Estrogen is an essential female hormone which is produced by the ovaries and is essential in females, especially for development of secondary sexual characteristics including development of breasts, ovaries and uterus. In addition the hormone plays a vital role in regulating the menstrual cycle and also in maintaining a pregnancy.
Some of the other functions of the hormone include ability to utilize and absorb calcium.
One of the primary causes for the drop in estrogen levels in the body is menopause. As the women approaches her menopause (i.e. end of the reproductive life), the hormonal levels start fluctuating and result in the drop of estrogen levels. However there are certain other causes that have been linked with low estrogen,
- Women suffering from eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia nervosa may suffer from low estrogen. Estrone, a variant of estrogen, is synthesized from fat cells and depletion of fat reserve can lead to drop in the production of estrone, thereby reducing the levels of estrogen in the body.
- Ovarian cancer or other major endocrinal disorder affecting the thyroid, pituitary or adrenal glands can affect the production of estrogen in the body.
- Certain treatments and medications including chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy have a negative effect on the production of this hormone. In addition these drugs can also result in reduced efficacy of the produced hormone, resulting in symptoms associated with low estrogen levels.
Symptoms Of Low Estrogen Levels
While the symptoms with drop in estrogen levels may not always be apparent, however they are manifested especially in perimenopausal women, who experience a sudden drop in the levels of the hormone. Some of the key symptoms include,
- Pain in the joints especially the back with osteoporosis (i.e. weakened and softened bones).
- Cardiovascular symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats and increased palpitations.
- The skin becomes dry. Additionally vaginal dryness results in loss of libido and painful intercourse.
- Severe headache may be experienced due to cardiovascular disturbances.
- Mental symptoms include mood swings, loss of memory, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, etc.
Natural Remedies For Low Estrogen
Here are some simple tips that can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with low estrogen levels,
- Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Water helps you remain hydrated and alleviates symptoms like vaginal dryness and skin dryness promptly. In addition it can be helpful in the management of hot flashes and headaches.
- Include soy and soy products in your diet. This food can help improve estrogen levels in the body.
- Include essential fatty acids especially omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, which help hasten the production of certain hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
- Certain herbs namely ginger roots, black cohosh, ginseng, red raspberry, ginkgo bilobo and hops extract are considered to alleviate most of the symptoms associated with low estrogen levels.
- Red raspberry and damiana are other herbs that can help alleviate vaginal dryness and enhance libido.
- Homeopathic drugs like lachasis and pulsatilla are beneficial in relieving symptoms associated with low estrogen levels. In addition regular exercise and yoga practice are beneficial to normalize hormonal levels and improve associated symptoms.