A case study: Menopause, hormones and gut health

I have a new client, she is 46, had a premature menopause age 37 and she is struggling with low mood, low energy and feels she has lost her ‘oomph’ for live.

When her POI (premature Ovarian Insufficiency) was confirmed she went onto HRT which really helped for a while. She spent a few years finding the right HRT type and dose. Last year (October 2017) age 45 she decided to stop the HRT and see how her body reacted. At first she felt ok but over the last few months her energy has dropped and poor mental health symptoms have returned.

Is there link to gut health, menopause and hormonal imbalance?

At the same time she is dealing with long term pain and feels like she regularly has sore muscles and tendons.  On top of this she has had ongoing ‘gut issues’. About five years ago she had acute stomach pains and bloating and no one could give her a definitive answer what was going on. She has had digestive issues ever since. The pain has lessened but she gets extreme bloating and discomfort. This means she has to wear lycra most of the time to accommodate her expanding waistline. This and weight gain has had a negative impact on her self image and confidence.

Even though this client is feeling really crap (technical term!) she is resisting going back on HRT. She feels this may mask her gut problems and she wants to heal her gut so she has a better understanding of how her gut health is affecting her mental health. She has seen a herbalist who has given her a blend of herbs to help support her while she heals her gut.

I recommend that the client has a stool test ( I recommended the GI MAP + zonulin)

The results have shown she has:

C.difficile a bacterial pathogen
Giardia a parasitic pathogen
Low Escherichia spp. (species of gut bacteria)
High Firmicutes & Bacteroidetes (Phyla Microbiota)
Worms were detected (Trichuris trichiura)

Her secretory IgA is low which could indicate it’s struggling to cope.
Zonulin is high which indicates she has leaky gut

She has 6 strains of Antibiotic resistance genes.

What does that all mean? It means she has a lot going on in her gut and it’s no wonder she feels she is struggling along.

What is the answer? This client has had to invest in a big stack of supplements to help her gut to heal. This is not (and cannot be) fixed by taking some Anti-Biotics from the doctor.

It’s not going to be a ‘quick fix’, her gut has been out of balance for a long time and it will take a while to heal.

This client is me 🙂 I am my own client. I’m being looked after by my friend and functional medicine doctor Shania Lee (no relative ;-))

I’m going to share more about my journey back to health as we go along and as i learn more.


T x

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