Estrogen is a hormone that plays a variety of roles in the body. It is primarily associated with sexual development and reproductive health in women. But, estrogen affects bone health, cognitive health, mood and the health of the cardiovascular system.
When estrogen levels are low or your hormone levels are out of balance this can affect your body in a number of different ways.
Sex. Estrogen in women is closely related to their sexual organs. Having low estrogen can affect your sex drive and cause painful sex due to vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy, a thinning drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls that can occur when estrogen levels are low.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats. Hot flashes and night sweats are one of the most commonly known low estrogen symptoms and are a result of the role estrogen plays in your body's natural thermostat.
Trouble Sleeping. Insomnia or trouble sleeping could also be a sign of low estrogen as estrogen helps move magnesium into your body's tissues when it is needed for the synthesis of neurotransmitters including melatonin. Night sweats can also make it difficult to get a good night's sleep.
Mood Swings. Fluctuating estrogen in women can cause mood swings during monthly cycles and as estrogen level decreases at menopause. Estrogen affects serotonin levels in the body which can lead to increased irritability, anxiety and even depression.
Bone Density. One of the roles of estrogen in the body is to regulate bone metabolism. When estrogen levels drop this can reduce bone density which increases the risk of breaking bones.
Skin. Estrogen is known to contribute to skin firmness and elasticity due to its role in collagen production. This means that when levels drop there is less collagen and skin can begin to thin and develop wrinkles.
Irregular Periods. While periods becoming less frequent and eventually stopping is all part of aging, irregular periods before menopause could be a sign of low estrogen.
Other health risks associated with low estrogen include increased risk of urinary tract infection, weight gain and cardiovascular issues.
Although estrogen is primarily thought of as being a female hormone male bodies also produce estrogen, albeit at lower levels, and it plays a number of vital roles in male health.
In men estrogen is important for
Symptoms of low estrogen in men can include fatigue, anxiety or depression, water retention, a loss of bone density, sexual dysfunction, fat accumulation, difficulties with memory and oversleeping.
As there is a correlation between estrogen and testosterone, these are similar to the symptoms of low testosterone and it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. Therefore men considering estrogen therapy should request an appointment with their doctor to ensure they are accessing the best replacement therapy.
Finding the cause of low estrogen is generally a good place to start if you are experiencing low estrogen levels.
Low estrogen in women is generally a result of the body naturally producing less estrogen as they approach menopause. Estrogen production in female bodies primarily happens in the ovaries, although it is also produced by the adrenal glands and in fat cells. The body produces variable amounts of estrogen over the course of the menstrual cycle, playing a role in ovulation and thickening the lining of the womb ready for pregnancy.
Many perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms are in fact caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen as the body stops releasing eggs and preparing for pregnancy. As mentioned above, low estrogen can affect many aspects of your health and wellbeing, which is why many women choose to use hormone replacement therapy to help minimize hormonal imbalances and ease the symptoms caused by low estrogen.
Causes of low estrogen can also include premature menopause or treatments that damage or remove the ovaries, having an eating disorder or genetic conditions. Individuals may also develop hypothalamic amenorrhea which means your brain stops releasing the hormone that activates estrogen production. This can be a result of excessive exercising, stress or poor diet, and will cause the body to stop menstruating. It is most common in athletes and women with anorexia or other eating disorders.
Issues with your pituitary gland can also cause low estrogen as although the pituitary glands do not produce estrogen themselves they do produce the hormones that tell the ovaries to start making estrogen.
There are a number of ways you may be able to treat low estrogen and therefore balance your hormone levels and relieve some of the symptoms of low estrogen you are experiencing. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one way of increasing estrogen and dealing with low estrogen symptoms. And there are also natural remedies such as foods that contain phytoestrogens, which can help balance hormones and relieve unpleasant symptoms.
Treatment for low estrogen is often prescribed by healthcare professionals in the form of either a cream, tablet, suppository or patch and may use either synthetic or bio-identical estrogen. There are pros and cons to each method so it's a good idea to look at all the options and make sure you choose a product that is best suited to your individual needs. Hormone replacement is minimally invasive as results can usually be seen within a few weeks.
Our all-natural, bio-identical estriol cream is formulated for maximum absorption, helping you quickly bring your hormone levels back into balance. This can affect many areas of your health and well-being including improving mood, helping with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, and promoting beautiful healthy skin.
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