Endometriosis and soluble fiber

Endometriosis and soluble fiber

One of the functions of soluble fiber that we are most excited about is its ability to support female hormone health. And while we hear from customers, regularly, that their hormone symptoms improve after taking Florasophy daily, we know it’s essential to have research to support and explain these results. We also believe that educating our customers about these benefits empowers them to support their own health. That’s why we wanted to share critical information about the relationship between endometriosis and the gut with our amazing Florasophy family.

Endometriosis can be a devastating, painful and life-altering condition affecting women. Endometriosis develops when the tissue that normally lines the uterus develops outside of the uterus, growing on ovaries, fallopian tubes and the exterior of the uterus. Aside from surgery, hormone therapy and prescriptions, there are few answers, options or known causes to offer the estimated 190 million women that suffer from this condition. In any condition, if there is not a known cause, prevention and treatment is limited. That said, our bodies are brilliant, and nothing happens without a reason, so what is behind this epidemic that is causing so many women to suffer?

A few years back, Megan had a patient with recurring endometriosis in her clinic. The patient provided countless tests performed by another provider, including stool testing. Megan noted that she had high levels of E. coli but the patient remarked that no one had treated her for that finding. So, Megan suggested she go back to her physician and discuss the pros and cons of treating E. coli. However, without any gut symptom, her doctor didn't believe there was a reason to treat.

As the years have passed, Megan saw over a dozen women suffering from endometriosis and in every case, they had either elevated E. coli or elevated Klebsiella, another bacteria linked to endometriosis in their stool tests. It's important to note that both E. coli, Klebsiella and other bacterial species can live within the digestive tract without causing harm to the host, but research indicates that if those microbes make their way into the bloodstream and translocate to other areas of the body, the host (that's you) is at risk. Elevated levels of these bacteria in a dysbiotic gut can lead to increased risk of intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and the translocation of bacteria to organs and other tissues.

Even with the connection Megan was seeing between elevated bacterial levels and endometriosis, it wasn't until recently just recently, she had a patient that was suffering with severe endometriosis prompting her to look dive into research databases to see if there was a connection. Incredibly, there were studies showing many bacterial strains in the endometrial tissue and intrauterine lining of women with endometriosis. In fact, a 2016 study revealed that women with endometriosis had significantly increased levels of E. Coli in menstrual blood. BINGO! So, now what?

Although recent research is making these connections, there are not standard screenings, treatments or preventative measures to support women that are at risk for or suffering from endometriosis. And bacterial infection has not been found in 100% of these cases so there are likely other causes that trigger endometrial growth, as well.

Without a standardized protocols for investigation, we have to use logic. Optimizing hormone regulation and detoxification (something our female bodies are doing 24-7), testing for and treating gut bacterial overgrowth and engaging in strategies to keep the intestinal barrier intact are a good start. This is where Florasophy enters the picture as a crucial tool. Soluble fibers in Florasophy have been shown to improve the integrity of the gut lining. This helps to keep gut microbes in the gut, where they belong. While Florasophy is keeping the gut lining healthy, it’s also binding excess estrogen, so it can be effectively removed from the body.

It can take an average of 30 years for research to become mainstream in conventional healthcare, but women that are managing this condition don't have that kind of time. If you or anyone you love is suffering from or is at risk of endometriosis, we encourage them to advocate for a deeper investigation. In the meantime, supporting healthy hormone balance and a healthy gut lining is a great first step!

About Megan Barnett, MS, CNS

Megan Barnett, MSMegan Barnett is a functional medicine practitioner in Portland, Oregon. In her clinical practice, she helps patients identify the root cause of their health problems, then designs individualized and evidence-based approaches to alleviate symptoms and help their bodies heal. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Kansas State University and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Functional Medicine from University of Western States.