Hormones and the Microbiome
Turns out a certain set of gut bacteria and more specifically certain bacterial genes, called the estrobolome, produce an essential enzyme that helps metabolize estrogen. Your gut therefore is part of the elimination system that is vital in ushering hormones out of the body. This process, when working efficiently, plays an essential role in perfect hormonal balance. And of course, you’ve got to feed the internal ecosystem in the way that promotes the growth of these good bacteria that are there to help take care of you!
Meet your microbiome
This population of friendly bacteria or “gut flora,” as it’s also known, makes up your microbiome. Your microbiome is a main player in regulating your hormones, especially your estrogen levels. Estrogen-dominance as a result of a poorly functioning microbiome leads to every hormonal imbalance symptom or sickness you can think of - infertility, PMS, low libido, cramps and heavy bleeding, and PCOS. Plus, it can make you far more susceptible to estrogen-led cancers like breast cancer.
Approximately 5lbs of bacteria lives inside of you and the quality of their eco-system - the healthiness of the microbial life plus the diversity - governs your health in so many ways. A poor internal ecosystem caused by bad diet, exposure to chemicals and stress, will suppress the good bacteria, promote the bad bacteria, and will lead to a toxic build up of hormones as well as other signs of systemic inflammation.
Research shows us that addressing the microbiome holistically is the only way to get your immune system, digestive system and endocrine system working smoothly. Check out Missing Microbes by Dr. Martin Blaser to learn more.
How do I know if I have a microbiome imbalance or ‘Dysbiosis’ ??
Dysbiosis is a microbiome or gut flora imbalance. These are the first obvious symptoms and signs you will see if this is something that you suffer from badly:
- Bloating and gas
- Funky pooping
- Foggy headedness and headaches
- Frequent illness - from colds to yeast infections
- Difficulties losing weight
That’s right - dysbiosis can lead to stalled weight loss. Gut flora is linked to your appetite, digestion and how easily you feel full and satisfied (aka satiation). Studies have shown that obese people have a less healthy and less diverse microbiome to those that are slimmer, and as people who are obese slim down, their gut flora changes. You need healthy gut flora to break down fats and sugars and get them in transit out of your body.
How to maintain a healthy microbiome for happier hormones
New research shows that unless we make a conscious effort, we in the Western world cannot maintain a healthy gut. The mainstream lifestyle works against our microbiome with what we generally eat and how we live. We have to decide to take control of our own health and make the right choices.
There are Flo-fixes that will support healthy gut flora. Here are my Do's and Don'ts:
- DO get rid of the white stuff - that’s dairy, sugar and gluten by following the Flo Living protocol. Try out my free 4-Day Detox and see how much better you feel.
- DO eat fermented foods rich in good bacteria like kimchi and sauerkraut - a couple of tablespoons a day will work wonders.
- DO take a trusted probiotic supplement from a well-established company like Jarrow. Try their Stable-Dophilus formula as it doesn’t need refrigeration. Don’t waste your money or time on any big box store brands as there’s no regulation on the ingredients of their supplements.
The Pill Damages Your Microbiome as much As Antibiotics!
- DON’T ingest too many antibiotics. Avoid eating meat that contains antibiotics and avoid turning to antibiotics every time you have a cough or cold. Overuse will harm your estrobolome. As the antibiotics kill off the bad bacteria, they also kill off the good bacteria and it can be very difficult for the microbiome to bounce back from an aggressive course. More and more of us are becoming aware of the dangers of overuse of antibiotics as we see what happens when superbugs are created that are resistant to any kind of medical treatment. (Read more in Blaser’s book, which I mentioned above, Missing Microbes)
- DON’T use the Pill. The Pill acts like an antibiotic in the gut, destroying the micro biome balance. If your doctor prescribes the Pill for PCOS particularly, you will find it will only worsen the problems of weight gain and insulin sensitivity, because of the impact on gut flora. Just recently new research linked Pill use to an increased risk of Crohn’s disease, a symptomatic disease of imbalance in the microbiome. Click here to read my guide to quitting the Pill. WomanCoders will have read that I don’t think it is an effective treatment for hormonal imbalance issues anyway and now we know for certain it will make your hormonal issues worse.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you
First, do you have any of the symptoms of dysbiosis?
Second, will you implement any of my Dos and Donts? Tell me how it goes!
Third, you know every one you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social by clicking the buttons below
Need more Hormone Help?
If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started you looking into what’s going on with your hormones.
I’ve designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
Click here to get your FREE detox and evaluation!
- Birth Control Statistics.http://www.med.
- Our Bodies, Ourselves. http://www.ourbodiesourselves.
- Allen, Kim, “The Pill,” IO.comhttp://www.io.
- “New study widens pill risk for cancers,” Reuters, 10 Aug 2005. http://en.epochtimes.com/news/
- Women, Heart Disease, and Stroke.AmericanHeart.org.
- Borenstein, Seth, “Estrogen can bend gender of male fish living in water contaminated by birth-control pill residue,” Knight Ridder Newspapers, 27 Jun 2003. http://www.ourstolenfuture.