Estrogen is the general collective name of 3 types of steroid female sex hormones of different degrees of biological activity (BA):
- estrone (folliculin) E1 - controls the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics (uterus and breast), stimulates the growth of the endometrium,
- estradiol E2 - is responsible for external compliance with gender, pheromone secretion, quality of sexual life, work of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, cholesterol level, acid-base balance, calcium absorption and many other processes,
- estriol E3 - improves blood supply to the uterus and contributes to the development of the ducts of the mammary glands during maturation of the fetus.
Causes of Estrogen Deficiency
The level of estrogen naturally fluctuates depending on the current state of the body (phase of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy) and Normally reduced only during menopause (45-50 years). At other times, a sharp drop in hormone levels indicates health problems.
Estrogen deficiency (hypoestrogenism) - in most cases arises due to the oppression (extinction) of ovarian functionproducing most of the sex hormones.
As well as pathological disorders in the work of the adrenal cortex, thyroid or pituitary gland, which develop under the influence of negative factors:
- exhausting power loads, including professional sports training,
- lack of physical activity (physical inactivity),
- abuse of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and narcotic substances,
- a strict diet with low fat and iron intake, an unbalanced diet,
- sudden changes in body weight in any direction,
- incorrect use (self-assignment) of hormonal drugs,
- long-term treatment with gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists (GnRH), antidepressants or nootropics,
- bad heredity
- irregular sex,
- malignant tumor development,
- course irradiation or chemotherapy of the pelvic organs,
- surgical removal of the uterus with appendages, resection of the ovaries,
- prolonged depressed psycho-emotional state, nervous tension, depression.
Low level symptoms
In women of reproductive age (16–48 years) estrogen deficiency manifested as specific and common signs of malaise:
- the loss elasticity and elasticity of the skin (turgor), uneven micro-relief, formation of deep wrinkles, dehydration and peeling,
- acne, age spots, moles and papillomas in large quantities (up to 20 pieces in 1 year),
- deterioration of the figure, chest sagging (mastoptosis), the formation of stretch marks (striae) and congestion in the subcutaneous fat tissue, i.e. cellulite (lipodystrophy),
- redistribution of body volume (massive top, narrow bottom, big belly) and male type hair growth,
- uncontrollable hair loss, dull color, fragility, dryness and tip section,
- failures of the menstrual cyclei.e. irregular periods (1 time in 2–4 months) or their complete absence (amenorrhea), changes in the quantity and quality of secretions, severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS),
- frequent diseases inflammatory urogenital system (colpitis, cystitis, vaginitis),
- atypical discomfort in intimacy and urination, vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis), incontinence, impaired mobility (contracture) of the genital muscles,
- decrease in working capacity and self-confidence (self-esteem), loss of positive morale, lack of sexual desire, insomnia, irritability and baseless aggressiveness,
- sharp drops blood pressure, excessive gas (flatulence), pain in the heart and joints, increased heart rate, increased temperature and increased sweating (hot flashes),
- tooth decay, increased bone fragility (osteoporosis) and nails.
In childhood and during puberty, the lack of estrogen is no less dangerous than in adulthood, so it is very important to detect it in a timely manner.
Characteristic signs of hormonal disorders in adolescence:
- delayed sexual development (lack of menstrual flow, unexpressed mammary glands, small size of the uterus),
- frequent fractures, skeletal deformities, tooth decay,
- a large amount of hair on the face and body (if it is not related to nationality or heredity),
- the formation of the shape of the male type, stretch marks on the skin, unreasonable weight gain.
Low levels of estrogen after menopause is a natural phenomenon that is considered normal. However, often, a woman in this period suffers from a deterioration of health, therefore, at this age, the symptoms of hypoestrogenism also need to be corrected with the help of special therapy.
Diagnostics of shortage
The rate varies throughout life: it depends on the age, phase of the menstrual cycle and the duration of pregnancy.
To determine the overall level of the hormone, it is usually blood estradiol is usedsince it is far superior to other steroids in the ratio of biological activity (E1-6: E2-100: E3-1).
The reference values of estrogen in the body:
Physiological change in estrogen level by age
Under the influence of various causes, there is a wrong production of estrogen. It begins to be produced by the placenta, brain, fat cells, adrenal glands, liver and muscles. Determine the cause of pathologies associated with the production of estrogen can only laboratory and diagnostic methods.
Reasons for increased estrogen
- Toxic substances contained in food, utensils, detergents (hormone simulators, pesticides, herbicides, etc.). They lead to an increase in body weight, which contributes to the active production of estrogen by fat cells.
- Medications containing this hormone.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system, the presence of diabetes, arterial hypertension.
- Regular stressful situations, nervous overstrain.
- Eating foods that contain a large amount of phytoestrogens (apples, grapes, fish oil, sage, etc.).
- Age over 35-40 years.
- Neoplasms of the ovaries or other organs that begin the independent production of the hormone.
- Chronic diseases of the endocrine and reproductive systems.
- Dietary disorders.
- Incorrect adrenal glands.
- Inflammation of the pituitary gland.
- Lack of regular sex life.
None of the above causes is a guarantee of illness. This is just a factor that increases the risk of pathology.
