Symptoms of Low Estrogen: Menopause and other Causes

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Are you curious about the symptoms of low estrogen? Well, you’re in the right place to find out, as we will go over this matter and help you detect whether or not you may be suffering from low estrogen, even if you are still very young.

Having low estrogen levels is never a good thing because it could be a warning sign of a serious disease such as ovarian or adrenal cancer, something that can happen even if you haven’t reached the pre-menopausal stage.

Why do I have low estrogen?

As you may already know, the ovaries are mainly in charge of producing estrogen.

However, the adrenal glands are also capable of providing you (and should) with more estrogen, and depending on your menstrual cycle, estrogen levels may vary; but always within normal parameters to provide you with female hormones. This is how a healthy person should function.

How does having low estrogen levels affect me?

symptoms of low estrogen

Having low estrogen can lead to the development of tendencies towards genetic diseases in young women, such as Turner’s syndrome, lack of menstruation and ovulation, and even cancer.

How is the lack of estrogen developed in the body?

Although there are several causes, one of the most common is having gone through chemotherapy or even radiation processes since these pauses the estrogen production.

Other causes of low estrogen can be exercise performed in excess. Furthermore, diet is yet another important factor.

Eating disorders or not having enough fat in your body can reduce estrogen levels and delay women’s correct development, especially during puberty.

Ways to determine low estrogen

First and foremost, talk to your doctor about getting tested, both urine and blood; and even for girls under 23 years old, the most advisable thing to do would be to perform a follicle-stimulating hormone test to see how your hormone level is in general.

Keep in mind that if your period is strangely irregular – it comes every other month, stops for several months, or lasts very little – it’s probably due to a lack of estrogen.

Please note that your doctor’s treatment for low estrogen can only be given since the causes and symptoms of low estrogen vary greatly from person to person.

For now, you can check out the following list to give you an idea of what the symptoms may be like:

Symptoms of low estrogen & hormonal imbalances that women tend to ignore

Today, many women are so busy with their daily lives that they find it difficult to take care of their bodies. A common scenario is when you notice a strange change in your body and prefer to ignore it, thinking it will pass.

Estrogen and progesterone are the most important female hormones. A hormonal imbalance occurs when the relationship between the two is far from normal.

However, when you go through a hormonal imbalance, the symptoms are obvious. The most common causes are pregnancy, menopause, menstrual cycles, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition.

This problem affects everything from mood to fertility. For this reason, you must know the causes and symptoms of low estrogen and hormone imbalance.

Please visit your doctor if you present any of the following signs:

Acne

symptoms of low estrogen

Women can experience two kinds of acne. On the one hand, before menstruation, a small outbreak usually appears, which is very common. The other, however, is persistent acne that is more difficult to clear up.

In the second case, the cause can be androgens, which are hormones that produce body sebum. An excess in their production could hinder the pores’ breathing and obstruct them, along with bacteria and dead cells.

Increased appetite

If you notice that your appetite is insatiable, it may be due to your hormones even after having eaten a lot. It is probably due to a lack of sleep or little rest.

Furthermore, if your sleep is not of good quality, your body will not be able to relax completely.

When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it increases ghrelin production, while leptin decreases considerably. Ghrelin is known to stimulate the appetite, while leptin is responsible for controlling it and feeling full.

Night body heat

Hot flashes at night are one of the various common symptoms of low estrogen and menopause. Initially, it was believed to be solely due to low estrogen secretion. However, many studies have confirmed that this is related to a combination of excess estrogen and decreased progesterone.

Loss of libido

The loss of sexual desire is one of the most important signs of hormonal imbalance in women. It can be caused by the low production of estrogen or hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. 

Sometimes low libido interferes with sleep patterns and causes insomnia.

Vaginal dryness

This symptom, too, is related to decreased estrogen. When a woman reaches middle age, the secretion of this hormone begins to decline and generates changes in the vaginal walls, leading to a lack of natural lubrication.

Fatigue

It’s normal for people to feel tired from time to time; however, it very concerns when it’s constant and makes your life difficult. You’ll know it is a problem because sleep will not be able to relieve you.

This may be happening because thyroid hormones are no longer produced in large quantities, especially if you have gained weight that you cannot easily lose.

Poor sleep quality

This disorder is prevalent before the arrival of menstruation. It usually occurs by an abrupt loss of the hormone progesterone before the period. A woman’s rest patterns can be altered by stress or the environment.

That is why all women experience various flows of progesterone and estrogen during their lives. For this reason, the lack of progesterone produces insomnia, while estrogen causes discomfort when sleeping, such as excessive sweating and changes in body temperature.

What is the treatment for a hormonal imbalance?

Each case is different, which is why we recommend that you consult your doctor for hormonal control to find the right solution for you.

Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life characterized by the end of menstruation and the beginning of the stage known as climacteric, the transition between the fertile period and getting older.

About 85 percent of women between the ages of 47 and 53 go through this stage because they gradually lose their ovarian function. Thus, the production of female hormones, estrogen and progesterone decreases.

Its main symptoms are:

BODY SHAPE CHANGES: metabolic changes are associated with menopause, causing increased body fat, accelerating if the woman leads a sedentary life.

The manifestation of these changes varies according to each woman: in some, weight gain occurs, while in others, fat is distributed to various parts of the body. These changes can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

IRREGULAR CYCLES: this symptom is frequent in the prior stage of menopause and is maintained until the last menstruation. From that moment on, menopause begins.

These are usually the last warning sign for women at this life stage. However, depending on each woman, irregular menstrual cycles can manifest years before menopause begins.

OSTEOPOROSIS: This bone decalcification produces the reduction of bone mass and is intensified by the loss of the protective action that the female hormones (estrogens) exert on them.

