YOUR GUT & HORMONES
Did you know that your gut bacteria or flora help regulate your hormones, especially estrogen?
Your gut microbiome has far reaching effects.
Signs of a gut - hormone imbalance are
• Stomach/ digestive upset
•Constipation or IBS
•Heavy, light, or irregular periods
•Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
•Tender, swollen, and/or fibrocystic breasts
If your gut isn’t healthy then your hormones are not going to be healthy.
An unhealthy gut means estrogen is not metabolised properly and the is can build up in the body and may contribute to estrogen dominant states. This can further lead to more serious condtions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancer, endometrial hyperplasia, endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, fertility, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive function. (1)
The estrobolome is a collection of these gut microbes that work to metabolise (process / breakdown) estrogens. These microbes produce an enzyme called betaglucaronidase, that switches on estrogen, so it becomes active in the body,
When you have a healthy estrobolome, it will produce the right amount of betaglucaronidase to balance your estrogens. If you have too much betaglucaronidase (which can be caused b the bad gut bacteria), it will increase your estrogen too much. This is associated with estrogen dominance and estrogen dominant conditions, such as heavy and painful menstruation, endometriosis and fibroids.
‘High levels of circulating estrogens from overactive beta-glucuronidase activity could promote cell growth and tumor growth on estrogen-sensitive tissues in the breasts, ovaries, endometrium, and the cervix.’ (2)
When you dont have enough betaglucaronidase it will lower estrogen and reduce the amount of good gut microbes and is linked polycystic ovarian syndrome, cardiovasclar disease, weight gain and osteoporosis.
To improve your Estrobolome balance you can
- Eat an organic, whole food diet
- Increase your veggies, especially broccoli and deeply coloured veggies
- Reduce processed foods and sugar
- Eat broccoli sprouts or take sulforaphane
- Reduce or avoid coffee and alcohol
- Take probiotics and prebiotics in supplements or food
- Exercise (this increase butyrate, which boosts good gut microbes and reduces inflammation!
- Reduce endocrine disruptors (ie- plastics, parabens, BPA etc)
Getting you gut right will go a long way to help balance your hormones!
If you are not sure what state your gut is in, or what your betaglucaronidase levels are, you can get tested. If you would like to know how , or need support on your healing journey, please contact me HERE
1- The microboime masterclass, The Estrobolobiome with Carrie Jones ND
2- Laura Schoenfeld - Is an unhealthy gut causing your estrogen dominance?
Are you exhausted? Fatigued? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Moody? Depressed ? Wired and tired at night? Are you getting sick all the time or constant hay fever or allergies ?
If you have any of these symptoms, fatigue on waking or throughout the whole day and you have been suffering long term, your adrenal glands are probably to blame. These small, walnuts sized glands produce our ‘fight or flight’, or stress hormones. They therefore help regulate the stress response, but also other hormones, the nervous system, cardiovascular system, regulate the sleep wake cycle and inflammation, and the immune system. With many people in today’s busy world, they get over worked and then they cannot keep up with the ongoing demands our bodies put on them.
To rebuild the adrenals, you should avoid all stimulants where possible. This includes caffeine in chocolate, coffee, cola and guarana in supplements, sugar, alcohol, and white flour products/ refined starches. Reduce stress and get plenty of sleep.
EATING FOR YOUR ADRENALS!
- Eat within 2 hours of waking up
- Eat frequently through the day to regulate your blood sugar levels, at least every 4-5 hours. This will prevent a drop in your blood sugar levels and will make a difference to your adrenal health and energy levels.
- Eat good quality protein at every meal. These can include organic free range eggs and chicken, fish and nuts and seeds.
- Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods
- Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal
- Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly coloured ones and preferably organic
- Use a mineral salt such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt; ½ a teaspoon daily.
- Avoid fruit in the morning
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of fresh essential oils (cold pressed olive or flaxseed oil) into wheat free grains, vegetables and meats daily. Do this after cooking as they are not meant to be cooked with! Cook with coconut oil which is anti-inflammatory and has a high burning point.
NUTRIENTS FOR ADRENAL HEALTH
Magnesium is a very important mineral for adrenal gland function. It is estimated that at least 80% of the population are magnesium deficient. Please be aware that there are many forms of magnesium and they are not all the same! Practitioner ranges have the most bio-available forms, meaning they are very efficiently absorbed. Potassium and magnesium together are the ‘nervous system Nutrients’.
B complex vitamins are important but may be too stimulating for some people when they are extremely adrenally fatigued. In these cases, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C are the best nutrients to nourish the adrenals glands. ‘Activated’ B vitamins should be used for more efficient absorption. Vitamins B5 and B6 especially help to restore adrenal function. Always take a B- complex if you are taking singular B vitamins to avoid an imbalance occurring. Be careful during intense anxiety as the B vitamins maybe too stimulating, also when there is Chronic fatigue, take small amounts to begin with and see how you feel.
