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The Real Cause of Premature Aging and Dull Skin

I’m not afraid to admit... I'm obsessed with good skin. After my work is done for the day and my daughter is asleep, going through my skin care ritual is how I wind down and relax. 

And I know I'm not the only one… Skin care sales have skyrocketed in the last year. 

But the truth is that there is a lot more to beautiful skin than expensive creams (or even an acupuncture facial… which I love). 

Good skin starts inside… and if you’re having skin issues like dryness, sagging and premature aging… as a practitioner, that puts up major red flags. Today, I want to explore the internal causes of common skin issues.

Good Skin Starts Within

You’ve heard this before I’m sure, but in our current skin-care obsessed world, it bears repeating: the foundation of beautiful, radiant skin is your internal health and well-being. 

Your skin care regimen can help, but if something is amiss internally, you’re going to see it on your skin and no amount of products can fix it.

There's actually a lot of good info on the internal link to acne. It seems like there is finally (!) some acceptance and understanding that acne is an internal issue, and usually related to hormones. (More on that here.)

But what most people don't know is that issues like premature aging, wrinkles, sagging skin, dryness, fine lines, discoloration etc… They all have an internal cause, too.

You’re not just getting old or overdue for a facial… there are real issues that could be causing these symptoms, and one of them is thyroid issues. 

The Thyroid-Skin Connection

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck that produces key hormones for the healthy functioning of the body: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). 

Women are 8x more likely than men to develop a thyroid issue… and a key symptom of thyroid issues is changes in skin. 

Thyroid dysfunction may present on the skin as:

  • Dryness and dullness
  • Rashes
  • Premature aging (sagging, wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity)
  • Cyclical acne 
  • Facial puffiness
  • Slow healing
  • Hyperpigmentation

That’s because the hormones produced by the thyroid are responsible for growth, energy, and repair of cells of the body. 

On top of these skin issues, thyroid dysfunction has tons of other subtle symptoms that you may have no idea are connected, like:

  • Feeling cold, or having cold hands/feet
  • Hair loss
  • Sudden weight loss OR weight loss resistance
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • And more

How Your Thyroid Messes With Your Skin

Thyroid dysfunction can either present as an overproduction of thyroid hormones or an underproduction.

Hyperthyroidism is an overproduction of thyroid hormones and is less common. It is caused by the autoimmune condition Graves’ disease, in which the body attacks the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, sensitivity to heat, and higher heart rate. In the skin, hyperthyroidism can cause:

  • Hyperpigmentation, like melasma, which is darkened patches of skin. This is caused by increased pituitary ACTH in compensation for cortisol being degraded and processed at an upregulated rate.

Hypothyroidism is the underproduction of thyroid hormones, and it is more common than hyperthyroidism. It can have many causes, including autoimmunity, which causes Hashimoto’s. Symptoms include weight gain, cold sensitivity, constipation, hair loss, fatigue, and these skin symptoms:

  • Slow cell turnover: if your thyroid hormone levels are low, you will have a lower rate of repair of cells all over your body - but it is especially noticeable in the skin cells, which should have a fast turnover rate. This might present as skin taking longer to heal, dullness (as the old layer of skin hangs out too long), or dry and flaky skin
  • Increased wrinkles and sagging: In those with hypothyroidism, a decrease was observed in type-IV collagen and hydroxyproline during the proliferative phase of wound healing. But collagen isn’t just for wound healing - it’s also what stops aging and sagging skin.
  • Puffiness: less thyroid hormones cause increased polysaccharides, which causes more water to be held in the skin, and also lowers mitochondrial respiration efficiency, causing poor blood circulation. All this = puffiness.
  • Hyperpigmentation: the exact mechanism isn’t well understood, but hyperpigmentation (dark marks and melasma) is also associated with hypothyroidism, probably due to reduced blood flow and slower cell turnover.

In addition to these, conditions like vitiligo and alopecia are also warning signs that the thyroid may be struggling. 

Save Your Skin!

If any of what I just described sounds like it could be affecting you… here’s what to do next:

Step 1: Get Your Thyroid Tested 

A specialized practitioner like myself or your general doc can order blood work to check for thyroid issues. But be sure to get a FULL thyroid panel: many docs only test T3 or T4, and exclude TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). 

I also recommend cortisol testing. Cortisol is the “stress hormone”and it is closely linked to thyroid function. 

If you have mild thyroid dysfunction, just making some key lifestyle changes may be all you need.

