Who Does Low Estrogen Impact Most
Estrogen affects people assigned female at birth most. But everyones bodies make estrogen.
Youre most likely to be impacted by low estrogen if:
- Youre experiencing menopause or postmenopause. Your ovaries make the majority of your estrogen in your reproductive years. During menopause and postmenopause, your menstrual cycle stops and your ovaries no longer make estrogen. Instead, fat cells start making the majority of your bodys estrogen. Menopause officially begins when you havent had a period for twelve consecutive months. Postmenopause is the period that follows.
- Your ovaries were removed or injured during treatment. Your body will only produce small amounts of estrogen if your ovaries were removed as part of treatment for a condition . Similarly, radiation therapy can injure your ovaries so that they produce small amounts of estrogen.
Dosage And How To Take
Black cohosh is available in capsule, liquid extract, or tea form.
Dosage recommendations vary widely between black cohosh brands. Typical doses are anywhere from 20120 mg of standardized black cohosh extract or powder daily .
For menopause symptoms, taking at least 20 mg of black cohosh daily which most brands will provide appears to be effective .
Some health professionals claim you should not take black cohosh for longer than 6 months to 1 year because of its slight potential to cause liver damage .
Because supplements are primarily subject to post-market regulation by the government, you should choose black cohosh supplements that have been third-party tested for quality. Some of these third-party testing organizations include United States Pharmacopeia and ConsumerLab.
Additionally, black cohosh is often sold in blends containing other herbal supplements, including:
- Red clover. Black cohosh and red clover can be taken together to help manage menopause symptoms, but theres no evidence that theyre more effective than a placebo (
What You Will Learn In This Article
- Why we need estrogen as women
- Why dirty estrogens are the real issue
- Symptoms of low estrogen
- Importance of correcting low estrogen
- What to eat to raise estrogen
- Herbal solutions for increasing estrogen
While many women suffer from estrogen levels that are too high, there are plenty of us out there whose estrogen levels have fallen too low. That especially applies as we approach perimenopause and menopause. Many women opt for hormone replacement therapy for symptoms of low estrogen, like hot flashes and night sweats. Is HRT the only way to correct your low estrogen levels? Maybe , but not necessarily. Especially so if you prefer to choose more natural options first.
Many women think twice about traditional HRT. In 2002, the National Institutes of Health announced that HRT did more harm than good and actually increased the risk of both breast cancer and cardiovascular disease in women. Trials were stopped early because of that announcement. Later, the research was reevaluated, and it was found that starting age and the use a premarin were the culprits.
However, HRT is still very controversial and many women are seeking out natural alternatives to HRT.
While research doesnt currently support replacing HRT with phytoestrogen-rich foods and herbs, the good news is that theres no downside to consuming these plant-based estrogens in normal dietary amounts. They may certainly also help to boost declining estrogen levels.
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Estrogen Deficiency Diagnosis And Test
If you persistently suffer from the above estrogen deficiency symptoms, you should contact the doctor you trust. Early diagnosis of estrogen deficiency can help prevent many health problems.
If an analysis of your medical history does not provide clarity, the doctor can determine your hormone levels through a blood test.
The different estrogen levels can serve as indicators for menopause , fertility , and pregnancy .
What Does It Mean To Have Low Estrogen
Estrogen is an important hormone that spurs your sexual development and helps maintain your reproductive system. It plays an essential role in other body systems, too. Estrogen levels rise and fall throughout your life, often in sync with other hormones that control important body processes, like your menstrual cycle. The ever-changing highs and lows associated with estrogen levels are normal.
Having estrogen levels that are consistently low is different. Consistently low estrogen may mean that youre going through a natural change, like menopause. Sometimes, low estrogen is a sign of a condition that slows your sexual development, which can make it harder to become pregnant.
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Why You Need Estrogen
Estrogens main function is to control reproductive changes in women, but it serves other roles in both male and female bodies, including:
Each of these phytoestrogens has antioxidant properties. This means that in addition to the nutrients potential health benefits, they fight cell damage in our bodies linked to a wide range of chronic diseases.
The best dietary sources of phytoestrogens include:
Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans . Researchers believe they lower breast cancer risk. You can sprinkle flaxseeds on many dishes, bake them into bread and cookies, or blend them into smoothies and spreads.
Soy contains high levels of isoflavones, phytoestrogens that may mimic estrogens effects and reduce the risk of both breast and prostate cancer. Soy is also rich in a range of essential vitamins and minerals. It can support heart health as an alternative to red and processed meats. Its also extremely versatile you can include soy in your diet with foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soymilk.
