Probiotics and gut health: How your gut can affect your PMS symptoms and what you can do about it

How your gut affects your menstrual cycle 

Just when you think you’ve learned all you can about your hormones, there’s something new to learn. It just feels like it can be never ending sometimes, we get it! Just like body types, hormone imbalances and body changes caused by them come in all shapes and sizes. A lot of women are shocked by how much the gut plays a role in hormone balance and overall female health. The importance of maintaining a healthy gut is multi-layered, especially for women. Today, we’ll walk through the importance of gut health, how it can affect female health, and tips for keeping your gut in check. 

Why is gut health so important? 

There was a time when the human digestive system was thought to be relatively simple in comparison to other body systems. Extensive research over the past couple of decades has shown it is not only much more complex than originally thought, but has links to the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, and more.  
Humans have roughly 300-500 different species of bacteria living in their digestive tract, which make up what’s called the “gut microbiome.” Having a wide variety of the good bacteria in your gut can provide numerous benefits. High stress levels, eating highly processed foods and other imbalances to diet can cause damage and imbalances in our gut microbiome. These imbalances can have a lot of adverse effects if not treated properly. 

Common ways you can tell if your gut is imbalanced 

  1. Gas and bloating 

  2. Diarrhea or constipation 

  3. Skin issues like acne or inflammation 

  4. Anxiety and mood disorders

  5. New food intolerances 

  6. Sugar cravings

  7. Chronic fatigue 

  8. Autoimmune disorders 

  9. Unintentional fluctuations to weight

Common causes of poor gut health 

  1. Antibiotic use 

  2. Stress 

  3. Travel 

  4. Poor sleep 

  5. Eating processed foods

  6. Excessive alcohol intake 

Gut health and hormonal imbalances 


cramps and indigestion


Cramps, bloating, and acne can be common symptoms of PMS. For some women though, there is a direct connection between gut health and hormonal imbalances that can cause these symptoms. The microbiome can affect estrogen levels which is made primarily by your ovaries. After that, it circulates through the body until it reaches the liver where it is inactivated. When certain intestinal bacteria are present (you have an imbalance) an enzyme called beta-glucoronidase is made that can re-activate estrogen in the gut where it re-enters the body causing excess estrogen levels. 
Excess levels of estrogen can cause symptoms that are similar to what you might experience during PMS, such as a heavier flow, bloating, mood swings, acne, and breast tenderness. Whether or not you are experiencing worse than normal PMS symptoms, going through a checklist to make sure you’re keeping your gut health in check is always a great idea. It can also have a positive impact on your PMS symptoms and be a pleasant surprise! 

Here are some of the best ways to rebalance your gut 

  1. Focus on getting adequate sleep - ensuring you’re getting enough sleep AND high quality sleep to ensure your sleep habits aren’t having a negative effect on your gut health. 

  2. Lower your stress levels - stress affects your entire body but can have a big impact on your gut health. If you’re experiencing high stress levels (who isn’t these days!) try introducing some new habits or routines to help. Things like exercise, getting more sun, meditating, spending time outside, going for walks, and other things can help reduce your stress levels immensely. See this article on ways to decrease your stress levels. 

  3. Take a look at your diet - eating highly processed foods and foods with high levels of sugar (among other things) can negatively impact your gut health and throw things out of whack. Take a look at your diet and see if there are ways you can rebalance by cutting out junk food and adding more fiber and lean protein to your dieasparagus
  4. Take a probiotic to your supplement routine - if you don’t already take a probiotic, take a look at adding one to your routine. Probiotics contain food for growing the good bacteria in your gut. Make sure your probiotic is high quality and coming from a good source. You can also look at other options that aren’t in supplement form like Keifer!
  5. Check for food intolerances - if you’re really struggling with gut health and experiencing bloating, pain, cramps, indigestion that you just can’t get rid of, you might have a food intolerance. Consult a health practitioner or nutritionist you trust and do some testing for food intolerances so you can rebalance your diet and gain some peace of mind. 

BONUS! Some great foods you can add to your diet to naturally rebalance your gut and promote a healthy gut in a natural way

kefer and probiotics


  1. Kefer - this is a delish “drinkable yoghurt” with a unique fermentation process that can add natural probiotics to your gut. It’s also been shown to lower cholesterol, improve lactose tolerance, and help with weight control

  2. High-fiber foods - things like berries, asparagus, leafy greens, legumes and other high-fiber foods have shown to have a positive impact on gut health.

  3. Garlic and onion - who doesn’t love cooking with garlic and onion, but they’ve also been shown to have immune system-enhancing properties closely tied to functions of the gut.

  4. Collagen-rich foods - foods like salmon can help with gut health while also promoting hair and nail growth. 

Pay attention to your body and remember the importance of gut health. Gut health can positively impact your PMS symptoms while keeping you healthy in a variety of other ways. It can often go overlooked but your gut plays a big role in your overall health so treat it well!