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A Healthy Estrobolome

By: Dr. Dalite Sancic, DAOM, L.Ac., MS

Put simply, the estrobolome is the way our bacteria metabolizes our hormones, specifically estrogen in women. The estrobolome is a complete set of genes that are found within a subset of gut bacteria. These genes regulate the circulation of estrogens within the liver, which then affects the amount of estrogen circulating through the whole body. Due to a triggering of gene activation upstream during the binding of estrogen receptors in the liver, the bacteria in the gut regulates homeostasis at distal mucosal sites. Estrogen helps to regulate a woman’s reproductive system, cardiovascular function, bone health and memory.

The microbes that live in our gastrointestinal tracts are in a constant working relationship with one another. How we eat, what we touch, and how we feel are all interconnected in what should be a symbiotic relationship. These microbes have been studied more and more heavily during the past decade. What has come of that is the knowledge that our micro-biome helps us to combat infection and disease. Approximately 70% of the body's immunity is produced in the digestive tract. It regulates hormone balance as well. The micro-biome plays a major role in our ability to regulate hormones through the estrobolome. Dysregulation of this system leads to increased risk of estrogen-related diseases, including various cancers and endometriosis. Signs and symptoms include digestive upset, weight gain, hot flashes, acne, headaches, mood swings and irregular menstruation.

Opportunistic flora constantly produces toxic substances, which are the by-products of their metabolism. Much of this waste gets shunted out of the body via the hepatobiliary system. When the amount of waste is too large, they become pathogenic in nature and cause a plethora of adverse reactions, many of which include bacterial overgrowth. Researcher Elena Peterson discovered that the health of the vaginal microbiota are closely connected to what a woman ingests and the current medical treatment with antibiotics cause recurrent infections as result of the long term dysregulation of the gut micro-biome. It is important to support gut function in order to deal with the root of the condition.

What to do?

— Heal the gut by eating a nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory diet that is low in sugar.

— Vegetables high in prebiotics (chickory, asparagus, garlic, banana).

— Eat a high fiber diet that is high in a variety of vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

— Incorporate bone broth in to your diet.

— Reduce toxicity levels by using fragrance free, all-natural cleaning products.

— Reduce your exposure to plastics.

— Use unbleached chlorine-free menstrual products.

— Manage your stress.

— Exercise.

— Use natural soaps and lotions.

What not to do!

— Decrease foods and produces that increase pathogenic bacteria.

— Avoid antibiotics whenever possible.

— Avoid commercialized meats (contain antibiotics).

— Avoid synthetic soaps and lotions.

— Avoid processed flour and sugar.

— Avoid or reduce alcohol.

— No douching, ever.

Supporting a healthy bacterial balance is an ongoing intentional project. We are all fighting an uphill battle to a degree because of the amount of chemical exposure each one of us faces from the antibiotics in food to the harsh cleaning products on the market. By taking some of the steps mentioned above, we are empowered to strike a balance in the bacterial community that lives within each of us and all around us. This, in turn, keeps us in a more healthy state of being.

Dalite Sancic, DAOM, L.Ac., MS, is a doctor of East Asian medicine at Moon Brook Medicine

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