The Microbial Endocrine System
Posted February 4, 2021
GUY CITRIN, ND
I assume many of my colleagues have patients who present similarly. I myself have found that my non-serious chronically ill patients often present with similar symptoms. Clinical responses to treatments, on the other hand, vary between patients. However, the further I delve into correlations between the gut microbiome and the endocrine system, the better the clinical results I seem to get.
I would say the top 10 most common symptoms I see in patients are: heartburn, bloating, indigestion, constipation/diarrhea, period irregularities and pain, low libido, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and joint pain.
As I started my career in naturopathic medicine and then learned more about how to address hormones and gut dysfunction, I noticed a significant clinical correlation between the 2. I then had the privilege of starting to lecture for Microbiome Labs, and also spent time learning from Kiran Krishnan (company founder and microbiologist), including having discussions about how the endocrine system interacts with the intestinal microbiome. Since I’ve been treating the endocrine and microbial systems as intimately connected, I have had more significant clinical success (typically 80-90% complete resolution of symptoms) and usually within 3-4 patient visits.
This shift in approach fundamentally changed my practice, so much so that I now consider the endocrine system and the microbiome as 1 unit, otherwise known as the Microbial Endocrine System. I often find that practitioners regard these systems as distinct, especially in the allopathic world. However, they are intricately tied to one another. Which leads to the question of how exactly the gut microbiome interacts with the endocrine system.
My general approach with patients is to work from top to bottom, anatomically, to find the area that seems most dysfunctional. I will leave out the mouth, although it can also have a significant effect on symptoms.