For more severe thyroid issues, I highly recommend working with a trained practitioner (book a free consult with my team here.) Treating thyroid issues is multifaceted, and you likely don’t need to be on thyroid meds the rest of your life. 

At-Home Ways To Support a Healthy Thyroid

  • Switch to natural products, many of the chemicals - PCBs, Phthalates, BPA, flame retardants and more -  used in conventional beauty and home products can actually harm thyroid health. Switch them out for natural alternatives. (There are so many great, clean skin care brands now!)
  • Remove processed foods both to lower your toxin exposure and to give your body the nutrients it needs for healing
  • Prioritize good sleep 
  • Detox if needed - especially consider your exposure to heavy metals, mold, parasites, and chemicals. Some of my favorite detox-supporters are saunas!
  • Exercise to promote healthy cortisol levels
  • Find healthy stress outlets
  • Try ashwagandha - this herb can help manage cortisol levels 

And if you have any signs of autoimmune-related thyroid issues, like Graves’s disease, or a coexisting condition like rosacea, alopecia, vitiligo, or eczema - you might need more specialized support and guidance. Consider booking a free consult with my team here. 

Thyroid Tests Normal?

Thyroid issues are one potential cause of premature aging and other skin issues, but they aren’t the only potential underlying cause. If your thyroid function is normal, here are some other potential causes I would want to investigate:

  • Leaky gut
  • Oxidative stress
  • Toxicity
  • Genetic (but don’t worry  -this doesn’t mean you’re doomed, just what you need to work with your genetic predispositions)
  • Poor nutrition and lifestyle habits 

And you might have several of these factors happening at the same time - that’s when working with an experienced practitioner who can tease it all apart and help you manage each piece becomes so valuable. 

Get Help With Your Skin Health

If you’ve tried all the serums and moisturizers… and you’re still not happy with the way your skin looks, it might be time to dig a little deeper. 

My practice specializes in working with women with gut, hormone, and fertility issues, and we’d love to support you, too!

>>>> Click here to schedule a no-obligation, free consult

Woman with clear face with no acne

The REAL Meaning Behind Adult Acne (And How To Get Rid of It For Good)- Part Two

In Part One of this post, I explained the link between PCOS and adult acne. I also explained why PCOS is misunderstood and underdiagnosed. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you go back and read Part One here. In Part Two, I’ll explain how I help women address adult acne and PCOS in my clinic.

How I Help Women With Adult Acne

Whether or not you have a clinical diagnosis of PCOS, adult acne is almost always related to hormone imbalance. In my clinic, I use a multi-faceted approach to treating hormone imbalances.

Step 1 is always proper testing to determine exactly what type of hormone imbalance you’re dealing with - there is no “one size fits all” treatment, so proper testing is critical to healing. Every woman I work with recieves a customized plan for healing based on her test results, symptoms, and lifestyle - but there are some general recommendations I start with for many women:


  • Optimize Your Diet For Hormone Health
  • Nurture Your Microbiome
  • Lower Stress
  • Promote Ovulation
  • The Right Skin Care Routine


Optimize Your Diet For Hormone Health

You don’t need to go on a no-carb diet or severely restrict to optimize your diet for healthy hormones (in fact, that is probably the worst thing you can do!). Start with balancing your blood sugar and insulin. Almost all women with PCOS (regardless of weight) show some signs of insulin resistance.

You can counteract this and get back to healthy blood sugar by:

  • Optimizing the amounts and types of carbs you eat. (It’s not about cutting carbs completely. Instead, eat more whole-food carbs, fewer processed carbs.)
  • Moving more! It doesn’t have to be in the gym - walk more, hike, dance, swim, just stay active throughout the day.
  • Using key supplements. The exact supplements and doses matter, so work with a pro to add in things like inositols, d-pinitol, curcumin, chromium, and berberine - if they are right for you.

Key nutrients for healing acne are:

  • Vitamin A - natural sources are cod liver oil, liver, pastured egg yolks.
  • Zinc - zinc has been shown to clear acne as effectively as antibiotics! It also interacts positively with Vitamin A. Dietary sources are organ meats, beef and lamb, oysters and scallops.
  • Omega-3 fats - These fats are anti-inflammatory and reduce your skin’s reactivity to UV light, too. EPA and DHA are the best sources - find them in fatty fish or a high-quality supplement.

You should also consider cutting dairy from your diet. I don’t like to make blanket dietary suggestions, but for women with acne and PCOS, cutting dairy is almost always helpful.

