If you've read a few of my blogs, you know how important hormone balance is. Hormones hold the key to our well being. Far beyond regulating sex & cycles, they regulate sleep, metabolism, immunity, mood, and more. However, what causes hormones to become imbalanced to begin with. One of the most common causes of hormone imbalance is actually poor gut health.
Hormones work in connection with so many systems in the body that your gut is no exception. Hormones are metabolized (broken down) by the liver and excreted through feces. In this way, the gut is key in making sure hormones are eliminated properly (you literally poop out your metabolized hormones)!
Your intestines contain microbes assigned to assist in the metabolism of estrogen. This collection of microbes is called the estrabolome. When there are changes in the estrabolome, due to fluctuations in gut health, your body increases the production of an enzyme called beta glucuronidase. Beta glucuronidase acts like a pair of scissors, chopping the proteins off of estrogen that escort its out of the body. This allows estrogen to be recycled and can promote estrogen dominance.
Thyroid hormones are also sensitive to inflammatory changes in the gastrointestinal system. Problems with gut health can contribute to deficiencies of nutrients important for thyroid hormone production and activation. GI problems can also increase levels of inactive thyroid hormone, known as reverse T3, that can block the activity of active thyroid hormone.
If you want to heal your hormones, making sure you address gut health is key.