- Estrogen deficiency and the resulting symptoms
- Causes of low estrogen levels
- Effects of low estrogen levels
- Treatment options
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Estrogen is a hormone that is of great importance to women's he alth. In fact, the male body also produces estrogen, but in small amounts. Therefore, estrogen is most commonly associated with women. With this in mind, estrogen deficiency in women can lead to a variety of he alth concerns and symptoms.
Hormones play a major role in our he alth
Estrogen deficiency and the resulting symptoms
In this post, we shed light on the causes of low estrogen levels, the he alth consequences and possible cures. Just keep reading…
Although estrogen is primarily associated with female development during puberty and the reproductive cycle, it affects the entire female organism, from bone he alth to a woman's emotional well-being.
Low estrogen levels can develop in women of all ages for a variety of reasons.
Estrogen is generally associated with the female body
Quick facts on estrogen deficiency:
- Estrogen is largely produced by the ovaries
- When estrogen levels are low, it can have various effects on the body
- Women with eating disorders such as anorexia are at higher risk of having low estrogen levels
Men also produce estrogen, but women produce it in higher amounts
Heat waves are among the symptoms of estrogen deficiency
Causes of low estrogen levels
Estrogen levels can vary for many reasons. Any condition that affects the ovaries can lead to a drop in estrogen levels in the body. However, the most significant risk factor for low estrogen levels is age. As women age and approach menopause, it is normal for estrogen levels to drop.
In fact, estrogen deficiency occurs a few years before menopause
Estrogen levels can also drop for various other reasons:
- premature ovarian failure
- Congenital diseases such as Turner syndrome
- Thyroid diseases
- Excessive exercise
- Very underweight
- malfunctioning pituitary gland
Effects of low estrogen levels
Symptoms of estrogen deficiency may include:
- Irregular periods: Estrogen is one of the most important hormones that control the menstrual cycle. Low estrogen levels can lead to missed or irregular periods.
- Infertility: Low estrogen levels can prevent ovulation and make pregnancy difficult, leading to infertility.
- Weak Bones: Estrogen helps keep bones he althy and strong. When estrogen levels drop, bone loss can occur. For example, postmenopausal women have an increased risk of suffering from osteoporosis and fractures.
- Painful intercourse: Estrogen can affect vaginal lubrication. When levels get too low, vaginal dryness can occur, often leading to painful intercourse.
- Hot flashes: Hot flashes are common during menopause due to low estrogen levels.
- Depression: Estrogen is thought to increase serotonin levels. Estrogen deficiency, on the other hand, can cause low levels of serotonin, which contributes to mood swings or depression.
- Increase in urinary tract infections: Due to the thinning of the tissue in the urethra, urinary tract infections can occur, which can develop further when estrogen levels are low.
Estrogen is an essential hormone, so the effects can be quite far-reaching
Effect on weight
Hormones, including estrogen, can play a role in weight control and how much fat the body stores. Low estrogen levels, e.g. during menopause, can contribute to weight gain.
The areas of the body where women store fat can also change during menopause. Typically women store fat in their hips and thighs. However, that changes when estrogen levels drop.
Although weight gain due to low estrogen levels is typical, it is not inevitable. A he althy diet and regular exercise can help women reduce their chances of gaining weight.
Estrogen is mainly produced in the ovaries
The diagnosis of estrogen deficiency often begins with a physical exam, history, and review of symptoms. Telltale signs of estrogen deficiency include hot flashes and missed periods. However, some of these symptoms can also occur as a result of other medical conditions, including thyroid problems.
To determine the cause of estrogen deficiency, a doctor may do a blood test to check hormone levels. The doctor may also recommend additional testing to rule out other conditions that could be causing symptoms similar to estrogen deficiency.
In women over the age of 40, low estrogen levels can be a sign of impending menopause
Not all women need treatment for low estrogen levels. However, if low estrogen symptoms are bothersome, treatment may be recommended. Treatment is individualized based on the cause of the symptoms present.
Women aged 25 to 50 with estrogen deficiency are generally prescribed a high dose of estrogen
Hormone replacement therapy and estrogen therapy
For estrogen deficiency, doctors usually prescribe hormone replacement therapy. Different types of hormone replacement therapy are available. Sometimes doctors suggest combined hormone therapy that includes estrogen and progesterone.
However, hormone replacement therapy is not suitable for all women, for example women who have had a stroke, heart attack or high blood pressure in the past.
Sometimes doctors only prescribe estrogen, i.e. estrogen therapy, for example for women who have had their ovaries removed.
If you experience symptoms of estrogen deficiency, contact your doctor
It doesn't seem to give many scientifically proven methods to increase estrogen levels with the help of natural remedies. However, some small lifestyle and dietary changes can help.
Keep a he althy weight
Because being extremely underweight can lead to low estrogen levels, maintaining a he althy weight can help.
Estrogen therapy can also reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms
Reduction in physical activity
Extreme physical activity can also lead to low estrogen levels. Therefore, limiting exercise can contribute to estrogen levels increasing.
Some studies have been conducted on the benefits of soy for treating estrogen deficiency. However, they suggest that soy isoflavones may reduce menopausal symptoms caused by estrogen deficiency. The intake of soy and soy supplements should also be discussed with your doctor
Soy and soy products can have a soothing effect on estrogen deficiency
Estrogen deficiency can cause a variety of he alth problems and affect a woman's overall well-being. Any woman experiencing symptoms of low estrogen should see her doctor.
Be he althy at any age!