Episode 145: How (and Why) to Love Your Liver in Perimenopause and Beyond

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni review why it’s so important to pay attention to liver health for hormone balance in perimenopause. The liver has a lot of work to do as the largest organ in your body, especially as you get older, and can benefit from some extra TLC when addressing symptoms like hot flashes and heavy periods. 

In today’s episode, we cover :

  • Why it’s important to reduce the amount of chemicals and toxicity coming from your environment, food and personal care products
  • How your liver function impacts your hormone balance or imbalance, especially relating to estrogen dominance
  • The connection between your intake of sugar and highly processed convenient food, insulin resistance and fatty liver
  • Some of the functions your liver has, including:
    • Filtering your blood and converting your hormones and other compounds in your body to a less toxic and less harmful form – detoxification!
    • Converting fat soluble vitamins to a more active form
    • Producing bile to support blood clotting and absorption of fat and fat soluble vitamins
    • Regulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism
    • Supporting immune cell function
  • Signs your liver is not functioning optimally physically and energetically
    • Skin itching, headaches, hot flashes, fibroids, breast and ovarian cysts, heavy periods, anger, irritability, frustration
  • Lab tests to consider to assess the health of your liver
    • Blood tests like AST, ALT, GGT, bilirubin, hemoglobin A1c, glucose tolerance test, cholesterol panel, iron and ferritin, CRP inflammatory marker
    • Ultrasound, CT scan, MRI if needed
    • DUTCH – dried urine hormone testing
    • Genetic analysis of genes coding for liver detoxification enzymes
  • Ways to support your liver function
    • Avoiding excess exposure to chemicals and toxic compounds like pesticides, bisphenols, phthalates
    • Support air quality in your home
    • Avoiding unnecessary medications
    • Limiting your alcohol and added sugar intake
    • Physical activity and movement to support your circulation
    • Drinking water and staying hydrated, also with green and rooibos tea
    • Increasing your intake of antioxidants 
      • Colourful veggies and fruits, especially garlic, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, artichoke, beets, dandelion greens, arugula 
      • Herbs and spices like rosemary, turmeric
    • Eating an adequate amount of protein to support your detoxification enzyme pathways
      • Eggs are also a good source of choline
    • Using a castor oil pack or getting bodywork like acupuncture, osteopathy
    • Express all your emotions in a healthy manner like punching a pillow, instead of suppressing or stuffing your anger and frustration

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of using crystals to help set intentions, invite in energies and dispel the negative, including selenite to dispel negativity and connect to higher self, rose quartz to promote self-love and love for others, and amethyst to absorb negativity and develop focus.

Dr. Toni recommends taking the time with friends or even by yourself – get your spouse or family on board for child care or get a babysitter! 

What’s Else is Happening?

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety to support their natural instincts around labour and birth is happening this fall. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective Masterclasses are happening next week: Oct 3rd and 6th – find out more about this revolutionary and international program. Sign up HERE and follow Lisa on instagram @drlisaweeksND.

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Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 6: Healthy Hormone Hacks Challenge Summary: 10 Simple Tips to Balance Hormones and Boost Energy

In today’s episode, we are reviewing all the tips from our recent 10 Day Healthy Hormone Challenge. These simple tips help to support your hormone balance, increase your energy and support your overall health.

Tip #1: Aim to drink 2 litres of water daily, including herbal tea

Benefits of drinking water include:

  • Avoid dehydration symptoms like headaches and low energy
  • Keeping hunger at bay
  • Helping with weight management and metabolism

Recommended strategies you can use to get the most out of your water intake:

  • Use a filter like Santevia or Berkey to reduce contaminants like lead and other heavy metals, as well as prescription medications that can unfortunately be found in your water supply
  • Drink warm water first thing in the morning to support your digestion
  • Use an app like Water Minder to remind you to drink your water
  • Always keep a glass or mug by your desk at home or work to refill throughout the day
  • Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere 

Tip #2: Reduce stress with deep breathing

Benefits of deep breathing exercises include:

  • Better stress management and lower stress hormone cortisol
  • Increased mental clarity, concentration, memory and focus
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • Lower blood pressure

Box Breathing: inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4

Get in deep breathing throughout the day by taking a few deep breaths:

  • When you link it to the colour red, for example, at a stop sign or red light
  • When you hear your phone ring or beep from a notification

