Is Your SIBO Causing Hormone Imbalance?
Updated: Aug 2, 2021
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Over time, SIBO can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies are particularly concerning for women. When we don’t have enough of the necessary nutrients, our bodies cannot metabolize or produce hormones efficiently, and this can have a significant effect on the female’s sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Our bodies naturally require more progesterone than estrogen. When our bodies produce estrogen, we have a tightly regulated feedback mechanism that ensures levels of estrogen don’t ever get too high. The liver is responsible for metabolizing estrogen through two different phases before it is finally excreted from the body through the feces. However, the liver depends on many different enzymes and pathways for this metabolization to occur. It requires vital components from many nutrients, such as magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
Thus, if there is an overgrowth of bacteria and archaea in our small intestine, we will be competing with them for the absorption of these nutrients, and often, the bacteria will steal them from us. Studies have shown that individuals with SIBO commonly have a deficiency in B vitamins because the bacteria utilize them. This deficiency has severe implications for women and their estrogen levels because vitamins B6 and B12 are necessary cofactors for the detoxification of estrogen. This means that women with a vitamin B deficiency may have increased levels of estrogen and can become estrogen dominant.
Estrogen dominance can have many consequences on reproductive and overall health, including an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer, endometriosis, certain autoimmune diseases, infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Both vitamin E and magnesium also play an essential role in the detoxification pathway of estrogen, so when individuals with SIBO are deficient in all three groups of these nutrients, we see a considerable increase in estrogen levels. If the liver enzymes don’t have the necessary cofactors to break down estrogen properly, the combination of endogenous and exogenous estrogen will begin to overwhelm the liver, and the body will start to experience the effects of estrogen dominance.
Of course, these nutrients are essential for much more than just estrogen balance. We require adequate levels of the B vitamins for proper transportation of oxygen in the blood, brain development, increased immune function, digestion, energy production, and more. Vitamin E also has many functions, including promoting heart health and immunity. Individuals with a magnesium deficiency experience fatigue, muscle aches, and intense symptoms of PMS. The PMS symptoms are a direct reflection of how a deficiency in these essential nutrients can affect reproductive hormone levels, and why it is so important to diagnose SIBO, especially in female patients accurately.
If you suspect that you are Estrogen dominant, ask your doctor to check your estrogen and progesterone levels. You can also order an at-home hormone test kit online at www.letsgetchecked.com.