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-   -   'Vegetarians have low estrogen' (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/33-women-s-health-issues/216602-vegetarians-have-low-estrogen.html)

Beets&Beats 11-02-2016 05:48 PM

'Vegetarians have low estrogen'
 
Hello!
How many of you veg women are estrogen dominant? There must be some, right!

So, I've finally gotten to the bottom of my hormone issues apparently and low estrogen is a big part of it.

It wasn't low a while back when I was eating dairy (which doesn't agree with my stomach or ethics but I'm choosing local and going to see how lactose-free or a2 sorts go as well as see if more time gluten-free has helped after celiac dx ) and during brief foray into meat (the only one for several decades).

The fertility specialist pointedly said 'Don't return to vegetarian because vegetarian women have lower estrogen.' but my hunch is if I keep the dairy I should be fine? I know a lot of people don't even need the dairy but I do.
I can't see how meat itself would impact estrogen.

In fact, this is quite the case for finally coming back to veg after trying to force meat and crying nightly... Much easier to be gf vegetarian than gf vegan and would hate for gf vegan to have become gf/dairyfree omnivore.

If that makes sense...

silva 11-02-2016 06:44 PM

Because cows are given hormones you want that to raise your estrogen? Why not just take it yourself?
How would the average person know if they're high estrogen? I was vegetarian when I got pregnant, having gone off the pill a very short time.
Doesn't stress hinder pregnancy?
Isn't high estrogen levels a cancer risk?

David3 11-02-2016 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beets&Beats (Post 4027506)

The fertility specialist pointedly said 'Don't return to vegetarian because vegetarian women have lower estrogen.'
If that makes sense...

A good physician will understand that vegetarianism can be central to a person's ethical life. A good physician will help their vegetarian clients to achieve their goals while remaining vegetarian, rather than implying that a choice must be made between fertility and vegetarianism.

My advice: Ask for a 2nd opinion, from a different fertility physician

Naturebound 11-03-2016 02:52 AM

High and low estrogen in terms of diet really has more to do with dietary fat than any particular food. Here is a study on estrogen levels and diet (omnivore versus vegetarian):

https://www.researchgate.net/profile...d58e91ee20.pdf

It makes sense that a diet heavy in dairy, eggs, and meat would be higher in fat and lower in fiber. Fat is also a necessary component in the utilization of steriod sex hormones (as well as vitamin D and other hormones). Absorption and storage of estrogen is higher with a higher body fat, but also with a regular menstrual cycle. Maintaining a normal healthy weight is also important in terms of estrogen in females.

As a vegan, you could still get enough dietary fat by concentrating on plant sources such as nuts, seeds, peanuts/butter, avocado, olives, coconut, soy products. Increase those and decrease fruits, vegetables, and grains slightly if estrogen, weight, and dietary fat is an issue. From your past posts, I know that low weight is an issue for you, and that will certainly contribute to low estrogen.

I am postmenopausal (due to loss of ovaries 11 years ago) so do not menstruate. However, I do take a straight estradiol replacement patch in order to stave off symptoms of menopause (which for my young age and surgical menopause status are much more intense than for someone in natural menopause) and to help protect my bone density or at least keep it from getting rapidly worse.

Many years ago when I was a teen, I did not get my first period until I was 16. I was an omni then, but was ballet/modern dance training 22 hours per week and was slightly underweight with all that activity. At 16 puberty finally hit and I gained a good bit of weight and with it my period. It had everything to do with body fat and little to do with what I ate in particular.

Jamie in Chile 11-03-2016 07:29 AM

I think it's likely that you can find a solution to a vegetarian or perhaps even vegan diet (if you want) and still be healthy. I don't know for sure how to do it in your specific case, but if you stay committed, do your research and get some expert advice, you should be able to do it. Good luck and best wishes and sorry I don't have more helpful advice.

Beets&Beats 11-03-2016 03:29 PM

Oh whew. Thanks guys. I knew it but it's so good to hear.

Naturebound, thanks for sharing your story. I've noticed before we have a bit in common so it always helps to hear your thoughts (plus they're just generally rad).
The weird thing is that I'm aware of the fat thing as well and because I find dairy so heavy and vaguely nauseating I ironically eat less fat when eating high fat dairy daily. I eat a LOT of fat daily as a vegan. So perhaps 'fat' pertains less to eating the fat and more to body fat percentage, as you say. I had less body fat when my cycle was happening, though. I was thinner and lower in body fat percentage but eating dairy. Then I stopped eating dairy, was determined to keep cycles by gaining weight etc. and it hasn't worked at all. Every time I stop eating it, the cycles leave. I'm keen to get pregnant but also just dislike the idea of crumbling bones and such. I've had lower estrogen in the past (night sweats etc.) but still had cycles (albeit even more infrequently). Gar.

Jamie, yep. I'm committed. To the point where I'd rather eat dairy than meat even though dairy makes me feel sick and sore. I'd rather be vegan because it tastes better and feels better and feels right for me but I guess I could try just vegetarian and see how it goes. Not great choices really. Sigh. Feel like crap as a vegetarian or eat meat and dislike doing it OR be vegan with no cycles. BAH.

David, it was actually my 3rd opinion. Plus GPs. All noticed the pattern. I probably can't afford to see ANOTHER specialist... and I really like this last one too much to leave.

Today is day 2 with dairy (trying sheep and goat) . If no cycles happen I'll assume it's unrelated. Now I ust have to keep from going crazy with dislike of the stuff and body aches...

Beets&Beats 11-16-2016 06:37 PM

Update:
Been back on the vego wagon and lacto-ovo (not vegan) for several weeks and my estrogen is at better levels.
Doctors don't know everything...

Werewolf Girl 11-16-2016 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beets&Beats (Post 4031738)
Update:
Been back on the vego wagon and lacto-ovo (not vegan) for several weeks and my estrogen is at better levels.
Doctors don't know everything...

That's great to hear! :vebo:


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