Microbiome Affects Our Health and Hormones
You may think that your gut microbiome only impacts your digestion, but the truth is that it impacts your entire body, and imbalances can create systemic inflammation.
Your Gut Microbiome Impacts Your Whole Body
The microbiome includes bacteria that metabolize hormones like estrogen and testosterone and influence circulating hormone levels. The role of our digestive system is to break down the food we eat and obtain nutrients for our survival. Growing research is telling us that our digestive system is much more complicated than originally thought and it can impact our entire body through our gut microbiome.
The Microbiome and The Immune System
Most of our immune system is housed in our gut. Our gut microbiota interacts with our immune system to help shape immune response and modulate inflammatory responses throughout our bodies. So, if you are having joint pain, headaches, brain fog, or even anxiety and depression, your microbiome may be to blame.
The Microbiome and The Brain
When we eat, the bacteria in our gut consume dietary prebiotics, and then beneficial metabolites called postbiotics are produced. One postbiotic is called butyrate. It is a short-chain fatty acid that is beneficial to our systems and positively impacts our gut lining where it supports healthy glucose metabolism and crosses into our brain where it positively impacts mood and cognition. Other postbiotics produced by our gut include many B vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B2, B12, folate, vitamin K, and amino acids.
Our gut and brain communicate via the gut-brain access. The gut has its own nervous system known as the enteric nervous system. Our gut microbiome influences the health of our brain and mood through the production of neurotransmitters and other metabolites such as serotonin and GABA, which both help promote a calm mind and a happy mood. I've talked about psychobiotics before, but psychiatrists are actually starting to use these probiotics to help patients with anxiety and depression.
The Microbiome Impacts Your Hormones
The gut microbiome can impact estrogen, bone health, heart health, cellular reproductive health, and it can affect testosterone levels. In the microbiome test I use, we look at something called beta glucuronidase. This enzyme frees bound estrogen that is leaving the body via bowel movements and makes it available to reabsorb. Depending on what groups of bacteria are out of balance, leaky gut can modulate estrogen to be too low or too high.
The microbiome also has a bidirectional modulating relationship with progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol. As a result, an imbalance of our gut microbiome can influence several diseases and conditions, including polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, and cancer.
Test, Don't Guess
Digestive issues like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea are signs that your digestive system may not be working optimally. They can also point to an imbalance referred to as gut dysbiosis, or leaky gut. But it's also important to know that you can have chronic inflammation without digestive issues too. You may have anxiety, skin issues, autoimmune disorders, or weight loss resistance that are linked to a gut microbiome imbalance even without digestive symptoms. That's why I recommend testing instead of guessing.
If you're interested in learning more about the tests I offer, click below to schedule a free 45-minute call with me.
Your Microbiome and Weight Loss
If you're suffering with weight loss resistance, you may be low in one specific bacteria - akkermansia. We can find this out by doing an at-home stool test that measures all of the bacteria in your gut. With those test results, we can figure out exactly which probiotics you need to be on to increase the number of akkermansia.
We know that if you have a low amount of akkermansia, it gets harder and harder to lose weight, and you have an increased chance of developing diabetes. Low akkermansia can also lead to increased food and alcohol cravings. In one study, 90% of participants experienced reduced food cravings once their level of akkermansia was increased.
Improving Your Microbiome
Improving your microbiome starts with testing. We'll take a look at your microbiome so we know which bacteria you don't have enough of, and which ones you have too many of. If we see that you have pathogens like H. Pylori or an overgrowth of bacteria, also known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), the first thing we will do is use natural herbs and antimicrobials to remove them.
Then, I'll find the exact probiotic supplement that you need for your system along with increasing your consumption of prebiotics and soluble fiber. This can help your LDL levels (the "bad" cholesterol) and may help reduce your blood sugar levels because a balanced microbiome will slow the absorption of glucose so you don't have blood sugar spikes.
We'll also make sure you are eating the right foods for your microbiome and recommend the right supplements from high-quality sources.
Price Gouging in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Over the past 10 years, Bristol Meyers has increased their prices by 6% annually, leading to a 60% increase in medication prices. Big Pharma giants Bristol Meyers and Pfizer have spent over $1 billion in direct-to-consumer advertising since 2013 on their blood thinning drug called Eliquis while increasing its price by at least 6% over 10 years.
We see the same thing with Enbrel by Amgen. It is a rheumatoid arthritis drug that has increased in price by more than 700% since coming to the market while they've spent $662 million on direct-to-consumer advertising.