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The Gut-Hormone Connection

When you think crazy hormones, your next thought is probably not “well maybe it’s my gut”. What does gut health have to do with hormones?!? Well you may not think they are directly connected but they are! It all has to do with an elimination channel in the body that can become wayward and lead to the reabsorption of hormones rather than excretion. Let’s walk through Entero-hepatic recirculation…


What does this mean?

  • Entero- relates to the intestines
  • Hepatic- relates to the liver

So it means the re-circulation of various substances through the intestines to the liver, in this case we are referring to re-circulating hormones.

One of the major ways your body regulates and controls your hormone balance is through ensuring that any excess estrogen, cortisol, thyroid hormones etc is metabolised by the liver, broken down and then released into the intestines via bile. This toxin & hormone filled bile is then mopped up by dietary fibres and swept through the colon. On it’s way out, beneficial bacteria complete the process of hormone elimination and ensure that minimal toxins or hormone particles are reabsorbed.

So where can this go wrong?

A few things can disrupt the rhythmic process of hormones removal. The main ones are…

  • An already sluggish liver- if your liver is overloaded processing life, it can end up with a backlog of toxins and hormones. In a nut shell, the liver is struggling to keep up with its detoxification load. Hormones and other junk are not being cleared fast enough or adequately. It’s like a stack of paper work you can never get through.
  • Constipation- if you’re pipes are clogged, the rest of your elimination channels become clogged. Remember the toxic biliary hormone juice that is trying to make its way through your gut and on out? Well if you are constipated, it can’t get out quickly enough and is more likely to be reabsorbed. Constipation is not always obvious, you may go every day but it may not be complete or enough for the amount of food you eat.
  • Low beneficial bacteria- we need our good bacteria to breakdown hormones and get rid of them. If they are low or your gut is overcrowded with candida, bad bacteria or parasites, they can’t do their job sufficiently and estrogens can be reabsorbed.

That brings us too…


So a few things may already be going on

  1. A sluggish liver
  2. Constipation
  3. Low good bacteria/ dysbiosis

At the centre of this is a little enzyme that may be causing a whole lot of chaos in your system. It doesn’t mean to. It’s just responding to the environmental conditions that it’s in. This little dude is found in the gut. It’s name is Beta Glucuronidase (BG).

It’s a love hate relationship. We love BG because it is required for the absorption of some important vitamins. We don’t love it so much because if it’s over-ramped it releases toxins and hormones from their conjugated bones (all that amazing work the liver did to try and clear them!) and thus allows reabsorption of them back into circulation. It is essentially gathering all the finished paper work and re-stacking it for the liver to have to deal with AGAIN! Argh!!! In the case of hormone crazy, the said paperwork is estrogen.

Why don’t we want too much estrogen?

Excessive estrogen levels are associated with…

  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS
  • Heightened response to stress
  • Sugar cravings
  • Candida overgrowth (thrush)
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Weight gain on abdomen, hips and thighs
  • Cellulite
  • Fluid retention and heaviness
  • Breast lumps, cysts
  • Estrogen sensitive cancers (e.g. breast/cervical)
  • Blood clots
  • Period pain
  • Heavy periods
  • Migraines
  • Man boobs in men

Basically most bad things you can think of to do with reproductive health and bad periods has an underlying estrogen dominant picture.


If you have been running around in circles for years tackling hormone imbalances, acne breakouts, heavy periods, painful periods, irregular cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, “infertility”, whatever it may be- if you have only tackled the hormone problem (e.g. gone on the pill, progesterone therapy, or taken hormone balancing herbs etc) without much improvement when you stop these Band-Aids…it’s time to consider GUT HEALTH INVESTIGATION.

Is it poor gut health, low good bacteria, intestinal infections, elevated beta glucuronidase or liver overload that is contributing to your hormone disarray??

Let’s find out…

A simple stool test sent off to the lab will give us a count of all the above and more to get to the root cause of hormone crazy land. Trust me, it’ll be a huge relief to finally resolve your hormone maze and have a targeted solution to the REAL problem.

By Lauren Campbell (Naturopath & Fertility Massage Therapist)

leave a comment

  1. thealife_admin23.02.18
    Hi Amanda, unfortunately I am not sure of who to direct you to in New Zealand however we do Skype consultations as an option if you would like our help in infertility and hormone imbalance. Please send us an email at
  2. Amanda Toebosch22.02.18
    Hi. Is there anyOne in nz you could put me in touch with. Have been struggling with unexplained infertility for a few years now and havn’t been able to find anyone that looks at the whole picture. Thanks amanda.
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