Because of their high lignan content, studies show that eating two servings of peaches or nectarines a week reduces a womans breast cancer risk. Researchers find similar effects from consuming blueberries and strawberries.
5. Red Wine
6. Sesame Seeds
Why We Need Estrogen
After reading about estrogen dominance on this website, many women may have come to the conclusion that estrogen is what causes all the problems.
Its only an issue when your body either breaks down the estrogens into dirty estrogens , or your estradiol-to-progesterone ratio is off .
As women, were dependent on estrogen to make us feminine, give us our womanly figure, and even make our skin glow. Here are just a few examples of the good things estrogen does for us:
- Promotes plump breasts
- Gives us hips and thighs
- Gives us menstrual cycle
- Promotes bone strength
- Supports a good mood
- Protects the brain from cognitive decline
- Nourishes the heart
In short, estrogen is important for vibrant health and energy. And, it makes us beautiful and attractive. Were definitely not at war with estrogen we just need to make sure it is working for us and not against us.
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What Estradiol Does In Your Body:
Estradiol â the main type of estrogen â supports the functions of female sex organs like the vagina, uterus, and breasts. Your estrogen level plays an important role in ovulation during the menstrual cycle.
If your blood estrogen levels are normal, then there is a good chance ovulation has taken place during the month of your sample collection. Testing your blood estrogen levels can help you see if this sex hormone is balanced to support reproductive health. If youâre experiencing low estrogen levels, your healthcare provider may recommend hormone replacement therapy to correct your bodyâs estrogen imbalance.
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Can Vitamins Increase Estrogen
There are no vitamins that can increase estrogen levels, Dr. Langdon says.
Ramello agrees: “There are no foods or vitamins that can be taken and directly turn into estrogen in the body,” she says. And, she notes, “it is unlikely that a food or vitamin will correct clinically low levels .”
But that doesn’t mean taking supplements isn’t potentially helpful when it comes to easing menopause-related symptoms or alleviating other symptoms that may occur with lower levels of estrogen.
If your estrogen levels are low â or if you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms â make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
While you may be able to easily get supplements without a prescription, talk to your doctor before adding them to your routine. That way, you can ensure there aren’t any negative interactions with other medications you’re taking.
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Checking The Thyroid Self Test
One of the ways to check whether you have an underactive thyroid is to measure your basal temperature once a day.
The basal thermometer should be sensitive enough to measure temperature to one decimal point. These are widely available in pharmacies and mostly inexpensive.
The temperature should be taken once a day for seven days. The key is to take the temperature before taking any food or drink, and prior to going to the bathroom.
Write down the measured temperature every day and add up the numbers, then divide them by the number of days, which is seven.
Normal body temperature is between 36.4°C 36.7°C or 97.6°F 98.2°F. If your measured average temperature is below this range, you may have underactive thyroid.
If you feel like your symptoms may mean your thyroid is not working properly visit the doctor as soon as possible. Many doctors attribute the symptoms to aging only. Make sure that you get all the necessary tests. Insist if needed!
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Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes
Before considering medication, first try making changes to your lifestyle. If hot flashes keep you up at night, lower the temperature in your bedroom and try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed. Layer your bedding so it can be adjusted as needed and turn on a fan. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make:
- Dress in layers that can be removed at the start of a hot flash.
- Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes.
- Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse.
- If you smoke, try to quit, not only for hot flashes, but for your overall health.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes.
- Explore mind-body practices. Some early-stage research has shown that hypnotherapy and mindfulness meditation could help with management of hot flashes.
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Zinc To Lower Testosterone
Zinc is a mineral found in food that functions to grow and repair body tissues, supports the immune system, and helps many of the reactions that occur in the body. It is food in foods like oysters, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes, but can also be supplemented. Zinc helps to balance testosterone levels and can help with hirsutism, acne, and mood. Additionally Zinc helps to lower testosterone naturally because it improves ovulation regularity.
Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
Estrogen plays a critical role in your reproductive health, but its also important for bone health and the production of mood-stabilizing hormones.
The most common reason for low estrogen is perimenopause, the natural transition to menopause.
This usually occurs in women in their 40s, though it can vary. During this time, your body may have sudden surges and production, which can cause symptoms including:
changes in metabolism
If you notice symptoms, consult a doctor before making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
They may recommend hormone replacement therapy . Studies have found that HRT is safe for many but not all women.
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What Medications Treat Low Estrogen
Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for low estrogen, especially during menopause and postmenopause. With HT, you take synthetic forms of estrogen and/or the hormone progesterone to boost your levels. There are two types of HT, estrogen therapy and estrogen progesterone/progestin hormone therapy . Providers prescribe the lowest doses possible to treat your symptoms while preventing side effects.