Symptoms of increased estrogen in the blood of a woman
The severity of the clinical manifestations of any type of hormonal failure depends on the individual characteristics of the organism. Due to increased estrogen levels, changes occur in many vital systems.
- The breasts become more dense, the nipples grow coarse and become sensitive, bringing discomfort.
- Feels aching lower abdomen.
- Failure of the menstrual cycle.
- Increases weight in the absence of high-calorie food.
- Hair becomes dull, easy to fall out, nails exfoliate.
- On the skin of the face acne.
- After eating, nausea and vomiting often occur. There may be diarrhea or constipation.
- Difficulties in conceiving a child.
- Decreased memory and concentration.
- Rapid fatigue, weakness, poor sleep.
- Unreasonable nervousness or apathy, the occurrence of depression, perhaps panic attacks.
- Frequent jumps in blood pressure.
If you ignore the symptoms, the condition can lead to chronic infertility, obesity, thyroid disease, thromboembolism, osteoporosis, cramps in the limbs, mastopathy, mental disorders and breast cancer.
Treatment of increasing estrogen in the female body
Therapy is selected individually, regardless of the type of estrogen disorders. The doctor is based on the severity of pathology, comorbidities and diagnostic data.
- Anti-estrogen drugs inhibit excessive hormone production. Drugs need to be taken with caution, avoiding overdose. Clomiphene, tamoxifen, mastodinone, femara.
- Intestinal bacteria to restore microflora. This contributes to the withdrawal of excess hormone.
- Bifidumbacterin, biovestin, gastrofarm, enterol, bioflor.
- Diet. It consists in limiting harmful foods and foods containing estrogen.
- It is necessary to limit the use or completely eliminate strong alcohol, beer, coffee, sausages, canned products, dairy products. Cow's milk is recommended to replace rice, coconut.
- The diet should be dominated by natural fruits and vegetables, fiber (seeds, nuts, vegetables), green tea, folic acid, vitamins of group B, foods high in sulfur (egg yolk, garlic, onions, citrus).
Surgical intervention is to remove the ovaries. In most cases, it is used in women in menopause or when other treatments are useless. Ovarian ablation and oophorectomy are methods of surgery.
Ovarian ablation - This is the effect of radiation on the ovaries. At the moment, this method is used extremely rarely.
Oophorectomy - This is the removal of the ovaries. May be partial or complete. Indications for conducting are various inflammatory processes or neoplasms. Most often, the operation is prescribed in women aged about 50 years or with hereditary predisposition.
Symptoms of estrogen deficiency in women
- Breast size is reduced, the shape changes.
- Hair and nails become dull, brittle, dry.
- The skin flakes off, changes color, premature wrinkles appear.
- The amount of natural lubrication in the vagina is sharply reduced, which leads to dryness and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- A change in thermoregulation (a woman suddenly feels cold and heat drops).
- Osteoporosis appears.
- The menstrual cycle becomes irregular, accompanied by severe pain during menstruation.
- Attention and memory weaken.
- Pain in the heart.
- Irritability, nervousness, depression, sleep disturbances.
- Weakness, fatigue.
- Male-type hair growth is increasing - on the white line of the abdomen, on the chin and upper lip, armpits, near the nipples.
- In young women, a decrease in the size of the uterus may occur.
- Long-term estrogen deficiency can lead to a violation of the composition and strength of bones, osteoporosis, osteochondrosis, loss of sensitivity of the fingers on all limbs, frequent muscle pain, chronic fatigue.
Low Estrogen Treatment
Diet. In the diet, on the recommendation of a nutritionist, you need to include foods that are high in hormone and help to absorb it with zinc, selenium, and vitamin D.
Which products have a lot of estrogen?
- Sage, wormwood.
- Flax seeds.
- Olive and sesame oil.
- Fish oil, sea fatty fish, seaweed.
- Milk products.
Drugs based on estrogen and progesterone. Depending on the need, they can be in the form of tablets, creams, gels, ointments, implants, solutions for injections.
Forms for vaginal administration are the safest, but less effective.
Subcutaneous implants change on average once every 6 months and release the active substance directly into the blood.
Injections have the fastest effect.
Hormopleks, proginova, ovidone, ovestin, mercilon, zhanet.
Subject to all recommendations for treatment, the disease disappears without causing any special harm to the body. But throughout life it is necessary to monitor the state of their health.
To prevention methods hormonal surges, changes in estrogen levels in women include:
- Gynecological examination with an interval of six months.
- Moderate exercise or medical gymnastics (yoga, jogging, walking, swimming).
- Limiting harmful foods and eliminating harmful habits.
- Regular intake of multivitamins, especially groups B and E.
What is estrogen
They are a whole group of hormones that regulate the life of the female body. The main estrogens are:
- Estradiols. They are synthesized at the beginning of puberty and decrease during the onset of the menstrual pause. Most of the ovaries are responsible for producing the hormone, and in small doses they come from the liver and adrenal glands.
- Estrones. This hormone manifests itself after menopause. Produce its fat cells. Before menopause, it produces follicles and liver cells. Before ovulation, estrone paired with progesterone prepares the female reproductive system for possible conception.
- Estriol It produces the placenta in the period of carrying a child.
Estrogens appear in the body of a woman during the production of the pituitary hormone. Their deficiency often begins to manifest itself in women after 40 years.
