Eat For Hormonal Health
A healthy diet can speed healing, no matter what ails you. You can eat certain foods to support hormonal health. Always eat as many whole foods as you possibly can and avoid the processed and sugary ones. Organic veggies and fruits, lots of water and herbal teas, and fibrous foods like apples, pears, berries, avocados, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are all beneficial for your body.
Hormone Replacement Therapy: How Does It Work
In the 1980s, hormone replacement therapy was common, but today, it is highly controversial. In 2002, US researchers from the Women’s Health Initiative studied 16,000 menopausal women. Half were treated with estrogen and progesterone, the other half were not.After five years, the study was stopped early in the group of hormone users, there was an increase in heart attacks, strokes and thromboses. The number of breast cancer diagnoses also increased. In addition, the effectiveness of estrogen was investigated in women without a uterus. This sub-study was also discontinued after seven years because there were no health benefits, and strokes and thromboses also increased here.
After the publication of the study, the prescription of hormones decreased by 80 per cent in the same year. Critics, such as the German Society for Endocrinology, emphasise that the studys results on cancer risks were misinterpreted. Hormone therapy does not generally increase the risk of breast cancer, according to an expert opinion in the New England Journal of Medicine 2016. It is necessary to take into account age, duration and dosage of hormone therapy, physical activity, weight and genetic factors. The participants of the WHI study were already of advanced age, so the results, according to the critics, do not indicate a risk for women in their 40s and 50s.
What Does Stress Do To Hormones
If you are stressed for a long time, your progesterone levels will drop. Avoid this by ensuring you take time out every day to relax and promoting mental balance. Make sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and autogenic training can also help reduce stress.
To discover more about techniques to cope with stress and to find out more about emotional resilience and stress, head over to our blog article.
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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.
Why Do We Lose Estrogen
All estrogen is produced within the ovaries. This means that the health of your ovaries is directly linked to estrogen production. During perimenopause, the ovaries make less estrogen than they used to. This decline is a natural part of life. Then when menopause hits, estrogen production stops. However, other factors can impact estrogen production, such as:
- Inadequate functioning of the pituitary gland
- Ovarian failure and ovarian cysts
- Turner syndrome
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How Do You Fix High Estrogen In Women
Lets face it our daily lives are full of sources that can potentially raise your estrogen levels and kick your body out of balance.
However, there are several ways to regulate your estrogen levels and these options vary from medication-based treatments to natural remedies and lifestyle changes that you can make to get back to your best self.
There are times when medical treatment is the best option. Thats when youre facing an immediate, serious, and acute situation that needs to be addressed. Such cases include spotting lumps around breast tissue or experiencing extremely painful cramps, which could be a sign of endometriosis.
These types of pressing issues call for a medical professional to examine you. Oftentimes, lumps are simply cysts or they are small, benign tumors. However, the diagnosis calls for a doctor because it could turn out to be something serious.
On the other hand, natural treatments are optimal when youre experiencing a collection of chronic symptoms, instead of acute.
For example, you may be experiencing weight gain, thinning hair, stress, brain fog, PMS, and a few other symptoms of high estrogen in women. Youve been tracking this over time and its affecting your quality of life.
Thats when you can address these issues using natural methods like taking supplements and making lifestyle changes like consistent exercise.
Does Oestrogen Cause Breast Cancer
The causes of breast cancer are complex, involving many factors. However, it is known that oestrogen can help breast cancer cells grow.
Females who have been exposed to more oestrogen for example, because they reached puberty early or went through menopause late, or because they have naturally high levels of oestrogen have a higher risk of breast cancer. If you take a medicine that contains both oestrogen and progestogen, such as MHT or the combined contraceptive pill, this can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer too.
However, there are a few important things to know:
- Breast cancer is common and affects about 1 in 8 females. The added risk from taking MHT or the pill is very small.
- To put it in perspective, for every 1000 females using MHT each year, theres one extra case of breast cancer.
- The risk increases the longer you take the medicine and goes down after you stop taking it.
