The importance of hormone health and the connection with our gut - interview with Samantha Van Dort
This month we chat with Samantha Van Dort a registered Naturopath, Nutritionist and Natural fertility expert who loves helping women and men take control of their hormone health.
Although this isn't the most openly discussed health topic, unfortunately hormone imbalances can bring about many annoying symptoms and can lead to many different health issues. Samantha's going to share with us some of the things that can be done to regain that balance.
This week, we start by asking her about the basics of hormone health!
What is hormone health and does this just apply to women's health?
Samantha: Hormones, in men and women, play a critical role in our overall health. It’s governed by our endocrine system, which regulates many aspects of our wellbeing from our mood, eating and sleep patterns to adrenal fight or flight responses.
The common association of hormones with women’s health arises because it is more complex for women who experience more hormonal fluctuations each month in relation to their menstrual cycles. However, maintaining good hormone health is important for both men and women as hormones play a role in the very intricate endocrine system which influences every aspect of health from digestion to metabolism, mental wellbeing as well as fertility.
Everything from food to our environment can affect hormone health. From the pollution we breathe in to the chemicals and plastics we use in food preparation, such as plastic wrap and containers, to plastics in beauty products such as creams and fragrances.
Most plastics and a lot of chemicals are endocrine disruptors, which are molecules that mimic our hormones, such as xenoestrogens which specifically mimic estrogen. When we breathe them in, ingest them through our food chain or absorb it through our skin, xenoestrogens attach themselves to estrogen receptors in our body and produce a weak estrogen response. Which is a concern for both men and women, especially for those that already have hormonal disorders.
One of the pillars of hormone health is maintaining good gut health. Having a healthy gut microbiome for good gut function to metabolise hormones is important. Estrobolome is a collection of good gut bacteria whose function is to break down excess estrogen. If the gut is functioning well with a healthy estrobolome colony, estrogen will be well metabolised which will lead to better hormone functioning and health.
Next week we ask Samantha how our diet can affect our hormones.
Samantha (B.HSc Naturopathy, BASc PP) focuses her expertise in all stages of women’s health, helping women better understand their bodies and hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids or ovarian cysts. Find more from Samantha at www.samanthavandort.com or follow her on Instagram @samvandort_naturopath