Effect of estrogen on the female body
These hormones are responsible for the rhythm of the heartbeat and the quality of the reproductive system. The normal process of carrying a baby depends on the hormones of estrogen. Appearance and mental state of a woman are also completely under their control. They start the cycle of cell renewal in the endometrium, affect their growth and proper exfoliation during menstruation.
Normalize the water, fat and salt balance in the body and the hormones estrogen. The symptoms of their shortage are always manifested by external changes. The quality of the skin of the face and body deteriorates, overweight, apathy and irritability appear. It is very important to determine in time the reason for such changes and to adjust the hormonal background, until it affected the reproductive system.
Signs of Normal Estrogen Levels in the Blood
When the amount of estrogen hormones is normal, it affects the woman with the following symptoms:
- The skin becomes smooth, elastic and supple.
- There are no inflammations, acne or scaling on the face.
- Does not disturb pigmentation.
- The figure has all the female sexual characteristics: round and convex chest, thin waist, wide hips.
- The voice is deep and pleasant.
- No problems with teeth, do not worry about pain in the joints.
- The mood is always normal, without abrupt changes.
- Stressful situations are transferred calmly.
The peak production of this hormone occurs during the second half of the menstrual cycle. The closer the ovulation, the more pheromones in the female body, which are synthesized through estrogen. Under their action, the woman becomes more attractive to the male sex.
Causes of estrogen deficiency
The main cause of lowering the hormone estrogen is considered a failure of the ovaries. They are responsible for the reproductive capacity of the body. Therefore, you should carefully monitor the health and regularly checked by a gynecologist. Estrogen production from the ovaries is slowed down due to age-related changes or problems with the pituitary gland. Also, the main causes of hormone deficiency include an excessive amount of testosterone. This is a male hormone that should be present in a normal dose in a woman's body.
What diseases may occur due to its deficiency
Lack of female hormone estrogen can cause a number of pathological diseases. The most common are:
- Syndrome prolapse of the uterus.
- Inflammatory processes in the pelvic organs.
- Heart attack.
Women who cannot become pregnant for a long time due to estrogen deficiency are diagnosed with infertility. Therefore, to enjoy the long-awaited motherhood, you will have to undergo a course of treatment with a doctor. It is not necessary to engage in self-selection of hormone pills. This can adversely affect health.
Symptoms of Estrogen Deficiency
When the female hormone estrogen begins to be missed, it is immediately visible as. The most important symptoms are the following changes:
- Memory and ability to concentrate on something is deteriorating.
- Reduced stress resistance.
- Fatigue and apathy quickly arise.
- Libido falls.
- The cycle is broken or the menses is completely lost.
- Joints begin to hurt, knees and fingers crunch.
- Dermatological problems appear: the skin dries, wrinkles, peeling and stretching are shown.
- There may be new birthmarks.
- Pressure jumps, heart rhythm is disturbed.
Also, when estrogen levels are lowered, frequent headaches and migraines start to bother. A woman becomes nervous, anxious and worried. Hormonal failure is often accompanied by depression, causeless change of mood, and dysbacteriosis.
How Estrogen Deficiency Is Treated
As soon as the first signs of a lack of estrogen appeared, you should go for a consultation with a doctor. He will give directions for tests and tell you how to remove unpleasant symptoms. If the tests do indicate a hormonal failure, the doctor will make a treatment plan.You can not pick up drugs or try to normalize estrogen method of taking hormone pills. Only a specialist can find a competent treatment that does not entail unpleasant consequences.
If associated diseases occur with a decrease in estrogen, an even more serious recovery of the body will be required. Regular pills in such cases will not help. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe a course of intramuscular injection. Against the background of diseases, hormonal background improves for a very long time. Sometimes women need 2 to 4 years of permanent treatment.
Estrogen boost with folk remedies
For more effective treatment, many doctors advise to increase the female hormones estrogen by home methods. Symptoms of their deficiency can be strong or weak, in any case, home therapy does not hurt. It can be done using the following recipes:
- Sage. This herb perfectly helps to normalize hormones. For the preparation of infusion will need 1 teaspoon of sage and 250 ml of boiling water. Pour boiling water over the grass, close the container with a lid and infuse for at least 1 hour. When the liquid has cooled, it must be drained and drunk on an empty stomach. Infusion of sage, you can drink every morning until the treatment will not adjust the level of hormones.
- Clover. This healing plant is able to normalize the female state when the first signs of menopause appear. Red clover lowers the frequency of hot flashes, improves the state of the nervous system. To make a drink, add 5 g of a plant to 250 ml of boiling water. The infusion is kept warm for about an hour until it cools down. The resulting amount of drink divided into three doses and drink after meals.
- Karkade It is often drunk instead of tea. Hibiscus has a pronounced sour taste. In addition, he copes with the lack of estrogen in the body. For brewing need only 1 teaspoon of flowers per 250 ml of hot water. Karkade can drink up to 5 cups per day.
Homemade recipes are not a complete treatment. They only help to enhance the effect of drugs. Before you use any popular recipes, you must consult with your doctor.
What you need to eat, so as not to lack estrogen
To prevent the lack of the hormone estrogen, you need to eat right. For this you need to eat food that contains phytoestrogens. Most of them in the following products:
- Flax seeds. These seeds contain many substances that are so beneficial to the female body. They purify from slags and toxins, saturate with vegetable fats, indispensable for the normal functioning of the reproductive system.
