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Is Your Liver Causing Your PMS?

Did you know that liver function can have a profound impact on hormonal balance and can be causing your PMS symptoms?

Many of us females have experienced the discomfort of PMS symptoms, but understanding the root cause and addressing it holistically is essential for long-lasting relief. Did you know that PMS symptoms are common, but not normal? So it’s time to get investigating as to what could be causing those pesky monthly symptoms that cause you grief.

The liver is a vital organ responsible for processing and metabolising hormones, including oestrogen. Oestrogen is one of the primary female sex hormones, and its levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. However, an overwhelmed or sluggish liver can lead to an imbalance in oestrogen levels and hinder its proper clearance from the body.

When the liver's capacity to process oestrogen is compromised, excess oestrogen can accumulate in the bloodstream. This hormonal imbalance can manifest as PMS symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, anger, a short fuse, bloating, breast tenderness, acne, cravings, night sweats and headaches. Furthermore, high oestrogen levels can disrupt the delicate balance between oestrogen and progesterone, another crucial female reproductive hormone, exacerbating PMS symptoms.

There are several natural approaches that can support the liver and enhance its ability to metabolize oestrogen effectively. Here are some holistic strategies to consider:

Nutrient-Rich Diet

Start by adopting a nutrient-dense diet that supports liver function. Include plenty of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts as they contain sulforaphane that aid in oestrogen detoxification. Additionally, consume foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, to protect the liver from oxidative stress and free radicals.

Liver Supporting Herbs

Certain herbs can be potent allies in promoting liver health. Milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock root and my favourite Schisandra are renowned for their liver-detoxifying properties. These herbs can help improve oestrogen clearance, reducing the burden on the liver.

Note – please use these under guidance of a practitioner or medical herbalist (both of which, I am :).

Maintain a Healthy Gut

A balanced gut microbiome is crucial for hormonal health. Probiotics and fermented foods can promote a healthy gut flora, aiding in the proper metabolism and excretion of oestrogen via bowel motions. When bowel transit times are slow, this can result in reabsorption of excess hormones such as oestrogen which can result in symptoms of oestrogen dominance like decreased libido, weight gain around the tummy region, mood swings, dry eyes or skin and fatigue.

Minimise Toxin Exposure

Reducing exposure to environmental toxins, such as those found in certain personal care products, the air we breathe, plastics, home cleaning products and anything we put on our skin, can ease the liver's burden and toxic load. When it comes to the liver’s role in detoxifying toxins and wastes from our body, we don’t want to add to the burden, resulting in a traffic jam of pollutants, we want a freeway that allows the wastes to be removed freely without congestion.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress can strain the liver and disrupt hormonal balance. Stress triggers the release of cortisol which can increase glucose production and slow down insulin function, which can lead to increased blood glucose levels in the bloodstream. This can impact the liver’s role in regulating blood glucose, but can also cause inflammation which can lead to non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Incorporating stress-reduction practices like meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature are good ways to reduce stress to support your liver.

Understanding the role of the liver in hormonal balance is paramount. By adopting these natural approaches and nurturing our livers, we can alleviate PMS symptoms and support our bodies' natural ability to maintain hormonal balance.

*Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your health and wellness regimen.*

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