8 Keys to Balancing Your Hormones Naturally After Explant
The Stress Response
The stress response is initiated when the brain perceives something as a potential threat. This triggers the body to release norepinephrine and epinephrine, which triggers the “fight or flight” response (increased: heart rate, blood flow, blood pressure, blood sugar, and alertness). It provides the body with greater strength and speed to fight the threat or run away from the threat. During this process, the stress hormone, cortisol is released. Once the threat has been eliminated, the body should return to a state of allostasis, or ease. This is what happens with short-term stress. What about chronic, or long-term stress?
Continual activation of the “fight or flight” system over the long-term can damage the body and lead hormonal imbalances and to a disease state in the body. In general in today’s fast-paced, over-scheduled, and over-stimulated world, we are under chronic stress on a daily basis. Add to the situation the chronic stress of breast implants continually activating the immune system as a foreign body (while at the same time muting our innate immune system’s ability to fight off pathogens), contributing to the chemical and heavy metal toxicity of our bodies (which prevents our bodies from detoxifying hormones properly), and dirtying up our genes, we have a recipe for hormonal disaster. Our bodies are not designed to handle continual exposure to sources of stress that are constantly activating the HPA-axis.
Allostatic load is the price the body pays for being forced to adapt to adverse physical (breast implants) or even psychosocial situations. It represents the physiological consequences of chronic exposure to stress (such as breast implants). It impairs the physiologic resistance and depletes the metabolic reserve in nearly every tissue in the body, which is why it takes time to restore health after explant. The body reallocates resources and changes metabolic function to allow for the best chance of survival in the immediate future. The body chooses the immediate need for survival over long-term health and wellness and that includes balanced hormones and fertility. Chronic “fight or flight” response will shut down the endocrine system, immune system, detoxification system, and digestive system.
The concept is straightforward: The body has an amazing ability to heal itself when the body has what it needs to do so and when the stressor(s) have been removed. When the harmful things are removed and the body is supported appropriately, cells and organs are capable of self-regulating and creating optimal health. That’s why lifestyle modification is so incredibly powerful. Laboratory testing, when paired with thoughtful lifestyle modifications, provides the insight necessary to identify the harmful signals that are keeping the body from achieving ideal wellness, even after explant. So removing the main source (the breast implants) is key, but just as important is removing lifestyle factors that prevent the body’s ability to self-regulate and heal.
Physiological resistance is defined as the ability for each cell or organ to withstand changes that take place every day and are necessary for the body to function properly. This includes things like the arteries’ ability to dilate when blood flow increases, the ability to clear excess glucose after a meal, or the ability for cortisol to rise and fall when faced with a stressful situation that is later resolved.
Think of each system as a group of coiled springs or rubber bands, capable of being stretched but then ready to snap back to their original shape. When systems are overwhelmed by the harmful signals from breast implants and lifestyle factors, it can be thought of like a rubber band being stretched too far and unable to return to its original shape. Sometimes this can take months or years and other times it can happen much quicker. It depends on the person’s physoiological resilience and metabolic reserve.
If physiological resilience is the capacity of cells and organs to respond to stressful events, then metabolic reserve can be thought of as the ability of the same cells and organs to withstand REPEATED (chronic) stress. In other words, physiologic resilience is like the ability of a rubber band to stretch around a water bottle and metabolic reserve is the number of times it can be stretched around that water bottle and return to its original size before becoming permanently elongated.
Although the body is well designed to handle life-threatening or immediate stressors, it is less well equipped (or at least prioritizes as less important) to handle stressors that are chronic in nature. This is because the same cells and organs that are needed to manage a stressful event are the same ones that are needed to maintain “normal” physiological function.
Even at the cost of long-term survival, the body prioritizes resources and changing metabolic function to enable immediate survival. Often this priority to “survive now” erodes the capacity to buffer against long-term metabolic dysfunction. The body doesn’t care about tomorrow nearly as much as it does about today.
They key to restoring metabolic function and thus hormonal balance is first to explant via en bloc with complete capsulectomy. Next, your goal should be to decrease stress wherever possible. This includes diet, personal care products, water, sleep, exercise, relaxation, structural problems, sun exposure, reducing toxic exposures, and more. Let’s start with diet.
- The number one way to balance your hormones is to avoid blood sugar spikes. If you want to age faster than anyone in your neighborhood, simply raise your blood sugar. A repetitive blood sugar roller coaster causes cellular oxidation and inflammation by accelerating the aging process from the inside out, contributing to an array of degenerative diseases. You can think of this process like rust forming on a car bumper, but it’s slowly eating away at YOU! Constant blood sugar spikes also shorten our telomeres, which are parts of cells that act as a human “biological clock” and affect how we age. You may be 45 years old, but your telomeres could show your cellular age clocks in at 65.
- Hormones are directly affected by our blood sugar levels. Blood sugar spikes equal cellular inflammation, and cellular inflammation equals hormone problems that are typically not solved by taking more hormones. As an example, think of diabetics. they suffer from cell membrane inflammation which consequently triggers hormone dysregulation and the host of problems that go with it. Simply put, the cell cannot “hear” the message from the hormone insulin to bring the glucose into the cell because of the receptor sites for insulin are blunted by inflammation. Glucose builds up in the body leading to elevated blood sugar levels and more inflammation. This is the state of hormone resistance, or in the case of diabetes, insulin resistance.