- Legumes Soybean, peas and lentils have a beneficial effect on the functioning of internal organs. Regular use of these products even helps to get rid of stress and neurotic disorders.
- Fruits. Particular attention should be paid to apples, plums and pomegranates.
- Nuts Most of all others will be saturated with phytoestrogens: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts. Do not use them in large doses. Nuts are very high in calories. Against the background of hormonal failure from their excessive use, you can gain excess weight. For good health you need only 30-40 grams of nuts per day.
Symptoms of excess estrogen hormone
Estrogen deficiency is always stressful for the body. The same applies to its excess. When the main female hormone becomes too much, it can be determined by the following symptoms:
- Overweight appears. Extra pounds in this case begin to appear even with an active lifestyle. The thighs and abdomen are most affected.
- The menstrual cycle is broken. Monthly become irregular. Sometimes they can disappear for several months. No need to wait for the problem to disappear by itself. With the appearance of such a serious violation, an urgent need to consult a doctor. One of the very first symptoms of a lack of estrogen or its excess is the absence of menstruation.
- The mammary glands swell and become very sensitive. If the chest begins to hurt or unusually swell - this is another reason to pass tests. Most likely, it is a violation of hormonal levels.
- Emotional instability appears. Neurological disorders often manifest with elevated estrogen levels. During an excess of this hormone, a woman may suffer from panic attacks, as well as attacks of anger and irritation.
- Frequent headaches. Elevated estrogen hormones cause recurrent pain in the occipital and temporal regions. Usually they manifest themselves in the form of migraines.
- Insomnia and chronic fatigue.
Symptoms of a lack of female hormone estrogen, as well as its excess can manifest itself in both mature women and young. This pathology is associated with age-related manifestations, but most often is a consequence of hormonal failure.
What can cause an excess of estrogen
Lack of female hormone estrogen is bad for health. But the excess of its normal performance also harms the body. A lot of women suffer from an excess of this hormone. At an acceptable rate, it rises during pregnancy and adolescence. But sometimes the excess of estrogen is accompanied by pathologies of the body. Among the most frequent causes of the manifestation of its excess are the following:
- Alcohol abuse.
- Chronic depression.
- Uncontrolled hormonal drugs.
- High blood pressure.
- Sharp weight gain.
- Diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Estrogen can accumulate in the body under the influence of the environment. Most household products, medicines and cosmetics contain the smallest particles of chemicals that mimic estrogen.
Causes of deficiency
Analyzing the reasons for the lack of estrogen in the female body, it can be noted that the weakened functioning of the ovaries, which are designed to produce vital female hormones, dominates among them.
Also revealed a number of pathological disorders that can reduce estrogen:
- diseases of the pituitary gland, causing a failure in the regulation of hormonal levels,
- dramatic weight loss
- bad habits - alcohol, drugs, smoking,
- hormone-active tumors,
- hereditary factor
- taking long time antidepressants.
Thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland affect the proper functioning of estradiol, a low level of which can occur during hypothyroidism, a pathological process in the thyroid gland.
Hypoestrogenism is observed and as a result of age-related changes. May cause estrogen deficiency inappropriate intake of the drug Vitex, which is prescribed for certain female diseases. This is due to the fact that Vitex taken to alleviate the premenstrual state is able to reduce the generation of estrogens. If you strictly follow the medical prescriptions, the result will be the restoration of hormonal balance. With excessive use of the drug will be followed by serious violations caused by a lack of hormones and requiring therapeutic measures.
For estrogen female hormones, the symptoms of deficiency are quite characteristic, so they can be seen on their own, giving rise to a doctor.
At the beginning of the life path, such signs of estrogen deficiency can be tracked, such as the late formation or the complete absence of sexual secondary symptoms, due to delayed sexual development. Uncharacteristic male features may appear in girls — facial hair, developed muscles, a muscular body, etc. If menstruation comes very late or does not appear at all, infertility can develop without timely treatment.
The most noticeable with a lack of estrogen for women in reproductive age, are negative changes in the state of appearance:
- fragility and dull hair color,
- breast shape deterioration
- dryness, loss of elasticity, thinning and flaking of the skin,
- fragility and delamination of nails.
The following pathological changes in the body may also indicate a lack of estrogen in women:
- the emergence of one or many new moles, as well as papillomas,
- blood pressure drops
- bad mood,
- vaginal dryness
- frequent bladder infections,
- violation of thermoregulation, the characteristic features of which is a quick change of sensations of cold and intense heat in the body,
- inability to get pregnant,
Combined estrogen-progesterone deficiency manifests itself by strong pain sensations on the background of irregular menstruation, as well as infertility. Estrogen deficiency can cause rapid memory impairment. Sometimes this is indicated by heart pain, poor coordination, loss of concentration. Many of the symptoms are similar to those that appear during hypothyroidism, so a study of the thyroid gland will be required in order to make a correct diagnosis.
For women after 40 years of age, weight gain causes no apparent reason, as the diet remains the same. This is due to the fact that by this age the intensity of estrogen production decreases, and the body begins a hormonal adjustment. It must be borne in mind that if prolactin is elevated, it is also fraught with obesity.