Here’s why: there is a hormone in milk (from cows, goats, sheep, and camels) called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which mimics insulin in our body. IGF-1 is a growth hormone (which makes sense, as milk is for baby animals!).

In most people, a little dairy here and there can be well-tolerated -  humans have a binding protein for IGF-1 that inactivates it. But for women with PCOS or hormonal imbalance who already are likely to be insulin-resistant or have high insulin, the added burden of IGF-1 can be a problem. This is amplified because women with PCOS have LESS of the binding protein for IGF-1 and higher IGF-a levels than other people do, too. And the ovaries of women with PCOS are more sensitive to IGF-1 (and other growth hormones), too.

IGF-1 can also cause your ovaries to overproduce testosterone (an androgen) - which is something we’re trying to minimize.

Not only all of that - but IGF-1 also increases sebum production and inflammation in the skin - sebum is oil on your skin - and encourages new cell growth. As new cells grow, old ones die and are shed.This means more oil and old skin cells potentially clogging pores and causing acne.

For all of these reasons I do recommend you try cutting out dairy if you’re dealing with PCOS or acne. Grass-fed butter and ghee are OK to keep in, as they are almost entirely fat and don’t contain much, if any, IGF-1.

Nurture Your Microbiome

A healthy microbiome is critical for both hormone health and lowering overall inflammation to help calm your skin.

The right gut flora is a main player in regulating your hormones, especially your estrogen levels. If you have too much of the wrong bacteria, the result can be increased estrogens in circulation.

Eating a whole-foods-based diet and taking probiotics are obvious ways to care for your microbiome - but if you’re already doing that and still having gut issues, I highly recommend advanced stool testing. Common gut infections like Blastocystis hominis, H. pylori, candida, and staph or strep overgrowth in the gut correlate to acne in patients. There is also a huge connection between Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), candida, and acne - especially rosacea.

Endotoxins released into the bloodstream by a leaky gut (aka increased intestinal permeability) are also a major cause of inflammation in the body and can impact the skin, too.

Lower Stress

This is the advice everyone hates - but it is the MOST important step toward achieving long-term health.

The reason people hate the advice to lower their stress is because they feel like most of their stressors are outside their control (bills, deadlines, work, family drama!) - but the truth is that there are many small steps you CAN control that can help reduce the burden of stress on your body.

Some simple but powerful things you can start doing right now:

  • Get quality sleep - that means going to bed with 7-8 hours before you have to wake
  • Avoid blue light after sunset  - get the glasses, change the settings on your phone, and dim the lights inside
  • Start a daily meditation/gratitude practice - just 5-10 minutes can set the tone for your entire day

Promote Ovulation

Supplementation should always be done only after proper testing and consulting with a practitioner. That being said, there are supplements that can support and promote ovulation that I use with my patients:

  • Flaxseed and DIM to address excess estrogen
  • Saw palmetto, reishi, pygeum, zinc, white peony/licorice, and green tea to slow the conversion of estrogen to testosterone
  • Vitex (aka chasteberry)  to support Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian signalling and progesterone production.
  • Adrenal and thyroid support, as needed (this is why you need proper testing!)

The Right Skin Care Routine

A pimple here or there  - or a bad breakout after you use a new face wash - is potentially a topical issue. That means it has to do with what you’re putting on to your skin from the outside, externally. But most cases of adult acne are more a result of internal imbalances (like we’ve been talking about in this article).


That being said, what you put on your skin still matters. Don’t use harsh products externally on your skin. Instead, try more simple options. I love:

  • Mother Dirt spray (promotes a healthy skin bacteria)
  • NERD skincare system
  • Homemade masks with Manuka honey, tea tree oil, turmeric powder, and apple cider vinegar 

This Is A Whole-Body Issue

I hope you take away this key point from this article: acne is a whole-body issue, not just a skin thing!

Whether you have PCOS or not, if you have adult acne, it is a sign that something isn’t working right in your body. From gut issues to hormone imbalances, there are multiple overlapping, underlying causes that could be causing your skin troubles.


But, I also hope you now understand that PCOS is underdiagnosed and misunderstood - and it could be affecting you.


Once I discovered that truth, I was finally on my way to #clearskineveryday (not to mention better moods, healthy monthly cycles, & healthier hair and nails!).


I’m passionate about helping women uncover the root causes of their health problems and address them naturally. If you’re dealing with adult acne, I’d love for you to book a free 20-minute root cause symptom analysis  consultation with my team. These appointments are TOTALLY free, and there’s no obligation to book any further appointments. See what time slots we have open here.


