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5 Signs You May Have Low Estrogen and How to Boost it Naturally

A certified nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner shares the lowdown on estrogen.

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Estrogen, although present in small amounts in the body, can impact a woman’s overall health and wellness in many ways. Too much or too little can throw off her health, both mentally and physically.

Low estrogen often occurs during menopause, thus leading to a host of unwanted and bothersome symptoms. But menopause, or low estrogen in general, shouldn’t make your life miserable. There are actually many ways to treat your low estrogen levels naturally.

Estrogen, the primary female hormone along with progesterone, is needed for much more than fertility. Estrogen maintains good calcium levels in your bones plus it helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Every cell in your brain requires estrogen for optimal cognition and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are some common signs of low estrogen:

  • Weight gain

With insufficient estrogen, your body burns and metabolizes starch and sugars less effectively. The result is an increase in fat storage, decreased muscle mass, and weight gain, more predominantly in the abdomen.

  • Mood swings and depression

Estrogen is a serotonin stabilizer. When levels decrease, you are more likely to experience depression, irritability, and mood swings.

  • Fatigue

Low estrogen not only decreases your ability to deal with stress, but it also tends to burden your thyroid. This can result in fatigue and lethargy.

  • Urinary tract infections and vaginal dryness

Estrogen is needed to keep the tissues of the vagina healthy and the mucus lining stable. Low estrogen levels may result in vaginal dryness and increase the likelihood of opportunistic infections, which can result in urinary tract infections.

  • Hot flashes and night sweats

Lowered estrogen affects your hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls your internal temperature. It can lead to hot flashes during the day and night sweats, resulting in disturbed sleep and insomnia.

Here are some ways to raise estrogen levels naturally through diet:

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, a hormone itself, plays a role in estrogen synthesis, therefore getting enough healthy vitamin D can help maintain or raise estrogen levels. You can even get vitamin D from sun exposure, depending on where you live (how close you are to the equator), and your skin color (the darker your skin the more resistant it is to making vitamin D), so make sure to spend some time outdoors each day. Most importantly, if possible, get your levels checked to ensure they are within an optimal range.

Flax and sesame seeds

Flax seeds and sesame seeds are natural phytoestrogens that can help with estrogen metabolism and are a tasty addition to many meals, including salads, smoothies, and more. Get creative in finding ways to incorporate them into your diet.

Soybeans

Soybeans (make sure they are organic) also contain phytoestrogens that act to balance estrogen, raising deficient levels, and lowering excess levels. Soy-based products are not bad for you, as many people think. It was once thought that soy foods increased the risk of breast cancer. However, that was found not to be true. 

About The Author
Vikki Petersen

Vikki is a certified nutritionist, certified functional medicine practitioner, chiropractor, and founder of the renowned Root Cause Medical Clinics in in Saratoga, California, and Clearwater, FL. She is co-author of The Gluten Effect, a bestselling book that has been celebrated by leading experts as an epic leap forward in gluten sensitivity diagnosis and treatment. Her second book is entitled Hiatal Hernia Syndrome, where she again tackles a health condition affecting millions for which conventional medicine has no answers.