Burning man is a HUGE event that takes place in the desert of Nevada around this time every year.
Wait, what do hormones have to do with Burning Man? Well, my friend, read on!
Specifically burning man takes place on the playa, a dry water bed, and it is an amazing glory of people coming together. A civilization is erected and for a week, participants live in “another world” where the exchange of goods has little to do with money, and lots to do with compassion, humane-ness, lots of partying and some amazing wares/shares. Time is irrelevant and creativity shines high. Art, community and self-reliance are the main focus of this blessed event.
And at the end of the event, everything is burned, and the “city” no longer exists until next year.
While Burning Man encourages the use (and subsequent burning of non-toxic material), it is a reminder to us all that our environment is one of the MAIN ways we are exposed to endocrine disrupting materials.
Often, without even knowing it!
So while Burning Man is a unique experience, and the hope is that all attendees bring materials that burn “clean,” we need to have ways to keep our delicate hormones and endocrine system in balance!
To learn how to keep your endocrine system (and hormones) balanced & in health, read on.
What Do Hormones Do In The Body?
Your endocrine glands secrete hormones, that will migrate to various tissues and organs around the body. Hormones represent a complex cascade of chemicals that are catalysts for actions in your body.
Hormones are essentially “signals” for your body to communicate from one area to another. For instance, when you eat carbohydrates and your body needs to do something with sugar, insulin from your pancreas will be released. Insulin will sit down on cells and tell them to open up for the sugar.
The environment we live in has a lot of “hormone-like” chemicals in it. When your hormonal system ends up getting signals that are excessive, mixed or blocked, too many messages are sent all over the body. This disrupts hormonal balancing of your body’s systems.
Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid (T4, T3), cortisol, insulin, leptin, ghrelin and melatonin are responsible for so much homeostasis in your body it is almost crazy to contemplate.
From sleep, to hunger, to satiety, to metabolism, fertility, energy, and so on, hormones pretty much rule the day when it comes to your overall health and well-bring.
Problem is, they are super sensitive to external influences and when we are exposed to hormone-like chemicals in your environment, all of a sudden this amazing system goes hay-wire.
7 Ways to Keep Hormones in Balance & Your Environment Safe:
Don’t let the human impact on environment, or what other people do in our shared environment, affect your health!
1.) Avoid refined grains, sugar, and processed foods
These interfere with the hormone leptin, which helps regulate appetite and metabolism. When leptin resistance sets in, you suffer from cravings and your metabolism slows way down (this is super simplified).
Grains also interact with the thyroid. Many people find that grain avoidance is beneficial if they have Hashimoto’s or other thyroid conditions. This doesn’t need to be a long-term strategy, but is often a good starting strategy. Hormones and the endocrine system can heal over time. Grains are best eaten soaked and/or fermented, and many people I have worked with find that eating whole grains this way can be well tolerated at some point, with thyroid conditions
2.) Avoid not just Bispheonol-A, but really all plastics, as much as possible
Bisphenols and pthalates, commonly found in plastics and can liners, are MAJOR endocrine disruptors. They are ubiquitous in our environment at this point…..sadly.
They basically mimic actual hormones in your body and replace the beneficial benefits of YOUR hormones, with a toxic phony that provides nothing of value to the body. In fact, over stimulation of the hormonal system is often what plastics do the body, resulting in massive disruption.
This can result in horrible estrogen excess symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, acne, PMS, infertility and menopausal symptoms.
3.) Maintain a healthy weight
Excessive fat tissue (called adipose tissue) can act as an endocrine organ, producing more estrogen and leptin in your body. Although leptin is the satiety hormone (tells your brain when you are full)- individuals who are obese, often have leptin desensitization, where although their body is heavier and the fat cells are likey releasing more leptin, it is as though the brain is constantly bombarded by leptin, and eventually stops responding to it. Oh boy! By maintaining a healthy weight, your body is not stimulated to overproduce certain hormones.
4.) Keep Your Liver in Great Health
Your liver is an amazing organ, it has to do a lot to hormones on a regular basis, mainly through conjugating hormones to transform them into other hormones, or make them ready to be gotten rid of out the bowels.
If you suffer from hormonal issues, liver support should be top on your list.
5 Ways to Support your Liver:
- Eat liver supportive foods daily: dandelion greens, mustard greens, beets, garlic and cruciferous vegetables (collards, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc).
- Consume a methylated B-vitamin. A lot of reactions happen in the liver, and many require B-vitamins as co-factors to help them run smoothly. Consider a methylated B-vitamin when you need liver, adrenal and/or nervous system support. A good one is: Seeking Health Methyl B Complex
- Consume liver supportive herbs regularly: dandelion root tea, chicory root, artichoke, black radish, oregon grape, and/or milk thistle. If you suffer from acne, constipation, PMS, mood swings or high estrogen levels (on labs), a comprehensive product will serve you best. A good one is: Lipotropic Detox by Pure Encapsulations
- Castor Oil Packs to the Abdomen. These are amazing at assisting the lymphatic system of hte liver and digestive system work better at getting stuff out and circulating healthy immune cells. Castor_Oil_Pack.
- Lemon water in the morning: every morning, upon waking, consume 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice in 12-16 ounces of water. This is great for gently getting the liver and digestive system going.
5.) Keep Your Digestive System in Great Health to Balance Hormones
Hormones and LOTS of crap from the environment has to be “let-go” of from the body through the bowels- the digestive system. Making sure you are pooping, minimally daily, don’t experience gas, bloating, reflux, diarrhea, etc and checking in on the organs that support the digestive system are all necessary to make sure you are getting rid of hormones that you do not need anymore.
Many hormones are recycled back through the small intestine, this becomes especially problematic if you are exposed to a lot of toxins from the environment or excess hormones, through hormone laden beef and milk. Pooping daily minimizes unnecessary recycling.
6.) Eat healthy saturated fat
Coconut oil, butter or ghee (clarified butter- no milk proteins) and avocado. Cholesterol is needed for formation of healthy cell membranes and is a precursor to steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, etc.).
You cannot have proper hormonal balance without adequate amounts of saturated fats! Make sure these fats are organice whenever possible to reduce exposure to chemicals from the environment.
7.) Support your adrenal glands.
The adrenals regulate the stress hormone cortisol. To keep them in top shape, limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, and commit to getting to bed by 10 pm. Your body creates growth hormones while you sleep, so prioritizing bedtime is an important step in staying balanced.
Get rid of meat and diary that does not say rBGH free, rBHT free or organic. Organic can not have external use of hormones. Non-organic meat and dairy (mainly cow based) should be hormone free, and should be labeled as such. Make sure you read your labels!
Alright, let me know how you plan to start protecting yourself today to make sure you have balanced hormones- Leave a comment below.