Did you ever think that your low thyroid, plummeting libido, insulin resistance and estrogen dominance could be related to an overgrowth of “gut bugs”? It might seem like a stretch, but let’s follow the train back to the station.
Hormone Trouble Means Blood Sugar Instability
Hormones, of course, aren’t limited to testosterone and estrogen. You have hormones to stimulate or curb appetite, rev up or slow down metabolism, spark or curtail growth, ignite or dampen stress, and even wake you up or put you to sleep. Many of these hormones are fat-soluble. But even those that aren’t still need essential fatty acids for their construction. So a low-fat diet means trouble for hormones. The truth is that in almost every instance of hormone imbalance, the body is burning sugars not fats. Let me put that another way: if your hormones are bonkers, so are your blood sugars! When there’s a deficiency of essential fatty acids, there’s usually a surplus of sugars.
Blood Sugar Imbalance Can Indicate High Cortisol Levels
Sure, you could be eating too many carbs (dietary cause), or not digesting and absorbing the natural fats that you do eat (physiological cause). But in today’s world, there’s often a chemical cause of high blood sugars: stress! That’s right, your stress hormone, cortisol, raises blood sugars! It was designed that way to give you the energy to fight or flee in an emergency. So, chances are that if your hormones are cock-eyed, you also have a fair amount of stress in your life driving blood sugars up on a consistent basis.
Not All Stress is Emotional
In the world of nutritional therapy, anything that throws your body out of kilter is a stress because it requires energy to re-establish equilibrium, or homeostasis – meaning stability of the body. Very common triggers in your gut for increased physiological stress and cortisol output are:
- food sensitivities.
- an overgrowth of yeast, bacteria, or parasites, or in other words, gut bugs.
Because the American diet is low on pre-biotic and probiotic foods, and because most of us have had several rounds of anti-biotics that kill beneficial microbes as well as the disease organism they’re targeting, and because we have so many emotional triggers that shut down blood flow and oxygen to the digestive system, it is almost universal to have a gut full of opportunistic pathogens, draining your energy and causing your body to respond in alarm as it tries to maintain homeostasis.
Treat the Cause
Suppose you have leptin resistance, meaning your cells don’t respond to the hormone to eat less and burn more. You could try to address the leptin sensitivity itself. But as long as your cortisol output is still high, any treatment you adopt is going to be short-lived. And if cortisol is high because your gut bugs are out of control, the only lasting solution is to address the bugs themselves.
It is wise to work with a nutritional therapist, who can follow clues to determine what is contributing to your blood sugar imbalance. A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner can test supplements against your body to find out which ones work and which ones don’t, so you avoid wasting money on treatments that aren’t helpful. Just remember that the hormone issue is really the tip of the iceberg. For true healing, you have to investigate underlying causes.