Do you feel tired, stressed and just done with life? Did you start missing your periods and started experiencing several downsides to your sex life? If the answers are a big fat YES, there are chances that you are experiencing symptoms of low estrogen levels in your body.
Low estrogen in women is not a very uncommon phenomenon. With the sluggish lifestyle and the impending amount of stress that we undergo, it is rather a very common occurrence. The symptoms of low estrogen itself are very profound and there are little to no chances that you are going to miss out on any of them.
In this article, we are going to focus on everything about low estrogen levels, right from the low estrogen symptoms, causes, side effects and the low estrogen treatment that will help combat the situation.
What is Low Estrogen?
Before we further proceed into the tales of low estrogen levels, let us focus on what exactly does estrogen entails.
Estrogen is a hormone that is considered as one of the primary sex hormones in a woman. Even though men produce the hormone too, there are experimental evidence that men produce more of it.
So, what is the role of estrogen in a woman’s body?
- It promotes the sexual development in a girl once they hit puberty
- Manages and maintains the subsequent growth of the inner lining of the uterine walls during menstruation and in case of pregnancy
- Aids in the development of breasts in teenage girls and attains changes in pregnant ladies as well
- Contributes to a number of metabolic activities of the body
So, when we mention Low estrogen, it is nothing but the decreased production of the hormone in an individual’s body. This can occur due to a number of causes, both internal and sometimes external too. All you need to do is identify the cause and pay attention to it to retrace the normal secretion of estrogen in the body because the side effects of low estrogen are sometimes very ghastly and permanent one a woman’s body.
Symptoms of low Estrogen Level
Estrogen is one of the most important hormones in a woman’s body which is why the irregular and reduced levels of secretion often tends to inflict negative impacts on one’s body.
Some of the common lowered estrogen level symptoms include:
Irregular periods: If you weren’t aware, it is often the levels of estrogen and progesterone that manage the process of menstruation in an individual. The hampered levels of estrogen in a woman’s body, for the most part, adversely affect their periods. They often get their periods late or even sometimes don’t get them for months straight.
Infertility: Fertility is related to the successful release of ovum and the process of fusion of the same with the sperm. But, the low estrogen levels often tend to affect this process and hinder the successful and smooth release of an ovum from the ovary. One of the most common symptoms of low estrogen lies with being unable to get pregnant which leads to infertility.
Weakened Bone health: One of the common side effects of low estrogen is the fact that it leads to hampered bone health in a woman. Estrogen plays a very crucial role in the maintenance of bone health and strength. This is why the chances of diseases like osteoporosis increases in a woman after she hits her menopausal days.
Painful sexual intercourse: Estrogen is one of the most effective factors that manage the lubrication of the vagina. Any kind of lowered levels of estrogen levels results in painful sex which is primarily because of lack of vaginal lubrication. The vaginal dryness is what causes the pain and that is one of the most common low estrogen effects.
Hot flashes: This is a symptom that is often witnessed in women who have hit their menopause. Following menopause, the estrogen levels drastically drop because of the sudden hormonal changes in the body. This often leads to hot flashes, especially during the nights.
Depression: the proper levels of estrogen in the body tend to affect the levels of serotonin in the body today. Serotonin is one of the primary hormones that help regulate our mood which is what helps manage the signs and symptoms of depression in an individual.
Causes of Low Estrogen Level
The primary production house of estrogen in women is via the ovaries. It is believed that any kind of problems with this specific organ is what results in the symptoms of low estrogen. But, not just that, there are a few other contributing factors that can be the reason behind the low estrogen in women.
Some of the primary causes of low estrogen levels include:
- Excessive exercise is one of the primary reasons behind the lowered production of estrogen in a woman. The excess strain on the body tends to put the body under stress which heftily affects the production of the hormone.
- Eating disorders heavily affect the production of estrogen in the ovaries. The lack of food or the consistent purging that accompanies eating disorders often tends to alter the consistent secretion of estrogen in the body.
- The pituitary gland, which is often considered as the primary endocrine gland, helps in the secretion of estrogen in a woman’s body. Any kind of improper functioning of this gland often results in the lowered estrogen level symptoms in the body.
- Turner syndrome is yet another major cause behind the estrogen deficiency symptoms. This is a chromosomal condition which is characterized by the lacking of one X chromosome in a woman. Women suffering from this syndrome often tend to be shorter than usual and are infertile because of the lack of ovarian functions which is what prohibits the proper secretion of estrogen in an individual.
- Chronic kidney diseases also contribute to the low estrogen in women.
- One of the most common causes of lowered estrogen level symptoms is because of menopause. Women who are attaining the stage of menopause often tend to undergo the gradual lowering of the estrogen levels in their bodies.
How to Diagnose Low Estrogen Levels?
In order to first self-diagnose the symptoms related to low estrogen levels, it is necessary to look out for the symptoms. If you have been experiencing the common symptoms like that mentioned in the previous section of the article, there are chances that you are suffering from low estrogen deficiency.
Consult your doctor as soon as possible to get the situation diagnosed. The timely diagnosis followed by administration of correct treatment can help prevent the possibility of a number of health issues.
The first and the most common step of diagnosis for low estrogen levels often just start off with a doctor assessing your medical history and take notes of the symptoms that you are experiencing. The same is followed by a blood test to confirm the hormonal levels in the body and if the symptoms are actually because of low estrogen levels or not.
Apart from the normal procedure of diagnosis, there are often instances where the doctor conducts a brain scan to check any kind of shortcomings or abnormalities in the endocrine system of the body – especially in the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.
