Symptoms Of Low Estrogen In Women: What Is Going On
Estrogen is a vital hormone that can be found in women and men. In women, it is responsible for maintaining the reproductive system and forming female features such as the development of breasts, enlargement of hips, and pubic hair. Ladies can monitor their impact when they have a menstrual cycle. Mainly, it is produced by ovaries. And, when the time comes to menopause, low estrogen symptoms start emerging and causing changes such as cessation of menstruation, ovulation. Accordingly, a woman can no longer bear a child. However, during the onset of menopause, estrogen still allows one to perform a reproductive function but only with the help of gynecologists who will appoint the correct treatment to prolong the first stage.
List Of Possible Side Effects
The risks factors pointed out in the previous section were just that potentially dangerous conditions that could occur as a result of receiving estrogen replacement. Side effects are entirely different, and at their worst, are typically just bothersome to the individual. Of course, even the most harmless side effects could create problems over a period of time, so it is essential to let the doctor know about any changes associated with this treatment.
In some cases, the doctor may lower the dosage of medication so that the unwanted side effects subside. In other instances, they will often go away on their own within a few weeks as the body adjusts to the hormone replacement treatment.
Here are the most commonly seen estrogen therapy side effects to be mindful of when beginning treatment:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Edema Swelling of the Legs and Ankles
- Water Retention
- Sudden urination
- Vision changes
Along with the side effects of estrogen, there are some drug interactions associated with the use of this treatment. It is essential to alert the doctor to any and all medications that are being taken before beginning estrogen therapy.
The possibility of estrogen side effects is greater in women who smoke and are over the age of thirty-five. For these women, as well as those mentioned in the first section who may not be candidates for estrogen therapy, treatment with supplemental testosterone and an estrogen blocker may be the better alternative.
Low Estrogen Levels And Weight Gain: Is There A Connection
Sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence the amount of fat in the body. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain.
If your estrogen levels are low and its affecting your weight, speak with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and advise you on next steps. Its always a good idea to try to eat a balanced diet and exercise as often as possible. Talk with your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan thats right for you.
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What Influences Appetite And Weight
When Estrogen Drops, Hunger Increases
A decrease in estrogen levels during a woman’s monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women. Some females may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt in an effort to feel better. Sadly, eating these foods backfires and makes women feel worse. Sodium increases water retention and bloating. Sugar, excess fat and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds. Falling estrogen levels also affect leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. Combat hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is the process of taking hormones when your natural hormone levels are low.
Hormone replacement therapy can help to reduce symptoms associated with low hormones and help to balance your hormone levels and body functions.
Hormone replacement therapy can be used for a variety of hormones, most commonly low insulin, estrogen , testosterone, human growth hormone, and thyroid hormones. Hormone replacement therapy can be used for both men and women.
Hormone replacement therapy comes in different types of applications including topicals like creams, gels, and patches, ingestibles like pill or capsule supplements, injections, and implants.
Not all hormones come in every form, so your doctor will help you to decide which form is best for you based on the hormone that you are taking. Each application type has its own pros and cons and must be weighed to decide if it fits your lifestyle and needs appropriately.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Hormone replacement therapy comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. To help you remember to take hormone replacement therapy, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take this medication exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor.
Activella, FemHrt, and Prempro come as tablets containing estrogen and progestin. Take one tablet every day.
Ortho-Prefest comes in a blister card containing 30 tablets. Take one pink tablet once daily for 3 days, then take one white tablet once daily for 3 days. Repeat this process until you finish all the tablets on the card. Begin a new blister card the day after you finish the last one.
Premphase comes in a dispenser containing 28 tablets. Take one maroon tablet once daily on days 1 to 14, and take one light-blue tablet once daily on days 15 to 28. Begin a new dispenser the day after you finish the last one.
Before taking hormone replacement therapy, ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient and read it carefully.
Reasons For Low Estrogen
There are times when your estrogen levels fluctuate, such as during your period or when youre pregnant. But as you get older and approach menopause, your estrogen levels decline. For some, it happens earlier. Any condition that impairs the ovaries can reduce estrogen production.
Low estrogen levels can have a serious impact on your life. Fortunately, there are ways to replenish your estrogen supply so you dont have to suffer from the many life-altering symptoms.
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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:
Youre Having Trouble Getting Pregnant
If youâre trying to get pregnant and you have low estrogen, it could be a challenge to conceive. This is connected to symptom #1 â if you donât have enough estrogen in your body for it to grow a thick uterine lining, you wonât have enough nourishment to grow a baby. Similarly, if you’re not ovulating, your body isn’t releasing an egg, meaning there’s nothing for sperm to fertilize.
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Having High Estrogen Levels Cause Hair Loss
You might excess hair loss due to high levels of estrogen. People start to lose hair slowly and it becomes more severe if you dont act on your problem. Having low progesterone levels also contribute to the loss of hair. You should have a word with your physician if your hair is falling out too much.
Hormone Problems That Start In The Brain
The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that lies near the pituitary gland. It helps regulate hormone secretion in various parts of the body, controlling functions like body temperature, mood, hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex drive, and circadian rhythms. Dysfunction of the hypothalamus may produce many symptoms depending on which hormone systems are affected. Supplementing hormone levels that are low may help relieve symptoms. If the hypothalamus is malfunctioning due to the presence of a tumor, treating the tumor may provide relief.
Hormone Balance And Tummy Trouble
Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.
Estrogenic Side Effects Background
Estrogen side effects can refer both to the side effects that result from rising levels of Estrogen that originate from aromatization, or from estrogenic side effects that result from other causes that are not related to the rise in E2 . This is very important for the reader to understand, as Estrogen side effects can have numerous causes. The majority of the Estrogen side effects discussed here can all be treated with the use of anti-estrogens, which will be expanded upon a great deal in the next subsection of this article. The most common and prominent estrogenic side effects will be discussed here.
