by Karen Langston
Different Experiences In A Women’s Lifecycle
Throughout a woman’s lifespan, she deals with menstruation, childbirth, fluctuating hormones from puberty to menopause, and everything in between. She experiences the effects of birth control; vaginal irritations; urinary tract, bacterial and yeast infections; and uncontrollable moods swings. Honestly, I do not understand how we keep our sanity.
After rearing children, women are rewarded with everlasting hot flushes, mood swings, increased risks for breast cancer, unnecessary hysterectomies, uterine fibroids, prolapsed uterus, mesh surgeries and bladder leakage. Women, is this what we have to look forward to in our golden years?
We’re all in this together, so why are women suffering in silence? Because mainstream medicine has not tapped into the true functional aspects of the connection between our gut and vaginal microbiome, and the intimate relationship with our hormones and quality of life.
The Connection Between Your Gut And Your Vaginal Microbiome
In a healthy gut, microbes produce beta-glucuronidase to maintain estrogen balance. Balanced estrogens lead to balanced hormones. During the latter part of a woman’s cycle, the hormone progesterone becomes dominant to aid in either pregnancy or bringing on menses.
In our gut, we eat food to feed our gut microbes and keep our immune system healthy. In our vagina, we use our vaginal epithelial cells which produce glycogen (sugar) to feed beneficial friendly bacteria which, in return, produces lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide to help maintain a low pH. This helps prevent potential pathogenic bacteria from causing harm such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast and sexually transmitted infections, HPV and group B Streptococcus.
What Disrupts Hormones?
Over time, with the wrong diet, xenobiotics, stress, antibiotics, douching and birth control, our vaginal and gut microbiota become disrupted, thus disrupting hormones. The problem is that medical professionals have not embraced the microbial/hormone connection, so we end up with uterine fibroids, endometriosis, unnecessary hysterectomies, and pelvic and uterine prolapse, leading to synthetic medications and surgeries.
“For the mature woman, the root cause of vaginal dysbiosis is a combination of diet and hormones leading to recurring infections and damaged tissues,” according to women’s health expert and author of Our Journey with Food, Dr. Tammera J. Karr, Ph.D. “When naturally occurring estrogens are replaced with synthetic estrogen, it leads to receptors in pelvic wall tissues being blocked, thus losing the ability to maintain elasticity and support the uterus properly, resulting in uterine prolapses followed by unnecessary mesh surgeries, which can lead to further complications, more antibiotics, and more systemic problems,” she says.
It has been well documented after antibiotic use, pathogenic species can creep in and cause problems in both the gut and the vagina. These microbes also affect the liver. The liver takes our used-up estrogens and packages them up to be excreted in our colon. Some bacteria have the ability to disrupt this natural process. Estrogens are sent back into circulation, disrupting other key hormones. Remember, we need specific hormones to keep our beneficial vaginal bacteria happy.
How Do We Keep Our Vaginal Bacteria Happy And Healthy?
Eat a microbiome-friendly diet full of organic fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and pasture-raised animal protein. Wear cotton underwear and do not use douches. If you are on birth control and over the age of 35, get your hormones checked via saliva or urine testing at least annually.
Women’s health should not be some mysterious taboo subject. A woman’s life cycle is a natural, sacred phenomenon which has been happening since the beginning of time. We need to tune in to our bodies to stay healthy at any stage of life without synthetic drugs, unnecessary surgeries and medications. Start talking about it.
Karen Langston is a certified holistic nutritionist working with clients and professionals on how to have three healthy poops a day. Poop well, be well. For more information, visit www.healthygutadvisor.com.