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Understanding hormones

Estrogen


Estrogen is for many a major part of what it means to be a woman.Hormones are chemical matter produced by the body to regulate its growth and development. Secreted by the endocrine system, — specifically, the pituitary gland, — they travel through the bloodstream and aid in controlling the behavior of certain organs. The most ubiquitous of the “female” hormones, estrogen, is for many a major part of what it means to be a woman.

As women age and enter menopause, it is imperative to have a strong understanding of estrogen’s role in the female body. Estrogen imbalances, if and when they occur, can have serious detrimental effects on various aspects of a woman’s life. Mood, menstrual cycle, and weight are just a few of the ways in which estrogen imbalances can negatively affect women.

The sections below outline estrogen’s function and relationship within the female body, estrogen levels, and treatment for its imbalance.

About Estrogen


Monitoring estrogen levels is one of the most important things that women can do to preserve overall health. Fluctuating estrogen levels, a condition that can afflict women of all ages, has the potential to cause an array of side effects.

What Is Estrogen?

Estrogen is a steroid compound hormone that is made up of a group of three different hormones: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estrogen is primarily responsible for regulating menstrual cycles. It also plays a central role in other uniquely female functions, such as reproduction and lactation.

Abnormally low or high levels of estrogen can cause the body to react in various negative ways. Women may become infertile, have irregular monthly periods, experience mood swings, hot flashes, or gain weight.

Click on the following link to learn more about estrogen or keep reading for more information about estrogen imbalance.

What Is the Role of the Natural Hormone, Estrogen?

Estrogen, one of the best-known hormones, affects almost every tissue in the body and regulates a myriad of functions. Estrogen is involved in menstruation, bone density, vaginal lubrication, memory, mood, and body temperature. An excess of deficiency of estrogen can therefore have a great effect on everyday functioning and (...)

Estrogen Role and Effects


As one might expect, the roles that estrogen performs and the effects that it can have on a woman’s body and mind are plentiful. Its most essential roles can be summed up as follows:

  • Estrogen production in women.Promoting formation of female sexual characteristics
  • Accelerating metabolism
  • Regulating the menstrual cycle
  • Increasing uterine tissue growth
  • Preserving bone density
  • Protecting against heart disease

Click on the following link to learn more about estrogen roles and effects, or continue reading below to learn more about estrogen levels in women.

Estrogen and Menopausal Hot Flashes

Estrogen is the primary sex hormone in women and it plays a significant role in order to control hot flashes that take place during menopause. Fluctuations in the levels of estrogen in the body cause a number of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes. Keep reading to learn more about (...)

Estrogen Tests


Women usually experience the effects of both high and low estrogen levels as they approach typical menopausal age (35 – 55). Be it a surplus or deficit, any imbalance in estrogen levels can have a serious negative impact on both the mind and body. Estrogen tests, which are conducted in a variety of ways, are purported to establish the presence or absence of an estrogen imbalance.

Click on the following link to learn more about estrogen tests, or continue reading to learn more about what is considered a normal level of estrogen.

Estrogen Levels: The Best Test

Balanced estrogen levels are vital to proper functioning of a woman's body. Symptoms of high estrogen levels include mood swings and irregular period while symptoms (...)

Estrogen Levels


Average Estrogen Levels
Age (yrs)Estrogen (pg/ml)
  • 20 – 29
  • 30 – 39
  • 40 – 49
  • 50 – 59
  • 149
  • 210
  • 152
  • 130

Physicians have at their disposal numerous ways to test estrogen levels, among them blood, saliva, and urine analyses.

The table to the right shows the average estrogen levels for a woman at different times during her reproductive years. Further information about low estrogen levels and hormonal imbalance can be found below, or click here to learn more about estrogen levels.

Top 3 Foods to Avoid If You Have Estrogen Dominance

Women with normal estrogen levels or those experiencing estrogen dominance should avoid some foods that affect estrogen levels, since they will further contribute to hormonal (...)