- Most diabetics end up with thyroid problems because the thyroid hormone receptors are also on the cell membrane and are blunted by glucose driven inflammation. This is why many people take thyroid hormone and the blood work improves, but they don’t feel any better. If the message from the thyroid hormone (T3) can’t get in the cell, due to inflammation, then the blood levels of hormones can be normal, but your hair keeps thinning, energy dropping, and weight going up (or at least stalling despite what you eat). Hormones can be crutches, but are not long-term answers.
- Detox: This is one of the most important tools you could have in your tool belt for restoring health after explant. I can’t emphasize it enough. You need to detox your body at the cellular level in order to realize your greatest level of health again. Those toxins and heavy metals have been building in your tissues for years (maybe even decades) and they need to be removed. To learn more about the only detox program I trust (and the one I used to restore my own health after my explant), click HERE.
- Avoid common or known food sensitivities: Wheat and gluten containing grains, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, corn, and alcohol.
- Just Eat Real Food: Eat whole, unprocessed foods: Grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free meat and wild caught fish; organic, local fruits and veggies; consume lots of healthy fats daily like avocado, coconut, cold pressed olive oil, flax, fish, ghee. Cholesterol is the backbone of all the sex hormones. If cholesterol is too low, the body doesn’t have the raw materials it needs to produce hormones. Fat is also essential for making hormones. Avoid bad fats: processed vegetable oils, partially hydrogenated oils, fried foods, conventionally raised meats and dairy, etc. Limit or eliminate grains, which are the #1 contributor to elevated glucose. Even whole gains.
- Avoid Sugar: Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners: Use raw organic stevia or monkfruit; use raw local honey in small amounts; use grade B maple syrup in small amounts; limit high glycemic fruits.
- Reduce toxic exposures: The American government doesn’t require health studies or pre-market testing of the chemicals in personal care products. 25% of women surveyed apply 15 or more products each day. Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system. Some companies make products that are safe to eat, others choose to use dangerous ingredients like coal tar and formaldehyde. These products are designed to penetrate the skin and they do. Use natural cleaning products in your home; use organic natural cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, etc.; stay away from negative people (energy robbers). Work with a biological dentist to remove toxic mercury amalgam fillings in teeth. Drink only filtered water (not from plastic water bottles).
- Sweat: Use infrared sauna therapy, exercise (walking, burst training, yoga). Burst training has the added benefits of increasing the resting metabolic rate, fat loss, and anti-aging effects. Contact me if you want to know which one I highly recommend (I will be posting a blog about it in the near future).
- Release: Release stress and negative emotion: breathe! Make a conscious effort to relax and breathe deeply for 10 minutes every evening. Meditate, pray, enjoy a massage, practice stress-reducing exercises such as yoga or tai chi. Even basic stretching boosts positive moods.
- BONUS: Identify any hidden sources of stress. DIG DEEPER: gut pathogens, lyme, mold, viruses, nutrient deficiencies, genetic SNPS, etc.
In order to restore HPA-axis function and thus hormonal balance, it is crucial to address anything physical or emotional that is triggering the stress response. It goes without saying that this includes breast implants, but this is not always the only thing that needs to be addressed. It is also important to understand that you cannot simply supplement yourself out of metabolic dysfunction and hormonal imbalances. You must work on your diet, lifestyle, and behaviors, and removed the obstacles in those areas that are preventing you from restoring balance after explant.
Apply for your BII Discovery Call with Sarah HERE.
Founder of Reversing Breast Implant Illness. Sarah has a passion for restoring health that has taken her along a path from RN, to becoming a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, and Breast Implant Illness and Detox Expert. She believes the solution to Reversing Breast Implant illness is about more than just the explant and that we all need to take personal responsibility for restoring our health by addressing the root causes that contribute to chronic illness: toxicity, infections, trauma, and shame. Sarah’s “pain to purpose” is using her personal experience along with her understanding about the body to guide women through the sea of mis-information about Breast Implant Illness in hopes of finding their path to true and lasting healing.
Sarah was once quite happy and comfortable living the conventional life, but she began to look at things very differently when her body started failing her after getting breast implants. Within about six months of getting breast implants, Sarah began to see her once perfect health steadily decline. She began experiencing a myriad of symptoms which no doctor could explain. Noone understood what Sarah was going through. She felt completely alone in this invisible illness because on the outside she looked fine. On the inside, the discomfort of living inside her own body was maddening.
Sarah soon realized she was looking in the wrong places, for the wrong things. If she wanted to fix her broken body, she had to stop looking to treat the symptoms; she had to start looking for a cause. It was time to take her health into her own hands and find real answers. She discovered that the root cause was literally inside of her.
Sarah believes there is always a greater purpose within our struggles, and she believes that purpose for her was to learn how to heal her own body so she could then help other women like her do the same. It is Sarah’s believe that the body has an innate desire to heal if given what it needs and she focuses on teaching natural healing principles. Sarah will teach you how to Reverse Breast Implant Illness, take back your health, and live vibrantly!