Safe and essential detox for autoimmunity and hormonal imbalance
What is ‘detox for hormonal imbalance’ and ‘autoimmune friendly detox’?
I talk a lot around here about ‘detox for hormonal imbalance’ and ‘autoimmune friendly detox’ so I thought it would be appropriate to write a brief post about what this means!
There is a lot of “hype” around the word detox. Our bodies have natural detox pathways, but they are overwhelmed by modern life. More than 80,000 new chemicals have been released into the world since the industrial revolution 150 years ago, and most of them within the past 50 years 1. These chemicals have never been fully tested for their effects on our bodies or the environment.
We are asking our bodies to detoxify far more than they were designed to handle. Reducing our overall daily toxic load is an important element in reclaiming our health.
There are a lot of detox cleanses, powders, and programs out there that have no grounding in science. There is a general lack of education around detoxes, with aggressive and extreme detox programs marketed as ‘miracle cleanses’ that ‘anyone can do.’ So many people jump into these quick fix ‘miracle detox programs’ without first addressing the onslaught of toxins they are exposing themselves to every day.
Doing an aggressive cleanse without first addressing the onslaught of toxins we are exposed to daily is stepping over dollars to pick up pennies! These daily toxins that are within our control to change include how we are sourcing and handling our food, what we put on our bodies, toxic exposure in our homes, and toxins in our minds.
Detox risks for autoimmunity and hormonal imbalance
For those with autoimmunity or hormonal imbalance, strategies involved in aggressive detox programs can lead to a worsening of their condition!
Many of the herbs and compounds used in ‘detox formulas’ contain immune stimulants, which can be problematic for those with autoimmunity, causing an increase in symptoms. Additionally, detoxes that involve juicing and fasting can lead to a worsening in blood sugar imbalances that are so prevalent in those with autoimmunity and hormonal imbalance.
Read on to learn more about what aspects of detoxing you need to watch out for, as well as how to detox safely daily so you can reclaim your health and wellbeing!
The effects of fasting and juicing on your hormones
A popular way of detoxing is to go on a liquid diet or fast. These types of detoxes range greatly in duration and what is consumed. For example, the popular ‘master cleanse’ involves drinking only a concoction of water, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice for 3-10 days. A juice cleanse involves drinking only freshly squeezed juices for a period of time.
Some people may be able to benefit from these types of cleanses. But for women with hormonal imbalances, blood sugar imbalances, and infertility, these types of detoxes can cause a worsening of their condition!
One of the reasons why fasting can cause a worsening of hormonal imbalance and blood sugar imbalance is because it can elevate cortisol (stress hormone) levels 2. One of the effects of cortisol is that it raises blood sugar levels. With hormonal/blood sugar imbalances, it is crucial to keep blood sugar levels balanced, and avoiding spikes and crashes. The spikes and crashes lead to a worsening of the condition.
Even for women without hormonal and blood sugar imbalance, fasting can lead to hormonal imbalance and fertility issues.
In animal studies, after two weeks of intermittent fasting, female rats stopped having menstrual cycles, and their ovaries shrunk while experiencing more insomnia than their male counterparts (though the male rats did experience lower testosterone production) 3.
The best way to keep blood sugar levels balanced is to eat every 2-3 hours to maintain stable blood sugar throughout the day.
Detox formulas and immune stimulants
As I discuss quite a bit over at The Autoimmune Nutritionist Supplement Store, many compounds and herbs used in supplements are known to stimulate the immune system. Immune stimulants may result in a flare for those with autoimmunity, increasing the immune system’s attack against its own tissues. There are several ingredients in common ‘detox formulas’ that are known immune stimulants.
Herbs and compounds known to stimulate the immune system that are commonly used in detox formulas include;
• Aloe Vera
• Chlorella, Spirulina and other algaes
• Green tea extract
• Maca Root
• Medicinal mushrooms
Some supplements can be helpful and appropriate for autoimmunity for such as ‘Glutathione.’ Take a look at The Autoimmune Nutritionists Supplement Store for detoxification aids that do not include immune stimulants.
To truly reclaim our health, we need to change our lifestyle and reduce the amount of toxins we are exposing ourselves to every day. These changes need to be a daily way of life, not an aggressive ‘miracle quick fix detox cleanse’.
The toughest and most time- consuming part is learning and implementation. Instead of viewing this process as a chore, I encourage you to view it as empowering personal growth! Knowledge is power, and to truly regain control over your health, you must learn how to decrease your daily exposure to toxins. Once you start learning and begin implementing change, many aspects of your life remain the same; you are just using different products and will have some new healthy habits in your routine!
Ready to get started? Sign up for our newsletter to receive the free autoimmunity and hormonal imbalance friendly “4-step essential detox guide”. This is a fantastic place to begin. The guide teaches the basics of detoxing your daily life; from what you put IN your body, what you put ON your body, toxins lurking in your home and toxins in your mind.
Worried about having to part with your favorite products that you suspect are toxic? Stick with me here on the site, via the newsletter as well as our ‘hormone and autoimmune detox and healing tribe' Facebook page and you will never have to sacrifice your health for quality when it comes to beauty, personal care and household products.
Hi, I’m Chelsea Lye, CNP!
I’m a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, AIP Coach and Yoga teacher showing you how to balance your hormones and reverse autoimmunity naturally.
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