Female, Male, and Endocrine Systems

Why am I experiencing menstrual discomforts and PMS?


It is likely that you are not properly metabolizing your hormones and causing hormone imbalances.

If you suffer from symptoms such as cramping (moderate to severe), bloating, heavy and/or clotty menses, anemia, breast tenderness, menstrual tension, mood swings, or headaches associated with your period then it is likely that your body is not properly metabolizing your hormones and causing hormone imbalances and inflammation that manifest as any of the symptoms above.

The most common cause of these difficulties is poor estrogen metabolism. When estrogen is broken down, it becomes one of 4 different metabolites. Two of these metabolites are relatively harmless and easily excreted in the urine via the kidneys after the liver. The two other metabolites are highly volatile, creating inflammation and many of the symptoms listed above, and as they build up, they can eventually cause cancer in estrogen sensitive tissues like the breast, ovary, cervix and uterus. 

In addition to a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, there are phytonutrients that can shift the metabolic pathways in the liver to producing more of the benign estrogen metabolites, which are easily excreted. The nutrients that up regulate the enzymes in the liver responsible for estrogen degradation are indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and di-indole methane (DIM). These nutrients can be found in all of the cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Other plant nutrients that are often helpful are isoflavones and kudzu or pueraria extract. In order to have a noticeable effect on reducing symptoms of estrogen inflammation it is often necessary to supplement one of the above phytonutrients. The dose is highly variable according to your individual body type. I can help you assess which product will work best for you and what the dose is for you. Other nutrients that improve liver detox include Alpha Lipoic Acid, Calcium D-Glucarate, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Milk Thistle, EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate).

It is important while you are detoxing volatile estrogen metabolites that you protect your cellular DNA while the estrogen is being mobilized and excreted. The easiest way to do that is via the metabolic pathway of methylation. Methylation is easily enhanced by addition of an absorbable form of B-12, usually methylcobalamin and/or a special form of folic acid—4-methyl-tetra-hydrofolate (4-MTHF) and/or 5-formyl-methyl-tetra-hydrofolate

While you are eliminating excess estrogen metabolites, you will notice them leaving your body in the urine. You will most likely notice a musky scent. Some women experience a color change in the urine: orange to brown. Be sure and drink plenty of water (at least ½ oz. per pound of body weight, preferably more) every day. Otherwise you will be mobilizing toxic substances without adequately flushing them from the body.

Additionally, it is very helpful to utilize a supplement of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) to block or “soften” the inflammatory effects of estrogen. These are Evening Primrose Oil, Black Currant Seed Oil, and Borage Seed Oil. I can assess for you which is the best form of GLA and what your ideal dosage is. A common dose is 500 mg of Evening Primrose Oil, 3 capsules once a day.

Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.
H. G. Bohn

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