So, what does your gut have to do with your painful PMS, heavy periods, mood swings and acne? EVERYTHING! Get those brain juices flowing because we’re getting a bit geeky today…
Here’s the truth… unless you’ve lived in a cocoon of pureness all your life – by this I mean not been exposed to sugar (or possibly worse, sweeteners), alcohol, stress (emotional – becoming a mum and physical – being pregnant and having a baby), sleep deprivation, pollutants, toxins and medication (including painkillers, hormones and antibiotics), we can be pretty confident that you have some level of gut dysfunction and dysbiosis. Which in regular mama English means you are likely to have some degree of leaky gut and a funky bacterial balance.
Some of you will already be aware of this, you may regularly experience bloating, constipation or urgency, but the major of mamas will be blissfully unaware.
If you suffer from painful PMS, heavy periods, acne, headaches, PCOS, endometriosis, low mood, foggy brain, anxiety etc. then addressing your gut health is a top priority after getting some of the nutritional basics in order and alongside lifestyle changes.
But what does my gut health have to do with my hormones?
Emerging data indicates that your microbiome (the gorgeous ecosystem of microbes in your gut) plays a central role in the regulation of oestrogen levels within your body.
Specifically, a collection of microbes called estrobolome. This handy collection of bugs is capable of metabolising oestrogen by producing an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. Beta-glucuronidase is responsible for releasing bound oestrogen so that it becomes active and ready for use in the body.
Now when your gut microbiome is healthy, your estrobolome produces just the right amount of beta-glucuronidase, meaning all is calm with your oestrogen – perfect status quo. However, in times of dysbiosis, beta-glucuronidase activity is either:
- Increased – resulting in excess oestrogen flooding your body, contributing to oestrogen dominance (when your oestrogen levels are too high compared to progesterone) and symptoms such as painful PMS, mood swings, heavy periods, acne and worsening endometriosis.
- Decreased – resulting in reduced available oestrogen, which may contribute to conditions such as PCOS.
Ah! What can I do to restore the health of my gut and rebalance and my hormones?
Luckily, there are lots of changes you can make to support good gut health.
Here are my top 4 gut healing hacks for harassed mamas:
- Supplement with a broad-spectrum Lactobacillus probiotic – this has been linked with improved oestrogen balance.
- Eat 4 cupped-hands of veggies every day – your good bacteria fodder and it will help keep you regular.
- Keep hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water with added electrolytes a day
- Consider supplementing with a digestive support – in our crazy world of motherhood and work, stomach acid and digestive enzymes can decrease leading to poor digestion of food and a risk of not-so-nice bugs passing through to places we don’t want them.
Want to learn more and really understand your gut microbiome?
In the RESET phase of Nourished Mums we dive into your digestive system and explore what might be going on in relation to your symptoms, whether they are hormonal, mental or physical. You’ll learn how to heal and harmonise your gut to better.
Remember, gut health and your flourishing colony of mini microbes is personal to you. Most of them want to be your bestie but when things go awry, they can turn up the heat, so treat them well because cell to cell they outnumber you 10:1!
We explore this and more in the Nourished Mums programme to help you get you back to feeling like YOU again. You can find out more about the Nourished Mums programme on our homepage, or get in contact to discuss and find out whether the programme is right for you.