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Good Gut Health means healthy hormones. Read the facts and Learn how to improve gut health with the free pdf download, “Gut Healing Framework.”

Gut health and hormone health are closely linked. If you want healthy hormones, you need good gut health. Understanding the importance of gut health and this close relationship to hormones and other body systems can be significant in your fight to reclaim better health.

Here are four facts that show just how intertwined the gut hormone axis is, in other words, how gut health directly influences your hormones:

1. Beta- glucuronidase

Beta- glucuronidase is a microbial enzyme in your gut that breaks things apart. One thing it breaks apart is estrogen glucuronides (when your body finishes with estrogen, your liver turns it into the compound above, which is excreted via your stool). When Beta-glucuronidase is elevated, it can break apart more of these estrogen compounds, leaving estrogen to be reabsorbed and RECYCLED back into circulation. What does this mean for you? You have more estrogen than your body needs, leading to estrogen dominance* and symptoms like tender breasts, heavy periods, PMS, acne, and more.

Estrogen Dominance means the balance of estrogen in the body is too high. Ideally, estrogen is balanced with progesterone (in women) and testosterone (in men). The liver breaks down estrogen, and when it isn’t broken down properly, you have estrogen dominance. This imbalance can cause a whole host of symptoms.

2. Thyroid

Thyroid (yes, also under the hormone health umbrella): our gut bugs play a prominent role in thyroid disorders. Specific gut bugs can affect the uptake of iodine, selenium, iron, and zine (all essential nutrients required for proper thyroid function!). So improving your gut can have a direct impact on the health of your thyroid.

3. Hormonal Conditions

Those with certain hormonal conditions (like PCOS*) have been found to have a lower diversity of gut bugs than healthy controls. Additionally, high intestinal permeability (leaky gut brought on by food sensitivities, diet, inflammation, gut infections, medications, & more) is hypothesized to increase insulin resistance and elevate levels of androgens in those with PCOS.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)can cause irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and infertility (PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility). According to the Cleveland Clinic, PCOS also leaves people at higher risk for diabetes (as discussed above–increased insulin resistance) and high blood pressure.

4. Inflammation

Chronic, low-grade inflammation has the potential to wreak havoc on your hormones. Inflammation in the gut can come from a gut infection, overgrowth, SIBO*, dysbiosis*, food sensitivities, & more. This can negatively affect our stress and sex hormones (among other things!). People with PCOS tend to have chronic low-grade inflammation. As you probably know, chronic inflammation leads to many disease states in the body.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when there’s an increase in the bacterial population in the small intestine. Unlike your large intestine (colon), your small intestine normally has relatively few bacteria due to rapid flow of contents and the presence of bile. However, with SIBO, stagnant food in the bypassed small intestine becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria may produce toxins as well as interfere with the absorption of nutrients. The breakdown products following bacterial digestion of food can also trigger diarrhea, bloating and pain.

Dysbios is an imbalance of the gut flora in your intestines. These florae are vital for digestion and immune functioning. You can have too many harmful bacteria (one type of flora) or not enough good bacteria. If you don’t have enough variety, this will also cause dysbiosis. As discussed above, the constant state of inflammation caused by dysbiosis can lead to digestive issues and inflammatory disease.

How to Improve Gut Health

The bottom line, if you want healthy hormones, you have to take a look at what’s going on in your gut. You might be thinking, how do I reset my gut health? Get started by grabbing the free PDF Gut Healing Framework. This will give you a step-by-step framework to begin this journey.  As always, depend on the professionals at Shift Functional Medicine to help you along the way!

how to improve gut health

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Free Gut Healing Framework PDF

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