“Happy gut, happy hormones” someone said. Our gut impacts our hormones and our menstrual cycle. Let’s see how we can take care of it.
Firstly, when we talk about “gut’s health” we actually refer to the microbiome. Our bodies are full of good bacteria which can be found in the large intestine and on our skin. Every body is different but generally speaking, each of us has about trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in our bodies and protect us. The more diverse microbiome we have, the better it is for our health. The diet we have influences the diversity of our microbiome. Similarly, our stress level, sleep deprivation and many other external factors can impact it.
How does gut health influence our hormones?
An imbalanced microbiome is associated with hormonal problems. Too much oestrogen can generate gut-related issues (e.g. bloating, mood swings, fluid retention, PMS). Unnecessary oestrogen becomes toxic for the organism and it impacts hormones’ functioning.
How does gut health impacts our period?
- if oestrogen recirculates in the body, this may generate symptoms like PMS (bloating, spasms, heavy periods)
- oestrogen that does not exit the body is very likely to cause PMS and pain during menstrual cycle
**Oestrogen is conjugated in the liver. After, it goes back into blood circulation. The deconjugated oestrogen has to leave the body through bile excretion. This process will protect your body from pain during your menstrual cycle and from other inflammatory and auto-immune diseases.
How to take care of our gut?
- have a diet high in fiber
- make sure you get enough water
- be active, meditate, exercise
- control your stress level
- sleep enough
- take a probiotic supplement
- add fennel to your diet
- mix fennel oil with a carrier oil and massage it onto the abdomen. Do this two or three times a day.
It is important to acknowledge that we need to take care of us while we are bleeding (and not only). Things might add up over time and later, especially if you have a more stressful period, you might suffer a break down. We should always take care of ourselves and be aware of our needs as much as possible in order to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Biologically speaking, there are many things that happen in our bodies when menstruating. Hormones’ levels change let us depleted, exhausted and with many psychologically consequences. Or, in the contrary, they might give us a boost of energy. This might come with consequences. We should all learn our rhythm and find the right balance. Although we want to continue life at it’s normal pace, we might find it more difficult and we might tend to become judgy towards ourselves. Maybe we do not get along with our dear ones, or someone annoys us, or we annoy ourselves, etc. getting to become aware of what is happening inside us, it is self-care.
Self-care should not only mean a day at a SPA or doing shopping or anything that employs spending money. Society has many ways to show you can take care of yourself by buying different programmes, memberships, and plans but this is not the only way. Self-care should start at home, in your mind and soul. It can also be about taking a step back from this busy life. Founding a quiet place and breath, write, do some yoga, connecting with the nature and the present. Or maybe about doing the cleaning, visiting a friend, having a drink with a friend/family member or even alone. Self-care for me is a process of acknowledging that life is happening fast and too many things want to happen at the same time. I choose to step back and let go. I choose to reconnect to myself, my body and to the present, the reality I am in. I believe that self-care is more a state of mind we should come at, rather than expensive actions that society calls “self-care”. We can go get our nails done, have a message, etc. and of course, this is an amazing form of self-care but as far as we do not try to connect to our bodies during this enjoyable process, we didn’t learn anything. We have to learn to listen to our bodies and no matter how sadly it might sound, often our bodies do not ask for a mani and a pedi, neither for a new bag or a dress. It just requires some attention, calm and connection so it can find balance and energy to continue and serve you.
I truly encourage you to do have a self-care plan every month. You will have more energy and you will feel more close to…you. You can design one for yourself and try to stick to it, or go for something more spontaneous. It is important to give more attention to yourself in the end. Think that you are a woman and cherish it as much as you can!