From a young age Kheyrne had to work through a few big health challenges including adrenal fatigue, digestive issues and reproductive problems. She chose to focus on nature’s medicine chest for her recovery. After much research around hormone healing she finally discovered (back in 2006) the profound effects of adaptogen herbs and superfoods.
“I had 14 powders lining my shelves and one day I decided to create a mix for easy use. I was surprised how palatable the taste was. Having one powder made life so much easier. After taking it for 30 days I discovered my energy levels greatly improved, my sleep was deep and restful, my mind was more acute and my emotional state was calm and grounded.” - Kheyrne
Blood Sugar Stability
• The endocrine systems prime directive is to safe guard the transport of glucose between the brain, the heart and the muscle tissue. • Once the blood sugar is out of balance the endocrine system goes into emergency mode using valuable hormone resources. When this happens continuously the adrenals, reproductive hormones, thyroid and mental state can become compromised. • Fats, proteins and minerals are essential for stabilizing blood sugar. We all need carbohydrates in the form of vegetables (some body types do well with a few grains), but too many carbs throw the blood sugar out of balance. • Eat something protein based with some fat within 1.5 hours of waking and eat snacks or meals every 3-5 hours. Eating 3 hours before bedtime prevents insulin spike at night allowing good melatonin production.
In women oestrogen and progesterone need to stay in balance (200-300 progesterones to one oestrogen). In men testosterone and oestrogen need to stay in balance.
TOO MUCH OESTROGEN • Increases blood clotting (strokes, thrombosis) • Suppresses progesterone and thyroid • Increases sensitivity to stress hormones • Increases fluid retention • Impairs blood sugar balance • Reduces oxygen level in cells • Increases bone loss • Increases anxiety, insomnia and headaches • Increases inflammation • Increases body weight
- Too much oestrogen in men can suppress testosterone. In women it can suppress progesterone and thyroid hormones. For both sexes this increases risk of obesity, cancer and lifestyle diseases.
- “Xenoestrogens can disrupt the estrogen/androgen balance and alter the development or the function of reproductive organs, as was observed with pesticides. Xenoestrogens generally act in 100–1000 folds greater concentrations than estradiol. – “Assessment and Molecular Actions of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals That Interfere with Estrogen Receptor Pathways” International Journal of Endocrinology 2013
• Since the industrial revolution over 80,000 chemicals have been produced and used within our environment. Most of these are known as Endocrine Disruptors (ED’s) or Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s). Pesticides and fertilizers are a major culprit, but we can find ED’s in many places. • “ED’s are defined by WHO (World Health Organization) as exogenous compounds or mixtures that alter function(s) of the endocrine system and consequently cause adverse effects in an intact organism. ED’s can also be transferred from the pregnant woman to the developing fetus or child through the placenta and breast milk.”
Water Not only does water contain the xenoestrogen dioxin from chlorine but the recycled component from sewage water also contains the contraceptive pill and HRT and in some areas other environmental ED’s, none of which can be killed or deactivated.
• Endocrine disruptors found in SA water (News24) Professor Edmund Pool told News24, “All the sewage treatment plants I’ve tested in the Western Cape were found to remove 80% of hormones, the untreated 20% has been shown to be able to change the morphology and sex ratios of some animals like fishes, frogs, and crabs. EDCs eventually get lodged in humans’ body tissues, more concerning is that it can sit in the reproductive organs where it is carried over to offspring.” • “Boys who swam the most in chlorinated pools had 20% lower testosterone than boys who swam in the pool disinfected with copper–silver ionization.” – January 2012 Environmental Health Perspectives
Body Products and Cleaning Products
You absorb more chemicals through your skin than you do by ingestion!
For most of us our cupboards are filled with ED’s. If your beauty or cleaning products contain any petrochemicals you are essentially smearing toxic oil from your car on to your skin. Unless an ingredient has a plant name, it is most likely derived from petrochemicals.
• Aqueous Cream • Petroleum Jelly • Liquid Paraffin • Mineral Oil
Some experts say there is approximately a 50% increase in risk of cancer when using these products. If a body product says ‘natural’ or even ‘organic’ (unless certified) this does not mean it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. Read the ingredients. There is no limitation on words chosen for the name of a product and this can be very misleading.
If your cleaning products say ‘eco’ or ‘green’, this does not mean they are not harmful for your body.
The Chemical Impact
• Infertility – WHO stats for 2010: 48.5 million couples, ¼ globe • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – 20% women worldwide • Endometriosis – 10% women worldwide • Fibroids – 30% women worldwide • Erectile dysfunction – 1:10 men worldwide, up to ¼ of men under 40 • Premature ejaculation – Up to 30% of men globally • Obesity – 30% global population • Depression – WHO: 350 million globally • Sleep disorders – 55% global population, 40% sleep apnea • PMS • Menopause issues • All of these are markers for cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. • Prostate cancer – Globally 80% men by age 80 • Breast cancer – 19% Asia & Africa, 83% West Europe, 80% USA. A 20% rise from 2008 to 2012
Food Oestrogens Even organic animal fats do naturally promote oestrogen in the body to some degree. Therefore if you eat animal products make sure they don’t take up more than 20% of your diet and sourcing is key! Most organic raw plant oils (except soya oil) promote progesterone production. Testosterone can do well on a balance of both animal and plant fats.
