We tend to think of our reproductive and digestive systems as being entirely separate and unrelated. After all, we go to completely different doctors when there’s something wrong with one or the other!
But in reality, our bodies are made up of systems that are all interconnected. They do not operate independently of each other.
There’s evidence that clearly demonstrates a significant impact of the gut microbiome on a woman’s estrogen levels, making it critical to keep in mind when working on hormone balancing.
Did you know that our bodies need to excrete estrogen in order to keep it in balance?
Estrogen + Gut Microbiome = Estrobolome
Estrogens undergo several steps to be excreted by the body. First, they go to the liver where they’re broken down and then repackaged with bile to be carried to the small intestines for disposal via poops.
There are specific types of bacteria (microbiome) that produce an enzyme called, beta-glucuronidase, which at high levels, breaks apart estrogen bound to the bile.
If beta-glucuronidase is elevated, instead of being excreted, the estrogens are reabsorbed and put back into circulation. This along with the exposure to xenoestrogens can contribute to an excess of estrogen which can be a driver of all of the things listed below.
Painful or heavy periods
Hormone driven cancer
This is one of the reasons I like to look at how well your digestive system is working, even if you’re not exhibiting any signs of digestive issues.
By using a functional, comprehensive stool test, I can determine if the level of beta-glucuronidase is impacting estrogen excretion and if estrogens and toxins are being recycled and re-absorbed or excreted.
If beta-glucuronidase is elevated. Foods like cruciferous vegetables work wonders to break down this enzyme and rebalance the gut microbiome. The prebiotic fiber, glucomannan (found in konjac root and konjac-based foods such as low-calorie noodles and pasta) naturally lowers fecal beta-glucuronidase levels. The supplement, Calcium -D-Glucarate is also very effective but I always like to try the food route first.
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