Health News

Menopause, Liver & your Kidney's

Women's Hormone Support

When you have tried everything for your hot flushes and temper (tantrums) and nothing works - consider these!

Menopausal 

Have you tried "everything" on the market when it comes to supporting those awesome menopausal symptoms? Or think you have found the magic bullet and then all of a sudden it has stopped working? Or as you well and truly post menopause but still suffering from hot flushes? 

I haven't reached menopause yet..

You may  not be at menopause yet but suffer from painful heavy periods, tender breasts, moodiness or weepiness. 

If any of these sound like you, then why not think outside the box and consider your key organs that are also involved in dealing with menopause. 

Firstly, the liver! 

The second largest organ. Not only does it deal with detoxification on a daily basis, but is involved and supports our overall digestive system, makes important proteins and also is involved in removing excess hormones from the body. It is the only organ in the body that has the ability to regenerate cells to heal itself. 

There is some wonderful information out there which talk about the important role the liver has to play with hormones. More importantly how to recognise symptoms which are trying to tell us to give the liver a wee helping hand. 

Symptoms such as:

  • Low energy
  • Blemished skin
  • Poor sleep
  • Hormone disorders
  • headaches
  • intolerance to certain foods

All can be due to "sluggish" liver

It's really important to look after this important organ so when I see symptoms like these in clinic, I strongly recommend a cleanse - clean eating for 2-3 weeks - with specific supplementation that includes nutrients such as:

Among many others! 

A good quality probiotic and gentle bowel cleanse are also really important. The probiotic will help to increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This will help improve the general health of the digestive system which in turn supports liver function. 
A bowel cleanse essentially is choosing a good quality fibre such as apple pectin, inulin or psyllium husk which acts as a sponge to soak up "muck" in the digestive tract to be excreted in your bowel motion. 

For this reason it is really important to increase water intake. And in particular apple pectin or inulin also act as a prebiotic - a food source for the beneficial bacteria. BONUS! 

Idea's to try for a gentle 2-3 weeks cleanse/liver support include:

Let's not forget a good quality antioxidant. Biochemisty 101 - slice an apple in half and watch it slowly start to go brown, shrivel and shrink. This oxidative stress, the same process that happens in the human body - essentially premature ageing or cell disease if we don't increase our anti-oxidant nutrients. 

I now suggest this as being as important as a general multi-vitamin due it's important in healthy ageing. 

Well known antioxidants include vitamin A, C, E and minerals Selenium and Zinc. However we now know and understand about the phytochemicals including flavanoids (fruit & vegetables), polyphenols (berries, teas, grapes), sulphides (onions, garlic) and caratenoids (orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and spices such as turmeric) that are also just as essential for antioxidant protection. 

This is why it is SO important to increase your vegetable, fruit and herb intake from a variety of sources and colours. 

Supplements to try to include are:

 

Now for the Kidney's! 

In traditional Chinese Medicine the Kidney's work intimately with the liver when it comes to hormones and this makes complete sense on a detoxification level as both organs help to get rid of toxins from the body. In TCM "weak" kidneys are seen as the foundation of hormonal issues, especially menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating limbs, red face, creating wait for it ..... "heated" temper.... get my drift. 

The yin and yang can throw itself completely though and also cause cold shivery body, pale tongue or pale face, depression, low mood etc and I have heard this from some women where they feel like they really do float between the two excesses. But although this can be seen in menopause is also may affect women in their reproductive years. 

If you were to see a TCM practitioner they would more than likely focus on supporting the kidneys. For the purpose of this article as I am not a TCM practitioner, I will just focus on the herbs and nutrients that support general kidney function. 

Herbs to consider include:

  • Zyziphus jujube
  • Cornus Officinalis
  • Goji Berry
  • Schizandra Chinensis
  • Golden Rod
  • Horsetail
  • Nettle
  • Birch Leaves

Supplements to try include:

As with any cleanse it is important to increase your vegetable intake as I mentioned before from a variety of colours and food sources. Food choices will form the healthy foundation of your nutrient intake. Avoiding alcohol, processed sugar, and processed foods will be support this foundation and the supplements/nutrients discussed will further strengthen that foundation. 

 

As I mentioned also there is a great amount of easy reading on line and in books that talk about the central role of the liver in Hormonal issues, but if you have any burning questions, don't hesitate to drop us a line as we can help you navigate the right path to work for you. 

 

Claudia

Claudia. Clinical Holistic Nutritionist who believes in the power of real food for creating vibrant health.