If everything fails to detect the reasons, a DNA testing is done to check any kind of problems with the endocrine system as a part of the low estrogen natural treatment.
How to Increase Estrogen Levels?
Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone which is why it is necessary to always first opt for natural ways to increase the underlying lowering levels of estrogen in the body. Whatever the low estrogen treatment that you opt for, make sure that you consult your doctor first and be assured of the pros and cons of it.
Some of the common ways to increase estrogen levels in the body include:
1. Weight Gain
One of the most common reasons of altered estrogen levels in the body is because of the lack of proper weight of an individual. If you are underweight or even overweight, try and bring it back to healthy levels because that itself promotes corrected secretion of the estrogen in the body.
2. Soy Products
Yet another important ingredient or constituent that plays an amazing role in increasing the levels of estrogen in the body is the various soy products. Soy is rich in isoflavones which aids in elevating the levels of estrogen in the body.
Although research claims that the difference is not that pronounced, the levels are surely a lot more than what you would expect. It is believed that you should not solely rely on soy products for increasing estrogen levels and you should also consume something else on the side to boost the estrogen levels but consult a doctor before you do so.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the most common causes of low estrogen in women. If you are a smoker and suffer from low estrogen symptoms, it is best to give up the habit. The smoking hinders with the production of estrogen in the blood.
Altered estrogen levels affect the fertility of an individual which is something that is directly related to smoking which is why it is best to quit it for good, be it active or passive.
Chasteberry is the herb that is often extracted from the tree under the same name. The constituents of this herb help in boosting the overall sexual health of a woman. It stimulates the pituitary gland which in turn helps regularise the production of sex hormones, estrogen being the primary one.
This remedy or low estrogen natural treatment has been used since history to treat irregularities in the menstrual cycle and such but the one thing that you need to be assured of is to consult the doctor before consuming any of the supplements.
5. Red Clover
One of the most common and opted for natural remedies for the low estrogen deficiency is the herb, red clover. It is primarily grown and found in the European countries and has an amazing track record in treating the conditions concerning irregular menstrual cycle and several hormonal imbalances.
It consists of natural phytoestrogens, isoflavones and several estrogen like properties that help in combating the side effects of low estrogen by increasing its levels in the body.
6. Herbal Tea
You might be confused when I mention herbal tea under the “remedy” part but it actually does work. The constituents of the herbal tea help in relaxing the body and also provide relief from the symptoms of menopause, which is an added bonus.
Garlic constitutes of one of the most popular phytoestrogens, isoflavones which contributes to increasing the levels of lowered estrogen level symptoms in the body. As per studies and research, 100 gm of garlic consists of 603.3 mcg of phytoestrogen.
You can either much on raw garlic cloves or include 4-5 garlic pieces in your diet in the cooking itself and have them in your meal.
Dry fruits like that of almond is yet another source of natural estrogen boost to the body. It is rich in the constituent broom which is one of the most active forms of estrogen.
Almonds are one of the easiest ways of increasing the estrogen levels in the body. Studies show that 100 gm of Almond consists of 131.1 mg of phytoestrogen. It can either be munched on raw or in any salads as well.
Juices like cranberry juice and orange juice are natural sources of estrogen which is definitely great for increasing the levels of estrogen in the body. These helps regulate the production of the hormones by directly stimulating the glands and pathways involved which is definitely very effective.
10. Sunflower Seeds
Don’t let the name of the treatment deter you because sunflower seeds actually taste good and not how you would expect. They have a crunchy taste and texture to it which is not just good for the overall health but very good for increasing the levels of estrogen in the body as well.
Eat them at their own or sprinkle them over the salads as a crunchy topping.
Beans, majorly constitute of one of the most common sources of a specific form of phytoestrogen, coumestan which helps in elevating the levels of estrogen in the blood. The most common form of bean that contains this specific phytoestrogen includes kidney beans, navy beans, split beans etc.
The concentration of phytoestrogen per 100 g of beans is 495.1 mcg which is a lot in comparison to some of the other natural foods for low estrogen treatment.
Tempeh is a soy product which is formed primarily by the fermentation process. It not just aids in increasing the levels of estrogen but is also rich in magnesium, iron and protein which are beneficial for one’s overall health.
It is often used as a treatment for menopause and it has been witnessed to produce wonderful results. Consume this a few times throughout the week and this should help boost the levels of estrogen in your body. 100 gm of tempeh consists of 6407 mcg of phytoestrogen.
Side Effects of High Estrogen Levels
Much like how the low estrogen levels affect one’s health, even the uncontrolled production of estrogen has adverse effects on the body. The common list of side effects of high estrogen levels include:
- Severe bloating
- Tenderness around the breasts
- Decreased libido
- Irregular periods
- Formation of fibrocystic lumps in the breast
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Persistent signs of fatigue
These are the common side effects that often accompany the higher levels of estrogen in a woman. But, the uncontrolled production of this hormone can often contribute to the formation of ovarian or breast cancer.
Not just that, the estrogen dominance in the body contributes to the contraction of endometrial cancer. It also elevates the risks encircling blood clot and stroke. It even contributes to the impairment of the functions of the thyroid gland.
Estrogen is one of the primary hormones that play a crucial role in the majority of body functions in women. If you have been consistently witnessing the signs and symptoms of low estrogen levels, there are chances that you need immediate treatment for the same. We hope this article was helpful enough to get a detailed insight into the issue and would help you make a stern decision regarding the same.