Charged with (among other things) developing female secondary sex characteristics, estrogen is the collective term for the female hormones estradiol, estrone and estriol. Estrogen plays a key role in menstruation and in maintaining osteal (bone), cardiac, and endocrine health; for these reasons, it is imperative to preserve normal estrogen levels.
However, as women approach and enter menopause it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain normal levels of estrogen. Both too-high and too-low estrogen levels can cause a bothersome array of symptoms. High levels of estrogen, a condition also known as estrogen dominance, are common in women who are obese, pregnant, have diabetes or high blood pressure, or take medication containing estrogen.
Because many cases of high estrogen levels are reported in (otherwise healthy) women over 35, very often women who experience high estrogen levels chalk it up to menopause or simply the natural effects of approaching middle age, leaving the problem untreated. In other instances, these women incorrectly interpret their high level of estrogen as a deficiency, eventually exacerbating the condition by augmenting the amount of estrogen in the body.
Detailed information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of high estrogen levels can be found in the following sections.
High Estrogen Levels Causes
There are many factors that can cause high estrogen levels in women, with pregnancy and the lead up to menopause being common hormonal triggers. Another is a woman’s menstrual cycle. Levels of the estrogen, estradiol, have been recorded at an average of 400pg/ml for most women during ovulation. During pregnancy however, levels can rise to 100 times as much. High estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can have effects such as headaches, breast tenderness and even in some cases breast cancer if left untreated.
Environmental causes such as the existence of xenoestrogens, manmade chemicals in the environment that mimic the body’s own estrogen can also increase the body´s estrogen levels.
Stress, diet and lifestyle also impact on levels of estrogen and a poor diet can cause problems over a long period of time, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Digestive problems
- Insulin resistance
Click on the following link to read more information about causes of high estrogen levels, or continue reading below to learn more about the symptoms of high estrogen levels.
High Estrogen Level Symptoms
Symptoms of high quantities of estrogen in the body fall into two categories – physical and mental.
Physical conditions include:
- Vaginal Infection
- Weight gain
- Uterine fibroids
- Hot flashes
- Irregular periods
Mental conditions include:
- Panic attacks
- Low self esteem
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
Click on the following link to read more information about symptoms of high estrogen levels.
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