Low Estrogen Levels


A simple estrogen test, evaluating a woman’s blood, saliva, or urine, can be carried out by a doctor to determine whether an estrogen imbalance is present. A woman suffering from low estrogen levels during menopause will usually have an estrogen reading of 10 – 20 pg/ml (pictograms/milliliter). Click on the following link to get more information about low estrogen levels or continue reading to learn about the causes of low estrogen levels.

Causes of Low Estrogen Levels

Over time, the amount of estrogen produced by a woman’s ovaries, or, more precisely, her eggs, naturally tapers off as her body prepares for the non-reproductive biological phase. Declining estrogen levels are overwhelmingly to blame for the onset of menopausal symptoms.

Click on the following link to learn more about the causes of low estrogen levels or keep reading to find out about the symptoms of low estrogen levels.

Symptoms of Low Estrogen Levels

Joint Pain is one of the symptoms of low estrogen levels.

Because symptoms of low estrogen levels can be subtle, varied, and are frequently associated with other conditions, many women fail to correctly identify their condition. Below are some of the most frequently experienced symptoms that indicate low estrogen levels, particularly in menopausal women.

Symptoms of Low Estrogen Levels
  • Fatigue
  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
  • Memory Lapses
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Joint Pain
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Dry Skin

Women who believe that they may be suffering from low estrogen levels should contact a physician to avoid serious long-term consequences, the most common of which is osteoporosis. A shocking 20% of menopausal women are thought to be afflicted by osteoporosis; this condition involves a steady decrease in bone density that has the potential to cause fractures. Osteoporosis results when there is not enough estrogen in the body to help the bones properly absorb calcium and vitamin D, which promotes bone strength and density.

Click on the following link to learn more about the symptoms of low estrogen levels or read on for more information on high estrogen levels.

How to Talk to Your Partner about Your Low Estrogen Levels

Many women experience low estrogen levels accompanied by disruptive symptoms during menopause. Talking to your partner about estrogen deficiency is a step toward the support and treatment you may need, but initiating such a serious conversation can seem daunting. Some tips are picking the right moment, choosing the right (...)

How Can I Supplement My Low Estrogen Levels?

Hormonal imbalances are the cause of many of the symptoms related to menopause. In particular, low estrogen levels can be supplemented with lifestyle changes such as eating right, exercising, and practicing stress relief techniques. Alternative treatments like herbal supplements can also be taken to diminish the negative side effects (...)

Green Tea and SHBG

Drinking green tea has a significant effect on the free circulating estrogen found in your body, because of a component it has called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Experts suggest drinking a minimum of three cups daily to reap the full benefits of green tea. It may also prevent (...)

High Estrogen Levels


A woman suffering from high estrogen levels during menopause will usually have an estrogen reading of 200+ pg/ml (pictograms/milliliter). Click on the following link to learn more about high estrogen levels.

Causes of High Estrogen Levels

One of the first signs of menopause is a drop in progesterone production. The decrease in progesterone prompts the body to compensate by over-producing estrogen. The two hormones exist in a delicate balance that is often upset during perimenopause (the phase just before complete menopause).

Xenoestrogens, manmade chemicals that mimic the body’s naturally-produced estrogen when introduced into the body, have recently been proven to raise estrogen levels. Everyday plastics are a major source of xenoestrogens, making them difficult to avoid completely, if at all.

The box below lists some other causes of high estrogen levels.

Other causes of high estrogen levels.

Intense stress has also been linked to high estrogen levels.

Click on the following link to learn more about causes of high estrogen levels, or continue reading to learn about the symptoms of high estrogen levels.

Symptoms of High Estrogen Levels

Symptoms of High Estrogen Levels
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of Libido
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Weight Gain
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Irregular Periods
  • Water Retention
    / Bloating
  • Hypoglycemia

Women suffering from high estrogen levels are typically afflicted by both physical and psychological side effects, including weight gain, mood swings, and hot flashes. While these symptoms are inconvenient and bothersome, they can usually be alleviated with a combination of treatment methods. However, much more serious conditions can result from high estrogen levels, among them breast and uterine cancer.