To prevent possible bone fractures, specialists recommend that bone densitometry of the hip and lumbar spine be performed in women who are in early menopause (before the age of 40).

MOOD SWINGS: tiredness, despondency, lack of concentration and energy, irritability, anxiety, or aggressiveness. These are some of the stages a woman can go through during menopause.

Can heavy bleeding occur at the onset of menopause?

Although this is a frequent symptom in the years before menopause, many times, due to the hormonal fluctuation of this period, any abnormal bleeding should be a reason for medical consultation.

This period has three stages:

  1. Premenopause: the reproductive period before menopause
  2. Perimenopause: stage in which the biological, clinical and endocrinological effects approaching menopause begin to occur. Perimenopause extends to the first year after menopause has begun
  3. Postmenopause: is the period that begins from the last menstruation forward

Symptoms of low estrogen and menopause causes: Summary

symptoms of low estrogen

A woman’s lifestyle affects her menopause. However, other factors can influence early menopause:

  • Sedentarism: the absence of physical activity is one of the main causes that could bring forward menopause. If a woman maintains an active lifestyle and plays sports several times a week, she can gain other benefits, such as prevention against osteoporosis, diabetes or decrease cardiovascular risk factors
  • Smoking: Tobacco is directly linked to the decrease of estrogens. If a woman is a long-term smoker, she may have menopause up to three years earlier than non-smokers. Besides, smoking worsens other pathologies such as osteoporosis and increases the risk of bone fractures

Early menopause

Although the normal age at which menopause occurs is between 48 and 54, in some cases, it can occur before the age of 40. In these situations, it is called early menopause.

This type of menopause occurs when there is a decrease in ovary activity. It can be caused by ovarian surgery or as a result of having undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It can also be due to genetic causes.

Contraceptive methods in menopause

Perimenopausal women are not fully protected from an unwanted pregnancy until they reach menopause (one year after their last period), so those who don’t want to become pregnant should choose a contraceptive method. 

However, after one year since their last period, no method of contraception is required.

Recommended foods for menopause

These are the foods you should eat more when you reach menopause or manifest symptoms of low estrogen:

Milk and dairy products

When women stop producing estrogen due to the onset of menopause, alterations in calcium regulation occur, resulting in bone mass loss.

Whole grains

At this stage of your life, it is common to feel tired. So it’s essential to include slowly absorbed carbohydrates that will provide the energy you need to cope with your daily schedule.

Extra virgin olive oil

During menopause, cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease often increase. To avoid this, it is essential to adopt a heart-healthy diet by increasing healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado).

menopause foods

White fish

Normally, when women reach menopause, they gain weight, and the fat stops accumulating in the hips and goes to the belly or abdomen. This is one of the factors that increase cardiovascular risk, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Increase fluid intake

Ideally, it would help if you were drinking about 1.5 liters of water per day, equivalent to 6 glasses. But if it’s is difficult for you to reach that amount, a good option is to drink infusions or opt for vegetable broths.

Among the many benefits associated with enough fluid intake is eliminating the fluids you tend to retain during menopause.

Chicken or turkey

A loss of muscle mass inevitably accompanies weight gain. A situation that can be minimized with a diet rich in lean proteins (rabbit, chicken, turkey, white fish) and with strength or toning physical exercise.

Asparagus and artichokes

Although it does not affect all women equally, the truth is that due to hormonal changes, fluid retention is a widespread disorder among women who are in menopause.

It’s important to decrease salt intake and increase the consumption of vegetables such as artichokes or asparagus.

Don’t skip dinner

At this stage of life, many women have to modify their eating habits. One of the most common is to reduce dinner to its minimum. This is ok, as long as you include some protein in it (not just a salad or a bowl of cereal).

How is menopause diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of menopause, doctors consider the symptoms, the woman’s age, and a gynecological examination.

To diagnose menopause, a blood test can also help determine the concentration of different female sex hormones, such as FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and estradiol.

In the climacteric, the levels of hormones show a typical evolution: estradiol decreases and FSH increases.

As a general rule, certain life habits are recommended, such as quitting smoking, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake in the diet, regular exercise, and avoiding excessive weight loss.

It would be advisable for every woman who reaches menopause to have a specialist evaluate starting hormone replacement therapy’s convenience.

How is menopause treated?

At your local medical facility, coordinated action is established among specialists to respond to your specific needs:

Hormone replacement therapy

Since most menopausal symptoms are related to a drop in blood levels of estrogen, hormone replacement therapy based on estrogen or its derivatives may often be recommended.

The most widespread estrogen intake forms are the transdermal route, using patches—also, the oral route.

All those women whose uterus has not been removed should also receive progesterone since it has a significant effect in preventing the appearance of hyperplasia and endometrial cancer.

Contraindications:

  • Active liver disease
  • Gallbladder pathology
  • History of deep vein thrombosis concerning estrogen
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, without an accurate diagnosis
  • History of estrogen-dependent cancer, such as breast cancer or endometrial cancer

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

In the short term, it will relieve most patients from hot flashes and sweating, genitourinary discomfort, emotional and libido changes. It will not have a major impact on breast and skin changes.

In the long term, it decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It also improves the blood lipid profile.

Side effects

These are basically due to the taking of progesterone. Typically they are headaches, breast tension, and lower abdomen discomfort.

symptoms of low estrogen

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Joel Zazueta

Hey! Joel here; A graduate of Herbalism & Naturopathy Medicine School. My team and I are passionate about finding ways to improve our lives on a daily basis and truly believe in natural alternatives of doing so before seeking traditional medications. However, always consult with your Doctor/Physician first before taking any actions in regards to your health. Stay Safe and Healthy!

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