Gut and Skin Health Expert Blog | The Y Collection

How Does the Gut Influence Hormones?

by Jelena Vulevic on Sep 04, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of health and wellness, the intricate relationship between gut health and hormones is emerging as a topic of great interest. Scientists and researchers are digging deeper into the fascinating interplay between our gut, endocrine system (which produces hormones), and overall well-being. This article seeks to explore the significance of maintaining a healthy gut and how it profoundly impacts our hormonal balance, paving the way for optimal health and vitality.

Is the state of your gut to blame for your hormone levels and imbalances? It could be! Find out if Y GUT sensitive is right for you.

The link between gut health and hormones 

Gut health and endocrine function share a complex, bidirectional relationship, communicating through immune, nervous, and hormonal pathways. Hormonal fluctuations can impact the gut environment, while the gut content including the gut microbiome, reciprocally influences hormone metabolism.

Key links between gut health and endocrine function include:

  • Hormone Production: The gut generates gastrin, ghrelin, and cholecystokinin, regulating digestion and hunger, influencing metabolism, glucose control, and fat storage.
  • Gut Microbiota and Hormones: The gut microbiota significantly shape hormone production and regulation. Impacting hormonal balance through synthesis and breakdown. 
  • Immune and Endocrine Role: The gut bolsters the immune system; inflammation or microbiota imbalances (dysbiosis) trigger immune responses and cytokine (small proteins secreted by immune cells and important in cell signalling) releases, affecting endocrine function.
  • Stress Response: The gut-brain axis links the gut and brain via nerves and hormones. Stress impacts gut health and microbiota, influencing endocrine function, including stress-related hormone release.
  • Nutrient Absorption: Nutrients are absorbed in the gut, vital for optimal endocrine function as hormones often rely on specific nutrients. 

These connections underscore the crucial interplay between gut health and hormones, unveiling pathways by which each influences the other, and collectively, impacting overall well-being. 

Common hormone issues that originate in the gut 

Numerous hormone-related problems are intertwined with gut health, suggesting that removal of signs of an unhealthy gut could yield enhanced hormonal equilibrium. Several common hormone-related issues originating from the gut include:

Insulin Resistance: An imbalanced gut microbiome can prompt inflammation and insulin resistance, impeding the body’s response to insulin. This disruption may contribute to type 2 diabetes by affecting blood sugar regulation.

Thyroid Disorders: Gut microbiome imbalances can incite autoimmune reactions, triggering conditions such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Grave's disease. These disorders disturb thyroid hormone levels, influencing metabolism and overall energy levels.

Adrenal Fatigue: Prolonged stress and gut imbalances can lead to adrenal fatigue, where the adrenal glands struggle to produce sufficient stress hormones. This condition can result in fatigue, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.

Oestrogen Dominance: Poor women’s gut health leads to oestrogen dominance - a hormonal imbalance marked by excessive oestrogen relative to progesterone. This disparity links to menstrual irregularities, mood swings, and heightened cancer risk. 

Low Testosterone: Optimal men’s gut health is essential for maintaining balanced testosterone levels. Disruptions in the gut microbiome can curtail testosterone production, affecting energy, muscle mass, and sexual function. 

Mental Health: The gut-brain axis facilitates bidirectional communication between the gut and brain. This intricate connection allows the gut to influence hormone production and regulation, as well as mood and emotions.

Causes of gut health and hormone issues 

Some of the gut health issues that lead to hormonal imbalances include:

  • Gut Dysbiosis: An imbalance between harmful and beneficial bacteria can cause inflammation and hinder nutrient absorption, crucial for hormone production and regulation. 
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome: A compromised gut lining allows undigested particles and toxins to enter the bloodstream, triggering inflammation and disrupting hormonal balance.
  • Chronic Inflammation: Persistent gut inflammation affects endocrine glands, disturbing hormonal signalling pathways and causing imbalances.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Inadequate nutrient absorption in a compromised gut impacts hormone synthesis and regulation. For example, deficiencies in vitamins, like D or minerals like magnesium can affect hormone production.

What does hormone balance look like?

Hormone balance signifies a state where the body's endocrine system operates harmoniously, orchestrating the production, regulation, and utilisation of various hormones with precision. This delicate equilibrium exerts a pervasive influence over nearly every facet of our health and well-being. Balanced hormones offer us feelings of vibrancy, emotional stability, and overall good health.

