Whenever we want to address hormones, we also have to look at digestion. If we’re not having regular daily bowel movements, feeling bloated, gassy, or experiencing heartburn or burping – our digestive processes likely are not functioning optimally. For example, if we’re showing estrogen dominance upon blood work, we can’t expect to be supporting this estrogen clearance process, if our liver detox pathways are backed-up, or we haven’t had a bowel movement in two days, to allow for estrogen binding and secretion, without it re-entering circulation and staying in our system longer than estrogen should.
When it comes to hormones, cholesterol, toxins and various other substances, our liver detox pathways are responsible for converting these into forms that can be more easily excreted. We then require adequate fibre in our intestines to bind these substances, so we can excrete them via bowel movements. If we’re not having regular daily bowel movements, there is the potential for these hormones, cholesterol, and toxins to re-enter circulation, thus staying in the body longer than they should.
When I hear digestive complaints such as bloating, heartburn or burping, digestive bitters are something I consider. Usually they are taken before meal, in hopes of stimulating the digesive process by encouraging adequate stomach acid, bile production, and pancreatic enzyme secretion.
Make note of how you’re feeling symptomatically, and write down your health goals such as wanting to concieve, regulate hormones, improve digestion, or even improve general health such as energy and sleep. Talk to your naturopathic doctor before starting bitters, to ensure they are indicated, and both safe and effective for you to take.
Have a question? I’d love to hear from you,
Dr. Alison Gottschalk, ND