What Happens When The Estrogen Level Drops
The estrogen levels might drop either due to genetic defects or poor nutrition, the most common risk factor for low estrogen level is age. When there is a decrease in levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in the body, it can increase the risk of various diseases like; It can disturb sexual functions and increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. These reiterate the fact that estrogen is essential to maintain good health.
Normal Estrogen Levels In Women
As levels fluctuate throughout the month this is going to depend on when you do your hormone test.
Hormone testing is usually done around day 3 or 21 of your cycle depending on what you want to assess.
If you are measuring serum hormones, then measuring estradiol along with LH and FSH on day 3 is a good idea to assess PCOS and the brain-ovarian connection.
Estrogen levels peak around day 14 so testing at this time along with progesterone can help assess ovulation.
The reference range for serum hormones varies a lot, so it is important to assess all of your hormones along with signs and symptoms.
The DUTCH test measures the hormones in the luteal phase. This is a better time to assess the hormones when trying to work out if you have estrogen dominance.
The DUTCH hormone test will also give you the optimal hormone reference ranges.
The Basics Of Estrogen And Estrogen Metabolism
Estrogen is the main female sex hormone, but it is also present in men. It plays a role in reproduction in women and is important for sexual function in men. It has many other critical roles in the body including the regulation of body fat, cardiovascular health, bone turnover, and cell replication.
Estrogens circulate in the blood in free or protein bound forms and exert diverse biological effects . Estrogens bind to certain receptors found within the nucleus of our cells. There are two main types of estrogen receptors, estrogen alpha and estrogen beta.
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Supplements To Balance Hormones
Hormone balance is one of the most common reasons patients pay me an initial visit, and a common question is whether I recommend supplements to balance hormones. In recent years, focus on womens health has gone from just a yearly PAP smear and breast exam to discussion around optimal health and wellness. Women feel empowered to talk to their health care providers about topics that were previously perceived as normal- things like painful periods and PMS symptoms which includes cravings, mood changes, acne, and changes during perimenopause. Seeking treatment for hormone balance means that women are finally able to start the journey to optimal health and complete wellness.
I thought I would take some time to discuss some of my favorite herbs, nutrients, and nutrition options for hormone balance.
However, choosing supplements for hormone balance isnt always cut and dry. Depending on why your hormones are imbalanced can mean that is it time for a different treatment plan.
Low Estrogen During Menopause
As women age, hormone levels begin to change and estrogen, along with other hormones, may begin to drop. Since your body is nearing the natural end of child-bearing years, less hormones are needed to maintain your reproductive system.;;
Changes in estrogen production may become irregular with varying levels in the leadup to menopause, but overall reduced production can affect a variety of bodily functions. Lower hormone levels can impact your brain and nervous system, vaginal health, and urinary system to name a few.;;
Many symptoms of low estrogen can be managed by lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking. Eating foods that can increase your estrogen levels is one strategy used to help naturally boost hormones.;;;;
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Why Does Your Estrogen Level Matter
Estrogen is a hormone. Although present in the body in small amounts, hormones have big roles in maintaining your health.
Estrogen is commonly associated with the female body. Men also produce estrogen, but women produce it in higher levels.
The hormone estrogen:
- is responsible for the sexual development of girls when they reach puberty
- controls the growth of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle and at the beginning of a pregnancy
- causes breast changes in teenagers and women who are pregnant
- is involved in bone and cholesterol metabolism
- regulates food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity
Girls who havent reached puberty and women approaching menopause are most likely to experience low estrogen. Still, women of all ages can develop low estrogen.
Common symptoms of low estrogen include:
Does Having Or Not Having A Uterus Make A Difference In Deciding What Type Of Hormone Therapy I Should Take
Yes, it does.
If you still have your uterus:
Progesterone is used along with estrogen. Taking estrogen without progesterone increases your risk for cancer of the endometrium . During your reproductive years, cells from your endometrium are shed during menstruation. When the endometrium is no longer shed, estrogen can cause an overgrowth of cells in your uterus, a condition that can lead to cancer.
Progesterone reduces the risk of endometrial cancer by making the endometrium thin. If you take progesterone, you may have monthly bleeding, or no bleeding at all, depending on how the hormone therapy is taken. Monthly bleeding can be lessened and, in some cases, eliminated by taking progesterone and estrogen together continuously.
If you no longer have your uterus :
You typically won’t need to take progesterone. This is an important point because estrogen taken alone has fewer long-term risks than HT that uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
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What Causes High Estrogen
There are two main factors that will drive higher than normal levels of estrogen:
The enzyme that makes it, aromatase, works faster when there are higher levels of insulin in your blood. What causes higher levels of insulin is a higher intake of high glycemic index starches and sugars.; So, in order to correct this, we look to reducing the intake of these foods.