Woman sitting on swing over valley

Why Your Gut Health and Microbiome Make-or-Break Your Hormone Balance

Acne worse than puberty, ten pounds that won’t budge, a period-induced mood swing that turns you into a totally different person-- these are sure signs your hormones are out of whack. The solution to hormone problems like these seems obvious: Fix your hormones.

But what if I told you that the first step to balanced, happy hormones (and clear skin, easy, regular periods, a healthy weight, and even-keeled moods) isn’t about estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone?

I’m going to let you in on a big secret about female hormones: They never break in isolation.

What does that mean? Simply that if something is not right with your hormones, it’s a sure sign that something ELSE is not working right in your body that is causing the hormone problems. If you’re having symptoms caused by imbalanced hormones, we have to do more than just treat the symptoms - and we even have to do more than just treat the hormone imbalance. (Prescribing artificial hormones is NOT the answer).

We have to go back even further and find out: What caused the hormone imbalance in the first place?

Finding and addressing the root cause of your hormone imbalance is the MOST important step to achieving hormone balance for life.

And 9 times out of 10, when we do the careful detective work to find the real root cause behind hormone imbalance, it’s actually related to gut health.

I know it sounds a little odd at first - but the health of our gut is actually closely tied to our hormone health. In this post, I’m going to explain the link between our gut and hormone health, and what you can do to optimize both.

The Gut-Hormone Dream Team

The gut and our hormones are meant to be in communication. They support each other and work together to make our body run smoothly. In fact, our intestinal cells have special receptors for hormones that allow them to detect hormonal shifts.

It’s intuitive that our hormone and gut interact, too - even women with symptom-free periods will report noticing slight changes in their bowel patterns before and during their menstrual cycle.

Both estrogen and progesterone impact gut motility & peristalsis - the rhythmic movement of the intestines that moves food from your stomach down through your intestines and eventually out of your body. Estrogen and progesterone play opposing roles in motility. Progesterone slows down motility in the gut by relaxing smooth muscle and slowing transit time (the time it takes for food to move out of your body). Even women without IBS or other digestive issues are more likely to feel mildly constipated, or just more “full” during the week prior to the period, when progesterone levels peak.

Estrogen, on the other hand, increases contractions of the smooth muscle in the intestines. When estrogen levels are just right, this helps keeps things moving. Estrogen also increases the diversity of your microbiome, which is a good thing for immune health. Estrogen levels drop off suddenly, twice, during a normal menstrual cycle: once right before ovulation, and again just prior to your period starting. This can cause spasm and fast motility in the digestive tract, which can cause diarrhea at these times (even in healthy women). For the same reason (sudden, dramatic drops in estrogen levels), this can also happen during perimenopause and menopause, too.

Pregnant women experience an increase in progesterone in early pregnancy and then again in the third trimester - this is responsible for the constipation so many women experience during pregnancy. The excess progesterone can also cause the sphincter in the upper GI tract to loosen, leading to heartburn and reflux.

When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, you’ll tend to have normal motility most of the time - neither constipation or diarrhea. (Unless you also have some gut infections like SIBO, Candida, or parasites….then you could still have constipation.)

The Estrobolome

Our gut and hormones do more than just “talk”-- your gut microbiome also regulates estrogen. The estrogen-regulating function of specific bacteria in the microbiome is called the “estrobolome.”

The estrobolome is really important to keeping healthy estrogen levels in the body -- but to understand why, you need to know how the estrogen cycle works. Here’s how it happens in a healthy system:

  1. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries (but also in the adrenal glands and adipose tissue to a lesser extent)
  2. Estrogens circulate in the blood, making their way to tissues in the breasts, brain, bones, uterus and elsewhere
  3. Eventually, the estrogens travel to the liver, where they are broken down and deactivated
  4. Detoxified estrogens are deposited in bile which is secreted into the intestines, and exits the body with the stool.  


Path of estrogen

So, where does the gut come in? The gut - or more specifically, the estrobolome - regulates the amount of estrogens circulating in the bloodstream through the creation of β-glucuronidase, an enzyme which breaks down estrogen into to its “free”, or biologically active form.  

But that isn’t all the gut does - it can also create its own estrogen, too!

Bacteria can manufacture estrogen-like compounds from foods that we eat. For example, lignans, found in plants like flax seeds, are converted into estrogen-like compounds when acted on by bacteria in the gut. On their own, they don’t have any hormonal properties, but once converted the can either promote uptake of our own more potent estrogens into receptor sites, or can compete for the same receptor sites,.   

