I am so proud to see so many women are starting to say a big N-O to the old way of living.
Many of us are questioning the advice our doctor is giving us about the contraceptive pill.
We are slowly waking up to see the beautiful and delicate nature of our hormonal system.
Before I was diagnosed with PCOS, my old way of living consisted of eating lots of junk food, staying up late and taking the contraceptive pill which masked any signs that how I was living my life was really not okay.
My skin always stayed clear and my periods were perfectly on time. It is a miracle pill as it kept me totally unconscious as to what was really going on under the surface.
My hair started falling out in 2014. At the time I was still on the pill. When I sought advice from my doctors they said that for the symptoms I was experiencing being on the pill was the best option as it will improve hair loss.
It was 4 weeks exactly until my big move from Sydney to New York. I was doing some research and was starting to become more and more aware of the harmful side effects of being on the pill. The ones that really stood out to me at the time were:
This was enough for me to know it was time to get off the pill. Not to mention I had been on a commonly used contraceptive pill called Yasmin which is designed to specifically help with acne.
This brand has a relatively high dose of hormones in comparison to other brands which is why it is so effective for skin.
Just before I came off the pill I found out that you should not be on the brand Yasmin for longer than 2 years due to it's high and hazardous dosage of hormones.
Considering I had been on this brand for nearly 9 years, I was pretty upset that my doctor never mentioned anything to me about the risks of long-term use.
So I threw my last packet in the trash and felt a sense of empowerment. I wasn't worried about what would happen to my body as I wasn't really aware of what could happen. I had no idea I had PCOS and that my body was desperately in need of support throughout this process of coming off the pill.
It doesn't matter whether you suspect you have PCOS or not, it's so important for every single person who is coming off the contraceptive pill needs to support their bodies during this transition.
The key to coming off birth control totally symptom free, is by addressing your diet prior to coming off.
I would highly recommend to never go cold turkey like I did.
You need to address your food beforehand otherwise we can never be sure how your body will react.
Depending on the length of time you were on the pill and which brand you were on, moderate to severe damage can impact your vitamin levels, hormones and gut flora.
The safe bet is to always start with food as this is what will strengthen your body most.
The body is feeling at it's best when it is supported with natural, whole, nutrient dense foods. Think anything that is still in it's exact form since it was plucked from the ground, tree or ocean. If it came from a factory, then avoid it completely. Also try to eat as many colours as you can when it comes to fruits and veggies. This will ensure you are getting a wide range of polyphenols and vitamins, which is the best support you can offer your body.
It is important you eliminate gluten. It has too many chemicals in it as over 90% of the gluten we eat is sprayed with herbicides which contain harmful chemicals that mess with your gut and your hormones.
It's also important you eliminate dairy. I know some of us have a very strong connection with our dairy products (trust me I've had my fair share of cheese platters). This can be tricky but it is really essential for rebalancing your hormones. The Bovine Growth Hormone found in cows milk is a man-made hormone which is extremely harmful to humans, especially women trying to balance their hormones. Dairy is also acidic and causes extra mucus in the body. It's best to stay clear of this for awhile whilst we repair some of the stress that's been put on your body.
I would recommend you adhere to the protocol I've designed for at least 3 months. Then when you come off you'll be with peace of mind. This will smooth out transition as you'll be much more balanced with your hormones.
Read my article on blood sugar balancing to understand more about the importance of your blood sugar levels. Skipping meals and eating high-sugar foods is messing with the Queen-B of hormones... insulin. You want to keep your insulin as stable as possible during this transition as it will help to keep the rest of your hormones stable.
Cortisol is the stress hormone. It is secreted from the adrenal glands and when you are producing a lot of cortisol you will end up with something called adrenal fatigue, which is a sign of a hormone imbalance and is really NOT FUN. Cortisol is not only overproduced during stressful situations but also if you have a poor sleep cycle or are being exposed to too many chemicals. Try to minimise or eliminate your use of non-organic cosmetics and cleaning products.
Too much estrogen is something called estrogen dominance. This leads to acne, bloating, painful breasts, headaches, mood swings, irregular periods and low sex drive. When we have too much estrogen is means we have poor progesterone levels, which is the hormone most women are low in.
To decrease estrogen dominance you must focus on your elimination. You want to be using the bathroom at least once to twice a day. Increasing water intake and fibrous vegetables will help with your bowel movements. You can also take 250mg magnesium and eat fruits like papaya, prunes and mangos.
To support the elimination process you also need to consider the liver. You can support the liver by eating lots of broccoli and cauliflower as they are good sources of glucosinolate, which supports enzyme production in the liver.
Also try to sweat as much as you can. Saunas and sweaty cardio workouts are great for releasing toxins and supporting your pathways of elimination. Be sure to switch to a fully organic deodorant with no aluminium. Any days you can go without deodorant, please do. I know we don't like to smell nasty although your armpits are where majority of the bodies toxins excrete so we don't want to be blocking this area 100% of the time.
If you sense you have a hormonal imbalance then it's a good idea to be taking some supplements before and during your transition. These include:
I am not going to tell you that you need to come off the pill. The purpose of this article is simply to inform you that you have options and shouldn't be afraid to make this transition.
I know it can be a scary thought coming off a drug that your body has become somewhat dependent on, but with the suggestions I have made above you will be in the safe zone as your body will be much more supported.
Don't be afraid to make a positive step forward for your body. Keep doing more research and implement some positive changes and your body will do the rest.
***This is solely an article to support you in getting clear about what the next steps are. I highly suggest following my healing protocol for at least 3 months before making this transition. This is to be on the safe side so your symptoms don't erupt like mine did.