The Importance of Liver Function in Women's Health Conditions

In today's article, I am going to tie together my detoxification series and women's health series by introducing an interesting but little recognized concept that is absolutely essential to female hormonal health: liver clearance. In previous articles, we have discussed the concept of detoxification of harmful substances by the liver, and the fact that part of the root of many women's health conditions is hormonal imbalance. How are these two seemingly unrelated concepts crucial to managing female symptoms like painful periods, PMS, endometriosis, and PCOS? Think of your liver like a water treatment plant. It receives and processes all manner of metabolic garbage and environmental toxins, an

Natural Hormone Balancing For Painful Periods & Endometriosis

Up to 85% of women experience some degree of menstrual pain in their lives, one in four to the point that they miss school or work and need to take medication. This is an astonishingly high number, especially taking into consideration that women often dismiss painful periods as normal, or even expected. Dysmenorrhea is usually defined as pain associated with menstruation that is above and beyond normal light cramping. It is categorized into "primary," which is painful cramping in the absence of disease, or "secondary," which is pain associated with a condition like endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, and infection. Endometriosis is an interesting condition in that it is very freque

Five Holistic Strategies for Stress Reduction in First Responders

I would like to preface this particular article by mentioning that I am the wife of a Chicago police officer. The physical, mental, and emotional health of the men and women who put their lives on the line on a daily basis is something I take very seriously. In this society, it is unfortunate but well-known that the health of people working some of the toughest and most dangerous jobs often takes a back seat to duty, honor, and commitment. This is a corps of individuals so selfless that it's difficult for them to convince themselves to take a break and get something to eat, much less take on any type of lifestyle change like dietary adjustments or regular exercise. Ironically, first responde

What are Female Hormones and How Do They Become Imbalanced?

There are many factors that contribute to female health issues, but by far the most well-recognized are hormonal imbalances. Sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all exist in levels that are relative to each other, and are finely tuned to be released at very specific times and in very specific levels. Conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, painful periods, and PMS are often correlated with an estrogen predominant state. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone. Drops in progesterone can precipitate the painful cramping of dysmenorrhea. During the normal process of menopause, the ovaries

A Holistic Approach to Hormone Balance-My Story

To kick off my series on holistic approaches to hormone balance, I would like to relate a personal story that will probably seem very familiar to many women. I was in seventh grade, and my girlfriends and I were spending every day in the locker room before gym class excitedly discussing whether or not we had gotten our periods yet (a concept that surely seems very strange to my male readership.) Menstruation, and all the pain, inconvenience, and embarrassment that frequently goes with it hardly seems like something anyone would WANT. However, for my pre-teenaged self and young women everywhere, getting our first period marks a significant right of passage. To us, it was the transition from c

The Myths & Realities of Detoxification

Opinions on "detoxification" vary widely in the medical community. On one hand, the stated position of most of the conventional world is that "liver cleanse" programs are worthless, often with a dismissive, "Don't you know that's what the liver is for?" The wide and relatively heterogenous world of alternative and holistic medicine almost universally agrees that detoxification programs are important, even essential, given the cesspool of chemicals that we are immersed in and ingest on a daily basis. Who is correct? Why is there so much dissension about this topic? In my opinion, the major (and extremely valid) issue that the conventional community takes with detoxification programs is that t

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