Newer research also suggests that the microbiome (and also specific types of probiotics) can produce its own estrogen and also signal glands around the body to produce it. We don’t yet fully understand exactly which strains of bacteria are responsible for all of these hormone modulating roles, but we do know that we want good overall proliferation, and greater species diversity.

When Things Go Wrong

The gut and your hormones are closely linked. You can see that both the gut and the hormone systems depend of each other to work properly - and when something goes wrong with either one, it spells trouble for the other.

Problems in the gut-hormone relationship usually start with the gut - but once the delicate balance is thrown off, it’s hard to know where to pin the blame. Imbalanced hormones cause gut problems, and gut problems cause imbalanced hormones.

Here are just some of the ways gut problems can lead to hormone imbalance:

Leaky Gut Syndrome: Leaky Gut Syndrome (aka Increased Intestinal Permeability) occurs when the tight junctions between cells in the intestine become “leaky” and allow toxins called LPS (which are fragments of dead bacterial cell walls) to pass from the intestine, into the bloodstream, and circulate through the body. It sounds crazy, but it’s actually common and causes a wide range of symptoms.

If you have leaky gut syndrome (with or without symptoms), you are more vulnerable to developing hormonal imbalances. Why? Because leaky gut causes widespread inflammation throughout the body. LPS is known to cause inflammation in any tissue that it comes into contact with, and in the ovaries, the result is suppressed progesterone production. (Women with higher levels of LPS in the blood had elevated markers of inflammation in fluid inside the ovary (follicular IL-6), and correspondingly low progesterone production.)

Studies show that infections, allergic reactions, being born by cesarean section, and even chronic stress can all cause inflammation in the gut, as well. And inflammatory conditions like obesity and inflammatory bowel disease are associated with disrupted menstrual cycles and infertility.

If you’re not having digestive symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, you may think you don’t have leaky gut syndrome - but leaky gut may not show up as digestive symptoms, depending on the person. Even without digestive symptoms, the “silent” inflammation caused by leaky gut affects nearly every other aspect of health - especially our hormones.

Gut Dysbiosis: Your intestines are filled with trillions of bacteria, fungi, and even some viruses, that are all collaborating to keep your system running smooth and healthy. These bacterial cells and their genes are called your microbiome, and they live not just inside the intestines, but on every surface of your body, from your skin, to your eyes, your lungs, vaginal walls, and bladder. When the microbiome gets disturbed and the type or number of bacteria is damaged, we call it gut dysbiosis.

Along with your brain, your microbiome regulates the expression of your hormones, and can restrict or promote hormone production elsewhere in the body. The bacteria in your microbiome are like air-traffic control for hormones. In addition to signalling other glands in the body to dial up or down the volume on hormone production, your gut flora regulate hormone metabolism post-production, by either helping (or hindering) detoxification of already-used hormones, when they are being cleared from your system to make way for new fresh hormones.

To work properly, your microbiome needs the right bacteria, in the right amount. When the type or number of bacteria gets messed up (from something like poor diet & stress, an infection or parasite, or even just a course of antibiotics) your gut can no longer perform it’s hormone-regulating functions properly.

Increasing reactions to food, bloating, skin outbreaks, constipation, stubborn weight that won’t budge despite your best efforts, and even heavy periods— can all be signs that your microbiome is compromised and you’re unable to properly metabolize hormones like estrogen in the gut. Ultimately, this causes a build up of hormones in your system, which shows up as worsening of your PMS, period symptoms, or menopausal symptoms, and leaves you bloated and moody.

Estrobolome Dysfunction: Remember, the estrobolome are the specific bacteria in the microbiome responsible for regulating estrogen in the body through the production of the enzyme β-glucuronidase. Disruption of the estrobolome are really a type of dysbiosis. The estrobolome can be damaged in the same way the rest of the microbiome gets hurt: common triggers are stress, poor diet, and especially antibiotic use.

If the estrobolome bacteria become overgrown, the result is too much beta-glucuronidase being made. This causes already-detoxified estrogen to be reabsorbed and recirculated, in really high levels. This leads to a state of estrogen dominance. And estrogen dominance creates all kinds of chaos - PMS, cramps, fibroids and cysts, endometriosis, PCOS, heavy bleeding, infertility, a zapped sex drive, and weight gain. And of course, it can increase the risk of certain types of breast and uterine cancers.