Tip #3: Increase your fibre intake to at least 25 grams daily

Fibre helps binding up your used hormones and other garbage to support toxin elimination and proper hormone balance. Different types of fibre are found in vegetables, fruit, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds

Easy ways to add in more fibre daily include:

Tip #4: Ditch the plastic to avoid hormone-disrupting BPA and BPS

BPA and BPS can act like estrogen and worsen:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain
  • PMS mood swings

Start to swap out your plastic:

  • Alternative to plastic food bags: silicone food bags by Stasher
  • Instead of plastic wrap: beeswax wraps by Abeego
  • Switch out plastic bottles with glass or stainless steel bottles like Klean Kanteen
  • Use stainless steel mug like Contigo instead of takeout coffee cups
  • Reusable silicone or stainless steel straws instead of plastic straws

Tip #5: Eat organic when you can to reduce your exposure to pesticide residues

Check out the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists by Environmental Working Group (EWG) to see what veggies and fruit have the highest levels of pesticide residues.  

Always aim to buy organic “Dirty Dozen” fruit and veggies: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes

Can’t buy organic? Focus on the Clean 15: avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, sweet peas (frozen), onion, papaya, eggplant, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupe, broccoli, mushrooms, honeydew melon

To remove pesticide residues from conventional non-organic produce, consider soaking all fruit and veggies in 10% vinegar and washing with baking soda.

Tip #6: Balance hormones by supporting estrogen detoxification

Symptoms of perimenopause can often be linked to relative estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency. These can include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Trouble losing weight
  • PMS
  • Breast tenderness

Cruciferous vegetables can support your liver’s ability to detoxify excess estrogens. Eat lightly steamed or sauteed veggies for easier digestion, especially during the winter. These can include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, rutabaga, bok choy, collard greens and turnip.

Quick tip: Buy frozen and organic cauliflower, broccoli or vegetable medley mix, then lightly steam or serve sauteed.

One of our favourite cruciferous veggie recipes is this Roasted Cauliflower Dip (paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free).

Tip #7: Eat more detoxifying herbs

Herbs that support liver and kidney function with extra antioxidants include: cilantro, parsley, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic

An easy recipe to add to chicken, fish, pasta to get in more detoxifying herbs is this Vegan Nut-Free Avocado Pesto Sauce.

Enjoy detoxifying herbs like milk thistle, dandelion root, schizandra and burdock root daily in tea form by buying a blend like Traditional Medicinals or make your own blend with this recipe for Herb and Fruit Infused Water.

Tip #8: Get your sleep

Between hot flashes and not being able to turn your brain off, sleep can be a challenge in perimenopause. Get your body ready for a deep and restful sleep with proper sleep etiquette. 

Simple tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Turn off screens at least one hour before bed
  • Use blue blocker glasses like Cyxus
  • Lower your thermostat or wear minimal clothing to bed
  • Try hot shower or bath before bed to cool your core temperature 
  • Consider using a weighted blanket
  • Wind down with meditation, yoga nidra or journaling

Want more sleep hygiene tips? Check out our Sleep Solutions Episode!

Tip #9: Move your body

Benefits of physical activity and movement include:

  • Decreasing stress hormones
  • Supporting circulation
  • Improving mental health
  • Decreasing Liver Qi stagnation symptoms like PMS

How do you fit more movement into your day?

  • Exercise snacks: get up from desk every hour – plank, squats, jumping jacks or walk down the hall
  • Play with the kids outside: bundle up and walk to the park or enjoy the snow by making snow angels or snowman
  • Walk your kids to and from school or daycare
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot to get in more steps
  • Have a dance party at home
  • Ask yourself: Is it time to join a gym, yoga studio or sports team?

Tip #10: Green your personal care products

The chemicals in your body care products will be absorbed through your skin, so be mindful of the products you use. Avoid chemicals that can interfere with your hormone balance and possibly increase your cancer risk.

Avoid parabens, fragrance and other Suzuki Foundation Dirty Dozen in personal care products.

Use EWG’s Skin Deep Database at to see if the products you are using right now pass the test. Start to switch out the products that get a questionable rating.

Try out one new tip every week and do your best to support your hormone balance. 

Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa recommends dry skin brushing to support lymphatic circulation for eliminating toxins and exfoliating your skin. 

Find a natural bristle brush HERE.

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Thank you for joining us today! 

Have any comments, suggestions or burning questions? Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5 star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!