Someone asked the question:Do you have any evidence (studies, even anecdotal) regarding the impact of carb intake on female hormones? This is my attempt to answer it.
My experience of Hormonal Rebalancing as a result of being Alkaline Paleo
I started eating the Alkaline Paleo because of IBS but as a result of eating this way my hormones have also become much more balanced.
I do not eat any grains including rice for a very important reason as I will explain later down the page.
I am 52 years old and before I started Alkaline Paleo my menses were extremely irregular, premenstrual tension was getting worse with every year, hot flushes every night and I would spot at any odd time in my cycle.
I had been like this for a couple of years and I just perceived this as a normal part of menopause.
After being on Alkaline Paleo for 8 months my periods went back to their 28 day cycle and there was no more spotting.
My menses became easy and the colour of my flow was better than it had been since I was a teenager. In my 20’s, I had what Chinese medicine calls “blood stagnancy”. Dark clotty blood, and I was treated for this with acupuncture. Acupuncture improved the problem but still I had a tendency towards it.
All was going really well and after more than 12 months on Alkaline Paleo I went on a trip for 6 months to Italy. While I didn’t eat pasta I did eat some bread (wholemeal and sourdough), fruit, dairy and sugar. After about 5 months of this my periods became irregular again, menopausal flushes reoccurred and premenstrual tension started coming back.
I went back on Alkaline Paleo strictly 10 months ago. I thought I would be back to normal in a jiffy. I was so wrong. I paid for my Italian tour even though, for most of the time, I had eaten Alkaline Paleo. I think what happened was that I had healed to a great extent, but putting that extra load on my body (especially the grains) was too much as my body was still in the beginning stages of healing.
Finally I am back to regular periods again, no hot flushes. Premenstrual tension is still more than it was but getting better.
When I started Alkaline Paleo things didn’t just get progressively better. There were times when things looked worse and I would freak out and think it was because the diet is not good for me and that is why I feel bad.
I just want to reassure anyone starting out on Alkaline Paleo hoping to get better quickly and easily that symptoms won’t just go away like that. It takes time and courage to persist through what looks like things getting worse.
When the body starts to heal there will be healing reactions. The body starts to bring to the surface problems that on the old diet the body just didn’t have the necessary nutrition to deal with. These healing reactions are numerous but if you are on the Alkaline Paleo food program you can trust that these reactions are your body healing.
The body always does its best and its best, when nutrition is low and toxicity is high, can sometimes be just keeping us alive. It puts all the problems it can’t deal with into deeper layers of our body, as it finds itself in a state of emergency and needs to use its resources for other body processes.
One example of the body being in a state of emergency is when we have eaten a lot of grains or sugar. These foods are very acidic and the body needs to neutralize them quickly before they do too much damage. As we know this is a common occurrence with today’s modern diet and so the body is in a state of emergency very, very often.
One example of the body putting problems down into a deeper level of the body is asthma. When asthma is not properly treated with good nutrition and reduced toxicity it becomes later in life arthritis.
Hormonal Healing Reactions
Some of the hormonal healing reactions I had were heavier periods (more blood) for about 12 months. I had never experienced this before as I used to have very short periods.
Another reaction I had when I went back to Alkaline Paleo, my breasts were very sore for months. This hadn’t happened the first time on Alkaline Paleo, but my body was readjusting the hormonal balance now it has the correct nutrition again and the sore breasts were gone finally and never recurred.
As our diet improves radically the body can start to deal with these problems and will bring problems we didn’t even know were still in our bodies up to the surface and we will start to feel the uncomfortable symptoms which we thought were gone or at least had lessened. This bringing things to the surface is a very good sign. The body is becoming capable of healing deep imbalances.
I know what you are wondering! How long does it take to get well?
A young person will heal much quicker than an older person. Youth has so much more resilience and older people have so much more ‘water under the bridge’, with a lot more toxins and more deeper level issues to deal with. So healing will depend on so many things. The health inheritance you received from your genetics, your age, your toxicity load, the way you have eaten for most of your life, the stress levels in your life (and if you are Alkaline Paleo without cheating!) God knows I wish I hadn’t cheated! But I did and you will probably do so as well and reap the benefits of that wisdom!
A word about cheating on Alkaline Paleo
Some people seem to get away with cheating. Maybe they aren’t so sensitive or perhaps their layers or illness are deeper and don’t respond on the surface as much *(I suspect this is the case with my husband as we have found out he has Osteoporosis and Alzheimers, very deep layer issues)*
He seemed to get away with cheating and I couldn’t. When I cheated I would feel awful for days. When I say cheat I mean eating (for instance) a gluten free Cannoli. I would pay big time and my husband didn’t. But the more we are really strict and the longer we are Alkaline Paleo I notice he is starting to surface react like me. This is a good sign that his body is becoming well enough to express what is really going on beneath the surface.
Of course if you’re young and healthy and go on this diet I doubt very much you will have any healing reactions if you cheat. What’s to heal or what would the reactions be? You’re healthy and will remain so. You are making a fantastic choice for yourself and if you have children they will have a great start in life. Good on you!
Why is it so important to give up grains for hormonal balance?
There are so many reasons for not eating grains. Grains have protease inhibitors, phytates, lectins, glutens (many different glutens have now been found in all grains and are the perfect food for bad gut bacteria) but I am not going to discuss any of these reasons. I just want to talk about the effect of grains on blood sugar levels and what this does to the hormonal balance.
Eating any kind of grain will create high blood sugar levels (also called spikes). Among the many to note this is Dr William Davis in his book “Wheat Belly”. This rise in blood sugar levels will in turn raise the hormone, Insulin.
Insulin, cortisol, and the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and all the other hormones work in a symphony of interconnectedness. Usually, we only think of one hormone at a time. Thyroid symptoms indicate a thyroid problem. Blood sugar symptoms means there is an insulin problem. Symptoms around sexual function indicate a sex hormone problem. And high stress means a cortisol problem. We are told that if your thyroid hormone, or if your testosterone was normalized, you would feel fine, but the hormonal system really does not work like this.
An enzyme system found in the liver converts cholesterol into Pregnenelone, the top hormone in the hormonal cascade. High levels of insulin will cause liver dysfunction which will prevent or severely impede this important conversion.
Sex hormone binding globulins (SHBG) are produced by the liver as well. As the livers function is greatly impeded by insulin spikes the liver won’t be able to make enough SHBG. Without SHBG, too much free estrogen is available creating high levels on estrogen in the body.
The hormone DHEA “the youthening hormone”, has been shown to be greatly reduced in the body by insulin spikes.
Have you noticed the increasing number of men with breasts in today’s world? These men aren’t necessarily fat. This tendency is coming from an excess of estrogen from eating a high carbohydrate diet (which is usually mostly eating grains and sugar) causing these ‘man boobs’ even in younger men.