And while it’s clear that we don’t want gut bacteria producing too much  beta-glucuronidase enzyme, we actually don’t want them under-producing it either! When women have extremely low microbial diversity or even just extremely low levels of bacteria in the gut (think: excessive antibiotic use), the decrease in beta-glucuronidase causes a reduction in circulating free estrogens. Excess estrogen isn’t a good thing, but insufficient estrogen levels, especially in post-menopausal women, isn’t good for our health either! Estrogen is critical for maintaining healthy brain cognition, bone density, gut health, and cardiovascular health.

It isn’t just these gut problems that could be causing your hormone issues. The gut-hormone connection is a two-way street: here are some of the ways imbalanced hormones can wreak havoc on your gut health:

  • Gallstones - women get gallstones twice as often as men! Estradiol (one of the types of estrogen) increases cholesterol levels in bile produced in the liver. (Cholesterol is the building block of our reproductive hormones, so when they are detoxified and broken down, cholesterol is released.) This increased saturation slows bile flow, which can lead to more stone formation.
  • Leaky Gut - While inflammation caused by leaky gut can lead to hormone imbalances, low estrogen levels can also contribute to leaky gut. The epithelial layer of the intestinal wall needs estrogen to and keep it healthy and elastic. Leaky gut has been associated  development of food sensitivities, autoimmune diseases, weight gain, acne, depression and anxiety, as well as almost every chronic illness you can think of.
  • IBS - researchers know that estrogen and progesterone levels have an impact on the development of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Symptoms of IBS include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, pain, and food intolerances.

Here’s the bottom line: if you want healthy hormones, you have to fix your gut!

Healthy Gut, Healthy Hormones

We know that we need a healthy gut to get healthy hormones - but what messed up your gut in the first place?

It’s a fair question, and not always easy to unravel. These are the most common causes for gut problems I see in my clinic - but there are many more (and most people have more than one contributing!)

Antibiotics: A single dose of the antibiotic Augmentin can kill off up to 90% of your gut flora - and most people are prescribed a 5-day course! Gut flora will regrow, (although it can take up to a year) but what types take hold and flourish impacts every aspect of our health. Generally we lose lactic-acid-producing species (like L. Acidophilus) first. This causes pH to go up in the intestines. Good colonic bacteria flourish in a more acidic environment, so in a less acidic environment, unfavorable strains can grow.  

Toxins: Pesticides, herbicides, glyphosate from GMO corn and other foods, environmental chemicals, infections, and even stress can negatively shift the microbiome.

Diet: Eating a diet low in fermentable fibers and resistant starches (found in veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains) will also decrease bacterial diversity. Dairy, sugar, and gluten are major culprits in promoting bacterial imbalances.

The Pill: Contraceptive pills damage your microbiome as much as antibiotics do! The pill is known to promote candida overgrowth and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) as well. Recent research has linked oral contraceptive use to development of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, too.  

The good news is there is a lot we can do to support better gut health - leading to better hormone health.

The best ways to support a healthy microbiome for healthy hormones, is through a diverse whole food diet, optimizing digestion, and taking steps to lower inflammation.

  • Eat fermented foods - Sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, etc.
  • Eat prebiotics/fiber - Found in root vegetables, flax seed, psyllium, beans, seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies. Women who eat more fibers from plants clear greater levels of estrogen in their stool.
  • Take probiotics - In particular, Lactobacillus Acidophilus helps lower beta-glucuronidase!
  • Optimize the environment of your digestive tract so good bacteria flourish there - This is similar to prepping the soil in your garden beds. Digestive secretions like pancreatic enzymes, stomach acid, and bile help optimize the conditions in the gut to promote the desirable bacteria. Taking these supplementally if you are deficient can help prime the gut for healthy colonization.

Get Your Gut & Hormones Humming

Every woman’s health is unique - but if a woman is having hormone symptoms, it almost always comes back to gut health! Heavy periods, adult acne, and PMS may not seem like they are related to your gut, but they so often are! That’s why I always test and treat the gut alongside hormone balance problems in my clinic.

Remember, our hormones don’t break in isolation! It’s almost always a sign of a problem somewhere else in the body. If you are struggling with your hormones, don’t forget to consider your gut health!

I hope this article and my suggestions for optimizing gut health help you. Need more help unraveling the root cause of your hormone issues? Want to run the right testing, so that you can really know for certain, what’s going on with your hormones and gut? I love to help women like you get back to radiant health so they can live big!  If you’re interested in learning more about how I do this, you can book a free 20-minute prospective patient call here.