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What happens to female hormones on Paleo?

by (3159)
Updated about 16 hours ago
Created July 31, 2011 at 7:23 PM

How does a high fat, high protein, and/or low carb diet affect these hormones? How does Paleo increase testosterone for men but not women (or does it)? Why is Paleo a good diet for women?

To be frank, the question is a bit muddled in my head but basically: I am a female eating paleo (almost a year now and will do so for life most likely) and I just am curious what hormones have been affected (no, I do not have sufficient funds to go get tested).

Research articles, personal experiences, all-things-nerdy-and-knowledeagble are welcomed.

And go!

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a
2024 · September 13, 2011 at 6:12 AM

You know, this is really good to hear someone else talking about shorter cycles. I'm 37, and we're trying to get me knocked up. My cycles were always 28 days, and now they're down to 25-26, and I've been worried about being perimenopausal. Started Paleo in Feb, noticed the change in cycle length a couple months later. Periods are relatively painless for me anyway, and now they just breeze by. Which would be fine if I weren't stressing about perimenopause!

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78422 · August 01, 2011 at 10:35 PM

so you haven't notice an increase in sex drive?

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529 · August 01, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Estriol is one of the three main estrogen's produced by us and usually appears during pregnancy. Check out this article on estrogen. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/estrogen/

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b
2640 · August 01, 2011 at 4:02 PM

My experience reflects yours although I have not been tested for estrogen levels in a few years. I too have the "post"MS, not "pre". I'd be curious to know how many others get this and what the cause is!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 01, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Because our bodies adapt nanosec to nanosec. This is the lesson we have learned about epigenetics. Natural selections driving force is the turning on and off of epigenetic switches

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24538 · August 01, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Agreed, one needs a picture of where they are at to know where to go. I'm at a loss as to how to ask this without sounding woowoo, but do you think once on a healing diet someone could intuit whether they were on the right path hormonally just based on how they are feeling?

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168 · August 01, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Jack, I'm not sure I understand your answer. If everything changes constantly, why test so often? Why not give things some time to settle in? I assume we're talking about generally healthy, average folks. I don't see why a blood test once a year wouldn't be sufficient to assess general health. Any more often smacks of orthorexia! And I understand that you're a doc and have access to labs and needles (yuck) and can draw blood any old time you want but really, is it necessary for most of us? What would I learn that an honest assessment of my diet couldn't tell me? Real question - not snark.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 01, 2011 at 1:06 AM

plus one.......

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 01, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Most American women are estrogen dominant due to their diet phytoestrogens synthetic estrogen the take and leptin resistance.....but how to fix it still requires data....... Its not hard to do but you should not just cookbook something so critical

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · July 31, 2011 at 7:58 PM

plus one..........

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6 Answers

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
3
25467 · July 31, 2011 at 7:57 PM

it depends upon what paleo is to you, what your current gut bio-films are adapted too ......and most importantly what is your current hormone backround. Then you can discuss it from there. That is the context one needs when they explore this. And if you cant test you really are flying blind. This is why I am totally behind a quantified self platform or quarterly testing. This way you know exactly what works for you and what needs to be tweeked as the variables change because the one thing i have learned is they constantly change as time changes.

What I began with five yrs ago is radically different than now. What I did for my wife is radically different than we are doing now.

Context.

Without out it you are spinning in the mud.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 01, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Because our bodies adapt nanosec to nanosec. This is the lesson we have learned about epigenetics. Natural selections driving force is the turning on and off of epigenetic switches

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48
168 · August 01, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Jack, I'm not sure I understand your answer. If everything changes constantly, why test so often? Why not give things some time to settle in? I assume we're talking about generally healthy, average folks. I don't see why a blood test once a year wouldn't be sufficient to assess general health. Any more often smacks of orthorexia! And I understand that you're a doc and have access to labs and needles (yuck) and can draw blood any old time you want but really, is it necessary for most of us? What would I learn that an honest assessment of my diet couldn't tell me? Real question - not snark.