Against the background of estrogen deficiency, due to the loss of calcium in a woman, bone strength decreases, which often leads to the development of osteoporosis. Most often, this condition occurs after 50 years, when estrogens with climax on the basis of physiological normal parameters are no longer produced. Whether it is necessary in this case, treatment through hormone maintenance therapy, the doctor decides.
It is impossible to independently understand the cause-and-effect relationship, therefore, with any noticeable and disturbing symptoms characteristic of an estrogen deficiency, a competent consulting support of a specialist is necessary.
Level normalization methods
In case of serious malfunctions in the body, which caused a low level of estrogen, treatment is usually carried out by special means designed to replenish the amount of hormones. The therapeutic complex in each case is determined individually. It can include both medical and natural products.
Given that the body needs estrogen contained in some of the available products, the doctor makes recommendations on how to properly organize your daily diet. A special approach will require estrogen-progesterone deficiency, since it is necessary, along with the replenishment of female hormones, to stimulate the production of progesterone.
Also requires attention menopause. In case of its severe course, a supportive treatment course can be performed.
Traditional treatment is based on the use of drugs that have a heightening effect on tarragons. As an active substance, they have that kind of hormones, which according to the results of analytical studies is not enough for the normal functioning of the body.
If you choose what better to use, you need to consider that there are several dosage forms.
- The most convenient and common are pills. When they are received according to the recommended scheme, a positive effect appears rather quickly.
- For people who travel frequently, as well as those who work, patches that increase estrogen by absorbing the active substance through the skin are becoming increasingly attractive.
- In the same way, medicinal ointments, gels, creams with estrogens affect the body. They do not cause discomfort when used, unless an allergic reaction is observed.
- Subcutaneous implants have a long duration. They are able to release hormones directly into the blood. Usually they are enough for six months, and then should be replaced. When possible negative reactions require immediate removal of the implant.
- Virtually no side effects are vaginal forms. But their positive effect is weaker.
- In order to bring back normal estrogen at a faster rate, the doctor may prescribe intravenous or intramuscular injections.
If progesterone deficiency occurs simultaneously with estrogen deficiency, then combined oral contraceptives will be required. Necessary drugs that restore the functioning of the thyroid gland in hypothyroidism, if it is established that this disease was the cause of reducing the number of female hormones.
If prolactin is elevated, this indicates that the level of estrogen is also high. Before pursuing a lowering course, it is necessary to identify the causes of hormonal disruption, so that the body quickly restores its livelihoods.
Along with hormone therapy, natural estrogens are often used, which, when used properly, help gently restore imbalance.
When deciding how to increase the level of estrogen, you can pay attention to flax seed, which can be brewed from the evening, leaving until morning to drink flaxse drink after waking up. Also, a good flax effect is manifested if its seeds are simply chewed dry. Since they have a specific taste, it is preferable to prepare a vitamin salad with carrots, cabbage, flax seed, and nuts. You can also grind flax seed to a powdery state and add it little by little to dishes.
The level of estrogen will gradually increase if you brew, instead of pills such herbs as wormwood, sage and others. Natural estrogens contained in them have a beneficial effect on the female body. Especially effectively increases the concentration of female hormones sage, often used if there are failures of the menstrual cycle.
Sage also has a calming effect at high tides, contributes to the formation of the follicle. Before drinking sage, it is necessary to consider that it is advisable to do this at the end of menstruation before the onset of ovulation. It is more convenient to use sage for brewing bags. The course, if necessary, can last a year, but with the obligatory supervision of a doctor.
Estrogen Rich Foods
Treatment is becoming more effective in order to increase estrogen, if you make adjustments to the diet and use foods where a high percentage of these hormones are detected.
The rather extensive list includes the following food types containing estrogen, beneficially affecting the female body:
- soybeans, beans,
- olive oil,
- fruits - pomegranate, plums, apples, etc.,
- milk products,
- Red beans,
It is also important to know which products contain carotene, which is necessary in case of estrogen deficiency (beets, sea buckthorn, carrots, etc.). Especially useful in small quantities beet juice, rich in other vitamins.
ESTROGEN DEFICIENCY IN WOMEN: SYMPTOMS (LIST)
Women of any age may experience estrogen deficiency symptoms. If menopause has not yet arrived, the level of the female hormone will also depend on the phase of the menstrual cycle.
Signs of estrogen deficiency:
- weight gain
- feeling hot
- increase in the number of wrinkles on the skin,
- skin looks dimmer
- vaginal dryness and pain during intimacy,
- decrease in sexual desire
- mood swings
- no menstrual cycle or irregular periods,
- low energy and fatigue
- increased urinary recurrence rate
- bone loss
- increased risk of heart disease.
Weight gain is a common symptom of estrogen deficiency in women.
Low estradiol can lead to weight gain. Clinical studies show that women who enter menopause recover an average of 7 kg. Some women, compared to others, are more likely to gain weight in this period.
It is not completely clear how estrogen increases weight, but it seems that it affects the metabolism and distribution of fat, which can concentrate in the abdomen, which makes it especially difficult for a woman to lose weight.
To avoid this, doctors recommend starting to monitor the diet for several years before the alleged menopause. Include in the diet more water, fiber, fruits and vegetables, stop smoking, large amounts of alcohol and fat.
