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Gut Health And Hormones: Exploring Their Unique Relationship

20 February, 2024

Talk of gut health seems to be everywhere these days and for good reason. More than just a glorified food processor, the gut is a complex ecosystem teeming with trillions of bacteria known as the gut microbiome. While it may not be able to solve a sudoku it is still an extremely clever part of your body that is closely connected to the brain. In fact the enteric nervous system, which controls your gut, is often termed as the body’s’ second brain. The bacteria contained within your gut play a central role in your digestion, immune function, and you guessed it hormones. So just how connected is your gut health and hormones - let's find out! 

When you have a belly full of good bacteria, then you should be feeling tip top. But what happens when things get out of balance? An unhealthy gut, with too much bad bacteria is known as dysbiosis, which can disrupt both hormone production and regulation and lead to some very unpleasant problems. 

Too much estrogen 

When your gut health is not at its best, it can affect how your body processes and eliminates estrogen. This can cause a build up of the hormones in your body and lead to what is known as estrogen dominance. This has been associated with many health issues, from messing up your menstrual cycle, causing fertility issues, exacerbating your PMS symptoms, and even giving you an increased risk of certain cancers. High levels of estrogen have also been found in women with PCOS so keeping this hormone on a tight rein is very important. 

More than just hangry 

While we can all get a bit moody when our belly starts grumbling, your gut actually has a direct impact on your mood. The gut is responsible for producing a significant amount of serotonin, the "happy" hormone. When your gut bacteria is out of whack then serotonin production takes a hit too, contributing to anxiety, depression, and mood swings. 

Weight fluctuations

The gut microbiome also influences how your body absorbs nutrients and regulates blood sugar. An unhealthy gut can lead to issues like insulin resistance, making it harder to manage weight and increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Imbalances in gut bacteria can lead to your body producing more ghrelin, the hunger hormone. While decreasing your levels of leptin, the hormone responsible for signalling when you are full. This can contribute to overeating, weight gain, and a very messed up metabolism. 

Mucking up your immune system

Bacteria in the gut also has an impact on your immune system. Too much bad bacteria in your gut can lead to a weaker immune system causing autoimmune disorders and also further hinder your hormone regulation. 

But it's not just as simple as strong gut health equals optimal hormonal health. As when it comes to gut health and hormones it's very much a two-way street.

Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol can slow down your gut, leading to constipation and bloating. It can also cause gut inflammation, making you more susceptible to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

During your time of the month your hormones can go a bit haywire. Fluctuations during this time, such as a rise in estrogen and the lowering of progesterone can increase your gut sensitivity and cause PMS symptoms like bloating, cramps, and constipation. 

But if you are experiencing a temperamental tummy each month then our bioidentical progesterone cream can help remedy this by rebalancing your hormones and alleviating your symptoms. 

Realising good gut health 

Now you know how important gut health is to your hormones then the next step in making sure you know how to take care of it. After all, a happier gut contributes to happier hormones. 

When it comes to looking after your gut health and hormones, it's really not rocket science, leading a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body will do the trick nicely. But if you are looking for some specific tips then we have a few…

  • Feed your gut with healthy options

Opt for a diet rich in fibre, fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods like yoghurt and kimchi full of probiotics. These provide some delicious nourishment for your good bacteria, helping them to go forth and multiply. 

  • Manage your stress levels

Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to reduce your stress. This will keep your cortisol levels in check and your gut strong and healthy. 

  • Get a good night's sleep

Practising excellent sleep hygiene helps not only to regulate your hormones but keeps your gut healthy too. Studies have found a link between healthy gut microbiome and a restful night's sleep. So try to limit the late nights if you can. If you are struggling to get to sleep or suffering from insomnia then our bioidentical melatonin capsules can help. They work by regulating your sleep wake cycle so you can catch those Zs and get a better night’s sleep. 

So remember to take care of your gut and your gut will help take care of you (and your hormones).  

Although all these tips are sure to help out, sometimes a little more help is required to get your hormones back on track and that's where we come in. Whether you have a loss of your libido, trouble tossing and turning at night, or dealing with PMs we can help. We offer personalised hormone balancing treatments so you can feel your very best self. Start your consultation with us and begin your journey to a better you today. 

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