How to tell if you have LOW estrogen levels

Mar 30, 2021 | Energy, Fatigue, Hormone Balance, Lab Testing, PMS, Root Causes, Symptoms

Last week, we talked about estrogen dominance. While this is a common phenomenon – one that we hear a lot about these days – it doesn’t apply to everyone who deals with hormonal imbalance.

Low estrogen is also common and can be just as problematic as high estrogen.

Women who struggle with low levels of estrogen deal with the following symptoms:

If you resonate with many of those symptoms, then you likely wonder what can lead to these low levels.

Hormonal imbalance doesn’t just happen on its own. Oftentimes, it’s actually a symptom of other problems.

Here are some of the common reasons:

  • Low Cholesterol: All steroid hormones are made from cholesterol – so if cholesterol levels are too low, then the body doesn’t have the materials it needs to produce hormones.
  • Low-Fat Diet: Fat is essential to building hormones. Someone cannot make adequate hormones if they’re not including healthy fats in their diet. I see this with some of my clients because a low-fat diet was really pushed on us for decades.

Side note – avoiding fat or purchasing “low-fat” products are choices that do not promote healthy reproductive hormone production. AND – these products add SUGAR to compensate for the lack of fat.

  • Having Too Low Body Fat: Body fat percentages can drop too low with excessive exercise, an eating disorder, or extreme dieting. Long distance endurance athletes can end up losing their periods. And in younger women, the most common sign of low estrogen levels is not menstruating.
  • Chronic Stress: Whether it’s physical, emotional, or dietary stress – it puts the body into flight or fight mode. What that means is the body stops prioritizing hormones like estrogen less of a priority.
  • Low DHEA: DHEA is another hormone that is the precursor to estrogen. If your DHEA levels are low, then it’s logical that estrogen levels will also be low.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Many vitamins and minerals play a big role in hormone production. So if we do not get enough nutrients in, then hormone production can suffer.

Reasons we might have nutrient deficiencies include:

  • A poor diet and not eating enough nutrient-dense foods
  • Low stomach acid and digestive enzymes which makes it harder for food to be broken down
  • Gut pathogens like parasites, bacteria, yeast, and fungus that damage the lining of the gut and compromise digestion
  • Lifestyle Habits: Smoking, caffeine, and sugar can all lead to hormone imbalance.
  • Undiagnosed Gluten Sensitivity: Studies have linked gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease with no periods, infertility, and diminished ovarian reserve.

If you don’t think you have a gluten sensitivity, you’re not alone. I didn’t think so either, but once I removed it from my diet, I realized how much it was impacting me. Plus, those who have Celiac – it can take them up to 10 years to be properly diagnosed.

And we can’t be 80% gluten free – because even a single exposure to gluten will trigger the production of antibodies that last 3-6 months.

  • A Hysterectomy: This causes a surgically-induced menopause and lower estrogen levels as a consequence.

As you can see, the number of potential reasons for low estrogen is plentiful. And it may not just be one of these – it could be several things.

If you suspect that you have low levels of estrogen based on the symptoms listed above, then the best first step is to address the causes you see listed above that resonate with you.

Even if you don’t have low estrogen, addressing these lifestyle habits can go a long way to improving the overall quality of your health.

What you don’t want to do is run out and just start supplementing with random strategies you read about online.

Because, if you noticed, there is some overlap of low estrogen with estrogen dominance. So without knowing for sure, you want to be careful.

One example of this that I’ve seen quite a bit is someone will believe they have estrogen dominance and run out and buy the DIM supplement, which is supposed to help process out high levels of estrogen. However, if someone actually has LOW estrogen or even normal estrogen, then the DIM could actually make things worse.

That’s why I STRONGLY suggest working with a trained practitioner who can look at not just your hormones but also all the areas of the body that can impact your hormones.

Hormonal imbalance is almost more a symptom of other issues.

And treating JUST hormones is like trying to fill a bucket that has a hole in it – you’ll never fully get the result you’re looking for.

This is the work I do with my clients every day. We look at the full picture through functional lab data and put together a plan to address the body as a whole to restore balance, which leads to a reduction or elimination of symptoms.

If you’re tired of feeling like you’re in a battle with your body, then I highly recommend booking a complimentary call with me. On this call, we’ll talk about where you are, where you want to be, and how I help clients achieve their goals.

Click here to book a call.

This could be the first step to truly transform your life and health to make 2021 the year you truly begin to thrive!

Yours in health,

Kim

PS – If you missed last week’s newsletter about estrogen dominance, click here to check it out on the blog.