Its your livers job to remove estrogen.; It does this through a series of steps known as phase I and phase II liver detoxification.; These steps are dependent on a number of co-factors for them to work normally.; These include pyridoxal-5-phosphate, vitamin B12, methyltetrahydrofolate , magnesium, indole-3-carbinol, and calcium-d-glucarate.
Eating more leafy greens and vegetables like kale and broccoli supply these. Otherwise, they can be taken in supplement form to assist efficient liver detoxification of hormones.
Healthy estrogen levels are vital for both men and women.; If the levels are either low or high, there are natural medicine strategies to restore healthy hormone balance.
Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables
Veggies like broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower have two big benefits for estrogen balance.;
First, they support liver function and detoxification so your liver can package up estrogen and excrete it through your stool. Second, they promote safer estrogen metabolism pathways to avoid the metabolites linked to breast and uterine cancer.
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Review Of Indian Literature On Postmenopausal Syndrome
The average age of menopause in India is 47.5 years, with an average life expectancy of 71 years. Therefore, Indian women are likely to spend almost 23.5 years in menopause .
About 3540% women between 40 and 65 years have been diagnosed to suffer from osteopenia and 830% suffer from osteoporosis. All women over 65 years have been found to suffer from osteopenia or osteoporosis .
A study which analyzed a sample consisting of menopausal, premenopausal and postmenopausal women in the age range of 3550 years using a two-stage screening procedure for identifying and screening psychiatric morbidity General Health Questionnaire and Standard Psychiatric Interview, found highest psychiatric co-morbidity in the menopausal group, in terms of age maximum number of cases with psychiatric co-morbidity were from 41 to 45 years. Menopausal women suffered more symptoms of menopause as well as psychiatric symptoms as compared to premenopausal women. Both set of symptoms was found to be less in the postmenopause group also. The most common reported symptoms in the group were depression, depressive thoughts, anxiety, and excessive concern about bodily functions. Supporting the findings of the earlier study the predominant symptom in menopausal women was depression.
How To Correct Estrogen Dominance In 7 Simple Steps
If youre a woman of any age, estrogen dominance should be on your radar.
This hormone imbalance is incredibly common, usually undiagnosed, and comes with frustrating symptoms and serious risks.
Although genetics can influence estrogen dominance, environmental factors are more often to blame. Fortunately, there are many simple dietary and lifestyle changes that can dramatically reduce your risks.
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What Are The Types Of Hormone Therapy
There are two main types of hormone therapy :
- Estrogen Therapy: Estrogen is taken alone. Doctors most often prescribe a low dose of estrogen to be taken as a pill or patch every day. Estrogen may also be prescribed as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. You should take the lowest dose of estrogen needed to relieve menopause symptoms and/or to prevent osteoporosis.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : Also called combination therapy, this form of HT combines doses of estrogen and progesterone .
Hormone Replacement Therapy Update
To learn more about women’s health, and specifically hormone replacement therapy, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health started a large study in 1991 .It was called the Women’s Health Initiative . The hormone trial had two studies: the estrogen-plus-progestin study of women with a uterus and the estrogen-alone study of women without a uterus. Both studies were concluded early when the research showed that hormone replacement did not help prevent heart disease and it increased risk for some medical problems.
The FDA states that hormone therapy should not be taken to prevent heart disease.
These products are approved therapies for relief from moderate to severe hot flashes and symptoms of vaginal dryness. Although hormone therapy may help prevent osteoporosis, it should only be considered for women at high risk of osteoporosis who cannot take non-estrogen medicines. The FDA recommends hormone therapy be used at the lowest doses for the shortest duration needed to achieve treatment goals. Postmenopausal women who use or are considering using hormone therapy should discuss the possible benefits and risks to them with their healthcare provider.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers the following suggestions for women who are deciding whether or not to use postmenopausal hormone therapy:
Always see your healthcare provider for more information.
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Final Thoughts On Estrogen Metabolism
Your gut flora has many critical functions in the body including regulating estrogen levels. The estrobolome is the collection of microbes in the gut which are responsible for metabolizing estrogens.
The estrobolome produces beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that deconjugates estrogens into their active forms to carry out many physiological processes. Altered beta-glucuronidase activity can be a major factor in a womans exposure to circulating estrogens.
Lower estrogen levels can lead to chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, PCOS, and osteoporosis. High levels of circulating estrogens creates estrogen dominance which causes many unwanted symptoms and is linked to endometriosis, certain cancers and other conditions.
It is critical to address any imbalances in your gut flora to prevent or improve imbalances in your hormone levels. Improving your diet, reducing exposure to xenoestrogens, supporting the liver and good elimination, supplementing with probiotics, and hormone-balancing herbs and nutrients are effective strategies for improving gut flora and estrogen metabolism.