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to estradiol, or if you have:
unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
an increased risk of having blood clots due to a heart problem or a hereditary blood disorder or
a history of hormone-related cancer, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.
Do not use estradiol if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
Using this medicine can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, if you are overweight, or if you smoke.
Estradiol should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a thyroid disorder or
high levels of calcium in your blood.
Using estradiol may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
Estradiol lowers the hormone needed to produce breast milk and can slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
The Effects Of Low Estrogen
Low estrogen levels in women are usually heralded by a variety of menopause symptoms. Low estrogen levels, are usually manifested by symptoms which can include:
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Dry skin
The importance of low estrogen symptoms is that while they may be grouped with normal hormonal changes and cycles, it can sometimes be an indication of more severe problems. Low estrogen can sometimes go unnoticed in many women and identifying the possible symptoms of low estrogen is of critical importance.
Some ailments are important in assessing if a woman is potentially suffering from low estrogen levels. These include: depression, panic attacks, atherosclerosis, low self esteem, and vaginal infections. This mixture of mental and physical problems can be a major upheaval for many women.
The upside of low estrogen symptoms is that once identified many of them can be easily treated.
Why Are Athletes At Risk For Low Levels Of Estrogen
Women with low body fat often do not produce sufficient amounts of sex hormones. This can be a problem for women such as athletes, models, and gymnasts. It can also be a problem for women with eating disorders. These women can experience a cessation of menstruation, known as amenorrhea. They may also develop osteoporosis — thin bones — and fractures as well as other conditions more common in older women after menopause.
Is Taking Estrogen Bad For You
Estrogen side effects and risks The risk factors and side effects associated with estrogen use include: Blood clots: Estrogen increases your risk of blood clots, which can cause stroke, heart attack, and even death. Cancer: Estrogen may increase your risk of certain cancers, specifically breast cancer.
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Youre Getting Frequent Headaches
It’s a known fact that people with uteruses are more likely to get headaches and migraines overall the hormonal reasons why this is aren’t super well understood, but fluctuations in estrogen levels are one potential reason. You might notice that you get headaches during your luteal phase, right before your period starts, when your estrogen is at its lowest during your cycle. If your estrogen is low throughout your cycle, it could lead to more headaches, but it’s important to check with a doctor to make sure your headaches don’t have another, potentially more serious cause.
Exacerbation Of Mental Health Problems
Estrogen is believed to have a protective effect on the brain. It appears to positively impact brain chemicals , cognition, and the ability to withstand stress. Dropping estrogen levels appear to be associated with an increased risk of psychosis. The age of menopause is associated with a second peak of schizophrenia onset in women. Results of preliminary research suggests selective estrogen receptor modulators may improve cognition and other symptoms in women who have psychiatric disorders. They may even reduce the frequency of manic episodes in women who have bipolar disorder. However, these drugs are not without potential risks. See your doctor if you believe decreasing estrogen levels are contributing to serious mental health symptoms.
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Major Health Risks Of Low Estrogen
Osteoporosis. Estrogen helps maintain strong bones by preventing calcium loss. Too little calcium can increase the risk of fractures in the spine, hips, and leg and arm bones. Women who drink a lot of alcohol, who smoke, who are not active, and who are thin or petite are at greater risk. A family history of osteoporosis may also increase risk.
Heart disease. Estrogen made by the body seems to protect against heart disease. It may do this by raising the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood. After menopause, the risk for heart disease rises sharply. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to protect your heart health.
Pharmacist Tips For Activella
Take Activella once a day at the same time every day. You can use the calendar on the package to mark and keep track of your doses.
Activella can cause irregular vaginal bleeding, including breakthrough bleeding and spotting. This will eventually go away.
If you have asthma, diabetes, seizure conditions, migraines, or systemic lupus erythematosus , let your provider know if you experience worsening symptoms, since estrogen can affect these conditions.
Since Activella can cause many bothersome side effects and serious risks, it’s important to take the medication for the shortest period of time possible to treat your symptoms. Make sure to regularly check in with your provider to discuss if you still need to take Activella .
Prices for Activella start at just $20.86 with a GoodRx coupon. Theyâre fast, easy-to-use and free!
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What Is High Or Low Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone that your body produces to aid in sexual development and other important body functions. Prior to menopause, women generate estrogen primarily from their ovaries. After that, most of their estrogen comes from fat cells and the adrenal glands found at the top of the kidneys. When estrogen levels get too high or too low, this can negatively affect the body.
Estrogen helps regulate the health of the following areas:
- Urinary tract
- Mucous membranes
Estrogen plays an essential role in girls when they reach puberty, prompting changes like the growth of pubic hair and the start of menstruation. It also helps control cholesterol in the blood. Three of the most common types of estrogen produced in women include:
Estrone is the main estrogen hormone produced by women after they hit menopause.
Estriol is an estrogen hormone whose levels increase in pregnant women.
Who Can Help You With Hormone Replacement Treatment
There are a number of healthcare professionals that can prescribe and help you to create a hormone replacement treatment plan. Some of these professionals include endocrinologists, OBGYNs, primary care providers, and our very own doctors right here at Elite HRT. When deciding which provider or route to take, ensure that the person you choose has expertise in hormone replacement therapy.
Hormones are a delicate balance in your body and require a comprehensive and personalized approach to get the desired impact.
Elite HRT specializes in hormone replacement therapy and knows how to take an approach that fits your needs. Because HRT is our main focus, we are up to date on all of the current research and approaches to hormone replacement therapy.
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