Juniper invites us to educate ourselves on the topic of birth control and discusses its impact on gut health. Drawing from her own personal journey, she encourages us to embrace natural living and develop a deeper understanding of our bodies.
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Welcome to Follow Your Gut, the podcast where women like you are empowered to take charge of your family's health and happiness. I'm your host, Juniper Bennett, formerly known as Sarah. I'm the founder and CEO of Only Organics, and as a momma to four, I have personally gone through the ups and downs of Navigating, the sea of misinformation and the runaround from our medical system while caring for my family's health and well-being. This podcast is dedicated to educating and empowering you on the significance of gut health and how it affects everything from your family's sleep to your mood and everything in between. By understanding the foundation of your wellness and the causes of common yet preventable symptoms, you can achieve a deeper level of health and happiness for your family. Join me as we explore the world of gut health and enhance our lives from the core of our well beings, all while honoring our powerful intuitions. I'm so happy you're here. Let's dive into today's episode.
Welcome to episode 59 How Birth Control Impacts Your Gut health. It is wild to me to think back to the late ninety s and early two thousand s a time when fat free diets were all the rage and teenage girls were often prescribed birth control to help balance their hormones. As a child of that era, I realized how little education was provided to developing girls like myself. We had no clue what was happening in our bodies or how birth control would impact us. It is time for our culture to do better. This episode is not only for us women, but also for our daughters. By educating ourselves we can change what is available for future generations instead of blind ##ly resorting to the birth control pill as the default solution we can empower our girls with knowledge about their bodies and offer support for nurturing their naturally beautiful fluctuating hormones.
After fighting tirelessly for two and a half years for my second child's health, battling a healthcare system that left me feeling abandoned and without any true healing options, I found solace and empowerment in the realm of natural living. Immersed in this alternative world, I discovered the real importance of fully understanding our bodies and making informed choices, particularly in regards to protecting and nurturing our microbiome. For this episode, I researched how prevalent birth control is today, and I was completely caught off guard. I thought this was a thing of the past, but oh, no. It is estimated that nine out of ten women in the United States will use birth control at some point in their lives. I am one of these nine. What about you? One in five teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are on the birth control pill right now. More than 70% of women between the ages of 40 and 47 are on the birth control pill right now, the majority of them using it as a way to balance their hormones.
Now, please know that this episode is not about my personal judgment, nor should you take any of this information and place judgment upon yourself. Nothing shared is ever intended to shame you. Knowledge is power, though, and we are all learning and evolving in our own lives every single day. This is the beautiful part of being alive. Many women and teenage girls are prescribed birth control to balance their hormones and manage various health concerns. But what if we dig deeper? What if we actually learn how to support our bodies so that our bodies can naturally balance and regulate our own hormones? It is so important to understand the full scope of how birth control impacts your body, including your gut microbiome and overall health. So let's dive into the effects of birth control on your gut bacteria. Learn why your gut bacteria is at the core of your overall well-being, and explore the broader implications for your overall health. We are also going to discuss alternative approaches that prioritize holistic health and natural hormonal balance. If you've been around for a while, you are deeply familiar with what your gut microbiome is but it can never be emphasized enough how significant it is. It is not just your stomach. Your gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms residing in your digestive tract from your mouth to your anus and it holds a pivotal role in maintaining your health. This incredible ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes is responsible for vital functions throughout your body such as your digestion, hormone production, vitamin synthesis, nutrient absorption, brain functioning, your immune system and the preserving of the integrity of your intestinal barrier. The synthetic hormones in birth control have significant impacts on your gut microbiome. These hormones are designed to mimic the natural hormones produced by your body but they are often present in much higher concentrations than what your body would naturally produce.
Here's a deeper look at how synthetic hormones affect your gut bacteria. Synthetic hormones have been shown time and time again to alter the diversity and composition of your gut microbiome. This disruption leads to gut bacteria imbalance. An imbalanced gut microbiome can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients your vitamins and minerals. No matter how healthy you are eating, if you have a gut imbalance, your body is unable to absorb all the nutrients from your food. Disruptions in your gut microbiome trigger chronic inflammation, which has been associated with various health conditions. Right. Every healthcare provider, no matter their field of practice, they all agree that inflammation is at the very core of every disease. Where does inflammation stem from? An imbalance in your gut microbiome. Additionally, alterations in your gut bacteria weaken your immune system, potentially leading to increased susceptibility to infection and autoimmune disorders. 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. When your gut is imbalanced is not able to support an optimally functioning immune system.
