Have you ever considered your Gut Hormone Connection? The role your digestive health plays in regulating your hormones?
Well, you should as it plays a massive role especially if you are in peri-menopause and experiencing signs of estrogen dominance. In case you are not aware some of these symptoms include: heavy periods, migraines, irritable moods, low libido, weight gain, bloating, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, breast issues, and worse of all reproductive growths such as fibroids, polyps.
Warning this can be a meaty topic but I’ll do my best to break down the medical terminology so you can have a better understanding of what is going on. When it makes sense you have a better chance of correcting what’s happening.
You may have heard of the estrobolome? The estrobolome is a collection of digestive microbes that regulate the circulation and excretion of estrogen. They do this by producing beta-glucuronidase. This enzyme helps recycle estrogen and puts it back into circulation, increasing your risk of being in an estrogen-dominant state.
Hold that thought. I’m going to take a step back to explain this better.
Circulating estrogens bypass the liver on their trip around the body. If the liver detects abnormally high levels it will start the process of glucuronidation. In this process, the excess estrogen molecules are marked for excretion. It does this by adding a tag to them, in this case, it's a sugar molecule. This makes it water-soluble so that it can then easily be excreted from the body. In theory, this is a fabulous way to regulate the amount of circulating estrogen present at any one time. It works well unless you have dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is an imbalance in your digestive microbial community. This means you have more bad bugs than good bugs. If you are experiencing any digestive symptoms such as bloating, excessive wind, burping, heartburn, pain, or food intolerances it's a good bet this is you.
These bad bugs want to feed off the sugar tag added to your excess estrogen molecules. Sugar is by far their favourite food. So they produce beta-glucuronidase a specialised enzyme that breaks the bond off from the tag and allows the bad bacteria to feed and the excessive estrogen to escape being exiled and allowed to return to circulation.
It is a vicious cycle that you want to stop!
But this is just the beginning, as estrogen isn’t the only hormone involved in the glucuronidation cycle. Androgens such as testosterone also undergo the same process. Testosterone dominance is also common in peri-menopause and is linked with aggressive mood swings.
Stress hormones like cortisol are also involved in the glucuronidation pathway. Stress is a huge problem at this stage of life and dysbiosis only makes it makes.
I often recommend to my patients that they consider a digestive microbiome test. I want to see what’s happening in your digestive microbial community. Personally, I use the GI map but there are many different good tests that will map out your microbiome. Once we know which good and bad bugs are present we can address them specifically.
One thing I love about the GI map is that it also identifies the amount of beta-glucuronidase present.
The most amazing news is that by working on the digestive system this doesn’t just help improve your hormonal balance it improves your entire health.
As there is also a GUT brain connection, a GUT thyroid connection, a GUT sleep connection, a GUT mood connection, a GUT skin connection, a GUT immune connection, and the list goes on.
Take care of your digestive health and it will help take care of you.
Don’t forget I offer one on one consultations and I would love to help support you on your journey to health.