Click on the following link to discover more about the symptoms of high estrogen levels or keep reading to learn more about estrogen and menopause.

Meal Plan for Estrogen Reduction

Estrogen levels have an effect on a wide variety of body processes. Menopause can cause these levels to fluctuate and may cause problems for you. The best way to manage these symptoms is through diet. A daily meal plan is provided in this article and includes healthy ingredients like (...)

How to Assess Your Risk for Breast Cancer Due to Estrogen Exposure

There are factors that may affect your likelihood of developing breast cancer. One of the major contributing factors of whether a woman develops breast cancer is estrogen exposure. One’s risk can increase or decrease based on five lifestyle triggers including birth control pill use and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Q&A: Estrogen Blockers to Treat Breast Cancer

Estrogen blockers are chemicals that stop estrogen from carrying out its role in specific bodily functions. Estrogen blockers are most commonly used to treat breast cancer by slowing down its progression. The benefits, side effects and of estrogen blockers are also outlined. Keep reading to learn more.

Estrogen and Menopause


Estrogen levels during menopause.

Ovarian slowdown and decreased estrogen production during menopause can cause estrogen deficiency. However, the natural processes of menopause can also trigger a drop in progesterone, resulting in accelerated production of estrogen, which quickly exceeds normal levels. Excess estrogen and an estrogen deficiency can prompt a range of symptoms.

Click on the following link to learn more about estrogen and menopause or continue reading to learn more about treatments for estrogen imbalance in women.

Does Low Estrogen Cause Menopause Symptoms?

Common menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and low libido are caused by a decline in estrogen that occurs during the menopause transition in (...)

Treatments for Estrogen Imbalance


There are numerous treatments available for estrogen imbalance, including lifestyle changes, alternative remedies, and estrogen replacement therapy. They are outlined below.

Lifestyle Changes

Diet and exercise play a large role in the regulation of hormone levels within the body, particularly estrogen. By paying attention to eating right and getting a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise three times a week, it is possible to treat estrogen imbalance.

Alternative Remedies for Estrogen Imbalance

Some alternative medicines introduce similar plant-based hormones into the body.

Alternative medicines — specifically, non-estrogenic herbs that stimulate the body’s natural production of hormones — can aid significantly in balancing estrogen levels. Another type of herbs, called phytoestrogenic, introduces similar plant-based hormones into the body.

Estrogen Replacement Therapy

In recent years, estrogen replacement therapy has been criticized for its association with breast and uterine cancer, heart disease, and strokes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should be used only in extreme cases and always under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

combination of approaches is usually the most effective treatment option. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine has been shown to alleviate hormonal imbalance.

Being thoroughly informed about the different possibilities available to treat estrogen imbalance is vital to find relief from its symptoms. Click on the following link to learn everything about the treatments for estrogen imbalance.

Lifestyle Changes to Boost Estrogen Levels

Deficient estrogen levels have been linked to symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido. There are lifestyle changes one can make to help ease these symptoms. Changes that one can make to help restore hormone balance include consuming an estrogen-rich diet, performing regular exercise, (...)

What to Eat to Boost Your Levels of Natural Hormones

Women experiencing menopause are often looking for ways to naturally boost their declining hormone levels as it can eliminate or minimize menopausal symptoms. Testosterone and estrogen levels can be increased through dietary changes. Hummus, olive oil, and tomatoes are an excellent source of estrogen while eggs, raw oysters, and (...)

estrogen-versus-testosterone-index
Estrogen versus Testosterone

Many women don't know if estrogen versus testosterone therapy would be more effective as a treatment for menopause symptoms, but the truth is that these hormones work together to improve libido and muscle mass, and they also reduce fatigue and hot flashes. Testosterone can convert itself into a component (...)

natural-estrogen-production-index
Natural Estrogen Production

Natural estrogen production declines in the phase leading up to menopause, which can result in uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes. However, there are several treatments to relieve estrogen deficiency. HRT and phytoestrogenic herbs do not use natural estrogen, while some non-estrogenic herbs nourish the hormonal system and restore hormone (...)

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