding how to do the detective work on your own.
Putting the puzzle pieces together took me a lifetime and lots of training to accomplish. But that doesn’t mean you should continue in your cycle of trial and error. It’s time to hire someone with experience. I can help you get to the root of your health issues so you can make a bigger impact in this world. Reach out today to start your own healing journey.