Are you wondering if you or your child have a gut imbalance? Take my quick and easy quiz to find out in less than 60 seconds. Understanding your gut health is the first step in leading your family toward optimal health and happiness. Visit WW dot onlyonics.com pagesquiz or simply click the link in the show notes to take the quiz now.
The gut brain axis is not something to ignore. It is a communication pathway between your gut and your brain and is heavily influenced by your gut microbiome. Disruptions in your gut microbiome due to birth control can affect this axis, potentially could contributing to mood disorders, anxiety and depression. Lastly, the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in hormone metabolism, including estrogen. Changes in your gut bacteria composition caused by birth control can affect hormone metabolism and clearance, potentially contributing to hormonal, imbalances and many other symptoms. Imbalances go both ways. Your gut bacteria you impacts your hormones, and your hormones impacts your gut bacteria. An imbalance in either will cause an imbalance in the other. Why do we do this as a culture? Why do we slap bandaids on? Why aren't we digging deeper? If a teenage girl's hormones are fluctuating rapidly, this is a sign. This is her body telling us that something is right, that her body needs support. Wildly fluctuating moods and hormones, they do not have to be accepted as your normal. Your body was created beautifully perfect and was designed to carry you throughout life. In regulation, in balance. When we experience symptoms, it is so important that before we turn to medication, we turn inward. We nurture the core of our body, our gut health. We balance our gut so that we allow our bodies to function from steady ground.
So let's talk about alternatives and more holistic approaches than birth control. It's first important to identify why you either are already on birth control or why you are contemplating it for either yourself or your daughter. If you are looking to support your hormones, a better alternative to synthetic hormones, like I just said, is to actually go to the root of your body, rebalance your gut bacteria and allow your body to stabilize itself. Hormone fluctuations are normal and are part of being a woman. Our bodies beautifully move between four different phases every single month. And how does this happen? By the ebbing and flowing of our hormones. Our hormones must fluctuate. That is what makes us women. When we balance our gut bacteria, which provides a solid foundation for our bodies to function from and deeply nourish ourselves with real whole foods, we get to experience womanhood without complications.
It is when we try to interfere with manmade synthetic chemicals that our bodies basically turn on overdrive trying to fight for us to figure out what is going on. But we have interfered so much that our systems are all basically speaking different languages and the intricacies between our gut, microbiome, hormones, brain, skin, digestive and nervous system they all lose touch with one another on how to communicate. This is when disease happens in case you need one more excuse to incorporate healthy practices like yoga, meditation, and daily movement. Pair a nutrient dense diet with gut health awareness and balance and adequate sleep and you are setting yourself up for hormonal balance and overall well-being. If you are looking for ways to prevent pregnancy, here are two that you're probably already familiar with. But I feel as a culture we are all conditioned to so quickly look for quick fix medications that slap Band-Aids on everything from contraception to our skin health. I want to slow down a minute and acknowledge these very basic methods that actually provide you with so much self-awareness. The first is the fertility awareness-based method. This involves tracking and understanding your menstrual cycle, identifying fertile and non-fertile days, and using barrier methods or abstinence during your fertile periods. This method really empowers you to understand your body and your cycle and can be highly effective when followed diligently. The second one is barrier methods such as condoms, cervical caps and diaphragms. These all offer nonhormonal contraception without interfering with your body's natural hormone production and balance. Copper IUDs are also hormone free and provide long term contraception. But there is really very little research on how this impact your gut microbiome, so I cannot speak to that for the Copper IUDs.
Now, please do not misinterpret this episode as advice directly to you to get off the birth control pill. As a leader in the gut health space, it is my responsibility to shed light on what impacts your gut so that you can make your own best decision. Based on the knowledge you gain and your intuition, it is evident that our cultural practices and ed education regarding women's health must evolve. It's time to empower women and our daughters by learning about our bodies, the impact of such things as birth control on our gut microbiome, and the importance of nurturing our naturally fluctuating hormones. By doing so, we can move beyond the cultural Band Aid approach and foster a generation of educated and empowered women who can make informed decisions about their own well-being. Thank you so much for joining me today. I will be back next week.
Thank you for tuning in to today's episode of Follow Your Guts. As a reminder, the information shared on the show is not just for your children, but also for you. As a woman at Only Organics, I have created a line of the best quality gut balancing supplements and products that have transformed my family's health and happiness. Head to www.onlyonics.com to start your journey to optimal gut health today. Lastly, I always want to be very transparent that I am not a medical professional, and the information shared on this podcast is based on my personal experience and research. Please always listen to your own inner voice of wisdom and your healthcare professional. Join me again next week for more insights and inspiration on taking charge of your family's health and happiness. I'll see you then