Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme that can essentially release estrogen back into recirculation instead of it being escorted out of your body via normal detox pathways. This is one factor contributing to estrogen dominance – a common reason why people are often suffering from hormonal headaches.
An imbalance of estrogen to progesterone levels and a back-up in the clearance of estrogen metabolites through your liver, is a leading cause of hormonal headaches and hormonal migraines.
Consider for a moment any other unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. If weight gain, mood swings, decreased libido, and fatigue sound familiar, then it might be a good idea to check your estrogen and estrogen metabolite levels with a dried urine test. (the only reliable method to obtain information about how your estrogens are being metabolized through your liver).
Elevated estrogen levels do occur naturally in women during certain times of the menstrual cycle, however a built-in checkpoint system is in place to control and balance our body’s hormone levels.
Chronic hormonal imbalances can be caused by one of four things:
- Chronic long term stress of any type (internal or external)
- Excess estrogen secretion
- Intake of endogenous xenoestrogens
- Disruptions in the hormone-eliminating or detoxification pathway
What is Beta-Glucuronidase?
To keep our hormone levels in-check, the liver works to eliminate used hormones and other toxins through a detoxification system that operates three main phases.
In phase one of liver detoxification, enzymes in the liver start to metabolize or break down these substances into a form that is more water-soluable and less toxic.
In the second phase of detoxification, the liver packages unwanted or unneeded molecules destined for elimination into fully water-soluble compounds that our bodies can flush out through the kidneys and bile.
This flushing out process is known as phase three, and your digestive system has to be working well to support this part of the process.
Beta-Glucuronidase is an enzyme that disrupts the detoxification process by reversing the packaging process in phase 2, thereby releasing the conjugated molecules into their separate parts.
This in turn enables their reabsorption into the body, consequently artificially elevating estrogen levels.
In the digestive system, normal levels of Beta-glucuronidase help our bodies to digest complex carbohydrates by breaking them down. If levels of Beta-glucuronidase are too high however, then various metabolites and toxic compounds can’t be excreted properly. Without this step in detoxification, an accumulation of unwanted or unneeded molecules in the body can cause major problems, including symptoms of estrogen dominance such as hormonal migraines.
How does Beta-Glucuronidase impact how you feel?
By inhibiting liver detoxification and estrogen clearance, the enzyme Beta-glucuronidase contributes to excess estrogen building up in the body. This can make you feel tired, “hormonal” and cause recurring headaches. If Beta-glucuronidase levels remain chronically elevated over time, then you are at risk of significant health issues and disease related to hormonal imbalance, poor digestion and toxicity.
Combatting excess Beta-Glucuronidase
To balance out Beta-glucuronidase, our bodies naturally produce D-Glucarate. Calcium-D-Glucarate is a calcium bound d-glucaric acid which actually inhibits Beta-glucuronidase, thereby promoting the elimination of excess estrogenic hormones and environmental toxins.
If you are experiencing estrogen dominance, this could mean either elevated Beta-Glucuronidase or low levels of Calcium-D-Glucarate. Calcium-D-Glucarate can be found in in various plant foods such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, apples, oranges and grapefruit.
Supplemental Calcium-D-Glucarate is an option to naturally support healthy detoxification when someone has elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase.
Note: Although you can try supplementing on your own, only about half of the people we test actually have high levels of beta glucuronidase, which is why we say “test don’t guess”!
Testing for high Beta-Glucuronidase
Test, don’t guess! The best way to know if you’re experiencing headaches or migraines due to an estrogen imbalance is by using the DUTCH Complete dried-urine hormone test! (Btw, men have problems with estrogen dominance too, it just doesn’t correlate with a monthly cycle so it isn’t as obvious to them.) Not only will you find out about imbalances in your stress and sex hormones, but you’ll see how these hormones are metabolized in the liver and which underlying factors may be causing the hormone imbalances in the first place.
These types of root causes simply cannot be detected with blood and saliva tests. Elevated levels of Beta-Glucuronidase can be tested by checking certain digestive health markers in a stool analysis.
A good starting point is scheduling a consultation with us for Gut and Hormone testing, where we tailor a plan that is unique to you! These home test kits are available in most countries, so we look forward to talking with you from any corner of the globe 😀