• Dairy – Oestrogen is given to all cows that are not grass fed – look for organic • Meat – Oestrogen is in all animals that are not grass fed (the grains used are also GMO) • Eggs – Oestrogen is in all eggs including free range that are not pasture reared (or Angus the Farmers ‘truly free range’)
Soya • Non-organic dairy and meat are filled with oestrogen administered to fatten up the animal and increase milk production. • Non-organic, non-fermented soya does not have absorbable protein, contains 3 toxic chemicals and has extremely high oestrogen levels. • Back in 1998 investigators that wrote the article 'Phytoestrogens in soy-based infant foods' reported that an infants daily consumption of isoflavones from soya formula is six to eleven times higher than an adults would take in through food. Reserchers conclude, “Babies on soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least 5 birth control pills per day.”
Progesterone Progesterones is a precursor hormone (makes other steroid hormones) as well as an end hormone. It is vital for proper reproductive, thyroid and adrenal function.
If one has had a high stress life or previous hormone issues it is common for progesterone to start dropping from around 35 years old leading to symptoms such as – inhibited ovulation, lowered mood, increased weight gain, sleep issues, worse PMS, reproductive issues, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid and more.
• Precorsor for oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol • Promotes bone formation • Balances blood sugar • Upholds sex drive • Upholds cellular oxygen absorption • Maintains and nourishes uterus • Prevents fibrocystic breasts • Natural antidepressive • Uses fat for energy • Helps prevent cancer by inhibiting the gene p53 • Facilitates thyroid hormone action • Balances calming neurotransmitter GABA • Neuroprotective – promotes myelinization • Anti-inflammatory
Testosterone (Notes from Dr Bridget Briggs Functional Medicine Lecture) • Testosterone levels are typically highest by a man’s late twenties. After that they slowly declines 1% to 2% per year. • Some level of serum decline in testosterone is natural up to 10.4. Below this men are prone to metabolic syndrome, depression and cardiovascular disease. • Oestrogen and synthetic chemicals inhibit testosterone. • 34% to 50% of all men experience some level of low testosterone. • 30% to 40% of men between the ages of 40 and 55 are actually experiencing true symptoms of andropause. • It only takes 5 days of impaired sleep to see a 15% drop in testosterone. • Testosterone supplementation below the age of 40 can create infertility. • Testosterone can aromatize (convert) into oestrogen under certain circumstances.
HORMONE SUPPORT: Adaptogens
Adaptogens should not be combi ned with pharmaceutical medication, especially when it comes to issues like thyroid. Reason being adaptogens work at enhancing the bodies abilities where most medications (such as altroxin) work on the principle of halting the body's own function and replacing it with a synthetic version.
There are ways of slowly weaning off certain medications and replacing them with natural substances such as adaptogen herbs, but this needs medical supervison from an expert such as a Functional or Integrative Medicine doctor.
The Russian scientist, G.M. Barenboirn said it well: "For the first time in the history of human civilization the biological potentialities of the human body have failed to meet the requirements imposed on it by the epoch. One witnesses an unusual 'epidemic' of fatigue aggravated by the powerful action of man-made, external chemical and physical environmental factors. Like the drugs that saved the world from numerous bacterial and viral epidemics that cost millions of lives in the past, the adaptogens are needed to help man withstand the diverse stresses of today."
What is an adaptogen? These plants were appropriately named as they adapt to their environment and they help the body adapt to its environment. Explaining the effects of the adaptogens is difficult, since they support each individual differently. Adaptogens literally adapt their function to where it’s needed in the body, making themselves the right shape to fit into the keyhole.
Adaptogens are also a powerful antioxidant. They have no side effects and are not addictive. They possess a wide range of therapeutic benefits, which cause no disturbance to the normal functioning of the body. If you are mentally exhausted or physically fatigued the adaptogens will help you feel more energetic and awake. At the same time adaptogens are not stimulants. If you are stressed to the max and highly strung, or just not coping with life, then adaptogens will help bring you to a calm and centered state, yet they are not tranquillizers and do not have a drug-like effect on the body.
Adaptogens are most known for supporting stress and fatigue, low libido and reproductive health, calming the nervous system, enhancing mental and physical performance and post sports recovery. Since 1947 medical and scientific research has been conducted and published on adaptogens in various parts of the world.
Adaptogens – Ashwaghanda, Medicinal mushrooms, Tulsi, Rhodiola, Schizandra, Astragulus, Maca, Foti, Chaga, Panax Ginseng, Gota Kola, Moringa – SuperThrive.
• Minerals (zinc,magnesium, etc) - Salt, Seaweed, Quinton’s Marine Plasma, Greens. • Proteins – especially plant based. – Olives, Avocados, Coconut, Hemp, Spirulina, Sprouts, Greens. • Omega 3 – Dark fish or Algae oil • Vit C is essential for a every endocrine gland. - Camu Camu powder/ Acerola Chery Powder/ Acai powder. • Vitamin E – Sunflower Seeds. • Potassium in the evening – Bananas, Potatoes. • Coconut Oil is a wonderful form of cholesterol forthe adrenal glands touse to make pregnenolone and cortisol. • Aloe • Fermented foods such as Sauerkraut and live probiotics such as Health Booster. • Selenium (Brazil Nuts). • Vit D3 (the sun and fish oil). • Vitamin B6 (bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes) & B12 (probiotics) – needed to make hormones. • Grounding is a powerful tool in balancing the thyroid! Thyroid needs ( - ) charge to neutralize toxins. • A bit of cardio-vascular exercise helps the thyroid stay healthy.