The biochemistry of estrogen detox.
"I know this diagram looks quite intimidating! When I first saw it, I thought there was no way I would ever understand it! But as I kept referring back to it, I started to understand it more. I was handed it in a Functional Medicine lecture after my breast cancer diagnosis. I feel we should all see this diagram at least once. It's the 'code' for how to prevent many estrogen-positive breast cancers, along with how to sort many estrogen-related issues caused by estrogen excess and estrogen dominance. On one page, it summarises vital processes that happen in all our bodies such as the hormone cascade, the metabolic pathways that estrogen uses to leave our body, the good, bad and ugly estrogen metabolites pathways, which supplements to take for what and on." Dr Heidi
Below, you'll find some great books, advanced DNA and biochemistry tests you can order online and do yourself at home, and nutrition, environment and lifestyle products that can help your body detox estrogen safely and regain hormonal balance. I'm here to help if you have any questions".
I CAN | Know more
A great place to start is always by learning more. 'What your Doctor may not tell you about Breast Cancer' is our go-to book for the integrated breast cancer prevention approach we promote. It also contains lots of other valuable info about estrogen-related issues. It's co-authored by Dr David Zava, who founded the highly-specialised hormone lab we use for many of hormone tests, including the urine hormone metabolites test that we do religiously every year as part of our early detection protocol.
The causes of estrogen-driven breast cancer.
"Here's a diagram I always refer to from the book: 'What your Doctor may not tell you about Breast Cancer'.
It's a great summary of how a variety of imbalances can contribute to the initiation of estrogen-positive breast cancer. When you see it summarised like this, you realise that there is so much you can do to prevent breast cancer.
A great place to start is with DNA and biochemistry testing but you could also just dive right in and start making better nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices." Dr Heidi
Here are the DNA tests we suggest for estrogen issues. All these tests can be done on their own or in combination with each other. The combo's work out better value.
While our DNA | Estrogen test might sound like the most relevant test, we've found that our DNA | Health + Estrogen test gives you a wider view of related areas in our body. If you have weight issues as well, our DNA | Health + Estrogen + Diet test might be best. Fat tissue makes estrogen and estrogen makes more fat tissue. It can be a cycle that needs estrogen detox and personalised diet and exercise solutions to solve.
The widest overview can help you create the most comprehensive personalised optimal wellness and prevention protocol possible.
Normally, when looking at your real-time hormone levels, you don't always need to combine a biochemistry test with a DNA test. But when it comes to estrogen detoxification, knowing more about your body's ability to detox estrogen at a DNA level, as well as what your hormones and hormone metabolites levels are in real time, is the most comprehensive and useful overview you can get. The most lightweight combo is the DNA Estrogen test + the Urine Hormone Metabolites Medium or small test. The most comprehensive combo is the DNA Health + Estrogen with the Urine Hormone Metabolites BIG test. Please email me if you have any questions.
After estrogen has done its job in your body, it needs to be broken down or 'metabolised' to neutralise its effect. When it passes through your liver, it is metabolised into 'end chemicals' called 'metabolites'. There are 3 main estrogen metabolites: good (green), bad (orange), ugly (red). Normally, the body should be able to metabolise estrogen properly but if you have genetic variations in your estrogen detox genes, raised estrogen levels, you've put pressure on your estrogen detox pathways with the wrong nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices and depleted key nutrients your body needs for estrogen detox, or if you are not taking in the correct nutrients needed to support your unique genetic variations, the bad and the ugly estrogen metabolites can build up. They can cause DNA damage which could initiate an estrogen-driven cancer.
PHYTO-ESTROGENS & SERMs
Phytoestrogens, or 'plant estrogens', are naturally occurring in certain plant foods including soya and legumes. Their estrogenic effect is much weaker than our body's natural strong estrogens. Weak plant estrogens can attach to our estrogen receptors so our own strong estrogens can't bind and cause unwelcome symptoms of estrogen excess and excessive division of cells that have estrogen receprors like breast cells.
Selective Estrogen Response Modifiers or Receptor Modulators (SERMS) are plant chemicals that may have estrogenic effects in some tissues and anti-estrogenic effects in others. This shields certain tissues from potentially harmful effects such as the signal to multiply or 'proliferate'. Certain herbs have been shown to have these beneficial effects, for example Black Cohosh. They may help to modulate menopausal symptoms and also protect reproductive tissues from cancer risk. Remifemin has research trials behind it proving its safety.
In menopause, weak plant estrogens can help reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms by reducing the secretion of the pituitary hormones that are one of the main triggers for hot flushes.
PROGESTERONE | ESTROGEN BALANCE
In today's fast-paced, ultra-stressed, increasingly toxic, estrogen-ising world, it's very easy for the delicate ratio of our sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, to become unbalanced. Most people end up with too much estrogen or too little progesterone.
In women, this can lead to a variety of symptoms including breast swelling and tenderness, fluctuating moods, altered menstrual patterns, heavy menstrual bleeding, and even breast cancer initiation.
Certain herbs may assist in restoring hormonal balance by helping to reduce your stress response, insulin and estrogen, help raise your progesterone, and help you sleep better. In the case of low progesterone, you might be a script for progesterone from a doctor qualified to prescribe bioindentical hormones.
I DO | ENVIRONMENT
This video will show you what we mean by your 'environment choices'.
Download our 'DO NOT TOUCH LIST' and check if your face and body care products contain ingredients that might be xenoestrogens, endocrine disruptors, DNA mutators and carcinogens. Xenoestrogens can contribute to estrogen excess in the body which can cause unpleasant symptoms and increase the risk of estrogen-driven cancers.
I DO | LIFESTYLE
Exercise helps our body detox estrogen, maintain healthy insulin levels, reduce stress which can deplete progesterone and leave estrogen unopposed to cause harm, and most of all, exercise reduces our cancer risk by 30-50%. For maximum benefits, exercise for 30+ mins per day, 5+ days a week.