Here is what you may have missed from past videos
- I talked about The Birth Control Pill and Gut Dysbiosis and disrupts the Gut Microbiome
- I talked about The Birth Control Pill and Crohn’s Disease/ Gut Inflammation
- I talked about The Birth Control Pill and Leaky Gut/Intestinal Permeability
- I talked about The Birth Control Pill and Acid Reflux and SIBO/SIFO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
- I talked about The Birth Control Pill and Gall bladder Disease,
I encourage you to view these other videos by clicking on each link.
Today’s video is on, “How The Pill affects your liver.” I will also talk about some of the symptoms you should be aware of when it comes to having as sluggish liver.
There are a couple of important ways the pill affects the liver-Let me give you what they are and then I will unpack each one so you can better understand it.
How The Pill Affects Liver Function
- The pill increases SHBG or something called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
- The Pill increases TBG also known as Thyroid Binding Globulin
- The Pill robs your body of many B vitamins like B12, Folate, B6,
- The Pill affects Phase II detoxification in the liver
- The pill because it cause dysbiosis can allow LPS bacteria from the gut to travel to the liver via the portal vein causing more stress to the liver.
The liver is our primary organ of detoxification and works to remove toxins and waste from the blood, while filtering and sorting nutrients that our bodies need for daily functioning. To say the liver is important is an understatement.
It is the body’s largest gland and while estimates of the number of functions of the liver vary, many textbooks generally cite around 500. Nearly everything we ingest, from medications and alcohol to vitamins and nutrients, is metabolized by the liver
How The Liver Detoxes Harmful Chemicals in Your Body
The liver uses a two-step detoxification process to filter hormones and toxins in the bloodstream. We call this Phase 1 and phase II detoxification.
In phase one, the liver repackages harmful chemicals into less harmful ones, and gets them ready for elimination. These chemicals are converted to water-soluble substances that are secreted through bile, urine, or feces in phase two.
The key to healthy liver function is removing those Stressors that place a heavy burden on the liver such as “The Pill”, Gut dysbiosis, Leaky Gut, Inflammation and LPS bacterial toxins and improving bile flow.
All the things we have been talking about through this series “Is The Pill Wrecking Your Gut?” is applicable here.
The next thing you want to do to support your liver is provide the liver with the Nutritional support for Phase I and Phase two detoxification.
How To Support the Liver Naturally
If we take a look at the needs of the liver in order to run these detoxification pathways- you will notice that both Phase I and Phase II are heavily dependent on various B vitamins, Vitamin C, Various Amino acids, Folate, Glutathione, and flavonoids.
How The Pills Affects Liver Detoxification
And guess what “The Pill” does? It stresses the livers detoxification pathways because it robs those very nutrients, amino acids, vitamins needed for the detoxification pathway- It can make your body more toxic!
Here is just one study showing the Effects of Oral contraceptives on Vitamins B6, B12, Vitamin C and Folate,
“The Birth Control Pill” on B12 levels and The Consequences on Bone Mineral Density
Here is yet another study titled, “Nutritional effects of oral contraceptive use: A review”
Does The Pill Cause Depression?
You may not be familiar with Tryptophan- but Tryptophan is an amino acid that gets converted into 5-HTP and then finally into serotonin. Woman on the pill show a deficiency of 8 vitamins, 3 minerals and 80% of the woman in the study developed problems with Tryptophan metabolism.
Symptoms of Low Tryptophan
Too little Tryptophan can cause a decrease in serotonin production- which can lead to depression, pain, anxiety fear, constipation, and other IBS symptoms. The study also revealed elevated Copper levels, as well as elevated vitamin K.
Too much copper can cause depression and anxiety and too much vitamin K can lead to blood clots and pulmonary embolism and bruising.
Why Most Women On Oral Contraceptives Need More B6- Especially If they experience Anxiety
B6 is needed to make something called GABA- GABA is our calming Neurotransmitter. It calms down the brain- It puts the breaks on the Nerve system. B6 deficiency can cause anxiety, depression, fatigue, brain fog and cause a rise in inflammatory mediations which damage the brain.
If you are suffering with Anxiety- I recommend that you watch some of the videos that I have on my YouTube channel or here where I talk about the importance of B6 and anxiety in much more detail.
