Gut Health for Hormones

by | Jan 9, 2020 | General, Hormone Health | 0 comments

Gut Health for Hormones

Intermittent fasting and PCOS

When it comes to your weight, PCOS or hormones are you setting goals around your gut health? The body systems are so beautifully connected. This might also be frustrating to you because in order to get back into balance regarding your weight or hormones, you will want to be looking inward.

We typically count calories, hit the gym more or start a new trendy diet.

What if I told you that’s all old-school and I am about to share something new and effective?

Let’s dig in!

For starters, your gut holds many secrets for weight loss that no one is talking about. 

What is in my gut that makes it so important? 

Our gut microbiomes are constantly adapting to our lives, including our diet, stress and environment that we live in. It holds many (i’m talking trillions) of microbial cells. Not only does your gut work hard at digestion, but your gut hosts most of your immune system as well.

These immune cells are your gut’s first defense whenever something foreign enters the microbiome. When your gut microbiome is compromised, these immune cells react to things like food particles.

How does this happen? Well when the gut microbiome isn’t intact, meaning this protective lining has holes in it, items like food, bacteria, etc. seep in.

The immune system doesn’t normally see undigested food particles. So it reacts and causes an inflammatory response. I

n addition, the microbiome is correlated with the etiology of disease. How so? When a microbiome becomes imbalanced, the actual bugs within the gut can produce metabolites that contribute to a disease state. This sort of response can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food sensitivities, difficulty losing weight, migraines and autoimmune conditions.

Gut Health and Hormones

Studies have shown that gut bugs have been shown to contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance and blood sugar irregularity plays a major role in making the weight loss or hormone balancing journey challenging.

In fact, obese individuals have a different and less diverse microbial profile. Ever think the type of bugs in your gut can really have that sort of effect? To get down and dirty, individuals who hold on to excess weight have an increase in the species Firmicutes and a decrease in Bacteroidetes.

These bugs tend to create an inflammatory response within the microbiome, which then leads to impaired insulin signaling.

In fact, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), tend to also have less diversity in the microbiome. Specific bacteria produce  lipopolysaccharides, contributing to leaky gut. As mentioned above, this leaky gut creates inflammation. Inflammation interferes with the insulin response and can create testosterone production from the ovaries.

Is My Gut Healthy?

Like I’ve mentioned, if you’re trying to lose weight or struggle with PCOS and have no idea why you aren’t making progress, it’s worth shifting your focus to your microbiome.

Some obvious gut imbalances include how your digestive system reacts on a regular basis.

-Do you suffer from bloating or gas?

-Do you have acid reflux?

-Do you struggle with IBS type symptoms (diarrhea, constipation or alternating between the two)?

-Do you experience intense sugar or carb cravings?

-Have been on recurrent antibiotic treatment?

-Do you take birth control or metformin?

Stress and Your Gut Health

There is a direct connection between the brain and the gut. Even one stressful event can disrupt the balance in your microbiome! (Think of getting stressed in traffic or trying to make a crazy work deadline). When your gut is out of balance, it’s hard to absorb nutrients needed for your body to heal!

Stress can impact cortisol levels, which increases abdominal fat and makes it hard to lose weight and get your insulin in check.

What I am about to say is actually pretty interesting (not that everything in this isn’t..but pay extra close attention). Stress can impact your micronutrient status. when we are stressed out you can become depleted in magnesium and B vitamins.

I’ve listed out some sources of stress below. You might be surprised on how stress is making its way into your everyday world. 

Types of stress:

Stimulation from technology & social media

– Overbooked schedule

– Environmental toxins

– Non- organic / natural beauty products & hygiene products

– Eating out of plastic

– Drinking unfiltered water

– Getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night

– Too much caffeine

– Carb rich diet

– Lack or exercise or over exercise

– Toxic relationships

– Work or school

– Lack of ability to communicate your needs

– Lack of a supportive community

Get the Gut in Check

So you must get your gut in check! This might be addressing any of the above triggers for stress, a bacteria imbalance or even checking on if the medications you are taking can affect your gut health. It’s one thing to eat the right foods for the gut and metabolism but if you’re not properly absorbing anything, we still have a problem.

Nourish the Microbiome 

Aside from managing stress and other lifestyle changes, you will also want to nourish your microbiome to help get it back into balance.

–  Fermented Foods: these help to deliver beneficial bacteria to the gut.

1 tablespoon of sauerkraut per day or other fermented food of choice.

– Resistant Starch Foods: these act as prebiotics or fiber that help the beneficial bacteria flourish.

Cooked & chilled sweet potatoes, cooked & chilled legumes, raw garlic & onions, green bananas and green plantains, cooked & chilled white potatoes and jicama. 

-Bitter Greens: these help to promote better digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Broccoli rabe, radicchio, arugula, watercress and dandelion greens.

Balancing Estrogen

When the gut is imbalanced, there may also be a hormonal imbalance. This is because there are gut bugs that help to metabolize estrogen. You can support your microbiome by helping that detoxification process with eliminating plastic use, hormone healing foods and supplementation (with the support of a healthcare provider).

The journey to finding balance in your health can be fun and something that you can sustain for a lifetime! I help my clients do this every day in my private practice and it brings me so much joy to see someone step into their true self, find their personal balance with health and wellness and thrive in their everyday life! 

I encourage you to sign up for a complimentary call with me, you deserve great health. Book Your Complimentary Call Here!!!

Written by Eleni Ottalagana

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