How your gut health affects your hormones

It is pretty well known that we deal with a lot of clients who have gut issues.

Severe bloating, heaviness, constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, and stomach pains to name a few. These are often accompanied by a range of other symptoms including menstrual cycle irregularities, anxiety, hair loss, weak skin and nails, and food obsession.

If you have ever had digestive issues you know how painful and frustrating it can be. Often falling in a cycle of being uncomfortable, becoming obsessed with finding the answer, and trying everything on the market to help it and then becoming depressed and upset about the issue.

Sadly, most of the products on the market may provide temporary relief but do not address the root cause of the issue. They are often only a band-aid solution.

What many people don’t know about the link between the gut, hormones, and metabolism

There is a bit of trend at the moment to blame a ‘hormonal imbalance’ for a lot of these issues. Although I think most girls blaming this is because they are looking for a ‘reason’ as to why they aren’t losing weight outside of energy balance. However, hormonal imbalance is rarely the reason you are not seeing results.

Here’s how your metabolism can affect your gut and how hormonal issues could arise due to gut issues;

How your metabolism affects your gut

Studies have shown that those with a lowered basal metabolic rate (BMR) also have decreased digestive function. Whereas raised BMRs increase digestive function.

BMR is the number of calories your body needs to function at complete rest and includes things like breathing, keeping your heart beating, digestion, and how much energy your brain uses.

Women that have a history of yo-yo dieting or who have been following a long-term calorie-restricted diet will have some sort of metabolic down-regulation. In order to survive the body will reduce BMR to allow your body to function properly at rest on reduced calories. Interestingly, most women who have a lot of the above gut issues mentioned also have a history of calorie restriction.

We also know from the research that overfeeding (eating in a surplus of calories) can increase BMR as much as 50% which we know improves digestive function.

So, one of the best things to not only increase your metabolism but fix your gut issues… is to eat more!

How your gut affects your hormones

Our sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, DEHA, and progesterone) specifically are made from cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body and it is involved in a lot of metabolic, digestive, and hormonal processes. These hormones are created in other tissues (ovaries) by pulling cholesterol from the bloodstream and bringing into the organ to make the hormone.

All of our hormones are metabolized through our gut. So firstly, we need to make sure we are providing our body with the raw materials to make cholesterol (this comes from fat in our diet) in order to ensure all of our sex hormones are made and metabolized properly. So, if your cholesterol is low or high this is going to mean there is limited raw material to make these hormones.

This is why ensuring you are eating healthy, natural fats in your diet is going to be vital to ensuring we have the raw materials to make these hormones.

The gut microbiota also plays a crucial role in regulating circulating estrogen levels. And research is showing gut dysbiosis is now being linked to estrogen-related diseases (endometriosis and PCOS). Your gut microbiota can become comprised form serve calorie restriction, food sensitivities, parasites, pathogens, antibiotic use, and stress which may influence circulating estrogen levels and their ability to be metabolized and regulated in the body, which can lead to various health conditions.

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