- Medicines for MHT can also lower your risk of other health problems and relieve symptoms of menopause.
You can talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your risk of breast cancer.
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Stage : Luteal Phase = Lower Estrogen
In the second part of the cycle, the luteal phase, whenthe follicle has ruptured and the egg has been releasedâovulation has occurred. In the place where the follicle was, a new hormone producing structure forms from the walls of the follicle and is called the corpus luteum. The main function of the corpus luteum is to produce lots of progesterone, another sex hormone, but also some estradiol too .
If an egg is not fertilized and implanted, about four days before the start of the period, the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone and estradiol, and the levels of both hormones in the blood fall again. This triggers your period to start .
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:
How Effective Are Natural Alternatives To Hormone Therapy
Just how effective herbal alternatives with estrogen-like effects are such as monks pepper, black cohosh and ladys mantle has not yet been completely clarified scientifically. However, it is clear that they can be effective. The following are frequently recommended:
Treats anxious restlessness and sleep disturbances
St. Johns wort2
Treats depression, mood swings
1 Black cohosh preparations should always be taken under a doctors medical supervision because it is not clear whether there is a risk of liver damage with long-term intake .2 Caution: St. Johns wort increases sensitivity to the sun it can impair the effectiveness of other medicines .
Herbal remedies in concentrated form have not yet been sufficiently researched and may have undesirable side effects. You can safely use the herbal alternatives as teas and in herbal form.
Why Is Estrogen In The Pill
The contraceptive pill contains artificial estrogens and progestogens that prevent the usual hormonal fluctuations. This prevents eggs from growing in the ovaries and implanting in the uterus. For pregnancy to occur, the eggs would have to be fertilised in the uterus. The mini-pill works without estrogen.
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What Are Normal Estrogen Levels
Estrogen levels rise and fall throughout life. The fluctuation is normal. For instance, its normal for estrogen levels to rise during puberty and decline as you approach menopause. Its normal for estrogen levels to rise during ovulation so that your body can prepare itself for pregnancy. Its normal for levels to dip during your period when the pregnancy changes arent needed.
Levels that are consistently low or high may signal an underlying condition that requires your providers attention.
How Progesterone Levels Affect You
Women with low levels of progesterone will have abnormal menstrual cycles or may struggle to conceive because the progesterone does not trigger the proper environment for a conceived egg to grow. Women with low progesterone levels who do succeed in getting pregnant are at higher risk for miscarriage or pre-term delivery because progesterone helps maintain the pregnancy.
Low progesterone in women
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What Happens To The Body When Not Enough Estrogen Is Produced
Estrogen is a crucial group of hormones in a womans body. It is responsible for developing and maintaining the female reproductive system and the development of secondary sex characteristics. Consequently, when estrogen levels arent quite right, unsettling symptoms can result. Many women with low estrogen levels report feeling like they are going through menopause, except way too early. While premature menopause is a condition, younger women with hot flashes, night chills, lack of sleep, and absence of period may actually be exhibiting symptoms of low estrogen levels. This condition can be caused by anything from excessive exercise to chronic kidney disease. The best thing to do if experiencing these symptoms is to consult a healthcare professional to figure out exactly whats going on. Here are some symptoms to look out for.
Irregular period Since estrogen is responsible for maintaining your menstrual cycle, a decrease in estrogen levels could make your period basically disappear. During a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen helps your body build the uterine lining only to shed it when one of your eggs isnt fertilized, thus producing your period. When you have too low of estrogen levels, your body doesnt produce a thick enough uterine lining to have a period.
Mood swings Since hormones control your mood, a lack of estrogen could make you feel like the highs and lows are more intense than normal. This is how your body reacts to low estrogen levels.
Causes Of High Estrogen
High levels of estrogen can develop naturally, but too much estrogen can also result from taking certain medications. For example, estrogen replacement therapy, a popular treatment for symptoms of menopause, may cause estrogen to reach problematic levels.
