Hormones are important for regulating most major bodily processes, so a hormonal imbalance can affect a wide range of bodily functions. Hormones help to regulate metabolism and appetite, heart rate, sleep, sexual wellness, growth and development, mood and stress levels, and other bodily functions.
As we age, naturally our mind and body do too. While it’s unlikely that a woman will have a problem producing too much estrogen, it’s not uncommon for some women to experience low estrogen levels or a deficiency. This is known as estrogen deficiency.
Estrogen is the primary hormone that sets women apart from men, even though men have a little bit of the hormone. To stay healthy, females must have a sufficient amount of estrogen.
Women need hormones such as estrogen and progesterone to reproduce. However, estrogen levels generally decrease with age, so older women tend to have lower levels in their blood.
Therefore, as women age, it’s only natural for certain aspects of our bodies to begin showing the effects of time. For middle-aged women, this can include low estrogen levels. Several symptoms can manifest ranging from subtle to extreme, including:
- Excessive weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular or disappearing menstrual cycles
- Hot flashes (suddenly feelings of being warm or having night sweats)
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Vaginal dryness/atrophy
- Pain during sexual intercourse (Dyspareunia)
- Muscle weakness and reduced muscle mass
- Chronic pain (joint pain, muscle aches)
- Mood swings, including anger and irritability
- Inability to sleep (insomnia)
- Low libido (Poor sex drive/desire to have sex, poor sexual performance)
- Memory loss
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Conditions such as osteoporosis, and depression
Persistent feelings of tiredness/fatigue, low libido, weakness, weight gain, joint pain, and muscle aches, depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc., are common among patients experiencing low estrogen levels. Studies suggest that low estrogen levels can be a serious risk factor for causing debilitating symptoms and chronic diseases such as diabetes.
With this in mind, no symptom of a hormone deficiency such as low estrogen levels should be ignored. At Androgenix Solutions in North Palm Beach, Florida, our team of experts in hormone replacement therapy can take a look at your symptoms, and figure out the best way to treat your needs.
What Is Estrogen?
A women’s body has two main sex hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. Estrogen is a hormone known as an androgen, which plays a role in women’s development and reproductive activity. It is responsible for a female’s physical traits/features and the ability to make eggs during the menstrual cycle every month, in order to bear children.
Types Of Estrogen
It’s important to note, that your estrogen levels do change throughout each month. During the middle of a women’s menstrual cycle numbers will be at their highest, and lowest during their actual period. During menopause in later years, estrogen levels drop. The body makes 3 different types of estrogen, they are the following:
- Estradiol (E2): This type of estrogen is the most common type in women during childbearing years, which is usually 20-35 years old.
- Estriol (E3): This is the most common type of estrogen produced during a women’s pregnancy.
- Estrone (E1): Menopause is the time that marks the end of a women’s menstrual cycle. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 1 year without having a period. When a woman is menopausal in her 40s or 50s, this type of estrogen is produced.
What Does Estrogen Do?
Estrogen is mainly responsible for various functions of a women’s body such as metabolism, which helps control body weight. When released in the bloodstream throughout the body, estrogen stimulates the development of female characteristics.
The ovaries, which produce a women’s eggs, are the main source of estrogen hormones in the body. It moves through the bloodstream through other parts of the body. Also, the adrenal glands at the top of your kidney’s along with fat cells also make estrogen as well but in smaller amounts.
Truth is, studies show that the brain makes estrogen and progesterone too. The hypothalamus is the small, central region of the human brain between the nervous and endocrine systems that are responsible for maintaining homeostasis of the body, including temperature and other functions.
The Journal of Neuroscience has shed light on how hormones work in the brain. Estrogen is very involved in helping to regulate mood and memory, as well as, body weight. Most importantly this hormone protects the brain from risk, helping to avoid damage from strokes and traumatic injuries.
What Are The Benefits Of Estrogen?