Causes of estrogen deficiency in women: why the female hormone decreases
Ultimately, all women go through menopause and their estrogen decreases. This is a normal age-related decline in ovarian function. In addition, all women notice an inevitable slow and steady decline in estrogen, starting around 35 years old. In most cases, estrogen deficiency occurs in older women who go through perimenopause or menopause, but this does not mean that girls do not have low levels of the female hormone.
Decreased estrogen in young women is usually the result of certain pathological conditions, such as excessive exercise, a rigid diet, problems with the pituitary gland.
The list of the most common causes of estrogen deficiency in women and girls:
- возрастное снижение (причина №1 для большинства женщин),
- жёсткое пищевое ограничение (низкокалорийные диеты),
- anorexia or other eating disorders,
- excessive exercise
- problems with the pituitary gland of the brain,
- lack of sleep (with a decrease in estradiol can reach 60%).
Symptoms of estrogen deficiency must be confirmed by laboratory testing. To do this, the gynecologist or gynecologist-endocrinologist prescribes the analysis of blood serum for estradiol and progesterone.
When tests look relatively normal, but the woman still has symptoms of estrogen deficiency, it may be helpful to additionally test for sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Low estrogen is often accompanied by low SHBG.
Estradiol has wide and variable ranges of the norm depending on the phase of the cycle. It should not be below 68 pmol / l (if not yet climax), while the upper limit can reach 1655 pmol / l. Such a large range can potentially complicate the identification of estrogen deficiency in some women.
Estradiol may be in the normal range, but still be low for a particular woman. If earlier the level of the female hormone was, for example, 500 pmol / l, then the value of 100 pmol / l would technically fit into the norm, but at the same time the woman may already begin to experience signs of estrogen deficiency. To be able to relate your own normal level of estradiol to the symptoms that occur, it is useful to have several test results done at different times, but at the same phase of the cycle.
ESTROGEN DEFICIENCY IN WOMEN: TREATMENT
There are two main approaches to the treatment of low estradiol:
- Properly selected hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- Supplements and dietary supplements (herbal extracts, vitamins).
HRT (hormonal pills, patches, suppositories, creams) can quickly restore the missing hormones, lifting estrogen and progesterone, and get rid of unpleasant symptoms. However, when using them should be careful because of the possible side effects of long-term use. To prescribe such drugs should an experienced doctor, regularly monitoring the dosage and tests.
With minor symptoms, natural remedies can help increase estrogen, such as herbal phytoestrogens and supplements with them, soybean and red clover isoflavones, tsimitsifuga, dagil, primrose, as well as lifestyle changes: weight loss, smoking cessation and healthy sleep.
Causes of estrogen reduction
One of the common causes of the development of estrogen deficiency in women is emotional overstrain (stress), lack of sleep, depressive disorders (with a lack of estrogen provokes a further aggravation of depression), excessive exercise or lack of exercise (lack of physical activity), dieting.
Also, a low level of estrogen can be observed after serious injuries, infectious pathologies, exhaustion, against the background of beriberi, in the acclimatization period after the change of place of residence.
In such cases, the normalization of estrogen deficiency occurs after the restoration of normal sleep and rest, nutrition, physical activity. If necessary, prescribed multivitamin preparations and herbal remedies that increase the level of estrogen.
However, it should be understood that a lack of estrogen can also be observed in case of serious diseases that require complex treatment, therefore, when symptoms of hormonal imbalance appear, you should consult a gynecologist and endocrinologist.
Independently prescribe drugs to increase estrogen in women or to carry out treatment with traditional medicine is strictly prohibited.
Symptoms of estrogen deficiency in women may also be seen in the background:
- diseases of the hypothalamic-pituitary system,
- hormonal ovarian dysfunction,
- benign or malignant lesions of the ovaries,
- polycystic ovary syndrome,
- hyperandrogenic states
- adrenogenital syndrome
- genetic disorders associated with low estrogen levels in women
- postpartum hormonal imbalance,
- radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Normal Estrogen Level in Women
The level of estrogen (estradiol) in women depends on the age and phase of the menstrual cycle. Measurement of indicators is carried out in pmol / l.
- In girls of the first year of life, estrogen levels are less than one hundred fifty-five pmol / l.
- In patients from one to five years old - up to ninety-eight pmol / l.
- From five to ten years old - up to one hundred thirty-eight,
- From ten to fourteen years old - less than 355 pmol / l.
- And from fourteen to eighteen years old - less than 953 pmol / l.
- In women older than eighteen years, the level of estrogen is largely determined by the phase of the menstrual cycle.
- In the follicular phase, the level of estrogen ranges from sixty-eight to 1269 pmol / l.
- In the ovulatory - from one hundred thirty one to 1655.
- The luteal phase is from ninety-one to eight hundred and sixty one pmol / l.
- In the period of menopause, the level of estrogen is less than seventy-three.
Symptoms of lack of female estrogen hormones
Symptoms of deficiency of female sex hormones depend on the age of the patient and the severity of hormonal disorders.
In girls, the lack of estrogen is manifested by the absence of menstruation, a violation of the development of secondary sexual characteristics (the mammary glands do not develop, there is no pubic hair). It is also possible the appearance of body hair on the male type, coarseness of the voice, the development of severe forms of acne.