Your body may also develop low testosterone or low progesterone levels, which can upset your hormonal balance. If you have estrogen levels that are abnormally high relative to your progesterone levels, its known as estrogen dominance.
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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.
Why Is Estrogen Important
Estrogen helps bring about the physical changes that turn a girl into a woman. This time of life is called puberty. These changes include:
Growth of pubic and underarm hair
Start of menstrual cycles
Estrogen helps control the menstrual cycle and is important for childbearing. This hormone has other functions:
Protects bone health for both women and men
Affects your brain , bones, heart, skin, and other tissues
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Athletes May Be At Risk For Low Levels Of Estrogen
Women who have less body fat are not able to produce the healthy amount of estrogen levels. Low estrogen in women is extremely common amongst athletes. According to Science Daily they mention:
Giving one year of estrogen replacement to female athletes with exercise-induced menstrual irregularities improves drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction and uncontrolled eating, a new study finds. The research results will be presented Saturday, March 17, at ENDO 2018, the annual scientific meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Chicago, Ill.
Women athletes suffer from severe issues due to the lack of estrogen their body produces naturally. What do estrogen pills do for female athletes is an important part of their daily routine. Low estrogen side effects can be damaging and should be avoided by consulting with your doctor about a supplement containing estrogen.
Is Caffeine Bad For Hormones
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has documented the previously unknown effect of caffeine on the female hormone balance. Caffeine, depending on origin, can indeed lead to high estrogen levels but not in every woman. Two cups of coffee a day increased estrogen levels in Asian and AfricanAmerican women. In US participants, however, coffee had the opposite effect. Other caffeinated drinks, including green tea, increased estrogen levels in all women. The reasons behind this are unclear.
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Why Do Estrogen Levels Rise
During puberty, it’s normal for levels of estrogen to rise. Thatâs because this hormone fuels changes in a young girl’s body. For example, it plays a role in the development of breasts, a more mature curved figure, fuller hips, and pubic and underarm hair.
In addition, high levels of estrogen are seen in women who are extremely overweight. Estrogen levels rise during a healthy pregnancy, and increased estrogen levels may be seen with tumors of the ovaries, testes, or adrenal glands.
Some drugs, such as steroid medications, ampicillin, estrogen-containing drugs, phenothiazines, and tetracyclines can increase estrogen levels.
What Happens During An Estrogen Test
Estrogens can be tested in blood, urine, or saliva. Blood or urine is usually tested in doctor’s office or lab. Saliva tests can be done at home.
For a blood test:
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle.
After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
For a urine test:
Your health care provider may ask you to collect all urine passed in a 24-hour period. This is called a 24-hour urine sample test. For this test, your health care provider or a laboratory professional will give you a container to collect your urine and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. A 24-hour urine sample test generally includes the following steps:
- Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine down. Do not collect this urine. Record the time.
- For the next 24 hours, save all your urine passed in the container provided.
- Store your urine container in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
- Return the sample container to your health provider’s office or the laboratory as instructed.
For an at-home saliva test, talk your health care provider. He or she can tell you which kit to use and how to prepare and collect your sample.
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Where Is Estrogen Located In The Body
Once its released, estrogen travels through the bloodstream until it reaches the part of your body that needs to be spurred into action. There, estrogen binds to a protein, called an estrogen receptor, that gets the process moving. Estrogen receptors are located throughout your body.
Treatment For Low Estrogen
One way to prevent symptoms of low estrogen is to replenish your estrogen supply. You can increase the levels of estrogen in your body through estrogen replacement therapies. At the Center for Womens Health, our team, led by Sharon Breit, MD, diagnoses and assesses your estrogen levels and symptoms in order to prescribe the best options for your issues.
Hormone replacement therapy comes in many forms, including pills, creams, patches, and injections, and with the hormone progestin or estrogen-only. Another option is BioTe® Hormone Pellet Therapy, which contains bioidentical hormones derived from plant extracts.
For more information on how estrogen affects your body and what you can do about it, call us at the Center for Womens Health in Wichita, Kansas, or make an appointment online.
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