The only FDA-approved reasons for body-wide hormone replacement therapy are low bone mineral density and hot flash treatment, typically in the form of pills or patches. Vaginal estrogen in the form of rings, creams, and vaginal inserts are formulated to treat vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. Sometimes “body wide” estrogen can affect the vaginal tissue. Sometimes it doesnt. Vice versa, vaginal estrogen is not approved for the treatment of hot flashes.
Its not unusual to need vaginal estrogen in addition to body-wide estrogen if youre experiencing hot flashes and painful sex.
Youll take estrogen supplements only, with no progesterone. Your provider will only prescribe this therapy if you no longer have a uterus .
Estrogen progesterone/progestin hormone therapy
HRT isnt without risks. Research has shown that long-term use of combination therapy may increase your risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.
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 youre not ovulating, your body isnt releasing an egg, meaning theres nothing for sperm to fertilize.
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Do Estrogen Levels Fall At Menopause
Yes. Estrogen levels fall at menopause. This is a natural transition for all women between ages 40 and 55. The decline in estrogen can happen abruptly in younger women whose ovaries are removed, resulting in so-called surgical menopause.
Perimenopause is the period of transition before menopause. The first natural decline in estrogen levels starts during this phase. Other physiological changes also start. Women going through perimenopause may experience weight gain along with other menopause symptoms. For instance, there may be irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
On average, menopause occurs at age 51. When it does, a womans body produces less estrogen and progesterone. The drop of estrogen levels at menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including:
Some women experience moodiness. That may or may not be related to the loss of estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen may also increase a womans risk for heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and fractures.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
First off, it is worth saying that low estrogen symptoms can be also a result of smoking, hereditary predisposition, and excessive exercising. So, whenever a woman wants to prevent the fast onset of menopause, she should avoid such activities, and inform a dedicated expert about signature genetic details. In such a case, he will be able to appoint hormone replacement therapy or recommend health supplements that will stabilize the levels as much as possible. Besides, such treatment can alleviate the symptoms of low estrogen, and let the woman live a comfortable life.
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Ways You Can Boost Estrogen Naturally
Estrogen and progesterone are foundational hormones for sexual and reproductive development in women. Working together, these hormones help womens sexual characteristics to mature during puberty as well as manage fertility and menstruation up to menopause.
Estrogen also keeps cholesterol under control, encourages bone health, and balances moods, heart function, and skin tissues. Low estrogen is usually a sign of the change women go through during menopause.
Symptoms can include mood swings, dry skin, trouble sleeping, irregular periods, low libido, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
Thankfully, there are a number of reliable natural remedies to increase estrogen in the body. Either by directly creating estrogen or by replicating the effects of estrogen.
Read on, for 7 of the most natural ways to increase estrogen.
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Harder To Lose Weight & Maintain It With Low Estrogen Levels
But not impossible! For the majority of women following a healthy diet and exercise program will help them shed the unwanted pounds, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and keep their bodies healthy. The best thing is to make sure you are eating a healthy diet and following an exercise program before your body reaches this point as the weight will be harder to lose.
Eat Estrogen Rich Foods
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. So food is the first option to explore when we look for natural treatment for estrogen deficiency.
Certain foods are rich in phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogen. They are an excellent natural hormone replacement that easily converts into estrogen in the body.
Soy, millet, barley, flax seed, lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, rye, clover, fennel, and chickpeas are super-rich in phytoestrogens.
Other foods that contain phytoestrogens include apples, brown rice, celery, beets, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and almost all seeds, beans and legumes.
In general, moistening and lubricating foods are yin friendly. So add plenty of water in your cooking and many of the estrogen-rich foods are excellent ingredients for yummy and nourishing soups and stews.
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Vitamins Can’t Increase Estrogen But These 5 Supplements May Help With Menopause Symptoms
Estrogen levels dip as a person approaches menopause. And that can trigger some uncomfortable symptoms, such as mood changes, insomnia, lowered sex drive and hot flashes, says Felice Ramallo, MSCN, RD, a lead dietitian at Allara, which offers virtual care for people with PCOS.
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People who have these symptoms may be interested in increasing their estrogen levels, says Ohio-based ob-gyn Kim Langdon, MD, of Medzino, an online doctor and pharmacy company.
And it’s not just menopause that can lead to low estrogen levels, Ramallo says. Some procedures â such as chemotherapy and radiation â as well as having low body fat, pituitary gland conditions and premature ovarian failure can also lead to low estrogen, she says.