When conducting an ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs, a small uterus and ovaries may be detected, which is inconsistent with age.
In adult women, lack of estrogen is manifested by a decrease in sexual desire, the appearance of constant dryness in the vagina, pain during intercourse, weakness of the pelvic muscles, prolapse of the uterus, appearance of papillomas, decrease in skin elasticity, early appearance of wrinkles, impaired menstruation, impaired thermoregulation, the appearance of excessive emotional lability and frequent mood swings, anxiety, the appearance of "tides", hair loss, the development of severe acne.
Against the background of constant dryness of the vagina and disruption of its normal microflora, frequent development of thrush, vaginitis, etc. is noted.
There is also a decrease in bone strength, and signs of early osteoporosis appear.
It should be noted that estrogens play an important role in maintaining vascular elasticity, reducing cholesterol levels, preventing the development of atherosclerotic vascular lesions and developing cardiovascular pathologies.
With a deficiency of estrogen, combined with an increase in the number of androgens, there are signs of virilization. The voice becomes coarse, the mammary glands atrophy, hard hair begins to grow on the face, stomach and chest.
Symptoms of estrogen deficiency during menopause can occur:
- the appearance of migraine attacks, persistent headaches, profuse sweating, severe fatigue,
- increased irritability
- incontinence (due to weakness of the pelvic floor muscles),
- constant dry skin
- brittle and dry hair,
- abdominal distention,
- the appearance of dandruff
- heart rhythm disorder
- severe violations of thermoregulation,
- hot flashes (tides) alternating with chills,
- unstable blood pressure (with a tendency to increase it), etc.
How to increase estrogen levels in women
It is necessary to understand that self-treatment can be dangerous to health, therefore, a doctor should prescribe measures to increase the level of estrogen. Self-selection of drugs is not allowed.
With a slight disturbance of hormonal background, not associated with cysts or malignant neoplasms of the ovaries. Also defeat the hypothalamic-pituitary system, etc. may be prescribed diet and normalization of lifestyle.
It is necessary to consume a sufficient amount of protein foods (boiled meat, dairy products). And to increase the consumption of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. It is good to reduce the use of flour, sweet, soda and alcohol.
It is also recommended to quit smoking.
The products that increase estrogen include legumes, cabbage, apples, figs, pomegranates, etc.
Effective use of flaxseed, soybean or sesame oil, decoctions of oregano, linden, sage, mint.
It is also recommended to increase the consumption of fatty fish or to take supplements containing Omega-3.
For normalization of hormonal background, folic acid, group B vitamins, vitamin A, E, biotin, selenium, zinc, etc. are also effective.
According to the testimony may be appointed sedatives.
Additionally, it is recommended to normalize physical activity, to relax more, to avoid stress and physical overstrain.
Causes of estrogen deficiency
The hormone is mainly produced by the ovaries and partially by the adrenal glands. Violations in the hormonal balance can be caused by a number of factors, including hereditary diseases. The weakening of the functioning of the ovaries producing this hormone can be caused by the following reasons:
- diseases of the pituitary gland leading to an imbalance of the hormonal system (pituitary nanism, cerebral-pituitary cachexia, necrosis of the anterior pituitary gland),
- drastic weight loss
- alcohol abuse, smoking, drug use,
- the presence of hormone-dependent tumors,
- taking antidepressants or nootropic drugs
- thyroid pathology,
- self-medication hormonal drugs
- unbalanced diet, which is characterized by a deficiency of cholesterol and iron.
The decline in estrogen levels begins during menopause, which is a natural process. Even more difficult is estrogenic insufficiency, caused artificially after removal of the uterus with appendages, resection of the ovaries.
Predisposing factors to reduce the level of the hormone can be a sedentary lifestyle, or, conversely, increased physical exertion, which the body undergoes during swimming, figure skating, gymnastics. Some strength sports put a woman in front of the need to take drugs that contain testosterone. Excess male hormone suppresses estrogen production.
Hormonal imbalance is often noted with a vegetarian diet, with anorexia. In most cases, the pathology leads not one, but a combination of the listed reasons.
Low estrogen levels are already apparent in adolescent girls. Normally, the first signs of puberty should appear at the age of 11-12 years. The girl's mammary glands are enlarged, a female figure is formed, pubic hair and in the armpits appear. An insufficient amount of estrogen manifests itself in the absence of these signs. In addition, in some cases, the beginning growth and formation of the mammary glands can slow down or even stop.
An important indicator of hormonal balance in girls is the regularity of menstruation. Menarche (first menstruation) usually begins at 12-13 years old, and the formation of the menstrual cycle is completed by 15-16 years. With a lack of estrogen, menstruation begins later than 16 years, and is sometimes absent. In some cases, the girl has a male-shaped figure, which is characterized by a narrow pelvis, broad shoulders, and developed muscles.
On the gynecological examination of such girls determine the small size of the uterus and the underdevelopment of the internal and external genital organs. Hypoestrogenic negatively affect the possibility of a girl in the future to become pregnant and become a mother.