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Treatment For Low Estrogen
One way to prevent symptoms of low estrogen is to replenish your estrogen supply. You can increase the levels of estrogen in your body through estrogen replacement therapies. At the Center for Womens Health, our team, led by Sharon Breit, MD, diagnoses and assesses your estrogen levels and symptoms in order to prescribe the best options for your issues.
Hormone replacement therapy comes in many forms, including pills, creams, patches, and injections, and with the hormone progestin or estrogen-only. Another option is BioTe® Hormone Pellet Therapy, which contains bioidentical hormones derived from plant extracts. ;
For more information on how estrogen affects your body and what you can do about it, call us at the Center for Womens Health in Wichita, Kansas, or make an appointment online.
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Preventing High Estrogen Levels
While improving detoxification, reducing the activity of the aromatase enzyme to optimize your estrogen levels, you have to look at some lifestyle factors to reduce estrogen levels.
Reducing alcohol consumption can help reduce estrogen levels in men and women. For some people, this means reducing alcohol consumption. For other people, it may be necessary to fully eliminate alcohol for a period of time in order to improve liver function.
Estrogen in the environment is also a major problem. They can be found in plastics , cleaning products, personal care products, factory-farmed meats.
Estrogens are so widely used by many industries, that it is extremely hard to avoid them. Nevertheless, we can reduce our exposure and improve our detoxification.
The Problem With Low Estradiol:
Estradiol works to boost serotonin levels naturally .; When this hormone is out of balance, serotonin levels drop.; In order to counteract this, the adrenals kick out norepinephrine and epinephrine , which have natural balancing mechanisms.
However, if you are under chronic stress or have weak adrenals, Ep levels will drop, skewing its natural balance with Nr.; Here are the symptoms that follow:
Low Serotonin:; Headaches, depression, fatigue, low sex drive, insomnia, & hot flashes.
Imbalance of Nr & Ep:;Hot flashes, insomnia and anxiety.
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Ways To Improve Estrogen Metabolism
Estrogen metabolism plays an enormously important role in women and even male health.;;Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone and it is also present in men at low levels.; In this article, you will discover the role of gut health in estrogen metabolism and 7 ways to improve your hormone balance.
Your gut flora is a large and complex community of microorganisms in your digestive tract. It has many critical functions in the body and has a significant impact on your overall health. One of the functions of gut flora is to regulate estrogen levels.
The estrobolome is the collection of microbes in the gut which are responsible for metabolizing estrogens into estrogen metabolites. These microbes produce beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that deconjugates estrogens into their active forms. This unbound, active estrogen can then bind to estrogen receptors throughout the body to carry out many physiological processes.
When Should I Measure Estrogen Levels
Estrogen levels vary throughout a womans menstrual cycle.; At the clinic, I typically do a blood test for it at two points of a womans cycle: either on the third day of her period or in the middle of her cycle.; The reasoning behind this is that day 3 is when egg follicles begin to mature and release estradiol.; Measuring it on day 3 ensures that this process is on track.; Midcycle measurements assess the level at or around ovulation.; This is the peak level.
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Symptoms Of High Estrogen In Women
The symptoms of high estrogen in women can be similar to men except for some key differences with the menstrual cycle and menopause symptoms.
- Low libido – can be from low testosterone or low estrogens
- Headaches or migraines – especially if it is in the luteal phase of your cycle
- Hair loss and skin problems – check estrogens and 5a-DHT levels
- Insomnia – can be from low progesterone or high estrogen
- Fatigue – especially if it is premenstrual fatigue
- Weight gain – this can be at any time of the menstrual cycle
- Fluid retention around the time of your cycle
- Bloating – this can be from digestion issues which often flare up during PMS
- PMS – premenstrual syndrome symptoms are common with hormonal balance issues
- Heavy periods – a common sign of estrogen excess
- Mood swings – a severe form of this is PMDD and can be from a hormone imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, or high testosterone.
A number of these symptoms are strongly connected to high estrogen levels but it is important to test your hormones because they can also be caused by low progesterone or a testosterone problem.
These symptoms may also be connected to low thyroid function, adrenal issues, or other problems which is why testing is important.
How Mira Fertility Plus Can Help To Track Your E3g Levels
Because women can only conceive a limited number of days per cycle, tracking your fertility hormones helps you identify exactly when your fertile days occur.; Detecting a rise in E2, as shown by measuring E3G levels, is done to predict and detect ovulation.
Mira Fertility Plus measures your actual fertility hormone levels and gives a more accurate picture of fertility tracking by providing precise hormone measurements from multiple cycles.; Tracking your cycle and fertility hormone levels can take the guesswork out of your fertility journey and support you with real-time data.
With clinically proven accuracy, the Mira Analyzer offers highly personalized fertility advice and is a complete solution for reliable, personalized, and comprehensive data if you are trying to get pregnant or tracking your hormones for other reasons.
Medically Reviewed by Dr Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG and Lauren Grimm, MA
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