Symptoms of Low Estrogen
There are many common symptoms of low estrogen, especially in adult women. While some of them may be mild, others can be quite severe. It’s well known that estrogen levels can fluctuate throughout a woman’s life and tend to decline with age. However, unexpected changes in estrogen may negatively affect one’s quality of life. Here’s a brief overview of this essential hormone and some of the most common symptoms of low estrogen levels.
What Is Estrogen?
The human body relies on different hormones to help regulate its various organ systems. These chemical messengers affect things like sleep, heart rate, digestion, metabolism, weight gain, and energy levels. The term “estrogen” refers to a group of hormones that includes estrone, estradiol, and estriol.
When most people talk about estrogen, they most likely mean estradiol. This hormone plays a key role in the female body, especially during puberty, pregnancy, and the menstrual cycle. Estradiol is also responsible for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics.
Levels of various hormones like estradiol naturally shift throughout one’s life. However, dramatic or unexpected changes sometimes lead to sudden hair loss, weight changes, mood swings, and loss of energy. These are common symptoms of hormone imbalance, which often respond well to natural hormone replacement therapy.
Common Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Women
Along with other estrogens, estradiol plays a crucial role in women’s health. It regulates mood, menstrual cycles, and the nervous system, aids in fertility, and helps to support skin health and bone density. While estradiol tends to peak before age 30 and fluctuates with the menstrual cycle, there are some cases where levels dip unnaturally low.
Every woman’s body is different, and there’s no true definition of “normal.” However, an individual’s estrogen levels will generally fall within a healthy range most of the time. If a woman experiences sudden or troubling symptoms, then these may indicate low estrogen levels. Some of the most common symptoms of low estrogen in women include the following.
1. Irregular Menstrual Cycles
One of the most common symptoms of low estrogen levels is an irregularity in your menstrual cycle—or in some cases, not having one at all. This can be very distressing for those who are used to a regular cycle or trying to get pregnant. Keep in mind that things like stress can also affect the menstrual cycle. If you’re experiencing this or any other symptom, make a note of it and discuss it with your physician.
2. Hot Flashes or Night Sweats
Another symptom of low estrogen levels is either hot flashes or night sweats, or both. These can be sudden and unpredictable, and they can happen at any time of day or night. Some women report feeling like their temperature has spiked even when it hasn’t.
3. Mood Swings or Irritability
Estradiol helps to regulate the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect one’s mood. Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation. However, unexplained mood swings or irritability may also be symptoms of low estrogen.
4. Sleep Difficulties
Hormones like estradiol also help to regulate one’s sleep cycles. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, then consider tracking your sleep schedule. Reduce the amount of screen time before going to bed, and try to naturally reduce your stress. If you’re still struggling, then maybe your hormones are to blame.
5. Memory or Concentration Problems
Difficulty concentrating or remembering, sometimes referred to as “brain fog,” is also a common symptom of low estrogen. This is because estradiol can help to protect the brain against cognitive decline as one ages. If you’re experiencing brain fog despite sleeping well, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of healthy exercise, then ask your physician to check your estrogen levels.
6. Sexual Issues
Finally, problems like vaginal dryness are other notable symptoms of low estrogen. They can sometimes lead to painful sexual activity or an increase in urinary tract infections. Low estrogen may also cause irregularly low sex drive.
Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Men
While estradiol is the primary female sex hormone, it’s also present in the male body to a lesser degree. In fact, men’s bodies derive estradiol from testosterone. Thus, symptoms of low estrogen may appear alongside or even like symptoms of low testosterone in men.
Estradiol helps to regulate the male reproductive system. It affects libido, erectile function, and sperm development. Some evidence suggests an association between estrogens and coronary heart disease in men, and estradiol may also affect male body fat, brain function, bone maturation, and skin metabolism. Men and women often share some of the same symptoms of low estrogen such as irritability, depressed mood, forgetfulness, and sleeping troubles.
Do You Have Symptoms of Low Estrogen?
Hormones affect everyone’s quality of life. They control countless systems within the human body, and an imbalance of any number of them can produce sudden, unpleasant symptoms. If you’re struggling with symptoms of low estrogen, or simply have questions about hormone imbalance, then please don’t hesitate to reach out for help or schedule a free consultation today.
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