It should be noted that inadequate breast growth, an irregular menstrual cycle and other signs may accompany many other diseases. They do not always indicate a low level of estrogen. In case of delayed sexual development of the girl, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist and an endocrinologist, who will determine the cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Independent use of drugs in these cases is unacceptable, since the hormonal system of the girl is just being formed, and gross intervention can only complicate the problem.
In the period of menopause
A natural decline in estrogen levels is observed during menopause. With their lack of oppression of ovarian work occurs at an early age of 40-45 years, and sometimes earlier. In this case, doctors diagnose early menopause. Women complain of headaches and dizziness, hot flashes, increased heartbeat, sweating.
Changes in hormonal levels that began at an early age result in malfunctioning of the ovaries and adrenal glands. A woman has an increased risk of developing diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, myocardial infarction, and thyroid diseases.
The average age of menopause is 45-55 years. This category of women is characterized by the following signs of feeling unwell:
- weight gain is associated with insufficient activity of the endocrine glands,
- disorders of the digestive organs - bloating, dysbiosis,
- reducing the amount of collagen produced - causes wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, skin loss of moisture and elasticity,
- the appearance of a large number of papillomas and moles within a few months,
- disorders of cerebral circulation leading to strokes and heart attacks,
- increased heart rate,
- decrease in sexual desire, sensitivity of mucous genital organs, vaginal dryness.
Negative changes occur in the psycho-emotional state of the representatives of the weaker sex. Women experience memory and performance deterioration, emotional stress, increased fatigue, irritability.
In reproductive age
For women of reproductive age, the following symptoms of estrogen deficiency are characteristic:
- frequent diseases of the genital organs of an inflammatory nature (colpitis, vaginitis), the disease is difficult even with timely treatment and is chronic,
- disruptions in the menstrual cycle - menstrual periods become irregular (1 every 2-3 months), while the discharge remains scanty, of an obstructive nature,
- severe premenstrual syndrome,
- the lack of lubricant secreted by the vaginal glands necessary for the normal flow of sexual intercourse causes physical pain and moral discomfort,
- the negative state of the skin, noted peeling and increased dryness of the skin, the appearance of acne,
- a sharp decrease in efficiency, a tendency to depressive states, insomnia, irritability, aggressiveness,
- drops in blood pressure, hot flashes, pain in the heart and joints,
- deterioration of the nails and hair (fragility, tip section, loss).
The lack of estrogen almost always affects the morale of the woman. The feeling that she loses physical attractiveness leads to sexual and psychological disorders, reduced self-esteem, problems in the relationship with her partner. An imbalance of the hormonal system provokes diseases of the urinary system, intestinal disorders, vegetovascular disorders.
Hypoestrogenism in pregnant women
If the normal level of estrogen in women of reproductive age ranges from 12 to 190 pg / ml, then during pregnancy, hormone levels increase significantly. It is necessary for successful pregnancy, the normal functioning of the genital organs and the development of the fetus. If it is lowered, this indicates the following risks:
- disturbances in the state of the placenta, which can lead to its detachment,
- spontaneous abortion,
- development of Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities in the fetus,
- pathologies in the work of the fetal heart and nervous system,
- uterine bleeding.
Consequences of a lack of estrogen in late pregnancy can manifest themselves in the risks of perenosheniya baby, the occurrence of the weakness of labor during delivery. To increase their level, the expectant mother is prescribed hormone replacement therapy, a special diet.
Diagnosis of the pathological condition
These symptoms are characteristic not only of estrogen deficiency, but also in other diseases. How to determine the lack of hormone in women? For this it is necessary to donate blood for analysis. Sometimes, urine analysis and follicle-stimulating hormone research are additionally required. It is carried out some time after determining the level of estrogen. With an insufficient number of them, FSH levels will also be low.
Indicators of the norm of the hormone depend on the age of the woman. In children under 11 years of age, the rate does not exceed 5-22 pg / ml. In women of reproductive age, it depends on the phase of the menstrual cycle and ranges from 12 to 190 mg / ml. A sharp decrease in the amount of estrogen to 5-46 mg / ml occurs during menopausal extinction of the ovaries.
The hormone test is recommended to take for 3-5 days of menstruation, but often doctors recommend additional analysis for 20-21 days of the cycle. За несколько суток до сдачи анализа необходимо исключить физические нагрузки, не употреблять жирную пищу, отказаться от курения и алкогольных напитков. Кровь сдают в утренние часы, натощак. Если женщина по каким-либо причинам употребляет гормональные препараты, она должна уведомить об этом врача.
Treatment with a low level of estrogen is aimed at the selection of drugs that increase its level. It should be noted that the choice of hormonal drugs, the dosage and pattern of use is carried out exclusively by the attending physician, taking into account the level of the hormone, the age of the woman, her health and individual characteristics. Thus, the regimen of hormonal drugs for women of reproductive age differs significantly from the regimen of reception of funds by women during menopause. Independent uncontrolled use of such drugs can cause irreparable harm.
In addition to drug therapy, the patient should be given the conditions that will stimulate the body to produce its own hormone. First of all it concerns the revision of the diet, making adjustments to the menu. Widely used folk remedies: the use of decoctions and tinctures of herbs.
In adolescents suffering from estrogen deficiency, hormone therapy should be accompanied by physiotherapy procedures, moderate exercise, proper alternation of physical exertion and a relaxing rest. If necessary, appoint counseling psychotherapists.