Gut Health and Hormone Connection Everyone in Menopause Should Know
The Secret to Managing Menopause Hormones Lies in Your Gut Health
Menopause has a PR problem. Rarely, if ever, do we hear about menopause being a positive or even manageable stage of a woman’s life. But most of us can easily name the symptoms associated with menopause: hot flashes, mood changes, sleep issues, anxiety and depression, and problems with digestion. For many women, menopause can feel like an inescapable sentence just waiting to be handed down. (1)
But what if menopause could be just another stage that we move through as women, something to prepare for, rather than something to dread? Believe it or not, the key to managing menopause hormones and symptoms lies in an unexpected place – your gut health! (1, 2)
The Gut Microbiome
Humans provide a home for microorganisms, mostly bacteria, about 90% of which live in the gut. There are more than 500 species of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract alone. The gut microbiome influences healthy digestion, immunity, and the body’s ability to fight off pathogens. (2)
The makeup of the microbiota in the gut can be influenced by a variety of factors, including: (2)
- alcohol use
- medications, particularly antibiotics
- environmental factors
When a healthy gut microbiome is disrupted, the effects can be far-reaching, as gut microbiota exert influence over hormones, immunity, and metabolism. Such a disruption may lead to issues with inflammatory, autoimmune, or malignant diseases. (2)
However, if we understand the gut microbiome, we can learn how to influence it. It’s possible to use gut health to influence our hormones and overall well-being! (1, 2)
How the Estrobolome Influences Estrogen
If we want to learn how to manage our hormones with our gut health, then it’s essential to first understand the estrobolome. The estrobolome is a specific group of gut bacteria that is responsible for metabolizing estrogen to maintain a proper hormonal balance. (1, 2)
When you over-metabolize estrogen, you end up with low levels of the hormone. This can lead to issues with your skin, hair, mood, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function. (1)
On the other hand, if you’re not metabolizing estrogen well enough, it doesn’t get broken down into a usable state. Instead, your body will reabsorb it and store it in tissue, where it becomes toxic. High estrogen levels can result in heavy bleeding, uterine fibroids, blood clots, cysts, breast tenderness, and lumps in the breasts. (1, 3)
Gut Health and Hormones
During menopause, the hormones progesterone and testosterone both tend to decline, while estrogen goes up and down. If the estrobolome isn’t able to properly metabolize estrogen, those levels stay high. This can lead to some of the more well-known menopause symptoms: irritability, anger, anxiety, and depression. It can also cause rising levels of the stress hormone cortisol. (1)
The good news is, with a healthy and functioning estrobolome, menopause symptoms don’t have to become overwhelming. Many of the same methods of supporting general gut health apply to the estrobolome, too. Read on to learn how to keep the estrobolome healthy and functioning properly! (1, 3)
4 Tips for Using Gut Health to Manage Hormones
1. Eat a Variety of Plants
Experts recommend eating a variety of plants to make your estrobolome health as robust as possible. Incorporating new fruits and vegetables, rather than the ones you’re used to eating, will encourage diversity in the bacteria and fungi in your gut. Plants contain many components that nourish the estrobolome, including fiber, pre- and probiotics, and polyphenols. (3)
If you’re having a hard time adding new types of plants to your diet, try some new recipes that include produce you don’t usually cook with. You can also try sneaking some new fruits and veggies into a smoothie.
By changing your diet, you can actually modify the makeup of bacteria in your gut (and estrobolome) in a few weeks. In the same amount of time, you should be able to experience the effects of a newly healthy estrobolome on your estrogen levels. (3)
2. Avoid Processed Foods and Sugar
Any gut health advice is going to warn you to stay away from processed foods and sugar. This is because they kill the healthy bacteria and fungi your estrobolome needs to metabolize estrogen. (3)
If you consume a lot of processed foods and sugar, try reducing their role in your diet gradually, replacing them with whole foods that you enjoy. You may be able to find more natural versions of foods you love at health food stores or in recipes you can make yourself.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting quality sleep consistently is one of the best ways to maintain gut health and a healthy estrobolome. This can be especially challenging during menopause, when sleep issues are common. (3)
If you’re having a hard time falling asleep at night, try putting away devices and dimming the lights an hour or two before bed. Limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening. Engage in a relaxing activity, like reading a book or taking a bath, and try to go to bed at the same time every night. And if you’re still having a hard time falling asleep, try not to stress about it! Remember that relaxing in your bed is also restful, and you’ll fall asleep eventually. (3)
4. Improve Menopause-Related Back Pain with Movement
Many women experience an increase in back pain as a symptom of menopause. Back pain can worsen other menopause symptoms, like irritability and trouble sleeping. (4)
Fortunately, there’s a new method designed to eliminate back pain. Back Pain Relief 4 Life is an alternative approach to treating pain that is far more successful (and cheaper) than radical, costly conventional procedures. The secret is a unique combination of 8 simple, daily movements, which most people have never seen before.
These 8 simple movements systematically address specific muscle imbalances – the real cause of back pain. And all you need is a place to lie down, a firm pillow or towel to put under your head, and a chair. That’s it. So that means you can do this just about anywhere. At home, in the office or even in a hotel room when you travel. And the best part is a complete session takes no more than 20 minutes per day. It easily fits into your schedule.
If you’re struggling with menopause-related back pain, don’t hesitate. Learn how the Back Pain Relief 4 Life program can address and eliminate your back pain issues.
Maintaining healthy estrogen levels is crucial for women’s health. While hormones and menopause symptoms may feel out of our control, the truth is that we have the power to influence them through our estrobolome. By maintaining our gut health, we can manage our hormones so they feel less unpredictable and more in our control.