Is our intestinal microbiome involved in PMS and Hormone Balance?


Many people experience physical and emotional discomfort premenstrual period.

Some people feel more irritable than usual, have acne, or experience headaches and an upset stomach.

PMS is caused by hormone imbalance. But the intestinal environment is also related to the balance of female sex hormone.

This is because the state of the intestinal flora is related not only to bowel movements but also to the secretion of hormones.

Today we KINS will explain the causes of PMS.


The causes of skin irritation and constipation before menstruation

Before menstruation, many people experience changes in their physical condition, such as skin irritation and constipation.

But do you know the cause of this?

The balance of female hormones that are secreted to cause menstruation has things to do with this.

As you already know, menstruation occurs when the body has prepared for pregnancy by ovulating but is not fertilized.

The mechanisms of menstruation are below;

When fertilization occurs, the uterus thickens the endometrium to make a bed for the baby and awaits fertilization. However, when fertilization isn’t accomplished, the thickened endometrium becomes no longer needed and will be expelled with the blood.


These are not completed only in the uterus. Certain female hormones play roles in stimulating ovulation and in thickening the endometrium.

The secretion of these female hormones commands the uterus and ovaries to ovulate and menstruate.

However, some of these female hormones can alter sebum secretion and metabolism. Therefore, too much secretion of this hormone can cause health problems such as rough skin and constipation.

In particular, luteinizing hormone, one of the female hormones secreted before menstruation, is the cause of various physical changes such as rough skin, constipation, swelling, and an increase in appetite.




Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle stimulating hormone

Premenstrual discomfort and menstrual cramps are caused by female hormones.

This point is becoming well known with the spread of the word of PMS, but do you know detailed function of female hormones?

There are two major types of typical female hormones related to menstruation: follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.


Follicle stimulating hormone is the hormone that causes ovulation and secretion during the postmenstrual to ovulation period.

On the other hand, luteinizing hormone is secreted before menstruation and is the cause of the aforementioned physical discomforts.

However, luteinizing hormone should not be called a "bad hormone."

Luteinizing hormone is essential for the preparation for pregnancy by thickening the endometrium, and of course, it is also indispensable for menstruation to occur.


Symptoms that are said to be caused by progestins include

1) Increase fat accumulation and water retention

2) Increase sebum secretion

3) Slows down the bowel movement of the intestines

4) Causes irritability and drowsiness


In other words, irritation, constipation, and skin problems are likely to occur before menstruation due to the function of the luteinizing hormone.

The secretion of the luteinizing hormone itself occurs in all premenopausal women.

However, depending on each regular lifestyle, the degree of discomfort they experience may differ.

If you have hormone imbalance or are tired, you may experience severe PMS.

The secret to deal with PMS is to keep a good balance of the female hormone.



How Intestinal Microbiome Affects Hormone Balance

Now let's talk about the relationship between the microbiome and hormone balance.

In fact, the intestinal microbiome has a great influence on hormone balance.

Many people may think that hormones are produced in the brain and secreted by the brain.

But in fact, many hormones are produced in the gut based on the nutrients in the food we eat.


The neurotransmitter serotonin, also known as the "happy hormone," is 90% produced in the gut. That is because the intestinal microbiome is involved in the synthesis of serotonin.

Other hormones that regulate digestion such as secretin, cholecystokinin, and incretin are also synthesized in the intestines.


You can see why it is significant to have a good intestinal environment in order to maintain a good hormone balance.

We can even say the intestinal microbiome has things to do with our mental state since the happy hormone is also produced in the intestines.


This point is in common with female hormones.

You may have probably heard that soy foods are good for female hormones. It is because isoflavones contained in soybeans work like female hormones.


Isoflavones function like female hormones after being converted into a substance called equol in the intestines.

Equol-Producing Microorganisms, one of the intestinal bacteria, produce equol.

It is thought that there are about 15 types of equol-producing microorganisms, and they mainly live in the large intestine.

When soy isoflavones and the equol-producing microorganisms meet, they produce equol which are crucial for women's hormone balance.


However, not everyone has the equol-producing microorganisms, and even if they do, they do not work actively when the intestinal environment is not healthy.


When the intestinal environment is disturbed and the bad bacteria predominate, the good bacteria cannot work well. For the equol-producing microorganisms to work properly, it is significant to have a good balance of the intestinal flora.


There is also a theory that the intestinal environment is involved in menstrual pain like PMS.


Menstrual pain is related to a type of hormone called prostaglandin.

Prostaglandin is a hormone that causes the uterus to contract. When it's overproduced for some reason, it can cause pain during menstruation.


And recent studies have reported that prostaglandins are also related to the intestinal environment.

When Candida, one of the bad bacteria, is abundant in the intestines, prostaglandin is more likely to be produced.

Although the relationship between microbiome and hormones is still largely unknown, we may be able to say that the intestinal environment plays a major role in our hormone balance.




3 Tips to Ease PMS

The secretion of progestin premenstrual itself is inevitable.

However, the effects of PMS can be reduced by maintaining a good intestinal environment and a good lifestyle.

In order to keep health of your mind and body premenstrual, it is important to;

  • Reduce fat and sugar.
  • Increase good bacteria by eating fermented foods.
  • Take soluble dietary fiber.


Be careful not to consume too much fat and sugar, especially if you are prone to skin irritation premenstrual.

Eating sugar and carbohydrates causes a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. The hormone insulin lowers the rapidly rising blood glucose level.

However, since insulin has a function similar to that of male hormones, it causes sebum secretion to increase, which leads to acne and other skin troubles.


The luteinizing hormone in the premenstrual period also tends to increase sebum secretion and acne, so the combination of excessive insulin secretion and premenstrual period is the perfect condition for rough skin.

The luteinizing hormone may increase your appetite and make you want sweets.  But by replacing sweets with low-sugar snacks, you can prevent blood sugar levels from spiking and prevent rough skin.


Not only that, but the more well balanced the intestinal flora and the more good bacteria there are, the less likely it is to be affected by PMS.

For example, since progestin can slow down the function of the intestines, the effects of constipation and other problems will be felt more greatly by those who do not have regular bowel movements.

The secret to having a healthy and happy life is to care for the microbiome not only premenstrually but also on a daily basis by eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, miso(soy paste), and natto(fermented soy beans).


It is also essential to consume plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which feeds the good bacteria. They are found in vegetables, seaweed, mushrooms, and grains. 

Sweets and pre-cooked dishes at the grocery store are high in sugar and oil. So it is also important to cook your own food as much as possible to reduce sugar and fat and increase good bacteria.

We hope that Microbiome Care will help improve your PMS and make your life more comfortable.