In Naturopathy we often say that hormone conditions are just a symptom of a gut health issue. This certainly makes sense in autoimmune hormone conditions, like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, given that all autoimmune conditions start with a leaky gut.
However, what about things like endometriosis? Absolutely gut health plays a role!
And, side note, endometriosis and PCOS are beginning to be looked at as having an autoimmune component. Fascinating, right?!
Now, today I want to focus on your microbiome specifically. If you don't know, your microbiome is, essentially it is the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic organisms that quite literally share our body space. It begins to develop when we are a foetus in the womb and continues to develop and change throughout our lifetime.
In fact, estrobolome’s main role is to metabolise oestrogen! It modulates the enterohepatic circulation of oestrogens, impacts both the circulating and the excreted oestrogen and produces something called beta-glucuronidase.
Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme that breaks the bond between oestrogen and glutathione. Now remember, glutathione is the master detoxifier -- it is the big guns. It binds with oestrogen to eliminate oestrogen that isn’t needed.
You need oestrogen and glutathione to stay bound. But, if your beta-glucuronidase levels are elevated, then this bond is going to be broken, leaving oestrogen unbound...which means it can then bind with oestrogen receptors and get reabsorbed rather than eliminated as it should. Not good is it?!
Ensuring you support a healthy microbiome full of good bacteria is vital because the type of bacteria in your gut will determine how much beta-glucuronidase the estrobolome produces.
If you start making too much beta-glucuronidase, then you are likely to experience oestrogen dominance. Some of the signs and symptoms of oestrogen dominance include:
Breast tenderness or fibrocystic breasts
Weight or fat gain
Brain fog...And more!
Oestrogen dominance puts you more at risk for things like endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids and oestrogen dependent cancers, like breast, cervical and ovarian cancers.
There are many things you can do to rebalance your hormone levels, but for today, look at supporting your microbiome!