During puberty (Ages 9-14), this stage in life is crucial, as this is where physical changes occur and a girl becomes a woman. Estrogen helps the uterus grow during menstruation and early states of pregnancy. Other benefits of estrogen include:
- Growth of breast tissue
- Helps to begin the menstrual cycle
- Keeps cholesterol under control
- Protects the health and strength of the bones and muscles (Low estrogen can make bones brittle- especially for those who develop osteoporosis)
- Helps protect the brain, heart, skin, and other important organs and tissues from damage
Why Do Women Commonly Lose Estrogen?
As mentioned before, estrogen is produced within the ovaries. This means that a women’s overall health and wellness are pretty much directly linked to their ovary’s ability to make enough estrogen. During perimenopause, the period of time before menopause characterized by irregular menstrual cycles and hormone fluctuations, less estrogen is made.
The most common reason for women to have low estrogen levels is menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries. When a women’s period stops so does the production of estrogen. While this decline is a normal part of aging, irregularities in these hormone levels are something to pay attention to. Other factors that impact the making of estrogen are:
- Fibrocystic breasts (Benign, non-cancerous lumps in the breasts)
- Fibroids (Benign, noncancerous tumors in the uterus)
- Thinning of the vagina or dryness
- Anorexia or other eating disorders
- Ovarian cysts, polyps, or ovarian failure
- Conditions such as kidney disease (adrenal glands help produce hormones)
- Malfunctioning of the pituitary gland (Helps to produce hormones)
How Do You Know What Your Estrogen Level Is Or That’s Low?
Are you experiencing symptoms that may indicate your estrogen levels are low? Luckily, there are various treatment methods such as estrogen therapy that can help women who are suffering from this common problem. According to fertility experts, 80% of women suffer from some type of hormonal imbalance. So, know you’re not alone!
A blood or urine test will help to determine if you may be experiencing low estrogen levels. Some women tend to get bad headaches or migraines before their period starts, which indicates a drop in estrogen.
Which Type Of Estrogen Therapy Is Right for You?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) AKA Estrogen Therapy
Treatment for low estrogen levels often includes hormone replacement therapy, or in this case, Estrogen Therapy (ET). This treatment method is most commonly used to treat women who are experiencing debilitating symptoms that are affecting their overall health and wellness due to the loss of the hormone estrogen.
Estrogen therapy helps women in menopause replenish the amount of estrogen they lost due to aging. The main goal of ET is to stop other consequences of lowered estrogen levels, such as the short-term changes of menopause such as hot flashes, disturbed sleep, and vaginal dryness. Estrogen replacement therapy also helps to prevent conditions osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Treatment for low estrogen levels comes in many forms, which your OBGYN or doctor will help you choose what’s best for your needs, and if you are a candidate for estrogen therapy. Everyone and their circumstances are different and therefore treatment results will vary. Types of estrogen therapy include:
- Vaginal rings
- Estrogen creams
- Estrogen pill
- Estrogen patches
- Other forms of medication for vaginal atrophy and other symptoms
If you’re not a candidate for estrogen therapy, these natural treatments usually involve a water-soluble lubricant to moisten the vagina and relieve discomfort. In addition to estrogen therapy, the team at Androgenix Solutions suggests staying hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water, eating a well-balanced diet full of fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts, and avoid processed and sugary foods. In addition, exercise and reduce stress as much as possible.
Androgenix Can Help Restore Your Hormone Levels With Estrogen Therapy
It’s important to remember that while hormonal imbalances such as low estrogen are extremely common in women, not every treatment will be the same for everyone. That’s why our team of experts in estrogen therapy can help women understand their hormonal condition due to menopause and other factors, and the wide range of treatment options available.
Compassion goes a long way when dealing with people suffering from feeling unwell due to hormonal imbalances. As you seek hormone optimization treatment with us, know we provide our clients with premier treatment services and guidance. Contact us to request a consultation with us today!