“You have breast cancer”. These words are probably the most devastating words to hear for yourself or anyone you love. Sadly, however, more and more people are being told they have breast cancer. Yet when we think about the amount of environmental and chemical toxins we are exposed to daily, in food, water, air, and self-care or cleaning products, coupled with poor diets, lack of exercise, and lifestyle practices, I believe more and more people will hear those exact words.
Breast Cancer prevention awareness is something everyone should consider, not just in the month of October, but all year long, every year and by both genders. Even with preventative measures and awareness, additional support may be necessary for us all, despite our genetic history, lifestyle practices, and organic diets.
Your healthcare team and specialists, and the internet, have lots of information on breast health. I read and attend many continuing education classes on all areas of health and well-being. Over the past few years, more and more credence is being given to supporting the liver and toxin elimination, the importance of iodine, and optimal levels of Vitamin D for overall health but specifically for breast health.
As always, if any suggestions are contraindicated for YOU, any health condition, medication or allergy, then it is to be avoided. And if you aren’t sure, check with your healthcare team or pharmacist.
TOXINS: As already stated, we are inundated with toxins at levels that we may not have adapted well enough to handle, based on the speed with which they are added to every area of our lives. The organ that plays a major role in detoxification is the liver. But what you may not know is that the liver is responsible for the metabolism of certain hormones. Estrogen is metabolized and detoxified throughout the body but the main site is in the liver, especially for the excretion of excess estrogen after utilization.
The Liver also plays a role in thyroid hormone conversion, from T4 to the more useable T3 form. Supporting Liver function for all detoxification work and its important role in endocrine physiology is a health practice to consider. Cruciferous foods such as cabbage, broccoli, & brussals sprouts are beneficial for liver detoxification. And unless you have been told to specifically avoid those foods for a health condition or medication or allergy, incorporating them into your diet is advised. Also some herbs can be added to cover the 2 phases of liver detoxification. They are Milk Thistle and Dandelion. Cruciferous foods and/or herbal support can assist in the processes of eliminating excess estrogen and also improve your good to bad estrogen ratios.
IODINE: Fluoride and bromide compete for receptor sites on cells along with iodine. Today, we get higher levels of fluoride and bromide in our water, food, and self-care products than we get iodine. Soil depletion and lack of iodine rich foods in the average diet can further add to our iodine deficiency. Low iodine is linked to fibrocystic breast disease, and excess and atypical mammary (breast) tissue.
Therefore, checking for iodine sufficiency and utilizing supplementation when needed, while decreasing exposure to fluoride and bromide can also enhance chances for better breast health. Ask if your healthcare practitioners will test your iodine levels and guide you for adequate intake. Or, if you wish to self-test, www.hakalalabs.com offers testing for iodine, fluoride and bromide levels. Based on your results, work with knowledgeable practitioners to assist with getting your iodine levels in optimal ranges. Breast health is not the only issue connected to iodine deficiency and you may find improvements in other health complaints when iodine levels are adequate.
VITAMIN D: Over 15 years ago I remember asking my primary medical doctor to test my Vitamin D levels. Although he agreed to do it, I was met with initial resistance. Over the years, I noticed that whenever I did annual physicals and would request Vitamin D testing, resistance became less and less. So much so that it is now a standard test for many annual evaluations. The importance of Vitamin D has always been present, it is only recently that the acknowledgement of that importance is being advocated by all medical practitioners.
Vitamin D levels are easy to test for and I prefer to see levels between 50-60 ng/ml. Based on your results, supplementation may be suggested to you. Proper vitamin D levels are known to play an important role in breast, prostate, colon, and lung health. Just make sure you are using a “non-synthetic” form and instead of a 1x a week large dose, I and my clients use Carlson D Drops. Amounts for supplementation vary between 2000 to 6000 IU per day, based on need, and properly monitored with follow up testing. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin (actually it’s more of a hormone) and too much can create other health issues. So it’s best to be tested and take what you need but not more.
There is no one size fits all for any health condition, and breast cancer prevention has many other facets to consider both physically and emotionally. But by availing yourself of liver support, adequate Iodine and Vitamin D, you can enhance your body’s overall ability to decrease your chances of developing breast cancer.
Wishing you health and living your best life.