4fca5e11d50731edbf4cf2ec38691aa3
2
961 · August 01, 2011 at 4:20 AM

I have not been tested for a long time.....All I know is that I was constantly hot. I had hot flashes several times a day and could not sleep at night because of them. I have been eating Paleo for about three months. The hot flashes are gone. Just gone. Amazing for me. I have been in menopause for one year. Age 56

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49
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529 · August 01, 2011 at 1:03 AM

I can tell you that testing is needed to see what is going on. You need to know where you stand to even start correction. But I had adrenal fatigue, under-working thyroid, estrogen dominance and cyst, which I still have. I also was not ovulating and I had mind numbing periods.

I started this journey the Weston Price way and have been primal for nearly a year. Personally I have gotten what felt like IBS flare ups and weren't one month before during and after my cycles. An aversion to men, weirdly enough. A cup size bigger in breast and lately indigestion and heartburn that has eased now that I am sleeping in total darkness. Oh yes and much better menstrual cycles and PMS without cravings.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 01, 2011 at 1:06 AM

plus one.......

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
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24538 · July 31, 2011 at 11:50 PM

I'm hoping someone who knows more about this than I do can chime in here, but one of the benefits I keep hearing about is "resolving estrogen dominance".

I wish I had an awesome nerdy answer for you, but all I have is my n=1 of no longer suffering from PMS when I manage to stay at 80-90% compliance.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 01, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Most American women are estrogen dominant due to their diet phytoestrogens synthetic estrogen the take and leptin resistance.....but how to fix it still requires data....... Its not hard to do but you should not just cookbook something so critical

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · August 01, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Agreed, one needs a picture of where they are at to know where to go. I'm at a loss as to how to ask this without sounding woowoo, but do you think once on a healing diet someone could intuit whether they were on the right path hormonally just based on how they are feeling?

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900
1
4080 · August 01, 2011 at 6:17 PM

My latest hormone testing was interesting.(paleo for over a year and gluten free and egg free over for 3 years. Soy free for over 10 years) My testosterone was so low it wasn't on the scale. My progesterone was only slightly below normal for the first 15 days of my cycle. Estrogen was normal. (Also on there was super low DHEA and super low cortisol until noon). I have a 28 cycle with really bad cramps and bleeding for the first day. Although I have no 'before' data, I think that my testosterone has gotten lower (lowered drive). Other than that my cycle is the same as it has always been. My doc tried to have my take bioidentical creams of testosterone and progesterone, but they were made with soy lotion and testosterone is sourced from soy = near ambulance trip. Thanks doc and pharmacy who were both informed that I was allergic to soy. Maybe a few more years on paleo will help to better my results.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea
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2825 · August 01, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I've been grain/legume free for about 4 months with occasional, small ingestions of dairy and sugar (i.e. a spoonful of ice cream). My menstrual cycle has been getting consistently shorter each month and I've had some spotting during ovulation, which is totally uncharacteristic for me (I was pretty much 28 days like clockwork, now down to 24 days). I'm seeing a naturopath for some gut stuff and tests showed normal DHEA, Testosterone, Estrone and Estradiol, slightly elevated Estriol and depressed Progesterone. I have no idea what any of this means, but the lab recommends reducing intake of estrogen and progesterone and an increase in Vitamin C and water-soluble fiber.

I've had a history of PMS moodiness but now seem to experience it after my period instead of before. I figure things in my body are just adjusting and recalibrating.

I don't know whether this is coincidental or correlated to my dietary changes but I'm certainly interested in hearing about any other female experiences.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b
2640 · August 01, 2011 at 4:02 PM

My experience reflects yours although I have not been tested for estrogen levels in a few years. I too have the "post"MS, not "pre". I'd be curious to know how many others get this and what the cause is!

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49
529 · August 01, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Estriol is one of the three main estrogen's produced by us and usually appears during pregnancy. Check out this article on estrogen. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/estrogen/

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a
2024 · September 13, 2011 at 6:12 AM

You know, this is really good to hear someone else talking about shorter cycles. I'm 37, and we're trying to get me knocked up. My cycles were always 28 days, and now they're down to 25-26, and I've been worried about being perimenopausal. Started Paleo in Feb, noticed the change in cycle length a couple months later. Periods are relatively painless for me anyway, and now they just breeze by. Which would be fine if I weren't stressing about perimenopause!

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