Estrogen is an important female hormone. It is associated with the development of the female reproductive system and a woman's overall sexual health and wellbeing. It begins to be responsible for the female sexual development since the onset of puberty.
Each menstrual cycle's growth of the uterine lining is observed due to the function played by the hormone estrogen. It is also an important hormone related to conception and pregnancy. The role of estrogen is very important during pregnancy.
It stimulates hormone production in the adrenal gland of the fetus. It further stimulates the growth of the adrenal gland and enhances the uterus of the mother, so that it can respond to the pregnancy hormone, oxytocin.
Estrogen also plays an essential role in the human body's production of cholesterol and bone metabolism. Low estrogen in the body could be a serious health issue which needs to be treated and diagnosed at the earliest.
Read on to know the signs and symptoms of low estrogen in your body followed by how it can be treated.
Understanding Low Levels Of Estrogen:
The ovary is responsible for producing the hormone estrogen. Irregular functioning of the ovary could in turn lead to a deficiency in this hormone. The factors that can cause low estrogen levels are:
• A chronic kidney disease
• Turner syndrome - in this the female body since birth has only one X chromosome
• Exercising vigorously
• Low functionality of the pituitary gland
• Eating disorders or anorexia
• Autoimmune disorder, premature ovarian failure
Identifying Low Levels Of Estrogen:
Low estrogen levels are largely seen in girls who are approaching their puberty and in women who are approaching menopause.
Nevertheless, women of any age could have a low estrogen level in their body. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of low level of estrogen in the female body are:
• Severe mood swings
• Pain during sex, especially due to the absence of vaginal lubrication
• Headaches (including migraines)
• Hot flashes
• Irregular or absent periods
• Difficulty in concentrating and focusing
• Urinary tract infections
• Weak bones that might cause frequent fractures. This is so because estrogen works along with calcium and vitamin D. A deficiency of this could mean a decrease in the density of the bone.
Any of the above symptoms should be reported to the doctor without negligence. Not treating the condition could worsen the situation. If you have doubts, please approach your healthcare practitioner at the earliest.
Low estrogen levels can be treated and regulated by a doctor with medicines and sometimes with a couple of changes in your lifestyle.
Treatment To Increase Estrogen Levels:
• Checking The Estrogen Level
The first step before you begin any particular program or treatment to increase your estrogen levels is to first get yourself checked by a doctor. Once you inform the doctor about your symptoms, you might be sent for few tests.
You might need to get a blood test done to test for Follicle-Stimulating hormone (FSH). Estrogen therapy might be prescribed if your estrogen levels are found to be low. This therapy might include pills, skin patches or topical gels.
• Quit Smoking
Smoking can have severe harmful effects on the endocrine system. The body's ability to produce estrogen could be limited if you possess the habit of smoking. Quit smoking if you have been diagnosed with low estrogen levels.
• Changes In The Diet
A healthy body will have a good functioning endocrine system which can produce adequate levels of estrogen. Eating healthy is therefore essential. Make sure that you consume food that contains phytoestrogens.
Foods that would contain this are tofu, soy nuts, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, flax seeds, whole grains, prunes and cranberries. Edamame can mimic the effects of estrogen. Hormonal imbalances can also be due to excess sugar intake. Minimize it.
• Gain Weight
If you are underweight, your body could be producing low estrogen. Gain weight to combat this situation. Try to maintain a healthy weight.
• Chasteberry Supplements
Chasteberry, a herb, can influence estrogen levels in the body. However, take it only when prescribed by a doctor. Chasteberry should not be taken along with birth control pills or medicines used for treating Parkinson's disease.
• Consumption Of Herbal Teas
Herbal teas can enhance estrogen levels. Steep the herbs in hot water for around 5 minutes and then drink the tea. Green and black tea is known to contain phytoestrogens and these can thus improve the level of estrogen in your body.
• Consumption Of Coffee
Stick to not more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. According to studies, women who consume more than 200 mg of caffeine daily possess higher chances of having low estrogen levels when compared to women who do not.
If you still love coffee, prefer organic coffee. Organic coffee will ensure that you stay away from being exposed to the consumption of pesticides and other harmful fertilizers as coffee tends to be a heavily sprayed crop.
Moderate exercise can decrease the risk of breast cancer. Exercising vigorously can lead to low estrogen levels; therefore, do it in moderation.
Also, ensure that the estrogen levels do not get too high as this can again be a cause of a health issue.
You could see the following symptoms when estrogen levels are in excess in your body:
• Decrease in sex drive
• Irregular periods
• Cold hands or feet
• Hair loss
• Memory issues
• Tender breasts - there could be fibrocystic lumps in the breasts
• Mood swings
• Weight gain
• Panic attacks
Although estrogen deficiency is a serious issue, it is not a matter to worry much if diagnosed and treated early.
Do not let the symptoms of low/high estrogen linger for long. Get yourself physically examined as soon as you feel that something is not right that could indicate hormonal imbalance.
Reviving your health and wellbeing is simple and quick with the right treatment and proper lifestyle.
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