Although people keep spreading the message that menopause is a time in life you should embrace rather than worry about, it’s hard to get used to those troubles due to low estrogen. But, is there a way to end the distress and lead a better life?
Learn about the ten symptoms of low estrogen that you might have and the strategies for managing the condition.
Why Estrogen Is Important in Women
Estrogen, the fountain of youth for women, is more important than many think.
We tend to evaluate a person’s health based on their physical appearance on the outside, like how lean and athletic the body is. We do this despite knowing that anything that shows externally is determined internally. Hormones, and estrogen, in particular, are those silent yet powerful factors that shape the person you are.
When you search the internet about estrogen’s roles in female bodies, many articles telling you how vital this hormone is will overwhelm you. For example, estrogen affects your sexual development, maintains your reproductive system, controls your menstrual cycle, and contributes to cognitive, bone, and cardiovascular health. In other words, your female characteristics and several other bodily processes rely on estrogen.
Unfortunately, everyone ages, losing the youthful characteristics our younger selves used to embrace. Yes, so does estrogen. Older women experience a gradual but persistent decline in estrogen levels as a natural part of aging. Although different women lose different amounts of this hormone, most women will have given away half of their estrogen to aging by age 60.
Ready for the worse part? Aging is not the only culprit of low estrogen.
What Causes Low Estrogen in Women?
As mentioned above, aging is one of the most painful reasons women are low in estrogen. When a woman reaches the age of 45, the menopause period starts. And thus, the kick-off of all those symptoms of low estrogen. So the time a woman steps into the “over-the-hill” chapter depends on each individual. Some are early; others embrace their youth until 55 or even older.
The worst thing that life gives you is stress, no doubt about it. From less sleep to more deadlines at work, entering the life of a senior accompanies loads of tension and pressure.
And you know what? Stress does take away your hormones. Research shows that psychological stress may worsen the natural estrogen decline and reduce peak levels. Physical stress, like too much exercise, is thought to be involved, too.
Lack of Nutrition
You won’t find it difficult to understand that nutrition affects our hormones even when you’re not a nutritionist. The foods that we consume reign over how our bodies operate in general.
Some “good” foods, like fruits and vegetables rich in fiber or seeds and beans, are associated with increased estrogen. Some others, so-called “estrogen blockers” like animal proteins or citrus fruits, may lower your estrogen.
Treatments Impacting the Ovaries
Any treatment that you get takes its toll on your body. Given that the ovaries produce most of your estrogen, any disordering due to medicine or invasive therapy to these organs may damage your estrogen levels. Cancer treatments, like radiation and chemotherapy, are what you should avoid if possible to retain your hormones. In addition, having your ovaries removed as part of treatment may also harm your estrogen.
Certain Diseases or Inherited Disorders
The last culprit is suffering from specific diseases or genetic conditions.
For example, some people with autoimmune diseases have their ovaries attacked by their immune system, preventing them from producing enough estrogen. Some others with Turner Syndrome or Fragile X, the two conditions linked to the X chromosome, also experience estrogen insufficiency. Yet, a few may have premature menopause, as seen in those stopping the menstrual cycle before age 40.
10 Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Women
Low estrogen causes water loss under the skin. As a result, your skin may feel drier, rough, and have more wrinkles.
Estrogen plays a role in regulating glucose and lipid metabolism. So, if your estrogen levels are low, you may experience hormonal weight gain.
Estrogen levels link to the production of serotonin, a mood-regulating substance. Low estrogen disrupts serotonin production, leading to mood swings.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Low estrogen makes your body sensitive to even the most minor temperature changes. For example, hot flashes or night sweats are a series of processes that your body initiates to cool you off when it senses that you are too warm.
Irregular or Absent Periods
Low estrogen can cause irregular or missed periods because estrogen is one of the primary hormones regulating the menstrual cycle.
Fatigue and Sleep Difficulty
With less estrogen, you may feel irritable and less able to relax, resulting in sleep difficulties and fatigue. You may also feel tired earlier and wake up earlier in the morning.
Estrogen plays a significant role in women’s cognition since it aids in memory, concentration, and information processing. As a result, low estrogen may interfere with cognitive functions.
Headaches Before the Menstrual Period
Low estrogen can also initiate migraines. This correlation explains why migraine sufferers frequently experience headaches before their menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are at their lowest.
Vaginal Dryness or Atrophy
Estrogen contributes to the lubrication, elasticity, and thickness of the vagina. Therefore, the walls of the vagina might weaken, dry out, and shrink when estrogen levels are low, resulting in vaginal atrophy.
Low Sex Drive and Painful Intercourse
Reduced blood flow to the vagina due to low estrogen may result in thinning of the labia and vaginal tissues. If this occurs, their sensitivity to sexual stimulation decreases.
How to Treat Low Estrogen in Women
We are what we eat. Therefore, it’s vital to include healthy foods and supplements for an optimal diet. Some natural ingredients contain a substance called phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen. Eating foods that have phytoestrogen helps with the symptoms of low estrogen. So the next time you head to the supermarket, make sure you look for:
- Seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seed)
- Legumes (soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts)
- Fruits (plums, pears, apples, grapes)
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
Making positive changes to your lifestyle can also help you cope with the impacts of low estrogen. First thing first, aim for a healthy body weight. Being either underweight or overweight causes turbulence in hormone production. You may want to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, too. Giving yourself a little boost in physical activity stimulates your endocrine glands. But don’t overdo it! Overexercise may instead harm your estrogen.
Are you trying to tell me that you’re too stressed out and can’t seem to live a worry-free life? Everyone faces stressful situations at some point in their lives. The point is to deal with them appropriately. Why don’t you incorporate stress management techniques, like meditation or yoga, and see if your hormones improve? Remember to get enough sleep, too! An adult like you needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
You may not know about this, but there is one unique treatment option that many women have used to get their optimal hormone levels back. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) helps to eliminate those distressing symptoms of low estrogen. In HRT, you receive synthetic estrogens similar to those produced in your body through injections or pellets. And most importantly, HRT truly works!
Many women open up about their stories of facing low estrogen levels and accepting the symptoms as an undesirable part of their life. But listen to me; just because we’re reaching the 40s or 50s doesn’t mean we have to suffer from anything.
Menopause and all the associated symptoms of low estrogen are no longer untreatable. So take back control of your body today by implementing a healthy diet, lifestyle, and proper medical treatment.
Yunique Medical provides FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE for optimized health and performance. We offer customized, scientifically advanced treatments to create a new state of human thriving. Why be ordinary when you can be optimal?
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