Symptoms Of Low Estrogen Levels
Low estrogen levels usually occur in women who are going through menopause but can also occur suddenly if a woman has a hysterectomy that includes the removal of the ovaries. Hormone replacement therapy can help to raise progesterone and estrogen levels but is not recommended as a long-term treatment because continued use can raise a woman's risk of developing breast or uterine cancer. Some of the symptoms of low estrogen levels include but are not limited to fatigue, hot flashes, cold chills, joint pain, headaches, depression, dry skin, back pain, brain fog, water gain, and weight gain. Although going through menopause can seem overwhelming the woman with a plan to approach the changes with a positive attitude will be able to put the changes into perspective and turn the negative experience into a positive one.
Panic attacks have been linked to decreasing hormone levels in women. Low estrogen levels can cause depression and anxiety in some women. As hormones decrease the onset of an enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO) destroys neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters that greatly affect mood and emotions are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Along with panic attacks a women may suffer with low self-esteem, poor memory, and have difficulty concentrating. Neurotransmitter levels affected by hormone decreases and fluctuations can have an affect on thinking, digestion, sleeping, eating, pain levels, and can lead to onset of disease and mental health disorders. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God" (Psalms 42:11).
Night sweats are bothersome and can accompany changes in hormones along with hot flashes and cold chills. Women who have extreme symptoms of low estrogen levels may want to consider seeing a physician and asking about hormone replacement therapy. Most doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy only as a temporary treatment to help the woman who has intolerable symptoms of menopause. A physician may try different types and strengths of hormones but usually will start a woman on the lowest strength first and see how that works. Most physicians do not recommend self treatment. Synthetic hormones that were prescribed in the past were linked to the onset of heart disease in women. The hormones that are available today are safer but still have risks with long-term use.
A decrease in hormones can affect many of the body's systems. Menopausal women are at a higher risk for disease because of low estrogen levels. Some of the diseases associated with aging and low hormone levels may include osteoarthritis, heart disease, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's, and urinary incontinence. Other conditions that may arise during menopause include dry skin, vaginal dryness, excessive perspiration, flushing, and changes in circulation resulting in cold hands and feet. After menopause a woman may start noticing many changes in the body including the onset of knee problems, joint or muscle pain, increase of injuries, and an increase of infections. If a woman going through menopause will adopt healthy lifestyle habits the chances of developing disease or illness will be diminished.
Progesterone and estrogen help to protect a woman against heart attack and stroke. Some studies indicate that low estrogen levels can lead to anxiousness and stress. Stress can cause depletion in neurotransmitter levels. This can lead to depression and can cause the onset of addictive behavior including overeating. Some women experience palpitations and racing heart beat with the onset of menopause. Others have no symptoms at all. Sleep disturbances are not uncommon as hormones decrease or fluctuate. Urinary tract infections may increase and changes may occur in the hair, skin, and nails because of lower amounts of collagen.
The average age that a woman goes through menopause is around age 50. However some women go through it earlier and some much later. Women who smoke are inclined to go through menopause earlier than those who do not smoke. Other conditions that can cause a woman to start experiencing symptoms of low estrogen levels are chemotherapy or radiation therapy, having an autoimmune disease, removal of ovaries, being a vegetarian, and having very low body fat. Excessive exercise may also affect the timing of menopause. In addition, genetics can have an affect on when a woman goes through menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy can increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, blood clots, and dementia. If a woman experiencing premenopause is still having her cycle then a doctor may choose to prescribe low dose birth control pills over hormone replacement therapy. Healthy lifestyle habits may be the best way to help symptoms of low estrogen levels. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, limiting caffeine, avoiding alcohol and smoking can all have a positive effect on a woman's overall health. Losing weight can help a woman who is going through menopause because excess weight can have a detrimental affect on all of the body's systems.
A woman experiencing menopause should view it as a liberating time of life where changes can be positive even in the midst of changes that seem negative. A positive attitude will help a woman to approach aging as a new adventure. The importance of establishing healthy lifestyle habits can help a woman to thrive during menopause. Supplemental vitamins and minerals can help and eating properly can affect hormones positively. Eating too much sugar and spicy foods can trigger symptoms of low estrogen levels. Moderate exercise and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is a simple prescription to help a woman experience menopause in a positive way.