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3 Ways High Estrogen Can Cause Gut Issues

Video Transcript:

Have you ever questioned if your hormones are actually causing some of your gut issues? Now, so many times we're blaming our gut issues on something we ate and had a heck of a time trying to figure out.

But if you're a woman and you've been struggling with bloating or constipation or diarrhea, then this blog is for you because I'm going to discuss three ways that high estrogen can actually affect our guts and cause some of those issues you might be experiencing.

But first, my name is Marcie Vaske, and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. So I do see a lot of women and men, actually that struggle with constipation or diarrhea or bloating, gas, acid reflux, you name it, I see it.

And so, that sounds like you or someone you know, you can easily make an initial appointment with me or Katie. And we've both been trained and well-educated on gut health.

Also, if you're kind of a person who likes to do things by themselves or just learn more information, you can download our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve Your Gut Health. So now let's jump into the topic today of, how are your hormones creating some of your gut issues.

High Estrogen: The Connection Between Hormones and Gut Health

High Estrogen: The Connection Between Hormones and Gut Health

Hormones and Guts

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More and more research is actually indicating that our hormones and guts are pretty, pretty much connected, and showing that some of these symptoms that we're experiencing actually play a big role in our hormones.

There is actually a study done in 2019 that showed that women actually have twice as high rate, of bloating as men, and also they struggle with a higher amount of severity of their symptoms as men.

And also, one study found that most people experience some GI symptoms when they have their period or around their period.

And the reason for that is that our two sex hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, play a big role in our menstrual cycle.

Now, of course, there's a myriad of factors that play into digestive symptoms and function, but today we're just going to talk about one factor, and that is the female hormones and the connection to some of these gut issues we might be experiencing.

Now, we know our hormones are involved in nearly every bodily function, but what's interesting is that our gut and our hormones have a symbiotic relationship. So this symbiotic relationship means that if there are hormone imbalances it is oftentimes the effect of gut imbalances.

Now, the reason for this is because our gut actually produces certain hormones and then communicates to the rest of our body of that certain hormones need to be either generated or released.

So when your hormones or your gut are imbalanced, this actually creates a domino effect that has a great impact on the rest of your health and your well-being.

Now what happens is that before your period arrives, estrogen and progesterone actually take a dip, and then once your period actually ends, estrogen starts to increase again. And so these hormonal fluctuations can cause more digestive upset.

And if you have struggled already with irritable bowel syndrome, sometimes these symptoms can be really much more severe.

So if you usually have constipation, you might be even more constipated, more diarrhea, more bloating, all of those types of symptoms.

But how are estrogen and the gut related?

If you menstruate regularly, your estrogen will ebb and flow throughout the month. This is very normal, but if your estrogen is fluctuating way too high and then way too low, this can cause bloating.

And you'll if you watch the pattern, you might be noticing that you're experiencing it pretty much like clockwork every month. So right after we actually ovulate, estrogen takes a big dive down.

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If you're experiencing bloating, or extreme bloating in those two weeks prior to your period, this is an indication that you might be having higher estrogen levels.

Now, higher estrogen levels can be different every month, or sometimes for people, they just naturally have higher ones due to different imbalances in other hormones. Or we have what we call Xenoestrogens, creating that higher estrogen load on our body.

Now, not only does high estrogen kind of equate to bloating, but you also might feel like you're really holding a lot of water. So having water retention issues, and most times that we have high estrogen levels, we may even have looser stools.

So you may maybe end up running to the bathroom more often, just more indication that you have a high estrogen situation going on.

Now, another way that our estrogen and hormones are related to our gut is as we go through the process of or, which can start as young as 36, 35, and you may be in perimenopause for 10 or 15 years before you even go into menopause.

That means a lot of hormonal changes. But if you are experiencing gut issues, this may be a reason why because your hormones are already starting to get out of balance.

Another indication of this is sometimes what happens is that when they start changing, our bile, which is stored in our gallbladder, becomes a little bit more concentrated or sluggish.

And so we end up feeling after we eat a meal, maybe fuller than we should normally feel like you kind of feel like it's not digesting. This can be because the bile isn't being put into the stomach like it should be upon eating and helping you digest those foods.

So some women, as they're going through these hormonal changes or just have imbalanced hormones in general, if you're younger than that, will have more, maybe reflux, indigestion. And so just another indication that your hormones may need a little support.

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Now, another way that estrogen actually impacts our gut is because we have receptors for estrogen in our small intestine and in our stomach. So if we have too high of estrogen or even too low of estrogen, we're going to have some gut symptoms.

If you have too high of estrogen, typically, you'll start feeling like you're having more diarrhea because it is contracting the colon. And if you have too low of estrogen, oftentimes you have more constipation. And so things are really slowing down.

So you can see how estrogen has multiple facets or factors into causing some of our GI symptoms. So I think it's important.

And the reason I share this with you today is that you can start really patterning out your digestive issues instead of it maybe just being all about food that you might be consuming or high stress that you might be in.

It could be that your hormones are changing, and they need to get into a better balance. Calming down your gut, everything is a cycle in our body. It's just crazy that way. And so if one thing is impacted, and just like I spoke today, the gut and the hormones really work symbiotically.

So I hope this helps shed some light on hormones and gut issues, and whatever you choose to do, I think it is important to do what feels right to you.

We at Oswald Digestive Clinic definitely work with women, who are in hormonal imbalanced, and get things back on track and help them feel well overall. Have a great day.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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