Check out these other Articles On Depression and Anxiety
- “5 Steps To Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Panic disorder”
- How To Naturally Lower Your Anxiety Levels
- Foods That Cause Anxiety, Depression and Brain Fog
- Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease and Anxiety- The Hidden Connection Between Thyroid Disease and Anxiety
- Depression, Anxiety And The Role Of Neurotransmitters
- Tests to Understand Depression and Anxiety in Thyroid Disease-Organic Acid Testing
- Depression and Anxiety- Is It Your Thyroid?
- 4 Foods To Avoid If You Suffer With Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia or Brain Fog
What you may have noticed was that study was done in 1980 and some might argue and say- “Dr Hagmeyer c’mon- that study was done almost 40 years ago.”
OK- well- here is another study from 2013 confirming the same thing that we knew back in 1980-
So what have we learned in almost 40 years of Birth Control Pills Use?
Well – I think the World health organization says is perfectly-
“The influence of Oral contraceptives on nutrient requirements is a topic of high clinical relevance and should therefore, receive great attention! –
In 40 years, I question is it really receiving great attention is it really getting? We have more depression, anxiety, and hormone problems than ever before! But perhaps that’s just my clinical observation?
The Pill Affects Your Sex Hormone Binding Globulin Levels and Your Thyroid Binding Globulin Levels
Another problem I see routinely with “The Pill” with all its synthetic high dose estrogens and progestin’s increases both Sex Hormone Binding Globulin and Thyroid Binding Globulin.
Both of these should be tested periodically if you are taking “The Pill” have ever taken the pills, received fertility shots or are on any kind of HRT or you have Thyroid disease.
Let me explain these a little bit.
Any time your Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or Thyroid Binding Globulin increase in our blood the end result is less sex and thyroid hormones available to our cells. It’s like a sponge in that it sucks up and binds up these free hormones.
This will create symptoms of hormone deficiency- but…… if you doctor never retests your hormone levels and only relies on your symptoms- They may increase you Thyroid hormone dosage or put you on stronger higher dosage of estrogen. This is a disaster in the making.
This is not going to remedy your symptoms! But only cause more Sex hormone Binding Globulin and Thyroid binding globulin to be produced which in turn creates more deficiency symptoms. This is why testing and retesting is so important.
This was happening with one of my patients just a few months ago- her doctor put her on the pill and because her symptoms didn’t improve he prescribed a stronger dosage of hormones- when I first tested her sex hormone binding globulin levels were in the high 300’s.
Labs reference values (Labcorp) show 24-122 being the normal range. I personally like to see them around 40 or 50.
Things To Remember About Today’s video
So as we wrap this video up- I know I talked about many ways the pills affects the Liver and Thyroid SO let’s do a quick recap.
#1 way that birth control pills block thyroid function is that they rob you of crucial nutrients needed for proper thyroid function.
The pill is a downright thief when it comes to certain vitamins and minerals needed for proper liver detoxification and proper thyroid function.
#2- The Pill affects Tryptophan metabolism leading to problems with serotonin production. This in turn can lead to depression, anxiety, chronic pain, IBS. Serotonin affects the brain but it also affects things like gut motility, too much serotonin and you experience diarrhea, too little Serotonin and you experience constipation.
Symptoms like depression, anxiety, fear, constipation, bloating, are all common symptoms seen with tryptophan metabolism. It can also cause excess copper and vitamin K levels. High copper is seen in anxiety and mood disorders, Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting and vitamin D balance.
#3 The Pill can cause Estrogen dominance- If you don’t already have estrogen dominance you most likely will-when you start taking “The Pill.” or you will develop it in time.
This will create a situation where your levels of estrogen and progesterone favor excessive estrogen and this can lead to things like heavy menstrual cycles, endometriosis, mood disorders, blood clots, headaches, Gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, irritability weight gain and a host of other symptoms.
#4 The Pill affects your thyroid and Sex hormones because It can increase both Sex hormone binding globulin and Thyroid binding globulin. This sometimes shows up as Low T3 or Low testosterone. But you will never know about this if your doctor never tests your Testosterone, Total T3 or Free T3 levels.
#5 The Pill Blocks the uptake of thyroid hormone into the cells (what this means is that thyroid hormone
#6 The Pill causes a sluggish, Congested Liver and Gallbladder.
I hope you enjoyed it- learned a few things and that you are now armed with information to make more informed decisions about your health.
Remember- If you are struggling with any kind of chronic health problem and you are tired of being the proverbial “Sick and Tired”
Visit my website, learn more about how Functional Medicine and if your are looking for help..
Click on the start here tab- Lets figure out what’s wrong with you and what we need to get you back on track and healthy again.
Until next time- Keep digging