HERBS FOR ADRENAL HEALTH
There are many herbs for the adrenal glands that can help strengthen the adrenals, but also act as adaptogens. Adaptogens help your body adapt to stress and protect the adrenals from any ongoing stressors. An example of an adaptogen are; siberian ginseng, panax ginseng, withania and Rhodiola. Withania can help when there is insomnia and Rhodiola is great for energy, stamina and cognitive function. I use other herbs simultaneously to strengthen the adrenals glands, such as Rehmannia and licorice, along with homeopathics.
When there is anxiety, herbs such as withania, skullcap, magnolia and ziziphus, are great to reduce the flight and fright hormones. It is important to check your Thyroid function through a basal body temperature testing or a thyroid function test. The thyroid gland may need support also. The adrenals and thyroid work together to help regulate the nervous system.
RELAX AND MEDITATE
The adrenals cannot rebuild themselves when they continually stimulated. It’s like whipping a dead horse! If you are tired, avoid ‘soldering on ‘, as this will only make the adrenals weaker. De- stress often, by meditating or doing yoga or Tai chi. Have regular massages and enjoy some time to yourself every day. During times of anxiety more intense exercise may be needed to help the body rid the stress hormones and relieve tension.
Have an Epsom salt bath before bed to get you into a deeper sleep. If you haven’t got a bath, have a warm shower and afterwards rub some lavender oil on your temples. Magnesium oil can be rubbed on the tops of your feet before bed to give the same effect as the Epsom salt bath (Epsom salt is magnesium). Sleeping well and for at least 8 hours a night is an integral part of helping the adrenals recover.
AND BREATHE !!
Try and practice breathing from the lower part of your diaphragm. Too many people shallow breathe when they are stressed or have anxiety. Breathe in for a count of 3, and out for a count of 5, when you feel anxious or finding it hard to get to sleep.
Also our adrenals are patterned from birth, we pick up stresses in utero (the womb) and during childhood, which can have long term effects on our adrenal glands. In families, there may be a genetic pattern, where the all of family members have a similar weakened adrenal response.
No matter what stage you are in, there IS a sure road to recovery! I am here, to help you recover also!
Book a complimentary clarity call here - CLARITY CALL
Or an in clinic appointment here - CLINIC APPOINTMENTS
Or an online consultation here - SKYPE CONSULT
1; an excerpt From Angela Hywood on ‘The Adrenal insufficiency syndrome’
NLS Salivary hormones training manual, 2009
WHAT STRESS DOES TO YOUR HORMONES
Stress comes in many forms. It can be emotional (ie; relationship issues at work and home, grieving ), physical (ie; overwork, over exercise, over sedentary )and environmental (ie; hay fever, chemicals, pollution). When your body is under constant stress, such as being busy. working too hard and not sleeping well we are usually in the continual ‘fight or flight’ response. We produce more cortisol than usual, a hormone produced by our adrenal glands.
High cortisol over time reduces progesterone levels. This is because we produce cortisol and progesterone from the same hormonal precursor- pregnenolone. Progesterone is our anti-anxiety hormone and gives a feeling of contentment. And if you feel like you have constant PMT/PMS then you probably are low in progesterone!
If this keeps dropping over time because of stress, lowered thyroid function or a sluggish liver, then you end up with estrogen dominance. Excess estrogens can cause more frequent, painful and heavier periods, slow down the thyroid function and contribute to an under active thyroid.
And when the thyroid function slows down, this slows the liver function down and it becomes a cycle. Prolonged cortisol levels also can decrease the livers ability to clear excess estrogen from the blood.
A sluggish liver can mean you end up with insulin resistance and weight gain. Insulin is the hormone which ‘unlocks’ glucose from your food. If you are not unlocking the glucose for energy, it is stored as fat in your body, usually abdominal fat after age 40, which I known as the middle-aged spread…. Eeek! I know no-one really want this to happen!
Also, as we age we become more resistant to insulin, this can cause weight gain. Our body doesn’t utilise glucose from food as efficiently as it did when we were younger. The way around this is to exercise more and eat less sugar and carb’s.
All the endocrine glands and hormones work together like an finely tuned orchestra, so when one hormone is out of wack it will inevitably effect the others.
But don’t let this be you! You can change it, naturally .
Need some support?
Book a free clarity call with Kate here – CHAT WITH KATE
If you would like a naturopathic consultation
IN CLINIC - click here - Book an in clinic consultation
ONLINE CONSULTATION -click here – Skype consultation