How do you detox your endocrine system?

Need A Hormone Reset? Here’s The Exact Detox This Naturopath Recommends

Dr. Jolene Brighten is a women’s health expert currently based in Portland, Oregon. She received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine and is the best-selling author of Beyond the Pill.

“I remember drinking some kind of nasty liquid for about two weeks, feeling constantly hangry, and finally giving in to a double-fudge brownie my co-worker brought in,” my 29-year-old patient Kayla told me during our initial consultation. Almost-constant cravings, low energy, chronic anxiety, and low libido were among the problems Kayla struggled with. A close look at her blood work showed insulin resistance, elevated inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP), and estrogen dominance: all signs of hormonal imbalances.

As a doctor who helps women balance their hormones, I take an individualized approach to my patients to treat their root cause and teach them the skills to care for their body. But one tactic that works for nearly everyone is a professionally designed detoxification plan as an effective hit-the-reset-button for your hormones and so much more.


This is what the word “detoxification” really means.

I realize terms like “detoxification” and “cleanse” have various interpretations, and some plans considered detoxification are actually poorly designed, very-low-calorie diets that provide few if any of the nutrients your body requires to optimize detoxification. Kayla’s less-than-enthusiastic response stemmed from some past detoxification struggles. This is not how I do things. When I help patients detoxify, I focus on reducing incoming toxins and helping your body more effectively eliminate chemicals, hormones, toxicants, and other environmental compounds.

While other organs participate, ground zero for detoxification is your liver. While you’re detoxifying, you want to show this organ some major love. Giving your liver love means eliminating anything that potentially stresses it out and giving it the right nutrients to work efficiently. Let’s be clear about this plan: You will not be hangry or otherwise miserable, but especially if you’ve got some vices—looking at you, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar—the first few days might feel a bit yucky.

Kiss alcohol, sugar, and caffeine goodbye (for 21 days).

Let’s talk about what’s gotta go to love your liver and hit that hormone-reset button. Kayla loved her pinot noir, but I explained that even a few glasses could increase1

estrogen levels, leading to estrogen dominance. It can also stress your already overworked liver, creating more hormonal chaos. So bye-bye alcohol, at least for 21 days. (You can do this!)

My 21-day detoxification plan also nixes sugar, inflammatory fats (including vegetable oils), and common food sensitivities like soy, dairy, corn, and grains that mess with your hormones and keep your body inflamed. Most of these foods should take a permanent vacation. (Alcohol can come back, but remember, imbibing can stress your liver.) The good news is that many patients feel so much better eliminating these problem foods after 21 days that they never want to add them back.