Hormones can really drive you crazy.
You may feel you have zero no control over the headaches, bloating, exhaustion and moodiness that can come with hormonal shifts.
You’re right; there is someone else in control of your hormones, and her name is bacteria.
There are trillions of bacteria in your gut (1) and they are busy either keeping your hormones in balance or helping your hormones fail you.
There is a lot happening in your gut. My instructor, Reed Davis, used to say, “the gut is more like a party than a tube.” So let's learn a bit about the gut and how it's helping or harming your health as a woman.
What a Healthy Gut Party Looks Like
Friendly bacteria are hanging out on healthy villi (the shag carpets that line the gut.)
Fresh, whole foods, including fats and fiber, are being served at the party, and your bacterial guests are loving the menu.
They are snacking on your appetizers and living it up, and actually producing things like B vitamins and antioxidants as a result.
They spill amino acids and fat globules onto the villi carpet, but those nutrients pass right through and your body manufactures healthy hormones out of them.
There are a few questionable characters at the party but the friendly bacteria are keeping an eye on them and will put them in check as needed (this is called quorum sensing.)
Every morning the party room is swept clean and the guests are ready when new healthy food is served.
What an Unhealthy Gut Party Looks Like
- There are not many friendly bacteria in attendance, and instead, some thugs are dominating the show.
This seedy environment allows for bigger bad guys, like parasites, to feel comfortable to join in, and some low-level suck-ups by the name of Candida Albicans also take advantage.
There are certainly no healthy snacks being served, and instead, the constant influx of sugar and processed foods is giving these bullies more strength.
There are fewer nutrients being made, and less being absorbed because the poor shaggy carpet villi are all stepped on and flattened.
The room is never swept and the rude guests never want to leave (constipation), unless the cops scare them out (diarrhea).
This sad situation allows toxins and estrogens to recirculate back into your body.
The released toxins may be stored in your fat tissue to be dealt with later, and this increased fat tissue makes even more estrogen, leading to further imbalance.
With all this confusion, the brain does not know what hormones to make and ends up making less.
Would you like a better idea of what's happening in your gut?
Take the first step with our free “Is a Gut Infection Causing My Hormonal Imbalance?" quiz below.
We offer private coaching, which can include lab testing for gut infections, through our online clinic with our team of functional nutrition coaches. If you are interested in learning more, please complete this application.