  1. Sustained Energy and Vitality: In harmonious hormonal conditions, our energy remains consistent throughout the day, and the disruptive spectre of fatigue and sudden energy crashes reduces.
  2. Stable Mood: Hormone equilibrium contributes to emotional stability and a harmonised mood. Swings in hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and serotonin, can sway our emotional state, triggering mood swings and irritability.
  3. Predictable Menstrual Cycles: For women, balanced hormones manifest in regular menstrual cycles. When oestrogen and progesterone are in equilibrium, periods become more predictable, with reduced PMS symptoms and menstrual irregularities.
  4. Restful Sleep: Balanced hormones are architects of serene and rejuvenating sleep. Cortisol, the stress hormone, adheres to a natural rhythm, peaking in the morning and tapering towards evening. Balanced cortisol levels pave the way for sound slumber and heightened sleep quality.
  5. Optimal Weight Control: Hormone balance assumes a pivotal role in metabolism and weight management. Hormones like Insulin, leptin, and ghrelin oversee hunger, satiety, and fat storage. Hormone equilibrium empowers the pursuit of a healthy weight. If you are struggling with weight, read our article on gut health and weight loss
  6. Radiant Skin and Hair: Well-balanced hormones catalyse healthy skin and hair. Adequate oestrogen and testosterone levels contribute to skin elasticity, hydration, and hair growth. Contrariwise, hormonal disparities can give rise to acne, hair loss, or excessive hair growth. Gut affects skin too, so this can also be a reason for skin issues. 
  7. Elevated Fertility: For aspiring parents, hormone balance is non-negotiable. The equilibrium of reproductive hormones - oestrogen, progesterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH) - fosters ovulation and establishes a conducive milieu for conception.
  8. Holistic Well-Being: Above all, hormone balance nurtures a comprehensive sense of well-being and dynamism. It optimises bodily functions, enabling us to flourish physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The pursuit of hormone balance, while potentially necessitating lifestyle tweaks, dietary adjustments, stress management, and, in some cases, medical interventions, is an attainable objective. Hormone equilibrium stands not as an elusive reverie, but a tangible realm that holds the potential to usher us into a life marked by peak well-being.

Can probiotics balance hormones?

A growing body of research suggests that the beneficial bacteria in our gut can play a role in achieving hormonal balance through:

Short-Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) Production: Gut bacteria ferment dietary fibres and other undigested carbohydrates to produce SCFAs such as butyrate, propionate, and acetate. These stimulate the release of certain gut hormones that influence appetite and satiety, such as peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

Influence on Enteroendocrine Cells: Gut bacteria can directly interact with enteroendocrine cells located in the lining of the intestine. Those cells release various hormones in response to signals from the gut microbiota. For instance, some gut bacteria promote the release of specific hormones like serotonin, which can impact mood, appetite, and digestion.

Bile Acid Metabolism: Gut bacteria can modify bile acids, which are essential for fat digestion. These modified bile acids can act as signalling molecules that affect the production of certain hormones involved in metabolism and energy balance.

Regulation of Leptin and Adiponectin: These hormones are produced by adipose tissue (fat cells) and play a crucial role in appetite regulation and energy balance. Gut bacteria can influence the production and function of these hormones, potentially impacting body weight and metabolism.

Metabolism of Phytoestrogens: Gut bacteria can metabolise dietary phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived compounds with oestrogen-like effects. This metabolism can impact oestrogen levels in the body, potentially influencing reproductive health and hormone balance.

How to improve both (gut health and hormonal balance) naturally 

Frequently, people are prescribed various medications to “regulate their hormones”, with the focus being to manage hormone imbalances, especially women are prescribed oral contraceptives, or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), that may only serve as temporary fixes that don't tackle the underlying issues. Since many common hormone-related problems are connected to poor gut health, it‘s only rational to expect that gut repair can effectively attain improved hormonal balance.

Some key strategies to support a healthy gut and hormones include:

Balance your gut and hormones through diet 

Embrace a gut health diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Include gut health foods such as yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut to introduce beneficial probiotics.

Achieve gut and hormone balance through Regular Exercise 

Exercise improves gut health, hormonal balance and overall health so make sure to include regular physical activity. 

Balance your gut and hormones through Stress Management

Reduce the impact of stress with yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature to support both gut health and hormonal balance.

Balance your gut and hormones through Hydration 

Adequate hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy gut lining and supporting proper digestion.

Achieve gut and hormone balance through Probiotic Supplements: 

Find the best gut health supplements, after consulting with a healthcare professional, to further support a thriving gut microbiome. Consider taking probiotic supplements to introduce beneficial bacteria to your gut, which in combination with diet and lifestyle changes can improve gut health. Prebiotics, like the ones in Y GUT sensitive, can nourish existing beneficial gut bacteria enhancing their health promoting function. Postbiotics, such as the ones in Y SKIN and Y GUT sensitive, deliver the actual beneficial metabolites of probiotic bacteria and can prevent leaky gut syndrome, chronic inflammation and sex hormone imbalances.

Key Takeaways 

The balance between gut health and hormones is crucial for overall well-being and the prevention of various health conditions. However, it's important to note that while gut health can influence hormonal balance, the relationship is complex and may not be the sole factor contributing to hormonal imbalances. Other lifestyle factors, genetics, and medical conditions can also play significant roles. Nevertheless, taking care of your gut through a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and/or biotics supplements can positively impact the overall endocrine health and hormonal balance. Still, if you suspect you have hormonal imbalances or gut health issues, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management.


Is the state of your gut to blame for your hormone levels and imbalances? It could be! Find out if Y GUT sensitive is right for you.