When it comes to our health, it seems like these days all anyone talks about is the gut. Prebiotics, probiotics and everything to do with having a healthy gut is everywhere. But why does it matter and can it affect your hormones?
The short answer: yes. Gut health has been linked to numerous disease and in many cases a starting point for poor health (1). However, for the sake of today’s post and our sanity, let’s stick to how it affect our hormones, what we can do about it and how to know if you need to get your gut in check. Curious? Let’s jump in.
Today’s disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Everything I’ve learned and sourced will be linked below. So please proceed at your own risk. However, do know I have used everything I’m sharing to change my own life. Was it easy? Yes and no. But I don’t think everyone will love what I’m about to say. If you’re ready to change your diet and lifestyle, today’s post can help you. And if you’re not yet, it will be here when you are ready.
What Are The Signs?
Problems in the gut present in all kinds of ways within the body. Brain fog, acne, gallstones and IBS have all been linked to gut issues. Your gut has it’s own little bacteria world filled with good and bad friends. When this world gets disturb and your good bacteria is damaged or outnumbered, it’s called gut dysbiosis (2).
If your gut microbiome becomes seriously disturb, your body shows the signs. Things like antibiotics, poor diet and even birth control can impact your gut health. With regards to hormones, your body may find it harder to flush out the already used hormones causing increased food sensitivity, bloating, stubborn weight gain and constipation (2).
Why Does It Matter?
For women who have gut dysbiosis that is causing a hormonal imbalance, it can be a big deal. Many experience PMS, PCOS, heavy bleeding, infertility, no sex drive, cramps, fibroids and more. But over time it can also increase your risk for breast and uterine cancers.
When the gut microbiome isn’t right, there’s a strong chance that the estrobolome is struggling. The estrobolome regulates the amount of estrogen circulating throughout the body. If the estrogen your body produces isn’t properly disposed of after use, the body can reabsorb it and it can cause your estrogen levels to be even higher. Thus you end up in a state of estrogen dominance which causes the previously mentioned symptoms (2).
CAN I HEAL IT NATURALLY?
If you’re willing to make lifestyle changes, yes, you can heal your gut and hormones. Everything from your diet to sleep to cleaning products you use can affect how your body produces and deals with your hormones. If you want to make long term changes, it’s going to be a lifestyle approach.
DOES MY DIET AFFECT MY GUT & HORMONES?
Yes! Our diets are the one thing we have control over that can change everything. When we eat diets filled with processed foods and sugars, we are essentially making any of these hormone issues worse. Diets heavy in sugar lead to even more inflammation in the body. And when your body is inflamed, the issues start spreading throughout.
What you eat matters. I know it’s not fun and it’s definitely not always easy. But if you want to stop feeling so awful all the time, you’re going to have to face the facts. The standard American diet is laced with all kinds of sugar, hidden and otherwise. To be able to function properly, your body needs less of that sugar and more whole foods.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SEE A DIFFERENCE?
Depending on the changes you make and how your body is reacting, this answer will vary. For me, I saw changes with my acne within a few months of adding the needed supplements to my body. And I saw even more changes within a month of adjusting my diet.
However, I’m not perfect. I’m still learning what foods my body does and doesn’t love. Stress and lack of sleep also throw your hormones for a loop. I’m incredibly adamant about getting my 8 hours a night. Plus, I’ve recently added meditation back* into my routine to help manage my stress levels.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
If you feel like crap, your period is out of what or you’re just really tired of having acne, there is hope. Just because your gut isn’t doing swell right now doesn’t mean you can’t bring it back to life. One too many years of birth control and antibiotics put me on the journey to heal my hormones. It’s meant cleaning up my diet, getting intentional with how I take care of myself and making changes to the products I use on my skin and body.
Is it easy? Not really. But it’s definitely easier than it used to be. Clean beauty is growing in popularity. And I do my best with WSS to find you the best products that are actually worth your money. All that said, you don’t have to do it all overnight. This is a lifestyle approach. So take it one bit a time.
Try to focus on cutting back your added sugar this week. Maybe swapping your coffee creamer for non-dairy milk. Or maybe you look to buy something in clean beauty to replace your products as they run out. Making lifestyle changes on a budget can be challenging. But with a little time and research, you can make it happen. And you’ll be on the road to a healthier & happier you in no time!
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?
At the bottom of today’s post, you’ll find the links for all of the articles referenced. However, if you want to dive in deeper to gut health, I have a few more recommendations. Both Dr. Mark Hyman* and Dr. Vince Pedre* focus on the relationship between food and health. Several of their books focus on weight loss in the title. Ignore that and focus on the more important part: eating in a way that will keep you healthy and happy for a long time.
Personally, I’ve found taking Kelly Leveque’s approach to be incredibly helpful for my energy and my hormones. It’s a lifestyle approach that allows me to eat in a way that doesn’t feel restrictive. You babes know I’m not a fan of diets. My past relationship with them has left me in a less than stellar place mentally with food. The Fab Four method has helped me establish the habit of intuitive eating and learning to give my body what it’s really craving. Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough.
What about you? Have you noticed a difference with how your gut affects your hormones? Or maybe you’re looking to heal your body in general? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment below and let me know where you’re at in your health journey. And feel free to share this post with someone you think needs to read it. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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