Dr. Daniel Kenner, Ph.D., L.Ac. one of Consuming Passions team members and expert in integrative health and wellness, explains how to renew your hormonal function and create blood sugar stability.
Blood sugar stability
Some people experience malaise or headache with dizziness and a “shaky” feeling when they are late for a meal. These symptoms of “hypoglycemia” can be an indication that blood sugar is unstable. Blood sugar sensitivity can be another clue that the liver needs a break. Liver function plays an important role in blood sugar stability. Excess consumption of overly processed carbohydrates and/or sugar food products can cause unstable blood chemistry fluctuations, overeating and addictive food behavior. To experience this groggy, spaced-out feeling of trembling and dizziness, is not a sign that a person is about to starve to death. Rather it could be a sign that the liver is not operating optimally and has activated a process of detoxification to restore balance. A regular cleansing program would help to mitigate these symptoms. It is important to use complex carbohydrates for better blood sugar regulation. Simple sugars and sugar substitutes are what we call “anti-nutrients,” foods which rob nutrients from the body, leaching minerals such as calcium, upsetting blood sugar regulation and disrupting the use of trace elements.
PMS and MENOPAUSE
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and peri-menopause are common signs that the liver is under strain. The liver binds estrogen so that it can be broken down by bacteria in the intestine. If the liver is under strain because of an excess of fats or a toxic burden, estrogen can build up. This buildup causes many of the symptoms of discomfort common to women during the premenstrual period and during menopause as well such as bloating, blood sugar instability, extreme mood swings and food cravings. We can reduce or alleviate these symptoms by learning to alter our patterns with the help of dietary and lifestyle recommendations including, at certain times, specific phytonutrients and other unique supplements.
Strengthen liver function to benefit the thyriod
There is also an important relationship between the liver and the thyroid hormones. The liver is an important site where the hormone T-4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone, is converted to T-3, the active form. The symptoms of hypothyroidism, which include weight gain, fluid accumulation, lack of mental acuity, depression, coldness in the limbs and sleep disturbances (among others) can sometimes be related to the liver function rather then the thyroid itself. The liver’s hormonal regulation system is often influenced by poor eating habits. Again, sound dietary and lifestyle practices bring benefits.
Renew your zest for life
It is important for both the liver and thyroid to function normally because the liver must produce cholesterol, which is the raw material for the body’s production of hormones called androgens. The best-known androgens are testosterone, DHEA, androstenedione and pregnenolone. These are not only sex hormones, but hormones the body uses for growth and repair. They also are hormones of get-up-and-go that are necessary for our zeal for activity, creativity, experiencing the richness of life as well as reaching our ideal weight. Thyroid hormone and vitamin A convert cholesterol into these androgen (and estrogen) hormones. If the liver and thyroid are not working well together, androgen production can be disrupted and their raw material cholesterol accumulates in the blood. Impaired androgen production can be a critical factor in the loss of one’s zest for life and even one’s sense of meaning and purpose. Remember, the body has a remarkable ability to renew and restore if allowed to do so. If we take care of the body, hormone production can be restored once again.
Digestive health: maintain a healthy inner ecology
Our intestines are not just for absorption and elimination. There is a tendency to think of them as just a long tube that secretes digestive juices, but the small intestine has even been referred to as the “second brain” because of the complexity of its nervous and hormone system relationships. The intestines are also important organs of immunity. Two-thirds of the body’s lymphocytes are based in the mucous membrane lining of the intestines. This means that it is the largest organ of immunity in the body. There are millions of beneficial bacteria and dozens of types of these bacteria in the small intestine. These microbes perform a lot of the actual digestion. The large intestine also holds a large volume of bacteria and even fungi. A healthier diet including complex carbohydrates and a variety of vegetables, especially green vegetables, have a positive effect on this area of the body. In contrast, overly processed sugars feed the “bad” bacteria and create imbalance. Many mistake this bloating caused by imbalance for weight gain.
It is important to rest and nourish our intestines with sustaining foods. Maintaining a healthy inner ecology means creating a good balance of intestinal flora. The yeast Candida albicans and other Candida yeasts are normal inhabitants of the large intestine. But under certain conditions the yeast can overgrow such that it can cause problems in the intestinal tract such as food sensitivities and even skin problems. Excessive antibiotic use is a major cause of yeast infections, but in chronic infections, sugar consumption is either a cause or a factor that can make it a protracted condition. Alcohol will have the same effect as sugar, especially beer or wine.
If the intestine is too permeable, mostly caused by poor diet habits, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and stress, it means that the role of the mucous membrane as a natural barrier is disturbed. This can cause bacterial fragments, incompletely digested food and even toxic materials intended for the large intestine to seep (“leaky gut” syndrome) into the blood or lymph circulation and cause symptoms in other parts of the body. This process has been related to inflammatory disorders like fibromyalgia and arthritis as well as acute stomach and intestinal discomfort. Appropriate dietary changes can help improve the intestine’s inner environment which strengthens the immune system. The cleanse and renew process helps to incorporate those food practices that create balances in this area. One’s “inner fitness” begins to return.
When one experiences the 5 Day Diet and the benefits of improved health by giving the physical body and old habits a vacation; it’s easier to be confident to take the next step. By following simple, healthy diet and lifestyle guidelines healthy functioning can be restored on many levels in a surprisingly short period of time that will support not only your weight loss goals but your overall health. The sense of well-being from internal cleansing itself can be “intoxicating,” or perhaps should we coin a new word like “detoxicating.” The increase in energy and confidence can recharge the experience of life and give a sense of power and control over what one can achieve in almost any area of personal activity. Taking that first step is something no one ever regrets.
Dr. Daniel Kenner is sharing his thoughts about the power and the purpose of detoxification and cleansing. In weight loss and cleansing he will explain the relationship between weight loss and detoxification and in hormonal function & blood sugar stability he will explain how to renew your hormonal function and create blood sugar stability.
About Dr.Daniel Kenner
Daniel Kenner Ph.D., L.Ac. is one of Consuming Passions team members and experts in integrative health and wellness with 30 years of clinical experience in both Oriental and Naturopathic Medicine. He graduated in 1979 the Meiji College of Oriental Medicine in Japan, passed the national licensing examination and then trained in internships at Osaka Medical University Pain Clinic and Kinki University Medical Teaching Hospital. He was one of the first foreigners ever to be licensed by the Japanese government. Dan also has a Ph.D. in Naturopathic Medical Science from First National University of Naturopathic Medical Sciences and a well respected member of the Board of Governors of the National Health Federation. Since 1983 he has endeavored to integrate the naturopathic medical traditions of North America and Europe with the traditional medicine of East Asia.
In addition to authoring numerous articles, Dan is author of The Whole-Body Workbook for Cancer (New Harbinger, 2009), The Science of AHCC, Basic Health Publications, 2009, Acupuncture Core Therapy (Paradigm, 2008), AHCC – The Japanese Medicinal Mushroom Immune Enhancer (Woodland, 2001) and Botanical Medicine: A European Professional Perspective (Paradigm, 1996).
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